Kosovo’s new Prime Minister Albin Kurti has reiterated his promise that he will make military service compulsory in the country.
During a speech given to the Kosovo Security Force to mark the countries 12th year of independence, he declared that he would reintroduce military service for all citizens. He told those in attendance that without an army and without protection, Kosovo is weak and that the task of protecting the country falls on citizens.
“We will make military service compulsory because experience and lessons in military service are needed to cope even with the battles of peace.”
He also told his cabinet on 3 February that he planned to introduce compulsory military service as a way of strengthening the defences of the country.
Some experts have cast doubts on his plans including Besa Kabashi Ramaj who told BIRN that aspects like cost and compliance with Western standards need to be considered. He said that whether the cost of such a service could be covered without impacting the welfare of citizens is an important point.
Other countries in the Balkan region have considered introducing military service including Serbia and Croatia but plans were abandoned due to cost.
Countries that enforce military service for citizens for a fixed period of time include Israel, North Korea, China, Eritrea, and Morocco. Sweden and Norway also operate selective compulsory military service for both genders for a period of 11 months and 19 months respectively.