Germany’s new ambassador to Serbia, Anke Konrad, continued the now ritual practice of super-powers’ diplomats in Belgrade of taking positions that contradict those of Serbia as soon as their credentials are accepted.
Konrad’s statement that ‘a terrible humanitarian disaster occurred in Kosovo in 1999 with massive human rights violations’ was heard as soon as the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, received his credentials.
When asked how she had interpreted the message from the President of Serbia to the UN General Assembly that many countries referring to the UN Charter in the case of Ukraine had violated it when it came to Serbia, and whether there were double standards, Konrad replied that those two cases had completely different starting points.
“Since 24 February, Russia has massively violated the UN Charter and declared war on a nation of over 40 million people that did not threaten Russia in any way. The situation in 1998 and 1999 was completely different. It was unequivocally established that the situation in Kosovo posed a serious threat to peace and security in the region, which was accompanied by a terrible humanitarian disaster and massive human rights violations. After long and intensive diplomatic efforts, the NATO operation was the only way left, the last resort, if you will, after the international community had unsuccessfully exhausted all available means for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the prevention of a humanitarian disaster,’ Konrad said in an interview for Politika daily.
At the same time, the former Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Belgrade from 2007 to 2010, Jennifer Brash, stated that the EU does not ask for much and has not received much from Serbia, including acknowledgement of responsibility for the wars of the 1990s, and that “all US ambassadors were disappointed with Vučić”.
Reacting to this statement, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said that the time had passed when ambassadors had to be happy with the President and the Serbian government. ‘Your statement is an indication of how much Serbia has changed. Back in the day, foreign ambassadors were the only ones who had to be happy with the President while the governments playing host to them and the people mattered less,’ Brnabić said.
The diplomat and representative to the United Nations, Branko Branković, says that this behaviour is unforgivable and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should intervene: “I would like to remind that, according to the Vienna Convention, it is illegal to interfere in the internal affairs of a country. With this statement, the German ambassador justifies the bombing of former Yugoslavia, and the gist of her controversial assertion is that international peace and security were threatened, and therefore NATO had to react. Serbian officials had to tell her that she cannot state this and that the door to express such views is no longer open”.
The US Ambassador, Christopher Hill, also makes statements unbecoming of a foreign diplomat almost every day. Thus, in an interview with Nova S, he stated that he did not think that “the situation in Kosovo 23 years ago is in any way similar to Russian aggression and the invasion of Ukraine, as well as the targeted attacks on residential buildings”.
Hill also stated recently that ‘Serbia must turn to the West for the sake of its children because they are not going east, but west’ and that he would the country to say ‘yes’ to NATO membership one day.
(Večernje Novosti, 03.10.2022)
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