The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia announced on Wednesday that the interview with the Ambassador of Germany in Serbia Thomas Schieb that was published in Politika, titled “Donbas and Kosovo Cannot Be Compared”, contains a slew of incorrect claims and qualifications.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, the interview neglected to mention that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was faced with intense Albanian separatism in Kosovo and Metohija during a long period of time.

Ambassador Schieb made an incorrect claim about “the oppression of Albanians and their exclusion from public life”, and, ignoring a number of facts and UN Security Council resolutions, he concluded that the NATO decided to attack the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia “only after all diplomatic means had been exhausted”, said the announcement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that the research, that can be corroborated with adequate documentation, confirmed that violence was in fact being perpetrated against Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija in the years before the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but it was being perpetrated by Albanian separatist terrorist groups, who killed their compatriots loyal to Serbia in addition to police officers and Serbian civilians.

As a reminder, the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1160 (1998) confirmed the obligation of all UN members to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), while the actions of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed groups of Kosovo Albanians were characterized as “terrorist”, and that the UN Security Council on several occasions explicitly condemned the terrorist acts committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the reaction of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was aimed at combating separatism and terrorism, and facts confirmed in Germany speak to the absence of “stated reasons” for the attack on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In the period preceding the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany pointed out to the Administrative Court in Trier on January 12, 1999 that “the operations of the security forces were not aimed at the Kosovo Albanians as an ethnic group, but at the militant opponents and their alleged followers,” reminded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, peaceful means of resolving the Kosovo crisis had not been exhausted, contrary to Ambassador Schieb’s claim.

The Ministry said that the NATO acted in contravention of the UN Charter, which does not allow any exceptions to the rule stated in Article 53, saying that “no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council”.

The use of armed force by the NATO and the Kosovo Liberation Army forms the basis of the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo, therefore “the Kosovo case” cannot be rationalized using the criteria stated by Ambassador Schieb that “a declaration of independence is exclusively possible if the ban on the use of force is not violated”, added the Ministry.

In addition, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Schieb’s claim that a solution for the status of Kosovo that would be acceptable to both sides had been sought intensely for years, and that the independence of the so-called Kosovo was only declared after these attempts had proven futile, is ignoring the fact that the Albanian side was not conducting sensible dialogue, but insisted on independence as the only possible solution, without making any effort to ensure the minimal standards of respecting human rights, prevent persecution and secure the return of the Serbian and other non-Albanian populations.

All resolutions regarding Kosovo that were passed by the UN Security Council, as the only international authority entrusted with preserving international peace and security, are based in the principle of protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, pointed out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In spite of the systemic violation of the international law and the Resolution No. 1244, to this day Kosovo has still not been formed as an independent state, de jure or de facto, said the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other things.

The issue of Kosovo, including the issue of the status of Kosovo, is still open in the Security Council, whose decisions, based in the international law and the need to preserve international peace and security, guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, concluded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his interview with Politika printed on Sunday, among other things, Schieb made the claim that the situation in the so-called Kosovo and the current situation in eastern Ukraine cannot be compared under any circumstances, and that “since the late 80s ethnic Albanians were oppressed and excluded from public life” in that province.

“The international community of countries had led long negotiations that failed to yield a solution, and in doing so they had unsuccessfully exhausted all means for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and prevention of a humanitarian disaster in Kosovo. Only after all diplomatic means had been exhausted, the NATO decided to attack Yugoslavia. However, in Ukraine there are no indications or evidence of the alleged oppression of ethnic Russians, according to Moscow, nor have there ever been any. And diplomatic means for ending the war in Donbas are not even close to being exhausted,” said the German Ambassador, among other things.