Does Kosovo’s advancement status in NATO signify full membership?

Kosovo, as a parliamentary observer, was accepted yesterday as an associated member state by the Permanent Steering Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. This is considered an important step and the highest level before Kosovo becomes a full member of NATO structures.

The Minister of Defense, Ejup Maqedonci for KosovaPress declares that the regular presence of Kosovo in the assembly will enable more effective lobbying for the acceleration of the NATO membership process. Meanwhile, former diplomats say that the membership in this organization is not related to that of Kosovo in NATO. According to them, Kosovo cannot talk about membership in this alliance, as long as it requires additional troops to protect the country from Serbian aggression.

Minister Ejup Maqedonci declares that the advancement of Kosovo’s status is a significant achievement and that parliamentarians will henceforth have the opportunity to participate in all plenary sessions. VV MP, Driton Hyseni, also considers it an important decision, who says that until now Kosovo has had the status of an observer delegation. Meanwhile, as he adds, with yesterday’s decision, there will be an increase in the level of the delegation within this institution.

Further, the head of the Delegation of the Assembly of Kosovo to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly adds that yesterday’s step in advancing the status of Kosovo represents the readiness of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to have Kosovo close.

Meanwhile, the former ambassador of Kosovo in Austria, Blerim Canaj, emphasizes that this decision does not mean the full membership of Kosovo in this alliance.

The former Minister of European Integration, Mimoza Ahmetaj, says the same thing, who told KosovaPress that membership in this organization is not related to Kosovo’s membership in NATO.

“For Kosovo, membership in any organization or advancement of the current position is of special importance, and especially at this time when Kosovo in foreign policy has only marked regression and degradation. The advancement of status to associate member for Kosovo with three members and no voting rights, at this time when the war in Ukraine endangers all of Europe, is something natural. Membership in this organization is not related to Kosovo’s membership in NATO because this is a civil institution composed of members of the parliaments of the states and is not a military and political institution like NATO. Moreover, in this organization, Serbia is also an associate member (like Kosovo), which opposes NATO membership. Kosovo cannot talk about membership in NATO, as long as we have NATO soldiers who protect the sovereignty of the state and our Government requires additional troops to protect the country from Serbian aggression”, she says in a written answer.

This decision will be formalized by a vote at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in the spring session of the Assembly, which will be held on May 27 in Sofia.