Macedonia, Kosovo in tit-for-tat trade dispute

Macedonia debates response in trade war with Kosovo, as angry truckers block border

Associated Press

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) -- Macedonia is deliberating its next move in an escalating trade war with Kosovo, which closed its borders to all Macedonian goods to protest a wheat export ban.

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski was chairing a cabinet meeting on the dispute Tuesday as irate truckers blocked crossings to Kosovo.

Kosovo is Macedonia's second-largest market, after Germany, worth $392 million last year.

The dispute started in July when Gruevski's conservative government banned cheap wheat and flour imports from a group of countries, including Kosovo, to protect domestic output. That prompted Kosovo to impose a partial ban on Macedonian imports. Macedonia then responded with a border tax on Kosovar travelers before Sunday's blanket ban.

After talks with his opposite number in Kosovo's capital Pristina Monday, Macedonia's economy minister said a solution is urgent.

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