Kosovo has asked for accelerated membership into NATO and a permanent US military base in its territory after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Kosovo Minister of Defense Armend Mehaj announced the requests on Twitter on Sunday evening (27 February):
“I once again reiterate the call for the USA 🇺🇸 to establish a permanent military base in Kosovo 🇽🇰 to strengthen peace & stability in the region & beyond,” he wrote.
The United States has a military base in Kosovo at Camp Bondsteel, which is under the command of the NATO Mission in Kosovo (KFOR). The base is under a 99-year lease. Furthermore, the US has already stationed some 635 soldiers in the country.
In addition, Mehaj called for countries who haven’t yet done so, to recognize Kosovo’s independence which is currently recognized by 97 of the UN’s 193 members.
On 25 February, Kosovo joined the European Union in imposing sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Kosovo leadership has also rung the alarm that the crisis in Ukraine may spread to the Western Balkans through Serbia, Russia’s main ally in the region.
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