NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Kazakhstan, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Kazakhstan NATO and Kazakhstan actively cooperate on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. The Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) lays out the overall programme of cooperation between Kazakhstan and NATO. The defence-related fields of cooperation are supported by the Planning and Review Process (PARP). Framework for cooperation Dialogue between NATO and Kazakhstan takes place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, conducts high-level political dialogue with Kazakh authorities through regular visits to the country. The NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia also visits Astana regularly and reviews cooperation with the Kazakh government. NATO and Kazakhstan are developing practical cooperation in a number of areas through the country’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP). Kazakhstan sets out its reform plans and timelines in its IPAP, which is agreed for a two-year period. The current IPAP for the 2012-2013 cycle covers key areas to include political, military and security-sector reforms. NATO agrees to support Kazakhstan in achieving these reforms by providing focused, country-specific advice and assistance. Kazakhstan also cooperates with NATO and other partner countries on a wide range of other areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Kazakhstan has designated an infantry battalion called KAZBAT for potential deployment in NATO-led peace support operations, under UN Security Council mandates. KAZBAT became operable as planned and elements of this battalion have joined NATO Allies in a number of live exercises. In the framework of PARP, the expansion of this force into a full brigade organisation – KAZBRIG – is a major project aimed to give Kazakhstan the rotational capability to continuously sustain a battalion-sized contribution. In 2010, Kazakhstan, along with Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus completed an agreement with NATO allowing the transportation of non-lethal ISAF cargo to Afghanistan by rail. As of 2012, NATO also has an agreement with Kazakhstan (as well as with several other Central Asian countries and with Russia) for the redeployment of non-lethal ISAF cargo from Afghanistan. Kazakhstan plays an active role in both hosting and participating in PfP training and exercises. In consultation with the Allies, Kazakhstan has established a PfP regional training centre, and continues to work with Allies and regional partners in military and language training techniques. Kazakhstan contributes to the fight against terrorism through its participation in the Partnership Action Plan on Terrorism (PAP-T). This includes sharing information and analysis with NATO, enhancing national counter-terrorist capabilities and improving border security. In 2010, Kazakhstan hosted an Advanced Training Course, conducted by the Defence Against Terrorism Centre of Excellence based in Ankara, Turkey. The course addressed the dimensions of terrorism and strategies for countering it, as well as the importance of international and interagency cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Since 2006, Kazakhstan, in cooperation with NATO Allies and regional partners, has hosted annual military exercises, named “Steppe Eagle”. These exercises have contributed to strengthening the interoperability of KAZBAT with Alliance forces. The 2012 exercise was conducted by Kazakhstan “in the spirit of Partnership for Peace”; the 2013 “Steppe Eagle” exercise is currently being planned. Defence and security sector reform NATO is supportive of the democratic and institutional reform process underway in Kazakhstan, which is outlined in its IPAP. Specifically in the area of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that Kazakhstan can draw upon. Kazakhstan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 2002 has helped develop the ability of its forces to work with NATO. Kazakhstan seeks to attain interoperability between elements of its armed forces and those of NATO Allies. The current emphasis is on its Air-Mobile Forces. Joint work continues on the further development of a peacekeeping battalion to work alongside NATO Allies. Kazakhstan’s PfP Training Centre (KAZCENT) was accredited by NATO as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in December 2010. KAZCENT offers annual courses open to Allies and Partners on military English, NATO staff procedures, and a 5-day familiarisation course on the history, economy, and culture of Central Asia and Afghanistan. Civil emergency planning Kazakhstan is enhancing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities in cooperation with NATO, and through participation in activities organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Kazakhstan has previously sent a representative to the EADRCC; in 2009, the country hosted the EADRCC “ZHETYSU” exercise near Almaty. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, Kazakhstan has received grant awards for over 20 cooperative projects for collaborate scientific and environmental projects. Projects include collaboration on studies into radiological risks in Central Asia, integrated water resources management and new technology exploration for seismic resistant construction. In October 2009, participants from Kazakhstan attended an advanced training course on countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction through enhanced border security. In May 2010, scientists and engineers from Kazakhstan, as well as other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, took part in a NATO science programme designed to train participants in securing cyber networks. The primary goal of the training was to strengthen the cyber networks of the educational and scientific communities in the CIS region. Public information Increasing public awareness of NATO and the benefits of its relations with Kazakhstan is also an important area of cooperation. A joint NATO-Kazakhstan workshop was conducted to contribute to training the Kazakh press and public information officials in 2007. The Resource and Information Centre on NATO at the Al Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, which opened in 2007, hosts a number of NATO-themed events and visits from NATO representatives annually. In addition, a NATO Depository Library was inaugurated in Astana in 2008. Joint work on establishing a wider public information strategy is ongoing. 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 Kazakhstan is the embassy of Latvia. Milestones in relations 1992 Kazakhstan joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. 