According to the European Union’s foreign policy coordinator, Josep Borrell, Serbia and Kosovo have reached an agreement on entry regimes.
According to the European Union’s foreign policy coordinator, Josep Borrell (75), the Balkan neighbors Serbia and Kosovo settled their dispute over entry regulations shortly before the end of the new deadline. “We have a deal,” Borrell said Saturday on Twitter’s SMS service. Serbia agreed to allow holders of Kosovo identity papers to enter the country without any additional documents. In return, Kosovo abandoned plans that would make it more difficult for Serb citizens to enter the country in the near future.
Borrell spoke of a “European solution”. The Spanish politician also wrote: “We congratulate the two leaders (President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic (52) and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti (47)) on this decision. Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti responded shortly afterwards on Twitter: “Reciprocity must be the spirit of basic solutions.” At first there was no reaction from Vucic.
The European Union has wanted an agreement for years
The controversial entry rules for Serbs into Kosovo were due to come into effect on Thursday, 1 September. Originally, it was supposed to be in effect since August 1st. However, under pressure from the United States and the European Union, the plans were delayed by a month. The goal of the Kosovo government was to treat Serbs crossing the border in the same way that Serbia treated Kosovar residents. For nearly a decade and a half, Serbia refused to recognize the declaration of independence of the former province of Kosovo.
The European Union has been trying for years to help clarify the relationship between the two sides. This is very tense, because Kosovo, which is now almost exclusively inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 with the help of NATO and declared its independence in 2008. More than 100 countries, including Germany, have recognized Kosovo’s independence. Other countries – including Russia, China and five countries in the European Union – have not yet done so. (SDA)
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