Belarusian President: I wanted to supply Yugoslavia’s Milošević with S-300, warplanes
Aliaksandr Lukashenka said on Monday that he had offered Slobodan Milošević to supply Yugoslavia with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and even warplanes in the 1990s.
However, the Yugoslav president rejected the offer because he could not believe that NATO was capable of ‘such aggression,’ Mr Lukashenka said in an interview with Serbia`s daily newspaper Politika and the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation.
‘Yes, honestly speaking, we considered such a plan of support with Mr Milosevic, and not only with S-300 but also with planes,’ he said. ‘We also developed routes, we found heroic pilots in Belarus who would try to fly into Serbia undetected. This would have been a very risky task, considering that these are military planes, fighters, not civilian aircraft.’
According to Mr Lukashenka, he had a personal meeting with pilots and described all the risks of the operation, but they expressed readiness to go to Serbia, insisting that they knew how to cross Ukraine without drawing anyone’s attention.
Mr Milošević refused to accept help from Belarus, but when NATO’s 1999 operation began and a blockade was imposed, it was too late to send missile systems to Yugoslavia, Mr Lukashenka said. ‘Milošević told me, ‘If only we had one of your S-300s, everything would be over,’” he stressed. ‘I replied that they should have thought [about this] earlier, especially considering that we had made an offer.’
Slobodan Milošević was a Serbian and politician who was the President of Serbia from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000.His presidency was marked by the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Yugoslav Wars. In the midst of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged with war crimes including genocide, andcrimes against humanity in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia andKosovo by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).