19 May 1999
given by NATO Spokesman, Jamie Shea
and SHAPE Spokesman, Major General Walter Jertz
Jamie Shea : Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Afternoon. Welcome to today's up-date.
As you know, today we had a very successful meeting,
series of meetings in fact, with Chancellor Schroeder and you have heard
from him already. I would just like to emphasise that the Chancellor
very much insisted on the need to pursue a twin-track strategy, keeping
up the military pressure, but at the same time accelerating efforts
to achieve a breakthrough on the diplomatic front. But you heard his
message, which is the same as the NATO message, which is do not change
the strategy. That strategy has the full support of Germany and that
strategy is working. The Chancellor, when he met with NATO Ambassadors,
insisted on that. We are achieving progress on the military front and
in a few moments you will hear more on that from General Jertz.
But at the same time we are clearly also making progress
now in the diplomatic area as well. The G8 Political Directors are meeting
in Bonn this afternoon to work on the text of a UN Security Council
Resolution and the Chancellor and the Secretary General this morning
had a joint telephone conversation with President Ahtisaari in Helsinki,
just ahead of the departure of Mr Chernomyrdin for Belgrade.
And the German Chancellor, Chancellor Schroeder, also
expressed his full support for the Secretary General and for the military
leadership of this Alliance.
As I think you know already, because it has been announced
from Rome, so I have been scooped as far as that is concerned, but I
can confirm that Prime Minister D'Alema is going to be with us tomorrow
morning. Let me just inform you of the details. He will be arriving
at 9.55 am. At 10.00 he will have a bilateral meeting with the Secretary
General. He will then, as Chancellor Schroeder did today, meet with
the Chairman of the Military Committee and the Deputy SACEUR, the Deputy
SACEUR because General Clark is travelling tomorrow, and he will also,
as Chancellor Schroeder did today, address the North Atlantic Council
at 12.00 noon, and at 12.30 he will be here with the Secretary General
for a press conference.
Later on today the Secretary General will be receiving
the Hungarian Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister Martoni, and that too
is part of the Alliance's political efforts to seek a diplomatic solution,
and we greatly value meetings with the Hungarians, among our most recent
allies, the Foreign Minister this afternoon, because Hungary being a
neighbour of Yugoslavia has particular insights into the situation in
the region and many perspectives to offer.
Just now, just as I speak, we are starting a meeting
of the NATO/Ukraine Commission with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine,
Foreign Minister Boris Setarasuk, that is a regular meeting, but of
course with the Kosovo crisis on-going, NATO will explain to Ukraine
fully what is happening with Operation Allied Force and I think a key
part of the consultations this afternoon will be our ideas and the general
thinking for a south-east Europe initiative. Because although Ukraine
is not directly in the region, as a country which trades on the Danube
considerably, it has a key economic interest in stability and in democratisation
in that area for its own future prosperity, so I think that there will
be ideas exchanged, particularly on that topic.
And I can announce that the Prime Minister of Albania
will be coming here next Tuesday for a 19 + 1 meeting, NATO/Albania,
and again to discuss at first hand the situation in the region. I will
have more for you on that as we get nearer to the time.
A couple of things briefly on the humanitarian front
before I hand over to General Jertz. Yesterday we noticed that the outflow
of refugees into Albania slowed considerably with only 19 crossing the
border. That brings to 450,000 the number of refugees currently in Albania.
The focus of the NATO forces, in conjunction with the UNHCR, continues
to be to move 30,000 refugees from Kukes to camps elsewhere. We have
to convince them to leave for their own well-being and safety, but 2,000
were evacuated yesterday, so this work is on-going. At the same time
the NATO forces are planning and constructing refugee centres, repairing
the main Kukes-Tirana highway and also helping with this relocation
In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which as
you know is being visited by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General today,
the refugee flow was 1,450 yesterday, but at the same time 1,128 left.
This means that we are now half-way towards filling the quota of about
100,000 refugees to be temporarily accommodated in other countries,
and this has now reduced the numbers of refugees in refugee centres
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to 75,700. This means that
there is excess capability should there be a new flow of refugees and
the UNHCR in fact has plans to accommodate up to 150,000. This has considerably
reduced in the immediate the enormous pressures that until recently
were on the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
and we are glad of that.
