Ongoing Baltic support for Kosovo

  • 2008-04-03
  • Monika Hanley

Photo: NATO

After being among the first nations to recognize the independenceof Kosovo (February 17, 2008), the Baltic States are continuing to show supportfor the small, newly independent nation, by sending troops, experts and fundsto the region.


As reported, Lithuaniaannounced yesterday that a team of 25 soldiers, the Lithuanian KFOR-18 (KosovoForce-18) departed for a relief mission to the southern border Kosovo to workwith a Polish and Ukrainian unit.


Participating in NATO peace-keeping missions in Kosovo alongwith Latvia and Lithuaniasince 1999, a current Estonian intelligence unit of 26 people is functioning aspart of a Danish battalion in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo.   


The Estonian Embassy in Washingtonstated in a security policy report, that Estonia feels it is crucial to keepcontributing to the efforts as long as the need for aid remains.


The Latvian Cabinet of Ministers confirmed today that they approvedthe participation of Inga Sarsune, a Foreign Ministry expert in EULEX Kosovo,the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo.

She currently serves as Second Secretary of the SecurityPolicy Department at the Ministry. Her mission to Kosovo, as a Situation CentreOperations Officer, is to take place from 1 June 2008 to 1 July 2009.

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union has approved atotal of eight Latvian experts, seven of them representing the Ministry of theInterior.

According to a press release from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latviais of the opinion that stability in Kosovo is crucial for a sustainableeconomic and social development in the whole of the Western Balkan region. Suchstability cannot be ensured without significant reforms in the field of therule of law, and without the enhancement of law enforcement bodies.

The press release went on to state that Latvia ensured the participation ofunits of the National Armed forces of Latvia in the NATO-led internationaloperation in Kosovo (KFOR), and in addition supports the EU contributiontowards the development of the rule of law and justice in Kosovo by sending itsexperts.