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WORLD Twenty years on, Balkans still seek settlement

[...] which was opened in 1999, was upgraded to the embassy level in 2008. Although it has been recognized by more than 100 other countries, including

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[…] which was opened in 1999, was upgraded to the embassy level in 2008. Although it has been recognized by more than 100 other countries, including the U.S. and most of Europe, Kosovo has struggled to gain full global acceptance. Serbia and its key allies Russia and China refuse to recognize the split. In their view, Kosovo’s declaration of independence was illegal […] back by slapping Serbian goods with a 100 percent tariff. The tax ultimately brought negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina to a freeze, with Serbia refusing to talk until the measure is lifted. Despite domestic and international pressure to remove the tariff, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has refused, saying he will not budge unless Serbia shows a willingness to recognize Kosovo’s […] a turning point. Serbia ’s President Aleksandar Vucic, speaking at the same event in Slovakia, said he was more pessimistic but that both sides must keep seeking a compromise. There is no official census, but ethnic Albanian-majority Kosovo is still home to about 120,000 ethnic Serbs, who consider themselves loyal to Belgrade. They are concentrated in the northern region around the divided city of Mitrovica, but also in a dozen predominantly Serb enclaves where Pristina has struggled to exercise its authority. The autonomy of Serb communities is a major sticking point in the EU-led negotiations between the neighbors. In 2013, an agreement called for the creation of an association of 10 Serb-majority ‘municipalities’ in Kosovo. But it […] mutually recognize their respective university diplomas. Nor do the people in the north pay electricity bills to a Kosovo company, which the Pristina administration says costs them about 10 million euros annually ($11 million). In 2018 Serbia and Kosovo’s presidents drew a frenzy of media attention – and criticism – for suggestions that border changes could be part of an eventual […] by the ethnicity of the other. The most probably exchange would see the Serb-dominated part of northern Kosovo given to Belgrade in exchange for Serbia ’s southern Presevo Valley, which is home mainly to ethnic Albanians. While Washington and some EU officials appeared open to discussing the trade, countries like Germany and Britain were firmly against it. Rights groups and other critics also lambasted the idea, saying such a trade would deepen ethnic segregation and could […] a crucial role for Kosovo’s water supply and energy independence. Trepca and its minerals also represent a rare source of wealth in the poor region, even if its industrial infrastructure is in an appalling state. While most mines are on the ethnic-Albanian side of Mitrovica, the industrial complex is on the Serb side. ECONOMY Turkish Central Bank expected to keep rates on hold

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