Joint Statement of the Institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, following the meeting with the ambassadors of QUINT countries and the EU representative

The institutions of the Republic of Kosovo at a joint meeting with the Ambassadors of the Quint countries and the EU representative, presented their coordinated and joint position regarding the holding of the Serbian referendum on the territory of the Republic of Kosovo. Apart from reiterating that Kosovo Serb citizens with dual citizenship will have the right to vote in accordance with international standards and practices, i.e. by mail and at the Liaison Office; the institutions made it clear that the opening of Serbian polling stations in the territory of Kosovo constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution and of the laws of Kosovo, as well as of international practices. Moreover, such an act is a violation of territorial integrity by Serbia in relation to the independent and sovereign state of Kosovo. The institutions have called on the international community to apply the same standards in relation to Kosovo as with any other country, as the independence of our country is not only recognized by most democratic countries around the world but also sealed by the ICJ.

The Constitution of Kosovo, applicable laws in Kosovo as well as international law and international practice do not recognize the right of one state to hold a referendum in the sovereign territory of another state. Therefore, the practices applied so far since 2012 have been unconstitutional, and as a result do not oblige the current institutions of the Republic of Kosovo arising from the clear will of the citizens expressed on February 14th, 2021. Moreover these practices have only resulted in the strengthening of Serbia's illegal structures in Kosovo. 
Furthermore, Kosovo institutions have emphasized that the issue is not the role of the OSCE, but the role of Serbia and its parallel and illegal structures in Kosovo. Prior to OSCE collection of the votes, a completely illegal process of opening of polling stations and ballot boxes in the territory of the Republic of Kosovo for a referendum of another state, namely Serbia, would be held, and this process would be organized by Serbia's illegal structures in Kosovo. As evidenced by the letter sent to the OSCE by the Serbian authorities, the reason why Serbia insists on opening of polling stations in Kosovo is that it considers Kosovo a part of its territory. Therefore, it wants to use the referendum as a means of extending its sovereignty over Kosovo. Consequently, the position of Kosovo's institutions has nothing to do with the OSCE, but with the opposition to this constant tendency of Serbia which clearly demonstrates its Kosovo territorial claims.

The institutions of Kosovo remain grateful to the Quint countries and all other democratic states that have recognized the independence of Kosovo and express gratitude that at today's meeting, their support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country was once again reconfirmed. As such, Kosovo institutions call on all democratic states to support Kosovo in its efforts to stop Serbia's ongoing actions that undermine Kosovo's sovereignty, territorial integrity and statehood. Moreover, this practice of Serbia, which is following the Russian model, has the full support of the Russian Federation, demonstrating their tendencies for rapid destabilization of our region and undoing the successes that Kosovo and the region have achieved in partnership with amicable democratic countries. The non-holding of the Serbian referendum in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Kosovo is a right step in our joint fight against autocracies and the advancement of democratic practices, a commitment that Kosovo has recently given at the Summit for Democracy organized by the United States of America.

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