Kumanovo Agreement

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Kumanovo Agreement
Military Technical Agreement between the International Security Force (KFOR) and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia
TypeCeasefire agreement
Signed9 June 1999 (1999-06-09)
Effective10 June 1999 (1999-06-10)
Kosovo Liberation Army emblem Kosovo Liberation Army
Signatories Mike Jackson
Nebojša Pavković
Military Technical Agreement

The Military Technical Agreement between the International Security Force ("KFOR") and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia (commonly known as the Military Technical Agreement or Kumanovo Agreement) was an accord concluded on 9 June 1999 in Kumanovo, Macedonia. It concluded the Kosovo War. The full text can be found on the website of NATO.[1]


The run-up to the Kumanovo Agreement involved a flurry of negotiations not just between Yugoslavia and Serbia but also NATO and Russia. Despite the initial agreement, for instance, on a withdrawal timetable for the Serbian forces in Kosovo, NATO's Operation Allied Force was still underway, pending the completion of full withdrawal of the Serbian troops.[2]

There are sources that cite the role that Russia played in the immediate resolution of the accord. There was a claim about a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. An initial agreement between the two parties was reached, which involved a commitment on the part of NATO to cease its airstrikes and a willingness to remove a passage it wanted to include in the Kumanovo Agreement in exchange for Russian support for a forthcoming UN Resolution agreed by the Group of Eight.[2] Without the Russian participation, the UN Security Council Resolution on Kosovo would not have been approved and the NATO airstrikes would have continued.[2]

Provisions of the agreement[edit]

The key provisions of the agreement were designed to enable the following:

  • A cessation of hostilities between NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) followed by an end to the bombing campaign should FRY comply effectively with the agreement.
  • Definition of a 25 km air safety zone and 5km ground safety zone around Kosovo's boundaries, into FRY where necessary, which FRY forces could not enter without NATO permission.
  • Over 11 days from signing, the staged withdrawal from Kosovo by FRY forces, including the clearing of military assets (mines, booby traps) from communications lines, and the provision of information to NATO about remaining hazards.
  • The deployment of civil and security forces within Kosovo, pursuant to an at that point unapproved, but drafted United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The NATO presence was sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council on the strength of Resolution 1244 (1999), which authorized UN Member states and international organizations to maintain an international security presence via the KFOR in Kosovo until an agreement is finally concluded and its terms implemented.[3] The KFOR was authorized to take all actions necessary to ensure compliance.[4]

Status of agreement[edit]

Legal expert Enrico Milano has argued that the Kumanovo Agreement "is dubious under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) and, as a consequence, so too are parts of Resolution 1244 referring, implicitly or explicitly, to paragraph 10 of Annex 2 of the same resolution."[5] One particular argument is that "it is doubtful whether the Kumanovo Agreement can be considered valid according to Article 52 of the VCLT, which states that ‘a treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations’. The legal arguments continue that in fact to remedy the legal issues arising what is needed is for Status of Forces Agreement to be entered into with Belgrade.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NATO (1999-06-09). "Military Technical Agreement between the International Security Force ("KFOR") and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia". Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  2. ^ a b c Lajos, Szaszdi (2008). Russian Civil-Military Relations and the Origins of the Second Chechen War. Lanham: University Press of America, Inc. p. 178. ISBN 9780761840374.
  3. ^ Dorr, Oliver; Schmalenbach, Kirsten (2018). Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: A Commentary. London: Springer. p. 958. ISBN 9783662551592.
  4. ^ Weller, Marc (2015). The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 976. ISBN 9780199673049.
  5. ^ a b Milano, Enrico (2003). "Security Council Action in the Balkans: Reviewing the Legality of Kosovo's Territorial Status" (PDF). European Journal of International Law. 14 (5): 999–1022. doi:10.1093/ejil/14.5.999.