Kosovo has placed a 100 percent tax on all Serbian imports, because Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Smugglers are profiting. The Serbian minority in Kosovo feels under threat. Pristina says the smugglers are criminals.
Germany, France, Italy, Britain and the United States are seeking compromise over tensions between Serbia and Kosovo. Both are seeking EU accession.
Serbia opposed the move, accusing Pristina of "beating war drums." The law would create a new department of defense and convert the Kosovo Security Force into an army. The US pushed for the move, but NATO reacted warily.
The creation of a standing army in Kosovo could provoke military intervention by Belgrade, Serbia's prime minister said. Kosovo's parliament is due to vote next week on transforming its defense force into a regular army.
The murder of key Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic threatens to reignite tensions in the ethnically fueled dispute between Serbia and Kosovo. The moderate politician had faced intimidation several times before his death.
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