However, we continue to be preoccupied with the evident
difficulties that people have in reaching the border with the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. I reported yesterday on two trains being
turned back on Monday. Well yesterday a train with 950 actually got
through, so there is a sort of tap movement that goes on and off in
terms of the refugee outflow. But one of the refugees who did manage
to cross the border yesterday reported that this was her fourth attempt
to actually get to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, so that
continues to still be a difficult undertaking. The total now of refugees
in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is 226,000.
Now obviously NATO is looking to the future, to a time
when those refugees will be able to return home, and yesterday in Geneva
we participated in a meeting with the UNHCR on a plan, a concept paper
leading to a framework plan for the return of refugees. There are two
aspects here. First of all the UNHCR has to draw up a correct list of
figures, of numbers of course; and secondly, the refugees have to be
registered, something which is not very easy in a situation where so
many of them have no documents or identity papers for the time being.
But it is very important, despite this difficulty, to get as much information
as to their homes, their whereabouts, so that they can be returned home
and so that the lack of identity papers does not become a hindrance,
or is not used by Belgrade as a hindrance to their return.
And NATO has been doing some computations in the last
couple of days on the number of refugees and displaced persons. We calculate
that there are 580,000 internally displaced persons inside Kosovo; according
to our calculations, about 130,000 Kosovars who are not yet displaced
and hopefully will not be, in other words people who are still living
more or less in their homes; that there are 804,000 refugees in the
neighbouring countries, not just Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, but also elsewhere, in Bosnia, in Montenegro and in the
region in general; and there are now 170,000 elsewhere in the world
from that particular crisis.
Now if you add all of these up it comes to about 1.6
million, all of the figures together. And this is interesting because
1.6 million of a total population before the crisis of 1.9 million,
people displaced as a result of President Milosevic's policies. This
is the population of Namibia. It is more than the population of Brussels.
It is about equivalent to the population of Denver in the United States,
and in fact it is more than the population of Estonia, not far short
of the total population of Kuwait. More than the population of Munich
and slightly less than the population of San Francisco. So that gives
you a rough idea of the dimensions of all of these people that have
been displaced and it gives you some idea of the great challenge to
the UNHCR, assisted by NATO once the time comes, but working on it now,
to locate all of these people, to register them and to develop a plan
to bring them back to their homes once the crisis has finished.
Now I will ask General Jertz to give you his daily military
Major General Jertz : Good Afternoon,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Let me begin today's briefing with an up-date on the
impact of our operations on Serbian forces. As you know, from the beginning
we have targeted Serbia's air defence system in order to allow NATO
aircraft to penetrate and attack targets throughout Kosovo and Serbia.
Our operations have been successful in degrading Serb integrated air
defence systems, but to a certain degree it is still functional and
can still pose a threat to NATO air operations.
We also target Serb surface to air missile systems, so
far we have destroyed 75% of Serbia's fixed surface to air missile sites
and 12% of their mobile systems, the latter being forced to move continually
to avoid destruction, which of course makes them less effective.
All of these actions have significantly degraded Serb
defence capabilities and improved our ability to operate unimpeded over
Kosovo and the rest of Yugoslavia. For the same reason, Serbian Air
Forces, particularly their fighter force, have also been the subject
of our attention. Since the outbreak of the conflict we have destroyed
69% of the MiG 29s, their most capable aircraft. We have also destroyed
24% of MiG 21s, 46% of Galebs and 33% of Super Galebs. But bear in mind
that these are only the confirmed figures for assets destroyed. The
true figure is likely to be much higher as a result of numerous attacks
against aircraft shelters and hangars.
Our campaign against their air capability includes destruction
of their military airfields also. We continue to hit airfields very
hard and keep them out of action with follow-on attacks.
I would like to emphasise we have carefully identified
and attacked only those bridges and lines of communications which are
of military significance to the operations of the Serb ground forces
within Kosovo, lines of communications also being very valid targets.
We have also concentrated on interrupting key lines of communications
within Serbia thus severely degrading the flow of weapons, ammunition
and spare parts which are vital to the Serb military campaign.
We have destroyed most of the primary road and rail bridges
over which these supplies must pass. The Serbian military has been forced
to use secondary roads. To give you an example of the effectiveness
of NATO action, that means the destruction of the main bridge in the
Malasevo area has forced Serb Army units to use side roads, increasing
of course their vulnerability to KLA actions.
We have eliminated their capability to refine oil.
