BELGRADE, 24 Mar – RIA Novosti. Almost 85% of citizens of Serbia do not support the country’s membership in NATO, the public opinion surveys on the eve of the anniversary of the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
NGO “Institute of European Affairs” conducted a telephone survey of 1.2 thousand citizens of Serbia in the period from 16 to 20 March. The theme of the study was the attitude of the citizens of the Republic to the North Atlantic Alliance. The results are published on the website of the Institute.
To the question “do you support the membership of Serbia in NATO?” 84% of respondents answered in the negative, 10% positive and 6% had no answer.
The reasons for the bombing of 1999 17.4% of the survey participants called the policy of the then Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, another 15.2% — the interests of the United States, the West and world powers, 12,6% — the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo, 10.5% of respondents – seizure of Kosovo and separation from Serbia. The remaining responses garnered less than 10% support are variants of the first four.
To the question “would you accept the apology for the NATO bombing?” 62% said no, 31% Yes, 7% could not answer.
While 68% of respondents believe that Serbia cannot benefit from cooperation with NATO, 18% believe that can and another 14% do not know the answer.
The cooperation of Serbia and the North Atlantic Alliance do not support 66% of the respondents agree to continue 26% and 8% failed to decide.
On a five-point system is 1, i.e. “very poor” relations between Serbia and NATO have appreciated 44.7% of respondents, on a 2 – 21,4% 3 25.9% of the study participants. Grades 4 and 5 received 4.4% and 3.6% support.
The Bombing Of Yugoslavia
In 1999, armed confrontation between the Albanian separatists of the Kosovo Liberation army, the army and police of Serbia led to the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) (at that time consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) NATO forces. NATO air strikes lasted from 24 March to 10 June 1999. The exact number of victims is unknown.
According to estimates of the authorities of Serbia, during the bombing killed about 2.5 thousand people, including 89 children. Injured 12.5 thousand people. Material damage, according to various sources, is estimated to be worth from 30 to 100 billion dollars. The military operation was undertaken without the approval of the UN Security Council and on the basis of the claim of Western countries that the authorities of the FRY had conducted ethnic cleansing in the Kosovo’s autonomy provoked a humanitarian disaster there.
Neutrality Of Serbia
The NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg during his visit to Belgrade in late January, said that NATO respects the military neutrality of Serbia in cooperation with Belgrade involved in the reform of the state security forces and training, international operations, joint military and civilian exercises.
The authorities in Serbia to officially insist on the observance proclaimed by the parliamentary resolution of 2007, the military neutrality of the state. The individual plan of partnership of Serbia and NATO (IPAP) entered into force in March 2015, the document outlines the educational and technical cooperation, joint exercises and the creation of a positive image of NATO in Serbian society. However, in 2013, the Parliament of Serbia was granted observer status in the CSTO parliamentary Assembly.