Remarks by H.E. Albin Kurti, Prime Minister of Kosovo, at a UN Security Council Meeting Called by Serbia on Kosovo

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February 8, 2024

Prime Minister Albin Kurti spotlighted the “deep and uncomfortable irony” and “dystopian feeling” inherent in responding to false allegations of human-rights abuses “made by a country known to have committed the last genocide of the twentieth century”.

The brutality of what was committed changed international human-rights law forever and, out of this misery, Kosova emerged as a symbol of the fight for dignity and the triumph of human rights, building itself into a forward-facing, multicultural and multi-ethnic republic.

Stating that Kosova is “an inspiring lesson on how economic development and democratic progress can go hand-in-hand”, he said that this growth and well-being is shared with minorities pursuant to a constitution that offers some of the highest protections for minority rights.

Detailing this, he underscored:  “The idea that Kosova is conducting an ethnic-cleansing campaign or persecution against the Serb community is a lie.”

He went on to say, however, that Serbia’s treatment of ethnic Albanians today constitutes such a campaign “carried out administratively”. Belgrade has removed thousands from the civil registry, and victims have lost access to passports, medical services, social assistance, vehicle registration, property transactions, pensions and voting rights.

Further, Serbia has aligned itself with the Russian Federation and is the only European country — other than Belarus — not to impose sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.  “It acts as the Kremlin’s Trojan Horse in South-East Europe in a geopolitical war against the democratic world,” he said.

Turning to the Central Bank’s regulation, he underscored:  “Let me be absolutely clear — the regulation does nothing to prohibit or prevent the Government of Serbia from providing financial support to Kosova Serbs.”  Rather, it merely seeks to ensure the transparency and legality of cash imported into Kosova in line with both the constitution and European Union monetary policy.

Emphasizing that the same rules apply to all cash imports — from any country, in any currency — he said that the Central Bank is committed to doing all it can to ensure that Kosovo Serbs can continue receiving unimpeded financial support from Serbia.

Further, Prishtinë is committed to ensuring a smooth transition, with sufficient investments in education and information, instead of imposing penalties for non-compliance.

Prishtinë does not seek to harm any single group of citizens; rather, it seeks to protect all of them from the threats posed by organized crime, arms-trafficking and money-laundering — all of which rely on criminal groups’ ability to receive illegally smuggled cash, largely across Kosova’s border with Serbia.

He added that Belgrade sounded the alarm not because of the transition from the Serbian dinar to euro, “but because we are banning large sacks of money at the border”.


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