In brief

Belgrade-Pristina tension grows over creation of Kosovo army

Kosovo sees decision as one of latest steps towards culmination of independence

Members of the Kosovo Security Force.
Members of the Kosovo Security Force. Author: Suhejlo @ Wikipedia
The Serbian government says Kosovo’s plans to create its own army is a threat to the security of Serbia and the Balkans. Belgrade’s reaction comes after the Kosovo Assembly adopted 18 October in a preliminary vote —with the boycott of Serb deputies— a bill on the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) into a full-fledged army within a 10-year period.

Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vulin believes that the purpose of the new army will be to “fight Serbia”. And president Aleksandar Vucic complains that —according to information he claims to know— the official announcement for the creation of the army will be next 28 November, the date of the Albanian national day.

According to Balcani Caucaso, the transformation of the KSF —which currently has light weaponry and armoured vehicles— into an army is supported by the United States. Matthew Palmer, vice-assistant of the Secretary of State, said that Washington will support the transition process.

Kosovar prime minister Ramush Haradinaj says the army will contribute to improving security in the Balkans. The government of Kosovo sees the creation of the armed forces as one of the last steps in the culmination of the independence process of the republic, which was proclaimed in 2008.