EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak has urged Kosovo to implement the deal on the establishment of the Association of Serb Municipalities without delays.
In an interview for Austrian newspaper Weiner Zeitung published on Saturday, Lajcak also reiterated the EU’s stance against land swap between the two countries.
He noted that Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on the establishment of the ASM in Kosovo in 2013 and 2015 but it was not implemented.
“It is a very sensitive issue, on which the Constitutional Court of Kosovo has also spoken – and this opinion must be taken into account. Those who object that now is not the right time for it, I ask them: “When, if not now? You signed this agreement yourself.” This is the process, and the time is right,” Lajcak said.
Serbia wants to renegotiate the establishment of the ASM while Kosovo insists it will implement the already signed agreements, without specifying when and how. The disagreement on the ASM seems to have hindered the last Brussels dialogue meeting two weeks ago.
Asked on whether Serbia is expected to recognize Kosovo, Lajcak avoided a direct answer, focusing instead on the achievements made to date: there are text proposals on displaced and missing persons and on economic cooperation; financial and property claims are being discussed.
Lajcak reiterated the EU’s position against border changes between Kosovo and Serbia:
“The region has a tragic past with borders drawn along ethnic lines. The reactions in the region [about Kosovo-Serbia land swaps] have been extremely negative and, standing for European values and solutions, we do not support that either,” he stated.