Sources within the Government of Kosovo told Gazeta Express that Srpska List is asking three members of Serbian community be part of the Trepca Board in exchange of their vote for ratification of the Agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro. Reportedly the Government of Kosovo is willing to accept the condition.
The vote of Srpska List MPs is crucial for ratification of the disputed Agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro, which is one of the last criteria for Kosovo to get visa liberalisation. Albanian ruling parties are short of only two votes, and despite efforts they failed to convince the opposition party of Vetevendosje to vote ratification of the deal. Now ruling coalition partners are aiming votes of Srpska MPs who officially are part of the Government but stated that ratification of demarcation is not their priority pressing the Government to establish the Association of Serb-majority Municipality, a deal which was reached between Kosovo and Serbia during the EU-facilitated dialogue in Brussels. The Government of Kosovo has not established the Association after Constitutional Court ruled that most of the provisions of this Agreement are in violation with applicable laws of Kosovo. But Srpska has extended the wish-list asking now more shares in the board of Trepca mining complex. Kosovo Parliament in 2016 has approved a law putting the mining complex under government control, despite objections from Belgrade and protests by local Serbs. The complex’s ownership structure has been the subject of dispute between Kosovo and Serbia. Belgrade claims 75 percent of Trepca, part of which is in northern part of Kosovo inhabited and controlled by Serbs.
Kosovo ruling parties are hesitating to call a new session of Parliament fearing lack of support for ratification of the demarcation, and in meantime they are continuing negotiations with Srpska List. Media have reported on various conditions set by Srpska, however Government officials have denied these reports. A source within the Government told Gazeta Express that during Government meetings, in addition to political parties, was present also the controversial businessman from the north, Milan Radojcic, who reportedly has political control in the north. The source said that during meetings between the Government, Srpska List and Milan Radojcic it was discussed also the composition of the Trepca board. Srpska is requesting to increase presence of Serbian representatives in this board from one to three members. According to the Law that has transformed Trepca into shareholding company, Serbs have one place guaranteed in Trepca board. But now they are conditioning their vote for demarcation by asking increase of presence of Serbs in this board. Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, Speaker Kadri Veseli, Deputy Prime Ministers Behgjet Pacolli and Fatmir Limaj, have repeatedly stated that Srpska will vote the demarcation without putting any condition. The Government keeps insisting that Srpska List is not conditioning ratification of demarcation which enables Kosovo to get visa liberalisation with the EU Schengen area. /Express/