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    People wave flags and carry banners as they gather in Pristina on February 17, 2017 during the celebrations marking the 9th anniversary of Kosovo's declaration of independence

    Fueling Chaos? Why Pristina Wants Albanian Passports for Kosovo Citizens

    © AFP 2017/ Armend NIMANI
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    Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci has asked his Albanian counterpart Ilir Meta to give his country's residents Albanian citizenship so that they can travel across Europe without visas. It is nothing but another attempt by Pristina to attract the attention of the international community, Kosovo political analyst Zivojin Rakocevic told Sputnik.

    He said that most Albanians currently perceive Kosovo as an insignificant state, referring to the current events as "a shell without content," demonstrating "disillusion following a dream of perfect independence."

    "There is anarchy and corruption, plus Kosovo's economy is declining," Rakocevic told Sputnik Serbia, linking Pristina's initiative to grant Albanian citizenship to Kosovo's inhabitants to the idea of "Greater Albania."

    "At the same time, the Serbs feel humiliated because they aren't able to use their Serbian passports," he added.

    Rakocevic portrayed Thaci's latest statement as "alarming" because "fueling chaos is the easiest way to attract attention."

    "Western countries know that their allegedly successful Kosovo project should at least look stable, and the keys to this stability are in the hands of Hashim Thaci," Rakocevic concluded.

    Pristina lawyer, Azem Vlasi, told Sputnik Serbia that Thaci's remarks should only be interpreted in terms of Kosovo citizens' desire to have freedom of movement, like everyone else.

    "We want to tell Europe that a need the way out of the current situation," he said, adding that Kosovo citizens feel "as if they are in a reservation".

    Last week, Thaci blamed the international community for failing to deliver on its promises made in exchange for Pristina setting up a Netherlands-based war crimes tribunal.

    Earlier, EU officials pledged to fast-track Kosovo for European Union and UNESCO membership, as well as visa provide Kosovo citizenship with visa liberalization.

    Kosovo Albanians wave the Kosovo flag during a celebration marking the 4th anniversary of the Kosovo's declaration of independence in Pristina on February 17, 2012
    © AFP 2017/ ARMEND NIMANI
    Kosovo Albanians wave the Kosovo flag during a celebration marking the 4th anniversary of the Kosovo's declaration of independence in Pristina on February 17, 2012

    In August, Kosovo agreed to the establishment of a special tribunal to try former Kosovo Liberation Army members accused of war crimes during the war against Serbia in the late 1990s.

    The court, which is due be set up in the Netherlands in 2018, will be funded by the EU to prevent possible judicial corruption. All of the judges will be non-Kosovo citizens but they will apply Kosovo law.

    In 1999, NATO kicked off a military operation in then-Yugoslavia, which included Serbia and Montenegro, during the Kosovo War over alleged human rights abuses of the Albanian population; it finally paved the way for Kosovo's independence.

    Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, something that was recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia, as well as Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and some other countries do not recognize Kosovo as an independent country.

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    Tags:
    stability, citizenship, chaos, economy, corruption, Hashim Thaci, Albania, Kosovo
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