What We Have Come To: Carla del Ponte Is Serbia’s Foreign Minister!

At the end of the previous week the Hague officially demanded extradition of Serbian President Milan Milutinovic. The Serbian authorities are even given the deadline for the extradition: January 12, 2003.

Milutinovic is accused of ethnic cleansing on the territory of Kosovo during escalation of the conflict between the Serbian army and Albanian militants in 1999. Earlier, the Serbian authorities declared that Milutinovic would be given up to the Hague tribunal as soon as his term of office expires. Meanwhile, Milutinovic enjoys immunity as the president of Serbia.

The other day Yugoslavia’s presidential aide for foreign policy Predrag Simic once again declared that “it is highly likely that when Milutinovic’s term of office expires, he will voluntarily appear before the Hague tribunal.”

In the words of Simic, Hague’s Prosecutor Carla del Ponte “shouldn’t insist that people accused of war crimes must be detained, as some of them think their duty is to appear before the tribunal voluntarily,” Radio Jugoslavija reports. Simic says that in this case “the necessity of forced detention of these people ceases to have significance.” Now the discussion hinges upon this fact.

In his turn, Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic openly declared in an interview to the Serbian newspaper Dnevnik that “none of the country’s foreign political strategic goals can be realized until Yugoslavia doesn’t cooperate with the Hague international tribunal on a wide scale, which also means delivery of all people accused of war crimes on the territory of former Yugoslavia.”

When the united Yugoslav republic broke up and new formations appeared on its territory, nobody seemed especially surprised with the fact that foreign policy of the former Yugoslav republics, including Serbia and Montenegro was getting more and more oriented toward the West, or NATO, to be more precise. However, nobody could even suppose that it would be done so openly and cynically (let’s take for instance the extradition of Slobodan Milosevic right the next day after it was prohibited by the Constitutional Court), and that Serbian authorities would give up even the slightest claim for realization of a nation-oriented, pro-Serbian policy. It is not ruled out that some day descendants in Yugoslavia will estimate the above mentioned interview by Svilanovic, and the whole policy of Prime Minister Zoran Zizic, at their true value. And Zizic and Co. will have to serve another term, this time not a presidential one. However, it may happen that there will be no need to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”: within the past years, the Serbian leadership resorts to the open propaganda methods and realizes the political line designed to surrender the country to foreign capital.

As for Serbia’s incorporation into the EU and the Council of Europe, Svilanovic says that it will take place after a new constitution of “a prospective union state of Serbia and Montenegro” is adopted and when relations between its subjects are harmonized.

At the time when Svilanovic considered better ways for establishment of cooperation with the international community and the Hague (with a view to please the chief lady of the Tribunal), Serbian vice-premier Nebojsa Covic discussed problems with a journalist from Belgrade’s Glas Javnosti.

Covic said that Yugoslavia was debarred from participation in the “Partnership for Peace” program and other European organizations and associations because of the delay with adoption of a new constitution of a prospective Serb-Montenegrin union. It was Covic who emphasized several times already that rightful NATO membership was the prospect of Serbia and Montenegro. “We had this opportunity but we missed it. We committed too many mistakes.”

What mistakes does Covic mean? This can hardly be the split of the united Yugoslav state and surrender of Kosovo to Albanian bandits. What are the present-day thoughts of ex-president of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic in the light of the recent high-flown declarations made by Serbian top officials and their curtseys toward the Tribunal? What does he think when he looks at the map of the Yugoslavian republic?

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/world/8988-milutinovic/

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