Kurti: ‘Open Balkan’ leaves space to Russian and Chinese meddling

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Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti commented on Sunday the meeting between Edi Rama, Aleksandar Vucic, and Zoran Zaev, and the Open Balkan initiative. For Kurti, the main problem in the Western Balkans is that of the Serbian president refusing to face the past.

According to Kosovo’s head of the executive, the common market, which is the main reason behind the initiative, should imply a deepening of democratic structures and rule of law, but he added that this would be impossible if Serbia is not confronted with its past as it has “sparked 4 wars is the last decade”.

To Kurti, renaming the aspiring free trade area from “mini-Schengen” to “Open Balkan” is no good news either, as it might hint at being opened to Russian and Chinese influences.

“Open Balkan resembles more to a Balkan open to the East, particularly the Russian Federation and China, as well as an open Balkan to autocracy, corruption, war criminals, that as we are aware are still running free in Serbia”, he said.

Regarding Kosovo-Albania ties, Kurti responded that the relations between the two countries should always remain positive and cannot be determined “neither by the Prime Minister of Kosovo nor that of Albania”.

He also added that the countries are part of the same nation and that “citizens have brotherly relations”, while politicians should “represent the interests and the will of these people”.

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