Let me now move on to the primary focus, attacks made
against Serb ground forces in Kosovo, the forces who pursue Milosevic's
brutal policy of ethnic cleansing. Serbian ground forces rely on their
tanks, artillery, mortars, anti-aircraft artillery, surface to air missiles,
armoured personnel carriers, trucks and of course other military equipment
to continue their operations. The Serbian military forces directly support
the special police, as I already mentioned in the past, and they do
support the paramilitaries in their repressive actions. To attack these
forces we have employed a mix of NATO aircraft that are available for
use in close air support and also battlefield air operation interdictions.
The versatility of NATO aircraft allows us to use this type of weapon
that provides maximum effectiveness while minimising the possibility
of damage to civilians and also to civilian property.
I can report to you that at the present time we have
struck 11 battalion op brigade command posts. We have struck a total
556 individual pieces of military equipment, out of which 312 were tanks,
artillery and/or armoured personnel carriers. This adds up to almost
31% of the entire estimated Serb heavy forces in Kosovo.
What do all these statistics mean where it matters -
on the ground? Milosevic's forces in the field are being taken apart,
faster and faster. Their ability to operate effectively, let alone carry
out acts of brutality, is further reduced with each day of this campaign.
With Serb air defences weakened, command and control undermined, Milosevic's
forces on the ground are at growing risk as the conflict goes on.
The following slide provides you with a summary of the
effect of NATO action.
Let me finish my presentation with a short up-date of
NATO's operations over the last 24 hours. Weather in the operating area
and in the air to air refuelling areas limited, like yesterday, NATO's
action. In Kosovo three more Super Galeb aircraft were destroyed and
one damaged. These numbers of course are included in the pervious slide.
You may have heard an earlier report that 6 aircraft
were destroyed. This figure unfortunately was issued in error. 6 were
discovered on the ground but only 4 of them were destroyed.
Artillery positions we also attacked, but the results
are not yet known. As you can see, attacks against strategic targets
were also limited. The Valjevo ammunition plant was struck again, further
limiting supplies to the Army. On the ground Yugoslav Army action continued
in the centre of Kosovo and on the Albanian border with cross-border
artillery firing into Albania and a small incursion by troops also into
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, concludes the up-date of
La Repubblica: General Jertz, let's
look at the map of the deployment of the Serb forces in Kosovo and where
they are taking up their positions. Are these positions, these concentrations
of forces, intended to fight the KLA or to stop or counter a possible
coming into Kosovo of NATO forces? Jamie, I heard of a NATO leaflet
dropped over Serbia mentioning 13,000 deserters in the Serb Army. Is
that figure accurate, is it just a guess, can you elaborate a bit?
Major General Jertz : On the first
question, both is a fact. The Serb Army is still fighting the UCK in
the areas which were depicted on the viewfoil; and secondly, we have
good evidence that in the area, especially towards Albania, positions
have been made of revetments, tanks are being dug in to be prepared
for an attack from the side of Albania.
Jamie Shea : On the question of deserters,
I would like to think that 13,000 were true but I don't have any information
George: Today Chancellor Schroeder confirmed
that Germany was firmly against the use of ground forces before any
kind of agreement. Two days ago Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said that
an agreement was not a precondition to use this instrument. Meanwhile
the Italian government stick to the point that a could be useful,
while the other countries are strictly against. Don't these signs show
that the unity is not as solid as it used to be?
Jamie Shea : George, you will not be
surprised to hear me say that I don't think that is true. In fact I
have just heard Prime Minister D'Alema addressing the Italian Parliament
saying: "I believe in such a delicate moment Italy's duty is to move
in synchronisation with its NATO Allies". And as you heard the Chancellor
today, and I don't believe there are any differences in what people
are saying, we all agree that we should stick with the current strategy,
everybody has said that in recent days. That strategy is working and
it is going to be even more effective in the next few days as we carry
on. As General Jertz has just shown you, we are now really beginning
to achieve that objective of degrading the Yugoslav forces severely,
and we want to keep that up. We all agree too that ground troops should
be introduced only once the Yugoslav forces are retreating, are withdrawing
from Kosovo, we made that clear at the Washington Summit, that policy
has not changed whatever. We all agree, thirdly, that we are not going
to send ground forces to fight in Kosovo, but as a peace force, as part
of a peace implementation force once the Yugoslav Forces are withdrawing.
