1 Tuesday, 30 November 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.17 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are to call your next witness.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I call Yevgeny Primakov.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
12 WITNESS: YEVGENY PRIMAKOV
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: And, Mr. Milosevic, you may begin.
15 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Primakov.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. I will try to bear the limited time in mind so that you can finish
19 with your testimony today, but I would like you to cover your biography
20 very briefly, just main details from your biography, please.
21 A. Main details of my biography are as follows: I was elected to the
22 Supreme Council of the USSR, and in 1998, I was elected to the upper
23 chamber of our parliament, to the upper house. Following that, after the
24 Soviet Union fell apart, towards late 1991 I was appointed the head of the
25 central intelligence service. Following that, I was minister for foreign
1 affairs. I served in that post for two years and eight months, and in
2 1998 and 1999, I was the Prime Minister of Russia, of the Russian
4 Prior to that, prior to the Supreme Soviet, I was a journalist.
5 I also was elected a member of the academy, Academy of Sciences of Russia,
6 therefore I was an academician; and I was also head of two very
7 significant scientific institutes: One was the Institute of Oriental
8 Studies, and the other was the Institute of World Economy and
9 International Relations.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just check one thing. Can I take it your
11 election to the upper house was in 1988?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prior to that, I was already a
13 member of the Supreme Soviet, and I was elected to that body for the first
14 time in 1988. In 1989, I was elected for the second time to the Supreme
15 Soviet, and there I was the president of the upper chamber.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Primakov, you participated actively and with significant
18 influence in formulating Russian foreign policy throughout that decade; is
19 that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right. I participated in formulating Russian foreign
21 policy in the 1990s, in view of my various posts. In that capacity, I
22 took part in that.
23 Q. Yes, precisely. That's what I thought. You were head of the
24 intelligence service. You were minister of foreign affairs, and you were
25 also the Prime Minister. So in those capacities, you covered foreign
1 policy; is that right?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. Throughout your work, when you dealt with the Balkans and
4 Yugoslavia, were you involved in that directly?
5 A. Yes. I dealt with that directly in my official capacities.
6 Q. Starting in 1991, you became head of central intelligence service.
7 Please tell us, what did the central intelligence service do in
9 A. Foreign intelligence service of Russia mostly dealt with the
10 crisis in Yugoslavia, using its sources not only in the Balkans but also
11 in other countries in order to create a full and complete picture of what
12 was going on so that it could be reported to the leadership of the Russian
13 Federation so that the Russian Federation could formulate a proper
14 position in view of that situation. This was political intelligence
15 activity, and with respect to that, I would like to tell you about the
16 task that I was assigned by the head office. I have a text of this task
17 assigned to me, in English, and I can turn this document over to the
19 In view of the expansion of NATO, the following telegram was sent:
20 NATO alliance mission in Bosnia. In view of that mission, the task was
21 set to us to establish to what extent the United States of America intends
22 to involve Russia in the model of establishing security in Europe by using
23 NATO mechanisms. We were mostly interested in the mechanisms allowing the
24 Russian leadership to focus on the following issues:
25 First of all: Is the practice relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 something that involves a purely local model, or is there a universal
2 scenario in place allowing Washington to maintain and reinforce its
3 position following the end of the Cold War?
4 Second: What aspect of this model or scenario pertaining to
5 allies of the USA pertains, and is the United States prepared to take into
6 account those views which do not correspond to theirs?
7 And third: What steps would be taken by the allies of the United
9 And four: What is the situation concerning this in the United
10 States itself?
11 And the fifth: How does this relate to the expansion of NATO?
12 Therefore, we had these five tasks that were sent to various
13 departments, and I think this document shows just what level of interest
14 existed within our agency, the intelligence agency, in view of the fact
15 that we were interested in having a complete picture and informing our
16 leadership about that. We wanted to know whether this was one single
17 episode or whether this had a universal character, universal in a sense
18 that after the end of the Cold War, there would be an attempt to create a
19 European system of security through NATO mechanisms.
20 Q. And what conclusion did you reach? Did this have a local or
21 universal character?
22 A. We came to the conclusion that what was going on was the
23 formulation of a model aimed at using NATO mechanism outside of the
24 territories of NATO Member States, and that in the future, United States
25 will strengthen its efforts to use this mechanism outside of the NATO
1 states, and the future confirmed that our conclusion was accurate.
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: There was no translation. Say that again,
4 Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. I asked: What were your evaluations concerning the position of
7 the West, the attitude of the West towards Belgrade? What characterised
8 their attitude?
9 A. This issue covers a number of years. I don't think that we
10 immediately had the feeling that the West, and specifically the United
11 States, would be so persistent and insistent in following the course of
12 weakening Serbia. However, as time passed, it turned out exactly that
14 For instance, I had meetings with the CIA chief, James Woolsey.
15 During those meetings, we discussed Yugoslavia and the crisis in
16 Yugoslavia, and to a certain extent we identified that even our two
17 intelligence services looked exactly the same way upon a whole series of
19 I had a number of conversations with Mr. Woolsey, and I am
20 prepared to hand over my notes to the Honourable Court. For instance --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov, I'm stopping you. Mr. Milosevic,
22 you must bring the witness to something that is closer -- to evidence that
23 is closer to the issues in this case, otherwise questions of relevance
24 will arise. I think the introductory part has gone far enough. Bring him
25 to something that is more central, is more directly related to the issues
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 in the case.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can say very
3 straightforwardly that from our point of view, in response to
4 Mr. Milosevic's question, it is a fact that after a Democratic
5 administration came to the White House it became evermore apparent that
6 their course was to weaken Serbia, to not allow it to gain strength, and
7 possibly even to complete the process of Yugoslavia's full disintegration.
8 Are you happy with this answer?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You said that before. I want Mr. Milosevic
10 to bring you to evidence that is closer to the issues that we are dealing
12 Ask another question now, Mr. Milosevic.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. What was the political background of the West's attitude to the
15 specific situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina which was your focus of
17 A. Obviously one could also speak about humanitarian grounds. I'm
18 not denying that. However, together with that, it is obvious that there
19 was a political ground, political basis proceeding from the West's
20 assumption that after Milosevic was unable, as leader of Serbia, to keep
21 Yugoslavia together in its former shape, he placed his bets on the
22 creation of the so-called Greater Serbia. That was the idea that our
23 Western colleagues had. However, I absolutely don't share such view.
24 Q. Can you confirm that this idea of a Greater Serbia had never
25 featured in the plans of our state?
1 A. In response to your question, I can refer, first of all, to my
2 with you directly on the 8th of January, 1993. That was my first meeting
3 with Mr. Milosevic, when I flew into Belgrade upon instructions from
4 President Yeltsin following the submission at the Geneva conference of the
5 Vance-Owen resolution on the 1st of January, and that plan envisaged an
6 easing of tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Within the framework of that discussion I had with Mr. Milosevic,
8 he first agreed with my argument that in order to stabilise the situation
9 in Bosnia, it is necessary to have a stable situation in Serbia. He also
10 mentioned that the absence of a peaceful solution to the Bosnian crisis
11 could lead to not only an external crisis for Serbia but also an internal
12 one, because there were many hostile elements.
13 When I asked him whether he nurtured any plans of a Greater
14 Serbia, he said, emphatically, no. He said that this could be achieved
15 only in theory, at the price of huge bloodshed. "And I'm not prepared to
16 do that," he said.
17 During that particular visit to Belgrade, the two of us agreed,
18 and Milosevic specifically agreed, that he would go to Geneva and take
19 part in the Geneva peace conference. At first he wasn't willing to go to
20 Geneva, saying that it would be very difficult for him to do so against
21 the background of such a violent, virulent anti-Serbian campaign in the
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I want to address a question -- I want to address
24 a question to you. In that meeting in Belgrade in January 1993, when you
25 discussed with Mr. Milosevic the question of a Greater Serbia, what did
1 you understand the -- that concept to mean? In practical terms, what did
2 it mean?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unification of all Serbs living in
4 Yugoslavia into one state.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue, Your Honour?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You mentioned --
10 A. I'm sorry. I didn't finish my previous answer.
11 And then Mr. Milosevic travelled to Geneva. His conduct in Geneva
12 confirms, as I see it, his chartered course of policy to stabilise Kosovo.
13 He arrived in Geneva at a moment when the Republika Srpska authorities had
14 already rejected the proposal of the constitution of the first article,
15 the constitution of BH, and what was under discussion when he arrived was
16 the territorial division in Bosnia.
17 His further conduct confirmed, and further developments confirmed
18 that he intended to accept the Vance-Owen resolution. And even when the
19 situation in the Serbian Krajina grew much more tense vis-a-vis the
20 Croats, he kept insisting on that. And when the parliament of Republika
21 Srpska adopted the resolution rejecting the plan, rejecting agreement,
22 everybody knows how Belgrade reacted. Belgrade practically imposed an
23 economic blockade on Republika Srpska, allowing the passage of only
24 humanitarian aid, qualifying it as the only possible position for anyone
25 who had any responsibility.
1 I watched the broadcast of Mr. Milosevic's speech in Geneva. He
2 spoke of the two principles in the draft project of the future
3 constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina. One, equality among
4 all three ethnic communities and resolution of all issues by consensus. I
5 believe this is clear testimony to the fact that he had no plans and
6 conducted no actions to achieve a Greater Serbia.
7 Q. You mentioned, Mr. Primakov, during this answer that at that time
8 there was a virulent anti-Serbian campaign in the press. What were your
9 thoughts and impressions from that time?
10 A. I remember one of the programmes that I saw on television that was
11 shown in all Western countries in December, just before I arrived, and
12 this programme showed a large group of people burying somebody. It was a
13 funeral. And it was said that the people being buried were victims of
14 Serbian genocide; however, in the procession at the funeral, you could see
15 Orthodox priests.
16 After that, apologies were made, and it was said that it was all a
17 mix-up, that everything was exactly the other way around. However, it's
18 my view that Serbs were being depicted as the aggressor side
20 Q. And what was the general attitude of the Western media regarding
21 the Serbs?
22 A. I think I've already answered that question. The Western take was
23 extremely negative. I mean, the whole attitude of the Western media.
24 That is, I believe, common knowledge.
25 Q. From all that you know, because you are testifying, as we agreed,
1 on the basis of your personal knowledge, can we take it that the Serbian
2 side was responsible for the events in Kosovo?
3 A. Do you want to move on to Kosovo already, Mr. Milosevic?
4 Q. I will come back to certain topics yet, but I just wanted to ask
5 you this question at precisely this point.
6 A. You see, Kosovo, from my point of view, was a place that was
7 seeing events testifying to the escalation of Albanian extremism and
8 separatism. The initiators and the provocateurs of many events in Kosovo
9 were the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, which, by the way, was included
10 by the US first into their list of terrorist organisations. With the
11 intensification of the activities of that army, which thrived on
12 volunteers and weapon supplies from Albania - and that became clearer and
13 clearer after 1997 - followed by more reinforcements and weapon supplies
14 from Europe, they started pushing back the Serbian army and the police,
15 which retaliated and pushed them out of various villages. And the
16 casualties in all that process were Albanian villagers. But the
17 initiators of all that were the Kosovo Liberation Army.
18 If you're asking me about the Western attitude to all that, I have
19 already said that at the beginning this army was characterised as a
20 terrorist organisation; however, later it was labelled almost as a
21 mechanism for achieving liberty for the Albanian population, liberty and
23 I think the Western politicians, who took a long time to reach
24 that conclusion, were led by Germany, which at that time worked hard to
25 achieve the return to Kosovo of a large number of Albanians who had left
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Kosovo and who were working in Germany at the time. It was becoming a
2 huge internal problem for Germany. And that is why the entire Western
3 policy took that line towards the KLA.
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Primakov. I wanted to single this out
5 as a general question, but let us for the time being come back to the
6 crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Tell me, what were you guided by? What were the underlying
8 reasons for your conclusion that the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina could
9 not be dealt with by military means?
10 A. Mr. Milosevic, that's not only my conclusion. His Honour the
11 Judge did not allow me to read from the shorthand notes of my discussion
12 with Mr. Woolsey, who at that time headed the CIA. It was also the
13 conclusion of the CIA that there is no military solution to the BH crisis.
14 And in effect, three ethnic communities were fighting each other, each
15 defending its own interests, but in essence it was one and the same
16 people, one and the same nation divided by ethnicity and religion. And it
17 was impossible to deal with the problem militarily because that would
18 inevitably damage the interests of one of the groups. It would
19 dramatically damage the interests of either one group or, alternatively,
20 the two other groups which wanted to unite, namely, the Croats and the
21 Muslims, and opposed to them were the Serbs.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Primakov, it is not the intention of the Chamber
23 or the Judge not to allow you to read out the notes you made with the --
24 during the conversation with the CIA. The point was that Mr. Milosevic
25 should put the specific questions to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. Thank you.
2 JUDGE KWON: Go on, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. From the conversation you had with Mr. Woolsey, you have some
6 shorthand notes, and you wanted to read them. If you believe that would
7 complement your answer, add to it, please do so. And if you don't think
8 that, then let's go on.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before -- Mr. Milosevic, we have been through
10 this before. If he's going to read from notes, you must adduce from him
11 evidence about the provenance of the notes; when they were made and the
12 general context in which they were made.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I originally understood that
14 Mr. Primakov had already explained that. He's talking about the notes of
15 his discussion with his American colleague, Mr. Woolsey, that took place
16 in 1993.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already emphasised a couple of
18 points that can be derived from the notes of this discussion, and I don't
19 intend to go back to it any more, with your leave.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Very well. Let us move on, then. In your assessment and
22 according to the data available to you then, what were the causes of the
23 war no Bosnia-Herzegovina? What was the nature of that war?
