Sources: US and EU considering sanctions against Kurti if situation in north escalates



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The United States and the European Union are considering two phases of measures against Kosovo unless it complies its obligations and does not deescalate the situation in the north.

The first phase of sanctions would see the freezing of EU funds, the visa liberalization process, the membership process for the Council of Europe, US funds, and other Western-funded projects.

Phase two would see Kosovo’s allies taking a passive attitude towards Serbia’s derecognition campaign against Kosovo, reorganization of the international military presence and a serious reduction of the American contingent, and exclusion of Kosovo from certain international organizations.

It also foresees individual sanctions against Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Interior Minister Sveçla, should the situation on the ground deteriorate further. This could include both being declared “non grata with the justification that they pose a threat to security and peace”.

The document states that “the transatlantic community has a vital need not to allow a crisis center behind the lines of contact with Russia… With the launch of the Franco-German plan, there was a conviction that problems would arise with the Serbian side, as a stubborn and unconstructive side.”

It continues, “no one expected that it will be the Government of Kosovo that, with its own actions, will promote uncertainty and fuel crises and conflicts”.

The text continues that the Western community has run out of patient and demands “a clear answer from the Government of Kosovo. Is it or is it not a partner of the transatlantic community?”

It states that being a partner means unconditional fulfillment of all obligations and “failure to do so means consequences.”

As well as criticizing the current government, the document levies criticism at the opposition in Kosovo and accuses them of “failing to understand the depth of the seriousness of the situation and the real danger for Kosovo”.

It adds that the opposition should come out and clearly declare whether or not it is in favor of fulfilling Kosovo’s obligations in the dialogue.

“The fact the opposition does not do this generates mistrust and projects opportunism,” it adds.

Lastly, the text states that “if Kosovo fails to fulfill its obligations, it risks its own future.”

Euronews Albania asked the European Commission whether they were aware of the document and agreed to such potential measures.

A spokesperson responded, “We do not comment on alleged leaks, and in particular not on something that claims to be an alleged document of a third country about alleged EU actions.”

On a recent visit to Kosovo and Serbia, US Envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar stated: “We’re seeing that choices are being made despite our partnership, and that is a signal to us, we can’t not accept that as a signal. At some point, when we want to re-establish that coordination and partnership with this government, we stand ready. Because we always stand with the people of Kosovo, that doesn’t mean that we have to stand with an individual who doesn’t share that instinct to cooperate and to coordinate.”

He added, when asked about potential consequences for Kosovo that, “it will send a powerful signal that Kosovo is not interested in coordinating with us. I think that would be unfortunate. By the way, not Kosovo – the Prime Minister. I want to make it clear that we don’t see this having an impact on long-term relationship, but the action taken or not taken could have some consequences that could affect parts of the relationship. I don’t want to go there.”

He added that by Friday, agreements must be reached because both him and his EU counterpart, Miroslav Lajčák must give reports to their respective superiors on whether they were successful or not.



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