Experts in Belgrade and Pristina have different takes on the process of arms acquisition of the Army of Serbia and the Security Forces of Kosovo -- while some see no issue as long as KFOR is present in Kosovo, others consider it a harbinger of a new armed conflict.
Aleksandar Radic, a military analyst from Belgrade, told BETA that weapons procurement for the Army of Serbia was not a problem in itself, but that the process could destabilize the region if citizens feel this arming to be a symbol of accelerated preparation for conflict.
"There is already a public image of Pristina as having aggressive ambitions and preparing for a war with support from its allies -- the Americans, Turks and Germans. Any rational analysis of weapons and munitions procurement by the Security Forces of Kosovo and Army of Serbia becomes pointless because a good portion of the public have already formed their opinions," Radic said.
On the other hand, Agim Musliu, an analyst of the security sector from Pristina, says Serbia is acquiring weapons for the purpose of aggression against Kosovo. Musliu told BETA that, in its Constitution, more specifically its preamble, Serbia still treated Kosovo as its own territory, and from that standpoint there is always a tendency toward aggression. According to Musliu, the fact alone that the arms are coming from Russia and that Serbia is procuring heavy weaponry, aircraft, rocket systems and that some 80 percent of these munitions are deployed along the line with Kosovo, indicates that Serbia is always thinking about potential aggression against Kosovo.