The European Union unveiled a new plan on Tuesday to grant membership to some Balkan states by 2025, but said they must first resolve all border disputes to join the bloc.

File photo shows German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, gesturing next to Kosovo's Prime Minister Isa Mustafa during a press conference in Kosovo's capital Pristina, on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Gabriel urged Pristina to improve relations with neighbouring Serbia as it seeks entry into the European Union.
File photo shows German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, gesturing next to Kosovo's Prime Minister Isa Mustafa during a press conference in Kosovo's capital Pristina, on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Gabriel urged Pristina to improve relations with neighbouring Serbia as it seeks entry into the European Union. (AP)

Kosovar leaders say the new European Union strategy for the Western Balkans discriminates against their country and does not take into consideration its successes.

The EU on Tuesday urged Balkan countries to resolve their disputes before joining the bloc. It said Kosovo would "benefit considerably from a definitive normalisation agreement with Serbia".

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia hasn't recognised the move.

"This strategy has failed to offer clarity on Kosovo's membership to the EU," Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci said on Wednesday.

While the five other countries have been given a target of 2025 to complete reforms, there is no date set for Kosovo.

Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said the EU needs "to have a clear policy on Kosovo in order to advance its process of integration".

Montenegro and Serbia are the frontrunners for joining the bloc, with Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia trailing behind, but all have become impatient after the EU put expansion on hold four years ago.

Source: AP