Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo Isa Mustafa has pushed back on the idea of territorial exchange between Kosovo and Serbia.
“No one can change Kosovo’s borders, if we trust in ourselves to not change them,” Mustafa said. “This is in our hands and our responsibility.” He added that Kosovo declared its independence with its current territorial borders, and opening up for discussion the topic of territorial exchange risks putting Kosovo’s independence up for discussion.
“[US Special Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue] Grenell nor Borrell nor [EU Special Representative for the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue] Lajcak are not the ones that change borders and exchange territories,” Mustafa said, though he added that Kosovo’s people should believe in the US and the EU.
Yesterday, Borrell’s statement was immediately followed by criticism from Kosovo’s government, the Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani, and former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. In today’s press conference, Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci refused to comment on Borrell.
Experts overwhelmingly warn against a deal that would include land swap and border delineation along ethnic lines. According to this alleged plan, part of Kosovo’s territory inhabited by Serbians would join Serbia and vice versa. They argue that the move could create a chain reaction as almost all countries in the region have ethnic minorities beyond their national border, in the neighboring countries.