How Ukraine is a true friend of Serbia

A year after the start of the war in Ukraine, there is still very strong pro-Putin and anti-Western propaganda in Serbia, due to which some citizens still believe that Russian aggression in the neighboring country is justified and legitimate.

Ukraine is one of the few European countries that did not recognize Kosovo's independence. A short time after Kosovo declared independence, the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stated that Ukraine does not recognize Kosovo and that this position is based on the country's national interests and international law. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko then said that Ukraine has several neighboring countries that face territorial problems and that, before making any decision, she wants to know whether Kosovo has already become the norm, a common practice or a unique event.

In December of the same year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Volodymyr Ohrizko, stated at the OSCE meeting that Ukraine will never compromise on the territorial integrity of any country. Two years later, in June 2010, the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, emphasized that he had never recognized the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo, as this was a violation of international law.

Hence, Ukraine did not recognize Kosovo even before itself to find itself in a similar situation in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and pro-Russian separatists took control of Donbas. After the war in Ukraine started in 2022, the question of recognition of Kosovo by side of Ukraine was mentioned on several occasions. Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko submitted a draft law to the parliament for the recognition of Kosovo's independence and launched a country petitionand to recognize Kosovo. After Goncharenko lobbied for this during the visit to Pristina, the Ukrainian parliament distanced itself from his statements and positions.

И The Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia, in connection with similar requests last year, stated in a statement that the principled position of Ukraine regarding its attitude towards the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia is well known.

Ukraine was among the first countries to condemn the NATO bombing of FR Yugoslavia

Already on March 25, 1999, Ukraine condemned the NATO bombing of FR Yugoslavia, which began the day before. A bombthey condemned the attack and the then president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister Valery Pustovyotenko, as well as the President of the Parliament. The Verkhovna Rada (Parliament of Ukraine) demanded, among other things, that all means of political influence on NATO be used immediately to end the bombing of FR Yugoslavia.

The Ukrainian ones the ministerri for foreign affairs and for defense came to Belgrade already on March 27, 1999.

Ukraine tried и to mediate in the Yugoslav crisis, but did not have enough political influence. During the bombing one NATO, the Ukrainians werewow humanitarian aid for the citizens of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as for the Kosovar refugees in Macedonia. Apart from the leadership of Ukraine, the citizens of Yugoslavia also showed solidarity with Yugoslavia this ground. In major cities of Ukraine were held protests against NATO, which was condemned bthe bombing, and there were also protests in front of the American embassy in Kyiv.

On April 20, 1999, the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, submitted a proposal to the United Nations solving on the Kosovo issue, in which bydemands the cessation of airstrikes, the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces from Kosovo, as and cessation of hostilitiesthose actions of the Kosovar Albanians. ПSee you soon и deployment of UN peacekeeping forces, which will include soldiers from countries that did not participate in НАТО the bombing, and then an international peace conference where a political solution to the Kosovo issue will be worked out based on the 10 points of the Contact Groupand the political edisclaimer from Rambouillet.

Allies after losing territory

Ukraine declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In February 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, an area where the majority of the population is Russian. In the referendum, 97 percent of the participants voted for the merger of Crimea with Russia. A large part of the international community did not accept the results of the referendum, and in 2014 the EU introduced sanctions against Russia. In the fall of the same year, Vladimir Putin comes to Belgrade. In 2014, pro-Russian separatists took control of Donbas, a territory that is also predominantly Russian. Since then lasts the conflict between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed troops. Serbia has twice voted against UN resolutions on Crimea, causing disappointment among Ukrainian officials in Belgrade.

However, in 2014, Serbia amended the Criminal Code and introduced prison sentences of up to ten years for citizens who participate in wars abroad. Since then, more Serbs were convicted citizens who participated in the conflicts in Donbas on the side of pro-Russian separatists. When Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the breakaway Ukrainian territories of Luhansk and Donetsk in February 2021, Serbia did not condemn it, which disappointed the Ukrainian ambassador at the time, who said he expected Serbia to condemn the move. Vucic, however, said at the time that Belgrade would condemn Russia's recognition of the separatist regions' independence when Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, on television will condemned NATO bombing. After the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Vucic stated that Serbia fully supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but that it will not impose sanctions. Serbia at the United Nations more times voted in favor of Ukraine, however, has not yet introduced sanctions.

Вabout the liberation of Belgrade in 1944 Ukrainian troops also participated.

They participated in the operations for the liberation of Belgrade and Serbia from Nazi Germany in 1944 и the forces of the Third and Second Ukrainian Fronts, which were in the Red Army. During Belgrade offensive, unitsthose on the Third and Second Ukrainian Fronts, of which 65 to 70 percent were composed of Ukrainians lost more than 18.000 people. General Vladimir Zhdanov, who together with Peka Dapčević and Fyodor Tolbukhin leads themл Yugoslav and Soviet forces in the liberation of Belgrade from the Nazis, booze Ukrainian. He was born in Kiev and joined the Red Army as a volunteer.

Source: Demostat Author: Milomir Mandic

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