Kosovo: International Reactions to NATO Air Strikes

Order Code RL30114 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Kosovo: International Reactions to NATO Air Strikes Updated April 21, 1999 Karen Donfried (coordinator) Specialist in European Affairs Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress ABSTRACT In response to Serbian aggression in Kosovo, NATO began air operations against targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999. This report reviews international reactions to that operation. Responses in eight NATO countries — France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom — which are key to the operation for either military and/or geopolitical reasons are discussed. The potential for the conflict in Kosovo to spill across international borders is considered to be high. Thus, this report considers the reaction to the NATO air strikes of the following non-NATO regional actors: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Slovenia. The strongest international opposition to the NATO operation has come from Russia and China. For this reason, U.N. Security Council approval has not been sought because both countries have veto power on the Council. Their reactions are discussed, together with a review of action in the United Nations on the crisis in Kosovo. Related CRS products include Kosovo and U.S. Policy, by Steven Woehrel and Julie Kim, CRS Issue Brief 98041; Kosovo-U.S. and Allied Military Operations, by Steve Bowman, CRS Issue Brief 10027; Kosovo: Issues and Options for U.S. Policy, by Steven Woehrel, CRS Short Report RS20125; Kosovo Conflict: Russian Responses and Implications for the United States, by James Nichol, CRS Long Report 30130; and Kosovo: Greek and Turkish Perspectives, by Carol Migdalovitz, CRS Short Report 20149. The report will be updated as events warrant. Kosovo: International Reactions to NATO Air Strikes Summary In response to Serbian aggression in Kosovo, NATO began air operations, codenamed Operation Allied Force, against targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999. This report reviews international reactions to that operation. Aircraft from 13 of the 19 NATO members are participating. NATO has defined the mission as attacking the Yugoslav military infrastructure with the objective of deterring future attacks on Albanian Kosovars or degrading the ability of Yugoslav forces to carry out these operations. The current air strikes are the first military action undertaken by NATO against a sovereign nation without United Nations (U.N.) endorsement. Many analysts see Operation Allied Force as crucial to the definition of NATO’s mission in the post-Cold War world and to NATO’s credibility. The report discusses the reaction to the operation in eight NATO countries — France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom — which are key to the operation for either military and/or geopolitical reasons. Within the alliance, the strongest support for the operation has come from the United Kingdom and Turkey. Deeply ambivalent have been Italy and Greece. Both the French and Dutch governments appear united behind the operation. Germany’s left-of-center coalition government has found solid political support for its military participation in the NATO air strikes, which represents the first time since World War II that German troops have engaged in a combat mission. The potential for the conflict in Kosovo to spill across international borders is considered to be high. International policymakers fear that prolonged violence in Kosovo could lead to a regional war. On March 24, 1999, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana sent letters to the governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s neighbors, assuring them of NATO’s support for their territorial integrity. This report considers the reaction to the NATO air strikes of the following non-NATO regional actors: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Slovenia. In particular, developments in Kosovo, including the large exodus of refugees, threaten to undermine the stability and security of neighboring Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania. The strongest international opposition to the NATO operation has come from Russia and China. For this reason, U.N. Security Council approval has not been sought because both countries have veto power on the Council. Their reactions are discussed, together with a review of action in the United Nations on the crisis in Kosovo. Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 NATO Allies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . France . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Germany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hungary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Italy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Netherlands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . United Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 6 6 Regional Actors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Albania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Austria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bosnia-Hercegovina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bulgaria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Croatia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Macedonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Montenegro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Romania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Slovenia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Russia, China, and the United Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . United Nations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 12 14 15 Kosovo: International Reactions to NATO Air Strikes Introduction In response to Serbian aggression in Kosovo, NATO began air operations, codenamed Operation Allied Force, against targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on March 24, 1999.1 Aircraft from 13 of the 19 NATO members are participating. NATO has defined the mission as attacking the Yugoslav military infrastructure with the objective of deterring future attacks on Albanian Kosovars or degrading the ability of Yugoslav forces to carry out these operations. The current air strikes are the first military action undertaken by NATO against a sovereign nation without United Nations (U.N.) endorsement. Many analysts see Operation Allied Force as crucial to the definition of NATO’s mission in the post-Cold War world and to NATO’s credibility. Beyond Operation Allied Force, NATO has over 12,000 troops deployed in Macedonia. These include a French-led extraction force of 2,500 troops that was deployed in Macedonia in late 1998 to provide over-the-horizon security for unarmed international monitors in Kosovo. Beginning in early 1999, this force has been reinforced in preparation for the possible deployment of a NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo in the event of a peace agreement being signed. In April, NATO decided to deploy between 6,000-8,000 troops in Albania as part of Operation Allied Harbor to assist in the refugee aid effort. NATO also maintains a peacekeeping force in Bosnia of over 30,000 troops from all NATO and many Partnership for Peace countries. This report reviews the reaction to the operation in eight NATO countries — France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Kingdom — which are key to the operation for either military or geopolitical reasons.2 The potential for the conflict in Kosovo to spill across international borders is considered to be high. International policymakers fear that prolonged violence in Kosovo could lead to a regional war. On March 24, 1999, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana sent letters to the governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s 1 For a detailed discussion of the situation in Kosovo, see Kosovo and U.S. Policy, by Steven Woehrel and Julie Kim, CRS Issue Brief 98041; and Kosovo: Issues and Options for U.S. Policy, by Steven Woehrel, CRS Short Report RS20125. 