Government wants to extend Swisscoy mission to 2026

The Swiss have been part of the international Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission since 1999. Keystone / Jean-christophe Bott

If parliamentarians agree, Switzerland’s contribution to the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (KFOR) will be extended by another three years.

This content was published on November 23, 2022 minutes

Government on Wednesday proposed not only an extension of Swisscoy’s mandate, but also a boost in numbers: given the volatile situation, the mission should also have the possibility to bring in up to 30 new soldiers, ministers saidExternal link.

The Russian war against Ukraine has raised the security risks across Europe, including in the Balkans, the government wrote. Should NATO members be forced to concentrate more on the situation in the East, they might end up reducing their contribution to KFOR; in such a scenario, neutral and non-NATO member Switzerland would be able to take up some of the slack in the peacekeeping mission, the government said.

In January 2022, KFOR was made up of around 3,800 soldiers from 28 different countries (both NATO and non-NATO members).  The force is charged with creating and maintaining a secure environment in Kosovo, monitoring developments in Kosovo and supporting international humanitarian efforts and civilian forces.

The current Swisscoy contingent includes up to 195 soldiers, with a 2022 budget of CHF40.9 million ($43.35 million). Switzerland has been part of the KFOR mission since 1999.

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