The Slovenia Times

Slovenia increasing troop size in Kosovo

Slovenian Armed Forces in Kosovo. Photo: Jure Kos/STA

Defence Minister Marjan Šarec has announced that Slovenia will increase the number of its troops in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo to at least 100.

There are currently 91 members of the Slovenian Armed Forces stationed in Kosovo as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR).

Under the previous government the ministry decreased the number of soldiers serving in KFOR from over 250, but when Šarec took over in June last year, it decided to increase the number to at least 100, the ministry explained for the Slovenian Press Agency.

The upper limit of Slovenian soldiers in Kosovo is set by a government decision, at 370.

Arriving for a session of NATO defence ministers in Brussels on 11 October, Šarec was asked whether Slovenia would increase the number further in the face of the recent escalation of tensions in Kosovo. In response he said the government's focus was on strengthening presence, which Slovenia was doing.

Slovenian soldiers are mostly acting as non-kinetic or peacemaking forces. "The Western Balkans is surely a priority for Slovenia which is why we are increasing our presence there," Šarec said.

The defence ministers will discuss KFOR on 12 October in light of the attack on Kosovo police in the north of the country in September.

The ministers will also discuss support for Ukraine. Šarec noted that Slovenia has been helping Ukraine from the start with humanitarian and military aid and will continue to do so.

Slovenia pledged an additional half a million euros in aid for demining activities in Ukraine at an international donor conference for demining in Ukraine in Zagreb on 11 October.

Slovenia has already secured over €1.8 million for demining and war victims' rehabilitation in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said.

An additional half a million will be allocated for demining this year, while funding for this purpose will also be planned in the coming years, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Marko Štucin said in Zagreb.

According to Štucin, the Slovenian government has nearly doubled last year's humanitarian aid to Ukraine aimed at mitigating the consequences of war, providing an additional €5 million.


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