2 This report does not provide comprehensive military details on Operation Allied Force; for that information, see Kosovo-U.S. and Allied Military Operations, by Steve Bowman, CRS Issue Brief 10027. CRS-2 neighbors, assuring them of NATO’s support for their territorial integrity. This report considers the reaction to the NATO air strikes of the following non-NATO regional actors: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Slovenia. The strongest international opposition to the NATO operation has come from Russia and China. For this reason, U.N. Security Council approval has not been sought because both countries have veto power on the Council. Their reactions are discussed, together with a review of action in the United Nations on the crisis in Kosovo.3 NATO Allies France (by Paul Gallis) The French Government, together with Britain, sponsored the Rambouillet talks in early 1999, intended to effect a peace settlement in Kosovo. Both Gaullist President Jacques Chirac and socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin strongly support NATO’s military effort in Yugoslavia. The Communist Party, members of Jospin’s coalition, oppose the NATO war effort, primarily on the grounds that no UN mandate was obtained for the operation. The Greens, also a member of the coalition, have moved from early opposition to the NATO operation to support, primarily from a desire to ensure humane treatment of the Kosovans. The Gaullists and the centrist Union for French Democracy support the NATO operation, as do major newspapers from the center-left through the center-right, and a majority of the population. Foreign Minister Védrine said on April 13 that Russia is “an absolutely essential player in the search for peace. We must respect its desire to play a constructive role in the security and stability of our continent.” France now has 6,000 soldiers or naval personnel stationed in Italy or in the Adriatic Sea, as well as a contingent of 2600 men in Macedonia and soldiers assisting the humanitarian relief program in Albania. France now has 73 aircraft committed to the conflict. Paris has allowed 7 U.S. KC-135 tankers and 2 or 3 U.S. reconnaissance planes to be based at French military airfields. France has declined to take substantial numbers of refugees on the grounds that to do so would aid Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in ethnic cleansing by giving the impression that the Kosovars have been permanently placed elsewhere in Europe. Germany (by Karen Donfried) German military participation in the NATO air strikes represents the first time since World War II that German troops have engaged in a combat mission. This is particularly significant because the governing coalition under Social Democratic 3 Unless otherwise indicated, the analysis in this report rests on official government statements and foreign press coverage provided by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. CRS-3 Chancellor Schröder includes the traditionally pacificist Greens. At present, the coalition appears united behind the NATO operation, and dissent has been voiced by only a small number of Social Democratic and Green Bundestag (lower house of the German parliament) members. Germany is providing 14 Tornado airplanes for use in Operation Allied Force. In the Bundestag debate on March 26, Chancellor Schröder’s policy was supported by the chairmen of all of the political party groups except the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the former East German communists, who argue that the air strikes violate international law. Social Democrats confirmed Chancellor Schröder as party chairman on April 12 at a special convention, at which delegates endorsed a resolution supporting German participation in the NATO air strikes. However, the resolution explicitly rejects the possibility of German soldiers participating in any ground force deployment.4 A poll conducted from April 12-15 showed that roughly 60% of Germans support the NATO air strikes; 35% do not. If backing is broken down by political party affiliation, 66% of SPD supporters back the operation and 57% of Greens’ supporters. There is an eastwest divide on support, with 56% of eastern Germans opposing the air strikes. About 63% of Germans back Bundeswehr participation in the operation; 34% oppose it. If the FRY does not fulfill NATO’s demands, 27% support the deployment of NATO ground troops and 68% oppose it.5 Germany announced a Kosovo peace plan on April 14, providing for a 24-hour suspension of NATO air strikes if Yugoslav President Milosevic begins withdrawing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo; a permanent suspension of air strikes once the pullout is completed; a U.N. military force to then move in; a return of refugees; and U.N. administration for Kosovo until a permanent peace settlement is agreed. Germany has stressed that it wants U.N. involvement, or at least endorsement, of any plan for Kosovo after the conflict. Refugees from Kosovo have been a key German concern and Germany strongly supported a European Union aid package of roughly $267 million for refugee relief.6 Between April 5 and April 19, according to UNHCR, Germany accepted 9,974 Kosovar refugees being resettled from Macedonia. In general, a senior Foreign Ministry official has said Germany supports keeping “the refugees as close as possible to Kosovo.”7 According to an SPD official, the cabinet is likely to decide on April 21 to send a communications battalion to Albania, subject to parliamentary approval, to participate in NATO’s Operation Allied Harbour to assist Kosovar refugees, representing the first German contingent in Albania.8 German troops are deployed in Macedonia as part of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps force that was to be used for Kosovo peacekeeping. 4 John Schmid, “Schroeder Takes Control of Party,” International Herald Tribune, April 13, 1999, p. 5. 5 “Broad Support for Air Strikes,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, April 17-18, 1999, p. 13, translation carried by FBIS on line, April 18, 1999. 