24 A. If you speak about the nature of that war, it was a civil war fed
25 by external intervention.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Primakov. Did the contacts that you said were
2 successful when you spoke about your discussions with Mr. Woolsey
3 continue? Did they continue?
4 A. Unfortunately, not at the level that they had in 1993, that they
5 had reached in 1993. They actually ceased, in the beginning of 1994, and
6 we shifted to an exchange of information and only for a while. I believe
7 that if the contacts had continued at the level where they were in 1993,
8 and they included then visits by our representatives to Washington for
9 negotiations about possible solutions to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I
10 believe these talks were constructive, and if they had continued, if they
11 had been able to continue, that would have had a very favourable effect on
12 the policies and politics in all countries.
13 Q. Mr. Primakov, I just want to explain to you that I'm waiting for
14 the interpretation of your answer to finish, and this explains the brief
15 pauses between question and answer.
16 A. I can see that, Mr. Milosevic. I understand that.
17 Q. Mr. Primakov, following this situation, you remember that on the
18 eve of the elections in Serbia in December 1992, there was a NATO meeting
19 in Brussels. Do you remember the kind of oratory that could be heard
21 A. According to the information available to us at the time,
22 criticism of Serbia gained force, and even appeals were heard from certain
23 representatives to apply force against Serbia. Such statements became
24 public, and in our view, that was an attempt to exert pressure generally,
25 including on the forthcoming elections in Serbia and Montenegro. I
1 believe that at that moment it was a demonstration of power aimed at
2 achieving a political solution, a political outcome of the elections that
3 would suit the West.
4 Q. Did I understand you correctly -- or, rather, let me put it in the
5 form of a question. Those positions taken in Brussels, were they just
7 A. It was both propaganda, but it was also the beginning of the
8 implementation of a particular political course.
9 Q. You said that it was also the exertion of political pressure. Did
10 I understand that correctly?
11 A. Yes, you understand me correctly.
12 Q. Thank you. You were aware of the position of Belgrade and my
13 personal position?
14 A. Yes, I was familiar with it, and I spoke about it already, about
15 our first meeting in 1993, and I continued to be aware of your political
16 position throughout many meetings we had after that. The quintessence of
17 that position was that you didn't want to see any damage to the interests
18 of Serbs in the conflict that was going on in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the
19 time, and I felt that at the same time you wanted a peaceful solution
20 which is a reflection of your later stance at the Dayton negotiations.
21 I didn't participate in the Dayton negotiations, but I had a
22 conversation with a colleague when I was already foreign minister. I
23 spoke to the US state secretary, Madeleine Albright, and asked her this
24 question: "Do you believe that in Dayton you could achieve success in
25 stabilising the situation in Bosnia were it not for the role played by
1 Milosevic?" And she answered unequivocally, "No. Without Milosevic, we
2 could not achieve a positive outcome."
3 Q. How did Russia assess, and what attitude did Russia take with
4 respect to our position and our efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement
5 in Bosnia?
6 A. Russia unequivocally held onto the position that it was necessary
7 to establish stabilisation and to avoid bloodshed in Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 and it achieve political settlement in that country, and everything that
9 was done in order to achieve that by Mr. Milosevic was that Russia
10 supported, providing that it was done within those principles that Russia
11 abided by.
12 In view of that, I would like to say that after my first meeting
13 with Mr. Milosevic, pursuant to the directive issued by President Yeltsin,
14 on the 14th of January, a representative of the Federal Republic of
15 Yugoslavia was told to convey to Mr. Milosevic that the president of
16 Russia had a favourable view concerning his efforts on achieving peaceful
17 settlement in Bosnia, and he issued an order to our agencies to take
18 measures aimed at ensuring the change of position towards Belgrade that
19 existed within certain countries, Islamic countries included. That would
20 favour the achievement of peaceful settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 This was the statement of our government that was conveyed to the
22 representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who was told to
23 convey this to President Milosevic.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I observe that the witness periodically
25 reads from pieces of paper in a file he has. On one occasion it appeared
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1 to have been a note or something. On other occasions it may simply be
2 preparations for the giving of testimony. It maybe helpful if we know
3 what he is reading from from time to time.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Primakov, you've heard the
5 point made by the Prosecutor. You're not to read from any note unless it
6 has been brought to the Court's attention before and has received the
7 approval of the Court. So let us know when you're reading from a
8 particular note, and we'll ask you about the circumstances in which the
9 note was made and then determine whether to allow you to read from it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I simply wish to say
11 that this instruction is something that I conveyed to Mr. Milosevic
12 through our representative, and I did it pursuant to the instructions I
13 had received from President Yeltsin.
14 Your Honour, I do not believe that this is a document that can be
15 presented in the courtroom. This is a document that goes through coded
16 communications. It's a coded telegram, and it would be difficult to
17 present it here as evidence.
18 If I was invited here to give evidence, if I was invited here to
19 come as a witness, and as you know, I was head of the foreign intelligence
20 service, I was a minister of foreign affairs, and I was Prime Minister of
21 Russia; therefore, I think that a Court should have a certain amount of
22 trust to what I'm saying.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, trust is one matter, Mr. Primakov, but we
24 have rules of evidence that we must abide by, and in future, whenever
25 you're going to read from a note, from a book, that must be brought to the
1 attention of the Court before.
2 And, Mr. Milosevic, you must bear that in mind. And you should
3 know this by now. We've been through that before.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, you were able to see
5 for yourself that Mr. Primakov read out from the instructions sent by the
6 service concerning the issues of NATO views and so on. Therefore, he read
7 out from his own documents, from the instruction that he had received.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, that's not the point. The point
9 is that we must know what he's reading from. The general rule is that
10 evidence must come from his mouth. If he is reading from a note that he
11 has made, the Court must know that. The Prosecutor may want to
12 cross-examine on that.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Primakov --
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, let me clarify one thing.
17 Mr. Primakov, was the document that you read from an original --
18 is it interpretation or -- excuse me. Is it a note you made for the
19 preparation of this evidence, or is it the note or translation of coded
20 document to be presented to the Tribunal?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is verbatim instruction that I
22 passed on to our representative so that the view of Russia concerning the
23 travel of Mr. Milosevic to Geneva can be made known and so that this could
24 be conveyed to Mr. Milosevic.
25 JUDGE KWON: But you are not in position to hand the document over
1 to the Court, or are you?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you are probably aware of, Your
3 Honour, these documents are not proper documents. These are coded
4 telegrams, and no state would make known the system of its coded
5 telegrams, even after many years have passed. So this is what I passed on
6 to our representative in Belgrade.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Primakov, you quoted verbatim what you passed on, the
9 information that you passed on; is that right?
10 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Let's follow on on this. Do you remember
12 our meeting which took place in Belgrade two months after the initial
14 A. Yes, I remember that meeting well. I remember it well.
15 Q. This meeting, did it give any further contribution to the efforts
16 to reach a peaceful settlement?
17 A. During that meeting, you confirmed once again your intention to
18 abide by the course proposed in the resolution of Vance-Owen Plan, and
19 that was the main issue, as far as I could tell, discussed at that
21 Q. Now let us turn to Kosovo. I put only one general question to you
22 concerning Kosovo that had to do with responsibility, and you gave me your
23 answer about separatist and terrorist activity. My question is as
24 follows: Did the Russian side know about the preparations of terrorists
25 and their activities undertaken in that province; and to what extent was
1 Russia informed about that?
2 A. We were informed about the events taking place. We were informed
3 about the fact and that there were reinforcements of soldiers coming in
4 from Albania. However, I have to say that Albania itself did not start
5 supporting separatism in Kosovo from the beginning.
6 In 1996, at the General Assembly, I had a meeting with the
7 minister of foreign affairs of Albania, who told me that Albanian policy
8 meant that Kosovo should be seen as part of Yugoslavia. And this was
9 something that I, as minister of foreign affairs at the time, supported
10 very firmly. However, the position changed later on in view of what was
11 happening in Albania itself at the time. There was disorder and chaos in
12 that country at the time, and the forces that supported the KLA gained in
13 influence and force at the time. This was well known.
14 Q. The position of Albania is something that you have explained. Did
15 you discuss the issue of Kosovo with the Western leaders?
16 A. There was a discussion with Western leaders at practically all
17 meetings of the Contact Group, the ones that I took part in as minister of
18 foreign affairs. I believe that several such meetings could be named
19 here, the meetings that testify that there was a confrontation of opinions
20 there, occasionally leading to disputes, because it was obvious what was
21 going on in Kosovo.
22 I took part in the Contact Group meeting for the first time on the
23 24th of September, 1997. I'm not reading out from a document, I'm reading
24 from my note. Am I allowed to do that, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did you make those notes?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I made these notes yesterday.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, you may read from them briefly.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not reading out, I'm just
4 looking at the text. I'm not reading out from the text.
5 So on the 24th of September, 1997, the first meeting of the
6 Contact Group in which I participated took place, and at the time, at the
7 proposal of Klaus Kinkel, a German foreign minister, at his firm proposal,
8 the first statement of the Contact Group was adopted. And as is well
9 known, this statement did not deal with Kosovo or Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 This statement was formulated back at the time when Yugoslavia
11 disintegrated and when various conflicts erupted. Then the first
12 statement was adopted concerning Kosovo, and I believe that it was a
13 balanced statement. The text was carefully formulated, and the text
14 acknowledged that this was an internal conflict, and the text expressed
15 concern with the fact that the situation was not regulated.
16 At the end of February 1998, the situation in Kosovo became more
17 tense, and in that background, another meeting was held, a meeting of the
18 Contact Group in London on the 8th of March. I also took part in that
19 meeting. And at the time, United States and UK proposed that economic
20 sanctions be imposed against Yugoslavia. We attempted to ensure that
21 these sanctions apply only to supply of weapons to Yugoslavia. This was
22 confirmed by the Western colleagues that this did not pertain only to
23 Yugoslavia, meaning not only to Serbia, but to Kosovo as well.
24 I think that another meeting that ought to be mentioned here is a
25 meeting of Contact Group in Bonn on the 25th of March, held at the level
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1 of the ministers of foreign affairs. There were significant disagreements
2 expressed there.
3 The main role was played, naturally, by the Americans there. The
4 position taken there did not suit us because it wasn't a balanced position
5 and did not reflect the objective reality. And when I failed to give my
6 consent to that text, Kinkel showed himself to be a very wise politician,
7 and he managed to reach a consensus and to iron out the disagreements, and
8 then the final text was fairly balanced.
9 At the following meeting, a package of stabilisation measures was
10 taken, and at that meeting there was condemnation of Albanian terrorists
12 I can also give you other information stemming from Contact Group
13 meetings which confirm that the Western side wanted to increase its
14 pressure on Serbia, on Yugoslavia, through a system of economic measures,
15 economic sanctions, which is something that we disagreed with. We
16 formulated our opinion, the essence of which was that we were against the
17 freezing of assets, and we were against the ban on new investment in
18 Yugoslavia. This was our position that was expressed, and in order not to
19 sabotage the entire effort, we did adopt these resolutions which, in our
20 mind, gave a more balanced note to the entire effort thanks to our
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: In future your answers should be shorter.
23 Mr. Milosevic, direct more questions to the witness. The Court
24 doesn't profit from answers which are so long.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, precisely in order to
1 save time, I believe that these efforts with the Contact Group are such
2 that I would not have put a question to Mr. Primakov about the meeting of
3 Contact Group in Bonn and London and so on. I wasn't going to deal with
4 each of these meetings individually, because that would have taken up a
5 lot of time. As it stands, he described these meetings very briefly, gave
6 a conclusion about each of these meetings, expressing that there was
7 serious pressure exerted upon Yugoslavia.
8 My question to Mr. Primakov is as follows:
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Primakov, were the efforts of the Contact Group something that
11 fed separatism from outside? Are the efforts of Contact Group something
12 that fed pressures from outside?
13 A. I cannot agree with that statement that the efforts of Contact
14 Group fed separatism from outside. However, there were some episodes that
15 did feed the separatism from outside, and I will give you two such
16 episodes. The first one was depicting KLA fighters as someone who was
17 fighting for justice, and the second instance were the efforts of our
18 Western partners to avoid at any cost the mentioning of the fact that
19 Kosovo issue needs to be resolved within the framework of Serbia. At any
20 cost, avoiding the mentioning of that.
21 They spoke of Yugoslavia without mentioning Serbia, and this is
22 where we and others could see that they were attempting to introduce a
23 partial solution, an interim solution which would lead to the separation
24 of Kosovo. They were, in fact, attempting to turn Kosovo into another
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. All right, then. Well, did this fact feed the separatism from
3 A. Yes, it did feed it.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When Mr. Primakov mentioned these
5 two moments, these two instances, namely that KLA terrorists were depicted
6 as justice fighters, and the other one that there was an attempt to avoid
7 mentioning this within the framework of Serbia, I received the translation
8 that Mr. Primakov used the term "episode." He didn't say "episode."
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. You're raising a translation point?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. In the translation, the
11 interpretation, I heard that Mr. Primakov described this as an episode.
