Current Concerns has always condemned the NATO war – just like all other wars before and after 1999 – and critically questioned the reporting on it. Conflicts belong at the negotiating table, solutions must respect international law and the right of peoples to self-determination enshrined in international covenants as well as the human rights of the populations concerned. With a view to the lives of all people on this one and only planet on which we and future generations want to live, it has always been our concern to draw attention to the war crimes committed in all these wars with the use of weapons: which, in addition to the immediate devastations, also destroy or impair the lives of the people affected and their livelihoods in the long term.
The motto of the conference and commemoration of the 20th anniversary of NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia: “NATO aggression – Never to forget!” is in this sense the task of mankind in the service of peace.
That we do not forget what was and is done to people with war – with all wars, but also with aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the first war on European soil after the “Never again!” of the two world wars and all further wars – we owe that to the victims, to the present and future generations, but also to the truth and our human conscience.
As in all wars, before this war too, propaganda and manipulation tried to mislead our thinking and numb our consciences. In the name of human rights, the most fundamental rights of the people in this country have been disregarded and trampled underfoot. International law, UN Charter, international agreements – everything has been ignored in the service of the power interests of a so-called “new world order”.
Anyone who as a human being does not want to let his thoughts be taken away and wants to orient himself not only to “narratives”, but to facts and sources, knows today about the lies with which this war too was drummed.
Already in the evening before the actual conference, the guests were welcomed and invited to let the photo exhibition of the 78-day bombardment of NATO and its consequences for the people and the country have an effect on them. They are – like all pictures of war – photos of horror, human suffering, wanton destruction, which repeatedly pose the question to the viewer: Why? Why do people do this? Anyone who already dealt with the question at that time remembers the photo of the girl in Vietnam, who, hit by Napalm, runs towards the viewer. Just like that one, these photos also shout into the viewer’s conscience: “What did I do, what did we do to you?”
During the two days of the conference, 78 speakers expressed in very different ways why this war and its victims must not be forgotten, why such forgetting only makes new wars and new injustices possible, and that one of the dangers for humanity today is that those really responsible are not called to account.
They recalled how this first war of aggression after 1945 was staged on European soil without a mandate from the UN Security Council: with bold lies, unspeakable twisting of history, demonization and media drumbeats – against the UN Charter, international agreements and treaties, against other reports by high-ranking OSCE representatives and against investigation reports that had already refuted the rhetoric of war. The participants also agreed on the geopolitical dimension of the whole – there were no “humanitarian” concerns, but hard geostrategic goals that were pursued.
Clear words were also spoken by official representatives of Serbia. While the authorities have been cautiously reticent for some time, there are now many much clearer and more explicit words. The present Serbian Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, for example, characterised the war goal as an attempt to make the Serbian nation disappear, both biologically and historically – biologically with regard to the weapons used, historically with an attempt to extinguish numerous historical cultural assets and the self-confidence of the people in this country.
Although representatives of the NBC protection of the Serbian army had already discussed the consequences of the uranium ammunition fired in Serbia and Kosovo on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the bomb war, it was striking that this question was clear to all participants today: the consequences for the population are unmistakable in the serious increase in cancer and deaths, and the population is well aware of what this development is connected with.
The 85-year-old Italian journalist Fulvio Grimaldi, documentary filmmaker and long-time war correspondent, among others on Italian television RAI, also addressed the historical and cultural dimension: He had experienced everywhere how in the battlefields of the world as something of the first cultural assets are destroyed in order to attack the cultural identity of the people. The power politics of globalisation cannot tolerate this, it needs an “amorphous identity, and that means no identity,” says Grimaldi.
At the beginning of human action stands our feeling and thinking: Verifiable information and a reflection on what has been done to fellow human beings – for example in Serbia – and what will be done with the long-term consequences, this is an essential contribution that human conscience and reasonable action will one day assert themselves.
“Stop confrontation, start dialogue!”
Successful Belgrade Conference “Never forget – peace and prosperity instead of wars and poverty”
Interview with Živadin Jovanović, “The Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals”*, Belgrade, 24 March 2019
On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the aggression of NATO Alliance against Serbia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the FRY), on 22 and 23 March 2019 Belgrade was the venue of the International Conference under the title “Never to Forget – Peace and Prosperity instead of Wars and Poverty”. The conference was organised by “The Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals”, the “Federation of Associations of Veterans of the National Liberation War of Serbia”, “The Serbian Generals and Admirals Club” and the “Society of the Serbian Hosts”, in cooperation with the “World Peace Council”. Besides the participants from Serbia, the Conference was attended by more than 200 distinguished guests from some 30 countries from all over the world. The organisers welcomed the participants and expressed sincerest gratitude for their solidarity, support and huge humanitarian relief during one of the most challenging periods in the recent history of Serbia.
