EU and US Reject Idea of Redrawing Borders in Western Balkans

Politics | April 27, 2021, Tuesday // 11:53
Bulgaria: EU and US Reject Idea of Redrawing Borders in Western Balkans

The European Union and the United States on Monday rejected the idea of redrawing borders in Western Balkans, after an unofficial diplomatic note proposing to break up Bosnia and merge Kosovo with Albania was circulated among EU officials, Reuters reported.

The document, which has been seen by Reuters, proposes incorporating parts of Bosnia into Serbia and Croatia to help the region's EU integration. The discussion alarmed Bosnians, who saw it as a threat to their country's territorial unity, two decades after ethnic conflicts led to war in the region. Reuters was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the note, which has not been officially claimed by any country.

"We are absolutely not in favor of any changes in borders," European Commission Chief Spokesman Eric Mamer told a news conference.

The United States warned that moving the borders risked exacerbating tensions in the region. "Recent unwarranted speculation about changing borders in the Balkans along ethnic lines risks fostering instability in the region and evokes memories of past tensions," US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Two former Yugoslav republics, Croatia and Slovenia, have joined the EU. Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo also hope to accede. The EU says they must first settle their neighborly conflicts and advance democratic reforms before they can join. But it is keen to keep close ties with the region on its doorstep where Russia and China are also building influence.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said separately on Monday after talks with Serbian President Alexander Vucic in Brussels that the EU wants to "continue to see positive developments in rule of law" in Serbia as part of accession talks.

The two discussed Belgrade's talks with Kosovo, a country that used to be part of Serbia and the independence of which is not recognized by several EU countries, including Spain.

The leaders of North Macedonia and Kosovo are also due in Brussels this week.

Von der Leyen said the bloc would support the construction of a railway between Belgrade and North Macedonia, which saw its hopes to formally start membership negotiations with the EU dashed last year after a veto from Bulgaria. Supporters of rewarding Skopje for settling its name dispute with another EU country, Greece, hope that a new Bulgarian government could reverse course but no swift change is likely given an ongoing political crisis in Sofia.

 

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Politics » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: EU, US, Western Balkans, borders
Advertisement
Advertisement
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria