Kosovo joining the IMF

Kosovo officials say their country has gained enough votes to join the International Monetary Fund, IMF, an important step in the country’s efforts to secure both global recognition and international aid.

Kosovo’s government has said that a vote at the body by more than half the IMF’s member states had produced a majority in favour of the newly independent country’s membership.

Before the vote, Kosovo’s government sent letters to all IMF member states – 184 ministers of finance and governors respectively – arguing why Kosovo should become a member.

Entry into the institution has been contentious as the IMF likes to work by consensus. But unlike the UN voting system, the IMF enjoys a flexible voting procedure which enabled Kosovo’s membership despite bitter opposition from Serbia and Russia.

The US, UK, France and Germany had all pressed for Kosovo’s IMF membership.

Joining is a vital step in Kosovo’s bid to become a fully active member of the international community. Government officials expect IMF membership to pave the way for the country to join the World Bank, they hope some time later this year.

Membership of these organisations will greatly enhance the country’s ability to access international finance.

Kosovo filed its request for membership last July, during a donors conference in Brussels.

BIRN / Balkaninsight