Bundestag Member: 'Berlin Fuels War in the Balkans'

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the photo bankPristina, Kosovo
Pristina, Kosovo - Sputnik International
Kosovo wants to create its own army and "integrate it into NATO". In light of this, a faction of the party Die Linke has made a request to the federal government and asked about Berlin's position regarding the project. Sputnik has obtained the federal government's answers.

According to Sevim Dagdelen, Deputy Leader of Die Linke in the Bundestag, Berlin actively supports the "illegal policy of Pristina." On November 21, she made a small inquiry (printed matter 19/5939) entitled "Germany and the Transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into Fully Armed Forces" to the federal government. The reason for that was the news of Kosovo's plans to create its own "national army" and to integrate it into NATO.

Sputnik has managed to obtain the German federal government's response dated, December 17. The document says that Berlin has classified the answers as "confidential", with 10 answers out of 29 labelled as "classified."

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Pristina Wants to Create Army and Take Action

Over the past few months, Kosovo's government and parliament have launched several laws to envisage the establishment of a national army. The plan says that the Kosovo Security Forces should be "gradually transformed into a regular army" and that this should be done during a 10-year programme. The goal is to double the troop strength from the current level of 2,500 to 5,000. The project would cost the Kosovo government about €300 million. However, it's unclear where the money will come from.

Kosovo's Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj had previously stated that the creation of the army was an important step for the internationally unrecognised Balkan country to become a full member of NATO. In connection with this the Kosovo authorities have even formed a "Commission for NATO Integration".

Has the Federal Government "approved" constitutional abuse in Kosovo?

Sevim Dagdelen, the faction's expert for external affairs, believes that, according to UN criteria, Kosovo's current procedure to create a national army violates international law. In addition, it violates Kosovo law. According to the expert, the federal government has approved of the constitutional abuse and violation of UN Resolution 1244. This regulation, known to the world as the "Kosovo Resolution", marked the end of the Kosovo War in 1999, which was part of the Yugoslav wars. Since that time, the resolution has acted as the legal basis for the interim administration of Kosovo, which is overseen by the UN.

"In the opinion of the federal government, the draft laws of Kosovo do not affect the constitutional framework", the federal government claims in their answer to the Die Linke request.

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"Absurd": Military Assistance from Germany to Kosovo

The next federal government answer is about which concrete measures Berlin took in 2018 to ensure Kosovo's security.

The classified document says that "the Bundeswehr supports the KSF forces in the context of on-site consultation and military training assistance". In addition, Germany also supports Kosovo's police, border guards, and customs by maintaining a contingent of the country's federal police forces in Kosovo.

Die Linke also criticises the fact that Kosovo's parliament only needs to give its consent to the transformation of the KSF into an army once this task has already been completed.

This is "absurd"; it is contrary to international law and violates the parliamentary right to control a national army.

First, parliament must approve the creation of the army, and only after that could it really be created, Die Linke think.

"Berlin Fuels War in the Balkans"

"With the establishment of the Kosovo army, they intentionally add fuel to the fire; there's a new threat to peace and stability in the region", Sevim Dagdelen, told Sputnik.

"This action violates UN Security Council Resolution 1244 as well as the Kosovo Constitution, as it requires two-thirds of the votes of minority representatives", the politician points out.

"It's devastating that the federal government is mitigating the threat of war in the Balkans by giving Pristina the go-ahead for this escalation. We need a reorientation of politics towards Kosovo. We should neither support arms deliveries nor training programmes with German soldiers. The financial and credit assistance for Kosovo must now be put to the test as well".

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"When It Comes to Money, the Federal Government Remains Silent"

Expert on Kosovo, Hannes Hofbauer has shared his thoughts about the German federal government's response with Sputnik.
According to the expert, the federal government "provides no information where it would be important". And "when it comes to money, Germany's federal government is one of Pristina's last political allies". Hannes Hofbauer is convinced that Kosovo couldn't set up its own army without financial aid from the US or the EU.

The Austrian expert explained that the current development in Kosovo is "scary and dangerous". It also contradicts UN Resolution 1244, which ultimately guarantees that Kosovo "cannot become an independent country without a definitive agreement with Serbia".

"NATO Head Cautions Against Kosovar Army"

"Kosovo is still administered by the UN on an interim basis", Hofbauer said. "But Kosovo is part of Yugoslavia, and thus Serbia as its legal successor. It is strange and dangerous to have your own army in a country that is not recognised by either Serbia or by five EU states, or by just under half of the world community".

"It has been said that Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, has strongly cautioned against establishing Kosovo's army. He also pointed out that a number of NATO members — without mentioning them — consider this dangerous", the expert told Sputnik.

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Controversial Status Quo

"In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed its independence from Serbia", Sevim Dagdelen's request says. However, Serbia continues to view Kosovo as its province. Therefore, out of a total of 193 UN member states, only 114 have so far recognised the Republic of Kosovo as a sovereign state.

For example, the governments of Russia, China, India, Brazil, or even Mexico refuse to recognise Kosovo. Similarly, EU states such as Spain, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Cyprus don't recognise Kosovo.

Spain and Greece have taken a particularly negative stance regarding Kosovo, which makes clear the tension the possible establishment of a NATO-related Kosovo Army could cause.

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