Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals
March 19, 2023
NATO’s 1999 Aggression Against Yugoslavia: Turning Point
(Edited by RR)
This March 24th, the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, Generals and Admirals Association of Serbia, Veterans Association SUBNOR of Serbia and some other independent associations and think tanks, will mark the 24th anniversary of NATO’s aggression against Serbia and Montenegro (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), honoring heroes fallen in the defense of the country as well as all the victims of this illegal and criminal act.
As it is widely recognized, this aggression was undertaken in violation of the basic principles of international law, including a violation of the United Nations Charter, and without authorization of the UN Security Council (UNSC). Having determined that Yugoslavia was not a threat to any NATO member country, NATO leadership nevertheless violated even its own founding act, while NATO member countries violated their own constitutions insofar as they acted without the authorization of their respective parliaments.
At the NATO high level conference held April 2000 from April 20-30 in Bratislava, Slovakia, U.S. representatives confirmed explicitly to their allies and then-candidate allies, three important motives for the “war against Yugoslavia”: first, to take away Kosovo (and Metohija) from Serbia and make it a separate, independent state; second, to turn it into the Balkans base for U.S. troops; and, third, to establish a precedent for military interventions all around the world without seeking a UNSC mandate.
While it was falsely presented by NATOized mass media as “humanitarian intervention,” in fact it was a war of NATO/U.S. geo-political expansion towards the East, towards Russian borders, also setting the precedent for other aggression which followed—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria….The immediate establishment of the major U.S. military base Fort Bondsteel, near Urosevac, Kosovo and Metohija, was only the first in a long chain of the new U.S. military bases established in in Central and Eastern Europe in the interim—Bulgaria (3), Romania (3), Poland (several and more in the offing). [There are currently U.S. and NATO air, missile defense, infantry, naval, cyber warfare, training and other bases and facilities in Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia among new NATO member and candidate nations — RR.]
Thus NATO did not only wage the first war on European soil [since World War II] but at the same time gave extraordinary impetus to the process of intensive militarization of the Old Continent, the entire European continent. All member countries are obliged to spend at least 2% of their GDP on military spending, to adapt civilian infrastructure to the new military requirements, to limit the sale of major companies to prospective investors only from EU and NATO member states (“for security reasons”), not to import new technologies from “unreliable suppliers” (e.g., 5G), not to buy gas and oil from those who use them “to undermine security of Europe.”
Missiles, including those with depleted uranium, and cluster bombs fell on Serbia and Montenegro, killing their citizens and destroying their economies. Serbia is still attempting to recover from immense economic and social losses. Belgrade and other major cities, even in their very centers, still continue to live with ruins and debris of government and other buildings bombed by NATO. And at the same time, NATO 1999’s aggression against Serbia and Montenegro (FRY) had destroyed the whole security and cooperation architecture of Europe and the world, annulling Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam, Helsinki and other agreements and pillars of the post-Second World War order, thus ushering in disorder, insecurity, even chaos.
The NATO aggression ended with UNSC Resolution 1244 (1999), guaranteeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of FRY (Serbia) and substantial autonomy for the province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia. The aggression, however, has continued ever since by other means. The objective to take away the autonomous province of Kosovo from Serbia is now being conducted within a new framework. While the province had been under UN mandate and Kosovo Force (KFOR) occupation, mostly composed of NATO troops empowered to guarantee equal security for all, about 250,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians were purged, their homes burnt and lands and properties confiscated and usurped. In 2008, the former leadership of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) proclaimed unilateral secession. NATO and European Union countries, with the exception of Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Greece and Cyprus, were among the first to recognize the secession, fully aware that it was contrary to international law, to UNSC Resolution 1244 and Serbia`s constitution.
Lately, Serbia is under unprecedented pressure from the U.S./NATO/EU not to oppose Kosovo`s membership in international organizations, including the UN, to establish good-neighborly relations based on equality and mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, to mutually recognize state and national symbols and to establish quasi-diplomatic relations. Under the guise of “normalization of relations,” the West, led by the U.S., seeks in fact to oblige Serbia to de facto recognize a new state of Kosovo resulting from the NATO aggression of 1999. Promises of membership in the EU as well as promises of investments and donations are being exploited to lure Serbia into recognizing the secession of a part of its own state territory, thus renouncing all rights based on international law, the UN Charter and UNSC guaranties as well as our own constitution. All these demands are contained in the so-called “Agreement on the path of normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia” presented to Serbia on February 27th, 2023 and confirmed on March 18, 2023, in Ohrid, Northern Macedonia, in the form of an, more or less, open ultimatum. Interestingly, this ultimatum, accompanied with the threats of economic, financial and other measures and restrictions in the case of non-compliance, will be confirmed by the European Council on March 24th, 2023, the date when exactly twenty-four years ago NATO started bombing Belgrade, Pristina and other cities all over Serbia.
What are real reasons for all this? To make Kosovo eligible to join NATO and even unite with Albania; to establish complete NATOization of the Balkans, encompassing Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; to eliminate Russian and Chinese influence in the Balkans; to remove the objection of five EU member states (four of them also NATO members, all but Cyprus) to the recognition of the unilateral secession of Kosovo, thus reestablishing unity within those alliances.
The NATO aggression against Serbia and Montenegro (FRY) in 1999, was the turning point in the transformation of the North Atlantic Alliance from a defensive to an aggressive one, of Europe partially autonomous to one in complete submission to the U.S. in pursuit of the globalization of interventionism and global confrontation with Russia and China. As it did appear at the time the summit of unipolar arrogance and U.S./NATO hegemony, it was a wake-up call to everybody who believes in a new democratic world order.
Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals,
March 19th, 2023