Kamberi: Kosovo de facto already in NATO; de jure membership depends on the security context

Source: Kosovo Online

The decision on Kosovo's NATO membership depends primarily on the security context and the assessment of Western countries, Belgzim Kamberi from the Musine Kokalari Institute for Social Policy told Kosovo Online.

After Kosovo did not gain the desired membership in the Council of Europe, some analysts believe that Pristina will redirect its efforts toward NATO membership, however, Kamberi emphasizes that everything depends on the approach of Western countries.

"As for NATO, it would have some priority if these countries see that there are significant needs and priorities in a security context for Kosovo to be a NATO member because the security framework of the Balkan area and Kosovo is somewhat at risk," our interlocutor states.

He adds that, in this sense, it might be easier for Kosovo to join NATO, but it also depends on whether the main EU countries and the US would have the same approach as they had for the Council of Europe, where they first demanded that Kosovo take action regarding the establishment of the CSM.

"Would they have the same practice for NATO, where they would first ask Kosovo to prove that it is ready to implement what was agreed with Serbia in the process of normalizing relations, or would it be a separate process from the dialogue and normalization," Kamberi wonders.

Regarding the EU member states that do not recognize Kosovo, Kamberi assesses that their stance towards Kosovo's entry into the Alliance would also depend on NATO's security policy and priorities in the Balkans.

"We have seen in the case of Spain or some other countries recognizing the Palestinian state that they have certain priority political developments. It remains to be seen whether the US and the main NATO countries have any urgency about including Kosovo in NATO," he believes.

He also states that Kosovo is de facto already in NATO, given the presence of the KFOR mission there.

"In a certain context, Kosovo is de facto in NATO. Whether it will be de jure depends on the security context, and surely the war in Ukraine will impact the European continent and the Balkans," Kamberi emphasizes, adding that this would be "just another step forward, considering that Kosovo has been under NATO's influence since 1999."