1995 Kazakhstan officially joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1997 Kazakhstan holds the first annual joint peacekeeping exercise (“Steppe Eagle “) with NATO countries, aimed at improving the readiness of Kazakh peacekeeping units to take part in NATO-led operations. 2002 Kazakhstan is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway.   Kazakhstan joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2004 At the Istanbul Summit, Allied leaders place special focus on Central Asia – a special NATO representative and a liaison officer are assigned to the region. 2005 Kazakhstan delivers its IPAP presentation document to NATO. 2006 Kazakhstan and NATO agree on Kazakhstan’s first IPAP, covering the 2006-2008 period and on its current set of 2006 Partnership Goals in the PARP. 2007 The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, visits NATO Headquarters.   The 2007 PARP Assessment documents the state of implementation of Partnership Goals.   The NATO Science Partnership Prize for 2007 is awarded to two scientists from Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom for excellent collaboration on assessing radioactive contamination at the nuclear test site at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, which was operated by the former Soviet Union.   The NATO Information Centre opens at the Al Farabi University.  2008 NATO depository library is inaugurated at the National Library.   Kazakh Defence Minister, Danial Akhmetov, visits NATO Headquarters and briefs the North Atlantic Council on the IPAP results for the period of 2006-2008. 2009 NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, visits Kazakhstan.    Kazakhstan hosts the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Security Forum in Astana.    Kazakhstan hosts the NATO disaster response exercise ZHETYSU 2009.  2010 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, visits NATO.    NATO completes the arrangements with several countries, including Kazakhstan, for the transit of non-lethal ISAF cargo to Afghanistan by rail.    The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, visits NATO.  2011 James Appathurai, the NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General (DASG) for Political Affairs and Security Policy and Special Representative for Central Asia visits Kazakhstan. 2012 Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov attends the 25th NATO summit meeting in Chicago. 2013 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Erlan Idrissov, visits NATO Headquarters.
  • Korea, NATO cooperation with the Republic of -
    NATO cooperation with the Republic of Korea NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in bilateral discussion with President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea (April 2013) The Republic of Korea is one of NATO’s “partners across the globe”. Building on dialogue and cooperation that has been developed since 2005, relations were deepened with the signature of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme in September 2012. Stabilising Afghanistan has been an important focus of cooperation in recent years, notably with the deployment by the Republic of Korea of a large contingent to support the NATO-led operation there. NATO is developing relations with a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, which share similar strategic concerns and key Alliance values. The Alliance’s Strategic Concept, adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit, paved the way for a more flexible partnership policy offering all partners the same basis of cooperation and dialogue. The establishment of a single Partnership Cooperation Menu open to all NATO partners enabled the Republic of Korea to access a wide range of cooperation activities with the Alliance and to formalise its relations with NATO through the development of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme tailored to the country’s interests. The new partnership programme approved in September 2012 promotes political dialogue and practical cooperation in a number of joint priority areas, including response to terrorism, multinational peace-support operations and enhancing interoperability, as well as cooperation under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme. Practical cooperation The Republic of Korea is a significant contributor to stabilisation efforts in Afghanistan. From 2010 to 2013, the country led an integrated civilian-military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) of some 470 personnel in Parwan Province, which helped build the capacity of the provincial government in the areas of health, education, rural development and governance. As part of the process of transitioning responsibility for security in Afghanistan to Afghan lead, the PRT was phased out and its responsibilities handed over to Afghan authorities. Much of the Korean contingent was reinvested in Bagram, instead of being withdrawn. At the meeting of the foreign ministers of ISAF contributing nations in April 2011, the Republic of Korea announced its plan to contribute a generous US$ 500 million over five years to support the development of the Afghan National Security Forces and the socio-economic development of Afghanistan. Under this commitment, some US$75 million has been donated to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund between 2011 and 2012. Cooperating with NATO in countering the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the naval forces of the Republic of Korea have provided escorts to merchant vessels passing through the waters off the Horn of Africa. Political dialogue NATO and the Republic of Korea initiated dialogue in 2005. At that time, the then Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon addressed the North Atlantic Council. Since then, relations have evolved through regular high-level dialogue with the Republic of Korea’s authorities. In November 2012, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Dirk Brengelmann travelled to Seoul to hold the fifth round of annual high-level staff talks with the foreign ministry, which focused on taking forward the implementation of the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme. In April 2013, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a three-day visit to the Republic of Korea, for talks with President Park Guen-hye and key members of her government to explore opportunities for expanding cooperation. During his trip, the Secretary General reiterated NATO’s strong condemnation of North Korea’s provocative rhetoric and actions, which pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security and stability, and ended his trip with a short visit to the Demilitarized Zone.
