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The Threat of Albania-Kosovo Unification Risks Destabilizing the Balkans

MIN READNov 24, 2021 | 19:33 GMT

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti (right) and his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, hold a joint press conference in Pristina on Sept. 27, 2021.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti (right) and his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, hold a joint press conference in Pristina on Sept. 27, 2021.

(ARMEND NIMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

While the unification of Kosovo and Albania is unlikely, the mere threat could result in political and economic brinkmanship between Kosovo and Serbia and sporadic episodes of unrest in the Balkans. On Nov. 20, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said that he would support a referendum on unification with Albania if it was “peaceful and democratic,” though he admitted that such a vote was not a priority for his government. In response, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic accused Kurti of undermining stability in the region. Kurti made similar statements in February after his nationalist Vetevendosje party won Kosovo’s general election....

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