Now I can understand that as the campaign goes on into
its 56th day everybody is looking for a story and if I were a journalist
I would be doing the same. But there is no story in terms of NATO differences
on ground troops, none whatever. And I have said in the past, and I
say it again, the precise timing, the precise circumstances as to when
those ground forces are introduced, once our political goals have been
met, will be decided in common, in common, by all 19 countries of the
North Atlantic Council. But that time is not now, this is not today's
debate. Today's debate is continuing the air operations and turning
the diplomatic screw even tighter on Milosevic and preparing our ground
force to be ready for when the time for its deployment comes. Those
are the priorities today, not speculating on the exact timing as to
when that ground force would be deployed. When the time comes I don't
think anybody, either you or I, will have any difficulty identifying
Mark Laity (BBC): The air campaign may
be doing a lot of physical damage to the Serb forces in the field but
is there any evidence that they are beginning to crack under the strain
in the sense of high rates of desertion, people refusing orders because
as I understand the strategy, in the end you are relying on President
Milosevic changing his mind so is there any suggestion that he is changing
his mind or that the Serb forces are changing their mind and leaving
anyway either through desertion in Kosovo or refusing call-up elsewhere?
Major General Jertz : From the military
aspect, I already indicated that morale is going down, we have already
mentioned it, because of bad payment for the VJ troops, for the Serb
troops and fear that they will be attacked, the hunger they have, they
don't get enough food, they don't get too much sleep because we are
doing the operations for 24 hours and we have continuous indications
that more and more soldiers, especially conscripts, are trying to get
away from Kosovo and I think, Jamie, you could mention the other part.
Jamie Shea : Obviously, the information
is still anecdotal at the present time but as General Jertz says, we
do know that the Yugoslavs are having enormous problems finding new
recruits. Kosovo has become, if you like, the Russian front for a lot
of Yugoslavs, that is to say that they know fully well that it is an
extremely unpleasant experience that awaits them there and there are
growing reports which even Milosevic can't hide of casualties. In fact,
as you know, the demonstrations in the last couple of days which have
taken place in Krusevac, Cacak and Alexandravac were all inspired by
the fact that coffins are coming back and of course families are not
very happy to see that their conscripts are being killed. It is no longer
for the Yugoslavs if it ever was - but less and less - a casualty-free
conflict in which they are giving all of the punishment but are not
taking any and of course, the longer Milosevic defies the international
community the higher those casualty rates are going to go.
Although I don't want to overplay the impact of three
demonstrations in three cities, nonetheless the fact that these things
are now happening in a spontaneous way and with many people on the streets
even to the extent that the Army commander has described certain people
as traitors, I think is a case that there is unrest at least among the
civilian population at being conscripted into the Army, at being sent
to Kosovo and among the families of those who are in the Armed Forces
who clearly don't believe that Kosovo is such a sacred cause that they
should allow their sons' lives to be sacrificed for it and we will obviously
have to see if these three demonstrations are harbingers of a growing
degree of unrest or not but I think the fact that they have happened
Mark Laity: Do any of those reports
put figures on anything, is it specific units you are aware of or anything
of that kind?
Jamie Shea : We will give that when
we are certain. Mark, the thing is, yes, we do have reports of low morale,
desertions and so on but I want to be absolutely certain of having all
of the facts before I stand up here and announce it and we are checking
that at the moment. But I would find it impossible to believe that there
would not be these things happening given the type of pressure that
the Yugoslav forces are under and as I said the other day, we do know
that there are clear differences in morale and motivation between on
the one hand the Army, basically conscripts and you have got to remember
in Yugoslavia there has been a very demographic decline in recent years
- the birth rate has been going down and therefore most families don't
have six or seven people to sacrifice for the fatherland they have one
or two - and therefore the idea of losing one in Kosovo is very unpalatable
indeed, hence the problem now of finding people to call up particularly
as the campaign of repression against the Albanians has meant that none
of the 1.9 million Kosovar Albanians, at least the men, are going to
obey the call-up papers, not after what has happened and so funnily
enough, the repression of Milosevic has deprived him of a large reservoir
of recruits for the Yugoslav Army and in fact the failure of the call-up
rate among the ethnic minorities is higher vis--vis the Serbs but in
a multiethnic society like Yugoslavia it can still have a significant
effect. On the other hand, the MUP - what I described as the Praetorian
Guard the other day - are better equipped, the lion's share of the budget
has been going to them, they are the people who are more ideologically
motivated, they are more bound up with the regime and we have seen this
tendency - and I think General Jertz has referred to it - as this campaign
is going on for more and more of the donkey work to be done by the MUP
- the Special Police - and less and less by the Army because of demoralisation.