  • Kosovo, NATO's role in
    NATO's role in Kosovo NATO has been leading a peace-support operation in Kosovo since June 1999 in support of wider international efforts to build peace and stability in the area. Today, some 5,000 troops from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), provided by 31 countries, continue to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin. Following the unilateral declaration of independence on 17 February 2008, the Alliance reaffirmed that KFOR shall remain in Kosovo on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244, unless the United Nations Security Council decides otherwise. In June 2008, NATO agreed to take on new tasks in Kosovo. These new tasks included the standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps and the creation of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) as an all-crisis voluntary, professional, multi-ethnic, lightly armed force with a mandate encompassing crisis response, assistance to civil authorities in responding to natural and other disasters and emergencies, explosive ordinance disposal and civil protection. These tasks, together with KFOR’s overall mandate, have not been affected by the ruling of the International Court of Justice on 22 July 2010: the advisory opinion of the Court on the legality of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence is that it did not violate international law, nor UNSCR 1244. Throughout Kosovo, and bearing in mind its operational mandate, KFOR is cooperating with and assisting the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and other international actors, as appropriate, to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. In April 2013, Belgrade and Pristina reached an Agreement on Normalisation, which will help to improve relations between both parties while giving new momentum to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans. NATO and, in particular, KFOR will stand ready to support the implementation of this latest agreement to the best of their ability within their current mandate. Over time, as the security situation has improved, NATO has been gradually adjusting KFOR’s force posture towards a minimal presence: essentially a smaller force progressively relying more on flexibility and intelligence with fewer static tasks. The pace and level of successive troop reductions is decided by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) as the security situation on the ground evolves and in light of security conditions. This process is conditions-based and not calendar-driven. KFOR’s objectives KFOR deployed into Kosovo on 12 June 1999, in the wake of a 78-day air campaign. This air campaign was launched by the Alliance in March 1999 to halt and reverse the humanitarian catastrophe that was then unfolding. KFOR derives its mandate from UNSCR 1244 of 10 June 1999 and the Military-Technical Agreement (MTA) between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia. KFOR is operated under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and, as such, is a peace enforcement operation, which is more generally referred to as a peace support operation. Initially, KFOR’s mandate was to: deter renewed hostility and threats against Kosovo by Yugoslav and Serb forces; establish a secure environment and ensure public safety and order; demilitarise the Kosovo Liberation Army; support the international humanitarian effort; and coordinate with, and support, the international civil presence. KFOR’s presence has been crucial in maintaining safety and security for all individuals and communities in Kosovo. Today, KFOR continues to contribute towards maintaining a safe and secure environment and the freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo. KFOR's tasks Initial tasks KFOR tasks have included assistance with the return or relocation of displaced persons and refugees; reconstruction and de-mining; medical assistance; security and public order; security of ethnic minorities; protection of patrimonial sites; border security; interdiction of cross-border weapons smuggling; implementation of a Kosovo-wide weapons, ammunition and explosives amnesty programme; weapons destruction; and support for the establishment of civilian institutions, law and order, the judicial and penal system, the electoral process and other aspects of the political, economic and social life of the province. Special attention continues to be paid to the protection of minorities. This includes regular patrols near minority enclaves, check points, escorts for minority groups, protection of heritage sites such as monasteries, and donations including food, clothes and school supplies. Additional tasks On 12 June 2008, NATO agreed to start implementing additional tasks in Kosovo, i.e. assist in the standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) and in the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and a civilian structure to oversee the KSF. These tasks are implemented in close coordination and consultation with the relevant local and international