Montgomery: There will be no progress in the dialogue until the West understands the importance of the Kosovo question for Serbia

*Note: English version of an op-ed by Mr. William Dale Montgomery for the Kosovo Online web portal published on 11th January 2021, courtesy of the author – original text from Kosovo online available at:

Mr. Montgomery is a retired United States diplomat. He served as the US ambassador in Serbia and Montenegro.

You (Kosovo Online web portal-CEAS comment) have asked a number of specific questions. It is more important to focus on some basic realities about the Balkan situation. I emphasize that I am reflecting the observations of the politics of the region I have personally observed during and long after my retirement from diplomacy and not the official views of any government or individual besides myself.

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Strengthening NATO in the Black Sea Region

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO prioritized the Baltic Sea region, where several NATO allies share a border with Russia. NATO therefore deployed “enhanced Forward Presence” (eFP) battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to deter further Russian aggression.1 In in the Black Sea region, however, NATO chose a “tailored Forward Presence” (tFP) – that is to say, a smaller and less capable force, yielding the initiative there to the Kremlin.

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North Atlantic Council Statement as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Enters Into Force

We reaffirm our commitment to the preservation and strengthening of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. As the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or ban treaty, nears entry into force, we collectively reiterate our opposition to this treaty, as it does not reflect the increasingly challenging international security environment and is at odds with the existing non-proliferation and disarmament architecture.

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