With a total of 78 contributions, the two days were more than well filled. An exhibition with harrowing pictures documented the suffering of the Serbian population during the NATO attack in 1999.
The conference was dedicated to preserving the lasting memory and paying tribute to the military and the police personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of their country against the Nato-aggression, as well as to the civilian victims killed during this 78-day war.
Current Concerns: Your conference, which you held for 3 days with many guests from all over the world, has just ended and therefore we would like to ask you: What are your impressions, what are your conclusions out of what we had the last three days?
Živadin Jovanović: I think the conference was a great success in terms of attendance, in terms of the content and in terms of conclusions. As far as attendance is concerned we had about 200 guests from about 30 countries from all continents except from Australia. They are all united in their objective of peace, solidarity and peaceful development. They are authors of books, scientists, some politicians, diplomats, strategic analysers, generally public figures in the countries they come from. They have come on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the NATO war of aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which is illegal under international law. That we can all commemorate the victims and remember the destruction, cruelty and arrogance of the only military alliance, NATO. They are all friends of Serbia, who have shown their solidarity and their support over about three decades now of turbulent processes and developments in the region of the Balkans.
At the conference we also tried to project a vision of peace in Europe and in the world, a vision of inclusive development for all people and all countries. I think that we can be satisfied with the content of the Belgrade declaration (see page 3) and that it will be well received.
Mr Jovanović, you just gave the starting signal for the marathon to Mount Athos, which has started right now. Can you say a few words about that? Because it belongs to the conference.
This is a traditional manifestation of athletes. Serbian athletes are the initiators but they include also athletes from surrounding countries, so it is an international memorial marathon. They run every year a different direction and spread the same message of peace, cooperation, solidarity and the message that the NATO aggression from 1999 should not be repeated and should not be forgotten. The more so, that really today instability prevails on the Balkans and in a big part of Europe. So we should be always cautious that peace, stability and development are not guaranteed automatically. It should always be worked in order that it will be preserved. The marathon carries the message of reason, of wisdom and they run about 100 kilometers every day. But they stop at every place, every historical monument to pay respects to the victims not only of NATO aggression but victims of World War I and World War II. This way that they are running today and tomorrow is unfortunately too rich in monuments to the victims.
This is most impressive and deeply touching. But unfortunately also highly topical.
We should be aware what risks are we facing today because of growing mistrust, global confrontation and arms race, enormous funds are invested in preparing for the war and the development and the social life of people is neglected. So this is a dangerous trend if you have global mistrust and global confrontation. If you, let’s say right now in Europe, reorient civil structure, completely to serve also military needs.
I think we have gone too far and I have the impression that we are not quite aware of what processes are happening right now. We are occupied by day to day obligations and tasks and we all need to see and be aware of these essential deep global changes, endangering, threatening the security. So, our manifestations including this one today serves just the purpose to state an awareness of what is going on and to mobilise unity of peace-loving people and forces to resist such developments to get the message spread: stop confrontation, start dialogue, stop ruining international agreements, to negotiate better ones, stop transforming the economy and infrastructure for the military purposes.
How else do you commemorate the 1999 war here in Serbia?
We had a number of manifestations in Belgrade these days of which the international memorial marathon is only one. There was a two days conference, we also had an excellent exhibition for those artefacts devoted to Nato aggression. We also presented a number of new books to mark this anniversary, books by the best authors on these subjects. And we have many other manifestations apart from what we are doing as a part of what we can say people’s diplomacy. The government today [24 March] is organising a central government manifestation in the city of Nîs. This yet again will be the message of remembering victims and the message of reminding that we should turn towards peace, towards cooperation and solidarity and not confrontation.
You mentioned the many foreign guests. How do you perceive their participation in your conference?
We have many friends and we owe them respect and gratitude for all their support and understanding for their solidarity, for the enormous humanitarian assistance that they have been sending over decades to my country, to Serbia and to Serbs here and we also cherish very much that our friends all over the world right now are holding conferences, like the conference in Vienna, the conference in New York, in Washington, the conference in Prague, in Bratislava. Then next week there will be three conferences in Italy, in Rome, in Bologna and in Florence. So we are also saying that we from the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, we are happy because we are recognised as a focal point for all those and they seek our messages, seek our greetings and are sending us messages of solidarity and so forth. So it is very positive that so many people in so many different countries all over the world are aware of the real meaning of the NATO aggression from 1999, of the real meaning of this expansionist policy and the policy of conquist. This is something encouraging for the humanity.
Has the peace movement grown in comparison with previous years within the framework of your conference?
Yes, I think there is a positive change as far as activities of associations and entities. It is positive that we are becoming more and more aware of our duties and that we respond to the situation that is not really bright and very encouraging.
