Unrecognized Kosovo is creating a fully-fledged army in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which undermines stability both in the region and in other areas outside of it, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Wednesday at the 7th Belgrade NATO Week forum.
"Serbia staunchly opposes transformation of the so-called Kosovo Security Force into a so-called Kosovo Army as it violates UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and threatens stability in the region and broader. Pristina’s unilateral decision to launch the transformation and establish a 'defense ministry' is yet another action out of many along with the discriminatory trade tariffs and failure to comply with the Brussels Agreement," the ministry’s press service quoted Dacic as saying.
The minister is also hopeful that the NATO Mission in Kosovo and Metohija will continue honoring its obligations and will prevent armed Albanians from infiltrating northern Kosovo. According to him, such incidents "have happened many times" which poses a threat of "escalation of scales impossible to control," TASS reports.
The dialogue between Beldrage and Pristina was frozen after Pristina authorities introduced 100% trade tariffs on all goods coming from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on November 21, 2018. In addition, the parliament of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo greenlighted the creation of a fully-fledged army based on the security force on December 14, 2018, which contradicts provisions of existing international documents, particularly UN Security Council Resolution 1244. On March 7, 2019, a majority in Kosovo’s parliament adopted a law on a negotiating platform with Belgrade, which blocks any opportunity for a compromise. Pristina’s authorities also declared a policy on unification with Albania and made a number of preparatory steps, abolishing roaming and eliminating border control.
The Brussels Agreement on normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina was signed on April 19, 2013 and is comprised of 15 provisions. In accordance with the document, the Community of Serb Municipalities — a self-governing body for the Serbs living in unrecognized Kosovo — was supposed to be established in the territory. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has repeatedly said that his country fulfilled its part of the Brussels Agreement, while Kosovars only just began to draft a charter of the Community of Serb Municipalities before freezing the process altogether.
UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (adopted on June 10, 1999) sets out steps to achieve settlement in crisis in Kosovo, preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The resolution stipulated cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of military and police, demilitarization of armed Albanian militant units, return of refugees, ensurance of public order and mine clearance. The UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and NATO Mission in Kosovo (KFOR) were tasked with observing the implementation of the resolution.