Maqedonci: Armament of Serbia threatens the region, FSK ready for defense
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2 months ago
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Minister of Defense Ejup Maqedonci has stated that the Kosovo Security Force (FSK) has its units ready for any threat and danger that appears in the country. In an interview for Anadolu, he spoke about the recent tensions with Serbia, the process of converting the KSF into an army, plans for joining NATO, military aid to Ukraine and Kosovo-Turkey military relations. Maqedonci said that the placement of many military units of Serbia near the border with Kosovo represents a risk, while emphasizing that the Serbian army and gendarmerie have 48 operational bases near the border.

"Adding to this the militarization of the army and Serbia in general, where it is worth noting the purchase of various weapon systems from China, Russia, and even Iran, we see this as a constant security threat in the Republic of Kosovo but also in other surrounding countries", he emphasized Maqedonci. According to him, these developments are based on the hegemonic and aggressive policy of the Serbian government towards Kosovo and other neighbors. "This is said openly. We had the last statements of the president Vuçiq that Serbia is waiting for a favorable moment to take military action against Kosovo, but this lets us know that we must develop our capacities and build our army not only to face this threat, but also to face other threats that affect the security and territory of our country", he said.

Maqedonci said that they are in the second phase of the implementation of the plan for the transformation of the KSF into an army, with a focus on increasing the infantry and combat capacities for the defense of the region, and that they will move to the third and final phase in 2025 and in in this context, they will focus on building artillery, air defense, and combat support capacities until 2028. He said that membership in NATO is among the strategic goals of Kosovo's national security, adding that they have created defense capacities in compliance with the NATO doctrine and that all equipment and weapons systems have been purchased according to the standards of the North Atlantic Alliance.

"Armament purchases are directed to NATO countries, we do not buy from any country that is not part of NATO. We are mainly focused on making purchases from the countries with which we have the closest partnership, such as the USA, Turkey, Germany and other countries," he said. Maqedonci announced that from 2021 to 2023 they have allocated over 200 million euros for the purchase of various weapons and equipment in the framework of the transformation of the KSF into an army. ministry Maqedonci stated that they are always ready to support Ukraine's "just fight for freedom".

"The Government of Kosovo has decided to offer two support packages for Ukraine. The first package will be sent this week to Ukraine and consists of tactical trucks, tactical vehicles and military armored vehicles. And the second package, which consists of 120, 81 and 60-millimeter mortar shells, will also be sent to Ukraine soon," he said. Maqedonci.

He said that Kosovo and Turkey have special relations in the military field, based on cultural and historical ties. "At the beginning of this year, we signed a military framework agreement with the Republic of Turkey in Ankara together with Minister (Jashar) Guler. All this support that Turkey provides for the defense capacities of our country is really vital for our country, more precisely our Ministry of Defense and KSF, to have today a high level of professionalism and perhaps be among the most developed armies in the region," he stressed. he.

Speaking about the "Bayraktar TB2" drones, which Kosovo bought from Turkey last year, Maqedonci emphasized that the testing and training processes with them are continuing. Stating that in the inventory of the KSF they have Turkish products such as "Omtas" anti-tank missiles and "Vuran" vehicles with an integrated weapon system of 120 millimeter mortars, Maqedonci also added that they will buy "Javelin" anti-tank missiles from the USA, for which the process is still ongoing. The KSF, which was founded in 2009, began the process of transformation into an army with legal changes from 2018, a process which is expected to last 10 years.

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