Otto von Bismarck, the architect and first chancellor of the German Empire wrote at the end of his political career in 1890 that the Balkans would always remain the powder keg for Europe, and that only one little match on the territory of one of the Balkan countries could result in an incredible war, the consequences of which would be very hard to imagine. PRAVDA.Ru correspondent talked to Sergey Baburin, the chairman of the party of the national revival “People’s Will,” about the current situation in the Balkans, about the reasons of the Yugoslavian crisis.
Mr.Baburin, what do you think was the character of the latest war in the Balkans? Was it an economic, political or ethnic conflict?
A conflict cannot be described as an ethnic, political, or economic contradiction. But at the same time we have to say that the national conscience of all those nations of the Balkans was prevailing, since they were attaching their certain territories to their history and culture. For example, the town of Ohrid and Lake Ohrid, which is considered to be the pride of Macedonia. Bulgarians think that Ohrid is their town, that it is the ancient capital of Bulgaria. Greeks say that Macedonia is a part of Greece. Macedonia was one of Yugoslavia’s republics until 1991 and Serbs say that it is their constituent of their national body. Albanians are currently running for their own rights, since they are inhabiting Macedonia. There are a lot of such examples. The instability in the region has been like a constant political principle. Josip Broz Tito conducted a colossal social and political experiment, having started with the reconstruction of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. But he was right, when he said on his death bed that he would be the last of the Yugoslavs. I visited Kosovo in the middle of the 1990s – both before the NATO aggression and soon after it. I went there as the leader of the delegation after the deployment of Russian and NATO troops in Kosovo. I saw the situation that the last Serb leaders were in, the way that they were struggling for the stabilization of the region, for peace and consent. I can testify that reasonable Albanians were ready for the cooperation, they partook in the administration and paid for that with their lives, they became the first victims of Albanian extremists, they hated them even more than Serbs.
Was the affirmation of the Western propaganda regarding the oppression that Albanians suffered from a bluff or provocation?
The juridical situation is very transparent. International leaders of world’s largest, industrially developed states could not but pay attention to the fact that Yugoslavia (uniting Serbia and Montenegro) was actually the last country by the middle of 1990s, which was not in the line to join NATO or the European Union. This was unacceptable for the West. The economy of Yugoslavia was rather stable, that is why they chose another method of interference – the autonomy of Kosovo Albanians. Americans, French, British, Germans drew up a plan of Albanian’s autonomy and said to the Yugoslavian administration: “We are giving you the plan of the autonomy.” Milosevic reasonably said that it was their own internal affairs, that they Yugoslavia had its own Constitution, it orders and laws, he also reminded that there was the international principle of non-interference in internal affairs. The West cast this principle aside first and foremost, although it was not only Milosevic, who was approving the plan of the so-called autonomy of Kosovo Albanians, but also the Parliament of Yugoslavia, the leaders of Montenegro and Serbia. The second principle of the international right, non-use of force, was violated too. the West said: “If you don’t want to do the things as we told you, then we will bomb you. They set forth the ultimatum and then unleashed the war against the sovereign European state. NATO’s actions in the spring of 1999 can be called only as aggression from the point of view of objective international right. This was the undeclared war against independent Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, Russia was capable of a mediator’s role at that time – between the bandits and the victim – instead of defending the people and the country, which was suffering from aggression.
In other words, you believe that the position of the Russian ex-Premier Yevgeny Primakov, was the position of a guy, who got nothing to do with that, when he ordered to fly back to Russia on his way to America?
No, he did everything right from the political point of view. He showed that Russia was treating everything very seriously. Primakov partially saved Russia’s reputation with that decision of his. Then the Russian parliament released rather a harsh statement concerning the bombing of Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, the president and the Russian government acted as “peacemakers,” and ex-Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin simply gave up Russia’s position on the matter, betraying the unity between Russia and Serbia.
We know that there is always someone that gains profit from any conflict. Who do you think could do that in this case? Weapon is a requisite thing for any war, and there is always a customer and a buyer.
Unfortunately, we did not use the opportunity to sell weapons, this was a problem. We should have done that and I was standing together with the parliament, demanding Russia should sell the necessary weapon to Serbs for their own defense. Americans and their allies simply got rid of their old weapons with the help of Yugoslavia, they obtained an opportunity to rearm their army. That aggression had a huge economic goal too. Americans suspended the institution of euro for two years. they suspended the creation of the single European space. This was a very serious blow on the European integration. Americans achieved their goals, and their European allies failed to stand for their interests, realizing the real reasons of all that, they are smashing American dollar only now. Speaking about all the rest – the story is not over yet. Why Milosevic’s speeches in the Hague are banned to be broadcast? Because the European Council conducted a session after his historic speech in front of the Tribunal, and they came to conclusion that the youth was listening to Milosevic. Milosevic has already won, no matter what the end of this farce might be.
Sergey Baburin was interviewed by Ilya Tarasov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969