EU Special Representative in Kosovo Natalya Apostolova says the EU is “not responsible for the canceling of financial aid to North Mitrovica.”

In a statement for RTK2, KoSSev and Radio Free Europe, Apostolova said that the decision to terminate the projects was made at the headquarters of the European Union and that the funds were returned.

She also dismissed the problem had “political and any other” background.

“We negotiated this problem for eight months. The municipality of Mitrovica was supposed to free access to all working areas and remove illegal buildings. They did not do it and we had no other option but to stop the projects. We are sorry about the students, but the responsibility is on the municipality. The money is lost and has been returned to the European Union. We will adhere to our rules, which must be respected by our partners, because it is the money of our citizens,” said Apostolova.

She added that “the decision has nothing to do with the revitalization of the bridge , as the mayor is arguing.”

“They are responsible for the suspension of the projects, there is no political background to our decision. I have never dealt with conditioning,” said the head of the EU Office in Kosovo.

Last week, the EU office announced that EUR 7.8 million of financial assistance to northern Kosovska Mitrovica was canceled, and that the money was to spent on “a cultural center and of a new university building.”