Kosovo PM says risk of new conflict with Serbia is high
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti said the risk of a new conflict between Kosovo and Serbia is high, as the situation in the area changed after the Ukrainian war.
Kurti commented on the rising tensions between the two countries in the past few weeks in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica.
"The risk of a new conflict between Kosovo and Serbia is high. It would be irresponsible if I say otherwise, especially after the world saw what Russia did to Ukraine," Kurti said.
Arguing that Russia was behind the tensions they experienced with Serbia, Kurti noted that "before the invasion of Ukraine, the possibilities were few, but now the situation has changed.”
Noting that there will be a meeting on the general situation of Kosovo-Serbia relations in Brussels next week, Kurti said he hoped “this will help reduce the tension."
Kosovo's premier added that becoming a member of NATO would contribute to achieving lasting peace. “Our position is transparent and it’s based on euro-Atlantic values,” he stressed.
Tensions between Belgrade and Pristina escalated in late July ahead of Kosovo's planned implementation of a new law making it mandatory for everyone, including Serbs living in Kosovo, to have a Kosovar ID card and license plate.
Later, Kosovo announced that it had decided to delay the new measures until Sept. 1.
Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence in 2008. It is recognized by more than 100 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany and Türkiye. Serbia has not recognized and continues to lay claim to the territory.