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)
LocationKumanovo, Macedonia
Effective10 June 1999 (1999-06-10)
Military Technical Agreement

The Military Technical Agreement, also known as the Kumanovo Agreement, signed between the International Security Force (KFOR) and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia, was an accord concluded on 9 June 1999 in Kumanovo, Macedonia. It resulted in the end of the Kosovo War,[1] and established new basic relations between Yugoslavia and the Kosovo Force, which would act to replace units of the Yugoslav Army in Kosovo.


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 followed by an end to the bombing campaign should FRY comply effectively with the agreement.
  • Definition of a 25 km air safety zone and 5 km ground safety zone around Kosovo's boundaries, into FRY-administered territory where necessary, which FRY military forces could not enter without KFOR permission. Lightly armed police continued to operate within the zone outside of Kosovo according to the agreement.
  • 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 soon-to-be adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution.
  • Authorization for assistance to, and use of necessary force by NATO's Kosovo Force to create a secure environment for the international civilian presence and its peace settlement mission.

The NATO presence was sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, which authorized UN Member states and international organizations to maintain an international security presence, as Kosovo Force (KFOR),[3] whose mandate is open-ended unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise. The KFOR was authorized to take all actions necessary to ensure compliance with the agreement.[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.