For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Washington, D.C.- Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) sent letters to the Ambassadors of Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain, urging each of these countries to recognize Kosovo as an independent nation. While the Republic of Kosovo has been independent since February 17, 2008, these European Union (EU) nations have yet to recognize its independence, ultimately blocking Kosovo’s crucial admittance to the EU.
In light of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Kosovo’s ascension to the EU is critical to promote regional stability. Not only does the refusal to recognize Kosovo’s independence violate its 2008 claim of territorial sovereignty, it also blocks the possibility of the nation’s admittance into NATO.
In the letter, Rep. Torres writes:
“Currently, 93 of 197 member states of the United Nations officially recognize the Republic of Kosovo as a sovereign state. Since its independence, your nation has refused to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty despite its continued demonstration of political and economic growth and stability. Kosovo’s struggle for and achievement of independence indicated its commitment to democracy. Its strong display of non-violent self-determination aligns strongly with the core values of other democracies around the world.”
In a recent speech by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the Secretary acknowledged that “Russia has repeatedly turned away from agreements that have kept the peace across the continent for decades.” Rep. Torres’ letters not only work to reinforce these peacekeeping agreements but also promote what Secretary Blinken referred to as “the governing principles of international peace and security that we all have a stake in defending.”
The letter continues:
“Since 2008, Kosovo has worked tirelessly with its allies, including the United States, to establish strong political and economic reforms that will drive it to succeed. Kosovo urgently needs your country’s support to continue forward its path to success and long-term stability. I strongly urge you to reconsider your nation’s position on Kosovo’s EU ascension and welcome the opportunity to discuss the topic with you.”
The full letters can be found here: Letters to the Ambassadors of Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain