Due to concerns that the unresolved situation between Kosovo and Serbia could increase instability in the region, NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels this week are discussing the tensions in the Western Balkans, amid calls for increasing the alliance’s military presence.
The terrorist attack of 24 September in the north fueled concern in Western countries that
Russia may be trying to foment conflict in the Balkans to deflect attention from its aggression in Ukraine.
The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, reiterated on the eve of the beginning of the meeting of Foreign Ministers on Thursday that the alliance will consider increasing its
long-term presence in the region. “Be sure that NATO will do everything necessary to support and ensure stability in the region, because this is important not only for the Western Balkans, but also for all of Europe and NATO,” said Secretary Stoltenberg, who, together with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, emphasized stability in the Balkans.
The situation in the Western Balkans was part of the discussions that the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, Josep Borrell, held with NATO ministers. Mr. Borrell said that the stability, progress and harmonization of the foreign policy of the countries of the region with the EU is of fundamental importance. German Foreign Minister Annalena Bearbock said that in the Western Balkans, “peace often hangs in the balance”, while indicating that Germany will send 150 additional troops next year, who will serve as part of KFOR in Kosovo.
Western diplomacy has been trying to speed up the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, asking Pristina to establish the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian majority,
while Belgrade has de facto recognition of Kosovo. NATO’s and its allies commitment to ensure stability and peace in the region remains unwavering. As discussions unfold regarding potential increased military presence and diplomatic efforts, the imperative lies in fostering cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia. The path to a lasting resolution necessitates a commitment to dialogue and the avoidance of any recourse to violence.
Source : Jurist