Albin Kurti, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, began the new year 2023 with an interview for Voice of America in which he discussed the major issues that have concerned his country in recent years, including tensions in the north and the problem of the association of Serbian municipalities.
Concerning the several-day blockade imposed by Serbs in the north, the head of the government stated that Kosovo made no compromises for their withdrawal, demonstrating that the authorities waited for KFOR’s reply before intervening.
“We have offered KFOR our availability. They requested a little more time to remove them without the assistance of our police. If the barricades were not removed before the new year, our police would have interfered. We gave KFOR the time it sought because, of course, removing them without involvement is preferable. So it’s not that we were happy about the police intervention. We asked KFOR, which has always affirmed freedom of movement for the past 23 years, to ensure it. It was also fortunate that those who erected the barricades also removed them. My firm conviction is that they placed them out of fear and removed them out of fear. There was no agreement,” Kurti stated.
Concerning the association, a subject that partners are increasingly avoiding, Prime Minister Kurti “justified” it once more with a Constitutional Court decision that did not provide a solution.
“In Brussels, 33 agreements were signed before I became Prime Minister. Only one has failed the Constitutional Court’s test. That is just what Serbia demands. Despite signing the accords, Serbia has not executed two-thirds of them. Serbia just insists on this. However, you saw it in December as well. Serbia is not interested in the association of communes. They’re interested in the association of barricades,” Kurti explained.
In addition, the leader of the Kosovo government discussed the Franco-German plan. He described it as containing concepts for a stable deal, but Belgrade has not shown signs of being willing to accept it.
“I have embraced the fact that we have notions, universal concepts as an introduction to this proposition, territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence, equality, rule of law, democracy, and self-determination. All of this is mentioned, and the universal language contributes to the general premise. However, it also provides stability to the agreement. It appears that this has hampered Belgrade the most, precisely in containing the rejection of this proposal,” Kurti said.