I would like to mention the positive change we are seeing in Serbia itself. In Serbia I can tell you that in 2000 or 2001 nobody would have any manifestations on the occasion of the NATO aggression. These signals from the government were missing, there were no signals encouraging this culture of memory, culture of respect for the victims. No, they were silent and the press, the complete mass media in Serbia never would mention ‘aggression’. They would say ‘intervention’, they would say ‘campaign of NATO’, or bombardment at the best. But we continuously and steadily pursued a real term, and real characterisation of that attack. It was blatant aggression on a sovereign and peaceful state and not motivated by any humanitarian or similar reasons but exclusively by geopolitical aims by promoting strategies of expansion towards the East.
The fact that you stood all alone in your own country has changed, thank God.
So right in Serbia, we saw unprecedented publicity in the Serbian media for our conference and for all that we are doing. And you cannot see other terms so frequently than ‘aggression’ from our president, to the prime minister, to the ordinary people. And the journalists, they are now using the term of aggression. This is a sign of change. And this is because we were steady, we knew what was the truth, we urged the others to agree. There is a slight failure of our press. They reported excellently about our conference. Excellently. Enormous space was given. Two pages in one daily, in the most influencial pages. Yesterday, one of the oldest and traditional newspapers in Europe in politics, they devoted a whole page. That has never happened. Most of the times they would completely ignore what we are doing, but now the whole page. And the failure? What is the failure? It is, let’s say, that politics don’t say who has organised all this. They said it was organised in the “Army House” and that is was good and very constructive and very important. And they reported who was speaking what, with many quotations, excellently, but there is no reference that this was done by the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, but by generals and admirals veterans associations and the Society of Serbian host.
Nevertheless, the most important thing is that people can read about the results of our conference and that the truth is spread.
Thank you very much. We owe you a big thank-you for what you have done and for bringing so many people together here. It is a tremedous work and we wish you and your country the very best. •
* Živadin Jovanović is president of the “Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals”. He studied law at the University of Belgrade, from 1964 to 2000 he worked in the diplomatic service of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (from 1992 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia FRY), from 1988 to 1993 Ambassador in Luanda/Angola, from 1995 to 1998 Deputy Foreign Minister, from 1998 to 2000 Foreign Minister, 1996 Member of the Serbian Parliament and 2000 in the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In addition to numerous articles and interviews, he has published the following books: “The Bridges” (2002); “Abolishing the State” (2003); “The Kosovo Mirror” (2006); “The Twilight of the West – NATO aggression – Never to forget (2010)”; “1244-A Key to Peace in Europe” (2018)
“We need peace, so we should join forces, we should carry this in our hearts”
Voices from the Belgrade Conference
by Eva-Maria Föllmer-Müller
Pyotr Olegovich Tolstoy, vice-president of the Russian State Duma, addressed the conference participants on behalf of the Russian parliament and emphasised the historical ties between the Russian and the Serbian peoples. Both peoples should learn from the wars. He himself, has been a journalist on the Russian radio during the Yugoslavia war and has reported at the time. This war has not been an isolated case. Outrage he condemned the double standards of the Western “community of values”. He demanded that all true war criminals must be brought before a court of justice. Without acknowledgment of what has been done, there will be no forgiveness.
Mihailo Miša Gavrilović, lives in the Serbian diaspora in London, spoke about how the Serbs in the diaspora fared in the NATO countries during the war. Propaganda against Serbia has begun some 10 years earlier. They had repeatedly commented against the propaganda. He himself had been on radio and television 800 times between 1991 and 1999.
The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Montenegro and Littoral, the Metropolitan bishop Amfilohije Radović, said the conference strikes the heart of Europe and the world, calling for peace and prosperity instead of wars and poverty. He was very happy about the participants from abroad. He himself had been in the area of Pec during the war, he had known exactly what was happening. The war had been the continuation of the Crusades, the Napoleonic Wars, the Nazi era. The totalitarian ideology had come first from the East and comes now from the West. Selfish interests govern the world today. “We need peace, so we should join forces, we should carry that in our hearts.”
Aleksandar Vulin, Serbian Minister of Defense in office, found clear words: For more than 12 years, one was not allowed to speak of NATO aggression. Never in history has such a supremacy been utilised against such a small country. It was shocking that the killed children and civilians were termed as collateral damage. He was happy about the many foreign guests, they should also report. “In 1999, in our darkest hour, when we were attacked by our erstwhile allies, when the whole world was silent, you gave us back hope.” He clearly rejected joining NATO. “Serbia will never enter NATO!” Furthermore: “We will not do to others what has been done to us. What we want is peace, justice, rule of law and freedom.”
