EU condemns violence in the north of Kosovo

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Statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on the ongoing confrontations 

The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the violence in the north of Kosovo that we have seen in the last few days. Violent acts against citizens, against media, against law enforcement and the KFOR troops are absolutely unacceptable and bring to a very dangerous situation.

We, the European Union, stand firmly behind NATO’s mission KFOR in fulfilling its mandate in the interest of the peace and the stability in Kosovo.

I have had contacts with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti – again this morning – and with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, overnight. I asked both Parties to urgently take measures to de-escalate tensions immediately and unconditionally. And any further unilateral action has to be avoided and calm being restored. 

As the first step, I expect Kosovo authorities to suspend police operations focusing on the municipal buildings in the north of Kosovo, and the violent protesters to stand down. I will continue engaging with the two leaders. 

The European Union expects the Parties to act responsibly and engage immediately in the EU-facilitated Dialogue to find a sustainable solution to the situation in the north of Kosovo that guarantees safety and security for all citizens and paves the way for the implementation of the new Agreement on Path to Normalisation.

For that, I am working on organising an urgent High-Level Dialogue Meeting supported by EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák. 

EEAS Deputy Secretary General for peace, security and defence, Charles Fries, is in Kosovo. I asked him to go to Kosovo, he is there, and together with our EU Rule of Law mission, EULEX, as the second security responder, will report to me personally on the situation on the ground.

In the meantime, Member States are being informed about the developments and discussing possible measures to be taken if the Parties continue to resist proposed steps towards de-escalation.

The Parties are expected to contribute to fruitful regional co-operation and security in Europe and to overcome the legacy of the past. There has been enough violence – there has been too much violence. We have too much violence in Europe already today – we cannot afford another conflict.

(eeas.europa.eu, 30/05/2023)