12 He didn't use the term "episode." He described this as two factors.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Proceed.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: What did you say, Mr. Primakov?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, not the episode but the
16 interaction, the activity that existed within the Contact Group which
17 objectively stirred up or fed separatism.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I don't want to go into details, but can you please tell me what
20 took place in Bonn during the Contact Group meeting at the beginning?
21 A. If you're interested in the entourage issues, I can tell you that
22 when Klaus Kinkel invited me into his office and we started negotiating
23 various formulations, behind the window there was a demonstration of
24 Albanians going on. Kinkel told me, "Do you see under what kind of
25 pressure I have to work?" And I responded to him, "Why don't you announce
1 that you will put down the -- put down the names of all those taking part
2 in the demonstrations, and there will be nobody there any more," because
3 all those taking part in the demonstrations definitely did not want to go
4 back to Kosovo. And this was confirmed by events later on, because all of
5 them remained living in Germany, because Germany has a much higher living
6 standard than Kosovo.
7 Q. In addition to Contact Group ministers, you also discussed Kosovo
8 with your American counterpart, Vice-president Al Gore.
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Please tell us only those details which pertain to your
11 conversation and how you viewed the refugees from Kosovo and Metohija and
12 how he viewed them. What was his position about refugees from Kosovo and
13 Metohija, and what was your position regarding them?
14 A. This conversation took place on the eve of -- or, rather, after
15 the airstrikes had started, after they had started. That was not the
16 first conversation I had with Mr. Gore.
17 Gore claimed that millions of refugees were leaving Kosovo,
18 Albanian refugees, travelling through mountains, suffering greatly, and
19 that that was precisely the reason for the airstrikes. I told him that
20 according to our information, the wave of refugees reached its greatest
21 level precisely after the beginning of airstrikes, and immediately said
22 that he, mildly speaking, was exaggerating because there could not be 1
23 million refugees in Kosovo in view of its entire population.
24 Q. Let us clarify something, Mr. Primakov. If I understood you well,
25 you are saying that the reason people became refugees was bombing, the
1 airstrikes. Is that right?
2 A. Not quite. Naturally, people became refugees for other reasons as
3 well, but these great numbers, these vast numbers, and this wide-scale
4 process, this wide-scale process, according to our information, started
5 after the airstrikes had begun. And this was something that was
6 acknowledged by refugees themselves, refugees who gave public statements.
7 They explained their departure by the bombing.
8 Q. Tell me very briefly, how did Russia view the arms embargo?
9 A. I already said, Mr. Milosevic, that we viewed this measure as the
10 necessity to refrain from arms deliveries not only to Yugoslavia but also
11 to Kosovo where it could be used and abused by separatists.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, it's time for the adjournment.
13 Mr. Primakov, we're going to take an adjournment now.
14 Judge Bonomy wants to ask a question before we take the
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Primakov, near the beginning of your evidence
17 you referred to two documents. One was a telegram, I think, that had been
18 circulated to sources that you had in various countries, and the other was
19 notes you made of your meeting with Woolsey, and you gave the impression
20 that these were documents you could produce to the Tribunal.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. You are right, Your Honour. I
22 could submit them to the Tribunal.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That's all I wanted to know. That's all I wanted
24 to know. It's a matter for Mr. Milosevic to decide whether he wishes them
25 to be produced.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, please continue.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Primakov, what was the position of the state secretary,
7 Madeleine Albright, in Bonn on the 25th of March at the ministerial
9 A. Well, Mr. Milosevic, Mrs. Albright, who represented the United
10 States at the Contact Group meeting, insisted on the adoption of a
11 resolution which stepped up pressure upon Belgrade. It was a resolution
12 that envisaged the taking of forcible measures, measures of force.
13 Q. What was your stance, then?
14 A. I have already said that our position boiled down to a rejection
15 of a one-sided reaction to Kosovo events, even more so because the
16 possibilities for a political settlement were far from exhausted.
17 Q. Did the danger then appear of Russia walking out of the Contact
19 A. Yes, you're right. During the session of the Contact Group, when
20 I felt that such a resolution was being pushed, I said that in case it is
21 adopted, I would no longer be willing to be among the participants
22 supporting it, and I was prepared to walk out. After that, Kinkel invited
23 me to his office and instructed his deputy, Ischinger, to find some
24 language, some wording that would satisfy all the members of the Contact
1 Q. Did you then realise that your partners in the Contact Group were
2 ultimately ready to use force against Belgrade?
3 A. Yes, I was aware of that because we already had information about
4 ongoing preparations for implementing one of the options on NATO's table.
5 Q. You and I met as early as the 11th of March, 1998, and had a long
6 conversation. Were you happy with the outcome of that meeting?
7 A. In principle, I was happy with the results of that meeting because
8 the next day Milutinovic, who was at that time president of Serbia, made a
9 statement saying that Serbia was ready and willing to start negotiating
10 with Rugova. That was the main point of our discussion. And for the main
11 part, it was the answer that we were seeking from you. The fact that it
12 was not you who made the statement but Mr. Milutinovic was something that
13 I didn't understand at the outset, but I later understood that it is
14 explained by the fact that it was Serbia who was dealing with Kosovo, and
15 he was the President of Serbia, not you. You were president of Yugoslavia
16 at the time.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the accused proposed this meeting as being
18 on the 11th of March. It may be that he and the witness may want to
19 review, for purposes of getting the record straight, whether it's the 11th
20 or possibly the 17th. It may be the translation I've got of a document's
21 wrong, but it may be worth checking.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 17th of March, 1998. That
23 was when the meeting took place.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. At that time, was it a fact that tensions were easing on Kosovo
2 and the situation was going back to normal?
3 A. I cannot say that normalcy had already been restored. However,
4 after the statement of Mr. Milutinovic, there was a certain easing of
6 Q. Do you know that in mid-May discussions were started with Rugova?
7 A. Yes. That is a known fact. It was a known fact that discussions
8 with Rugova had started, and representatives of both parties had begun
9 meeting in Pristina. However, a week later, something happened as a
10 result of which the negotiations broke down. The initiator of those
11 events was the KLA, who cut off the major thoroughfare linking Serbia with
12 Kosovo. The KLA infiltrated the border areas with Albania and established
13 themselves there, setting up checkpoints. As a result, Serbian forces
14 were activated, and clashes began taking a toll on the civilian
15 population. That is why the negotiations broke down.
16 Q. After that, was there another easing of tensions and a tendency
17 towards normalisation?
18 A. Throughout the time, there were two parallel tracks. One
19 reflected objective events and the possibilities for a peaceful
20 settlement. It was displayed in a whole number of ways. On the other
21 hand, it is a fact that Western governments were taking an ever more rigid
23 Q. Did I understand you correctly, although the situation was
24 improving and calming down, the pressure on Belgrade increased? Is that
25 so? Is my understanding correct?
1 A. In principle you did understand me correctly, because for
2 instance, on the 6th of July, 1998, the international diplomatic observers
3 mission started its work. The Contact Group was at the time discussing
4 the status of Kosovo. The presence of Mr. Hill, ambassador of the USA,
5 was notable there. On the 13th of August, he announced negotiations with
6 the Kosovo Albanians. And there was my assistant together with him,
7 Mr. Afanas'ievskii, and things looked as if they were moving towards a
8 peaceful solution.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For the record, Mr. Robinson, it is
10 Mr. Afanas'ievskii. His name was not properly recorded or pronounced by
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Primakov, we are now coming to my visit to Moscow in June
15 1998. Please briefly describe what happened, what we discussed, you,
16 President Yeltsin, and myself in Moscow in June 1998. What was the
17 outcome of that meeting, and what were its consequences?
18 A. You were invited to come to Moscow for negotiations with President
19 Yeltsin first, and then you discussed with myself, the defence minister
20 and his colleagues the elaboration of a joint statement, joint communique
21 that was to include several general points; namely, your readiness to
22 allow the refugees to return, your readiness to cooperate with the High
23 Commissioner for Refugees of the UN and the International Red Cross, also
24 the possibility of a visit to Kosovo by international organisations, your
25 intention to start negotiations that would include, on the Serbian side,
1 representatives of the Serb population of Kosovo as well as Albanian
2 representatives, and Rugova also on the Albanian side.
3 We came to a stalemate of sorts discussing the special purpose
4 forces of Serbia and their withdrawal from Kosovo. You explained that it
5 was impossible to effect such a one-sided measure by saying that if it
6 happens, then the Serbian population would start to flee Kosovo and a
7 genocide against Serbs would start. That's why you were not prepared to
8 go forward with it. That was recorded in the joint statement.
9 You undertook to effect a withdrawal of the army in exchange for a
10 cessation of hostilities on the part of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
11 Q. Yes. That document exists. It was said in exchange here. It was
12 not exactly said that way. It was said that the army would withdraw in
13 the measure of or insofar as a cessation of hostilities would be effected.
14 A. There was a proportionality instituted between the two processes,
15 the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army from Kosovo and the cessation of
16 hostilities by Kosovo Albanians.
17 Q. That agreement and the substance of that joint statement, was that
18 honoured by our side?
19 A. It was honoured and implemented, and I believe that some events,
20 some further developments in Kosovo and around it confirmed that it was
21 possible to finalise a political settlement. In addition to what I
22 already said in response to your previous question, I would like to
23 emphasise and draw everybody's attention to the fact that the current
24 president of OSCE and the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, Jovanovic,
25 signed an agreement to set up an OSCE Verification Mission for Kosovo.
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 And on the 15th of October, an agreement was signed between the Republic
2 of Yugoslavia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and NATO about air
3 surveillance over the situation in Kosovo.
4 By 24th October, a UN Security Council resolution was passed to
5 follow up on this agreement, and it was precisely at that moment that we
6 saw an insisting stance, position, in the United Nations to go forward
7 with a more firm approach, a hard-line approach.
8 Q. As a follow-up, I have another question. Were there any
9 suggestions and proposals or influence exerted for a UN resolution to be
10 passed based on Chapter VII?
11 A. Yes. It was precisely at that time that our Western partners took
12 a turn towards passing a hard line-resolution in the UN Security Council
13 including the invocation of Chapter VII of the Statute, which envisages a
14 possibility of escalating activities up to use of force against
16 Q. What was the position of Russia? What was your position?
17 A. On this issue, I can say that Russia was pressured to some extent
18 to agree to this viewpoint. And to corroborate that, I can tell you about
19 a telephone conversation I had with Klaus Kinkel, with whom I had a
20 friendly relationship. And he even sent me a letter about that through
21 his representative with whom I met in Sochi where I was at the time. And
22 in this letter he insisted that Russia should agree with this approach.
23 And even despite our friendly relationship, there was an aftertaste of
24 threat in that letter in the event of Russia's failure to agree.
25 Q. What did you answer?
1 A. I answered that from my point of view, political means were far
2 from exhausted, that we should seek political agreement, and that in our
3 eyes the invocation of Chapter VII was inadmissible because we thought it
4 could open the door to military action and use of force against
6 Q. So you had a negative attitude to any kind of operation against
7 Yugoslavia; to the separation of Kosovo from Yugoslavia, to the escalation
8 of sanctions against Yugoslavia. Would that correctly describe Russia's
9 stance on the Yugoslav issue at the time?
10 A. You quite correctly described Russia's position at the time.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Primakov. And what was the situation in the UN
12 Security Council?
13 A. The issue was being debated. There was a polemic, fruitless, as I
14 believe, because the resolution was not passed as it would have approved
15 military action against Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Tell me, Mr. Primakov, did we in Belgrade do anything to provoke
17 NATO's airstrikes against Yugoslavia?
18 A. Well, you see, I would distinguish between two aspects. I believe
19 there was no firm, streamlined policy on the part of Yugoslavia of that
20 kind. However, there were certain excesses that could support the
21 argument that this vicious circle of violence was not interrupted.
22 At the same time, both according to our information and from what
23 I know from my conversations with you, I observed that both you personally
24 and Belgrade were trying to rein in the forces that could be drawn into
25 that circle of violence.
1 Q. Very well. Let us move on now. Are you aware of the position of
2 the Yugoslav delegation in Rambouillet negotiations in February and March
4 A. Yes, I was aware of that position. At the time, I had already
5 become the Prime Minister of Russia, and of course it could not have
6 passed me by.
7 Q. Was Yugoslavia given an ultimatum regarding Kosovo in Rambouillet?
8 A. Undisputedly, the demand to accept a resolution in Rambouillet was
9 given in the form of an ultimatum. I must say that from our point of
10 view, the resolution was, on the whole, acceptable for Yugoslavia, but at
11 the same time there was one issue on which the Yugoslavs would not agree
12 with that resolution. This was the demand for an international military
13 presence in Kosovo. And because of this word "military," the whole thing
14 exploded, because behind it there was the obvious intent of NATO to bring
15 its forces to Kosovo.
16 Q. Did I understand you correctly as saying that, in your opinion,
17 the real objective of the Rambouillet agreement was to allow the
18 deployment of NATO forces in Yugoslavia?
19 A. That is so.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Primakov. Could you now answer this question:
21 What were the objectives of your mission to Belgrade on the 30th of March,
22 1999, six days after the start of the bombing of Yugoslavia?
