Hovenier does not convince Kurti, US ambassador: Kosovo was not sanctioned, only consequences occurred

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The United States was unable to persuade Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, to change his stance on the North. This was said by US Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier following a meeting with the head of government, during which he also disclosed the plan for restoring calm.

“What we believe will bring a reduction in tensions is not a secret, but it comes through reconciliation, where these three mayors work from alternative locations, and the withdrawal of Kosovo police from the three municipal buildings,” Hovenier explained.

The usage of the phrase “sanctions” in reference to Kosovo’s exclusion from joint military exercises with NATO forces was contested by the American diplomat in Pristina.

“I’m not going to use that word. As I have stated, there have already been some consequences for the situation we are in. I hope we can overcome this so that there are no further consequences,” the ambassador continued.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Kosovo and Serbia to find a solution to reduce tensions as soon as possible.

“The most important thing is for both sides to calm down and stop acting unilaterally.” We have been extremely explicit in expressing our concerns about some recent measures. “We have informed both sides’ leaders, including Prime Minister Kurti, directly,” Blinken added.

Secretary Blinken has previously blamed Kosovo for the unrest in the north, while Prime Minister Kurti has stated, “Democracy is not left in the hands of criminal gangs.”