Yesterday, Wednesday, the European Union threatened the authorities in Kosovo with “political consequences” if decisions were not taken to calm tensions with the Serb group in the north of the country.
A spokesman for the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said, “We expect Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti to take measures to reduce escalation. If this does not happen, there will be political consequences with the suspension of visits and high-level relations, and temporary measures that can be reversed.”
He stressed that “the matter is not related to sanctions, but to restrictive measures.” The spokesman acknowledged that the suspension of EU financial support was under discussion.
It is scheduled to meet the foreign ministers of the member states of the European Union on June 26 in Luxembourg.
Tensions have escalated between Belgrade and Pristina since the inauguration of Albanian mayors last May in 4 cities in northern Kosovo, inhabited by a Serb majority.
These city councilors were elected last April during municipal elections boycotted by Kosovo Serbs.
And 30 soldiers from the NATO-led peacekeeping force were injured during clashes between Serb protesters.
Clashes continued despite Kosovo’s Prime Minister presenting a 5-point plan to try to reduce escalation, including holding new elections in the four disputed municipalities. He also called for an “immediate” resumption of talks with Serbia under the auspices of the European Union.
Serbia, with the support of its Russian and Chinese allies, did not recognize the independence declared by its former region in 2008, after a decade of bloody war between Serbian and Albanian forces.
Belgrade encourages about 120 thousand Serbs residing there (between 6% and 7% of the population) to challenge the authorities of Pristina.
NATO has deployed a peacekeeping force in Kosovo since its 1999 military intervention there.