23 A. I travelled to Belgrade as I was asked to do directly by the
24 French president, Chirac, who called me and asked me to fly to Belgrade in
25 order to receive, as he put it, "sufficient signals from Mr. Milosevic in
1 order to stop the bombing." When I asked Chirac on the telephone what
2 kind of signals would they have to be, he answered, "At least a small
3 signal." I asked, "Do you mean at least in the framework of the Contact
4 Group?" He said, "Well, at least."
5 So I went to Belgrade, and in Belgrade I talked to Mr. Milosevic,
6 and in our understanding, we did receive that signal. However, according
7 to the initial idea given to us by President Chirac, that meant guarantees
8 of return of refugees, cessation of hostilities, start of negotiations,
9 international monitoring. And with this set of issues, we were to fly to
10 Bonn and hand it all over to the federal Chancellor Schroeder who was, at
11 that time, president of the European Union. However barely had our plane
12 taken off that the bombing of the airport started. And the West had no
13 idea at that time what we had in our hands at the moment, and that was the
14 end of this attempt to obtain this signal.
15 But I would like to add one more detail, with your leave, Your
16 Honour. When this discussion in Belgrade took place, Mr. Milosevic told
17 me, while we talked, "I'm ready to withdraw all of my forces from Kosovo
18 if NATO forces withdraw from the border of Macedonia." And this was the
19 first mention of this second condition, second interlinkage that could
20 have been of use, that could have been of some service.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, they never had any intention of
22 even hearing you out on the outcome of your discussions with me.
23 A. When we arrived in Bonn, I, too, gained the impression that the
24 response to our proposal to stop the airstrikes was predetermined, our
25 proposal being based on receiving such signals from Mr. Milosevic. And I
1 had that impression that it was predetermined because we had never had the
2 chance to even tell what we had achieved to the federal Chancellor. He
3 never had the chance to tell us that it was not enough.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Court has taken note of the
5 wish of this witness to return today, and indeed you had indicated that.
6 We have made an arrangement which would allow us to sit until 2.30. In
7 order to achieve some measure of equality and fairness in terms of the
8 cross-examination, it would seem, then, that it would be -- you would
9 finish your examination-in-chief by about 10.50, if that is -- 11.50,
10 rather, if that is possible, and we would then sit from -- we will take a
11 break at 12.20. We will break for 30 minutes, return at 12.50 and then
12 break at 2.30. It's a matter for you to decide, but that is the
13 arrangement which we can make if the witness is to return today.
14 JUDGE KWON: The Prosecution will be given two hours, and then you
15 will be given an extra ten minutes for re-examination. In total, you have
16 about two and a half hours.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I entirely agree. I will honour the
18 deadlines, and I did not even expect it to be this generous. I have to
19 admit that. I definitely wanted to conclude with the examination today so
20 that Mr. Primakov could attend to his other duties. I hope to even take
21 less time than that.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Therefore, Mr. Primakov, therefore they did not even display
24 readiness to hear you out concerning the results of your visit to
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. You see, nobody interrupted me there, naturally. We had very good
2 relations, Chancellor Schroeder and I and others. However, as I expressed
3 the points that we identified or formulated during the conversation with
4 you in Belgrade, Schroeder immediately said, "This is insufficient"
5 without listening to supplemental explanations of those points.
6 Q. Based on your experience, you as Russian Prime Minister at the
7 time spoke to other leaders. Were there any other leaders who held a
8 negative view concerning the air raids of Yugoslavia?
9 A. I can quote the words of federal Chancellor Kohl who, in
10 retrospect assessing the situation, said that it was an historic mistake.
11 Q. I didn't hear the interpretation well. Did you say that
12 Chancellor Kohl said that an historic mistake had been made? Is that what
13 you said?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. And this historic mistake was the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia; is
16 that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Primakov. Please tell me, you, Russian government,
19 Russian leadership, how did all of you view the NATO bombing of
20 Yugoslavia, which was done without prior consent of the UN Security
21 Council, and how did you see what repercussions it had on the
22 international order and the interests of various nations, including
24 A. Russia took a very negative approach with respect to the bombing,
25 and this was widely known. We used all of our contacts. I personally
1 spoke about it with President Chirac, with D'Alema, who was the Italian
2 Prime Minister at the time, and with the US vice-president, Al Gore,
3 urging them to at least make a pause in the bombing, or better yet, to
4 immediately cease with the bombing. I knew that similar conversations
5 were conducted with President Yeltsin and his counterparts. However,
6 there was nothing we could do about it, unfortunately.
7 Q. And how do you view this NATO action undertaken without the UN
8 Security Council consent with respect or in relation to the interests of
9 the international community?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't ask the witness questions which you know
11 are a matter for the Chamber.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I will reformulate the
13 question. I have in mind that here in the witness stand we have Russian
14 Prime Minister who was Prime Minister at the time. Therefore, he's
15 undoubtedly competent to give us his position. All right. I will
16 reformulate my question.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What were the general consequences, in view of the international
19 community, of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia?
20 A. I think that this has opened the door for ignoring the necessity
21 of obtaining a consent prior to taking action against certain states.
22 This undermines, undoubtedly, the international order --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov, I have cut you off. I have cut you
25 Mr. Milosevic, a trend is developing in your examination-in-chief.
1 In your desire to end your examination-in-chief on a kind of flourish, you
2 tend to overstep evidential bounds. If you have nothing more to ask the
3 witness that is within the bounds of the Rules, you should stop and allow
4 the cross-examination to begin.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have other questions. I do,
6 Mr. Robinson, not to worry.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Primakov, in your view, did the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
9 contribute to finding a solution to the Kosovo crisis?
10 A. The Kosovo reality tells us that the problem of Kosovo is far from
11 being resolved. The Serb population has practically deserted Kosovo.
12 Therefore, this problem is far from solved. And I think that the bombing
13 did not help regulate the situation in Kosovo.
14 Q. Do you know that the activity of Albanian terrorists continues to
15 this day in Kosovo?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not allowing that. Don't answer that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Primakov, the entire international media wrote extensively
20 about the U-turn that you made over the Atlantic Ocean. Can you tell us,
21 what was that about?
22 A. Yes, that's true. Being Prime Minister, I was on my way to the
23 United States where I was supposed to have meetings mostly dealing with
24 the economic relations between Russia and the United States, and this was
25 within the framework of the Gore-Primakov commission. Prior to that there
1 used to be a Gore-Chernomyrdin commission. When we landed in Shannon,
2 this was an interim landing, I learned that, as I was told by our
3 ambassador in Washington, the decision to bomb was 98 per cent ready. I
4 called Vice-president Gore and asked him to inform me of the developments
5 of the events, stressing that we valued our relations with the United
6 States and that because of that I would continue my trip to the United
7 States. However, while on board in the air, I contacted Gore once again,
8 and he told me that the decision was practically adopted. Under those
9 circumstances, I believed that it was impossible for me to continue with
10 my visit to the United States, and therefore my plane made a U-turn in
11 midair, and we flew back.
12 Q. Another question, Mr. Primakov. We had General Ivasov testifying
13 here. He claims that NATO bombing was the cause of the fact that refugees
14 left Kosovo. And in addition to that, he said that NATO had been planning
15 an action in Kosovo from at least from mid-1988.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the form of the question is, I think,
17 inappropriate and inadmissible. I don't mind if the witness answers it.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the specific question, Mr. Milosevic?
19 What is the specific question?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think I'm speaking rather
21 slowly because of the interpreters, so what I said was that General Ivasov
22 testified here, and that he claimed two things: One, that the NATO
23 bombing was the cause of massive exodus, and that the war against
24 Yugoslavia had been planned a long time ago.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. My question is: Can you confirm these claims, or will you deny
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer, Your Honour?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, although I believe you've already spoken on
5 that issue.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With respect to the first issue,
7 yes, I voiced my opinion. As for the second part of your opinion -- of
8 your question, Mr. Milosevic, I believe that General Ivasov, in view of
9 the post he held with the General Staff, had a right to make up his
10 opinion, including, among other things, classified sources.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Primakov.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
13 Mr. Robinson.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
15 Mr. Nice.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
17 Q. Mr. Primakov, I've got several topics to deal with, and I'll try
18 and deal with them in an orderly way. Just by way of opening observations
19 or questions, there are one or two things you said. You spoke of the
20 Democratic administration in the United States being determined either to
21 weaken Serbia or not to allow it to gain strength. Why should Serbia be
22 allowed to gain strength vis-a-vis other component parts of the former
23 Yugoslavia, please?
24 A. At the time, especially within the Democratic party which came to
25 power and came to the White House, an ideological position with respect to
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Mr. Milosevic was formulated, and therefore there was this geopolitical
2 view that Milosevic attempted to prevent the breaking apart of Yugoslavia,
3 and that was not in accordance with the US plans. They realised that the
4 centre of the country was Serbia, which was the only place where the
5 Socialist Party was still in power, the Socialist Party headed by Mr.
6 Milosevic. And that party was the successor of the League of Communists
7 of Yugoslavia. And as I saw it, this is why their position with respect
8 to Mr. Milosevic was an extremely ideological one.
9 Q. Yes. The question I asked was not, of course, why they should
10 favour a weakening of Serbia but why anybody should favour a strengthening
11 of Serbia vis-a-vis the other component parts of Yugoslavia, and I don't
12 think you've answered that specific question which arises from your
14 A. I think that I did answer your question. Precisely because they
15 thought -- they in the West thought that Serbia was the basis of the
16 remaining communism in Yugoslavia. Therefore, they tried to weaken
17 Yugoslavia. And Milosevic who was at the helm of Serbia at the time was
18 not an acceptable figure for them. This is the position up until Dayton.
19 Then during Dayton and after Dayton, the West changed its position to a
20 certain degree and then went back to the initial position. Nobody said
21 that they should have strengthened Serbia, but they shouldn't have
22 weakened it either.
23 Q. And can we look, please, at a couple of extracts from your book.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there will be, with this witness and with
25 other witnesses, occasions when it will be helpful to ask them about
1 particular passages in books that they've written or indeed in books that
2 others have written on the topics of which they speak. It seems to me
3 preferable, to avoid suggestions of taking things out of context, that we
4 either print whole chapters of books, even if we only go to extracts from
5 them, so that the chapters can be available. And with this witness, there
6 are two chapters from his book, Years in Big Politics, that I have printed
7 -- or had printed and translated, although there are only very limited
8 references that I'm going to make to the first of the two parts that you
10 What you have at the moment is, I hope -- would Your Honours just
11 give me one moment.
12 [Prosecution confer]
13 MR. NICE: There is the Russian version of the author before him
14 as well.
15 Q. Mr. Primakov, I've provided you with a copy of the book that you
16 wrote, or parts of it, in any event. I only want your help at the moment
17 with one point.
18 You spoke of the meeting that you had with the accused on the 8th
19 of January of 1993. You were asked a question by the accused about
20 Greater Serbia, and your answer was that the accused said that that could
21 only be achieved at the cost of great bloodshed.
22 Now, in giving your answer to the Court today, had you referred to
23 any notes?
24 A. Not only at the cost of great bloodshed, but he also added that
25 because of that, that course was unacceptable. Please quote my answers as
1 I've given them.
2 Q. Mr. Primakov, I do my best with the handwriting that's available
3 to me, and you're always free to correct me.
4 In order to give that account to the Judges, had you refreshed
5 your memory from any contemporaneous notes?
6 A. Everything is fresh in my memory. I can recollect everything
7 without notes. However, I do have some notes.
8 As for my book, I find it a great pleasure that you have read it.
9 However, you shouldn't have bothered translating it, because the book has
10 already been translated into many languages and has been published in
11 practically all countries throughout the world.
12 I want to say, I want to make sure that this goes into the record,
13 that all facts mentioned in my book, both in the first one and the second
14 one, received no criticism from my Western colleagues. So there was not a
15 single objection claiming that I portrayed something inaccurately.
16 I'm just saying this to illustrate how well I remembered the
17 conversations I had with my counterparts.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Primakov, two things: In order to enable you to leave
19 today, we have to go for slightly shorter answers, with your leave. And
20 the second thing is, I'm indeed grateful for the book and its accuracy,
21 because the suggestion of a date being the 11th of March was one that I
22 was able to correct from your book to the 17th of March, of 1998.
23 Would you now perhaps be good enough to go to page 176 of the
24 Russian text and page 6 of the English.
25 A. I apologise, what page in Russian?
1 Q. 176 I'm advised.
2 A. Had I known this, I would have brought my own copy. 173?
3 Q. Just a moment.
4 A. Yes, I found it.
5 Q. Thank you. And we're now looking at the account that you give of
6 the discussion with the accused in that first meeting of yours.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice says page 76 in English.
10 My --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Page 6 in English and 176 in Russian, I believe.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. You see, when we look at the book, Mr. Primakov, and the way you
14 summarise the account there, you say this: "The conversation then moved
15 on to the plans for a Greater Serbia. I emphasised that in the current
16 conditions these were utterly unachievable, even at the cost of much blood
17 spilled. Milosevic agreed with this."
18 Over the page in the English. "I told Milosevic that whether
19 someone wanted this or not, that was the reality. He was a key figure and
20 the course of events throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia,
21 particularly --"
22 JUDGE KWON: In the thinner version.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand. Where do you
24 see a contradiction, Mr. Nice, between what I said and what is stated in
25 the book? Could you please clarify that.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Mr. Primakov, if your account in the book is accurate, then you
3 moved on to the plans for a Greater Serbia, apparently discussing them
4 rather generally, and then it was you who emphasised that they were
5 unachievable, even at the cost of blood, and it was the accused who agreed
6 with you, not he raising it as his idea.
7 Now, please, is that correct? Did you have to say to him,
8 "Greater Serbia's out. It's going to be too expensive in blood"?
