Kosovo to join IMF & World Bank soon

Prishtina, KOSOVO – Kosovo could be a member of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank within six months, the Finance Minister says.

“We are cooperating with our international partners and we believe that within six months, Kosovo will be a member of the IMF and World Bank,” Ahmet Shala said.

He claimed Serbia’s bid to block Kosovo’s membership of these financial institutions would be “in vain, because most of the main contributor states are those states that have recognised Kosovo.”

Earlier last week Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Bozidar Djelic admitted it was likely Belgrade could do little to prevent Kosovo’s accession to these institutions.

“It is a complicated situation, because the states that have recognised Kosovo are the biggest contributors to the IMF and World Bank,” Djelic said.

To be eligible for joining the World Bank, an independent state must first be a member of the International Monetary Fund, something that according to Shala is being “lobbied upon.”

Muhamet Mustafa, a financial analyst said a survey by his Riinvest think-tank “has shown that more than 60 per cent of the votes would be in favour to Kosovo’s membership of the IMF and World Bank.”

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, a move bitterly opposed by Belgrade but recognised by several key economic powers, including the United States, Japan and the majority of European Union member states.

Membership of global financial institutions is key to securing loans and foreign investment for Kosovo’s economic development which has suffered from years of underfunding and neglect because of Kosovo’s unresolved status.