Kosovo joins the IMF

Kosovo’s long march toward international recognition took a big step today as Kosovo became the 186th member of the International Monetary Fund. 

The Republic of Kosovo became the 186th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today when President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi signed the IMF’s original Articles of Agreement at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

 Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn welcomed President Sejdiu and Prime Minister Thaçi into the Fund at IMF headquarters.

 “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Kosovo, the first new member to join the Fund during my tenure,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn said. “Kosovo’s decision to join the Fund highlights the enduring importance of multilateralism in today’s world.”

The Managing Director expressed satisfaction with progress made in institution building in Kosovo. “I am particularly pleased with the commitment of the Kosovar authorities to further strengthening the sustainability of their policy framework.”

The obvious question is “how will Russia take it?”  The United States and some 22 EU member states decided to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty shortly after it unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. According to the website Kosovo Thanks You, 60 UN member states in total have recognized Kosovo. 

The IMF’s admission of Kosovo, however, makes it the first large international institution to admit Kosovo as The Republic of Kosovo.  Unlike the UN, voting power in the IMF is attributed to a member state based in its financial contributions to the fund, meaning that western Europe and the United States wield the most power.  Thus, it would seem that Russia and its allies were powerless to stop this vote from passing.