Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Statement on Interim Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE) – Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation – issued a joint statement with U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) after the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo announced an interim agreement to normalize relations and resolve disputes over the use of automobile license plates by the ethnic Serbian minority, a debate that has sparked unrest and exacerbated tensions between the two countries. Shaheen, Tillis and Murphy visited Kosovo and Serbia in April as part of a congressional delegation visit to the Balkans, which also included a stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We congratulate the governments of Serbia and Kosovo for reaching an interim agreement to normalize relations. This is an important moment for both countries. This progress could unlock important opportunities for Kosovo and Serbia, which include pursuing EU membership and increasing economic integration within the Western Balkans and throughout the world,” said the Senators. “However, both leaders must now come together and reach an agreement on the implementation annex, which will provide a roadmap for normalization between both countries. The agreement and implementation annex carry significant implications for the broader region– the Western Balkans – where we know Putin is seeking to undermine transatlantic unity and expand Russian influence. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are committed to working with the governments of Kosovo and Serbia as they finalize the implementation annex, and to advance priorities that will bring peace, stability and prosperity to the region.”