Agreement reached in Pristina/Belgrade talks

9 Sep 2013

Radio Free Europe writes that bilateral talks between the prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo have begun to yield results, with the two nations reaching a compromise on a number of telecoms issues. Under the agreements, Kosovo will apply for its own international dialling code – expected to be +383 – whilst Serbian mobile operators will be permitted to continue offering services in Kosovo territory. Further, calls from fixed lines between Kosovo and Serbia will be charged as local calls. European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton oversaw the final stage of talks in Brussels. Although neither Serbia nor Kosovo are part of the bloc, both aspire to EU membership and Serbia’s relationship with its former territories has been a stumbling block for its entry. Details of the most recent agreement are yet to be revealed, although they are understood to follow on from a deal signed in April 2013, whereby Pristina would grant a degree of independence to the predominantly ethnic-Serbian municipalities in the north of the country. CommsUpdate reported in early June this year that Kosovo was considering offering Telekom Srbija a mobile virtual network licence (MVNO) to allow the operator to legitimately offer its services in the breakaway republic.