Home Politics Kosovo will apply to join the Council of Europe | News

Kosovo will apply to join the Council of Europe | News

by YAR

With Russia’s departure from the body over Ukraine, Kosovo’s chances of being accepted into the organization increased.

Kosovo’s government says it will apply for membership in the Council of Europe’s European rights watchdog, seizing an opportunity after Russia left the body.

The announcement came Thursday, about two months after Russia left the body hours before a vote on its expulsion at the Council of Europe assembly on March 15, three weeks after its war against Ukraine began.

Being accepted into the organization requires two-thirds of the membership to approve, and since Russia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state, there was a risk in the past that any prior application would fail.

Kosovo says it now has enough backing from the 46-member body and the government said it had ordered the foreign ministry to start membership procedures.

With the backing of Western countries, Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, nearly a decade after the war between ethnic Albanian and Serb forces ended in 1999.

Serbia’s objection

Kosovo is recognized by more than 110 countries but is not yet a UN member, facing objections from Serbia and Russia, which holds the veto.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said his country would react strongly if Kosovo applies for membership in the Council of Europe and calls an urgent meeting of the national security council.

The Council of Europe created the European Convention on Human Rights and helped Eastern European nations democratize their political systems after the collapse of communism.

It advocates for freedom of expression and the media, freedom of assembly, equality and the protection of minorities.

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