Kosovo became independent a year ago to much fanfare. Its independence has been used by autocracies like Russia to justify the rape of independent Georgia. However, this poor Muslim nation has defied some expectations and is a strong, vibrant, pro-American democracy.
"It is peaceful here," says Nebojsa Popovic, one of the few Serbs left on the Kosovo police force. Popovic commands a station in Gracanica, the centre of a Serb enclave 5km from Pristina, where Serb and Albanian traders and taxi drivers chat openly in the street. A soldier still stands guard at the town's Orthodox monastery, but this might change in the next 12 months, according to Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Gay, head of KFOR, the international military presence.
Serbian products brought into Kosovo through the North -- without import taxes levied -- are worth as much as €500 million, roughly a quarter of Kosovo's GDP, according to Avni Zogiani, head of the Pristina-based anti-corruption campaign, COHU. "Serbia loses out through the re-importation of tax-free goods back into Serbia, but it gains much more because they have Kosovo as a market and can sell goods without paying government duty."
Also, if you need to search anything on Google, please use the bar below: