The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved Kosovo as its 66th member, saying it wants to boost economic growth and rebuild infrastructure in the Balkan nation.
Kosovo will become an EBRD recipient country by Dec. 17, the London-based lender said today in an e-mailed statement. The decision is independent of the positions of EBRD members on Kosovo’s status, the bank said.
“The bank will work to develop the private sector as well as investing in infrastructure improvements and will help to strengthen the economy more generally,” EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by the U.S. and 22 out of 27 European Union states. Its infrastructure suffered during bombing by North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in 1999 that drove the Serb army out of the predominantly Albanian province.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed the EBRD’s decision, saying in a statement that it “opens the way for further support for the economic and social development of the country.”
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