CEAS: The announced formation of Kosovo Armed Forces reason for intensifying cooperation with NATO

Jelena Milić; Foto: Tanjug / Dimitrije Goll

BELGRADE – Center for Euroatlantic studies (CEAS) has stated that the annoncement of the formation of Kosovo Armed Forces is the reason for Serbia to increase, and not decrease its cooperation with NATO, as well as to continue maintaining communication and cooperation with KFOR, which is in mutual interest.

According to the organisation, the decision of Pristina authorities, which adopted three laws on transformation of the Kosovo Security Forces last Friday, comes at a “very hard moment in Serbia and its citizens” and that the restrained rhetoric of Serbian authorities should be welcomed.

The organisation has also expressed hope that Serbian community in Kosovo, which has previously been “heavily hit by Draconian measures of imposing tariffs”, will remain calm and have hope in diplomatic measures of Belgrade on the one hand, and KFOR on the other.

“CEAS also regards the increased presence of KFOR in the North of Kosovo as positive, because it lowers the possibilities for provocations and forging the incidents that could be attributed to Belgrade”, the statement reads.

This organisation has also welcomed the statement of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who confirmed that the transformation process has begun without consideration for the concern of the Alliance, and reiterated that timing for the process is bad.

“CEAS hopes that the announced reconsideration of NATO’s level of engagement with KSF will go in the direction which will help Serbian community and the country of Serbia to overcome this hard period more easily and continue and improve communication and cooperation with KFOR and NATO as a whole”, the statement reads.

It is also added that the statements of US Ambassador to Pristina Philip Kosnett that Kosovo, apart from being a user of international security, could also become a contributing factor to them, and the messages that the transformation process will last very long, will have a calming effect on Serbian community in Kosovo.

CEAS has assessed that the steps that would speed up formalisation of relations as a precondition to fundamental normalisation in the interest of both sides, region, NATO, EU and member states, should be considered.

“The statements of some Western actors that Serbia, by working on revision of recognition of Kosovo and non-admission of the country to Interpol, has brought to destabilisation are unfounded and unacceptable, and hypocritical at the moment of heavy provocations the transformation of KSF without the support of Serbian MPs in Kosovo Assembly represents.