Resolution of the Yabloko Party on the Balkans War
May 11, 1999
Township of Golitsyno
The human tragedy in the Balkans unwinding before the eyes of
the whole world has
simultaneously revealed the deep crisis that is gripping the
entire system ensuring
fundamental human rights and international and European security.
The ten years of the Yugoslav drama lead to the conclusion that
the Milosevic regime has
chosen to pursue the most unacceptable of all concepts of a
federal multinational state
which elevated Serbian nationalism to the rank of state ideology.
As a result, the crisis
followed the worst possible and criminal scenario that led to
end less war and counry’s
The main lesson that Russia must draw from the Yugoslav experience
is that a
multinational state must never pursue a nationalist policy in
any sharp or form.
Otherwise, the country is doomed to mass bloodshed and inavoidable
What is happening in Yugoslavia today, however, is also evidence
of the profound moral,
political and intellectual crisis gripping the Western political
The most vivid illustration of this is Nato’s pursuit of the
dangerous and cynical ideology
that allows for “collateral damage” in the process of defending
of human rights. The
present Western leaders have reanimated the principle that the
end justifies the means,
which is contrary to the basic humanitarian values of the European
One more indication of the crisis of Western policy is the double
perceptible in the behaviour of the Western countries. In the
summer of 1995, the armed
forces of Croatia overran the region of Srbska Krajina, which
was under the protecion of
a UN peacekeeping contingent. This invasion saw atrocities not
only against the local
peaceful inhabitants and a mass expulsion of Serbians from their
territory, but also loss
of life among members of the UN peacekeeping contingent. In
spite of this, the leading
Western countries, with the United States in their head, continued
to support Croatia and
confined themselves to addressing mild requests to its president
Tudjman “to avoid
violations of human rights”. The similar policy was pursued
also in Bosnia and
Herogovina. Many more examples could be cited all over the world.
As we know, the
Nato countries practically ignored the hostilities in Chechnya.
As we see, ethnic purges are condemned by the Nato countries
only if they are pursued
by a politically loyal country, while the proWestern orientation
assures any regime
indulgence to commit all sorts of crimes against humanity and
blatant violations of
human rights and the rights of national minorities in the full
sense of that word.
Nato actions in Yugoslavia are not only destructive per se.
They are a most dangerous
precedent of deliberate and undisguised violation of international
law. In substance, what
is happening in the Balkans may be described as a precedent
of lynch law. Today, no one
can any longer predict what countries may tomorrow arrogate
the right to conduct
punitive campaigns and countries will be their victims.
Nato is demonstrating to the whole world that the decisive factor
on the international scene today is not law, but military force. This may
lead to the collapse of the system of international security that existed
so far, an unpredictable finale. Today, Nato’s behaviour is prompting many
countries, including nuclear ones, to review their military doctrines and
to build up thheir armies and armaments, which is fraught with an escalation
of the number and geography of military conflicts, an acceleration of the
arms race, and spread of mass extermination weapons.
In this critical situation, the international community is faced
with two equally serious challenges.
It must resolutely and unambiguously oppose the authoritarian
Milosevic regime in political terms, for the regime’s activities may be
characterised as genocide. It must also do its utmost to overcome the consequences
of the Nato countries gross violation of international law.
It is no less urgent to restore a dependable and trustworthy
integral system of international security in Europe and the world as a
whole. This system must ensure the rights of national minorities and, at
this time, rule out the very chance of one state imposing its will on other
states by undeclared wars.
We call for immediate ending of the bombing campaign, and thereupon
the immediate return home of all refugees. We call for effective control
(including use of an international security force under UN auspices) of
peace and order in Kosovo, disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and
a check on all terroristic activities. We call for Russia’s active participation
in this process. We call for the free existence of Yugoslavia as a single
democratic state, and broad authonomy of Kosovo region.
Yabloko condemns all recurences of individual and collective
aggression, of the great-power mentality, and the presumptuosness of force.
We oppose imperial methods in home and world politics, no matter what lofty
and democratic principles invoked to justify them.
Yabloko calls for immediate dialogue with forces in Yugoslavia
capable of securing a democratic reorganisation of the country and the
principles of respect for human rights and the rights of minorities.
No goals in the world are worth the slaying of guiltless people.
There can be no rule of law in the world based on double standards.
Ends and means must never conflict
Chairman of Yabloko.