NATO’s decision to send relief force to Kosovo

U.S. KFOR soldiers at the closed Serbia-Kosovo border crossing of Jarinje, July 31, 2011

From NATOExcerpt from press briefing on Libya by Carmen Romero, the NATO Deputy Spokesperson and Colonel Roland Lavoie, Operation ‘’Unified Protector’’ military spokesperson

[Slobodan Lekic, AP] Q: Just on this issue of sending the reserve battalion to Kosovo. You said they’re simply relief forces. Do you know how long they will remain in Kosovo?

Carmen Romero: Well, that’s something that only our commander on the ground can say, so we cannot determine right now for how long they will stay. I can confirm, as you were saying, that the activation order for the use of the KFOR operational reserve has been issued, was issued today, and the order was given by the Commander of our Allied Joint Force Command Naples at the request of our Commander in Kosovo.

The reason for the deployment, as you rightly said, is to relieve actually the forces currently on the ground. So these deployments should not be seen as a sign of escalation. On the contrary, the situation, as you know, has calmed down. The situation is actually de-escalating and this is a pure tactical decision to be on the safe side. At the same time, since I have seen many media reports I would like to stress that NATO is not taking sides in this crisis, and that we remain neutral, as a neutral actor, providing a safe and secure environment as mandated to KFOR to NATO by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244.  (photo: Reuters)

Image: reuters%208%203%2011%20Kosovo%20border%20KFOR.jpg