Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started.
Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of four NATO country-members plus Russia, but Russia rejected to endorse the military section (Annex B) of the offered agreement – a fact hidden in the media information.
What had actually taken place in Rambouillet and Paris and what did the “Annex B” exactly say? The then US State Secretary, Madeleine Albright claimed that “the military portion of the agreement was practically the essence of the agreement offered in Rambouillet” which was unacceptable for the delegation from FR Yugoslavia.
Zivadin Jovanovic, the then Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in his interview to Politika, the Belgrade daily, of 6th February 2013, that “in Rambouillet no attempt was made to reach accord, nor were there any negotiations or an agreement”. Yugoslav delegation was invited to Rambouillett to participate in the negotiations with the Albanians’ delegation from Kosovo.
It seems true that indeed no negotiations have taken place. This conclusion derives on basis of several statements made by some western officials, including, among others, the then Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The biased writing of western press and the partial claims by the western politicians about “the failure in the negotiations through non-acceptance of the political document about broad autonomy for Kosovo” on the part of Yugoslav side was meant to support the preparation of public opinion for the military aggression of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that had already been planned for October 1998, but was postponed for obvious reasons until 24th March 1999. The truth is that the Yugoslavian delegation has requested several times, as indicated in its written communications to the negotiation mediators, direct negotiations between the Yugoslav and Kosovo delegations, which is a fact proven by the official documents. Christopher Hill, the American representative in the negotiations, claimed in his response to such requests, that the Kosovo delegation “did not want direct negotiations”. “It became clear to all of us then that direct dialogue was not suitable for the Americans and that this was the real reason why the direct contact was not taking place”, Jovanovic points out. “It would be quite hard to believe, in case that the Americans had really wanted direct negotiations, that the Kosovo delegation would not accept their request”, he added.
Global media and the then western officials have also intentionally misinterpreted the alleged rejection by Yugoslavia to allow “installation of peace-keeping forces in Kosovo (and Metohija)”. However, the truth is that the Yugoslav delegation did accept the political portions of the Rambouillet draft agreement, but not its “Annex B” with the Points 2, 5 and 7 that proposed and required a military occupation of the entire territory of FR Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia with 2 autonomous provinces, and Montenegro). Therefore, the global public opinion was an object of manipulated information which told that Serbs were “rejecting arrival of peace-keeping forces in Kosovo (and Metohija)”.
But, what are “peace-keeping forces” really in international practice and law? In international practice they imply the forces under United Nations (UN) Administration (also called “Blue Helmets”), consisting of troops provided by the UN member countries and not by NATO troops.
To understand what exactly caused FR Yugoslavia to reject the military portion of the document offered in Rambouillet, one has to read its provisions:
(I) The NATO troops are allowed to freely and without charges to use any and all land, water and air spaces and equipments;
(II) Their soldiers will enjoy diplomatic immunity and will not be held responsible for any damage made on the territory of FR Yugoslavia under civil and/or criminal laws;
(III) their soldiers may carry weapons on them even when wearing civil attire;
(IV) Their soldiers may at any time take for use the entire electro-magnetic space of FRY, that is, the TV and radio frequencies, police and ambulance frequencies, civil protection and other frequencies, without announcement or any fee or charges whatsoever;
(V) Their soldiers may at any time arrest any citizen on the FRY territory, without any warrant or decision of a court or any FRY authority.
Global media, particularly those in the NATO countries, and the then American and European officials, have withheld the truth about the content of the military document by charging the leaders of Serbia and Yugoslav President for “the lack of cooperation in the efforts to find a peaceful solution”. Just like in Rambouillet, “the Paris Conference also was not an event witnessing any serious ‘attempt’ for accord, negotiations or agreement”. American envoy, Christopher Hill, only required from the Yugoslav delegation to sign the text he had prepared and served on the table on basis of the ‘take it or leave it’ principle”, says Former Minister Zivadin Jovanovic.
In addition to numerous condemnations concerning the draft agreement text offered, that were expressed by renowned global law experts, a special attention is drawn to the evaluation of the document provided in an interview to the Daily Telegraph (London) by the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger on 27th June 1999. He said,
“The Rambouillet draft agreement text, requiring stationing of NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation. It served as a pretext for the launching of a bombing campaign. The Rambouillet document was such that no Serb could accept it. That horrible document should have not been submitted
These words indicate, among other things, that the 1999 aggression against FR Yugoslavia was in fact presented in the western media as an epilogue reflected through the launching of the new interventionist strategy of NATO led by USA. This strategy was officially inaugurated at NATO meeting in Washington on 25th April 1999, that is, at the time of actual aggression against FRY.
