What Kurti said for "The Guardian"?

EU's decision not to start negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania could damage the chances of reaching Belgrade-Pristina agreement, Kurti says

Source: RTS
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Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/ Georgi Licovski
Ilustracija: EPA-EFE/ Georgi Licovski

"The leftwinger set to become Kosovo’s surprise new prime minister has condemned the EU’s decision to halt further Balkans enlargement, saying it showed western leaders had forgotten the lessons of two world wars and instead were in retreat in the face of fascism and populism", "The Guardian" reports.

The leader of Kosovo "Vetėvendosje", Albin Kurti, said in his interview for "The Guardian" that "the stance could damage the chances of Kosovo reaching a deal with Serbia, as Belgrade has less incentive to act without the prospect of EU membership".

Reacting to the decision on not setting out a date for commencing accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania, Kurti pointed out that internal reforms within EU and the external enlargement must go hand in hand.

"Europe is such an important historical project that no one man can be its author, directing or leading it. We have always seen that when [the outgoing EU Commission president] Jean-Claude Juncker said there would be no further expansion in the next five years, the situation in the Balkans got much worse", Kurti underlined, and RTS reports.

Kurti said that the import tariffs imposed on Serbian goods will be lifted only "if there are full reciprocal measures on freeing Kosovo’s trade into Serbia".

He said Belgrade also had to end its international diplomatic campaign to persuade countries to derecognize Kosovo.

“If they want to start dialogue, they should explicitly stop the slander about our right to statehood. Serbia should face its own past, instead of looking at Kosovo and Albania through military binoculars. Serbia needs some introspection”, Kurti said.

Kurti explained that he will start within a bottom-up dialogue with ordinary citizens in Kosovo on practical cooperation on every day issues and problems, for example in the field of agriculture.

Kurti underlined that he totally opposes demarcation and land swaps with Serbia. “Whatever new border you form, there will be Serbs or Albanians on the other side, and they pretend you can do it peacefully", Kurti concluded.

Responding to the reactions for placing Albanian national flag in the headquarters of "Vetėvendosje", Kurti said that he “has more important tasks than rearranging the furniture in the prime minister’s office".

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