6 Craig Whitney, “EU Asks Kosovo Role,” New York Times, April 15, 1999, p. A12. 7 “Western Europe Pledges Aid,” International Herald Tribune, April 2, 1999, p. 4. 8 “German Troops to be sent to Albania,” Reuters, April 20, 1999. CRS-4 Greece (by Carol Migdalovitz) Greece has historic and religious ties to Serbia, and seeks a peaceful resolution to the Kosovo crisis that would preserve Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity and protect Kosovar Albanian human rights. Greece did not veto the NATO operation, however, and blamed Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for the failure to achieve a peace agreement. Greece is not participating in the air operation because it is a neighbor of both Albania and Yugoslavia and because it does not believe that military intervention can solve the dispute. Greece is fulfilling alliance commitments by keeping open its ports and fuel lines for NATO. Greek officials have stated that under no circumstances would Greece participate in a ground operation, but have not commented on whether Greece would allow NATO to use its facilities for a ground campaign. Should a peace agreement be reached, Greece would contribute forces for peacekeeping. Greek troops are participating in NATO’s Operation Allied Harbor, the refugee assistance effort in Albania. Greece was one of the first NATO allies to advocate an end to air strikes and return to political dialogue. It commended Milosevic’s unilateral cease-fire offer as a “first step,” and lauded German and U.N. peace plans. Greece believes that Kosovar refugees should remain near the borders of their home, but offered to shelter 6,000 if necessary. On April 18, the Yugoslav government permitted a Greek medical group to enter Kosovo and become the only non-governmental organization to serve Albanians and Serbs in the region. The Greek media and Orthodox Church have encouraged popular opposition to NATO’s bombing campaign. A small, but representative, poll, released on April 17, indicated that over 96% of the Greek public opposes the NATO operation. Widespread antiNATO and anti-U.S. protests have occurred. One Greek Communist demonstration blocked a French military convoy from leaving Thessaloniki on April 16, and the equipment was returned to port and stored temporarily. All Greek opposition political party leaders have called for a political solution to the crisis, and most blame the United States for the NATO military action. Hungary (by Julie Kim) Hungary became a full NATO member on March 12, 1999, along with Poland and the Czech Republic, and now enjoys NATO’s collective defense guarantee under the Washington Treaty. Hungary is the only NATO member which has a common border with the FRY. The border has remained open since the start of the air strikes, although nearly all trade between Hungary and the FRY has stopped. In mid-April, Hungarian authorities halted a Russian convoy en route through Hungary to Serbia; several oil tanker trucks were turned back, while other vehicles supplying humanitarian aid were allowed through. Hungary is not contributing any aircraft to Operation Allied Force, but has offered NATO use of its air space and military airfields. On March 24, the Hungarian parliament overwhelmingly approved this decision. Hungarian officials remain wary of discussion of a possible NATO ground force invasion of Serbia, and object to speculation that NATO might stage troops in Hungary for eventual deployment in Serbia. A particular concern of Hungary is the welfare of the ethnic Hungarian minority in Vojvodina, a northern province of Serbia, and the possibility of Serbian retaliation against the ethnic Hungarian population for Hungary’s membership in NATO. The Hungarian government has urged Belgrade not to force ethnic Hungarian conscripts in the Yugoslav army into service in Kosovo, CRS-5 since this might add a further ethnic element to the Kosovo conflict. A majority of Hungarians support the NATO air strikes, according to public opinion polls, although there have been some anti-air strike demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. Italy (by Paul Gallis) Former Communist Massimo D’Alema heads a weak coalition government that has vacillated in its support of the NATO operation. Considerable popular discontent over the conflict has made support for Allied Force difficult. D’Alema, after making comments in late March that the air campaign should be abandoned in favor of negotiations, now more clearly supports the NATO operation. Defense Minister Scognamiglio has forcefully backed the operation; on April 19, he said that Italy would support the use of ground forces, if necessary, and in that event would send a force comparable to that of France. In contrast, Communist members of the government coalition have said that they would withdraw from the government should NATO use ground forces. On March 26, a parliamentary motion calling for an end to the bombing, for Italian forces to take a “defensive posture,” and for a return to the negotiating table passed the Chamber of Deputies by 388-188. On April 10, a crowd of Communist demonstrators rioted outside the Aviano air base in protest of the NATO operation, and were dispersed by the police. Sporadic violence continues outside Aviano and several other bases. Most NATO sorties leave from Italian bases. Italian pilots have flown combat missions, and 42 Italian aircraft are committed to Allied Force. Italy has 6,000 soldiers and sailors in the NATO campaign. There are 1,097 Italian troops in Macedonia as part of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), and 1,800 soldiers dedicated to the humanitarian assistance program in Albania, which Italy leads. An additional 2,500 soldiers are on their way to Albania. The Italian Government has committed funds to EU and other efforts to aid the refugees, but will not accept large numbers of refugees; to do so, in Rome’s view, would serve Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing by acknowledging that the refugees will be moved outside the Balkans. Netherlands (by Carl Ek) Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok’s center-left government endorsed the NATO position during United Nations deliberations on the Kosovo crisis, and on March 24, the Dutch parliament voted by a large majority to support the NATO air strikes. The Netherlands has supplied combat aircraft, radar, helicopters, refueling planes, and a warship to the campaign. On the first evening of the NATO air strikes, a Dutch F-16 fighter plane shot down a Yugoslav MiG-29. The Netherlands also has troops stationed in Macedonia, has sent supplies, has raised $40 million in public and private humanitarian aid, and has pledged to accept as many as 5,000 refugees. Anti-NATO protests were staged in Rotterdam on March 27, but government officials claim there is widespread public support for the military action. Also, the final act of the Kosovo conflict could be played out in the Netherlands, as the United Nations International War Crimes Tribunal is based in the Hague. CRS-6 Turkey (by Carol Migdalovitz) Turkey