Srđan Aleksić, lawyer, and Velimir Nedeljković, both from Niš, drew attention to the consequences of the contamination of Serbia with the use of extensive DU munitions (depleted uranium); this has verifiably led to significantly increased cancer rates in the affected areas. NATO itself had admitted the use of DU ammunition. So far, 18,000 people have died, the Italian courts have granted the compensation claims of the relatives of the 7,600 soldiers who were in active service at that time and of whom 450 have already died of cancer. Serbia ought to make this claim also. An international group of lawyers is about preparing a lawsuit against the NATO countries. An international prohibition of DU weapons must be demanded, also because of the environmental contamination (ecocide).
Greece South Africa
Great Britain Switzerland
EU and Nato countries surround Serbia.
Do you feel isolated, or do you think that the alternative front of Russia and China can provide you with the necessary environment for independence and development?
R. I am convinced that the best option for Serbia would be to maintain balanced relations with East and West, to stay open and neutral. To achieve this it is necessary to continue good neighborly relations and cooperation with EU and NATO and at the same time expand strategic cooperation with Russia, China and other countries of growing power. Having regard that Serbia never belonged to any military alliances such policy would respect both, Serbia’s historic experiences as well as the current profound changes in global relations.
What are the true objectives behind the opposition demos and riots against the government that exhibit an odd alliance between Left and Right?
Are there similarities with what happened in 2000-2001 (Otpor)?
R. I do not know of any coherent program or vision of the present Serbia’s opposition. Some of the opposition leaders had been the leaders of Otpor so similarities with the past are not surprising. Habits are like another nature. Other leaders are debris of the former DOS. So they are again talking about the new “agreement with the people”. But they are short of explaining what happened with such “agreement” they offered to the people in September 2000?! What are the goals they pursue breaking the other day central TV RTS just at the time when the nation mourns victims of the criminal NATO aggression 20 years ago, when Serbia is exposed to new round of pressures to legally recognize the theft of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija in exchange for the promise of EU membership sometime after 2030!
We are living in an age where globalization, militarization, authoritarian finanzcapitalism are attacking the very concept of the nations’ sovereignty and self-determination and are breaking all norms and treaties of international law.
What does our future look like and are there forces to oppose this process?
R. Our future is uncertain with many risks including the danger of global conflict. “Holy trinity” of liberal corporative capitalism, uni-polar strategy of domination and NATO as their military feast is the main source of threats to peace and stability. As of NATO 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia military reasoning in decision making process has taken over all spheres of political, economic and social life. In EU, for instance, complete civilian infrastructures like railways, highways, bridges, airports has in the future to meet military standards. Member countries are also to enlist corporations “of interest to the national security” which may not be sold on the free market. Adding to this the complete disregard to the international treaties, new arms race, including nuclear, mushrooming of foreign military bases, particularly in the “new Europe” region, we get more than enough reasons to wary and ask ourselves where we are heading to? New world order based on multi-polarity opens the space for democratization of international relations, partnership and win win cooperation. Forces of peace should educate themselves, strengthen and unite in order to be able to stop globalization of wars, exploitation and poverty. Independent mass media and new ones should support these goals and efforts.
Kosovo-Metohjia and Great Albania: a new threat within the Balkans and the West.
How to face it?
R. Kosovo and Metohija issue can be resolved only respecting the basic principles of the international law. UN Security Council’s resolution 1244 (1999) provides guaranties for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, being the legal successor of Yugoslavia, and essential autonomy for the Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia. Pressuring and even blackmailing Serbia by the West to legitimize theft of the state territory would lead to amassing the conflict potential with unpredictable consequences. This problem cannot be resolved if approached only from geopolitical interest of the leading western countries, in the framework of the strategy of “expansion to the East”. For the balanced equitable and sustainable solution the negotiating process must include also Russia and China, i.e. all UN SC permanent members. Let us not forget that there are many “Kosovos” in awaiting line on the Euro-Asian continent. Have we forgotten how1938 Munich agreement about Sudeten had saved peace?
=== 3 ===
NATO’S SHAMFUL LEGACY
Interview with Zivadin Jovanovic, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of FR of Yugoslavia (1998-2000), President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, President of Silk Road Connectivity Research Center, Serbia
Q. Remembering the 1999's bombing over Belgrad, some days ago Serbian president Vucic stressed that Serbia isn't going to join NATO. How do you comment it?
Q. How do you describe the legacy of Atlantic Alliance's bombing over former-Yugoslavia?
R. It is shameful legacy of illegality, manipulations, destruction and killing innocent people. From defensive NATO became aggressive alliance, braking UN Charter, Helsinki Final Document, Founding Act (1949), member countries’ national constitutions, the role of UN SC. But it is also shameful for member countries which participated in the 1999 illegal aggression. This profound stein on their faces could be removed only by reevaluating immoral and disastrous Clinton/Albright/Blair policy which led to the criminal aggression. NATO aggression was not a “little Kosovo war” but a turning point in the global relations, it was decisive step towards destruction of the World Order established on the outcome of the Second WW.
