10:43 GMT +318 February 2019
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    Kosovo policemen (R and L) prepare to remove a tear gas canister throwed by Kosovo's opposition lawmakers, in Pristina's parliament assembly room on March 21, 2018 before a vote on a key boarder deal with Montenegro

    WATCH Opposition Uses Tear Gas to Delay Vote in Kosovo Parliament

    © AFP 2018 / Armend NIMANI
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    The incident occurred when Kosovo’s parliament was due to vote to ratify the 2015 border agreement with Montenegro, a step believed to bring Kosovo closer to gaining visa-free access to the EU.

    In February, Montenegro and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo reached an agreement on a border deal struck back in 2015 and now Kosovo’s parliament has to ratify it, as Montenegro has already done.

    READ MORE: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: EU Rushes to Pull in Serbia and Montenegro

    Kosovo's opposition has repeatedly protested against the deal, claiming that during the demarcation Montenegro arrogated 8,000 hectares of the country’s territory. That is why attempts to ratify the deal have been triggering clashes, with lawmakers dispersing tear gas in parliament and angry protesters taking to the streets.

    The latest incident was harshly condemned by EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.

    Kosovo is the only Balkan country whose nationals need visas to go to EU states. To make progress on the country's goal to become a member of the bloc, Kosovo must settle disputes with its neighboring countries, including Serbia which refuses to recognize the self-proclaimed republic.

    In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia. Even though over 100 UN member states have officially recognized Kosovo, Serbia, alongside Russia, China, Israel and several other countries, have not recognized the move.


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    parliament, border, gas, Montenegro, Kosovo