Spain accepts Kosovo’s passport as valid but maintains that it will continue without recognizing its independence

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation confirmed this Sunday to Europa Press that Spain accepts the ordinary passport of Kosovo as valid since January 1, although it has specified that this “does not imply in any way the recognition” of the former Serbian province as an independent state.

It should be remembered that Kosovo joined the visa exemption regime in the Schengen area that day so that its citizens could travel to the 27 member countries of the area. However, the European Commission announced in April of last year that Spain would be the only Schengen country that was not going to apply the agreement.

The circumstance then occurred that the other countries in the free movement zone that do not recognize the independence of Kosovo, Slovakia and Greece, did admit the ordinary travel documents of Kosovars. In this sense, diplomatic sources granted Europa Press in April that the Spanish authorities would have to face changes in their policy regarding documents from Kosovo, after emphasizing that Spain planned to “execute” the measure so that the Kosovo population moves around Europe without need. of visa.

Now, with the incorporation of Spain, “all non-recognising Schengen States accept the use of ordinary Kosovo passports” given that “without this modification the holders of these passports would have had problems legally visiting non-recognising States,” he also noted. this Sunday the portfolio headed by José Manuel Albares.

The Ministry thus confirms what was announced late on Saturday by the Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Besnik Bislimi, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora of Kosovo, Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz, the latter through a message via from the social network X in which he communicated his gratitude to the Spanish Government.

Regarding its official position on Kosovo, and as it has done on previous occasions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has maintained that Spain will continue not to recognize its independence and has referred to the talks on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia under the auspices of the European Union.

Thus, Spain “favors and will continue to favor the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue as a way to resolve this issue and seeks to minimize its impact on citizens,” concludes the Ministry, as Minister Albares already explained in November of last year, in a response. parliamentarian to the Junts deputy Mariona Illamola, in which she insisted on the “non-recognition of the declaration of independence adopted by Pristina in 2008, as it is a unilateral act.”

However, Albares added, “from a constructive approach, it is time to make a definitive effort to resolve the issue of the territory of Kosovo within the framework of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina with an agreement that respects International Law.”

“The position of non-recognition does not imply ceasing to participate, just because Kosovo also does so, in those forums (…) in which all the partners of the European Union and Serbia itself participate,” the Spanish Government, paraphrasing the words of the president, Pedro Sánchez, during the summit held between the EU and the Western Balkans that took place at the beginning of October in Slovenia.

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