What has followed after were - more wars, millions of killed, wounded and refugees, more military bases, frightening global and national divisions, mistrust, confrontations, spreading of terrorism and separatism – uncertain future of the civilization. Is this what we have expected and hoped for after the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Twenty years after the most, if not the whole of the Balkan, is composed of many puppet states servicing NATO and western multinational corporations. The nations are more divided, the region underdeveloped and full of tensions. What use to be state or socially owned commerce, industry, banks, food production, services – in the course of criminal privatization became property of the western multinational corporations and few national tycoons. From the year 2000. about 40 billion of USD have been sucked from Serbia only by the western banks. Hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons still live in misery in central Serbia without chances for free and safe return to their homes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo and Metohija. This is the real face of the western democracy and humanism.
R. Perspectives for the balanced, just and sustainable solution will be real only if the West recognizes own mistakes such as decades long support, financing, training and arming separatist and terrorist groups in Kosovo and Metohija. Who can claim, for instance, that Germany’s two decades long hospitality and support to the “Kosovo Government in exile” of Buiar Bukoshi (1980-2000) was the policy of legally based relations, peace and stability!? Or, could there be proclamation of illegal secession in 2008, if there wasn’t 1999 NATO aggression, in alliance with the terrorist KLA and subsequent occupation of this Serbia’s province?
To secure peaceful and lasting solution it is necessary to respect the basic principles of the international law, UN Charter, Helsinki Final Document and UN SC resolution 1244 (1999). This decision approved by all permanent UN SC members (USA, Russia, China, GB, France) guaranties wide autonomy for the Province within sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia. It authorizes also return to the Province of agreed contingents of Serbia’s military and police, free and safe return of all refugees and displaced persons, including about 250.000 of Serbs and other non-Albanians to their homes. None of these provisions have been complied with, as yet.
The problem is that the western powers (NATO) have been trying to impose a “deal” according to which Serbia would recognize illegal unilateral secession and membership of Kosovo to the United Nations, now, in exchange for the promises to become EU member sometime in the future. This is shortsighted, mercantilist reasoning disregarding any principles, laws or UN SC decisions. Put aside misreading of the global trends and changes. What the leading western powers are interested in is “solution” tailored to please their geopolitical interests - expansion toward East and confrontation with Russia and China.
Germany and France, expect also that Serbia pays for a return of the EU unity on Kosovo. The reasoning behind is that once they persuade Serbia to sign “comprehensive legally binding document” then illegal and unilateral secession would become virtually legal. Subsequently the five EU member states presently opposing recognition (Spain, Slovakia, Rumania, Greece and Cyprus) would be relieved of the fear of the precedent. Of course, those hopes are in vain. Not only that Serbia will not enter dishonest “deal”, but I should like to see Serbia’s diplomacy working hard to further expand the number of EU member countries which would withdraw their hastily recognitions undertaken on Washington’s “advice”, contrary to the international law, peace and stability in Europe.
Q. What is your opinion on the Brussels negotiations on Kosovo under EU umbrella?
The Brussels format of negotiations on Kosovo and Metohija is inappropriate formula without chances to deliver balanced and sustainable solution. It is so because the Brussels process includes only countries and integrations which continuously supported secession and terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija, even by military aggression, and excludes all countries and organizations including UN, which support sovereignty and integrity of Serbia as well as compliance with the norms of international law.
Russia and China which participated actively in ending NATO aggression and in adopting UN SC resolution 1244 in 1999 cannot be excluded from its implementation. Is there anybody believing that they are less relevant international factors 2019 than in 1999?
As for “Kosovo precedent”, it has been already working. Catalonia is just the most visible proof. The others are “in the pipe” awaiting their turn. Even blackmailed Serbia couldn’t stop this!
Q. With a new name – north – Macedonia is joining the Atlantic Alliance. Which effects this fact is going to produce over the Balkan area?
R. Everybody should be free to choose own options – alliances or neutrality. Having regard to separatist tendency and ideas for creation of Greater Albania, I suppose, the Government in Skopje is hoping that formal membership in NATO will guarantee sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. There is also expectation that this may help in getting sooner EU membership.
Serbia maintains the policy of openness, good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation with the North Macedonia. Overall relations are traditionally good, supported from both sides and I believe that this will continue after the country formally becomes NATO member. Newly elected president Stevo Pendarovski and Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic have just exchanged messages expressing their support for further strengthening of good neighborly relations.
