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U.S. Agency Back Kosovo's Ailing Energy Sector With $237 Million Commitment

Kosovo has signed a $237 million agreement with a United States government agency to boost its energy sector, promote women's participation, and boost development.

President Vjosa Osmani’s office on July 28 said the agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was signed a day earlier in Washington.

Osmani said that the signing of the Compact Program will help solve urgent issues in the energy sector that the country is facing.

"The $236.7 million deal, which is the largest energy investment made in our country in decades, will help create flexibility and stability in the electric grid, enabling greater integration of renewable resources, as well as the development of skills that will contribute to increasing the participation and engagement of our women in the energy sector and in the labor market," Osmani said during the signing ceremony, where the executive director of the MCC, Alice Albright, was also present.

“Today, the U.S.A. through the MCC reaffirmed its steadfast support for our new republic and its willingness to help us advance further in terms of sustainable economic development,” Osmani said.

Kosovo, where energy production is mainly based on coal, is confronted with a deep crisis due to rising global energy prices, although it has so far only slightly increased the power price for consumers.

“This signing represents…our commitment to work together to build modern, sustainable energy solutions which will benefit nearly 2 million Kosovars,” Albright said.

Two years ago, the MCC implemented another $49 million program to support Kosovo.

Kosovo was an autonomous region of Serbia until an armed uprising in 1998-99 by the ethnic Albanian majority population triggered a bloody crackdown by Belgrade. A NATO bombing campaign to force Serbia’s troops out of Kosovo ended the war.

Belgrade refuses to recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence despite more than a decade of efforts in mediation from the European Union.

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By RFE/RL

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