EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn was very blunt yesterday when referring to Kosovo that ‘there are no negotiations for free-visa travel with Kosovo until they solve their issues of border demarcation with Montenegro.’
During a meeting with leaders of the majority and opposition political parties, Hahn stated that visa liberalization can be accomplished only after all the political class decides to agree on the border demarcation with Montenegro and other regional issues.
‘I believe I was crystal clear regarding this issue. The European Union is absolutely determined in helping Kosovo with their foreign policy. Kosovo has our total support. We are willing to further accelerate visa liberalization but it is up to you to put an end to the border demarcation debate,’ said Hahn.
He also added that ‘the sooner they solve such problems the better it will be for both countries and their joint European aspiration.’
Johannes Hahn and Kosovo’s PM, Isa Mustafa held a joint press conference regarding this subject and they both highlighted the role of Kosovo’s foreign policy in the region’s stability.
The recent agreement between the governments of Kosovo and Montenegro to settle a border demarcation issue has sparked massive protests by Kosovo’s opposition parties which claim that the small country is losing around 8200 hectares to Montenegro.
The dispute has turned into an internal struggle between Kosovo’s political groups and is delaying the country’s progress towards EU integration, where visa-free travel is seen as crucial or Kosovo’s 2m citizens.
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