Kurti accuses Miroslav Lajcak of standing on Serbia's side, EU spokesman Peter Stano reacts

Kurti accuses Miroslav Lajcak of standing on Serbia's side, EU spokesman Peter Stano reacts
 Kurti Shaking hands with Lajcak (archive)
 The European Union spokesperson, Peter Stano, characterized the claims of Kosovo's Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, regarding the EU envoy for dialogue, Miroslav Lajčák, as "baseless accusations," emphasizing that the latter has the support of all EU member states.

On September 18, Kurti declared in Pristina that during the recent dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia held in Brussels on September 14, Lajčák had positioned himself against Kosovo, Euronews reports.

The Kosovar Prime Minister stated that during this meeting, which ended without a result, it seemed that there was coordination between the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Lajčák to, as he put it, create an "alternative scenario where half of the agreement is implemented."

Kurti claimed that Lajčák had "distorted" the dialogue process, asserting that he had not focused on the full and unconditional implementation of the Agreement on normalization but had allowed "the cart to be put before the horse, the Association of Municipalities once, and then we'll see."

The agreement that Kurti referred to was reached earlier this year. It does not include the mutual recognition that Kosovo insists on but requires both Kosovo and Serbia to accept each other's documents and symbols, including passports, diplomats, and license plates. The parties also commit to implementing previously reached agreements in the dialogue process.

Stano was asked by reporters how the dialogue could continue in this format when Kurti had openly expressed distrust in the process facilitator, whom he did not consider neutral and impartial.

"As for Kurti's statements, we do not comment on them, especially when they contain baseless accusations. I believe that the EU member states have repeatedly expressed their full support for the EU Special Representative, Miroslav Lajčák, as well as for the High Representative [Josep Borrell]. They fully support their efforts to assist Kosovo and Serbia in reaching the stage of normalizing their relations," he said.

According to Stano, the latest support for the dialogue facilitators, Borrell and Lajčák, came through a communication released on behalf of the 27 bloc member states on September 19.

"This means it's a statement approved by the Foreign Ministers of the 27 member states. And this statement precisely underscores the EU's expectations for Kosovo and Serbia and how to proceed in the dialogue," Stano stressed, highlighting that the statement "explicitly calls on Kosovo and Serbia to move forward with the implementation of their obligations without further delay."

In this statement, released after Borrell met with European diplomats in New York, the EU also called for the prompt establishment of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities.

Kosovo and Serbia reached an agreement on the Association in 2013. However, Pristina has not implemented it, fearing that it could undermine the functionality of the state.

After the September 14 meeting, the European Union stated that Kosovo's Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, was not willing to move forward, unlike the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, who "accepted their proposal" for the implementation of the Basic Agreement for the normalization of Kosovo-Serbia relations.

The EU's Chief of Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, stated that Kurti insisted on formalizing, first of all, the de facto recognition of Kosovo by Serbia.

In Brussels, Kurti said that Serbia's "conditioning" for the formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities "has turned into the stance of EU envoys."

According to Vučić, Kurti simply "avoids the formation of the Association... that's the essence of everything."
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