Thursday, February 16, 2017
Kosovo wants to buy tanks, artillery, warplanes, drones from US
By InSerbia with agencies - Feb 16, 2017
Pristina is looking for ways to buy additional firearms, tanks, artillery, mortars and even used warplanes and drones from the United States, sources in Kosovo said.
In an interview with Sputnik Serbia, Pristina-based political analyst Beljulj Becaj said that the Kosovo authorities’ desire to buy additional arms was prompted by Belgrade’s current effort to boost its military and security forces.
He warned against attempts to seek a military solution to the problem though.
“The processes now going in Kosovo and Serbia are the direct opposite to what our politicians say. We are repeating our old mistakes and, instead of opening libraries and concert halls, we think how to get more and more arms,” Beljulj Becaj complained.
He added that the proposed creation of a Kosovo Armed Forces does not violate provisions of UN Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo military technical agreement, which stipulates that NATO (KFOR) peacekeepers are the only military force allowed in the province.
“These agreements now remain on paper only,” he said.
Milovan Drecun, the head of the Serbian parliament’s committee on Kosovo, argued that UN Resolution 1244 was still in effect.
“KFOR is the only armed force allowed in Kosovo, and anyone who honors this resolution must prevent the creation of the Kosovo Armed Forces. Unfortunately, it is being violated by the very Western countries which are supposed to enforce it,” he noted.
“First, they allowed the creation of the Kosovo Security Force, and now they want to transform it into a Kosovo Army. The Kumanovo agreement provided for disarming the Kosovo Liberation Army, but now they want it to stay on, though in a different form.”
Milovan Drecun said that the KSF is fairly well-armed as it is, having helicopters and armored fighting vehicles.
“The NATO instructors have been training the KSF for many years now preparing the groundwork of a future army, and they are now waiting for an official go-ahead from parliament. The Serbs are against this,” Milovan Drecun emphasized.
The KSF’s approved budget for 2017 is € 35.5 million ($37.5 million). It has 4,000 uniformed active members, plus 2,500 reservists.