Antonio Tajani on the crisis in the Balkans: let Italy be the protagonist of peace

Antonio Tajani on the crisis in the Balkans: let Italy be the protagonist of peace

Not just Ukraine. International tensions do not just involve the Russian invasion of Kiev territory. Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani highlights the tense atmosphere that can also be felt in the Balkans, between Serbia and Kosovo. Interviewed by Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Tajani underlines that Italian diplomacy “is doing everything to ensure that there is a de-escalation. I spoke with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and invited them to work for stability. I told them that we appealed to their leadership to avoid unilateral action. We must try to throw water on the fire. Also because we are there with 720 soldiers in Kfor, then there are 70 from Eufor-Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovnia, 20 with Eluex in Kosovo and there is a branch of the Guardia di Finanza in Albania. I also think about going to the Western Balkans as soon as possible to try to promote dialogue”.

Tajani explains that “we, as Italians and Europeans, must be present in the Balkans to promote stabilization and also to ensure that Europe is there, to try to avoid the intrusive presence of others”. “We remind you – the minister continues – that they feel European, they believe in freedom, justice and democracy and we must facilitate this rapprochement with Europe and work for stabilization. Also because a destabilizing situation would worsen the migratory situation. We have immigrants who come from the Mediterranean, yes, but also via Greece and North Macedonia. And they don’t just go to Germany, we also have a western border that is in danger of being crossed. The issue of migration from the Balkans represents a priority for us ».

Given the ties that Serbia has, whether it likes it or not, with Russia, many observers – highlighted the minister – thought of a mechanical Balkan crisis. «Look – Tajani replies – I’m not worried about reconstructions that have no evidence, I’m just worried that Italy can play a role of peacemaker in the territories. We must work to make the Balkans a European region with political stability. There are candidate countries and potential candidates to join the Union and therefore it is in our interest and the interest of the EU to work for stability and avoid friction. Also because there are different populations, it is not an easy terrain. But I must say that our soldiers are well regarded by Kosovars and Serbs as well as Muslims and Christians. They always manage to play a constructive role. Therefore, we must work so that everything goes as smoothly as possible and that Italy can be the protagonist. If you need more Italy in the Balkans? This is my intention, to make Italy a protagonist both because there are direct interests and because of the geopolitical and migratory situation ».

Source: IL Tempo