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    A man walks past a poster with the reading “Ten years of NATO occupation of Serbia”, and displaying images from 1999 NATO air campaign against Serbia and Montenegro, in Belgrade on March 23, 2009.

    The West Is 'Responsible' for Situation in the Balkans - Author

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Belgrade on Thursday where he met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. The Serbian leadership have repeatedly expressed gratitude to the Russian authorities for supporting the territorial integrity of the country and not recognizing the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo.

    The tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have recently escalated due to the self-proclaimed republic's decision to create a national army. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday that the Kosovo issue has no solution in the near foreseeable future.

    Sputnik spoke with Nikola Mirković, author of the book ‘Le Martyre du Kosovo’, for more insight on the issue.

    Sputnik: In what areas will the cooperation between Russia and Serbia increase?*

    Nikola Mirković: We know that there are going to be around 20, 21 agreements, which are going to be signed in today's meeting, and they concern energy, the digital economy, transportation, maybe also discussions or some agreements on military aid and help.

    I think these are a lot of different fields within the Serbian and Russian economy, and this is showing how strong the partnership is between Serbia and Russia today.

    Sputnik: Ahead of the talks with Vucić, President Putin has stated that the “United States and some other Western countries" are destabilising the Balkans by imposing their power on the region. In what way are Western nations doing so? And what is the evidence for such claim?

    Nikola Mirković: We have to go a bit back in history here, but not so far back. Look at what happened in the Balkans. There used to be a country called Yugoslavia, which was literally destroyed in the early 1990s. A lot of Western people accused ultra-nationalism — and one of the roots of the problems of Yugoslavia was ultra-nationalism.

    But don't forget that who spilt fuel on the flames of ultra-nationalism were Western countries: it was America, it was Germany who financed, who funded military groups who then split off Yugoslavia and made it become an independent state. Look at the situation of Kosovo: we know today — and we've got a lot of documented evidence — that the United States and Germany funded, financed and trained terrorist groups in Kosovo so that they could now ask for independence.

    So the West is responsible for the situation in the Balkans. If you look Yugoslavian countries today, practically all of them have since then joined NATO and the European Union. You should look at Croatia's President today: She used to be the number two in Communications for NATO. She used to be the ambassador to the United States.

    Now she's the President of Croatia, and the links between Washington and the new governments in place, in the countries which have stemmed from Yugoslavia, all have very deep connections with the United States. So it's obvious that the United States and the West have involved themselves very strongly in the region and want to dominate it.

    And that is why President Putin, in his recent declaration, said that the West wants to lead everything in the Balkan region. And this is something that the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucić, does not want to accept.

    Sputnik: One could argue that Putin’s statements come from an-anti American stance along with his own will to defend Russia’s interests. But, keeping in mind the history of Yugoslavia and especially of Kosovo, this isn’t the case, right?

    Nikola Mirković: Who bombed the Balkan countries? Who sent these bombs out? The Army of the United States, of France, of Germany. These are the Western countries who sent their troops on a sovereign state's soil.

    Western countries — they brought the war, they're the ones who, instead of getting people around the table and saying 'Let's discuss and let's try to find some sort of solution to a feud which really did exist,' they spilt fuel over the fire; and they came in with the bombs. And now they are coming with hundreds of NGOs, saying 'We're going to help you build your democracies.'

    On the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels
    © Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky
    And the US National Endowment for Democracy's  is present, George Soros is present — all these are funds which are backed by Western State taxpayers; and this is something which is completely documented, and of which there is evidence. So when Vladimir Putin is saying 'This is not propaganda,' he's just telling the truth.

    Unfortunately many people in the West are not seeing this because they are being brainwashed by mainstream media, which is not telling the truth and they're trying to show Putin as the bad guy in this situation, whereby he's only telling the truth. And a lot of people in the East and many in Serbia do know that that is true.

    Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nikola Mirković and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    *The interview was made ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Serbia. Russia will keep assisting Serbia in strengthening its defense potential, as well as continue the practice of joint military drills, according to Vladimir Putin. Moreover, Moscow and Belgrade signed agreements worth of 200 million euros ($228mln), Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday.

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    tensions, conflict, cooperation, NATO, Nikola Mirković, Aleksandar Vucic, Vladimir Putin, Balkans, Serbia
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