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FM: Kosovo supports Ukraine despite Kyiv not recognizing its independence

by Chris York May 8, 2024 10:46 PM 1 min read
Kosovo's Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz arrives for the opening session of the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, June 9, 2022. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
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Kosovo's support for Ukraine is "unconditional," the country's foreign minister said on May 8, despite Kyiv not recognizing its independence.

In an interview with AP, Donika Gervalla-Schwarz said her country is convinced that Russia must lose the war in order to ensure the security of Europe.

"Ukraine hasn't recognized the Republic of Kosovo as a state, but we really believe that we know exactly what Ukraine is going through," she said.

"And we know that there is only one solution, not only for Ukraine but for Europe – it can only be Russia to lose the war and Ukraine to win this war. Otherwise, Europe should prepare for other conflicts in our continent."

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 after suffering war crimes and atrocities at the hands of Serbian forces in the 1990s.

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The issue split international opinion – among the Group of 20 (G20) countries, 11 have recognized Kosovo as an independent state, including France, Germany, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S. Eight have not, including China, India, and Russia.

Several European countries like Spain, Romania, and Cyprus have also not recognized Kosovo's independence, conscious of regions of their own countries with aspirations of independence or autonomy.

Ukraine's reluctance to recognize Kosovo has been linked, among other factors, to doctrinal adherence to territorial integrity, stemming from Kyiv's experience with Moscow's aggression and occupation.

Though Ukraine has yet to recognize Kosovo's independence, a bill on the recognition was presented in the Verkhovna Rada in August 2022 but it has not been approved so far.

"While Kosovo is a small state with very modest possibilities to help, we have tried to be very helpful with Ukraine and have not hesitated to show our unconditional support and sympathy to the people and to the state of Ukraine," Gervalla-Schwarz added.

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