authorities. Stand-down of the Kosovo Protection Corps The KPC was conceived as a transitional post-conflict arrangement, under the responsibility of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Its mandate was to provide disaster-response services, perform search and rescue, provide a capacity for humanitarian assistance in isolated areas, assist de-mining and contribute to rebuilding infrastructure and communities. The KPC ceased its operational activities on 20 January 2009 and was formally dissolved on 14 June 2009. In parallel, the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) was developed to ensure that key capabilities were available for emergency situations. Those KPC members not recruited into the KSF have been resettled, reintegrated or retired with dignity. A resettlement programme funded by a NATO Trust Fund is being implemented by a local partner non-governmental organisation, namely APPK (Employment Promotion Agency Kosovo), under the supervision of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Stand-up of the Kosovo Security Force NATO has supervised the stand-up and training of a multi-ethnic, professional and civilian controlled KSF. The KSF is a lightly armed force, with no heavy weapons such as tanks, heavy artillery or offensive air capability. It has primary responsibility for security tasks that are not appropriate for the police such as emergency response, explosive ordnance disposal, management of hazardous material, fire fighting and civil protection. This professional, all-volunteer force was trained according to NATO standards and is placed under civilian-led, democratic control. The first Kosovo-wide recruitment campaign for the KSF started on 21 January 2009 and focused on encouraging all minority communities in Kosovo to apply. The recruitment process reached out across society and was carried out in two official languages: Albanian and Serbian. Training activities and courses started on 2 February 2009. The initial operational capability was reached in mid-September 2009, with some 1,500 personnel; full operational capability was declared by the North Atlantic Council on 9 July 2013, with approximately 2,200 active personnel (KSF’s total strength will not exceed 2,500 active personnel and 800 reservists). NATO is continuing to support the KSF beyond the declaration of full operational capability through a NATO Liaison and Advisory Team (NLAT). The NLAT is distinct from KFOR and will consist of approximately 30 military and civilian personnel. Its role is to provide advice and support at brigade level of the KSF and above, in areas such as capacity building and training, leadership, or command and control. It will also facilitate the continued professional development of the KSF. Establish a civilian-led body to supervise the KSF NATO assisted and continues to assist in establishing a civilian-led organisation that exercises civilian control over the KSF. Primary responsibility for this task rests with NATO Headquarters in Brussels; KFOR is tasked to support the NATO Advisory Team that has been established in Pristina. Command and structure of KFOR With the move to the so-called Transition Gate 2, KFOR has been restructured, reducing the number of Multinational Battle Groups to two. The decision to restructure was taken in October 2010, based on the security situation in Kosovo and the performance of the Kosovo police and the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX). Today’s Multinational Battle Groups (MNBG) A Battle Group is a military organisation at the level of a battalion, consisting of numerous companies. These companies are highly mobile, flexible and rapidly deployable to potential trouble spots all over Kosovo. There are two MNBGs, which constitute KFOR and are ready to react to any threatening situation: HQ MNBG East, located at Camp Bondsteel, located near Urosevac in the eastern part of Kosovo; HQ MNBG West, located at Camp Villagio Italia in Pec. HQ KFOR continues to be located at Camp Film City, Pristina, and there are 12 other Camps to accommodate the companies of KFOR. In addition to the KFOR troops in Kosovo, NATO continues to maintain a reserve force ready to deploy if necessary. KFOR comes under a single chain of command, under the authority of Commander KFOR (COMKFOR). COMKFOR reports to the Commander of Joint Force Command Naples (COM JFCN), Italy. The current COMKFOR is Major General Salvatore Farina. He assumed command of the Kosovo Force on 7 September 2013. Previous formations Originally, KFOR was formed by four Multinational Brigades (MNB East, MNB Centre, MNB Northeast, MNB Southwest) and from June 2006, by five Multinational Task Forces (MNTF): Multinational Task Force (MNTF) Centre based in Lipljan; MNTF North based in Novo Selo; MNTF South based in Prizren; MNTF West based in Pec; and MNTF East based in Urosevac. KFOR’s transition from Brigades to Task Forces was aimed at improving the effectiveness of the forces and their ability to operate flexibly throughout Kosovo without restriction. In addition, it