No US Influence over New Kosovo Government Formation, Says Matthew Palmer  

US special envoy for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer has stated that the US has no favorite winner in the constitutional and political struggle in Kosovo, but they are awaiting the formation of a new government that could engage in negotiations with Serbia.

During a webinar on Wednesday, “US Strategic Engagement in the Western Balkans, Aegean, and Turkey during Coronavirus”, Palmer reportedly said that:

“We are waiting for the decision of the [Kosovo] Constitutional Court that would pave the way for resolving issues related to the formation of the government. I want to emphasize that the United States does not want to influence the process in any way, we do not want to elect the new government of Kosovo, we do not have a favorite, we do not support. What we want to see is a process that is based on the Constitution of Kosovo and the legal framework of Kosovo, which produces a government that is representative and has the power to engage in the negotiation process.”

Palmer declined to comment on whether the Trump administration’s engagement for a Kosovo-Serbia deal was related to the US presidential elections in autumn, but said “we are trying to help the parties find a solution”.

Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti has claimed that US envoy Richard Grenell’s pressure on his government has influenced the successful motion against him.

He underlined US expectations for the Kosovo government to remove reciprocity measures with Serbia: “What we want to see is not only the suspension of tariffs but also the lifting of reciprocal measures.” This is the condition for the US Millennium Challenge Corporation to return to Kosovo with its program, according to Palmer.

The US envoy added that partnership with the EU in dealing with challenges in the Balkans is very important.

“In the Balkans, we have seen, especially over the years, that when the United States and the European Union work closely together and in a spirit of cooperation, we can do very good things.”