Comment by Foreign Minister Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the possible establishment of the Kosovo Armed Forces

Submitted on Thu, 04/06/2017 - 11:45

We have taken note of US Ambassador in Pristina Greg Delawie’s statement regarding US support for the initiative of creating a regular army of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo if the move is formalised through amendments to the so-called Kosovo Constitution.

The idea of transforming the Kosovo Security Force to the Kosovo Armed Forces has been germinating within the Pristina authorities for several years. Several attempts have been made to provide a pseudo-legal basis for this initiative.

We believe that the issue should be considered from a different angle. It is essential to bear in mind that the planned transformation would violate international law by running counter to UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which only stipulates an international security presence in the province based on the UN Security Council mandate, or more precisely, the Kosovo Force (KFOR). To date, the Kosovo Force predominantly consists of military units from the NATO member states.

Furthermore, this move would be highly irresponsible from the viewpoint of security in the region and the rest of Europe. The appearance of a new military component – the Kosovo Armed Forces – in the Balkans would also contradict the arms limitation agreement signed in Florence (Article IV of Annex 1B of the Dayton Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, approved by UN Security Council Resolution 1031), which sets out measures for sub-regional arms control under the OSCE auspices. The establishment of a regular Kosovo army would amount to the appearance, in a state signatory of the Florence agreement, of an armed force that would not be accountable to the authorities of the said signatory state.