PRISTINA, Occupied Serbia – The participation of the so-called Kosovo Army of NATO military exercises in Croatia is a demonstration of the continuity policy of the Western powers in the Western Balkans against Belgrade, says Serbia’s military analyst.
In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Croatia’s entry into NATO, the military exercises entitled “Immediate Response 19” will take place in the territory of the country in May and June. The military of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo will also participate in them.
Serbia’s former military intelligence chief, Gen. Momir Stojanovic, said in an interview that these exercises and Kosovo’s involvement indicate a worsening of relations between the East and West of the Balkans.
Neither the Kumanovo Accord nor UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which is recognized by the international community, allows Kosovo to have its own armed forces, the general recalls.
According to him, this fact did not prevent the western countries from inviting Kosovo’s military forces to participate in the military exercises.
“I think this is NATO’s response, especially from the US, to the military parade in the town of Nis [a military parade took place on May 10 in Nis, about 60 kilometers from the border with Kosovo] to re-establish the balance and clarify for Kosovo Albanians that NATO is the guarantor of their security, even though Kosovo is not a member of the Alliance,” he said.
The military analyst recalled that Kosovo has organized military maneuvers with the Albanian Army and noted that the security situation in Serbia is very complicated and that NATO military exercises in Croatia are not a sign of goodwill for Serbia.
“It is obvious that we are moving towards a worsening situation in the Gordian knot of the Western Balkans. I am far from optimistic, and I do not see how the problem could be solved diplomatically or otherwise. This game of demonstration of force against Serbia, and how it will all evolve – it is very difficult to predict,” concluded General Momir Stojanovic.
Immediate Response 19 military exercises will involve about 1,600 troops, 60 aircraft, 30 helicopters and 800 vehicles from more than 10 NATO member countries.