The verdict to Ratko Mladic represents merely a continuation of the politicized and biased course taken by the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) during its work.
This was the message that came from Moscow a day after the tribunal sentenced the former military commander of Serbs in Bosnia to life in prison, finding him guilty of charges of genocide and war crimes.
Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said during a regular briefing on Thursday that it was indicative that the tribunal in the past failed to find any criminal offense in the actions of “notorious Bosnian (Muslim) wartime commander Naser Oric” whose militants were “hiding in Srebrenica and using it to attack Serb civilians from 1992 until 1994.”
As she said, the tribunal has been interpreting the tragic events from the 1990s “in an artificial, unilateral and anti-Serb manner” and thus undermining the renewal of mutual trust in the Balkans.
“The tribunal is far removed from the widely accepted standards when it comes to procedures – but also when it comes to basic human rights, health and medical assistance,” Zakharova said.
Speaking about Serbia, she said that the Kremlin had “taken note” of a message sent by US Army Europe commander Ben Hodges, who recently spoke about the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center in the town of Nis.
“He once again repeated the many-times copied accusations that the center is allegedly some kind of a facade. He expressed the desire to visit the center. We are ready for his visit, and we expect the US to respond to our openness and, purely as a matter of courtesy, invite Russian and Serbian representatives to (US army base) Bondsteel in Kosovo,” she said.
According to Zakharova, that base was established in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1244 – “but US partners are unwilling to disclose its true purpose.”
“Maybe it’s one of the reasons for the media noise around the center in Nis,” she said.