The Government asks the EU to lift sanctions; the opposition accuses Kurti of a wrong approach

Vlada Kosova
Source: Reporteri

The Government of Kosovo is asking the European Union to cancel punitive measures against Kosovo, after the additional reduction of police presence in and around municipal buildings in the north. Government representatives say they remain committed to de-escalating the situation in the north, as evidenced by the implementation of the Bratislava Agreement, but opposition parties and political analysts say that Kosovo is still under measures due to the wrong approach of Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Reporteri reports.

From the office of the Deputy Prime Minister and chief negotiator in the dialogue Besnik Bislimi they say that EU measures towards Kosovo were unfair and should be lifted.

"We have continuously emphasized that the measures against Kosovo were unjust and that they should now be abolished. The Government of Kosovo was and remains committed to de-escalation, which was proven by the Bratislava Agreement and its implementation by Kosovo," Bislimi's advisor Klisman Kadiu told Kosovapress.

However, LDK leadership member Xhafer Tahiri is critical of the Government and says that the European Union is still punishing Pristina for the wrong policy of Prime Minister Albin Kurti in the dialogue and the north.

"With this withdrawal from the north, the main question should be what Kosovo benefited from, apart from the fact that we were sanctioned for the first time in history. Unfortunately, these sanctions harm Kosovo, since the biggest achievement of Kosovo in the process of integration towards the European Union was the signing of the SAA as the first step on this road to the EU. Now this agreement is suspended by EU sanctions along with billions of other funds for the Western Balkans, in which Kosovo is excluded. What have we got, except that the sanctions remain because of Kurti's wrong policy in dialogue and the north," Tahiri says.

On the other hand, political analyst Albinot Maloku states that despite the steps taken to de-escalate the situation in the north, there is no movement regarding the abolition of punitive measures.

Some time ago, in a meeting with journalists, Bislimi said that he did not think that new elections should be called in the north, without the lifting of sanctions, which was later repeated by Prime Minister Kurti, and those statements were interpreted as conditioning the EU.

According to Maloku, the measures will be lifted after the announcement of new elections and the complete de-escalation of the situation in the northern municipalities.

"Apart from the situation where we are sanctioned by the international factor, specifically the European Union, this is one of the indicators of the Government's failure. However, on the other hand, after the Bratislava Agreement, steps were taken, which indicates the goodwill of the Government of Kosovo for de-escalation of the situation in the north; the international factor always welcomed those steps but also pointed out that they were not satisfied. As a result, we are in a situation where we still do not have the sanctions lifted," Maloku told KosovaPress.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Kosovo due to the lack of steps to de-escalate the situation in the north, which include the suspension of funding programs, ongoing support for procurement and contract signing, participation in high-level events, suspension of bilateral visits, and no proposal submitted by Kosovo for an investment framework for the Western Balkans will not be covered at this time.

The European Union requested a greater commitment from the Kosovo side to implement steps to completely de-escalate the situation in the north, which included calling for elections in four municipalities.