The Serbian armed forces have cooperated with KFOR for many years through the Joint Implementation Council (JIC), based on the 1999 Military Technical Agreement between KFOR and the Serbian armed forces (Kumanovo Agreement).
In July 2005, Serbia signed a transit agreement with NATO to allow Allied forces serving as part of KFOR to pass through Serbian territory. This agreement between NATO and Serbia mirrors similar arrangements between NATO and other countries across and beyond Europe. The transit agreement provided for the establishment of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, which liaises with the Serbian military authorities on the practical aspects of the implementation of the transit agreement.
Training is an important part of security cooperation and Serbian personnel participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, Serbia’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Training Centre in Krusevac was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners.
Defence and security sector reform
Defence and security sector reforms are core elements of cooperation. An important vehicle for this cooperation has been the Serbia/NATO Defence Reform Group (DRG). The group was jointly established in February 2006 to provide advice and assistance to the Serbian authorities on reform and modernisation of Serbia’s armed forces, and to build a modern, affordable, and democratically-controlled defence structure.
Serbia also joined the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) in 2007. The PARP provides a structured basis for identifying partner forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as a planning tool to guide and measure progress in defence and military transformation efforts.
The reforms undertaken within the DRG and the PARP are supported through the selection of training activities and exercises.
The Alliance as a whole and individual Allies have considerable expertise upon which Serbia can draw in the area of defence and security sector reform. An important priority will be working together to further promote transparent democratic control over the armed forces.
The Allies have supported a number of NATO/PfP Trust Fund projects in Serbia. These include a project to destroy 28,000 surplus small arms and light weapons, which was completed in 2003, and another for the safe destruction of 1.4 million landmines and ammunition, which was completed in June 2007. A third Trust Fund project for the destruction of approximately 2,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition and explosives was launched in July 2013.
Another Trust Fund project to develop alternative livelihoods for former members of the Serbian armed forces was completed in 2011. The implementing agent for this project is the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This project, carried out over five years and worth €9.6 million, helped almost 6,000 discharged defence personnel in Serbia start small businesses.
Science and environment
Serbia has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 2007. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner nations. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises.
Today, scientists and experts from Serbia are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, counter-terrorism, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes.
Serbia and NATO aim to improve public access to information on the benefits of cooperation with NATO and the key elements of NATO-Serbia cooperation. A broad and effective communications strategy is an important aspect of PfP cooperation. The NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade plays a role in this process.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Serbia is the embassy of the Slovak Republic.