In fact, what is also interesting is that in Krusevac yesterday where
this demonstration occurred, the Yugoslavs were obliged to send a MUP
reinforcement unit from Nis to take care of the situation which suggests
that it was not simply what Harold Macmillan would have described as
"a little local difficulty".
Question: You say that you are finally
beginning to reach your target and two-thirds of his heavy forces as
you said, are still not destroyed and you are taking two months doing
this. How long are you going to continue before everything is destroyed?
Will it go quicker now or will it have the same pace? Are you going
to keep on doing it for months?
What is the status for the planning of ground forces
regarding a permissive environment? We are talking about raising the
numbers to beyond the 28,000 originally planned, where is this planning
heading and how far has it gone?
Major General Jertz : Let me answer
the first question and I think Jamie could answer the second one.
You know that we had a slow start - I already indicated
it - because of bad weather and especially because we were fighting
the forces on the ground we had to wait for better weather and so in
the last few weeks we really came up to speed and that is why the figures
are increasingly getting higher and higher.
On the question of how long it will take, it will take
as long as we have to until Milosevic, as you have already been told,
agrees to the five principles.
Jamie Shea : On the ground troops,
what we are doing is we have asked SHAPE to revise the operational plan
for what we call operation Joint Guardian, which is the official name
for the peace-implementation force. SHAPE have now sent the revised
operational plan to the Military Committee according to the standard
NATO procedure, the Military Committee is now looking at it, analysing
it and when the Military Committee are satisfied they will send it to
the Council for discussion and ultimately endorsement.
Of course, what we are looking at in judging the size
of the force are obvious things: to what degree is the situation on
the ground now more complicated, worse, than last October or last summer
when the planning was originally done and of course we have to take
into account the fact that there are many more refugees and displaced
persons now, there is a much higher level of destruction of homes but
also infrastructure and one problem that there has always been in Kosovo
is the lack of host nation support if I can put that way, the lack of
a lot of infrastructure which a force could occupy or build on when
it goes in. There are also a lot more mines that we have to consider.
Force protection is very important for all of us and then of course
there is the question of to what degree will the force help with the
humanitarian relief effort at least in the initial phase or support
the transitional authority that is going to be established and so according
to which specific tasks are given to the force, you drive the numbers
but I cannot comment on numbers before the formal tasks have been approved
by the North Atlantic Council.
What however I would like to stress is that all of us
in the Alliance share a sense of urgency that when Milosevic finally
puts up his hand and says: "I accept the five conditions!", we have
to be ready with a peace-implementation force to enter Kosovo rapidly
and secure the situation in order to stave off any difficult situation
that could emerge from a vacuum, particularly a humanitarian vacuum,
so we are pushing this as a matter of priority but we are in a good
situation. I come back to this all the time, we have not left ourselves
bare, we have been for the last months deploying forces in the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a sizeable force, a so-called "enabling
force". That force, although helping with the refugees, has in recent
weeks been training very intensively for its mission; it is an equipped,
well-trained multinational force and therefore we do have an advanced
element to be deployed rapidly once the five conditions have been met.
Pierre: Jamie, do you have information
or indications why President Ahtisaari decided not to go to Belgrade
today with Mr. Chirnomyrdin?
Jamie Shea : Pierre, obviously that
is a question that should be put to him rather than to me but I am certain
that he will undertake that mission when he judges that the time is
right and the chances of success are high. As you know, the diplomatic
discussions with President Ahtisaari, the diplomatic discussions in
the G8, all of this continues but obviously I can well understand that
President Ahtisaari would wish to wait until he considers that the time
is right to maximise the chances of success and that the impression
on Milosevic which of course I know he would want to make, is going
to be successful.
John: Jamie, there have been rumours
going around London in the last few hours that as many as 1,000 soldiers
in Kosovo have deserted because of the way their families and the families
of their comrades have been treated during these demonstrations with
the use of water cannon and so on. Have such reports been reaching NATO,
would they surprise you?
General Jertz, as a military man, how damaging is it
when soldiers start deserting on this scale, what does it mean for the
effectiveness of the Serb forces?
