Foreign Interference In The Yugoslav Elections
Before as well as during the electoral process conducted so far, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its citizens have been incessantly exposed to systematic and brutal pressure by some influential international factors, primarily the United States Administration and NATO countries, with an undisguised aim of directly interfering in the electoral process in the FR of Yugoslavia and of bringing an inadmissible pressure to bear on the electoral will of its population.
a) Political and psychological pressures and subversive activities: In the period prior to elections in Yugoslavia, centres for assisting Yugoslav opposition and destabilization of Yugoslavia were established in neighbouring countries (Szeged, Hungary; Timisoara, Romania; Sofia, Bulgaria; Skopje, Macedonia; and Tirana, Albania).
A month before the elections, a US Regional Centre was set up to co-ordinate the work of centres in individual countries of South Eastern Europe in order to exert political, psychological, diplomatic and subversive pressure (on 15 August 2000). The Budapest-based US Centre has engaged more than 30 experts for intelligence, propaganda, military intelligence and subversive activities against the FR of Yugoslavia under the direction of former US Ambassador to Croatia William Montgomery. The Centre recruits experts from USIS, CIA, USAID, DIA and other similar US agencies. For this reason, the FR of Yugoslavia lodged an official written protest with the United Nations Security Council on 18 September 2000 by qualifying the establishment of this centre as a violation of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and international law and describing it as a gross interference in the internal affairs of the FR of Yugoslavia (S/2000/880). During the month of August this year, Director of CIA George Tennet visited the broader region of South Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania) to step up and co-ordinate pressure in the run-up to elections in Yugoslavia.
A ring of radio and TV centres was established around the FR of Yugoslavia to transmit anti-Yugoslav propaganda, the well-known system of NATO propaganda such as Radio Free Europe, Deutshe Welle, Voice of America and others. Hundreds of hours of anti-Yugoslav propaganda aimed at psychological and political pressure on the citizens of the FR of Yugoslavia, concocted in US and NATO centres of subversion and destabilization, are being aired via these systems and their transmitters from the territories of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania, on a daily basis. Many of these radio and television transmitters operate illegally on the same frequencies that, according to international conventions, belong to the FR of Yugoslavia and that are used by Yugoslav radio and television stations.
Also, statements of representatives from NATO countries have been noted to the effect that Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) concerning the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija will not be implemented as long as the opposition in Belgrade is not victorious, which directly represents continuation of support for separatism, terrorism and international crime in Kosovo and Metohija and in Montenegro.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, on the very date of the elections (24 September) said: If opposition comes to power, the United States will take steps to lift the sanctions, but if President Milosevic stays in power, it will continue with its policy of sanctions and further isolation of the Yugoslav Government. This being recognition of the fact that sanctions have been used to wear down and punish a nation and as a form of prolonged aggression.
The European Union too sent a "message to the Serbian people" on 18 September, on the eve of the elections, giving overtly support to the Serbian opposition and promising to lift sanctions against it if it votes for the opposition. This is evidence of the illegal nature and unjustifiableness of sanctions as an instrument to violate fundamental human rights, grossly intervene in internal affairs and bring about the accomplishment of illegitimate political goals. On this score, an EU representative was delivered the strongest protest in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 September and at EU headquarters in Brussels on 22 September, respectively.
Similar malicious views were publicly expressed every day in the media by the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, by the Foreign Ministers of a number of EU countries, the EU High Representative and Commissioner for External Relations, as well as by the EU Stability Pact Co-ordinator and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, with a view to exercising an organized pressure on the public in the FRof Yugoslavia and on its electoral bodies and to prejudicing election results.
b) Opposition funding:
The US Administration, the Governments of NATO countries and various foundations, such as the Soros foundation, openly finance Yugoslav opposition and various forms of subversive activity aimed at destabilizing the FRof Yugoslavia and at overthrowing its legitimate Government. This funding has been intensified in particular after the announcement of nation-wide parliamentary, presidential and local elections. Funds have openly been allocated to opposition political parties and their leaders, to the so-called independent media, associations and structures of the so-called civil society and to individuals. Prior to these elections, the US Administration paid US$ 77.2 million to Yugoslav opposition, a public fact also confirmed by a daily close to US Administration, The Washington Post, on 22 September 2000. The same was also confirmed by sources in US Congress, the Department of State and others.
Only a day after the elections and the first round of Presidential election in the FR of Yugoslavia, US Congress passed on 25 September the "Democratization of Serbia Act", making a series of gross and unsubstantiated allegations against the legitimate authorities in the FR of Yugoslavia and appropriating additional financial resources, to the tune of US$ 105 million, to bring them down, i.e. for the purposes of the Serbian opposition. This document, under the guise of an alleged concern for human rights, openly supported the separatism of ethnic Hungarians in the Serbian province of Vojvodina, where the majority Serbs live in harmony with 25 minorities.
A week before the elections, the Charge d'Affaires of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade handed out cash funds in Deutsche marks to students and young people in several towns in Serbia, thus directly promoting the cause of the opposition. The so-called independent media and the statements made by the Norwegian Charge bear witness to it. Such conduct by the Norwegian Charge, as an abuse of the hospitality of the Yugoslav Government , contradicts his diplomatic functions, whereas giving bribe is punishable by law in all countries of the world. The Charge was twice officially warned (on 30 August and on 22 September 2000) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that such activity is a flagrant interference in internal affairs and a gross violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. He was asked not to do so and to channel all assistance in accordance with the agreements and the normal practice existing in co-operation among sovereign States, via competent Government authorities, which the Charge completely ignored.
c) Military pressure:
Prior to the elections, NATO forces began a series of military exercises in the immediate neighbourhood of the FR of Yugoslavia. Thus, during the month of September the territory of Romania was used to stage the military exercises codenamed "Co-operative Key 2000", while during the course of October the exercises "Aquanaut 2000" are being conducted in the Romanian waters of the Black Sea, with the participation of British and Dutch commandos. These exercises have been followed by those carried out jointly by NATO forces in the Aegean and Black Seas and in Eastern Mediterranean, with the participation of about 70 warships. The American Sixth Fleet demonstrated force in the Adriatic close to the Yugoslav coast on the pretext of staging joint exercises with the Croatian armed forces.