Saturday, May 28, 2022

“Serbia will not join NATO,” says Serbian President Vučić

“Serbia will not join NATO, the 1999 NATO bombing was an aggression on the country,” said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Serbia will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on April 3. As part of his campaign at the head of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, Vucic attended a campaign rally Saturday in the village of Busije, where refugees from the Serbian Krajina in Croatia live.

“Our opponents say we should join NATO. And my answer to them is we don’t have to join NATO because we have our own army that protects our land and sky. Not far from here they killed Milica Rakic (a 2.5-year-old girl who was killed in the bombing – ed.). Soon we will mark the anniversary of the aggression and we will not hesitate to call it aggression, not an intervention or a campaign,” the Serbian leader told the crowd.

In 1999, an armed confrontation between Albanian separatists from the Kosovo Liberation Army and Serbia’s army and police led to NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), then composed of Serbia and Montenegro.

The military operation was carried out without UN Security Council approval and on the basis of Western allegations that the FRY authorities had carried out ethnic cleansing in the Kosovo autonomy and provoked a humanitarian disaster there. NATO airstrikes lasted from March 24 to June 10, 1999 and caused more than 2,500 deaths, including 87 children, and $100 billion in damages.