9 A. Isn't it sufficient that I mention in the book that we discussed
10 this topic and both of us reached the same conclusion? Mr. Milosevic
11 confirmed the same thing to me. That's what I mention here. I don't see
12 any contradiction here. I don't see a discrepancy.
13 Q. Very well.
14 A. Despite how hard I try to find a discrepancy, I don't see one.
15 Q. You spoke of a second meeting in March of 1993. This is on page 9
16 of the English version, and it will be on page 177, I'm advised, in the
18 In your book, you say this: "I believe that his support for this
19 line which served a peaceful outcome to the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 in the interests of all three communities was facilitated by a second,
21 closed meeting in Belgrade with President Milosevic in March 1993." And
22 then you go on to explain how you will describe other open meetings later.
23 This closed meeting involved you and the accused and Mr. Stanisic?
24 Was he present at this meeting with you?
25 A. It is possible that he attended the general part of the meeting,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 but my meeting with Mr. Milosevic was tete-a-tete. I don't think that
2 this gentleman attended all meetings, no.
3 Q. Am I right - just help me - that it was at this meeting in March
4 of 1993 that special close communications were set up between the
5 intelligence services of Russia and the intelligence services of the
6 former Yugoslavia, with Mr. Stanisic being something of the link; correct?
7 A. No. He was not the link. He headed Serbian intelligence service.
8 Yes, I did meet with him. He was an interlocutor, and I did meet with him
9 when I was in Belgrade.
10 Q. And this meeting, described as a close meeting, was this the
11 meeting where the close intelligence connection was forged or established?
12 A. No. The links between intelligence services were started during
13 my first visit to Belgrade.
14 Q. Very well.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, there is another passage of the book
16 which I'll turn to later when we get to the Kosovo section. As His Honour
17 Judge Kwon has correctly identified, one is slim and the other is a little
18 larger. I'm happy for them to be both exhibited, if that's the Court's
19 desire, now for good order.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That will be exhibited now. Numbers
22 THE REGISTRAR: 794.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: For the slim one?
24 THE REGISTRAR: For the slim one.
25 JUDGE KWON: They're both of them from the same book.
1 MR. NICE: They come from the same book.
2 JUDGE KWON: Different chapters.
3 MR. NICE: So they can -- they can both be from the same book,
4 maybe both the same exhibit number
5 THE REGISTRAR: So tab 1 for the thin one and tab 2 for the thick
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. With that visit of the 8th of January in mind, Mr. Primakov, and
9 your account of the accused's response in it, do you accept that by the
10 end of December 1992, Serbs held some 70 per cent of the territory of
11 Bosnia despite being only some 30-odd per cent of the population?
12 A. At the time when the military operation was already under way, the
13 Serbs did indeed control practically 70 per cent of the territory, but I
14 wish to draw your attention, Mr. Nice, to another fact. Pursuant to the
15 Vance-Owen proposal, the Serbs were given, at their own request, over a
16 half of the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
17 Q. Hardly surprising, was it, that the accused would favour the plan,
18 as you explain he did; correct?
19 A. That plan included not only territorial divisions, Mr. Nice. If
20 you are really familiar with the plan, Mr. Nice, it also included the main
21 point, and that is the constitutional order of the new state that was to
22 deal with the status of those three ethnic communities. That plan opened
23 the door to a stabilisation of the overall situation.
24 Q. The Serb-held territories in Croatia were on hold under the status
25 quo for the time being; correct?
1 A. I didn't understand your question. Could you repeat it?
2 Q. The Serb-held territories in Croatia were still held by Serbs?
3 A. At the moment when the fighting was still going on there, then
4 certainly each side occupied certain territories that could have included
5 possibly population of the other side. But it was precisely that plan
6 that envisaged final territorial divisions to enable stabilisation with a
7 view to creating a structure in the future capable of preserving peace
8 between the three communities.
9 Q. You see, at the time of your meeting on the 8th of January of
10 1993, the accused, on behalf of Serbs, could hardly have got more than he
11 had already achieved or than had already been achieved for Serbs on the
12 ground. Isn't this correct?
13 A. You will have to excuse me, Mr. Nice, but I don't understand the
14 logic behind your question. If the accused, as you call him, accepts the
15 plan which obviously reduces the territory held by Serbs from 70 per cent,
16 as you yourself said, to 50 per cent, then where do you see his fault?
17 Q. We'll come to what happened in a minute, but just confirm for me,
18 please, good though your intelligence links with the -- with Serbia and
19 with the former Yugoslavia may have been, you didn't have access, did you,
20 to records of their innermost cabinet meetings or their innermost council
21 meetings, did you?
22 A. Meetings between who and who? What records do you mean?
23 Q. Well, for example, there was something called the Council for
24 Harmonisation or the Council for Reconciliation on the Stands of State
25 Politics. It's slightly different titles, but it was a body which had the
1 accused and other top politicians from the former Yugoslavia, along with
2 such people as General Mladic and other leading military figures, and that
3 was meeting at about this time and indeed met on the day following your
4 encounter with the accused on the 8th of January.
5 You, I take it, would never have had access to the records of such
6 a meeting.
7 A. I think that not only I didn't have access to the classified
8 documents of the Yugoslav side, nobody had.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. If, if you want to familiarise me with it, it would be very
11 useful. But then I would appreciate it if you would also tell me the
12 provenance of these documents, just as you're asking me about mine.
13 Q. Mr. Primakov --
14 A. Where do they come from?
15 Q. Mr. Primakov, you shall have all of these questions answered.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If Mr. Nice wishes to ask him, like
18 he mentioned now this Council for the Harmonisation of Views, then it
19 would be important to explain whose council it was, whether it was a
20 council of Yugoslavia, because Serbia did not have one. Yugoslavia only
21 had one. He should say who chaired the council, who summoned or convened
22 the meetings. I could have been only one of the participants who was
23 invited. He's making it seem as if it had been some sort of my own
24 council, which is absolutely not true.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Misleading the witness.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't speak yet. If the witness is not in a
3 position to answer the question, Mr. Milosevic, my assessment is that he's
4 well placed to say so.
5 Yes, Mr. Primakov.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I understand, I can be
7 subjected to cross-examination only within the scope of the
8 examination-in-chief, and questions can also be asked arising out of my
9 answers. However, if some completely extraneous topics are being
10 introduced, I would appreciate it if you would take the same approach as
11 you did in the examination-in-chief when you prevented us from straying.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, does this arise out of the
14 MR. NICE: Oh, certainly, yes. And, Your Honour, my only -- my
15 only cautious observation would be if the accused and the witness consume
16 time with procedural matters, the timetable for the witness's return may
17 become problematic.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue. Continue.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Mr. Primakov, this council -- we can lay it before you in English
21 but I'm afraid not in Russian. This council had a number of contributors,
22 including Dobrica Cosic, this accused, Momir Bulatovic, and others that
23 I've named. Its provenance has not been challenged. Indeed, it was
24 produced by a witness, Zoran Lilic, and there's never been any doubt but
25 that it is a genuine stenographic record of the meeting held on the day
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 following your encounter with this accused. And because my screen isn't
2 working so I'll have to read it out. I'll just get another copy and get
3 my screen repaired at the break.
4 The accused said this, and it can be found Exhibit 469, tab 40,
5 page 73, in the bottom, of 1167. And I'll read it slowly, Mr. Primakov.
6 The accused interrupted, saying, "... there has to be integrity
7 of the Serbian people. We de facto have that because objectively and
8 according to all our relations, such as political, military, economy,
9 cultural, and educational, we have that integrity. The question is how to
10 get the recognition of the unity now, actually how to legalise that
11 unity. How to turn the situation, which de facto exists and could not be
12 de facto endangered into being de facto and de jure? Accordingly, the
13 road, which would lead us to de jure, leads through a 'small labyrinth.'
14 We would never allow the change in a de facto situation, but through that
15 'small labyrinth' we would achieve some things, if not in half a year,
16 then in a year, if not in a year, then in two years. What do we gain? We
17 gain that we would have fewer casualties and in that way we would save our
18 people. We have to sacrifice everything for the people except the people
20 Now, it will be, of course, Mr. Primakov, for the learned Judges
21 to interpret, as and if necessary, observations and statements by parties
22 such as the accused. If that passage shows the accused planning to turn
23 the de facto position on the ground into a de jure position in a year or
24 so to come, is that something he mentioned to you in your meeting where
25 you discussed Greater Serbia or not?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think it would be in order for me
4 to get that paper from which Mr. Nice is just quoting. And what he's
5 quoting, even though he's taking it out of context, obviously reflects my
6 advocation of negotiations rather than the war option.
7 THE REGISTRAR: It's Exhibit 469, tab 40. It's been referred to
8 twice before at least. The accused has had opportunities with earlier
9 witnesses to deal with context had he so chosen.
10 I return to my question, if I may, to the witness.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Mr. Primakov, I'm sorry you were interrupted by the accused.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have 35 tabs here in what I
14 received from Mr. Nice and I don't see tab 40.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, do you have an additional copy?
16 MR. NICE: I can lay it on the overhead projector --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. NICE: I can lay it on the overhead projector in the English
19 version at the moment and for others to view, while I view it on
20 Ms. Dicklich's monitor.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't see what the quotation from
22 this document has to do with my testimony as a witness here. I did not
23 attend these sessions that you seem to be so well-informed about,
24 Mr. Nice, and I don't see why I have to listen to some sort of argument by
25 the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... question.
2 The question was whether -- if the passage that was referred to related to
3 a Greater Serbia, was that something which Mr. Milosevic spoke to you
4 about in his meeting with you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is an emphatic no.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Let's move on to something else. From your intelligence-gathering
8 sources or otherwise, were you aware of how the Serb military forces in
9 both Croatia and in Bosnia were paid for?
10 A. What do you mean by "paid for"? You mean the salary they
11 received, or do you mean some additional funds they received? And from
12 whom, then? Would you please specify.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... asking you the questions, but
14 you're quite --
15 A. I don't understand the question.
16 Q. You're entitled to a clarification and I'm going to give it to
17 you. Were you aware of how officers in the Serb forces operating in
18 Croatia at this time, or the Serb forces operating in Bosnia at this time,
19 were paid for? Who paid them?
20 A. I never knew that. I never dealt with that issue in my earlier
21 testimony today.
22 Q. You see, in all your contacts with the accused, did he ever reveal
23 to you anything about things called the 30th and 40th Personnel Centres by
24 which funding of those forces in respectively Bosnia and Croatia was dealt
1 A. I never had any such discussion with the accused.
2 Q. Very well. You spoke of the embargo, and you've explained your
3 memory, but let me just help you with one thing. The Vance-Owen Plan
4 failed because the Bosnian Serbs declined. How long was it before an
5 embargo was imposed by the accused? You've said it was in 1993, but think
6 back, please.
7 A. Please specify. What are you asking me actually? Are you asking
8 me about 1993?
9 A. I'm asking you when you say the arms embargo -- the embargo, I beg
10 your pardon, took effect. Was it in 1993 or was it later?
11 A. The arms embargo was discussed by the Contact Group in 1997, and
12 now you seem to be asking me about the events of 1993.
13 Q. The embargo that the accused applied. I'll try and find your
14 answer on the point because you'd like me to be accurate in what I put to
15 you. Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: This will be the last question before the break.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. The embargo of the FRY, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
19 against the Republika Srpska, and you told us -- I'm afraid I can't find
20 it now in my notes, but it was in 1993.
21 A. You mean the arms embargo, I can assist you, Mr. Nice. It wasn't
22 an embargo on arms supplies. It was when the parliament of Republika
23 Srpska, Skupstina [phoen], as it was called, of the Republika Srpska
24 declined to ratify the Vance-Owen initiative, then Serbia reacted to this
25 rejection by announcing an embargo allowing only humanitarian aid
1 deliveries, and Serbia qualified the decision of the Republika Srpska
2 parliament as lacking responsibility.
3 You seem to be confused, Mr. Nice. The arms embargo came much
4 later, and it applied to all of Yugoslavia, as decided by the Contact
6 Q. I think what the -- I am aware this may be the last question, but
7 I think the term you used, as I wrote it down, was "economic blockade."
8 JUDGE KWON: It is at the bottom part of page 8 in the electronic
10 MR. NICE: Fine. I can return to that. Let me just get it.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we are going to take the break now.
12 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you -- perhaps you could check on that during
14 the break.
15 MR. NICE: Certainly I can, yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take a break now for half an hour.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Mr. Primakov, just to conclude what I was asking you, you spoke of
22 an embargo, as you first described it, an economic blockade. You said it
23 happened in 1993. You're wrong; it happened in the middle of 1994. Do
24 you accept that?
25 A. The main point for me was to reiterate that this happened after
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 the time when the Assembly of Republika Srpska declined to accept the
2 Vance-Owen Plan, and I wanted to stress that Belgrade reacted to their
3 failure to adopt this plan. This is why I called it the reaction.
4 Q. Yes. But what you didn't explain to the Judges, perhaps because
5 you forgot the date, was that they didn't react for over a year. Now,
6 from everything that you were told by the accused, what could justify them
7 delaying the reaction for over a year?
8 A. Mr. Nice, you're wrong. This was immediately, immediately after
9 that occasion when the parliament of Republika Srpska declined to accept
10 the Vance-Owen Plan, and you seem to be counting the time from that moment
11 when Mr. Milosevic was in Geneva and discussed the plan together with
12 others, or approved the plan together with others. This action, this
13 blockade should not be linked to that date, to that occasion but, rather,
14 to the occasion when the Assembly of Republika Srpska failed to approve
15 that plan, and that was the reaction of Belgrade to that failure to adopt
16 the plan.
