NATO has given its support to the peace plan presented by Yugoslavia for the Balkans, the plan which was rejected by the Albanian communities, as reported the day before yesterday by Pravda.ru. The Yugoslav peace plan, presented by Vice-Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic, involved a demilitarised zone along the Serbia/Kosovo border and a political solution to the question of Kosovo and Presevo, a region in southern Serbia which the Albanian faction UCPMB intends to bring under Albanian administration. NATO past and present has this week declared itself through Solana and Robertson. NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson expressed his support for the Yugoslav authorities, declaring the initiative “an important sign of the plans of the authorities in Belgrade...(it is) a peaceful and balanced solution”. He described Belgrade’s initiative as being “multi-ethnic, based on the principles of democracy and human rights”. Nice words. Lord Robertson, a Scot, declared recently that to call a Scot an Anglo-Saxon (English) was to risk having a fight. On a visit to Belgrade, Javier Solana declared this week: “ The time for political solutions has arrived and the time for war is over. Violence is not a solution”. That sounds good, coming from the ex-Secretary-General of NATO, the man behind the bombing and strafing of innocent civilians in sovereign national territory. The onus now appears to be on the Albanians to come to the table and negotiate. As everyone in the Balkans understands, and as NATO does not understand, the Albanians are as united as oil and water. As criminal gangs hijack political factions, what incentive is there to make peace while those who hold local power grow rich through conflict?
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart