Kosovo wants ‘without further delay’ in NATO and EU — RT DE

Albin Kurti, prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic, said Kosovo wants to join the EU and NATO during a visit to the United States on Wednesday. However, Kosovo is not recognized by Serbia, the UN, or even all EU member states.

Kosovo wants to join NATO and the European Union, the self-proclaimed republic’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti said on a visit to the United States on Wednesday. The breakaway Serbian province declared its independence with US support in 2008, but was not recognized by either Belgrade, the UN, or even all EU member states.

Kurti announced Kosovo’s intentions at an Atlantic Council event on Wednesday afternoon. He had previously met with representatives of the Biden administration — including national security adviser Jake Sullivan and USAID chief Samantha Power — and several members of Congress. One of them, Democratic Congressman from Michigan Elissa Slotkin, said Kosovo had “clear support” for Kosovo’s efforts to “join international and regional organizations, particularly NATO,” Kurti tweeted.

Kosovo is a province of Serbia that was occupied by NATO after the 78-day air war in 1999. The provisional government declared independence in 2008 and has been recognized by the US and many of its allies, but not by Russia, China and Belgrade itself. Five EU members – Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain – also consider the area a part Serbia, making Kurti’s bid a difficult proposition.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has publicly announced that Belgrade is under intense pressure from the EU to join sanctions on Russia and recognize Kosovo in return for vague promises of eventual joining the bloc.

“Without further delay in EU and NATO”

Kurti is the leader of Vetevendosje, a nationalist Albanian party opposed to any negotiations with Serbia and whose program once sought unification with Albania. The US backed his ouster in March 2020 after just six months as prime minister, but he came back and won the February 2021 election in a landslide victory.

Wednesday’s announcement is the second time that Kurti has publicly formulated EU and NATO membership as a political goal for Pristina. He first did so on Saturday at a lecture sponsored by the Albanian Studies program at DePaul University in Chicago. According to Albanian media, Kurti said:

“Kosovo is a democratic success story in the region, which is why it needs support to become a member of NATO, the EU and other regional and international organizations without further delay.”

Kurti also pointed out that Kosovo was the first country to join the US and EU in imposing sanctions on Russia, stating that a “great victory” would be for Russian President Vladimir Putin if the “progress” by Kosovo would be reversed.

Putin raised Kosovo’s declaration of independence at his meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Moscow last month, noting that the US and its allies had set a precedent in international law that Russia then applied to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics .

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