17 I used that --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov, I think your response has been
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Yes. And, Mr. Primakov, if we are to get you on your aeroplane,
22 I'm going to have to ask you to be briefer. But in fact, just to remind
23 you, the embargo or blockade of which you speak occurred on the 4th -- or
24 was announced on the 4th of August, 1994, and it occurred simply because
25 of the failure of a later plan called the Contact Group plan.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that it is not appropriate
4 for Mr. Nice to keep threatening the witness and telling him that unless
5 his answers are brief, he'll miss his plane. Mr. Nice intervened during
6 my examination numerous times, and all of that was counted against my
7 time. Therefore, I think that this is ridiculous that he keeps repeating
8 for the fifth time to this witness that he'll miss his plane unless he's
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think -- I wouldn't like to think that Mr. Nice
11 intended that. I don't think that was the intention.
12 MR. NICE: Absolutely not. And the Court will understand, the
13 witness will understand, and the accused will understand that we had no
14 knowledge, in light of the three- or four-line 65 ter summary, of the
15 amount of detail that this witness would be dealing with. I'm going to
16 try and finish him in time for him to be free to go.
17 Q. Mr. Primakov, as an experienced politician and indeed one spoken
18 of well, as we will subsequently see, by your president, President
19 Yeltsin, you will accept that people, other politicians, may say one thing
20 to one person and another to another. They may keep their plans hidden;
22 A. Do you want to use me here as a witness with respect to the
23 conversations that, according to you, Mr. Milosevic had with other people?
24 Because if you want to do that, then this is beyond what I am about to
25 testify here before the court.
1 Q. I'm only going to ask questions once of this witness.
2 Exhibit 469, tab 20, Mr. Primakov, is a record of -- a
3 stenographic record of the Supreme Defence Council of the Federal Republic
4 of Yugoslavia, and in answer to your earlier general question, it was a
5 document provided by the federal authorities direct to this Court in
6 answer to an order. Parts of these documents have been marked not for
7 public use and parts are available for public use.
8 The particular document that I'm looking at has the accused saying
9 one thing on page 11. I'm not going to put it on the overhead projector
10 for reasons of time. But it has the accused saying, and this, for your
11 assistance, is on the 25th of August of 1995, a year after the blockade
12 was announced, that the blockade was merely a formality and that aid
13 flowed daily. In his own words, using your term "blockade," as it
14 happens. He never told you that, did he, that the blockade was just a
16 A. Never. The accused, Mr. Milosevic, never told me that this was a
17 mere formality.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. As for the document that you're quoting, Mr. Nice, then I would
20 kindly ask that I be allowed to familiarise myself with the document,
21 because I cannot give you an answer after hearing what you're quoting.
22 Q. There's another document that's in evidence. It's a record --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, just let me deal with that point.
24 Mr. Primakov, are you saying that in order to answer the
25 question, you desire to see the document that Mr. Nice quoted from, which
1 is an exhibit in this case?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It seems to me, Your Honour, that my
3 book, the one that was quoted here, was not tendered into evidence, and I
4 think that this is a deviation from the established practice.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is not so at all. Mr. Nice has tendered
6 into evidence two sections of the book, Exhibit 794, tabs 1 and 2.
7 I'm asking whether, in light of your earlier statement, whether
8 you want to see the exhibit from which he quoted. It's an exhibit in this
9 case and, of course, quite available to you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm not interested in that as
11 I've already given my answer. And as I said, I never heard Mr. Milosevic
12 utter the words that Mr. Nice just read out here.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. We established earlier your close intelligence links and,
15 therefore, trust with the former -- with the Federal Republic of
16 Yugoslavia through the accused. Notwithstanding that closeness and trust,
17 he never said anything to you about the reality of the blockade, did he?
18 A. I will repeat once again, Mr. Nice, that I never discussed with
19 Mr. Milosevic the fact that this blockade was just a fiction on the part
20 of Yugoslavia. I never heard him utter those words.
21 Q. Were you aware --
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The questions of Mr. Nice distort
25 the facts. It is absolutely impossible for Mr. Primakov to make any other
1 conclusions, because Mr. Primakov knows very well that even the
2 International Monitoring Mission was deployed on the border between Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia headed by Swedish General Bob Pellnas. And
4 even when he's giving the dates, Mr. Nice --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have to stop you. You're making a comment,
6 which is inappropriate at this time.
7 Mr. Nice, yes.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Another exhibit in this case, Mr. Primakov, is a tape recorded --
10 or a transcript of a tape recording of the 50th National Assembly held
11 under the chairmanship of President Momcilo Krajisnik on the 15th and 16th
12 of April, 1995, in Sanski Most, where the transcript of the tape recording
13 has General Mladic giving an account of the contribution that he had
14 received from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the war effort until
15 the 31st of December, 1994, which is half a year into the blockade,
16 explaining that he got at least 50 per cent and setting out the tonnes of
17 infantry equipment and matters of that sort.
18 With your intelligence, were you aware of the degree of aid that
19 Mladic was receiving from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? Were you,
20 Mr. Primakov?
21 A. We definitely knew about the contacts that were made with General
22 Mladic, but as for the military aid specifically, I knew nothing about
24 Q. And when you say you knew of the contacts, can you tell us,
25 please, what methods -- or by what methods you knew of the contact with
2 A. I not an accused here and, therefore, I do not have to disclose
3 the methods used by intelligence services.
4 Q. Maybe not, but you agreed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
5 nothing but the truth, which doesn't make it for you to be selective. I
6 asked you, please, if you'll tell us by what means you knew of the contact
7 with General Mladic.
8 A. I can repeat what I've already said, Mr. Nice. I don't think that
9 this represents a violation of my oath to speak the truth and nothing but
10 the truth.
11 It is not that you're asking me to confirm a fact. You are asking
12 me to tell you through what sources I received that confirmation, and this
13 goes beyond my obligation to speak the truth and nothing but the truth.
14 Q. Mr. Primakov, the investigation into this -- into this accused is
15 without partiality or loyalty by this Prosecution to any country. Our
16 duty is to be dispassionate and to obtain the best evidence that we can.
17 You told us you knew of the contacts between Belgrade, this
18 accused, and Mr. -- and General Mladic. Could you please tell us what
19 material exists so that we can find it, if it's available, and make it
20 available to this Court.
21 A. All I can do is confirm a fact that is widely known to everyone,
22 namely, that Mr. Mladic was not in isolation. However, I cannot give you
23 any specific facts confirming that.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've tried it three times, and it will be
25 a matter for argument in due course as to the value of the witness's
2 Q. Mr. Primakov, did you follow the accused's appearance at the court
3 in Belgrade where he explained that as regards resources spent - this is
4 when he was in custody in Belgrade - as regards resources spent for
5 weapons, ammunition, and other needs of the army of Republika Srpska and
6 Republic of Serbian Krajina, these expenditures constituted a state
7 secret, and because of state secrets could not be indicated in the law of
8 the budget. He went on to say other things of a like kind, but did you
9 know about that?
10 A. I did not follow Mr. Milosevic's appearance in that trial;
11 therefore, I cannot say anything about what he had stated there.
12 Q. You see, Mr. Primakov, as is quite clear, and we'll see this from
13 the Contact Group documents when I get to them, as soon as I can, Russia
14 was, to some degree, an ally of this accused, and it appears from your
15 answers that this accused didn't keep you informed with the full truth,
16 did he?
17 A. First of all, I'd like to say that Russia never considered itself
18 an ally of Mr. Milosevic. We took a certain position which stemmed not
19 from what was dictated to us by Mr. Milosevic but, rather, from our
20 understanding and interpretation of the situation.
21 Q. Which was to a significant degree dependent on what the accused
22 told you.
23 A. That depended not only on what the accused said to us, although
24 personal conversations and personal relations with Mr. Milosevic were
25 important, but we also took into account the general understanding of the
1 situation in the world and our interpretation of what was going on in the
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I understand I didn't mention the Sanski
4 Most exhibit number. It was Exhibit 427, tab 54.
5 We have a bundle of binder -- of documents for the Court. Can I
6 explain it? It covers -- right. I'm grateful. The passage I read out
7 about what the accused said at the Belgrade court is Exhibit 427, tab 3.
8 The documents which we have put in a binder include many documents
9 that have already been produced in evidence. However, it seemed that it
10 would be convenient with this witness to have available a chronological
11 list or chronological connection of documents and so the index that will
12 come to you has many of the items shaded out, and they are documents that
13 have been produced already, and indeed the index shows their reference
14 number. I would ask that all the remaining exhibits be produced as part
15 of this single exhibit, and it will be for the Chamber to decide in due
16 course whether it wishes then to remove and return the exhibits already
17 produced or whether it's happy to leave them in this single binder.
18 Q. Many but not all of the documents are Russian, Mr. Primakov, and
19 they all concern, or nearly all concern, the Contact Group.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honours, while looking at these documents, the
21 Chamber may be assisted by having to hand the second part of the extract
22 from the witness's book, tab 2 of 794. And if the Chamber would be good
23 enough to take that, and if the witness would be good enough to have
24 before him the Russian version of 794, tab 2.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The excerpts from my book quoted by
1 Mr. Nice, somebody took them from my table. I don't have them in front of
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. If you could be good enough, Mr. Primakov, literally to go to the
5 first paragraph of the Russian version of 794, tab 2, we see that the
6 chapter headed "Target Kosovo" begins: "In 1996, I said to President
7 Slobodan Milosevic: 'Pay attention to Kosovo! An explosive situation is
8 building up there and it will be difficult to deal with it.' I was
9 certain that I was not alone in this conclusion. Many people warned the
10 Serbian President of the potential threat posed by Kosovo."
11 What was his response to your warning?
12 A. His response was as follows: We should not dramatise the
13 situation. I believe that that response was conditioned by the fact that
14 after Dayton, Mr. Milosevic had an impression that the West has changed
15 its attitude with respect to him. His contacts with the West were such
16 that he wasn't disposed to pay attention to this or that acute problem
17 inside the country.
18 Q. Will you go, please, to page 341 in the Russian, and in the
19 English version, at the foot of page 5. In a general narrative part of
20 the history, you said this: "However, the West's attitude to what was
21 happening in Kosovo gradually started to change. Initially the role of
22 first violin was played by Germany, truly alarmed at the fast increase in
23 the number of Albanians emigrants, including those from Kosovo, where
24 armed conflicts became more frequent, and because the Albanian soldiers
25 hid in their villages, the civilian population began to suffer too. The
1 conduct of the Serbian police too was not the most intelligent, with a
2 series of incidents of 'cleansing the terrain'."
3 Of course, you weren't there in person, Mr. Primakov, but what was
4 your understanding of the Serbian police "cleansing the terrain"?
5 A. I said during my testimony everything that is in complete harmony
6 with this excerpt from my book. I've already said that to you.
7 Therefore, I don't see, Mr. Nice, why are you quoting this again. I never
8 once deviated from the position expressed here.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov, I must call you to order. The
10 answer is legitimate and proper -- the question is quite proper. Answer
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
13 question. I didn't understand it.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. What did you mean in your book by the phrase "cleansing the
17 A. What I had in mind is the following: Based on our assessment, the
18 Kosovo Liberation Army, which was based in Albanian settlements, attacked
19 Serbian settlements and then went back to their bases in Albanian
20 settlements. This is what I told you about. And then at the time, they
21 started an operation in order to expel the KLA from those Albanian
22 settlements. Frequently this took the form of cleansing the terrain, and
23 in the process of these operations, civilians from both ethnic groups
25 Q. And civilians of Albanian ethnicity were moved out; correct?
1 A. I did not mention that.
2 Q. I'm asking you that as a question.
3 A. I have no detailed information concerning that.
4 MR. NICE: The Court will find the picking up of the chronology of
5 Contact Group meetings at the foot of page 6. I probably shan't refer to
6 many pages, and I'll just go through the documents in the binder.
7 For the assistance of the witness, I will summarise many of the
8 documents that we've seen already and probably not take him through them -
9 there simply isn't time - but I shall want his comment on documents that
10 we have yet to look at or have had yet to look at.
11 Q. So, Mr. Primakov, the exercise is one where I'm reminding you of
12 an overall chronology of reporting. Do you follow? And I shall be asking
13 for your comments on particular passages.
14 If we look, then, at tab 1, we see the statement of the 24th of
15 September, 1997, and we see on tab 2 a further statement of January the
16 8th, 1998 - give me one minute, please - all of which we've already seen,
17 but I'm taking you to them.
18 A. Your Honour, both of these statements are presented to me here in
19 English, and I'm asked to comment on them.
20 Q. You're not being asked to comment at the moment. I'm simply
21 showing you what's available.
22 A. Please tell me, is it reasonable to expect me to do this, to read
23 several pages in English and then to give my comment?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, what is the question? Are you
25 asking --
1 MR. NICE: No, I'm just reminding him and you of all the documents
2 that exist, and we'll come to the new ones.
3 Q. If we go to tab 3, there's a document of the 25th of February,
4 which we have looked at, but I just want you to confirm the evenhandedness
5 of the approach of the Contact Group where we see, and Your Honours will
6 see this four paragraphs down, that the Contact Group meeting is quoted as
7 recording this: "The Contact Group reiterated that it supported neither
8 independence nor the maintenance of the status quo. The principles of the
9 solution of the Kosovo problem should be based on the territorial
10 integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, taking into account the
11 rights of the Kosovo Albanians and all those who live in Kosovo in
12 accordance with OSCE standards, Helsinki principles, and the UN Charter."
