Kosovo Ambassador to Italy: “We condemn the Russian aggression, in solidarity with Ukraine”

“Enlargement and integration into NATO: only in this way can we keep peace in Europe. And we want to be in NATO”. The possibility of the conflict spreading to the Balkans? “The danger exists”

Kosovo is “aligned with all Western democracies in condemning Russian aggression to Ukrainian independence and territorial sovereignty” and expresses “full solidarity with the Ukrainian people and admiration for President Zelensky’s outstanding leadership”. Thus theKosovo Ambassador to Italy, Lendita Haxhitasim, guest of AdnKronos Live, gets to the heart of the Ukrainian question with a clear stance, dictated by the history of his country: “23 years ago – he says – we found ourselves in a similar situation, we know how it feels. We were attacked then and for this reason we would never want history to repeat itself. ” It is also for this reason that the theme of hospitality is central: “during the war in Kosovo, over 1 million Kosovars, including myself, were expelled from the country and for this reason we will do everything to welcome as many Ukrainians as possible in Kosovo” . Including 20 Ukrainian journalists, some of whom have already arrived in Kosovo, who in this way “will be able to work remotely and properly inform the world”.

The ambassador does not rule out fears that tensions could spread to the Balkans, “with the ongoing war very close to us, obviously the danger exists“, he says and appeals to the leaders of the European Union and to the NATO countries” to continue in unity and to demonstrate strength in the foreign security policy because only in this way can we keep peace in Europe. On this there must be a very concrete plan of enlargement and integration into NATO “. And it is precisely on NATO that Lendita Haxhitasim places the accent:” The NATO that intervened, let us remember, in 1999 in Kosovo to stop an ongoing genocide, and it was not an easy decision for the leaders of the time. A genocide that was not supposed to repeat itself after what happened in Bosnia. NATO saved our lives. When NATO troops entered Kosovo, they were greeted with flowers because they were our liberators alongside our liberation army. We have a feeling of gratitude for life, which is why NATO is still present in Kosovo and we want to be in NATO “.

For years, he explains, “there has been talk of a penetration of other countries in the Balkans” because “when there is no real integration into the European Union, the gaps are filled with other powers. Russia has always tried to destabilize the Balkans. and then paradoxically use them to justify one’s actions elsewhere “.

Regarding the relations between Serbia and Russia “We have had an ongoing dialogue with Serbia since 2011. As for the relations of another state with other countries, it is not for me to comment – underlines Haxhitasim – but there are no secrets on this, things are obvious and repeat themselves every day in the statements of their leaders. On this I believe that the European and NATO leaders are very aware of the presence of over 40 ‘camouflaged’ military centers in our neighbor’s territory. This, together with the fact that Serbia has not undertaken sanctions towards Russia, it is a signal. As far as we are concerned, our intention is to improve bilateral relations and pursue our objectives towards the European Union and NATO and for this we are focused on having good neighborly relations with all Villages”.

The European question. Kosovo wants to “belong to this family”, the European Union, “of which we share values ​​and principles. We are a potential candidate and we wish to become a candidate. We are preparing ourselves. We know well that this is a process, that we must pursue reforms foreseen, but we are already aligning ourselves. We are ready to begin. Now, it is up to the EU to reflect on enlargement and to keep the promises made of enlargement to the Western Balkans. The EU, today more than ever, must open up to more towards the potential of countries in the heart of Europe, it cannot afford to leave states like ours behind “, adds the ambassador, inviting the EU to” welcome all the states of the Western Balkans into the Union “.