The Statement of the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
April 15, 1999
The statement of the Belarus president:
"Talks were long and serious, we analyzed all the problems of bilateral relations and the problems connected to the war on this wholesome land.
We have arrived here with only one objective, to bring peace closer to a Slavic country for at least a few millimeters, to this country where not only Slavs live but members of 26 other peoples, as well as different religious communities.
Our objective was to contribute to peaceful solution of this conflict, in accordance to objectives of president Milosevic and hopes of Yugoslav peoples. I am absolutely convinced that president Milosevic wants the solution of these problems or any other problems only in a peaceful way.
In relation to this we discussed a whole complex of questions, from humanitarian aid to political issues.
Most important result of this meeting was that I learnt and was convinced also for those I will be talking to later, what is the limit Yugoslavia will never cross looking for compromise in the solution of Yugoslav crisis.
President Milosevic told me, as my good friend, as I think, which is the limit that can't be crossed.
I asked him several times whether he is prepared to go another step back in order to advance several steps ahead later and he told me that is the last limit he and his people and leadership can't yield to.
This means, that in our future actions, not only Russia and Belarus, but other countries as well, including NATO members must bear in mind that this is the final word of Yugoslavia and that it will not yield further.
I can openly say that Yugoslav position includes: Yugoslavia is ready to accept civilian observers of the UN from states that were not involved in aggression on Yugoslavia. So, civilian personnel, not members of military, police or semi-military formations from the NATO states that are involved in bombing of Yugoslavia today.
Therefore, this is the limit and Yugoslavia will never yield further and Yugoslav president answered all my questions that maybe weren't always correct, but as a friend, I had the right to ask them.
I was convinced this man wants peaceful solution, in all respects. It is not important for him who are those refugees he wants to bring back to their homes.
It is of no importance what nationality they are or what confession. He speaks of Yugoslav citizens and we are impressed by that. It is also our policy in Belarus, we treat people of all nationalities and confessions as equal.
We have also discussed issues of the alliance with Russia and Belarus. I am the president of the High Council of Russia and Belarus Alliance, the body that reaches final decision about the Yugoslav initiative to join that alliance.
President Milosevic has already been in contact with the president of Russia and me talking about many issues, including the alliance with Belarus and Russia, about the wish of Yugoslavia to be in that alliance.
Today I received notes addressed to me and the president of Russian Federation with Yugoslav appeal for the consideration of the wish of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to join the Russia and Belarus Alliance in the nearest future.
Letter that is addressed to the president of Russia will be given to him right away and placed on the agenda of the High Council. I will also work on the initiation of this issue in the Alliance Parliament.
I was glad to hear during our talks the reassurances that there is no question of any intention on his part to draw our countries into the conflict as some are falsely accusing him. I was even surprised that he said he understands this is not a simple process and that it requires some time. Maybe even lot of time. I replied we would try to do everything to solve this issue in a rather short period of time so that Yugoslav people wouldn't think we are stalling with the solution of this issue.
But we must solve it absolutely cleanly, as far as procedure is concerned and in the appropriate way.
We have also discussed numerous economic issues that may be realized on humanitarian line. This includes support to economy and citizens. Tody, I have appointed a man who will be resume this responsible task and who will mediate between two presidents. He is my deputy for special tasks Vitold Kucinski, who recently arrived here with a convoy of humanitarian aid.
Again I would like to point out and to answer the question that journalists will probably ask me, and that question is what new has your visit brought to achieving a compromise among sides in conflict.
Again I stress: what is new is that president Milosevic has set the limit where he and his people are not willing to yield any further - that is the integrity of Yugoslav territory, equality of all citizens who are living or were living on Yugoslav territory, participation of civilians in monitoring of the implementation of the (political) process on Kosovo and Metohia without the participation of those countries that are bombing Yugoslavia today.
We can understand this position and in the next few days we will consider all the proposals given by president Milosevic in his talks with Belarus and Russian side, because during this visit I was also presenting the position of Russian Federation, whose president and Premier asked me to convey this to Yugoslav side, which I did."
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