BELGRADE, December 3. /TASS/. Serbia has not forgotten NATO attacks on Yugoslavia in 1999 and will continue to remember them, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in a campaign speech.
"We have reasonable relations with NATO, and we will try to keep it that way. But that doesn't mean we have forgotten the year 1999," he told a crowd of thousands of people. "We will commemorate [those events] every year and remind people of what happened, so that we can look into the future without shame, and be proud of our valiant past."
"We want to remain militarily neutral, be able to defend our skies, defend our country, defend the lives of people in this country on our own, and our army will grow ever stronger," the president went on to say.
NATO started attacking Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999 in a campaign that lasted 78 days. The main reason for the operation was "to prevent the genocide of the Albanian population in Kosovo." NATO bombing raids, according to Serbia, killed between 3,500 and 4,000 people and wounded about 10,000, with two-thirds of them being civilians.