During his visit to Kosovo, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called for reconciliation with neighboring Serbia. “It is important for Kosovo that the EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia progresses,” Scholz said on Friday after a meeting with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Pristina.

“In times like these, the value of peace and security is once again made clear to us,” said the Chancellor, referring to the Ukraine war. Kosovo and Serbia would have to “find a political solution with a comprehensive, sustainable agreement that also contributes to regional stability”.

Scholz acknowledged the clear stance of the government in Pristina on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. “Through their support of all measures and sanctions, Albin Kurti and the government of Kosovo have shown that Kosovo is a reliable partner close to us and to the side of the European and international community,” said the Chancellor.

The conflict between Serbia and Kosovo has not been resolved for years and is hampering the prospects of both Balkan countries joining the EU. The government in Belgrade does not recognize the former southern Serbian province of Kosovo as an independent state.

Serbia has close ties with Moscow; Unlike Kosovo, the country does not support the EU sanctions because of the Ukraine war. The Chancellor will meet Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade in the afternoon.

Further stops on his trip are Greece on Friday evening and Bulgaria and North Macedonia on Saturday. Central themes of the trip are the EU perspectives of the Western Balkan states and Russia’s attempts to expand its influence in the region of former Yugoslavia.