The parliament of Kosovo passed three draft laws on Thursday paving the way for the transformation of its Security Forces (BSK) into a full-scale army, N1 reported.
All deputies were in favour of the laws regulating the BSK, the service on the Force and Defence Ministry, except the Serb List, the main Kosovo Serb party, supported by Belgrade, whose members left the parliament boycotting the vote.
“They could not transform the BSK into an army by changing the constitution, and the Government decided to do that by changing the laws,” Igor Simic from the Serb List said.
The constitutional changes require the two-thirds majority of the deputies and the two-thirds of the minorities’ parliamentarians, which would not be possible without the Serb List votes.
The draft laws stipulate new tasks for the BSK, as well as a new system of organisation and functioning and the renaming of the BSK Ministry into Defence Ministry.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said that it was one of the most important dates for Pristina which would "lead to the further consolidation of the state."
“I want to guarantee that everyone in Kosovo is safe and that this will be for the benefit of all,” he added.
Abdullah Hoti, a member of the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo, said that it was clear that those who opposed Kosovo’s army (“our northern neighbour, Serbia) were against NATO and BSK.
“Only those who oppose Kosovo’s Euro-Atlantic interest are against the Kosovo Army.”
He added that those against “are promoting the interests of the others like those of the Russian Federation.”
Belgrade has repeatedly warned against the BSK transformation into an armed force, fearing for the safety of its people in the northern part of Kosovo.
Serbia’s Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Thursday that “until the UN Resolution 1244 (regulating Kosovo after the 1999 NATO bombing of the then Yugoslavia to stop what they said was Belgarde's oppression of the Kosovo Albanians) is in force, the only armed units in Kosovo should be the (NATO-led) KFOR.”
He added that the Albanians adopted the laws to spread fear among the Serbs in the north.