Monday, 29 March 2021

Fourth Sitting of the Committee on Kosovo-Metohija

At its fourth sitting, held on 29 March 2021, the Committee on Kosovo-Metohija considered the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence on the current security situation in Kosovo-Metohija from the aspect of the complex of multinational military exercises called "Defender of Europe 21”, organised by the United States Land Forces European Command. The submitted information carried a level of secrecy, which is why the sitting of the Committee was closed to the public.

Considering that one of these exercises - "Current Answer 21", would be held on the territory of AP Kosovo-Metohija with the participation of multinational forces and members of the so-called "Kosovo Security Force" (KSF), the Committee analysed the impact on the security of the Serbian people in Kosovo-Metohija.

The Committee on Kosovo-Metohija warns that the use of the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija for multinational military exercises does not comply with the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and violates the status-neutral position of KFOR. The announced engagement of "KSF" in the exercise "Current Response 21" exceeds the current mandate of these forces, which is limited to civil protection and emergency response, and is a brutal militarisation and legalisation of "KSF" as the so-called Kosovo Army.

Exercise "Current Answer 21" grossly violates the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia. The Committee estimates that exercise "Current Response 21" represents a threat and pressure on the Republic of Serbia before the continuation of negotiations with the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina.

The Committee on Kosovo-Metohija estimates that it is absolutely unacceptable to give "Kosovo" the capacity to host multinational military exercises and military forces whose engagement is not in accordance with Resolution 1244. The participation of "KSF" will further destabilise, intimidate and endanger the survival of the Serbian people in Kosovo-Metohija.

The Committee reiterates that, in accordance with the mandate entrusted by the UN, the international security forces KFOR are the only legitimate military formation in Kosovo-Metohija, and it is therefore unacceptable that the planned exercise be in any way abused by the PISG in Pristina as a mechanism to build up the capacities of the so-called Kosovo Army and achieve the operational capabilities of these forces for engagement in international operations.

For Serbia and the security and survival of the Serbian people in Kosovo-Metohija, the process of militarisation of the existing security structures in Pristina through the unilateral process of transformation of the "KSF" into the Kosovo Army is unacceptable. The Committee asks the United Nations to respect Resolution 1244 and prevent the planned exercise "Current Response 21" on the territory of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija and the participation of members of the "KSF"

The Committee provides full support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence on the activities undertaken to prevent the exercise "Current Response 21" at the AP of Kosovo and Metohija and the participation of members of the "KSF".

Representatives of the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office for Kosovo and Metohija and the Office for Coordination Affairs in the Process of Negotiation with the PISG in Pristina took part in the sitting.

The sitting was chaired by the Committee Chairman MA Milovan Drecun and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Milica Obradovic, Danijela Vujicic, Milos Terzic, Nenad Mitrovic, Tamara Pilipovic, Aleksandar Mirkovic, Rajko Kapelan, Slavisa Bulatovic, Ljubomir Maric, Srbislav Filipovic, Snezana Paunovic, Djordje Kosanic and Danijela Veljovic.

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