is sympathetic to the plight of the Kosovar Albanians, whom the Ottoman Empire had converted to Islam and with whom several million Turks are believed to share kinship. Turkey wants to preserve Yugoslav territorial integrity and to protect the Kosovars. It supports the NATO air strikes and would support a decision to send in combat ground forces. Turkish officials, however, adhere to the official NATO position that the air operation is sufficient and observe that NATO is not talking of a ground operation. Turkish fighter aircraft are being used in the NATO operation for air defense, not because of any Turkish reluctance to undertake offensive duties but primarily because of NATO’s desire to avoid assigning those tasks to regional players. Turkish troops are participating in NATO’s Operation Allied Harbor, the refugee assistance effort in Albania, and Turkey is providing tent cities for 10,000 refugees each in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and housing for an additional 20,000 refugees in Turkey near the Bulgarian border. Turks widely support the NATO operation and are openly pleased that the United States is proving that it can be of assistance to Muslims and not only bomb them as in Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan.9 United Kingdom (by Karen Donfried) The British Government, together with France, sponsored the Rambouillet talks, intended to bring about a peace settlement for Kosovo. British Prime Minister Tony Blair of the Labour Party has been one of the strongest advocates for the NATO operation against Serbian aggression in Kosovo. On March 23, Prime Minister Blair addressed the House of Commons on Kosovo prior to the start of NATO air strikes. Britain is making a significant military contribution to the NATO operation. John Prescott, deputy prime minister, addressed Parliament on March 24 and found support for the NATO air strikes from the majority of Members, although several voiced concern over NATO’s strategy beyond air strikes. Opposition leader William Hague of the Conservative Party has paid tribute to the British forces, but called for them to be given “a clear sense of where this war begins and ends.” On April 8, British Prime Minister Blair said that “in relation to Kosovo...I think it’s more and more difficult to foresee autonomy within the Federal Republic (of Yugoslavia),” suggesting the possibility of an independent Kosovo. He made similar comments in an April 19 speech, in which he addressed Yugoslav President Milosevic specifically in saying: “You will be made to withdraw from Kosovo” and an international military force “will go in to secure the land for the people to whom it belongs.” On April 13, Prime Minister Blair announced that Britain would send an additional 1,800 troops to Macedonia, bringing the total number of U.K. forces there to 6,300. Britain has 33 aircraft participating in Operation Allied Force.10 British Defense Secretary George Robertson has stated that NATO must retain the option of sending ground troops into Kosovo. On April 16, British Foreign Secretary Robin 9 Professor Soli Ozel, at TUSIAD luncheon, Washington, March 25, 1999. 10 For more details, including on British naval forces in the region, see the British government’s web site: [http://www.britain-info.org/bis/fordom/balkans/kosovo/military.stm]. CRS-7 Cook appointed a “Kosovo War Crimes Coordinator” to gather evidence about atrocities in Kosovo. Britain said on April 20 that it would hand over substantial intelligence material to the International War Crimes Tribunal. The Prime Minister’s strong backing for the air strikes against the FRY has found solid support among the British. A poll in the Observer on April 11 showed that 76% of those surveyed approved of the strikes. The major political parties, as well as British newspapers, broadly support the operation.11 Regional Actors Albania (by Julie Kim) Already host to about 20,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees by early 1999, Albania has been overrun by floods of many more additional refugees since the Yugoslav and Serb forces intensified their drive to expel Kosovar Albanians after the start of NATO air strikes. Within one week, about 100,000 additional refugees crossed into Albania. By April 19, over 350,000 refugees were in Albania. Refugee agencies have sought to transfer refugees away from the border with Kosovo. The Albanian government has appealed for international humanitarian aid to assist with the refugees, and for international pressure on President Milosevic to end the “genocide” in Kosovo. Private Albanian homes have provided shelter to tens of thousands of refugees. The Albanian government has strongly supported NATO intervention on behalf of the Kosovar Albanian population. It has offered NATO full use of Albania’s air space, military facilities, and ports. In April, NATO launched Operation Allied Harbor, a humanitarian aid operation involving about 6,000-8,000 allied troops in Albania. Since the air campaign began, the Albanian-Yugoslav border has become increasingly unstable. Northern Albanian villages have come under Yugoslav fire on more than one occasion. The Albanian government has made numerous protests to Belgrade about Yugoslav Army incursions into Albanian territory. The FRY terminated relations with Albania on April 18, accusing the Albanian government of siding with the United States and NATO in the air campaign. On March 24, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana issued letters to Albania and other states neighboring the FRY, assuring them that NATO would not allow FRY to violate their territorial integrity and security. In April, NATO began to deploy attack helicopters in Albania for use in an expanded air campaign on Serb forces in Kosovo. The Albanian government has strongly backed the Rambouillet accords that foresee autonomy, but not full independence, for Kosovo. This position, however, may have shifted. In midApril, the Albanian government reportedly proposed that the United States and other NATO countries provide arms to the KLA (The Washington Post, 4/20/99). 