placed more emphasis on intelligence-led operations, with MNTFs working closely with both the local police and the local population to gather information. In February 2010, KFOR was restructured and the five Multinational Task Forces, which had been in place since June 2006, were succeeded by mission-tailored Multinational Battle Groups (MNBGs). MNBG North; MNBG South; MNNG East; MNBG West; and MNBG Centre, which also covered the KFOR Headquarters in Pristina. These operated until October 2010 when the present configuration was put into place. Former KFOR commanders Lt. Gen. Sir Michael Jackson, UK A 09 Jun 1999 - 08 Oct 1999 Lt. Gen. Klaus Reinhardt, GE A 08 Oct 1999 - 18 Apr 2000 Lt. Gen. Juan Ortuño, SP A 18 Apr 2000 - 16 Oct 2000 Lt. Gen. Carlo Cabigiosu, IT A 16 Oct 2000 - 06 Apr 2001 Lt. Gen. Thorstein Skiaker, NO A 06 Apr 2001 - 03 Oct 2001 Lt. Gen. Marcel Valentin, FR A 03 Oct 2001 - 04 Oct 2002 Lt. Gen. Fabio Mini, IT A 04 Oct 2002 - 03 Oct 2003 Lt. Gen. Holger Kammerhoff, GE A 03 Oct 2003 - 01 Sep 2004 Lt. Gen. Yves de Kermabon, FR A 01 Sep 2004 – 01 Sep 2005 Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Valotto, IT A 01 Sep 2005 –01 Sep 2006 Lt. Gen. Roland Kather, GE A 01 Sep 2006 – 01 Sep 2007 Lt. Gen. Xavier Bout de Marnhac, FR A 01 Sep 2007 – 29 Aug 2008 Lt. Gen. Giuseppe E. Gay, IT A 29 Aug 2008 – 08 Sep 2009 Lt. Gen. Markus Bentler, GE A 08 Sep 2009 – 1 Sep 2010 Maj. Gen. Erhard Bühler, GE A 01 Sep 2010 – 08 Sep 2011 Maj. Gen. Erhard Drews, GE A 09 Sep 2011- 07 Sep 2012 Maj. Gen. Volker Halbauer, GE A 08 Sep 2012 – 06 Sep 2013 Maj. Gen. Salvatore Farina, IT A 07 Sep 2013 – Present The evolution of NATO’s role in Kosovo KFOR deploys UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1244 was adopted on 10 June 1999 and on 12 June, the first elements of the NATO-led Kosovo Force, or KFOR, entered Kosovo. By 20 June, the withdrawal of Serbian forces was complete. KFOR was initially composed of some 50,000 men and women from NATO member countries, partner countries and other non-NATO countries under unified command and control. By early 2002, KFOR was reduced to around 39,000 troops. The improved security environment enabled NATO to reduce KFOR troop levels to 26,000 by June 2003, then to 17,500 by the end of 2003 and today, down to around 5,000. Renewed violence A setback in progress towards a stable, multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo occurred in March 2004, when renewed violence broke out between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs. At that time, KFOR troops were under attack. An additional 2,500 soldiers were rapidly deployed to reinforce the existing KFOR strength. At the 2004 Istanbul Summit, NATO leaders condemned the renewed ethnic violence and reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to a secure, stable and multi-ethnic Kosovo. The Kosovo status talks After 14 months of UN-led negotiations, the Special Envoy for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, presented his Comprehensive Proposal for a Kosovo Status Settlement to the UN Secretary-General in March 2007. Whilst Pristina endorsed the Ahtisaari Proposal, Belgrade categorically rejected it. On 1 August 2007, in the absence of any UN Security Council decision on Kosovo’s future status, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an extended period of engagement with the parties, led this time by an EU/Russia/US Troika under the auspices of the Contact Group. By the end of the Troika’s mandate on 10 December 2007, the negotiating parties failed to reach any agreement on Kosovo’s status. Throughout the negotiations, NATO supported the efforts of Martti Ahtisaari and, subsequently, those of the Troika to settle Kosovo’s status; KFOR helped maintain safety and stability on the ground allowing the negotiations to proceed without disruption. In December 2007, NATO Foreign Ministers agreed that KFOR would remain in Kosovo on the basis of UNSCR 1244, unless the UN Security Council decided otherwise. They also renewed their commitment to maintain KFOR’s national force contributions, including reserves, at current levels and with no new caveats.  At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, NATO leaders agreed that NATO and KFOR would continue to work with the authorities. They also agreed that, bearing in mind its operational mandate, KFOR would cooperate with and assist the United Nations, the European Union and other international actors, as appropriate, to support the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. They also stressed that NATO stands ready to play its part in the implementation of future security arrangements. NATO Foreign Ministers, on 2-3 December 2008, reaffirmed that the UN-mandated NATO-led KFOR presence will remain in Kosovo on the basis of UNSCR 1244. They stressed that the prompt deployment of the European Union Rule of Law mission (EULEX) throughout all Kosovo was a priority, and in this context noted the adoption by the UN Security Council of a statement of its presidency in support of the reconfiguration of