Kosovo must pay a $231 million debt to the World Bank for loans obtained during the Yugoslav period, announced James Steinbery, US deputy secretary of state, on Tuesday.
The debt, which was initially calculated to be $381 million, will be lowered by $150 million, which will be paid by the US instead.
“Kosovo will take on the existing payment of debt to the World Bank, that amounts to $381 million. From this amount, as was announced earlier, the US has promised to give $150 million, consequently lowering Kosovo’s debt to $231 million,” Steinberg said.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister and President met US deputy secretary of state at the State Department in Washington to sign Kosovo’s official membership of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Read more at Kosovo Signs IMF, World Bank Deal Today.
Albin Kurti, leader of the Self-determination movement, Vetvendosje, called on the government not to pay the debt until Serbia repays Kosovo for damages caused during the war, and return the country’s capital owed to it from the breakup of Yugoslavia.
“Vetevendosje raises concerns because the Ahttisari plan foresees that Kosovo must take on the payment of a portion of Serbia’s debt, while Serbian authorities are not asked to pay restitution for the damages caused during the war, or restitution for destruction of Kosovo’s economy during forced management of the 90s,” said Kurti.
Under the agreements of the division of Yugoslavia, Kosovo is not entitled to obtaining a share of the capital from the breakup of Yugoslavia because it was not one of the republics of the country.