The move comes 20 years after Kosovo split from Serbia and fought a bloody war against Belgrade's forces. Now, neighboring Serbia says the decision to create an army is "the most direct threat to peace and stability in the region."
The creation of a standing army in Kosovo could provoke military intervention by Belgrade, Serbia's prime minister said. Kosovo's parliament is due to vote next week on transforming its defense force into a regular army.
Serbia has threatened a military response if its neighbor, Kosovo, goes through with a plan to establish a standing army — the latest in an escalating situation between the two neighboring nations.
Serbia opposed the move, accusing Pristina of "beating war drums." The law would create a new department of defense and convert the Kosovo Security Force into an army. The US pushed for the move, but NATO reacted warily.
Serbia's president has accused Kosovo of mobilizing security forces in a northern area heavily populated by Serbs. The EU has urged both sides to "end these provocations" before the situation spirals out of control.
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