NATO’s first act of illegal “humanitarian” aggressive war called “Operation Deliberate Force” in 1995 against the Republic Srpska which it got away with and emboldened it to later carry out “Operation Allied Force”, the merciless brutal air campaign against civilian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The fact that NATO was allowed to get away with these acts of aggressive war and that the US/NATO architects were allowed to carry out such scenarios emboldened the “alliance” even further and has led to the recent global expansion by NATO and the scores of “regime change” and “resource wars” presented as “humanitarian interventions”.
The scenario is almost identical every time and is currently being played out in Ukraine. On the 15 year anniversary of the aggression on Yugoslavia, in an exclusive interview, the Voice of Russia spoke to the last Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Živadin Jovanović.
This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Živadin Jovanović. He is the former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia and the Chairman of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals. This is part 1 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: Hello Sir! How are you this evening?
Jovanović: Fine, John. I’m glad to be able to talk for the Voice of Russia.
Robles: Thank you! And it is a pleasure for me to speaking with you. I’ve read a lot of your work. Given your background as the Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslavia, you were the Foreign Minister during the upheavals and the foreign-initiated revolutions that destroyed the country, can you tell us a little bit about the histories, maybe, something we don’t know about and give us your views on what is happening now in Ukraine and in Bosnia etc?
Jovanović: Well, I would like to recall that the Dayton Peace Agreement about peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina was reached in 1995 and the key figure in reaching the peace in Bosnia was Slobodan Milosevic, at the time President of the Republic of Serbia and later on the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
I would like to say that his role was widely recognized, at that time, as a peace-maker in the Balkans. And indeed, no one of the other leaders of the former Yugoslav Republics did contribute to reaching peace in the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as Slobodan Milosevic did. This was repeatedly stated at the Paris Conference which formally marks the signing of the peace agreement and he was hailed by the presidents of the US, of France and many other countries.
But we know now that in Dayton Americans wanted also to discuss the problem of the Serbian southern province of Kosovo and Metohija. And they wanted to include this into the Dayton Negotiations agenda. Slobodan Milosevic and the Yugoslav delegation decisively refused this, even saying that if the Americans want to discuss the internal issue of Yugoslavia, of Serbia, at an international forum, they would not take part in such an exercise.
So, faced with this refusal of Slobodan Milosevic, Americans, first of all, Richard Holbrook (the then State Secretary) and the other officials of the US accepted to discuss only how to reach the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the peace was really reached in Dayton.
But later on they needed Milosevic in the process of implementing the Dayton peace agreement. Many conferences, many meetings were held all over Europe: in Geneva, in Rome, in Berlin and various other capitals and in Moscow too, as to how secure the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.
All this time Yugoslavia and President Milosevic were needed as a key peace factor. Without Yugoslavia and President Milosevic nobody could imagine reaching the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. But this was also a period when Yugoslavia was freed from UN sanctions, which were based on accusations that Yugoslavia was committing aggression in the Bosnian civil war.
The sanctions were adopted at the Security Council in May 1992 and they lasted until 1995 when the Dayton Peace Agreement was reached. They were afterwards abolished, first suspended and then, finally, abolished. But the USA did not abolish its own sanctions, the so-called “outer wall” of sanctions. That means that the Americans did not allow Yugoslavia to renew its membership in OSCE, in the UN, position in the World Bank, in IMF and many other international organizations.
They kept these tools for the reason that they had other plans. And they didn’t actually forget that Milosevic was not willing to allow treatment of the internal issue of Kosovo and Metohija on the international scene.
So, after the stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina was settled, after Milosevic was not needed any longer to cooperate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, they opened the problem of Kosovo and Metohija.
Well, they not only opened, but they were financing, training and organizing terrorist organization: the so-called KLA. It was not actually only the US who did it, but the American European allies, like Germany, like Great Britain and some other countries were very cooperative in supporting separatist movements and the terrorist organization of KLA in Kosovo and Metohija.
So, they were bringing up this internal problem of Serbia in various international forums and they were actually provoking clashes on the territory of Serbia. Many policemen, many teachers, many soldiers and many Serbian public workers were killed in 1997-1998. And so in 1998 the government did not have any other possibility than to confront the rising terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija.
At that time the US started to initiate negotiations with Milosevic. Richard Holbrook was leading negotiations, there were rounds and rounds of negotiations. All the time it was clearly seen that Americans are siding and propping up separatism in Kosovo and Metohija, and squeezing Serbia, squeezing Milosevic to accept various conditions that in principle were not acceptable.
