US Deputy Assistant Secretary Brian Hoyt Yee has called upon European countries to be tougher on the corrupt leaders of the Balkans:
It is shameless how political leaders of the Balkans, despite violent acts, are welcome in many European capitals, as if their acts are nothing bad. When the citizens of these countries see their leaders in high-level meetings in Europe and Washington, they will draw conclusions. If these leaders are not allowed in meetings and certain circles and the reasons why are clearly communicated, that would have a positive influence on the developments in those countries.
The comments of Yee come at a moment that EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn has shared the stage with Prime Minister Edi Rama, known for his recent attacks on the media, a praised his government despite the consistent allegations that several former ministers are linked to drug trafficking.
The deputy assistant secretary, who is rumored to become the next US ambassador in Macedonia, also addressed the judicial reform in Albania, stating that only a full implementation and full independence of the judiciary would be considered a success:
We will not be satisfied as a partner of Albania with a partial implementation or the absence of implementation, so we will continue to require from the government, political parties, deputies, to keep their commitments to implement the amendments. The aim is not to please the US or EU, but to impose the rule of law, and arriving at an independent judiciary.