European Western Balkans

Stano: Operation by the Kosovo Police also jeopardises the ongoing negotiations on dinar

Photo: Twitter/Peter Stano

BRUSSELS – EU Spokesperson said on Tuesday that the European Union noted with concern Monday’s police operation at the offices of the Serbian Postal Savings Bank in the north of Kosovo. 

“The closure and confiscation of these offices without prior notice or coordination and only a few days after the last Dialogue meeting, which also covered the question of the premises of the Postal Savings Bank, is escalatory and goes against the spirit of normalisation and it undermines Kosovo’s good faith in achieving normalisation of relations through the Dialogue”, EU Spokesperson Peter Stano said. 

He added that uncoordinated actions by one of the parties put the implementation of the Agreement on the Path to Normalisation at risk.

“The operation by the Kosovo Police also jeopardises the ongoing negotiations on a temporary solution for people negatively affected by the regulation of the Kosovo Central Bank on cash operations”, Stano said. 

According to him, in the continued absence of sustainable alternatives, this will have negative effects on the daily lives and living conditions of Kosovo Serbs and other communities eligible for financial transfers from Serbia.

“Monday’s operation proves again that Kosovo authorities prioritise unilateral and uncoordinated actions rather than cooperation with its friends and allies”, Stano concluded. 

In a coordinated operation, Kosovo Police, monitored by EULEX and KFOR, raided five branches of Postal Savings Bank and the Treasury Administration in North Kosovo, KoSSev reported.

The raids were conducted to investigate alleged illegal activities, said the Police. The actions coincided with the disbursement of social benefits by the Serbian government through these institutions, resulting in long queues outside the banks earlier on Monday.

Approximately €1.6 million, 74.7 million dinars, 19,500 Swiss francs, 13,000 US dollars, 40 Australian dollars, and various documents were seized. The raids led to the closure of five branches of Postal Savings Bank and the Treasury Administration of Serbia’s Ministry of Finance. The Police also removed signs from the Treasury Administration office in Mitrovica, symbolising the end of these institutions’ operations in the region.

Serbian officials and the largest Serbian party in Kosovo accused Kurti of using the operation as a political maneuver ahead of upcoming elections, calling it part of his campaign strategy.

Amidst heightened tensions, EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák expressed readiness to host further discussions in Brussels to resolve the currency dispute, following seven unsuccessful rounds of talks. The raids occurred just after the expiration of a three-month transition period for Kosovo’s regulation mandating the euro as the sole official currency

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