MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The European Union still lacks unanimity as to whether unrecognized Kosovo should be allowed to join the EU, the General Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, has told TASS.
Earlier, the president of unrecognized Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, said that Pristina would file an application by the end of this year for joining the EU. She made a statement to this effect on Tuesday ahead of the EU - Western Balkans summit in the capital of Albania.
"There is no unanimity in the EU for now regarding Kosovo’s independence. There are a number of countries in the European Union that do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state. The issue of Pristina’s accession to the EU is rather complicated. Whether this potential applicant is an independent entity in its own right remains a big question," Kortunov said.
"Also, there are some issues of Kosovo’s compliance with the EU standards, in particular the regulatory framework and democratic institutions, including the issue of respect for the rights of ethnic minorities, Kosovo’s Serbs in particular. There are many obstacles that make Kosovo’s EU membership prospects a matter of a fairly distant future," the expert added.
Kortunov believes that Kosovo’s application for EU membership may be a means of pressure on Brussels. Pristina counts on support in confrontation with Belgrade. In the meantime, not only Kosovo, but also other countries seeking admission to the EU have stepped up their efforts after Ukraine was granted an EU candidate status.
"The very instance of filing an application is a means of exerting certain pressure on Brussels. Kosovo sees its potential EU membership as a solution to all of its problems and a way of gaining more support in confrontation with Belgrade. It’s another move in a complex diplomatic game afoot in the Western Balkans," he said.
"In a sense, this is the ‘Balkan response’ to the EU’s decision to grant Ukraine a preferential status for getting ready for admission to the EU. In all likelihood, other countries that have already become candidates for joining the European Union or are pretty close to obtaining this status, will be using the Ukrainian precedent for promoting their own European ambitions," Kortunov concluded.