Serbian Interior Minister Calls NATO's 1999 Bombings 'Crime'

BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd July, 2021) NATO aggression against Serbia in 1999, unauthorized by the UN Security Council, was a crime meant to cover up the forcible separation of part of the country, Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Thursday.

The minister is on a working visit to Madrid where he held a meeting with his Spanish counterpart, Fernando Gomez, on Thursday. At a joint press conference, Vulin was asked whether he considered referendum an effective tool in addressing separatism.

"Without the UN Security Council's authorization, NATO committed an aggression against my country in 1999. The purpose was to justify the separation of a part of its territory. Nobody asked [us] about a referendum, they were just bombing us. I am sure that full abidance by international law is the only way to maintain peace," Vulin said responded.

The Serbian minister thanked the Spanish government for its consistent refusal to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo.

In 1999, the armed confrontation between the Kosovo Liberation Army, an ethnic-Albanian militia that had supported Kosovo's independence since the beginning of the decade, and the Serbian army and police led to NATO airstrikes against what was then Yugoslavia.

In March 2004, Albanian militants began a massive campaign of aggression against Serb communities despite the presence of NATO forces in the region, which resulted in the mass resettlement of Serbs from the autonomous region and the destruction of numerous historical and cultural monuments.

In February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Belgrade. Serbia and numerous other countries, including China, Russia, and Spain, have not recognized Kosovo's independence.