The Democratic Party of Serbia’s (DSS) presidential candidate Aleksandar Popovic said the United States and NATO tacitly approved of Kosovo going ahead with its plan to transform the local Security Force (KSF) into a national army, in an interview to Sputnik.

On March 7, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci sent to parliament a bill envisaging the transformation of the KSF into the army. The plan was criticized the following day by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg who expressed concern with the draft law and urged Pristina to maintain ties with Belgrade.

“Democratic Party of Serbia clearly believes that any move of so-called institutions of so-called ‘Republic Kosova’ was not and couldn’t be made without tacit approval of US and their allies. Of course, in certain occasions, due to different circumstances, this approval is not public and obvious, however only naive person can think that any of the moves of [Kosovo leader Hashim] Thaci’s camarilla is not coordinated with US and NATO. This one is too. So, Thaci will play independent and brave political figure for local purposes among Serbian citizens of Albanian origin believing that they live in so-called ‘Republic Kosova,’ while NATO and US will be innocent. Their weapons, however, will be on the ground,” Popovic said.

On March 8, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia expected that the European Union, Russia and the United States would contribute to its efforts in countering the formation of the national army in Kosovo.

According to Popovic, the Serbian government should insist that negotiations with Pristina be held in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 which, together with the Kumanovo Military Technical Agreement, ended the war in Kosovo in 1999, and thus move the negotiations back “from Brussels to New York.”

“It is not late to do so, however, none of EU-fanatic governments from 2008 until now has done it… The newest provocation from Pristina is a clear sign that only by negotiating in a good will, under the auspices of UN, legal solution could be found,” Popovic noted.

On Friday, Thaci said he would resign if the parliament did not approve the bill aimed at creating a national army, thus prompting early parliamentary elections.

Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence in 2008 and is recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia, as well as Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and other countries do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.