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The EU is preparing sanctions against Kosovo

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Collage: The Gaze
Collage: The Gaze

The European Union has developed sanctions against Kosovo and is preparing to implement them. The reason for this decision was the Kosovo government's disregard for calls to reduce tension in the region.

This was reported by "Radio Free Europe".

According to the EU's decision, the sanctions will include the suspension of invitations for Kosovo to participate in high-level events and bilateral visits to the EU and member states. Meetings will only take place to coordinate steps to resolve the crisis in northern Kosovo.

It is expected that another sanction will involve the joint work of groups that exist between Kosovo and the EU, which were created based on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA).

There will also be financial consequences for Kosovo. 

Significant suspension of EU funding for several projects is planned, for which Kosovo has submitted proposals under the Western Balkans Investment Fund.

The United States has also canceled Kosovo's participation in the Defender Europe 23 military exercises, calling it the first punitive measure against Kosovo for failing to meet the demands of the international community.

Diplomatic sources say that interaction with the Kosovar authorities in all these areas will return to normal once the Kosovo government takes the steps that the EU expects within the framework of dialogue. The EU and the US have put forward three demands to prime minister of Kosovo  Albin Kurti: to calm the situation in the north, to hold new elections in four municipalities in the north, and to return to dialogue to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

But Kurti, in turn, presented a five-point plan.

  • Rule of law in the four municipalities in the north, meaning identification, judicial prosecution, and fair trial of all members of criminal groups who attacked the police, NATO forces, and journalists.
  • Violent groups must immediately leave the territory of Kosovo, and any criminal actions against Kosovo institutions must be prohibited.
  • The Kosovo police, NATO members, and EULEX (EU special mission comprising 2,000 civilians and law enforcement representatives deployed to Kosovo) should conduct joint security assessments to ensure a safe and secure environment for all.
  • The government of Kosovo must coordinate actions with all participants and announce early elections in the four municipalities in the north.
  • Kosovo and Serbia will return to dialogue mediated by Brussels.

However, the EU has stated that the Kosovar Prime Minister has not taken the necessary steps to reduce tensions in the north.

As previously reported by The Gaze, clashes occurred in several municipalities in northern Kosovo in May. The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse Serbian protesters. The reason was the refusal of local Serbs to accept the newly elected Albanian mayors, whom the Serbian population boycotted in the April elections. The situation escalated on Monday, May 29. In the Kosovo city of Zvecan, members of the pro-Serbian local party "Serbian List" refused to comply with the peacekeepers' order to leave the municipal building and broke through the police and peacekeepers' cordon. In response, they used stun grenades and, according to Serbian media reports, firearms. Approximately 25 NATO peacekeepers and over 50 Serbian protesters were injured in the clashes, with one in critical condition and two with serious injuries.

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