Jamie Shea : John, I have seen those
reports, yes. As always, I want to be cautious in handling them until
we are ourselves, through a variety of sources, totally certain of the
facts because I would not like to mislead you but I have seen those
reports that a battalion of a certain brigade of the Yugoslav Army based
in Kosovo did try to go back to Krusevac upon hearing of the demonstrations
and of course out of worry that their families might be in some kind
of danger but I can't give you any figures here and I can't corroborate
those stories at the moment but I would not be surprised - let me say
that - but let us wait until we have got the facts straight before we
come back to it.
Major General Jertz : As a military
commander, you can imagine you need good troops with good morale and
you need to have these troops well equipped. Clearly, we are talking
about 80 per cent conscripts in the Serb Armed Forces which of course
makes life very difficult especially for a military commander. Please
don't misunderstand me and get me wrong now, we have a saying: "Many
chiefs, no Indians!" so if there are too many chiefs and you have nobody
to do the work for you, you will not be successful.
Jake: Jamie, isn't it clear, going into
the 9th week of this campaign, that while it might be indeed within
NATO's power to basically batter Yugoslavia into submission, it is also
within the power of President Milosevic to spin this out? Chancellor
Schrder addressed this - or at least I understood him to - when he
said that the avoidance of further human suffering was of such importance
that all political means should be used to try to achieve settlement.
Indeed, he said that considerations like hauling Milosevic up before
the War Crimes Tribunal should fall by the wayside. It is clear that
you are going to have to negotiate with President Milosevic and if,
as you have said, the five objectives are non-negotiable, what are you
going to negotiate with?
Jamie Shea : Jake, I think I have made
this clear all along. There are two ingredients of success here which
we have identified right from the word "go". The first thing is for
Milosevic to understand that the military campaign, the military pressure,
is unrelenting and we have shown this. Despite difficulties on the way,
despite all kinds of factors, here we are, as you say yourself, in the
ninth week, still doing what we were doing at the beginning and as General
Jertz has pointed out, it is taking a mounting toll on President Milosevic.
Obviously President Milosevic has to be the judge of
how many of his military forces he wants to lose before he agrees to
accept the five key conditions but coming back to the demonstrations
in the towns, if he is not listening to NATO he at least perhaps should
be listening to some of his own citizens who seem already to be saying
to him: "Enough is enough, we have got other priorities in life than
simply losing the lives of our families in Kosovo for great gain!"
Secondly, we have to demonstrate to Milosevic that he
cannot divide the international community, that he cannot simply sit
it out and either expect NATO to collapse or expect the international
community to fall apart and as we come together with Russia, as we come
together around what I expect to be an extremely firm, extremely detailed
UN Security Council resolution, then he will realise that that escape
hatch is not open to him so we are closing the military escape hatch
and we are slamming down the political escape hatch and then President
Milosevic will have no choice but we are not going to negotiate on those
five conditions, we have no interest in doing so.
We know what happens when you strike a compromise deal
with President Milosevic, you either have an endless negotiation leading
nowhere or you have a half-baked deal which may seem like "peace in
our time" but which six months later is in shambles with fighting again
breaking out, with Yugoslav forces still cracking down in Kosovo, with
international observers or a lightly-armed peace-keeping force completely
overtaken by the deteriorating dynamism of events and suddenly you are
back at square one. No, we have done that, we have been the whole nine
yards on that with President Milosevic, we have the experience and we
are not going to do that any longer. We realise fully well that if we
want to solve this crisis, we have to achieve those five conditions
and that is why we are going to be firm on it and I think that is the
message that you had from Chancellor Schrder today and that's the message
you are going to get from all of the allies. You are getting the message,
I hope President Milosevic is getting it too.
Jake: But nobody is going to negotiate
if the deal for him is that he has to back away unequivocally with nothing
to show for it. Now if those five conditions are not negotiable as you
have stressed, what is going to be in for him to induce him to negotiate?
You have made it very clear that you take very seriously NATO's responsibility
to bring this to a swift and satisfactory conclusion. In discharging
that responsibility, don't you have to suggest something further which
could act as an inducement to the hasty acceptance of these five conditions
Jamie Shea : We are not going to offer
any carrots if that is what you mean. No, we are going to make it clear
to Milosevic that we mean business. He may have in the past believed
that he could dangle us on the end of a piece of string but no, not
this time. We are going to solve this crisis on the basis of the five
conditions and Jake, unlike you, I believe that President Milosevic
has got lots to show from his activities in Kosovo: part of his country
completely devastated by his own forces, an economy which has been in
a nosedive for years, a budget which goes almost exclusively to the
military and not to his own people, a people which have one of the lowest
GNP per capitas in Europe because of his policies, a military regime
which has to go from bunker to bunker every night and rarely shows itself
to its own people and a rising pattern of discontent as to the unnecessary
sacrifices so I think that unfortunately, the problem for Milosevic
is he has got far too much to show from his actions. But no, we are
not going to give up on this. Doug: In view of your
last answer about the road to compromise and where that has led in the
past, Chancellor Schrder said that he was more optimistic today about
the prospect of a political settlement than he was last week. I know
you can't speak for him but I would like to know the general view among
the NATO allies of whether Milosevic has done anything in the past week
that we have not noticed to warrant optimism, has he withdrawn any troops,
has he stopped expelling civilians?
