Greece is ready to recognize the so-called Kosovo? Strange signals from Athens
Frequent meetings of Greek officials with Albanians from the southern Serbian province led to question whether recognition of Kosovo's independence is imminent.Source: B92
Interactions between Pristina and Athens became more frequent in the first half of this year. The so-called Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, visited Greece last week, where he was received by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, followed by a series of mutual visits.
Greek Defense Minister Alexis Tsipras is on the list of people Kurti met, writes Klarisa Fetahu for Pristina Insight.
This expansion of bilateral relations has led many to question whether Greece is close to formal recognition of the Pristina authorities, after a long series of years in which Athens was neutral and maintained the status quo.
Earlier, Athens firmly stood on the position that, as an EU member, it was open to recognizing the independence of the so-called Kosovo only after the conclusion of the agreement on normalization with Serbia, but it did not happen, and it is unlikely that it will happen.
In June this year, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Pristina, which is the second visit in less than a year. Dendias then expressed his readiness to help the so-called Kosovo in the process of visa liberalization. After that visit, the Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs of the so-called Kosovo in Athens was promoted to the Office of Interests, which, in addition to economic cooperation, also includes the development of political relations.
Until now, Greece has adhered to international law regarding the independence of the so-called Kosovo primarily because of the position of Northern Cyprus, which was occupied in the 1970s and established as an independent state by Turkey.
However, it seems that this will not be a big obstacle for Athens if it really turns out that it wants to establish official relations with the so-called Kosovo. In the past, the Greek vote made it possible for the so-called Kosovo to join the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international economic institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the Council of Europe Development Bank. Greece also participates in EULEX and the NATO KFOR mission.
In essence, at this moment, Athens and Pristina are cooperating in almost all areas, and only the Greek recognition of the so-called Kosovo is missing in order to strengthen diplomatic ties.