The commander of the US military base Bondsteel in Kosovo Roy Macaraeg says the situation in Kosovo is calm, and the tensions come from political spheres, reports B92.
According to Macaraeg, during talks with US Secretary of State for Army Mark Esper, tensions between Belgrade and Pristina were rebuilt recently when, as he said, Serbian troops were called to “standby at the border: after the special police of Kosovo arrested several Albanian and Serbian police and customs officials, charged with alleged corruption,” reports B92, quoting RTK.
He also said that the tension with Russia rose after the arrest in northern Kosovo and then proclamation a persona non-grata of a Russian citizen employed in UNMIK.
There are many different actors in the field here, Macaraeg said, speaking in general about the environment in which this military mission functions.
“But despite political turmoil, soldiers are operating in safe conditions. The mission’s goal here is presence,” Macaraeg said, adding that during the past 20 years and 25 rotations of the NATO troops, the situation is ”significantly improved at the tactical level “.
He thinks that there is still a lot of work in Kosovo and that Belgrade and Pristina need to reach a political solution.
US Secretary of the Army Esper, who is in Kosovo these days, said that the goal of his stay is to get information directly from the army, as he said, in a tense political situation.