Q. How doctrines and groups close to radical Islam influence the region's equilibrium?
R. The Muslim radicalism in the Balkans is a part of the heritage of the civil war in Bosnia and Hercegovina (1992-5). In that period some western power centers which supported Muslim side had organized, armed and brought from the Middle East, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Africa and other places, thousands of mujahidin to strengthen forces of Alija Izetbegovic. Many of them not only remained in the region afterwards but have been actively engaged in spreading extremist indoctrination and zones of sherya law, up to present days. Thus places like Gornja Maoca, Stijena and some others in Bosnia and Herzegovina are controlled by wahhabists. Extremism financed from outside, is growing. Kosovo and Metohija and Bosnia and Herzegovina are the places of recruitment of hundreds of ISIS mujahidin.
Q. As Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina shows itself as one of the most problematic point of whole Balkan area. What's about the perspectives that regard it? Does the possibility of a new conflict exist?
- Perspectives of the peace and stability in the Balkans are closely related to the processes Europe and global changes. Europe is divided on many lines and caught in confrontation. Terrorism is continuously affecting everyday life. There are more foreign military bases and armament in Europe now then at the time of cold war confrontation. Geopolitical games and the struggle for spheres of influence are being intensified not only on the global level but within western alliances, too. All this is negatively affecting the Balkans still far from recovery of the recent conflicts. Naturally, that growing tensions, extremisms, revival of neo-fascism, revision of history, double standard policy cause uncertainty and fear of new conflicts.
In such conditions, Albanian separatism and concept of Greater Albania supported from certain power centers are the main source of instability and uncertainty in the Balkans. The other source is enlargement of the Muslim extremism particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also in other Balkan countries and regions including in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. According to the mass media reports, a lot of money from certain Gulf countries is being invested in the spreading and strengthening of vahhabi movement. The problem of massive migration from the Middle East and North Africa is also being exploited for the growth of extremism. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the basic problem is to revise the Dayton Peace Agreement (1995) guaranteeing constitutional order based on the equality of the two entities – Republic of Srpska and Federation of B&H, i.e. three constituent peoples – Serbs, Bosniaks (Muslims) and Croats. There is quite clear intention of the western power centers to establish unitary state dominated by the Bosniaks in spite of the fact that the Alija Izetbegovic’s attempt to impose Bosniaks domination was the cause of the bloody civil war 1992-1995.
To be able to approach the Balkans in a normal, objective and balanced way, to be able to act efficiently and constructively Europe needs to undergo open and profound re-examination of own policy in the whole period from the fall of the Berlin Wall up to present days, including involvement in so called Yugoslav crisis (1991-95), NATO aggression on Yugoslavia (1999) and hasty recognition of Kosovo in 2008.
- How Russia and China actually influence the Balkans?
R. Serbia has long tradition of close and friendly relations with both Russia and China. Profound mutual respect and trust led to signing formal documents on strategic relations with them. Not only that those two global powers, permanent members of UN SC never in history waged war against Serbia, but always have supported and helped her whenever she was threatened, attacked, isolated or under sanctions. Such a rare positive heritage, devotion to peace and openness plays very important role in expanding and strengthening comprehensive win win cooperation.
Russia and China respect Serbia as an important partner from this part of Europe, they never meddle in internal affairs nor do they advance any political conditionality to our cooperation. It is of paramount importance that Russia and China support Serbia in preserving her sovereignty and territorial integrity while the western partners exert enormous pressure on Serbia to recognize illegal secession of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija, secession which would have never be proclaimed if it were not for 1999 NATO aggression and subsequent occupation.
Concerning economic cooperation, Russia is the principal and steady Serbian partner in energy sector (gas, oil, hydro), in modernization of infrastructure and nuclear energy implementation for peaceful purposes. Russia is very important importer of fruits and food products in general, from Serbia.. Cooperation of defense sectors is being also improved. Customs and visas have been abolished. Serbia is not participating in USA/EU sanctions against Russia which are unjust and counterproductive.
Serbia’s economic cooperation with China is growing in the most dynamic way comprising industry (steel, cupper, tiers), infrastructure (high speed railway Belgrade-Budapest), energy (Kostolac), mining (Majdanpek, Bor), finance, tourism, high-tech. Serbia is among the first countries which joined the global Belt and Road Initiative launched by the President Xi Jinping in 2013 and among the most active members of China+17CEEC cooperation format. The total Chinese financial involvement in economic development in Serbia amounts to about 10 billion USD.
Therefore, Russia’s and China’s contribution to the Balkan region, both economically and politically is positive, development and peace oriented, based on mutual interests and with good perspectives.
- What's the role that Italy might play in the region?
As highly developed European, Mediterranean and Adriatic country, Italy has traditionally been important partner of Serbia and the region. Italy possesses very rich experience and knowledge of the region’s developments needs potential and problems. That’s why Italy can efficiently renew and expand cooperation with Serbia especially investments in industry, medium and small enterprises, transfer of new technology. They can join hands or be bridges to each other in cooperation with third countries and integrations. Now that Italy has formally joined the Belt and Road Initiative it may be of mutual interest to exchange ideas and experiences in order to promote and exploit new development opportunities that the Initiative offers not only to themselves but to Europe as a whole, how to remove possible geopolitical miss-readings and reservations here and there.
