The North Atlantic Alliance and the United Nations, at this time will not withdraw their missions from Kosovo, according to security and foreign policy experts. But, they add that one day will come when the KFOR mission and that of UNMIK will leave Kosovo. Meanwhile, NATO and UNMIK told Radio Free Europe that for any eventual change of their mission in Kosovo, a decision must be made in these institutions. The Government of Kosovo has not agreed to comment on this topic.
The reactions come after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on May 13 that his country had received information from intelligence sources that one of the major powers would soon begin formally seeking the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK forces. ut from Kosovo.
The President of Serbia also stated that he will try to discuss this issue with the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, with whom he is expected to meet on May 17 in Brussels.
Vuiqiiq also commented on the fact that the Government of Kosovo will allocate 100 million euros per year for the army, a lot that, according to him, can not be compared with Serbia, a country that allocates from the budget two billion euros for the army.
According to him, the withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK from Kosovo would be “a catastrophe”.
Vuiqiiq’s statements aim at “weakening the KSF”
Security expert Ramadan Qehaja told Radio Free Europe that Serbian President Vucic’s statements on the subject were, in fact, a political move aimed at discrediting and weakening the Kosovo Security Force.
“Now that Vucic will meet with Stoltenberg, he will ask KFOR to stay here, in order to influence the KSF not to be an army, as it is planned to become an army,” he said. Qehaja.
In 2018, the Kosovo Assembly approved legal changes to transform the Security Force into an army. This process is expected to take ten years. The full operational capacity of this force is expected to be done during the third phase of the transformation process.
Qehaja added that there will definitely come a day when NATO will withdraw troops from Kosovo, but he stressed that before that, it is necessary for Kosovo and Serbia to agree on this topic, as part of the process of normalization of relations. between two states.
He also said that the Kosovo Security Force is ready to face at any time all issues in the field of defense.
“Of course there are still problems in combat readiness, but they are on the right track to increase that readiness day by day. There is also a financial problem, you have to provide money for weapons, equipment and more. “Even if KFOR leaves Kosovo, it is understandable that security issues will be in the hands of the KSF,” said Qehaja.
Meanwhile, Professor of International Law, Afrim Hoti says that the KFOR mission and that of UNMIK in Kosovo are based on Resolution 1244 of the Security Council and according to him, their role is temporary.
Hoti believes that KFOR and UNMIK will leave Kosovo when official Pristina becomes part of NATO, and consequently when it is also a member of the UN.
Commenting on Vuiqi .’s statements, Hoti says that they do not reflect anything new and recalls that the United States and the United Kingdom, in some cases, have requested that Kosovo no longer be debated before the UN Security Council.
“The United States and the United Kingdom have sought to influence the completion of the UN mission in Kosovo. “Now we have a new situation because the political process (dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia) has not ended and such a thing is not possible at the moment,” said Hoti.
Radio Free Europe has tried to get a position from the Government of Kosovo regarding Vucic’s warning about the eventual withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK, but the Prime Minister’s Press Office did not respond.
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