V4 Backs ‘Open Balkans’ Initiative as 3 WB Countries Reject It

The ‘Open Balkans’ Initiative launched by Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia has been welcomed by the Visegrad Group being considered as a contribution to the stability and development of the region.

This message was conveyed by a statement signed by the foreign ministers of the four member countries of this Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia), according to Albanian pro- government media outlets on Saturday.

According to the statement, those countries believe that such close cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans contributes to the stability and development of the region.

In addition, it is stressed that the countries of V4 continue to support the quickening of the enlargement process of the EU.

Three out of the six WB countries – Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina have rejected the initiative seeing in it no new political vision. According to some of their leaders, CEFTA meets all the criteria for a strengthened regional cooperation and the renamed initiative from Mini Schengen to Open Balkans does not constitute any new element.

In the meantime, some analysts see in this endeavor, whose architects are Serb President Aleksandar Vucic and Albanian PM Edi Rama, an effort of Belgrade to become the epicenter of the region as it is known that Serbia is the largest and strongest country in WB.

Of course, such an option goes against the interests of Kosovo which is not recognized by Serbia, and moreover it claims its sovereignty over it. There are wonders how Albanian PM Rama supports such an initiative confronting the fraternal people of Kosovo. /argumentum.al