UNMIK. They reaffirmed that NATO will continue to work towards the standing down of the Kosovo Protection Corps and the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force on the basis of NATO’s voluntary trust funds. An improved security situation Since then, the security situation has continued to improve. As a result, on 11-12 June 2009, NATO Defence Ministers decided to gradually adjust KFOR’s force posture towards what is called a deterrent presence. This means that, when appropriate and according to the evolution of events, over time NATO will reduce the number of forces on the ground, with the remaining forces in theatre progressively relying more on intelligence and flexibility. At their informal meeting in Istanbul on 3-4 February 2010, NATO Defence Ministers were informed by the NATO Military Authorities that KFOR had successfully achieved the so-called Gate 1 in its transition to a deterrent presence, reducing the number of troops on the ground to some 10,200. The move to Gate 2, allowing for a total of approximately 5,000 troops was recommended by NATO Military Authorities and authorised by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on 29 October 2010. Gate 2 was declared on 28 February 2011. In a separate development, the improved security situation on the ground in Kosovo also allowed NATO to continue with the implementation of the so-called unfixing process, the gradual transfer of security for religious and cultural heritage sites under KFOR protection to Kosovo Police responsibility. By the end of 2012, KFOR had unfixed seven properties with Designated Special Status: the Gazimestan Monument, Gracanica Monastery, Zociste Monastery, Budisavci Monastery, Gorioc Monastery, the Archangel site and Devic Monastery. Since then, the Pec Patriarchate, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has also been unfixed.   The situation in northern Kosovo The security situation in the northern part of Kosovo deteriorated in July 2011 over a customs dispute. Clashes ensued, resulting in two major spikes of violence in July and September, followed by a third in November, prompting the Alliance and its partners to adapt their posture on the ground. In this context, a NATO Operational Reserve Force battalion was deployed in August, with a troop contribution of around 600 soldiers, in order to help bolster KFOR’s deterrent presence. Amid the heightened tensions and clashes in northern Kosovo, KFOR acted carefully, firmly and impartially, with a view to guaranteeing the population a stable environment, freedom of movement and security. By the end of 2012, the Operational Reserve Force battalion had withdrawn from Kosovo. However, a reduction of KFOR was delayed with the aim to ensure the ability to maintain a safe and secure environment if tensions arise. Future decisions on further reducing KFOR’s footprint in Kosovo will continue to need the approval of the NAC in the light of both military and political considerations, with no automaticity in the move to a deterrent presence Gate 3. NATO continues to support the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under EU auspices. This dialogue for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo remains key to solving the political deadlock over the northern part of Kosovo. In April 2013, Belgrade and Pristina reached an Agreement on Normalisation, which will help to improve relations between both parties while giving new momentum to the Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans. NATO and, in particular, KFOR stand ready to support the implementation of this latest agreement to the best of their ability within their current mandate.
  • Kosovo Air Campaign, The -
    The Kosovo Air Campaign Operation Allied Force NATO launched an air campaign, Operation Allied Force, in March 1999 to halt the humanitarian catastrophe that was then unfolding in Kosovo. The decision to intervene followed more than a year of fighting within the province and the failure of international efforts to resolve the conflict by diplomatic means. By the end of 1998 more than 300,000 Kosovars had already fled their homes, the various cease-fire agreements were systematically being flouted and negotiations were stalled. Two rounds of internationally brokered talks in Rambouillet, France, in February and in Paris in March 1999 failed to break the deadlock and exhausted diplomatic avenues. At the time, autonomy for Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, guaranteed by the presence of a NATO-led force, could have been assured. Accepted by the Albanian delegation, the proposal was rejected by Belgrade. NATO announced the suspension of the air campaign on 10 June, once it had concluded a Military Technical Agreement with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  The same day, UNSCR 1244 welcomed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s acceptance of the principles for a political solution, including an immediate end to violence and a rapid withdrawal of its military, police and paramilitary forces and the deployment