Western countries urge Kosovo to postpone decision to replace Serbian dinar with euro
The statement pointed out that the regulation raises concerns about its impact, especially on Serb-majority communities.
According to the statement, the decision can have an impact on the regulation of schools and hospitals, which would mean a direct effect on the daily lives of the overwhelming majority of Kosovo Serbs who receive payments and financial assistance from Serbia.
It came after the ambassadors of the Quint countries met with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Jan. 26.
The Kosovo government said Kurti emphasizes the importance of everyone in the country respecting the constitution and law as well as respecting independent authorities, in this case, the central bank.
"We urge the government of Kosovo to revisit this decision, consult with the affected communities, respond to the concerns expressed by the international community, and provide ample time for decisions to be implemented in order to mitigate the impact those decisions will have on its citizens," said a statement issued by the US Embassy in Kosovo, as reported by Radio Free Europe (RFE).
The next day, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called the announcement "worrying," saying it "throws into question all processes, both of normalization and dialogue."
The move could spark controversy and even unrest as ethnic Serbian communities in Kosovo are currently using the dinar, the official currency of neighboring Serbia, at both state institutions and in commercial transactions. Many local Serbs have an attachment or even allegiance to Serbia.
Employees of Serbian institutions have been receiving dinars for salaries, pensions, child allowances and social assistance. Prices in stores in northern Kosovo, which borders Serbia and has a large ethnic Serbian population, are displayed in dinars only.
Kosovo's population is predominantly Albanian, with a small number of ethnic Serbs concentrated along the northern border with Serbia.
Serbia, however, still considers Kosovo its territory.