From: Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Rama in Russia: Lavrov Supports Negotiations Between Serbia and Kosovo

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is currently on a visit to Russia in the capacity of his Chairmanship of the OSCE.

During a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, it was confirmed that the topic of Kosovo’s independence and dialogue with Serbia was on the agenda.

Lavrov stated that Russia has an interest in reaching a Kosovo-Serbia agreement and that this could help a solution be found.

“We also talked about Kosovo, we aim to encourage dialogue to reach an agreement with Serbia. We would like the Kosovo issue to be resolved. Stakeholders need to find an agreement and we believe that a key factor in moving forward is the implementation of the decision to create [the union of] Serbian municipalities and we have bilateral engagements with the Chairman of the Trade and Economic Commission,” he said.

He added that there is room for cooperation in this area but that it is limited due to Albania’s support for the EU sanction regime against Russia. He said that his country is ready to cooperate with Albania on whatever they are ready to cooperate with.

Rama stated that Albania has a clear position that Serbia should recognise Kosovo as soon as possible. He said that Albania has no influence and that the country is in line with the EU-US when it comes to sanctions.

“I would like to conclude by saying that it is very clear what our position is as Albania…we are proud members of NATO and proud allies of the EU and US. We remain fully in line with our friends when it comes to issues like sanctions…Our position is clear that the sooner Serbia recognises Kosovo, the better it will be for everyone,” Rama said.

Journalists at the press conference were also keen to find out more about current levels of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Rama said that “the fact that relations are at very low levels is no secret” adding that there had been no “calls” between the two nations for many years, since the time of Stalin. Both sides pledged to do more to maintain friendly relationships between the two nations.