Sweden steers clear of Croatian-Slovenian dispute

BRUSSELS, Belgium

Sweden, which takes over the rotating EU presidency on July 1st, does not plan to intervene in the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in Brussels on Monday (June 22nd).

Bildt noted that the dispute is a bilateral issue that the two sides must resolve on their own, but added that such conflicts should not affect accession negotiations. Croatia and Slovenia failed to bring their positions closer during talks last week, despite pressure from the European Commission.

Also Monday, Bildt spoke in Brussels about Kosovo’s economic development and its importance to the country’s stability. He stressed that authorities in Pristina must do more. “It was a difficult task from the beginning and now we are in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis, which makes the Kosovo challenge even more serious,” said Bildt.

In Pristina, a debate organised by the European Stability Initiative, in co-operation with Kosovo’s Stability Initiative, was held on the country’s prospects for eventual visa liberalisation with the EU. International representatives insisted they will not allow Kosovo to become isolated.

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