Of the more than 60 embassies and consulates that the Republic of Kosovo has in the world, only seven of them have military attachés.

These Kosovo envoys currently serve in missions in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Turkey, Albania and Croatia.

In the Ministry of Defense of Kosovo, they say that they are in the process of internal assessments with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to increase the number of attachés in the countries that have recognized the independence of Kosovo, which was announced in February 2008.

"Currently, the Ministry of Defense of Kosovo has the number of defense attachés in accordance with its policies in the field of international cooperation, as well as the integration process in the regional and Euro-Atlantic defense structures", says Colonel Sefer for Radio Free Europe Isufi, head of strategic communications at the Ministry of Defense.

According to the law in Kosovo, the duty of defense attachés is to develop and promote the interests of defense in the country where they are assigned, as well as to strengthen military and defense relations with that country.

The defense attache is an active member of the Kosovo Security Force.

He is not a career diplomat, but enjoys diplomatic immunity according to international acts and conventions in force.

The attaché is selected after passing several competitions within the Ministry of Defense and then, with the proposal of this ministry, it goes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consultation and proceeds further.

Isufi says that the focus of the Ministry of Defense is to further strengthen the authority of the military attache in the countries that constantly support Kosovo and that have a voice in decision-making, as far as defense and global security are concerned.

He does not mention by name any specific country, where it is intended to send new attachés.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Kosovo, Kreshnik Ahmeti, says that the sending of military attachés to different countries is determined based on the plans and priorities that Kosovo has.

"Because of the sensitivity in defense and security, of course [the work of military attachés] is not reflected in the public, like other jobs that can be reflected.

But the aims and successes of these attachés are what align our army, the Kosovo Security Force, with the armies of the host countries, and also with various defense organizations, such as NATO", says Ahmeti for Radio Free Europe.

The first military attache of Kosovo: We were not quite ready

Xhavit Gashi was the first military attaché of Kosovo, who served in the United States of America.

He was appointed in April 2011 and served until 2016.

"When Kosovo was given the first opportunity to have a military attache, we were not quite ready and familiar with what had to be provided...", says Gashi.

"When I was in Washington, I did not only carry out military cooperation work, but I was also engaged in events related to foreign policy, so not only those of security and intelligence, which in principle they should be the focus", he adds.

According to Gashi, military attachés also cover the intelligence sector and it is good for Kosovo to have as many of them as possible.

"In the countries that we have friends with, it does not mean that we do any espionage or receive information from their institutions, but, together with them, we can receive important information for common goals", says Gashi.

Avni Spahiu, who has served as ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in the United States and Turkey, says that the need to increase the number of attachés in diplomatic missions is determined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense.

"I think there was some kind of negligence.

It means, not only in terms of appointing military attachés, but also in diplomacy in general", he says.

In recent years, there have been several delays in the appointment of new ambassadors in several Kosovo embassies in the world, including the US one.

"It should be seriously considered that the representation of Kosovo, even in the military aspect, be worthy and as required for a state, especially for a new state, that has ambitions to be part of the Euro-Atlantic structures", says Spahiu for Radio Free Europe.

After the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, at the end of February, Kosovo has requested accelerated membership in the NATO military alliance.

However, as an obstacle in this direction is the non-recognition of Kosovo by four NATO member states: Spain, Greece, Slovakia and Romania.

The role of diplomacy in changing this situation is seen as incomparable.

Haki Abazi, chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in the Assembly of Kosovo, says that it is time for institutions to focus on appointing as many attachés as possible, not only for military, but also economic and cultural issues.

"If our priority is really membership in NATO, military attachés play an important role in two aspects: in building bilateral capacities, training high-level military cadets in the academies of the host countries, but also in supporting them for the membership process in NATO... So their role would be crucial in the phase we are in", says Abazi.

Declared independent 14 years ago, Kosovo is recognized by 117 countries in total.

Almost half of them recognized him in the year of the declaration of independence, in 2008.

In the last five years, however, only four states have recognized Kosovo.

This, despite the fact that the International Court of Justice concluded in 2010 that Kosovo's independence "does not conflict with international law".

Kosovo's diplomacy has often been criticized for passivity, especially in the face of Serbia's campaign against the recognition of its citizenship.