In the aggression against FRY the NATO was changed from a defensive alliance into an aggressive one with the self-proclaimed right to intervene as a military force throughout the world. Furthermore, the judgement of the Yugoslav leaders implementing the country’s official policy was correct in saying that one of the goals of this particular aggression was establishment of a precedent for military actions across the world without any decision of the UN and by violation of the UN Charter. This judgement was verified at the conference of NATO member states and membership candidates held in Bratislava in April 2000. The conference was organized just a few months after the aggression against FR Yugoslavia by the State Department and the American Enterprise Institute of the Republican Party, and was attended by some very high officials (government representatives and ministers of foreign affairs and defense) of NATO member states and membership candidates. The main topics at the conference were the Balkans and expansion of NATO. In his written summary of the conference conclusions sent to the Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, on 2nd May 2000, Willy Wimmer, the then member of German Parliament (Bundestag) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OESC, claimed that by the NATO attack on FRY, according to the admittance by USA, a precedent was established in order to be used whenever necessary. “It is understood that it is all about an excess that can be referred to at any time”, Wimmer explained one of the crucial conclusions. It was actually a retroactive confirmation that the real goal of the Rambouillet talks was not to allow any direct negotiations between the involved parties (Serbs and Albanians) or any political solution, but rather to ensure a pretext for the aggression, as Henry Kissinger indicated quite well (“It was just a pretext to launch the bombing campaign”).
Next, Willy Wimmer points out in his written communication that “the war against FR Yugoslavia was waged to rectify the wrong decision made by General Dwight Eisenhower in World War Two”. Consequently, for strategic reasons American troops need to be stationed over there, so as to compensate for what was not done in 1945 (Point 4 of his letter). By building the Bondstill Military Base in Kosovo – the largest one in Europe, Americans have practically materialized their position at the Bratislava conference about “their need to station American soldiers in that space, for strategic reasons”. Wimmer’s letter also asserts (under Point 1), “The organizers of this conference have requested that international recognition of the independent state of Kosovo should be accomplished as fast as possible by the countries making the circle of allied states”, whereas “Serbia (the successor of Yugoslavia) must be permanently excluded from the European development course” (according to Wimmer, probably for the purpose of unhampered military presence of USA in the Balkans).
Willy Wimmer also claims,
«“The assertion that NATO had violated all international rules, and particularly all relevant provisions of international law, during the attack against FR Yugoslavia, has not been contradicted” (Point 11)
The text also says that
« “the American side is aware and prepared, in the global context and to achieve its own goals, to undermine the order of international law” »
meaning that international law is considered an obstacle for the planned expansion of NATO.
And Wimmer then ends his letter with the following words, “Force has to stand above law”.
Texte intégral de la lettre adressée, le 2 mai 2000, au Chancelier de la République fédérale d’Allemagne, Gerhard Schöder, par Willy Wimmer, alors vice-président de l’Assemblée parlementaire de la OSCE
Mr Gerhard Schroeder, MP
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin
Last weekend, I was in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, where I had the opportunity to participate in a conference jointly organized by the US State Department and the American Enterprise Institute (the institute of the Republican Party foreign policy) with focus on the themes of the Balkan and NATO enlargement.
The event was attended by high-ranking personalities already reflected in the presence of several prime ministers and foreign and defense ministers from the region. Of the many important issues that could be dealt with under that topic, some deserve particularly to be reported.
1. The organizers requested that the Allies achieve recognition of the independence of the state of Kosovo, according to international law. 
2. The organizers declared that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was beyond any jurisdiction, in particular beyond the Final Act of Helsinki. 
3. The European legal system is an obstacle to the implementation of NATO plans. The American legal system was more suitable for this, even when being used in Europe.
4. The war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was conducted to revise a false decision made by General Eisenhower in World War II. Due to strategic reasons, the decision to deploy US soldiers in the region had to be rectified. 
5. The European Allies went along with the war in Yugoslavia in order to overcome de facto the dilemma caused by the April 1999 ‘New Strategic Concept’, which was enacted by the Alliance and the European predisposition of an existing mandate from the UN or the OSCE.
6. Irrespective of the subsequent legalistic European interpretation, where the enlarged task field of NATO in the Yugoslavian war exceeded the contract territory, it was an exceptional case, obviously a precedent which anyone at any time could and would rely on. 
7. The goal of the recently pending NATO expansion, is to restore the geographical situation between the Baltic Sea and Anatolia, as it had been at the time of the height of Roman expansion. 
8. In order to achieve this, Poland is to be surrounded in the north and south by democratic neighboring states. Romania and Bulgaria are to secure the ground connection to Turkey, Serbia (most likely to ensure a US military presence) was to be permanently excluded from European development.
9. North of Poland, it is important to maintain the complete control of entry from St. Petersburg to the Baltic Sea. 
10. In each case, the right of self-determination is given priority over all other provisions or rules of international law. 
11. The assessment, according to which NATO, when attacking the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia actually infringed upon international rule and, above all, any relevant provisions of international law, did not evoke contradiction. 
After this very candidly run event and in view of participants and organizers, one cannot help but make an assessment of the statements made at this conference.
In the global context and in order to achieve their goals, the American side, deliberately and intendedly wants to lever out the international legal system which was developed as a result of two world wars in the last century. Power shall precede law. Where international law stands in the way, it will be eliminated.
When a similar development happened to the League of Nations, the Second World War was not far off. This type of thinking which considers its own interests as being absolute, can only be called totalitarianism.
Member of Parliament,
Chairman oft he CDU district association Lower Rhine,
Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
Source: Reprinted with notes by Andreas Bracher in “What does the Western Balkan policy want?” In The European Vol. 6 No.1, Nov. 2001.
(Translation Current Concerns)