A Relationship in Limbo: Challenges, Dynamics and Perspectives of Kosovo’s Integration into NATO

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Since its declaration of independence Kosovo has clearly postured itself towards Euro-Atlantic integration with NATO, keeping its door open towards Western Balkan states. This integration process faces major challenges stemming from different dimensions: NATO’s internal unity and its stance towards Kosovo’s political status having direct impact in consensual decision making processes; current geopolitical tensions from a global perspective, particularly between the West and Russia; and Kosovo’s ability to fulfil NATO’s standards and criteria. These challenges might prove very difficult to overcome at least in the current global political and security environment. The objective of this paper is to discuss from legal and geopolitical perspectives the relations between Kosovo and NATO and the challenges, dynamics and perspective of NATO opening a formal integration process for Kosovo.

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