Apostolova: Serbia-Kosovo normalization the most complicated process in the Balkans

Nataliya Apostolova; Photo: EU Office Kosovo

PRISTINA – Normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina is “the most complicated process in the Balkans at the moment”, says Nataliya Apostolova, head of the EU office in Pristina, adding that both sides need encouragement from the international community to reach a final solution and progress towards EU membership.

In an interview for Euractiv, she said there had been ethnic incidents in recent months involving Serbs and Albanians and that this was “worrying, starting to look like tit for tat.”

She said non-recognition was a cause of concern in Kosovo, the second biggest recipient of EU money per capita, after Gaza.

“They (Kosovo) are a bit concerned because there are still five non-recognisers among member states, so in a way, they think ‘even if we progress quite well on the reform agenda, at the very end, we are going to be stopped again.”

“I think all sides, international partners and friends, who want to see this dialogue succeed, have to encourage it. Here is the real strength of the EU,” she said.