Donfried: Kosovo and Serbia must make difficult decisions
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Karen Donfried, while speaking about Russia’s war in Ukraine, also mentioned the extent of the war’s consequences in the Balkans.
She said that the U.S. and the European Union are not trying to impose a solution to the situation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia but to help them make difficult decisions.
Donfried said that the U.S. and the EU are trying to be a force that brings good changes for Kosovo and Serbia.
“If I had been asked before I took office whether I thought Russia would launch a large-scale attack on Ukraine, my answer would have been no, I don’t think that will happen. I would have been wrong. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the future. Therefore, for the Western Balkans countries, there is now the opportunity to move forward on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration. This opportunity is there for Serbia and Kosovo. Serbia and Kosovo are sovereign countries. The United States and the EU cannot impose decisions or solutions. We are trying to be a force that brings good changes,” she said in an interview with the Voice of America.
Further, Donfried said that there are absolutely difficult decisions that both Kosovo and Serbia must make but added that the U.S. will be there to support them. “I deeply believe that Kosovo and Serbia citizens see their future as full members of the Euro-Atlantic community. The European Union has been nurturing and fostering a dialogue for years. The United States is supporting this dialogue because we believe it is the way for Kosovo and Serbia to become full members of the Euro-Atlantic community. Are there difficult decisions that Kosovo and Serbia have to make? Absolutely. Will we be there to support them as they make these difficult decisions? Of course,” she said.
However, Donfried emphasized that although the USA and the EU will be there, Kosovo and Serbia are the two countries that have to do the hard work.
“We know that Albania will also be there to help these countries make these difficult decisions. But we cannot impose it on them. They must want that future and be willing to make the decisions, which may seem painful if that is the future they want. I repeat, we will stand by them, but we can only help and try to secure that future. Kosovo and Serbia are the ones who have to do the hard work.”