Serbia and Kosovo agree to restore railway, motorway links

Serbia and Kosovo agree to restore railway, motorway links
By Valentina Dimitrievska February 16, 2020

Serbia and Kosovo signed two important documents to create railway and motorway links between the two countries on February 14.

The new agreements were signed a few weeks after Belgrade and Pristina agreed to resume direct flights between the two capitals for the first time in more than two decades. 

The transport deals come after a period during which the already strained relations between the two countries worsened after Kosovo’s previous government led by Ramush Haradinaj imposed 100% tariffs on Serbian products in November 2018 for political reasons. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but is still not recognised by Belgrade.

“A great step towards reaching a final peace agreement between the two countries! Kosovo and Serbia have agreed to create rail and motorway links in a huge diplomatic step for the region," Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said in a tweet.

Thaci attended the signing, during the Munich Security Conference, together with his Serbian peer Aleksandar Vucic in the presence of US presidential special envoy Richard Grenell.

Vucic emphasised that the documents are very important because they enable freedom of movement of goods, capital, services and people, according to the government statement.

The letters of intent relate to the completion of the motorway from Belgrade to Pristina and the establishment of the Belgrade-Pristina Rail Corridor.

However, Kosovo’s new government said on February 14 that the two agreements were signed in Munich by officials authorised by former infrastructure minister Minister Pal Lekaj, but not authorised by the new government which took office earlier in February.

The government also said that the texts of the agreements have not been made public and the whole process was not transparent. However it did not say if it will annul the documents.