Saturday, 19 November 2016

Prishtina Insight: Trump’s election bodes well for no one, least of all Kosovo

Prishtina Insight: Trump’s election bodes well for no one, least of all Kosovo

by Bronwyn Jones


"When Trump had a chance to visit his wife’s Balkan home country, Slovenia, before their marriage he refused to stay overnight. Instead he flew in, ate dinner with her family and then immediately flew back out again.

None of this bodes well for Kosovo in this crucial period. Currently, Kosovo is lagging behind the region in terms of visa liberalization and access to Europe. Even with the recently signed SAA agreement, the economy is still-at best sluggish. 32 per cent of people in Kosovo are gainfully employed. The poverty rate is a whopping 29.7 per cent, according to statistics from the UNDP. Add an unstable government, on-going negotiations with Serbia, ever-present corruption and environmental issues.

A source at the US Embassy in Prishtina told me during the summer that it seems likely already that the US would be scaling down future financial commitments, including possibly downscaling Bondsteel. Trump has already said that he wants countries to pay more for protection and implies that he would not give full support to NATO. Closing Bondsteel would seem to fit Trump’s worldview."

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