13 You would be entirely happy with that part of the statement,
15 A. Yes. I'm entirely happy, and I've already mentioned this.
16 Q. We come to number 4, tab 4, which the Chamber has already looked
17 at with another witness. It's the document of the 12th of March recording
18 the meeting on the 9th of March. And just to remind you that -- this is
19 in Russian, but I can simply remind you that this is where the Russian
20 Federation declined to support measures about visas and
21 government-financed export credit and matters of that sort. Do you
22 remember that meeting and at that statement? I don't desire any further
23 comment, but it is in Russian for you at the end of the tab.
24 A. Could you please tell me what paragraph you're referring to and
25 I'll read it out in Russian.
1 Q. Certainly. The paragraph which refers to the Russian Federation
2 reservation can be found on, I think, page 4. Let's check that. Yes.
3 After subparagraph (d), where it says that the Contact Group notes that
4 subparagraph (c) and (d) above are not adopted by the Russian Federation.
5 A. I can read here that there was a point when the Contact Group
6 noted that the Russian Federation was unable to support proposals
7 regarding immediate imposition of measures (c) and (d), namely, the
8 moratorium on government-financed export credit support for trade and
9 investment as well as denial of visas for senior Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia and Serbian representatives.
11 You put a full stop here but I would like to read on, Mr. Nice.
12 It says, nevertheless, if there is no progress in making the steps to
13 which the Contact Group is appealing, then the Russian Federation will be
14 willing to discuss all the above measures.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. That is the end of that paragraph, and I can confirm it.
17 Q. We then come to the 25th of March meeting, which is at tab 5, 27th
18 of March, and referring to a meeting on the 25th of March.
19 At this time, you were still in the cabinet of President Yeltsin,
20 although he fired a number of your other cabinet colleagues, I think.
21 A. On the 25th of March, 1998. If that's the period you are talking
22 about, I was foreign minister.
23 Q. And you explained, I think, to Madeleine Albright, according to
24 her book, which I haven't copied but just checking whether you agree with
25 this, you confirmed to her that you'd been an ally of President Yeltsin
1 for a long time and he didn't regard you as a potential rival and that's
2 why you'd kept your position.
3 A. Well, no. You see, Your Honours, this is going far beyond the
4 scope of --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly.
7 Q. But more interesting, and I want your comment on this, is that
8 Mrs. Albright suggests that by this stage, Russia's particular concern to
9 keep Kosovo as a Serbian problem reflected its own concerns with the
10 possibility of external intervention for Chechnya. Now, that's her view.
11 Is there any truth in that?
12 A. I don't see any link between Kosovo and Chechnya in that respect.
13 There could be another link, namely, the terrorist groups that were active
14 in Kosovo were also linked to Chechen terrorists, and that was proved
16 Q. Tab 5, then, the record of the 25th of March meeting we've looked
17 at, but I would like you to look at literally the last four lines in the
18 Russian text, and the last four lines, of course, in the English text.
19 This record of the contact groups ends this way: We are basing
20 the principles for a solution on territorial integrity. It goes on to
21 say: "Such a solution must also take into account the rights of the
22 Kosovar Albanians and all those who live in Kosovo. We support a
23 substantially greater degree of autonomy for Kosovo which must include
24 meaningful self-administration."
25 That was a view which you signed up to, wasn't it?
1 A. Indisputably, and I still believe it was a proper, correct
2 position. On the one hand, we recognised that Kosovo can only exist
3 within the framework of Yugoslavia, and you are emphasising that yourself
4 by quoting this document. And on the other hand, there was a need to
5 expand Kosovo's autonomy within Yugoslavia. That was Russia's position.
6 Q. Document 6, please, is a new document. It's a resolution of the
7 Security Council dated the 31st of March. There's a Russian version for
8 you. We notice on the first stage in either version under the heading
9 "Condemning," that the Security Council "condemning the use of excessive
10 force by Serbian police forces against civilians and peaceful
11 demonstrators in Kosovo, as well as all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo
12 Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support
13 for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms, and training."
14 You, therefore, signed up or agreed to condemnation of excessive
15 force by Serbian police forces at that time, because you were aware of
16 such excessive force. Would that be correct?
17 A. First of all, I have to say that this document was not provided
18 for me in Russian. It is rather a fact that Russian is an official
19 language of the United Nations, and all the United Nations documents are
20 issued in Russian, among other languages.
21 As for the excerpt you quoted, yes, we really believed that. And
22 it is emphasised here that terrorists such as the Kosovo Liberation Army
23 are conducting terrorist activities. And on the other hand, the Serbian
24 forces were using excessive force resulting in civilian casualties. I
25 don't see what the issue is here.
1 Q. And, Mr. Primakov, if you go to the bottom of your page. And if
2 the Chamber would turn over to the second page.
3 And incidentally, Mr. Primakov, the Russian version has indeed
4 been taken from the United Nations available materials in order to assist
5 you, and I hope you find it useful.
6 We now see that the resolution calls upon the Federal Republic of
7 Yugoslavia immediately to take further necessary steps to achieve a
8 political solution to the issue of Kosovo through dialogue, to implement
9 actions indicated in the Contact Group's earlier statements, calls upon
10 Albanian leaders to condemn terrorist action, emphasises that all elements
11 in the Kosovo Albanian community should pursue their goals by peaceful
13 And then at number 5, for example, agrees with particular
14 proposals of the Contact Group about the solution, and we can see those
15 set out.
16 And then at number 9, "decides that all states shall, for the
17 purpose of fostering peace and stability in Kosovo, prevent the sale or
18 supply to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, by their
19 nationals or from territories or using their flag vessels and aircraft, of
20 arms and related materiel ..."
21 We can look at this in more detail later, but at this stage are
22 you happy with the product of the Contact Group's work as reflected in the
23 resolution of the United Nations?
24 A. At that moment, if we had not been happy with the substance of the
25 documents, we would not have signed them. Russia signed them because they
1 reflected the Russian position. So I don't understand the point of your
3 Q. Tab 7, please.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I have to say, Mr. Nice, I'm finding it difficult
5 to understand the point of these questions as well when the answers are
6 obvious before the questions are asked.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position is that we saw with a number
8 of these documents with the previous witness that Russia's presence at the
9 Contact Group, as well as, of course, its representation at the United
10 Nations, didn't stop a series of documents developing recording violence
11 on the ground in a way different from the overall thrust of this witness
12 and indeed the last witness's evidence.
13 Now, I'm quite happy to abbreviate matters because I think these
14 documents can be taken more swiftly if you're happy for me to do it in
15 this way, on the basis that these are documents to which this witness and
16 his Russian colleagues signed up, because they will then prove a useful
17 resource for the Chamber as one of a number of resources in assessing what
18 was actually happening.
19 I'm taking him in the new documents to passages that deal either
20 in a particularly evenhanded way with violence by both sides or that are
21 reflective of violence by the Serb side. That's all. But --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But one question of Mr. Primakov about whether he
23 accepts that these various documents reflect the position held by Russia
24 at the time would have got you to the situation far more --
25 MR. NICE: I'm happy to do that if he's prepared to go through the
1 documents with me and just accept that in general terms.
2 Q. Mr. Primakov, you've seen so far reports and Security Council
3 resolutions, and what there is before the Judges at the moment is a large
4 number of these covering the whole history of the Contact Group and the
5 resolutions that followed from its reports. You've gone through several
6 of these in your evidence, and they're covered in your book, which is
7 available for the Judges. Are there any of them with which you
8 particularly -- with which you know you disagree or are you happy for them
9 to be before the Judges for the reasons I've given, as a report of a
10 position taken by the Contact Group and the United Nations of which Russia
11 was a part?
12 A. I think that all these documents have to be evaluated taking into
13 account the time when they were adopted. I cannot evaluate them
14 otherwise. There were certain specific circumstances on the ground in
15 existence, and if these documents are signed by Russia, then they had the
16 Russian support. They had it at the time. We don't even interpret those
17 documents and resolutions that we didn't completely agree with, but there
18 was a core to these documents that we were happy with because we thought
19 it would help stabilisation.
20 Q. In that event, I'll take them a little more swiftly, if I may, but
21 can I take you, please, to tab 9. No Russian for this one, I'm afraid,
22 but you may, I think, remember it and indeed I think it's covered in a
23 chapter in your book.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Mr. Primakov actually
25 said, "We didn't torpedo these documents because there was a core to them
1 we believed was right."
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. The document which you're looking at, which is, I'm afraid, in
4 English, is a letter of the 17th of June of 1998, from the premanent
5 representative -- well, no. That's from Mr. Lavrov. But if we look at
6 the annex on the following page, we see the joint statement by the
7 president of the Russian Federation and by this accused, President
8 Slobodan Milosevic, as he was, which reflects the accused's joint position
9 at that time to resolve, and if we look at it in summary in the bulleted
10 points, "to resolve by political means the problem." And then two bullet
11 points down, "to refrain from taking any repressive measures against
12 peaceful populations." And then towards the bottom of the page, the last
13 bullet point but one, "to allow the free return of all refugees and
14 displaced persons on the basis of programmes agreed," and then it says in
15 the last bullet point, "to the extent that terrorist activities are
16 halted, to reduce the presence of security forces outside the areas in
17 which they are permanently deployed."
18 So this is in the summer of 1998. Did you yourself accept on the
19 evidence available to you that there was need for the Yugoslav president,
20 in this public statement, to say that he would refrain from taking
21 repressive measures against peaceful populations?
22 A. You quoted a joint statement that I already mentioned earlier in
23 my testimony. It was a document developed during Mr. Milosevic's visit to
24 Moscow, and it was signed by two presidents; President Yeltsin and
25 President Milosevic. The text of the document that you quoted from, from
1 the English version, if I understand, you quoted correctly.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. NICE: The next document that that we haven't looked at is
4 number 11. I'll just look at number 10 for a minute, if I may. No,
5 there's nothing on 10.
6 Your Honours, 11 is a report. It's part of the chronology of
7 documents and it's there for completeness, but I needn't refer to it.
8 Number 12 we've already looked at and there's nothing I wish to
9 say about that.
10 Number 13 is a new one. It's a further report in the sequence.
11 There are a number of passages I could take you to which set out
12 allegations of continuing violence, I think on both sides, and it's part
13 of the continuing picture. But in light of the witness's answer that he's
14 already given, they're compendiously produced.
15 Likewise number 14, which is a report of the Secretary-General.
16 Again, I needn't take you to detail of it, but it continues the story.
17 Perhaps we will just look at this one, because it provides
18 snapshot pictures of where we are.
19 Q. If you look at number 14, please, Mr. Primakov, which is the 4th
20 of September, 1998, and is a report to the Secretary-General -- report of
21 the Secretary-General. And if you'd be good enough, please, to go to
22 numbered paragraph 7 under "Humanitarian concerns."
23 The record that was made by this stage was of 600 to 700 civilians
24 having been killed in the fighting in Kosovo since March with an estimated
25 cumulative displacement of over 230.000 people. And then at paragraph 8,
1 it says: "According to the UNHCR estimates, there could be up to 50.000
2 displaced people in Kosovo who have been forced from their homes into the
3 woods and mountains."
4 Are those figures that you were able then and are you able now to
6 A. I simply don't know. If that's the report of the
7 secretary-general, and if he's quoting some figures, then they must be
8 based on the information that was available to him. But the question of
9 whether I agree with each of these figures or not is out of place, because
10 it is absolutely not within my competence as a witness to confirm or not
11 to confirm something that is said by the secretary-general in his own
13 Q. I can do no more than ask that question, Your Honour, and I'm
14 going to move on.
15 We can see in the index or the document that 16 is the report of
16 -- sorry, 16 is not produced. 17 is the Verification Mission agreement
17 which you've already had produced to you. 18 is the agreement on the OSCE
18 Verification Mission.
19 19 is a new Resolution. We're now at the 24th of October. And
20 this is the one that establishes the Kosovo Verification Mission. I'm not
21 going to go through, I think, probably any of these in details, but you
22 can see a number of findings or various headings on the second page of
23 that, number 19.
24 20 and 21 we've had in already.
25 22 is a further report of the 12th of November. Nothing
1 particular that I need to refer to.
2 Number 23, Christmas Eve 1998, or 24th of December, 1998, with a
3 report on this day, as you will see, Mr. Primakov, at the end of the first
4 page in your version, paragraph 4, that the secretary-general was obliged
5 to report that no significant improvement and alarming signs of potential
6 deterioration while sources report that the cease-fire is holding there
7 are indications of tension on the ground. And he goes on to say that
8 violence has reached its highest level since the 16th of October
9 agreement, 50 persons having died in violent attacks. And there's more
10 comment on that later.
11 Do you accept that there was this sign of an increase in violence
12 at this time by December 1998?
13 A. There was a lot of varying information, and I would like to point
14 out one more thing in that report of the Secretary-General where he says
15 that there is no new information about kidnappings from mid-September. In
16 the same place in the report, you see support expressed to the cease-fire.
17 That is one among other indicators showing that there was a different
18 trend going on as well.
19 Q. 24 we've already seen, and 25, which I don't need to add to.
20 26 is a further report of the 30th of January of 1999. It deals
21 with the Racak massacre. The witness hasn't, I think, volunteered
22 anything particular about Racak, and unless there's anything he wants to
23 add to what his evidence is, on Racak, we'll move on to tab 27.