As one of the leading members of EU, G-7, G-20 and so called “Quinta”, Italy can help to drawing right lessons from the past, to better understanding of the complicity of the situation in the Balkans, particularly of the growing dangers of separatism, redrawing internationally recognized borders as of 1999, terrorism and Islamic extremism. Sleep-walking, late awaking up, repetition of voluntary mistakes or erroneous addressing of the causes, once again, may become fatal. Not for the Balkan only.
How the growing conflict between U.S. And German can affect the region with its impact?
R. The problem is wider than USA/Germany actual relations. Majority of the world has not only accepted multi-polarity but is actively working for the democratization of the international relations, for the new world order based on the sovereign equality of all countries. Some western powers verbally agree that the world has become multi-polar, but in reality, they continue practicing pyramidal domination. Finally, some power centers not ready to accommodate and share privileges look like preparing themselves to use military power, including even nuclear, in order to stop the global trends and new inclusive, democratic world order.
In my opinion, Europe, Germany including, has over long period obediently followed policies of the former USA administrations. Participation in the NATO 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia was colossal mistake. Ever since then, Europe has been falling deeper down loosing identity and self-respect. It is not surprising that Washington now openly threatens to sanction everybody who is involved in construction of gas pipelines North Stream 2, or South Stream. Or, Washington expands trade with Russia while at the same time Europe keeps USA introduced sanctions against Russia!
Concerning geopolitical competing between Germany and USA it has never been good for the peoples or for the peace of the Balkan. Supporting terrorism and separatism, playing with them for geopolitical advantages of either side has been tragic for Serbia, sewing divisions and instability in Europe and beyond. Instead, I propose extended partnership and cooperation in resolving the consequences of the past. First of all in resolving open issue of the status of the Province of Kosovo and Metohija in accordance with the basic principles of international law and based on UN SC resolution 1244. Partnership of Europe, USA, Russia, China and Serbia. None of these have any interest or obligation to continue on the tracks laid down by Clinton/Albright/Blair troika or accept their shameful heritage as of democracy and civilization.
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ДА ЛИ ЗАПАД ПРИПРЕМА НОВУ ВАТРУ НА БАЛКАНУ
среда, 22 мај 2019
Интервју портала www.beoforum.rs са Живадином Јовановићем
Питање: У понедељак, 27. маја 2019. одржаће се седница Народне скупштине посвећена решавању питања покрајине Косова и Метохије. Шта очекујете од те седнице?
Одговор: Питање статуса покрајине Косова и Метохије је најважније државно и национално питање. Зато је не само логично, већ и неопходно, да се таквим питањем Народна скупштина, као највиши орган власти – бави редовно.
Скупштина се одржава у време великих притисака водећих сила Запада да Србија призна нелегално отимање дела њене државне територије, да тиме на себе прихвати одговорност за све што се дешавало у време тероризма, оружане агресије, погрома 2004, илегалне сецесије 2008, све до данашњег дана, да амнестира одговорне за злочиначку оружану агресију НАТО 1999., да тиме плати и како би 5 чланице ЕУ (Шпанија, Словачка, Румунија, Грчка и Кипар) одустале од непризнавања тзв. Косова и наравно, да приложи жртву геополитици експанзије НАТО на Исток, на руске границе. Ово је уједно време глобалних промена у коме је изражен тренд смањивања моћи Запада и нарастања моћи Русије, Кине, Индије и других земаља, које се залажу за поштовање међународног права, Повеље и одлука УН, Завршног документа из Хелсинкија и које нису, нити ће признати илегално отцепљење Косова и Метохије. Видећемо да ли ће и на који начин Народна скупштина све то изразити у закључцима или декларацији на овој седници. Такође ћемо видети да ли ће бити нових оцена, ставова и иницијатива, или ће се Народна скупштина задржати на одобравању и прихватању досадашњих оцена, на одавању признања српским преговарачима и на изражавању подршке да се тако настави и у периоду пред нама.
Питање: Шта би, по Вашем мишљењу требало да нађе места у евентуалним закључцима или декларацији Народне скупштине?
Одговор: Прво, мишљења сам да би требало јасано и одлучно одбити све притиске и уцене према Србији, а афирмисати принципијелну позицију да је Србија привржена мирном, уравнотеженом, праведном и одрживом решењу статуса Косова и Метохије у складу са основним принципима Повеље ОУН и Завршног документа ОЕБС-а из Хелсинкија, а у оквирима Резолуција СБ УН 1244 (1999.) и Устава и да је спремна да на тим основама настави преговоре.