11 T.R. Reid, “Hawkish Blair Flying High,” The Washington Post, April 18, 1999, p A29. CRS-8 Austria (by Karen Donfried) Austria pursues a longstanding policy of neutrality and thus has not sought NATO membership. Defense Minister Werner Fasslabend ruled out any Austrian participation in Operation Allied Force, because there is no U.N. mandate. In light of Austria’s neutrality, Austria denied overflight permits for NATO aircraft.12 Austria is a member of the European Union and, at the EU’s Berlin summit on March 24, all 15 EU leaders agreed on a statement on Kosovo stipulating that Yugoslav President Milosevic is fully responsible for the air strikes by NATO and that those strikes are being carried out to “put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo.” Chancellor Viktor Klima stated on March 24 that “[w]e have great understanding for the necessity of this operation.” Roughly 10,000 Serbs demonstrated against the NATO operation in Vienna on March 28. Austria has agreed to accept up to 5,000 Kosovar refugees; as of April 21, 324 refugees had been flown from Macedonia to Austria. A public opinion poll released on April 12 showed that 52% of those surveyed think the NATO air strikes are useful; 35% think they are “not useful.” Only 19% want Austria to participate in the military operation; 74% oppose Austria’s participation.13 Bosnia-Hercegovina (by Steven J. Woehrel) Reactions in Bosnia-Hercegovina to NATO air strikes against the FRY have broken down along ethnic lines. Bosniak and Croat political leaders have supported the strikes, while Bosnian Serb leaders, including pro-Western moderates have condemned them strongly. NATO, OSCE, and other international officials in Bosnia have sharply criticized Republika Srpska (RS) media coverage of the air strikes as heavily biased toward FRY views. However, moderates leaders, such as RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik continue to stress the need to implement the Bosnian peace accords and cooperate with the international community, while hard-liners, such as deposed RS President Nikola Poplasen, are attempting to use the crisis to create an anti-Western Serb consensus that would undermine the political position of the moderates. In the first days after the air strikes began, there were several cases of violence against international installations in the RS. On March 25, rock-throwing demonstrators broke windows at U.S., British, French, German and U.N. offices in Banja Luka and severely injured a security guard at U.S. Embassy offices. On March 28, windows were smashed at the U.N. High Representative’s office in Brcko. International officials had evacuated most of their staff from the RS prior to the attack. U.S. and other troops in the NATO-led peacekeeping force have not been attacked, but NATO commanders are taking increased precautions in response to the deteriorating security environment in Bosnia. On March 26, NATO aircraft shot down two Yugoslav military aircraft after they entered Bosnian airspace. NATO controls Bosnia’s airspace, but NATO has launched no air strikes from Bosnian 12 Austria is contributing one transport company to the NATO-led force in Bosnia, and permits overflight of NATO forces and transhipment of personnel and materiel in connection with the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, which has a U.N. mandate. 13 “Kosovo War: Austrians Want to Keep Out,” Vienna Format, April 12, 1999, translation carried by FBIS on line, April 12, 1999. CRS-9 territory. NATO has warned Milosevic against attempting to spread the conflict to Bosnia. After the initial wave of Bosnian Serb outrage over the NATO attacks, the situation in the RS has calmed somewhat. On April 16, international High Representative Carlos Westendorp announced that Bosnian Serb officials had agreed to end a boycott of Bosnian central institutions next week. On April 20, U.N. Bosnia envoy Elizabeth Rehn praised the RS police for maintaining “law and order” during the recent disturbances in the RS and ensuring the security of the international community in the RS. However, international officials have taken steps against what they view as media bias in the RS against the NATO action. On April 14, the International Media Commission (IMC), which oversees and has licensing authority over Bosnian media, ordered Kanal S, a hardline Serb television station in Pale, to stop broadcasting because of its “inflammatory and systematically inaccurate” reporting on the Kosovo conflict. The IMC has also warned other Bosnian Serb media outlets to provided balanced information in its news reporting and to separate news reporting from commentary. Bulgaria (by Julie Kim) Bulgaria aspires to become one of the next group of countries to be invited to join NATO, but is wary of becoming directly involved in attacks on its Serbian neighbor. At the start of the NATO air operation, Bulgaria granted NATO use of the country’s air space. However, the Bulgarian government said that no NATO attacks were to come from Bulgarian territory and that Bulgaria would not participate directly or indirectly in the NATO operations against the FRY. On March 25, the Bulgarian parliament approved a statement on the crisis in Kosovo that declared solidarity with the Euro-Atlantic community in its efforts to avert a deeper crisis in Kosovo. It stated that Bulgaria will not take part in military actions in the FRY. On April 19, parliament began consideration of a request from NATO for unrestricted access to Bulgarian air space. The President and Prime Minister have strongly backed NATO’s request even though it would increase Bulgaria’s involvement in the air strikes. In turn, the government is requesting from NATO additional guarantees relating to Bulgaria’s security. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana had issued a letter to Sofia in March, assuring the Bulgarian government that NATO would not allow the FRY to violate its territorial integrity and security. Bulgarian officials have said that no ground forces would be allowed to cross Bulgarian territory. According to public opinion polls, a growing majority of Bulgarians oppose the NATO air strikes. The Socialist Party opposition has strongly condemned the NATO strikes and has staged anti-NATO rallies in Sofia. Sofia supports the preservation of the FRY’s territorial integrity, and thus opposes independence for Kosovo. President Petar Stoyanov has stated that Bulgaria’s future lies with NATO and that it has “no other choice” but to support NATO’s operations. Croatia (by Steven J. Woehrel) The Croatian government has supported NATO air strikes on the FRY, and has placed the blame for the crisis in Kosovo on the FRY. Croatia agreed to permit NATO to use its airspace for NATO strikes on the FRY. Noting that Yugoslavia has CRS-10 threatened neighboring countries with retaliation, Croatia has sought and received security assurances from NATO similar to those provided by the Alliance to other states bordering the FRY. Croatian officials have welcomed a recent improvement in Croatia’s relations with the United States and NATO, and have attributed it in part to Zagreb’s cooperation with NATO in the Kosovo crisis. On April 20, Croatia charged that Yugoslav troops had sent up to 300 troops into a U.N.