The Guardian July 26, 2000


Belgrade Says West's Isolation Bid Has Failed

Yugoslavia's Foreign Minister, Zivadin Jovanovic, said in Belgrade last 
week that the West's bid to isolate Yugoslavia and strangle its economy had 
failed and world support for the government was growing.

"Yugoslavia's ties and cooperation with three-quarters of the world's 
nations, which accept it as a valid, reliable and equal partner, and its 
achievements in reconstruction and development both testify to this", he 
said.

The United States and most Western nations withdrew diplomats from Belgrade 
before NATO launched air strikes on Yugoslavia last year.

Yugoslavia launched a crash program of reconstruction after the air war 
damaged much of the country's infrastructure and remarkable progress has 
been made.

"We never begged around for help. We did not waste time hoping for help 
from abroad. Our future is not in the hands of the European Union, NATO or 
any other foreign factor, but in our own hands", Jovanovic said.

 "If the philosophy of sanctions and isolation has helped in any way then 
it is in raising awareness that nothing positive can be achieved in 
southeast Europe without Yugoslavia's equal participation as a key 
economic, political and security factor in the region", Jovanovic said.

Yugoslavia maintains diplomatic relations with 166 countries and has 
government offices in 97 countries.

A recent Russian Duma parliamentary delegation to Belgrade condemned the UN 
war crimes tribunal for being "a political instrument of NATO countries".

The Russian delegation also demanded the return of the Yugoslav army to 
Kosovo, which remains a province of Yugoslavia but is presently under 
occupation by the US and other imperialist countries.

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