Serbia will never seek to become part of NATO, since the military alliance devastated the country and killed its citizens, Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic said on Friday, on the anniversary day of the launch of Yugoslavia bombings by NATO in 1999.

“The Republic of Serbia will not seek to become part of the alliance, which so cruelly ravaged our land and killed our children, and of no other alliance. We only want to be independent, to live in peace, and what is most importantly, to preserve our freedom,” Vucic said.

He pointed out that during the three “bloody months” of the NATO operation over 50,000 air strikes hit Serbian territory, killing thousands of servicemen and civilians, including children.

Vucic said that NATO wanted to demonstrate their wealth and military might in comparison to Serbia.

In March 1999, led by the United States, NATO engaged in a 78-day military campaign against what was then Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro, over alleged repressions of Albanians in Kosovo. The conflict resulted in the death of over 2,000 civilians and 1,000 security personnel.