Can you confirm that NATO has asked the aid agencies
to move back from the north Albanian border and if so, why and could
you confirm if NATO is favourably considering a British proposal for
a 7-day bombing pause once they are demonstrably moving out of Kosovo?
Jamie Shea : Doug, I think if people
are feeling more upbeat about diplomacy, it is not because of a spirit
of compromise in the air, it is because we believe that we are working
now very intensively with Russia, we are working very intensively in
the G8 towards a UN Security Council resolution which would, as I say,
isolate Milosevic further and provide a very firm basis for subsequent
action to implement the five conditions, to translate the five conditions
into reality and we believe that that united front is a key factor in
convincing Milosevic that there is no way out. That is why I think people
I wouldn't say are optimistic - I think that goes too far - but at least
are hopeful that now we have got a diplomatic process which will be
very important to this whole thing. As you know, the whole G8 process
reflects the five core conditions of the Alliance.
As for the question of Albania, I don't have any information
- maybe General Jertz does - about NATO asking the international organisations
to leave. I have seen nothing on this at all. I know that the Albanians
have deployed some forces up on the border because of the shelling that
has taken place over the last couple of days but nothing on the aid
Doug: What about the 7-day bombing pause
proposed by Britain once the Yugoslav forces are demonstrably pulling
Jamie Shea : Once the Yugoslav forces
are moving out of Kosovo, the conditions of the international community
will be well on their way to being achieved but we are not there yet,
let's focus on the business of today and we'll worry about those types
of decisions when the time comes. We want to see first of all from Milosevic
concrete indications that he is moving towards full compliance with
those five conditions. There can be lots of valid ideas about how we
are going to implement those five conditions when the time comes but
that is not the business of today. Today's business is to keep up the
combination of military and diplomatic pressure which will get us there
hopefully sooner rather than later.
Major General Jertz : On the question
about the aid agencies, you know that the aid agencies, UNHCR and NATO
are working very efficiently and in a very co-operative manner together.
Of course, as you know, we have seen shelling across the border from
Kosovo into Albania in the last few days and weeks so we are very concerned
about the safety and security of those people who have just made it
out of Kosovo who may be shelled again. Those people will still live
in these camps which as far as is possible give them safety and security;
they needed a bed first, they needed something to eat first and now
UNHCR - and they are in the lead - are asking people if voluntarily
they would go to other places a little further away from the border
and that is the only answer which is correct in this context.
Roslar: Jamie, now is going a new NATO/Ukraine
commission with the participation of Mr. Tarazuk (phon), the Foreign
Minister of the Ukraine so how can you argue that the relationship between
Ukraine and NATO is going in the right direction if Ukraine doesn't
accept NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and NATO doesn't accept a Ukrainian
plan of resolving this problem and what is the right direction if you,
during two years, discuss the same topics?
Jamie Shea : Roslar, we can have different
views or nuances of view and we can still work together. The relationship
between NATO and Ukraine is so important that it can easily withstand
occasional different nuances of view. The fact that Boris Tarazuk is
here today, that the meeting is taking place - it is a regular meeting
- is a case in point and Kosovo apart, we have lots of other things
to talk about today: the development of our Partnership for Peace, we
are talking about the development of our NATO Information and Documentation
Centre in Kiev where we have just appointed a new Director, we are talking
about all of the work on defence reform where NATO is helping Ukraine
and so I can assure you it is business as usual on that front because
we recognise a long-term strategic interest in working together.
Carlos: The German Chancellor raised
this morning the Chinese embassy incident. What is the Secretary General
doing to get a full clarification on that?
Jamie Shea : That is something that he
is working on, Carlos, at the moment and when he has it, he will be passing
it on to the Allies. Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much. See you
tomorrow with Prime Minister d'Alema of Italy.