Commander of KFOR, Major General Salvatore Cuoci told Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti in an interview that the decision on the formation of the armed forces of Kosovo is a decision of the Kosovo institutions, in accordance with constitutional procedures, and that KFOR continues to monitor the future of the KSF.
He adds that in the event of the formation of the armed forces, the member states of the Alliance would decide individually whether the KFOR forces would remain in the territory of Kosovo. Cuoci adds that, for now, NATO has no plans to change or reduce the mission, which continues to carry out tasks under Resolution 1244 and the Military Technical Agreement.
Novosti: Does KFOR trains the members of Kosovo Security Forces, i.e. is that a part of your mission’s scope?
Cuoci: KFOR, within its mandate and scope, supports the development and improvement of KSF capacities. This means that KSF should be able to respond to crisis situations and assist civilian authorities in cases of emergency situations. The last example of this support is the “Silver sabre” exercise.
Novosti: Since KFOR is rarely present on the ground, can you ensure the security of the Serbs?
Cuoci: From KFOR is not required to be constantly present in the field, but is always there when necessary. In any case, after the recent events in the past few months, KFOR has increased its presence, mainly in areas inhabited by Serbs.
Novosti: Is NATO supporting Kosovo’s unilateral independence?
Cuoci: NATO adheres to the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the region in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1244 and the Helsinki Final Act. The official recognition of the states is solely the sovereign right of each member of NATO individually.