Kosovo. According to Countryaah.com, Pristina is the capital city of Kosovo, a country located in Eastern Europe. The country celebrated its 10th anniversary as an independent nation on February 17, after being liberated from Serbia in 2008. Serbia still does not recognize Kosovo (111 of the UN members have done so), and this means that neither Kosovo nor Serbia can seek EU membership – for normalization of relations is required.
In September, the presidents of both countries were supposed to meet in Brussels, but Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić refused to hold direct talks with Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi, so the “dialogue” was rather rejected. According to the Serbian government’s special Kosovo chief, Marko Djurić, it was “because of all the fraud, threats and lies of the Kosovo Albanians”. By the end of August, the two leaders had in any case discussed boundary changes and land changes as a way forward towards normalization. However, analysts fear that such border crossings also raise demands for changes in countries such as Bosnia and Macedonia. Therefore, the EU does not openly look at such possible agreements. In September, tensions further increased between Serbia and Kosovo since Hashim Thaçi visited a disputed part of northern Kosovo,
Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanović was shot dead in January outside the Mitrovica party headquarters. In 2016, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for war crimes. Ivanović had called on Serbian paramilitary forces to kill ethnic Albanians during the 1999 Kosovo war, according to the EULEX for Kosovo, EULEX. trial. In November, three Serbs in northern Kosovo were arrested on suspicion of murder.
In March, the party representing the Serbian minority in Kosovo left the government in protest against what they call “attacks on the people and representatives of Serbia”. The Serbian Party has four prime ministerial posts, including the Deputy Prime Minister’s post in Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s government. During the month, Kosovo also released six men who had links to the Gülen movement and the coup attempt in Turkey in 2016. Prime Minister Haradinaj did not know it would happen and therefore dismissed Interior Minister Flamur Sefaj and the country’s intelligence chief Driton Gashi. He believed that extradition is “unacceptable and goes against our values and the principles of our state”.
Parliament ratified in March a border agreement with Montenegro that allows the country’s residents to travel without visas to EU countries. In an attempt to stop the vote, opposition politicians had released tear gas in parliament. According to the Self-Determining Opposition Party (Vetëvendosje), the agreement, which dates from 2015, means that Kosovo will hand over approximately 8,000 hectares of land to Montenegro.
The air in the capital Pristina is very bad, according to measurements in January worse than in the Chinese cities Shanghai and Hangzhou. The main reason for this is the two coal-fired power plants outside the city and that many are heating their homes with lignite.