Prime minister Kostunica: Proclamation of phoney state on Serbia’s territory result of US policy of force

Војислав Коштуница

Belgrade, Feb 17, 2008 - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stressed that the unilateral declaration of the phoney state of Kosovo-Metohija today on Serbia's territory is unprecedented lawlessness which is the result of a destructive, cruel and immoral US policy of force.

The Serbian government website gives the Prime Minister's speech in full.

"Dear citizens of Serbia,

Today, on February 17, the phoney state of Kosovo has been declared on the part of Serbia's territory that is under the military control of NATO. This unprecedented lawlessness is the result of a destructive, cruel and immoral policy of force implemented by the US. This act says to the whole world that America places force above the UN Charter and is ready to willingly, unscrupulously and violently jeopardise international order for the sake of its own military interests.

Placing violence above the principles of international law, the US used reckless force, humiliated and forced the EU to break the very principles that the EU is based on. America forced Europe to follow it in unprecedented violence demonstrated against Serbia. Europe has lowered its head today and that is why it will be responsible for the far-reaching consequences that this violence will have on European and world order. This act has above all humiliated the EU, not Serbia. Serbia refused to be humiliated, firmly respecting the law and refusing to obey force.

The unilateral proclamation of the phoney state under the patronage of the US and the EU represents the final act of a policy of force that started with aggression and the insane bombardment of Serbia and then continued with the arrival of NATO troops in Kosovo-Metohija. Never before has the truth been clearer than it is today, on February 17, as to why Serbia was savagely destroyed with NATO bombs. The real foundations of the phoney state of Kosovo are the bombs that NATO used to destroy Serbia. This is why the real truth needs to be told, that behind this phoney state lie the military interests of NATO, which is also confirmed in Annex 11 of Ahtisaari's plan. Only in that way could this phoney state be created, and it will for ever remain phoney even if the Western countries sacrifice the entire world order and risk peace for its recognition.

The President of the US, who is responsible for this violence, and his European followers, will be noted in bold letters in Serbian history books, but also in the history of international law and world order that international law guarantees.

We well know how dangerous, cruel and reckless the policy of force implemented by the US is. Knowing that, Serbia has resolutely and once and for all annulled all decisions on the unilateral independence as well as all future acts pertaining to this illegal act. Serbia has also annulled the EU decision to illegally send its mission to the province, which was made as a result of Europe's lack of power. By this decision, the Serbian government established the basis for a Serbian state and national programme for Kosovo-Metohija following February 17.

Citizens of Serbia, the phoney state of an independent Kosovo on Serbia's territory does not and will never exist for Serbia. For Serbia, all Serbs and all citizens in the province who respect our state are Serbian citizens enjoying full rights. Therefore all the laws and institutions of the Republic of Serbia apply to them. As of today, we must show greater concern for and solidarity with our people in Kosovo-Metohija. All ministries have been directed to work and provide considerably better living conditions, help create new jobs and launch investments in the province. The state of Serbia will take the greatest possible care of each and every one of it's citizens in Kosovo-Metohija. And our ministers are with their people in the province today.

We point out that since the arrival of NATO troops in Kosovo-Metohija, many Serbs have been killed and exiled, whereas numerous houses, ancient monasteries and churches have been burnt down. Since NATO came, too much evil and violence has been inflicted upon Serbs. That is why by no means should there be new innocent victims, new exiles and new destruction in Kosovo. There was too much violence against Serbs and those who took on the responsibility for security in the province must absolutely fulfil their obligations.

I wish to once again repeat that Serbia is an old state, that the Serbian nation is an old European nation. Through our centuries-long state-building history as a nation, we experienced the evils that foreign force can impose. But throughout our history, we became even more convinced in the power of law and justice and the values of freedom. Law, justice and freedom will guide us until we get the province of Kosovo-Metohija back to where it belongs, the constitutional order of Serbia. And while the policy of force thinks it has triumphed today by creating a phoney state, millions of Serbs are thinking already of the day of freedom that must come. No one has ever managed to prevent the Serbian people from freeing themselves. All that we cannot do today, newer and better generations than us will do tomorrow. Kosovo is Serbia and it must always be like that.

Citizens of Serbia, together we must show the whole world that we oppose the breaking up of our state and that we do not accept the violent creation of a phoney state on our territory. By opposing the policy of violence that is being imposed on Serbia, we must be united and raise our voices as a sign of support to our compatriots and citizens in Kosovo-Metohija. Together the government and parliamentary parties will organise peaceful protests across Serbia as well as the first big protest in Belgrade. During these protests, our dignity must be above the force we are fighting against. We shall leave force to the violators, who, by using it, have disgraced themselves for all time; we shall show the power of law and justice and we shall show how much we love and respect freedom and free Serbia along with our Kosovo-Metohija. As long as the Serbian people exist, Kosovo remains Serbia."

Source: Official Web Site of the Serbian Government