German Minister for Europe Michael Roth stated that attempts to redraw the border between Kosovo and Serbia are very dangerous, and they would unavoidably lead to the destabilization of the Western Balkans.
In an interview for Deutsche Welle (DW), Minister Roth stressed the approach of the German government against the idea that experts say is spearheaded by President Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo, President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia, and Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania.
“The territorial integrity of the Western Balkans states is important to us. The attempt to move borders has caused infinite pain in the past. That’s why I think that not only do these attempts not promise great success, but they are also very dangerous. What we need is an all-inclusive agreement that enables Serbia and Kosovo to become EU members and solves the disputes over all open technical issues.
We expect Albania to exercise its political influence and engage in a constructive way for the stability of the whole region. This is particularly valid for issues related to the normalization [of relations] between Kosove and Serbia. It’s only in Albania’s interest, as part of the region, to prevent at all costs another destabilization of the Western Balkans, which would unavoidably result from border change.”
Reminded that the US and European Commission seem not to oppose a plan for exchange of territories, Minister Roth was also asked on the effects it could have on the EU accession process for countries in the region.
“It’s true that there are different stances regarding the border change. Our stance is that an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia should improve the stability in both countries and in the region. I can’t see how this could be achieved through border changes. On the contrary, the Western Balkans would not find peace. I keep hearing over and over from neighboring countries that they are worried about this discourse, as they see the danger of a domino effect. This would surely not be useful at all for the EU accession processes.”