of an effective international civil and security presence, with substantial NATO participation. The political objectives of the air campaign The campaign proper The build-up to the campaign and its immediate aftermath The political objectives of the air campaign They were to bring about: a verifiable stop to all military action, violence and repression; the withdrawal from Kosovo of military personnel, police and paramilitary forces; the stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence; the unconditional and safe return of all refugees and displaced persons and unhindered access to them by humanitarian aid organizations; the establishment of a political agreement for Kosovo in conformity with international law and the Charter of the United Nations. The campaign proper Despite strains, the Alliance held together during 78 days of air strikes in which more than 38,000 sorties – 10,484 of them strike sorties – were flown without a single Allied fatality. After first targeting the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s air defences, NATO gradually escalated the campaign using the most advanced, precision-guided systems and avoiding civilian casualties to the greatest extent possible. Target selection was reviewed at multiple levels of command to ensure that it complied with international law, was militarily justified, and minimized the risk to civilian lives and property. Having intervened in Kosovo to protect ethnic Albanians from ethnic cleansing, NATO has been equally committed to protecting the province’s ethnic Serbs from a similar fate since the deployment of KFOR in the province in June 1999. The build-up to the air campaign and its immediate aftermath Simmering tension in Kosovo resulting from the 1989 imposition of direct rule from Belgrade of this predominantly Albanian province erupted in violence between Serbian military and police and Kosovar Albanians at the end of February 1998. The international community intervenes The international community became increasingly concerned about the escalating conflict, its humanitarian consequences and the risk of it spreading to other countries, as well as Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s disregard for diplomatic efforts aimed at peacefully resolving the crisis and the destabilizing role of Kosovar Albanian militants. On 13 October 1998, the North Atlantic Council authorized activation orders for NATO air strikes, in support of diplomatic efforts to make the Milosevic regime withdraw forces from Kosovo, cooperate in bringing an end to the violence and facilitate the return of refugees to their homes. Following further diplomatic initiatives, President Milosevic agreed to comply and the air strikes were called off. The Kosovo Verification Mission Further measures were taken in support of UN Security Council resolutions calling for an end to the conflict, including the establishment of a Kosovo Verification Mission by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and an aerial surveillance mission by NATO, as well as a NATO military task force to assist in the evacuation of members of the Verification Mission in the event of further conflict. The crisis intensifies The situation in Kosovo flared up again at the beginning of 1999, following a number of acts of provocation on both sides and the use of excessive force by the Serbian military and police. This included the massacre of 40 unarmed civilians in the village of Racak on 15 January. Renewed international efforts to give new political impetus to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict resulted in the convening of negotiations between the parties to the conflict in London and Paris under international mediation. These negotiations failed, however, and in March 1999, Serbian military and police forces stepped up the intensity of their operations, moving extra troops and tanks into the region, in a clear breach of agreements reached. Tens of thousands of people began to flee their homes in the face of this systematic offensive. A final unsuccessful attempt was made by US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to persuade President Milosevic to reverse his policies. All diplomatic avenues having been exhausted, NATO launched an air campaign against the Milosevic regime on 24 March 1999. The aftermath of the air campaign Following diplomatic efforts by Russia and the European Union on 3 June, a Military Technical Agreement was concluded between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 9 June. On the following day, after confirmation that the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo had begun, NATO announced the suspension of the air campaign. On 10 June, UNSCR 1244 welcomed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s acceptance of the principles for a political solution, including an immediate end to violence and a rapid withdrawal of its military, police and paramilitary forces and the deployment of an effective international civil and security presence, with substantial NATO participation.