-monitored demilitarized zone on Croatia’s Prevlaka peninsula. The peninsula occupies a strategic position at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, site of a key Yugoslav naval base. The U.N. monitors had pulled out of the area before NATO air strikes started on March 24. Macedonia (The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) (by Julie Kim) Since the start of the NATO air campaign, Macedonia has been overrun by Kosovar Albanian refugees fleeing or being forced out of Kosovo. By April 19, over 125,000 refugees were in Macedonia. The Macedonian government has periodically attempted to slow the inflow through tighter border controls. On April 7, Macedonian authorities transferred to Albania over 10,000 refugees from the Blace encampment on Yugoslav border. In response to Skopje’s appeals, NATO agreed to set up refugee centers throughout Macedonia and provide humanitarian relief. Many countries offered to take in Kosovar Albanian refugees in Macedonia and pledged financial assistance and humanitarian aid to Skopje. As of April 20, over 16,900 refugees have been evacuated from Macedonia to countries outside the region. Itself a fragile and poor multi-ethnic country under a multi-ethnic government, Macedonia is concerned that the refugee influx may undermine the security and stability of the country. The government has strenuously sought not to become directly involved in the Kosovo conflict. It fears that the presence of the KLA in Macedonia and weapons smuggling into Kosovo could lead to retaliation by the Yugoslav Army. Macedonians oppose independence for Kosovo because they fear such a move may encourage separatist sentiment among the country’s ethnic Albanian population. Macedonia’s ethnic Albanians (comprising a quarter to a third of the total population) sympathize with the plight of their ethnic Albanian brethren in Kosovo. The NATO air strikes appear to have strengthened anti-U.S. and anti-NATO sentiment among some Slavs in the country. Violent demonstrations against the air strikes broke out on March 25 in front of the U.S. and European embassies in Skopje, and more anti-NATO rallies have taken place in the capital. Macedonia has allowed NATO use of its air space, but government officials emphasize that no NATO air strikes have been launched from Macedonian territory. Macedonia is currently host to over 12,000 NATO troops. Most of these were deployed as a vanguard force for a future NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo. They include the small force formerly with the U.N. preventive deployment mission. The three U.S. soldiers captured by Yugoslav forces on March 31 served in this force. On March 24, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana issued letters to Macedonia and other countries bordering the FRY, assuring them that NATO would not allow the FRY to violate their territorial integrity and security. Solana’s letter to Macedonia reportedly also said that an attack on NATO forces stationed in Macedonia would be met by an “appropriate response” by the alliance. The Macedonian government, CRS-11 however, has sought a more specific security guarantee from NATO, especially in view of speculation that NATO might consider an offensive ground operation in Kosovo. On March 28, the Macedonian government demanded that NATO quickly extend membership to Macedonia because Macedonia’s support for NATO operations could lead to reprisals by the FRY. Montenegro (by Julie Kim) Montenegro’s current position in Yugoslavia’s standoff with the West over Kosovo is complex and precarious. On the one hand, Montenegro is a constituent republic in the FRY, along with Serbia. Montenegro and the Montenegrin people have long maintained exceptionally close ties with Serbia. Montenegro opposes independence for Kosovo as well as equal republic status for Kosovo in the FRY. Montenegro has not been spared by NATO air strikes, which have hit the republic’s military facilities and radar defenses, as well as the capital’s airport. The Yugoslav military, not the Montenegrin government, controls the military facilities located in Montenegro. On the other hand, Montenegro’s political leaders, led by President Milo Djukanovic, are fierce rivals of Yugoslav President Milosevic. Milosevic had tried to block Djukanovic’s electoral victory in 1997, and may be preparing a move to oust Djukanovic from power. Montenegro does not recognize the Yugoslav federal government under Federal Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, a Montenegrin rival to Djukanovic. President Djukanovic has advocated stronger ties to the West and supports greater democratization and economic reforms in the FRY, though he does not advocate outright independence for Montenegro. He has tried to keep Montenegro neutral in the Kosovo conflict, pinning most of the blame for the current situation on Milosevic. The Montenegrin government has refused to abide by Belgrade’s March 23 emergency decree, which granted the Yugoslav government broad powers, including the right to draft recruits for the Yugoslav Army. The government also ignored the FRY’s decision to sever ties with the United States and other NATO countries. In response, Milosevic has replaced command of the Yugoslav 2nd Army (responsible for Montenegro) with close allies, made moves against the media in Montenegro, and ordered the arrest of the Montenegrin deputy prime minister. Montenegrin officials say there is no doubt that Milosevic will try to overthrow the republic’s government. The small republic, with a population of about 680,000 persons, has become burdened with refugees from Kosovo. By April 19, Montenegro was host to over 70,000 Kosovar Albanian refugees. Because of the NATO air strikes and the increasing flood of refugees, public sentiment in Montenegro is becoming more radicalized and shifting in favor of Milosevic, according to press accounts. The Montenegrin government and parliament have urged that the parties return to the peace process and that NATO end the air strike campaign. Romania (by Carl Ek) On March 22, Romanian President Constantinescu stated that his government supported the Contact Group’s efforts to negotiate a settlement. However, should diplomacy fail, “Romania considers that a NATO intervention for putting an end to the conflict is both necessary and legitimate.” Romania initially gave NATO its CRS-12 unconditional support, and opened its airspace for the alliance’s “emergency” use. On April 20, the ruling coalition announced its approval of unrestricted use of Romanian airspace for NATO; parliament will vote on the matter after a debate, set to begin April 22. In addition, the government has stated that it will not contribute combat troops, but will provide humanitarian assistance (Romania has sent supplies to Macedonia, and has accepted refugees) and will aid peacekeeping operations after the cessation of hostilities. The parliament on March 30 passed a declaration calling for an end to the conflict that would also “guarantee the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia.” Some Romanians are concerned that the establishment of autonomy for ethnic Albanians in Kosovo might set a precedent for Romania’s ethnic Hungarians, some of whom support a degree of autonomy for Transylvania. Opposition parties have criticized the government’s position toward the NATO military action against the FRY, with which Romania traditionally has had close relations. Ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians have staged demonstrations in Timisoara and Bucharest. Slovenia (by Steven J. Woehrel) Slovenia has expressed support for NATO air strikes against the FRY. A March 25 Slovene Foreign Ministry statement said that the air strikes were an inevitable consequence of Belgrade’s attacks on civilians in Kosovo and its refusal to accept the Contact Group peace plan for Kosovo. Slovenia has offered the use of its airspace to NATO for air strikes against the FRY, if necessary. Slovenia is a participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, and is seeking NATO membership. On March 24, Slovenia received security assurances from NATO Secretary General Javier Solana that a Yugoslav attack on its territory would be “unacceptable” and would be viewed by the alliance “with the utmost seriousness.” On March 26, Slovenia, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, voted against a draft Security Council resolution condemning air strikes and calling for their immediate end. The resolution, sponsored by Russia and China, was defeated by a vote of 12 to 3. Slovenia has offered to send a military medicine unit to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Macedonia. Russia, China, and the United Nations Russia (by Stuart D. Goldman) Russian government officials and politicians of all stripes have condemned the NATO air strikes in very strong terms, for a variety of reasons.14 President Yeltsin, 14 Russia is a traditional supporter/ally of Serbia, based on religious and cultural affinity and historical and geopolitical considerations. Russian communists and ultranationalists use the Kosovo issue to inflame anti-NATO and anti-American sentiment to their advantage in domestic politics, which pushes the government and Russian democrats to demonstrate their patriotism by denouncing the NATO air strikes. Also, Moscow, faced with the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, its conventional armed forces in ruins, beset with grave economic and political crises, views NATO’s eastward expansion and its use of force (continued...) CRS-13 Premier Primakov, Foreign Minister Ivanov, and special envoy for the Yugoslav crisis, Chernomyrdin, however, have stated clearly that Russia does not intend to be drawn militarily into the conflict. Moscow’s responses to the air strikes are also moderated by a desire to avoid diplomatic isolation and by its urgent need for loans and debt relief (from the International Monetary Fund and others), in which the United States is a vital factor. Primakov, en route to Washington on March 23, turned his plane around when he learned that air strikes were imminent. Russia promptly recalled its chief military representative to NATO, expelled NATO military representatives from Moscow, and suspended nearly all programs of military cooperation with NATO. Russia tried, unsuccessfully, to get the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly to condemn the NATO air strikes. In early April, Russia sent the electronic intelligence vessel Liman to the Adriatic Sea, where it is monitoring NATO naval and military activity.15 In mid-April, Russia sent a “humanitarian aid” truck convoy to Yugoslavia16 and says it will send more such aid. Deputies in the Russian Duma (lower chamber of parliament) have vehemently denounced the NATO air strikes. On March 27, the Duma passed a relatively moderate, government-backed resolution, recommending, inter alia, that the government launch various diplomatic initiatives, send humanitarian aid to the FRY; temporarily recall START II from the Duma (which was considering ratification of the Treaty); and accelerate unification with Belarus and integration of the Commonwealth of Independent States. At that time, the government persuaded the Duma to eliminate more extreme measures, such as: renouncing the U.N. arms embargo and sending arms to the FRY; encouraging Russian volunteers to fight in the FRY; and deploying tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. As the NATO attacks continued, opinion in the Duma has become more heated. On April 16, the Duma passed a (non-binding) resolution (293-54) urging that Yugoslavia be invited to join the Russia-Belarus union. Government officials say that no such action will be considered while the FRY is involved in military conflict. 14 (...continued) against a Slavic ally, Serbia, near Russia’s borders, with genuine alarm. 15 Russian officials say that the Liman is not providing information to Yugoslavia; Russian press reports refute this claim. On April 19, President Yeltsin said that Russia would not send additional naval vessels to the conflict area. To date, no additional Russian naval vessels have entered the Mediterranean Sea. 16 The convoy of 73 trucks, carrying mostly food and medical supplies but also gasoline, transited Ukraine and Hungary. Hungarian authorities held it up for two days and eventually turned back 4 of 8 fuel tank trucks as well as 5 armor-plated trucks on the grounds that they violated UN embargo rules. Russian authorities said that no western food or medical aid to Russia was transshipped to Yugoslavia. CRS-14 Russian public opinion has been inflamed by the air strikes.17 Before March 1999, the Russian public was largely indifferent to foreign policy issues such as NATO enlargement. That has changed dramatically. Tens of thousands of Russians reportedly have volunteered to fight in the FRY. According to many observers, the attack on the FRY is contributing to a sea-change in Russian public opinion against the West, western-oriented reform, and pro-western politicians. Communist and ultranationalist politicians are exploiting this development effectively as they prepare for parliamentary (December 1999) and presidential (June 2000) elections. There is concern that the attacks against Yugoslavia might transform Russia’s political landscape — to the detriment of vital U.S. interests.18 China (by Kerry B. Dumbaugh) On March 26, 1999, China joined Russia and Namibia in voting in favor of the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate halt to NATO air strikes in Yugoslavia. Explaining the vote, China’s U.N. representative referred to Kosovo as an “internal matter of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,” and said that the NATO actions violated the U.N. charter. China’s stance is not a surprise. Chinese press accounts indicate that Beijing equates Kosovo’s independence aspirations with similar aspirations (called “splittism”) in Tibet and Xinjiang — both autonomous regions of China — and in Taiwan, which Beijing considers a “breakaway province.” Indeed, some Chinese press accounts have described Kosovo as a “breakaway province” involving “splittist” elements — thus explicitly drawing a link between Kosovo and China’s own internal challenges. Since the NATO campaign began, Chinese press reports have been uniformly critical, and Chinese officials on several occasions have reiterated the basic points of China’s opposition: that NATO airstrikes were an interference in the FRY’s internal affairs; that unilateral NATO action without U.N. authorization set a bad international precedent; and that the Kosovo issue should be settled through peaceful negotiations conducted under U.N. auspices. Still, official Chinese criticisms to date have emphasized NATO rather than U.S. actions — an emphasis that U.S. analysts tend to interpret as an effort to downplay criticism of the United States. One Chinese press account has suggested that some among the 17 Russia’s leading public opinion survey organization reports that Russian citizens’ attitude toward the United States has grown considerably more negative. According to the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion, at the end of December 1998, 67% of Russians polled sympathized with the United States. By the end of March, after the and NATO air strikes began, this number had fallen to 38% and by the middle of April, to 33%. The percentage of Russians who viewed the United State negatively increased from 23% in December, to 49% in March, and to 53% in April. Interfax, Moscow, April 18, 1999. The mobilization of Russian youth against the NATO air strikes may be noteworthy. Previously, communist and ultranationalist demonstrators were primarily middle-aged and elderly. 