So, in June 1998 the American administration actually recognized the terrorist organization called KLA as a “liberation” organization. And we have a witness in British Colonel John Crosland, who was the British military attaché in Belgrade who gave a written a testimony to the Hague Tribunal stating, among other things, that in June 1998 President Clinton, Richard Holbrook and Madeline Albright decided to overthrow Milosevic and they considered that the KLA (terrorist KLA organization) in Kosovo could be a “tool” in achieving this objective.
John Crosland said:
“From that moment onwards it was absolutely irrelevant what we thought about KLA, whether it was a terrorist or a liberation organization, because “the center of power” decided it was an ally.”
This organization later on, during military NATO aggression against Yugoslavia which started March 24rth 1999, became a ground force of NATO. NATO was in the air and KLA was on the ground.
So, we actually see a certain period of preparation of this aggression. First stage o preparations had objective to stigmatize President Milosevic and the Government of Yugoslavia as intolerant, authoritarian, uncooperative and unpredictable. The whole network of western propaganda, of NATO propaganda, was repeating accusa\tions of the State Department and of the Foreign Office in London. The stigmatization was the first stage of preparing the European and international public for what was to follow later – for the war.
Then, they staged the so-called massacre of Albanian civilians in Račak, in Kosovo and Metohija. In Račak there was a security action of the security forces of Yugoslavia against units of KLA. And it was announced to the OSCE and to the so-called “international community” that there will be a security operation against the terrorist organization.
And everybody in place, in Kosovo and Metohija and from the international community were informed. And some of them really did observe, some of them even filmed the operation. It was a legitimate operation of the government forces against terrorism.
But nevertheless, the American Ambassador Walker who was in charge of the OSCE mission in Kosovo and Metohija proclaimed: “It was a massacre of civilians!”
This was like a triggering moment for NATO to take action. And this is a detail which was to be repeated in many ways later on.
Before that we had, in Bosnia, the so-called Markale incident when civilians queuing in front of a bakery were bombed and killed and accusations were immediately directed at the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while today we have even the military from the former Muslim side and Izetbegović’s side, and Russian experts and other experts from the UN claiming that there was no proof of the Serbian side being involved in that. Everybody says that Muslims had provoked this massacre themselves in order to attribute it to the Serbian “enemy”.
We have in Syria, you know, about the Sarin gas and so on.
Robles: If we could, before we get too far along here, because I have a lot of questions, because this is the exact same thing that they’ve done in Libya, in Syria, in Ukraine, now in Bosnia they are trying to do it again, in Egypt… Every country they want to overthrow they do the same thing. They’ll support any terrorist. In Ukraine they are supporting neo-Nazis. It doesn’t matter, as long as they can overthrow the government. In the Middle East they are supporting Al-Qaeda. In Libya, in Syria it is Al-Qaeda terrorists. I agree with you 100%. I’d like to ask you some questions. If you could, give me some more details about… you were the Foreign Minister, you knew what was going on: why and when exactly did they start talking about Kosovo? That appears to be their initial goal – Kosovo – from the beginning.
Robles: Why is that?
Jovanović: Well, I always claimed from the very beginning, it was not for regional or local objectives. It was a matter of geopolitical objectives of the US and of the leading NATO countries.
Recently at one conference in Germany I was asked: “What were the geopolitical reasons for the aggression of NATO on Kosovo?”
I said: “Well it is first of all the realization of the policy of expansion of NATO towards the east. The objective was to make a base for further military expansion towards the Russian borders.”
I was even blunt to say that they want to get closer to the resources of Siberia, to the resources of the Middle East, to the Caspian Basin and so on and so forth.
And the people who asked me the question were quite silent after that, they didn’t have any other comments. I think everybody realized that we completely understand the essence of the American strategy.
The American strategy has been tabled in April 2000 at the NATO summit in Bratislava. We have a written document of the renown German politician Willy Wimmer, who was present at that NATO summit, in the form of his report to the then Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Willy Wimmer among other things in his report quotes that the American strategist informed the NATO allies in Bratislava in April 2000 that the NATO strategy is to establish a similar situation in Europe as it was in times when the Roman Empire was at the peak of its might.
So, they said, from the Baltic to Anatolia, in Turkey, there should be the same situation as in the era of the Roman Empire. And they quoted some concrete examples. They said Poland should be surrounded by friendly countries, Bulgaria and Romania should be a bridge towards Asia, and Serbia should be permanently kept out of European development.
So, we see that conquering Kosovo was a starting point of a US/NATO/EU expansion towards the East. In 1999, exactly 15 years ago the Americans established their military base Bondsteel, which by many political analysts is considered to be the largest American military base in the world outside of the American territory.
Robles: Yet it is!
Jovanović: And if we presume that it is the largest or one of the largest, the question is why it should be based in Kosovo, when Kosovo and Serbia are so small, so tiny places. And there is no explanation from a regional point of view.
This is part 1 of an interview with Živadin Jovanović. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.