Друго, ваља донети одклуке о поништавању свих противзаконитих и против уставних одлука усвојених последњих месеци и седмица у привременим институцијама у Приштини. Остати само на вербалним осудама није довољно. Неопходна је доследност у одбрани принципијелне позиције Србије као државе.
Треће, ваља оценити да досадашњи ток преговора уз посредовање ЕУ није дао очекиване резултате и то пре свега, због слабости ЕУ. То произилази из чињенице да је Србија извршила све своје обавезе из тзв. Бриселског споразума (2013.), а да Приштина која према том споразуму има једну једину обавезу, формирање заједнице српских оптшине са извршним овлашћењима, није извршила нити показује спремност да изврши. ЕУ испољава немоћ да обезбеди спровођење Приштине. Таква ситуација подрива
поверење у било какве гаранције у будућности. ЕУ као посредник није показала ни неутралност, ни ефикасност, што отвара питање њеног капацитета да успешно изврши посредничку улогу. Еулекс је био механизам за стварање и организовање нове албанске државе на делу српске државне територије.
Четврто, треба одбити све притиске за журбу или орочавање преговарачког процеса или његовог везивања за изборне циклусе и трајање мандата у ЕУ, САД, Србији или другде.
Пето, Србија треба јасно да затражи пуно поштовање резолуције СБ УН 1244 и извршавање свих неизвршених обавеза према Србији као што су остваривање права 250.000 протераних Срба и других неалбанаца да се слободно, безбедно и достојанствено врате у своје домове и на своја имања, враћање договорнених контигента српске војске и полиције за функције наведене у резолуцији, гарамтпвање безбедносног окружења и слчопбоде кретња и друге.
И шесто, неопходно је озбиљно упозорење на опасност концепта стварања «Велике Албаније» коју интензивно заговарају лидери из Тиране и Приштине подстакнути из западних центара моћи. Концепт «Велике Албаније» представља све већи извор тензија и опасности по мир и безбедност на Балкану.
Питање: Шта мислите о потезима Приштине, као што су увођење таксе од 100%, формирање војске, изгласавање платформе, оптужбе Србије за наводни геноцид, тражење „ратне штете“, узурпација Трепче и др.?
Одговор: Не постоје никакви, „потези Приштине“. Све су то потези Запада, „квинте“, или центара моћи тзв. дубоке државе у САД који откривају њихову геополитику експанзије и доминације. Ни изјаве лидера из Тиране о националном уједињењу свих Албанаца, ни изјаве пресвучених вођа бивше терористичке ОВК из Приштине да ће стићи до Ниша, ни изјаве Албанаца- општинских челника са југа Србије да ће тражити „присаједињење Косову“, ништа од тога не иде у јавност без подстицаја са Запада. Све је то има један циљ – запретити Србији да мора признати отимање Косова и Метохије и исцртавање нових граница на Балкану, без обзира што је то супротно Повељи ОУН, Завршном документи из Хелсинкија, Резолуцији СБ 1244 и међунродним уговорима. Ради се о настојањима да се од Србије изнуди оно што им није пошло за руком да добију у Рамбујеу, нити касније. Свакодневно очигледно гомилање конфликтног потенцијала указује да Запад прети новом ватром на Балкану. Ова игра утолико је опаснија што се не схвата да су услови у Европи и свету данас суштински другачији, него пре 20 или 30 година. Потпаљивање нове ватре на Балкану данас било би много теже ограничити и локализовати, него пре 20, 30 година.
Све то стваља пред Србију, српску политику и дипломатију вома озбиљне задатке. Уместо што се релативизује значај Резолуције СБ УН 1244, неопходно је реафирмисати њен значај као трајног документа. Ако
Запад полази од тога да је питање статуса Косова и Метохије решено њиховим признавањем илегалног отцепљења, Србија би требало да фирмише свој став да је и за Србију питање статуса Јужне покрајине решено њеним Уставом и Резолуцијом СБ УН 1244, као суштинске аутономије у оквиру Србије. Преговорима треба тај статус разрадити и конкретизовати. Али статус покрајине као суштинске аутономија, у оквиру Србије, не може се изменити осим евентуално новом одлуком СБ УН. Међутим, одлука СБ УН којом би се одустало од Резолуције 1244 и којом би се нарушио уставни поредак Србије – не може бити у интересу Србије, нити би такву промену прихватиле Русија, Кина, Индија и др. земље. Треба имати у виду да та подршка Србији, иако пријатељска, представља национални и државни интерес тих земаља, а не само пријатељство према Србији.
Србија није за замрзнути конфликт. Србија је за мирно, уравнотежено и одрживо решење, преговрима. Конфликт на Косову је замрзао Запад у часу када је Србија извршила све своје обавезе из Резолуције СБ УН 1244, а када је дошло на ред да и други, укључујћи тзв. међународну заједицу, ЕУ, и лидере Албанаца са Косова изврше своје обавезе.