Kosovo’s NATO membership unlikely for now amid calls for accession

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fears over potential aggression by Serbia which remains the only country in Europe, asides from Belarus, not to enact sanctions against Moscow, Kosovo has called for accelerated accession to NATO. [EPA-EFE/HUNTER CONE]

Kosovo’s request to join NATO appears highly unlikely due to a lack of consensus between members, and there are no foreseen processes that would speed up the process, according to a NATO official.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fears over potential aggression by Serbia which remains the only country in Europe, asides from Belarus, not to enact sanctions against Moscow, Kosovo has called for accelerated accession to NATO.

As fears amount in Prishtina over regional instability and the potential of Serbia to take action against the country, it seems unlikely that its wish to join the alliance will come to fruition.

When asked by Exit, the official said that “all decisions by NATO, including those related to membership, are taken by the North Atlantic Council, by a unanimous vote.”

Kosovo is recognised by 26 out of 30 NATO members, meaning it would be impossible for them to get the needed unanimous vote. Spain, Greece, Romania and Slovakia, all NATO members, do not recognise Kosovo.

Furthermore, the official stated that the accession criteria is as per Article 10 of the Washington Treaty and the process of accession remains unchanged.

The official added that “NATO’s engagement in Kosovo has not changed. We remain strongly committed through the NATO mandated Kosovo Force (KFOR) which contributes to a safe and secure environment and to wider stability in the Western Balkans.”

Any changes to the position of NATO and KFOR remain conditions-based and not calendar-driven, the official summarised.

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