Whenever Russian President mentions Serbia and Kosovo it automatically has a big echo in the Balkans. Because of the tense relationship of the great powers, Putin’s recollection of already quoted estimate on the great USA and NATO’s sin when they bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 again gained a noticeable space in media.
In a documentary “World Order 2018”, which will be premiered on television on March 18, on the day of the presidential election, Putin speaks about the Kremlin mistakes and the lessons it did not draw after the bombing of Yugoslavia, writes permanent correspondent of Serbian daily “Vecernje Novosti”.
The movie, whose making took a year, has already watched 11 million people on social networks. It is the work of Said Medvedev and was made of fragments from exclusive interviews given by Vladimir Putin to TV journalist Vladimir Solovyov, as well as from inserts from various press conferences and statements by foreign politicians and experts.
What specifically did Putin say about the Balkans in a conversation with Vladimir Solovyov?
“After the bombing of Yugoslavia we should have realized what would happen with the world and our country. The attack in the center of Europe in 1999 was without the approval of the UN Security Council,” the Russian president said.
Putin also spoke about how Russia pulled its troops from Germany and helped to unify the Germans. Russia did this because it believed that after the Warsaw Treaty was dissolved, NATO would either seize to exist or it won’t at least spread to the east. However, the struggle for geopolitical interests has continued.
Although he never mentioned his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, Russian President presented a dilemma that existed in the Kremlin at the time, and then was transferred to Russian diplomacy, about the bombing of Yugoslavia.
“Looking back, it is difficult to say whether it is bad or good if the peoples of Yugoslavia sought independence. Maybe that’s good, and whether it should have been done so, whether it was necessary to bomb in the center of Europe without the approval of the Security Council – I doubt. Moreover, I am convinced that this should not have been done,” said Putin, adding that next was Afghanistan, then Iraq and two waves of NATO expansion.
“All this seemed to come unexpectedly one after the other. And it should have been expected. We have shown, mildly said, incompetence and misunderstanding of what will happen to the world and the country after our one-sided submission of positions,” said Putin.
When Putin speaks in plural “we were wrong” he is aware that at the beginning of his career he also believed in the normalization of relations with the West. The film showed how he talked about the end of the Cold War in September 2001 in Bundestag.
Putin significantly changed rhetoric about ten years ago at the conference in Munich, and then asked the Americans and allies, at the 70th session of the UN, from the main booth: Are you aware of what have you done in the world?
Russian leader also said that those who lead an anti-war policy will be hurt by it themselves.
“If you look at the tendency of the development of the world then it is better to have Russia as your ally,” said Putin at the end.
The film indirectly gives the answer why Putin’s popularity is growing among non-NATO countries. He speaks publicly what the leaders of small states cannot say publicly, or if they speak, their voice will be hardly heard.