Disputed territory seeks NATO and EU membership — Analysis
Kosovo wants to be part of EU and NATO, leader of Serbia’s breakaway province says in Washington
Kosovo wishes to become a member of NATO and the European Union, the self-proclaimed republic’s prime minister Albin Kurti said on Wednesday, while visiting Washington. Serbia’s breakaway province had declared independence with US support in 2008, but has not been recognized by Belgrade, the UN, or even all the EU member states.
Kurti announced the news during an event hostedOn Wednesday afternoon, he was received by the Atlantic Council. Earlier in the day, he met with officials of the Biden administration – including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and USAID chief Samantha Power – and several members of Congress.
Rep. Elissa slotkin, D-Michigan), was one of them. “unequivocal support” for Kosovo’s aspirations to join “international and regional organizations, especially NATO,” Kurti saidOn Twitter
Kosovo is a province of Serbia temporarily occupied by NATO after the alliance’s 78-day air war in 1999. The US, many allies and the US recognized Kosovo’s interim government as independent in 2008. However, it was not recognised by Russia, China or Serbia. More to the point, five EU members – Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain – have not recognize its independence, making Kurti’s EU bid a tall order.
Aleksandar Vucic (Serbian President) has revealed publicly that Belgrade is being pressured by the EU to accept the anti-Russian sanctions regime, recognize Kosovo and make vague promises about joining the bloc one day.
Kurti heads Vetevendosje (a nationalist party of ethnic Albanians opposed to negotiations with Serbia) whose platform, at one time, sought unification with Albania. After six months of being PM, the US supported Kurti’s ouster in March 2020. However, he won the February 2021 elections in a stunning landslide.
Wednesday’s announcement is actually the second time Kurti has publicly articulated joining the EU and NATO as Pristina’s political objectives. On Saturday, Kurti made the first public declaration at an event sponsored by DePaul University’s Albanian Studies Program.
“Kosovo is a democratic success story in the region, which is why it needs support to become a member of NATO, EU and other regional and international organizations without further delay,”According to Albanian media sources, Kurti stated that Kurti was at DePaul.
Kurti noted that Kosovo joined the US and EU to impose sanctions against Russia. He argued it was a good example of what Kurti meant. “great victory” for Russian President Vladimir Putin to see Kosovo’s “progress” reversed.
Putin had brought up Kosovo’s declaration of independence in last month’s meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow, pointing out that the US and its allies created a precedent in international law which Russia then applied to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.