Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with NATO Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store in Oslo, the capital of Norway, where the informal NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held on 31 May-1 June.
Referring to Kosovo, where tensions have increased in recent days, Stoltenberg condemned the attack, reminding that 30 soldiers were injured in the attack on KFOR soldiers yesterday.
“Such attacks are unacceptable and must stop immediately. KFOR and NATO forces will take all necessary steps to ensure a safe environment for all citizens in Kosovo. We will continue to act impartially in accordance with UN mandate,” Stoltenberg said.
Explaining that they have decided to send 700 soldiers from the operational reserve forces created for the Western Balkans to Kosovo, Stoltenberg said that a battalion of soldiers has also been increased, and if necessary, these soldiers will be sent to Kosovo to support KFOR.
“Violent events are pushing back Kosovo and the entire region, jeopardizing Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Pristina and Belgrade should take concrete steps to de-escalate tensions, avoid irresponsible behavior, engage in EU-facilitated dialogue. This is the only way to lasting peace,” Stoltenberg said. .
30 KFOR soldiers injured in Kosovo
On 26 May, Kosovo Serbs protested the election of Albanian mayors who won the local elections on 23 April in the municipalities of Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic, where Serbs are concentrated in the north of Kosovo.
There was a clash between the Kosovo police, which was sent to the region to protect the Albanian mayors, and the Kosovo Serbs.
NATO had announced that additional troops would be sent to KFOR for reinforcements, and that the Operational Rescue Forces in Italy had been activated.