  • Kyrgyz Republic, NATO’s relations with the -
    NATO’s relations with the Kyrgyz Republic The Kyrgyz Republic cooperates with NATO within the Partnership for Peace and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. NATO and Kyrgyzstan have developed practical cooperation in many areas, with the goal of enhancing regional and global security. The Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme (IPCP) lays out the programme of cooperation between NATO and Kyrgyzstan. Framework for cooperation Dialogue takes place within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, conducts high-level political dialogue with Kyrgyz authorities. The NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia also visits Bishkek regularly and reviews cooperation with the government. NATO and Kyrgyzstan are developing practical cooperation in a number of areas through the country’s Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed each year. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, especially counter-terrorism cooperation and border security, crisis management, and civil emergency planning. The country joined the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) in 2007 to work more closely with the Allies on military interoperability and defence planning initiatives, with objectives underpinned by a set of tailored Partnership Goals. Kyrgyzstan is expected to attend the meeting on the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, which is taking place in expanded format at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Kyrgyzstan participates in numerous PfP exercises. The Kyrgyz Government has identified a number of units as available for NATO/PfP operations and training exercises. Participation requires a government decision in each individual case. The units include an infantry company, a special National Guards platoon for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping training, and a border guard company. NATO and the Kyrgyzstan are also developing an agreement on the transit of surface (rail and road) cargo for ISAF across Kyrgyz territory. Defence and security sector reform In consultation with the NATO Allies, Kyrgyzstan is in the process of reforming its armed forces. The PARP, which Kyrgyzstan joined in 2007, has the potential to further assist the government in developing reform plans and activities. These reforms should also enhance Kyrgyzstan’s ability to take part in peacekeeping operations alongside NATO forces. Kyrgyzstan is working to enhance its mountain search and rescue capabilities, and its military command and control structures. Military education plays a role in these processes and cooperation in this area covers a wide range of areas, including language training, search and rescue education and training, border security and control, and the law of armed conflicts and human rights. Kyrgyzstan also participates in a NATO-supported retraining programme for released military personnel. The goal of the programme is to cushion the socio-economic consequences of the country’s restructuring armed forces by facilitating the re-entry of former military personnel into the civilian job market. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a key area of cooperation for Kyrgyzstan. With the Allies, the country is working to improve its effectiveness in responding to natural disasters and emergency situations. Kyrgyzstan is particularly interested in relevant scientific and technical cooperation and the mechanisms available through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Kyrgyzstan has sent experts to relevant seminars at the NATO School in Oberammergau, as well as to relevant discussions at NATO Headquarters. Science and environment Scientists from Kyrgyzstan have received grant awards in a range of subject areas under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) programme. Scientists from Kyrgyzstan, alongside experts from Belgium, Russia and the Slovak Republic, are working on a project to prevent landslide dam disasters in the Tien Shan, a mountainous region in the Kyrgyz Republic prone to major earthquakes and vulnerable to landslides. In addition, scientists from the Kyrgyz Republic, United Kingdom, Italy and Uzbekistan have been working together on a project aimed at increasing geo-environmental security in the region of Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Station. Scientists from the Kyrgyz Republic have also been looking at ways to manage uranium industry wastes in order to prevent adverse effects on the health of local populations and the environment. Kyrgyzstan also participates in the Virtual Silk Highway project, which aims to increase internet access for academic and research communities in countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia through a satellite-based network. In September 2008, participants from Kyrgyzstan attended an advanced training course on the concept and parameters of the use of force in countering terrorism. In May 2010, scientists and engineers from Kyrgyzstan, as well as other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, took part in a NATO science programme designed to train participants in securing cyber networks. The primary goal of the training was to strengthen the cyber networks of the educational and scientific communities in the CIS region. In total, scientists and experts from the Kyrgyz Republic have had leading roles in 49 activities under the SPS programme. Public information Kyrgyzstan and NATO continue working together to increase public understanding of NATO and the benefits of cooperation. This is done through different strands of activities, including visits to NATO Headquarters, international workshops in Kyrgyzstan, and video conferences between NATO and Kyrgyz academic institutions.  Work is ongoing to build and enhance networks with universities, non-governmental organisations, and the press and media in order to increase awareness of the Alliance and Euro-Atlantic security issues in general. To this end, Kyrgyzstan hosted the EAPC youth forum in Bishkek in November 2007. NATO supports educational activities relevant to security and defence issues and is working with Kyrgyzstan to increase public access to NATO and security-related documents. To this end, NATO and Kyrgyzstan opened a NATO Depository Library at the Diplomatic Academy in Bishkek in February 2009. 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 Kyrgyzstan is the embassy of Germany. Milestones in relations 1992 Kyrgyzstan joins the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997. 1994 Kyrgyzstan joins the Partnership for Peace. 2000 NATO’s Secretary General visits Kyrgyzstan 2003 Kyrgyzstan is connected to the Virtual Silk Highway. 2004 NATO Secretary General visits Kyrgyzstan 2006 The Allies provide aid to Kyrgyzstan through the EADRCC as heavy snowfall causes extensive damage in the south of the country 2007 Kyrgyzstan joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). Kyrgyzstan hosts the EAPC youth forum in Bishkek in November. 2008 Kyrgyzstan hosts a Science for Peace and Security-sponsored training course entitled “Use of Force in Countering Terrorism” in Bishkek. 2009 The NATO Depository Library opens at the Diplomatic Academy in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan officially launches a NATO-supported retraining programme for released military personnel in Bishkek. 2011 In February, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, visits NATO HQ.   In May,the newly appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary General (DASG) for Political and Security Policy and NATO Special Representative for Central Asia, James Appathurai, visits Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to discuss regional security issues and the expansion of practical cooperation programmes.