Osmani and Hovenier discuss proposals for solutions regarding dinar issue



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The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, said that she discussed proposals with the United States ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, which, according to her, offer “a sustainable solution for the transition plan for the implementation of the regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo”.

The regulation of the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK), which came into force on February 1, stipulates the euro as the sole currency for cash payments, banning the use of the Serbian dinar.

However, it was not disclosed in the press release from the Presidency of Kosovo what proposals Osmani discussed with Hovenier during their regular meeting.

The United States has opposed the implementation of the CBK regulation, stating that it was adopted without prior consultation and without taking into account the negative impacts it may have on the Serbian population in Kosovo, which has been using the Serbian dinar since the post-war period.

The CBK has stated that the regulation will be implemented through a facilitated transition, lasting no more than three months. Meanwhile, the Kosovo executive has said that they will soon come up with a list of ten measures regarding how citizens will not be harmed during the transitional phase of implementation.

The issue of banning the Serbian dinar has strained relations between the Government of Kosovo and the United States. Washington has asked the Government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti to postpone the implementation of the regulation. However, Kurti has insisted that this regulation will not be repealed.

Due to Kosovo’s failure to comply with the American request, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O’Brien, stated that the US may not treat Kosovo as a partner if it makes decisions without consulting with it.

Following this statement by the senior American official, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, stated that the partnership with the US is not being jeopardized.

However, the American ambassador to Pristina, Jeff Hovenier, after this statement by the Kosovo Prime Minister, said that the decision to ban the dinar has affected the quality of relations between the US and the Government of Kosovo.

Serbia allocates millions of euros for Serbs in Kosovo after paying them – through a parallel system – salaries, pensions, and additional assistance.

On February 20, Serbian citizens in certain places in Graçanica were unable to receive social assistance and child allowances at the post office, which operates according to the Serbian system, because the employees told them that they did not have money to pay these allowances.

Also, on February 21, a group of teachers in North Mitrovica protested in front of the Serbian Post Office, as they did not receive their salaries.

Belgrade has strongly criticized the CBK regulation, interpreting it as the intention of the Government of Kosovo to expel Serbs.