Kosovo* – Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the latest developments

The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the violent acts against citizens, KFOR troops, law enforcement, and media in the north of Kosovo. The violence could have been avoided and must be avoided in the future.

The European Union stands firmly behind NATO’s mission KFOR and EU’s mission EULEX in fulfilling their respective mandates.

We urge both Kosovo and Serbia to immediately and unconditionally take measures to de-escalate, stop using divisive rhetoric and refrain from any further uncoordinated actions. Calm needs to be restored urgently.

The European Union is ready to implement resolute measures. Failure to de-escalate the tensions will lead to negative consequences.

We expect Kosovo to act in a non-escalatory way and immediately suspend police operations in the vicinity of the municipal buildings in the north of Kosovo. The mayors should temporarily perform their duties in premises other than the municipal buildings. Early elections should be announced as soon as possible in all four municipalities and organised in a fully inclusive manner. We expect Kosovo Serbs to take part in these elections.

We express concern over the Serbian Armed Forces’ highest alert status.

The European Union expects both Kosovo and Serbia to act responsibly and engage immediately in the EU-facilitated Dialogue to find a sustainable solution to the situation in the north of Kosovo that guarantees safety, security and participatory democracy for all citizens and paves the way for the implementation of the Agreement on the Path to Normalisation and its Annex. This includes to start without any further delay or precondition the work to establish the Association/Community of Serb Majority Municipalities.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.