German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says that the 1999 NATO bombing of then-Yugoslavia was the “right” move.
“I still believe that Germany’s participation [in NATO’s military operation] was caused by a responsible approach [to the situation]”, Maas told Germany’s newspaper Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
He added he believes that a military intervention always remains a “last resort” when it comes to defusing tensions.
“At the time, we witnessed massive violations of human rights, right up to mass killings. I think the NATO intervention was right. I do not want to know what else would have happened if this [interference] did not take place,” Maas stressed.
In 1999, NATO started Operation Allied Force on the territory of then-Yugoslavia under the pretext of stopping the killing of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Serbian authorities insist that about 2,500 people were killed and 12,500 more injured in NATO air strikes in 1999, which were conducted despite not being authorised by the UN.
It should be noted that in the light of the German foreign policy the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia may have really been a ‘right decision’. Then, the appearing EU bureaucracy, the US and Germany had a kind of joint interests reagarding the situation. At the same time, Russia of 1999 was not an influential player of in both European and global standoffs.
Another fact is the incoherent policy of Slobodan [dalliance with the US and its allies, a very limited support of Serbs in nearby enclaves etc] Milosevic undermined the power of Yugoslavia and set conditions for a possible foreign intervention.
In the current situation, appearance of a strong Balkan state is out of the interests of the US and its allies. Taking into account that such a state can be created only around the Serbian core, it’s easy to explain constant attempts to eliminate the Serbian culture and national pride as well as the ongoing pressure on Serbia as a national state.