18 For example, Christian Caryl, “Veering Right in Russia, NATO’s Bombs Stir Smoldering Nationalist Sentiment,” U.S. News and World Report, cover story, April 19, 1999. CRS-15 Chinese leadership are arguing for a reassessment of China’s policy toward the United States because of the NATO actions. United Nations (by Marjorie Ann Browne) The U.N. Security Council has passed several resolutions regarding the situation in Kosovo over the past year. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1160, imposing an arms embargo against the FRY, was approved on March 31, 1998. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1199, approved by a vote of 14-0 (with China abstaining) on September 23, 1998, called on the FRY to cease repression against civilians and withdraw forces used for civilian repression; permit effective international monitoring of the situation in Kosovo; facilitate the safe return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes in agreement with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross; allow free access for humanitarian relief organizations; make progress with the ethnic Albanian community in negotiating confidence-building measures and reaching a political settlement; and cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in investigating war crimes. On October 24, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1203, approved by a vote of 13-0 (Russia and China abstaining), endorsed the commitments made by Yugoslav President Milosevic to U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke on October 12. The Security Council passed Resolution 1207 on November 17, which demanded that the FRY cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including in its investigation of war crimes in Kosovo. The current air strikes are the first military action undertaken by NATO against a sovereign nation without U.N. endorsement. Security Council approval has not been sought because both Russia and China, each with veto power on the Council, continue to oppose the use of force to resolve the Kosovo crisis. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1199, which called for the immediate withdrawal of Serbian security forces from Kosovo, did, however, reference the U.N. Charter’s Article VII, which includes use of military force to maintain international security. This has been taken by some, including the United States, to be sufficient U.N. authorization. The U.N. Security Council held two formal meetings on the NATO action relating to Kosovo, on March 24 and March 26, 1999.19 During these meetings, U.S. ambassador A. Peter Burleigh cited the FRY’s violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1199 and 1203 and the Council’s recognition of the Kosovo situation as a “threat to peace and security in the region”.20 He justified NATO’s military operation on this basis, citing Article VII of the U.N. Charter. On March 26, 1999, the Council, by a vote of three in favor (China, Namibia, and the Russian Federation) and 12 opposed, failed to adopt a Russian sponsored resolution.21 This resolution, 19 See U.N. Press Release SC/6657 and SC/6659 on the U.N. web site [http://www.un.org]. 20 See U.S. Mission to the United Nations press releases 31 (99) and 32 (99), available on the Mission’s web site at [http://www.undp.org/missions/usa]. 21 The 12 Council members voting against the resolution were Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, (continued...) CRS-16 if adopted, would have, in a preambular paragraph, determined that NATO’s use of force constituted “a threat to international peace and security.” By adopting the resolution, the Council would have demanded “an immediate cessation of the use of force” and the “urgent resumption of negotiations”. The Council continues informal consultations on Kosovo issues, including being briefed by the Secretary-General on April 19. On April 9, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on Yugoslav authorities to accept five conditions — to end the “intimidation and expulsion” of the Kosovo civilian population; to “cease all activities of the military and paramilitary forces in Kosovo” and to withdraw those forces; to accept unconditionally the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes; to accept deployment of an “international military force to ensure a secure environment” for the refugees and humanitarian aid; and to permit “international community” verification of compliance. Upon acceptance of these conditions, Annan urged NATO leaders to “suspend” the air bombardments on the FRY.22 A meeting of the European Union on April 14 backed the Annan plan, while the FRY rejected the presence of an international military force in Kosovo. Annan, with the support of the EU and the U.N. Security Council, continues to pursue a diplomatic solution, with plans to meet in Moscow with Russian officials on April 29. On April 13, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, by a vote of 44 in favor (including France, Germany, United Kingdom, and United States), one against (Russian Federation), and six abstentions (China, Congo, Cuba, India, Nepal, and South Africa), adopted a resolution strongly condemning the policy of ethnic cleansing taking place in Kosovo and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army and Serbian military and paramilitary forces from Kosovo. The Commission also demanded Serbian authorities immediately sign and implement all aspects of the Rambouillet agreement. This vote came after a special debate of the Commission on the situation in Kosovo on April 1, 1999. 21 (...continued) Canada, France, Gabon, Gambia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Slovenia, United Kingdom, and United States. 22 On March 24, 1999, Secretary-General Annan, at the start of the NATO military action, expressed his “regret” over the failure of diplomacy and noted that “there are times when the use of force may be legitimate in the pursuit of peace.” He observed that while Chapter VIII of the U.N. Charter “assigns an important role to regional organizations”, “under the Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security” and judged that “the Council should be involved in any decision to resort to the use of force.” (U.N. Press Release SG/SM/6938, 24 March 1999. Available on the U.N. web site at [http://www.un.org].)