“Lawmakers in Kosovo approved a border demarcation deal with Montenegro despite the opposition’s use of tear gas to prevent a vote.

The 120-seat parliament voted 80-11 to endorse the deal, which required at least two-thirds, or 80 votes, to pass.

The deal is set as a precondition by the European Union for Kosovo’s citizens to freely travel within its visa-free travel zone known as Schengen.

The opposition Self-Determination party, which used tear in the Kosovo Assembly chambers to stop the vote, says Kosovo loses territory under the agreement. The previous government and international experts deny that.” (USA Today)

“Following the ratification of the Border Demarcation Agreement between Kosovo and Montenegro, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn have issued this statement:

‘The ratification today of the Border Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro, by the Assembly of Kosovo, represents a real achievement, a welcome and concrete progress, very much in the spirit of good neighbourly relations as well as the new Commission Strategy for the Western Balkans. The ratification is also the fulfilment of one of the key criteria for Kosovo’s visa liberalisation. As President Juncker said during his recent visit to Kosovo, it is a crucial step towards visa liberalisation which will first and foremost benefit the people.

In 2016, the European Commission proposed to the Council and the European Parliament to lift the visa requirements for Kosovo citizens on the understanding that Kosovo would ratify the Border Demarcation Agreement with Montenegro and strengthen its track record in the fight against organised crime and corruption. The assessment of the track record on the fight against organised crime and corruption continues also in the light of the latest information provided by the Kosovo authorities.

The European Union expects all sides in Kosovo to continue the hard work and successful efforts to achieve visa-free travel for the people of Kosovo and in the interest of the region.'” (Europa.eu)