Kosovo prime minister submits application to join EU

Kosovo prime minister submits application to join EU

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Kosovo prime minister submits application to join EU

Five of the 27 EU member countries don’t recognize the independence of Kosovo

Prime Minister of unrecognized Kosovo Albin Kurti

Albin Kurti, the prime minister of unrecognized Kosovo, on Thursday submitted an application in Prague to the Czech Republic, which holds EU’s rotating presidency, to join the bloc.

Five of the 27 EU member countries – Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Greece and Cyprus – don’t recognize the independence of Kosovo, which even now makes it impossible to make any practical moves to prepare for its admission to the EU. The problem has only one solution: a recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Belgrade. In recent months, the European Union has been actively pushing Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence, arguing that the position on Kosovo and relations with Russia are the main obstacles to Serbia’s admission to the EU.

The submission of the application coincides with the summit of the EU heads of state in Brussels, but the issue of Kosovo’s admission is not on the summit’s agenda. Moreover, Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said earlier that the path to the EU for Belgrade and Pristina lies through dialogue and stabilization of the situation in Kosovo.

Serbia previously said that Kosovo’s application to join the EU would be a gross violation of the Washington agreements, which were signed on September 4, 2020 by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Prime Minister of unrecognized Kosovo Avdullah Hoti under pressure from US President Donald Trump. This document contains mutual commitments of Belgrade and Pristina, including a moratorium on Pristina’s promotion of its candidacy to international organizations, as well as Belgrade’s suspension of its work with world capitals aimed at revoking their recognition of Kosovo’s independence. In early August 2021, the parliament of unrecognized Kosovo refused to ratify the Washington agreements.

Kosovo’s application to join the EU violates not only the Washington agreements, but also European law, Vucic said on a visit to Hungary on Thursday, according to a broadcast of his speech by the Tanjug news service.

“Yes, today they (Pristina ) officially violate the Washington Agreement, and we will respond to all this in the evening, following a cabinet meeting. I will say again that what some EU countries are doing is a violation of the EU treaty, Article 49, because the condition for joining the EU is that you are a European country. I don’t know what criterion is used to decide whether it is a country or not: the opinion of one country, albeit the largest one in the EU, the collective opinion of all EU countries or UN membership. But we have already learned all this, we must fight and protect our state interests,” the Serbian leader said.

The Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija declared independence in 2008 and has recently sought to join international organizations. More than half of the 193 UN countries, including Russia, India and China, oppose the recognition of Kosovo’s independence.