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Russian lawmaker slams UN Security Council draft resolution on Srebrenica

June 18, 2015, 20:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Alexay Pushkov says it is aimed at legalizing NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and punishing Serbia for its current foreign policy
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Residents of the besieged Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrinica surround the UN armored vehicle of the commander of UN forces in Bosnia Phillipe Morillon as he tries to leave the town, 1993

Residents of the besieged Bosnian Muslim enclave of Srebrinica surround the UN armored vehicle of the commander of UN forces in Bosnia Phillipe Morillon as he tries to leave the town, 1993

© AP Photo/ files

MOSCOW, June 18. /TASS/. A draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council initiated by Britain to mark the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica events aims to legalize the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia and to punish Serbia for its current foreign policy, including for relations with Russia, Chairman of the Russian State Duma foreign affairs committee Alexey Pushkov told TASS on Thursday.

In spite of Serbia’s aspiration to join the European Union, "the West’s attitude to the country is specific," he said and the draft resolution condemning the genocide in Srebrenica confirmed it.

"The resolution is absolutely explicitly-worded against Serbia and aims to put up an opposition between Serbia and Muslims in the Balkans, and to complicate Serbia’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and other nations in the region," Pushkov said calling the role of the draft resolution destabilising.

Moreover, Belgrade regards the document as "an attempt to humiliate Serbia and its opinion is quite fair since out of all the cases when civilians died - either in the Yugoslav wars or in other conflicts in Europe - a draft resolution has been elaborated on Srebrenica only."

Pushkov pointed out that Srebrenica witnessed "an ethnic conflict as crimes were committed but there was no genocide," although nowadays these events are "depicted as something extremely exceptional, worth of UN Security Council’s special resolution."

"I think that recognition of the Srebrenica tragedy as genocide would mean NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia and Belgrade’s bombings were legitimate. Disputes are going on how that aggression can be justified as it was made in violation of international law, in the bypass and defiance of the United Nations," he said supposing that the draft resolution became a sort of "an attempt to rubberstamp the validity of West's activities and an attempt to knock up an alternative history."

Simultaneously, Pushkov does not rule out that the draft resolution on Srebrenica "reflects Western discontent with Serbia’s stance on sanctions" against Russia.

"Serbia’s independent and self-sufficient stance produces reaction," the Russian lawmaker said. "And I believe this draft resolution has stemmed from a negative reaction to special relations between Serbia and Russia."

When asked by TASS if Russia could veto the resolution at the UN Security Council, Pushkov replied that "Russia as you know has always backed Serbia when the latter clearly and explicitly expressed its position."

At least 100,000 people were killed in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, with the Srebrenica massacre recognised as the most tragic moment of the conflict.

On July 7 the UN Security Council is to consider the draft resolution on Srebrenica submitted by Britain - four days earlier than the 20th anniversary of the tragic events.

On July 11, 1995 the Bosnian Serbs’ forces killed around 8,000 boys and men of the Muslim enclave. Serbia without denying the crime says that it was made in response to deliberate slaughters of Serbs by Islamic extremists.

The text of the draft resolution has not been officially published yet but the Serbian media managed to get it somehow. The Politika daily said that one comes across the word 'genocide' on 35 occasions’ in the text while there are only three words ‘reconciliation.’

On April 19, 2004 international justice determined the Srebrenica events as genocide when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague sentenced General Radislav Krstic.

On February 26, 2007 the International Court of Justice - the UN main judicial body - recognised the Muslin massacre as genocide.

Meanwhile, President of Republica Srpska - one of the two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Milorad Dodik announced his intention to appeal to Russia with a request to veto the resolution on Srebrenica. He was going to ask Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about it at their meeting in St Petersburg on June 18 as Dodik believes that the adoption of this resolution will stoke tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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