Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, reiterated on Thursday the EU’s stance that there will be no visa liberalisation for Kosovo without ratification of the Agreement on border demarcation between Kosovo and Montenegro.
Apostolova made it clear that the demarcation remains one of the conditions for Kosovo to get visa liberalisation with the EU. The other condition is fighting organised crime and corruption. “The EU will not change its stance on the demarcation issue, the condition should be fulfilled,” said Apostolova. She made the comments during a meeting with the representatives of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) in the Assembly, as part of meetings with the caucuses of all political parties represented at the Assembly of Kosovo.
“In the past there were problems between borders of the EU member countries. So in this case I don’t want to say that the demarcation is a political criterion, which the EU has imposed to keep Kosovo far from the liberalisation process. It was a technical criterion,” she said. Apostolova regrets that this issue has been extremely politicised, noting that nobody expected such a delay from Kosovo.
Opposition parties are opposing current version of the demarcation claiming that Kosovo loses territory. Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has also announced revising current version of the Agreement reached with Montenegro in 2015 claiming that Kosovo loses more than 8000 hectares of land. Haradinaj is insisting that current version of the agreement is wrong and has already dismissed members of a state commission on demarcation and has appointed new members. The Commission expected to draft a new report on demarcation and publish it next year. Montenegro Parliament has already ratified the Agreement ant officials in Podgorica have announced that they will not renegotiate the deal.