The Western Balkans Summit “The Western Balkans Summit 2022” is being held in Pristina today, where the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the increase in prices that are leading the world into multiple crises are being discussed.
The summit is organized by The Economist in cooperation with the Kosovo Prime Minister’s Office, Anadolia reports.
Alasdeir Ross, editor of The Economist, said that we are currently living in an unstable and turbulent world and what Europe is going through right now is the biggest challenge since World War II.
Ross stressed that the Western Balkans have a key role in promoting peace, cooperation and unity.
According to him, the countries of the region will have to resolve regional conflicts and facilitate reforms that reduce the gap with the most developed part of Europe.
“The Western Balkans represent a significant market with huge potential rights for investment opportunities in transport, energy, tourism and other sectors,” Ross stressed.
Opening the summit, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, speaking about the achievements of the Kosovo government, mentioned the fight against crime and corruption and pointed out that Kosovo has improved its position to 17th place in the corruption index published by Transparency International.
Kurti stressed that the rule of law is one of the most important democratic elements.
Criticism of Serbia
Kurti also spoke about the events surrounding the Russian aggression against Ukraine, stressing that Serbia still refuses to impose sanctions on Russia.
If Russia were a democratic country, it would not have attacked Ukraine, he said, just as Serbia, if it were a true democracy, would not pose a major threat to peace in our region.
The former President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said in his speech that at these moments, when the geopolitical situation in the world has changed after the war in Ukraine, the European Union is divided.
“Whatever is on the table, the European Union is divided or hesitating or postponing the necessary decisions and this is a disaster in my eyes right now. Because the other parts of this multi-polar world are more decisive and active in their own direction, which in my eyes is sometimes very dangerous”, Schulz underlined, criticising Serbia for refusing to harmonise foreign policy with the EU.
The meeting is attended by senior European Union and US officials, heads of state from the region, international institutions, business and financial leaders, academics and others./AlJazeera