24 Tab 27 I would like to trouble you with, please, Mr. Primakov.
25 I'm afraid it's, I think, only in English. It's an existing exhibit.
1 It's a letter by Serbia's head of delegation, Ratko Markovic, to Hill --
2 to Ambassadors Hill, Petritsch, and Maiorsky, the Russian ambassador. And
3 at this time in negotiations at Rambouillet: "The delegation of the
4 Republic of Serbia wishes to emphasise that major progress has been
5 achieved in the talks at Rambouillet in defining political solution on
6 substantial self-government of Kosovo and Metohija respectful of
7 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 "We would particularly like to emphasise, the same as the Contact
10 Group, that there can be no independence of Kosovo and Metohija, nor the
11 third republic.
12 "Therefore, all elements of self-government at the time of
13 defining of the agreement have to be known and clearly defined. In
14 further work, this should be adequately addressed and consistently
15 resolved. And in that sense, we are ready to participate in the next
16 meeting on the issue.
17 "The FRY agreed to discuss the scope and character of the
18 international presence in Kosmet to implement the agreement to be accepted
19 in Rambouillet.
20 "The FRY of Yugoslavia -- the FR of Yugoslavia and the Republic
21 of Serbia are fully ready to continue the work in line with the positive
22 spirit of this meeting. We therefore consider it would be extremely
23 useful to set a reasonable deadline to create appropriate conditions and
24 different approach to successfully resume the work and address those
1 Now -- I'd like to point out that direct talks between the two
2 delegations would be useful.
3 The evidence before the court includes, from Mr. Petritsch, that
4 it was at this date, on the 23rd of February, that things suddenly
5 changed. We can see, if you -- and that's why I've read it in full, that
6 Ratko Markovic is positive about the prospects for a solution. The
7 evidence may be - it's entirely for the Court to decide - that it was the
8 accused who at this time, the 23rd of February or thereabouts, reversed
9 the decision and made Rambouillet an impossibility.
10 Can you help the Judges, please, with why it was that the accused
11 from this moment on, if that's the case, was not willing to agree?
12 A. I should like to say, Mr. Nice, that a book, a compilation of
13 interviews, was published in Italy, interviews given by Prime Minister
14 Dini of Italy, where he speaks about Rambouillet, saying that there was no
15 agreement because the word "military" was added to the words
16 "international presence." Mr. Dini says in his interview that if another
17 compromise word had been found, it would have been possible to get out of
18 that impasse if the other side had withdrawn that word "military
19 international presence." And my opinion happens to coincide with the
20 opinion of Mr. Dini.
21 Q. So just that one word would have led to a complete refusal by this
22 accused. Is that your understanding?
23 A. The point is not in the semantics or in one word alone but what is
24 behind that word, namely, acceptance or failure to accept, unwillingness
25 to accept the military presence of NATO in Kosovo on a permanent or
1 temporary basis.
2 Q. Very well. We move on from that. Thank you for the explanation.
3 28 and 29 we've seen.
4 30 is a new report of the 17th of March of 1999. I needn't
5 trouble the Court with any detail of that.
6 31 is the letter from Zoran Lilic. Do you -- and it's been put in
7 because it fits in chronologically at this place, although it is an
8 existing exhibit.
9 Are you familiar with the letter that Zoran Lilic wrote to the
11 A. Well, I see here certain -- your Deputy Prime Minister Zoran
12 Lilic. Is this right? I don't even know this name.
13 Q. Very well. Move on. 32 is a further letter with an annex, a
14 statement by the chairman on the conclusion of the G8 foreign ministers at
15 the Petersberg centre. Are you acquainted with this statement? It's also
16 in Russian.
17 A. It's a Security Council document. Am I right, Mr. Nice?
18 Q. Are you --
19 A. It is a statement by the chairman on the conclusion of the meeting
20 of the ministers of foreign affairs of the G8 at the Petersberg centre.
21 At that time I was no longer minister of foreign affairs and thus I did
22 not participate in that meeting. Hence I cannot be familiarised with it.
23 Q. Thank you very much.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in order to maximise the use of the
25 witness's time and not to inconvenience him, can we deal with how to
1 exhibit this bundle of documents later, perhaps after he has withdrawn.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we can do that.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. A few other matters, Mr. Primakov, in light of the answers that
5 you've given. You've suggested that the Western media was in some way
6 orchestrated in a way hostile to Serbia, and you suggested -- in your
7 evidence, you suggested that this went right back to the beginning or
8 certainly the middle of the 1990s. Can you explain by what mechanism the
9 whole of the Western -- not the whole of but a substantial part of the
10 Western press is being orchestrated to advance an anti-Serbian line?
11 A. I would like you to quote me correctly, Mr. Nice. I did not say
12 that the Western press initiated, as you just claim, any armed clashes. I
13 said that the Western press had an unbalanced approach to these events by
14 promoting anti-Serb moves. And I said that, and I continue to say that,
15 because I personally witnessed a number of such TV broadcasts in this
17 Q. Well, it's in light of your observation, which I recorded in my
18 handwritten notes, as the attitude of the Western media, the whole
19 attitude of the Western media.
20 As you know, the Western media likes to think of itself as free,
21 so I want you to help us, if you can, with why, on your account, the
22 Western media generally should be reporting falsely in a way that's
23 unfavourable to Serbia. Because this isn't a controlled press, this is a
24 free press.
25 A. So you would like to say that it is not possible to have any
1 biased approaches in the Western press in their overview of any events. I
2 cannot agree to such a statement.
3 Q. Your observation about the number of refugees in Germany is
4 something that's no doubt based on intelligence coming to you, and it's
5 right, isn't it, that by the middle of the 1990s and the late 1990s, a
6 very large number of Kosovo Albanians had fled Kosovo to go to live in
7 Germany. You were able to make the point at the window that if your
8 colleague went and took the names of the demonstrators they'd all run away
9 because they wouldn't want to go back. What was driving them out,
10 Mr. Primakov? What was driving the Kosovo Albanians out of Kosovo, on
11 your information?
12 A. Those were not even closed information sources. This is something
13 I heard directly by Foreign Minister Kinkel, that many came to that
14 country, and they started working in that country, and undoubtedly,
15 according to him, an Albanian community was being shaped which -- and 3
16 per cent of all the salaries have to be transferred to the KLA supporters
17 and they're forced to do so. It would be very difficult to do that
18 because they all live in a single community, and this would be very
19 difficult to deal with because this creates a big problem for Germany,
20 according to him. And he told me directly that he would be advocating the
21 idea of having those people go back, and he told me directly.
22 At the same time, unfortunately, even after having in Kosovo an
23 Albanian influence being established there - and nobody can deny this -
24 they do not rush back, many of them do not rush back to Kosovo.
25 Q. You see, you've painted a picture of Kosovo Liberation Army being
1 the offenders save to the limited extent you allow them to have been
2 retaliating in an excessive way. Isn't the reality also that throughout
3 the 1990s, and particularly towards the end of the 1990s, on information
4 coming to you, Kosovo Albanians were being driven out by violence and by
5 interference with their human rights at the hands of the Serbs?
6 A. I believe that there were such instances, just like currently we
7 have the mass exodus of Serbs from Kosovo because of the violation of
8 their rights. At the same time, I would like to reiterate once again
9 that, according to our data, the greatest wave of immigrants started to
10 take place after the commencement of shellings.
11 Q. Now, I wanted to ask you about that. You say they -- the greatest
12 wave started after the commencement of shellings. You will recognise that
13 that doesn't mean that they started because of the shellings. You may not
14 have been following the evidence in this court, but there's been a great
15 deal of evidence of a pattern of driving Kosovo Albanians out. Killing
16 some, driving the rest out. And then at the borders, or sometimes on the
17 way to the borders, depriving them, in a routine way, of their documents
18 of identification.
19 All of these are matters, of course, for the Judges to decide as
20 facts, but dealing with that last point, the systematic removal of
21 people's documents of identification, can you explain that from the
22 information coming to you at all?
23 A. Mr. Nice, you just quoted from the documents of the United Nations
24 organisation and the Contact Group, from which it can be derived that
25 indeed during the military operations which took place there, there were
1 some violations from both parties, and I wouldn't like to represent the
2 picture in one way, pattern. Indeed, what happened, there was a mass
3 evacuation, it took place during the bombings, and I would like to
4 reiterate that once again.
5 Q. I would like to give you a chance to answer the question and I'll
6 move on. If the Judges in due course find this to be a matter of fact,
7 something that happened, can you give any explanation for the systematic
8 removal and indeed destruction of documents of identification by the
9 Kosovo Albanians driven from Kosovo?
10 A. Once again --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice says that it is up to the
13 Chamber to decide, and then he's putting a question to the witness as
14 though this fact had been proven. I can't turn my microphone on. It is
15 on now. You know that I cannot activate my microphone by myself. You are
16 in charge of that.
17 Namely, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Nice said that it was up to the Chamber
18 to determine that, and then he puts a question to Mr. Primakov about some
19 systematic confiscation of documents, presenting it as an established
20 fact. I don't think this is proper. I don't think he can present it as
21 an established fact, because here, among a number of these false witnesses
22 there were a number of false testimonies.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Firstly, Mr. Milosevic -- firstly, it's proper to
24 explore issues of fact as distinct from law.
25 Secondly, Mr. Nice, I agree with Mr. Milosevic; you should not
1 have put the question in that way. It assumes that the witness agreed
2 that there was a systematic confiscation of documents.
3 MR. NICE: I certainly had no intention to make that assumption.
4 Rather, the reverse. I indeed invited the contrary assumption, said that
5 simply if it happened, did the witness have an explanation? And in my
6 respectful submission, that's not only an appropriate but a potentially
7 very helpful matter to raise because in this particular case, if it is
8 found that there is systematic behaviour, otherwise unexplained, then
9 witnesses who may have knowledge are witnesses who may be able to help us.
10 And I -- I suspect the answer is going to be negative from the witness,
11 but I would press on my liberty to have an answer to the question.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: But did you put it -- did you put it in a
13 hypothetical way?
14 MR. NICE: Yes.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: You did.
16 MR. NICE: I did.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, yes.
18 MR. NICE: I'm much obliged.
19 Q. Mr. Primakov, as I hope I made clear and I hope emerged clearly
20 through the translation, I was asking the question hypothetically,
21 namely: Were it to be the case that there was a systematic taking and
22 destruction of documents of identification of Kosovo Albanians when they -
23 let's use a neutral term - leaving the territory, can you explain from all
24 your knowledge how that happened?
25 A. First of all, I have to say, Mr. Nice, that I never worked either
1 for the Serb police or in those bodies which were in charge either by the
2 -- by -- who were in charge of taking away those documents are giving the
3 order to do so. The hypothetical nature of your raising this question
4 allows me to categorically state that I know nothing about these facts.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness has answered.
6 MR. NICE: Thank you.
7 Q. In my remaining four or five minutes, just, I think, three things
8 but I will take them slightly out of order in case I can't do all three of
10 President Yeltsin is the author of a book called Midnight Diaries
11 in which he sets out what happened following your both becoming Prime
12 Minister and then your ceasing to be Prime Minister before the time when
13 the bombing ceased. And indeed he explains how it was that he dismissed
14 you. But he speaks of a meeting on May the 13th of President Jacques
15 Chirac and how President Chirac made it clear to President Yeltsin that he
16 had to make his mind up whether to support Milosevic or not.
17 Are you aware of that meeting and can you confirm the account, in
18 summary, that President Yeltsin gave in his book?
19 A. Mr. Nice sticks to the chronology very nicely. This must be your
20 strong suit.
21 I ceased to be chairman of the government on the 12th of May, and
22 you require me to tell you about the meeting which took place between
23 Milosevic and Chirac on the 13th of May, which is on the next day. On
24 that very day I happened to be at a soccer championship and was watching
25 soccer because I had been freed from the position of chairman of the
2 Q. Throughout his dealings through you and then presumably through
3 Chernomyrdin after you, which brought matters to a conclusion, Yeltsin --
4 President Yeltsin had a low regard for and didn't want -- well, he had a
5 low regard for the accused; is that correct? Is that your experience?
6 A. You would like to create an image of a witness, reverting to, Your
7 Honour, resorting to impermissible ways, and this is not the reason why I
8 came here. You can refer to the book, of course.
9 Q. Was it -- and then finally, was it the understanding in the
10 Russian leadership until the day of your departure, was it the
11 understanding that the accused was gambling on having Russian support for
12 his position and that it was a gamble that didn't pay off?
13 A. I believe that under the harsh conditions which were established
14 in Yugoslavia, nobody was gambling in politics. This has nothing to do
15 with any major Yugoslav politician.
16 Q. Only one other question of detail: You've referred to the 30th of
17 March meeting that you had with the accused after the bombing started. I
18 don't think it's in the book that we've been looking at. Is it in any
19 other book or can you tell us where we can find it recorded documentally
20 anywhere else? Maybe it's in your book and we've missed it, but I don't
21 think so.
22 A. Can you, please, since you believe so, that my moderate, yes,
23 literature allows you to better comprehend the situation, I would like
24 recommend you to read another book of mine which obviously is not known to
25 you. It is called Eight Months Plus. In that book, by the way, you can
1 find, as far as I understand, in an objective way all the details of my
2 dismissal of position of the chairman of the government or the Prime
4 I can tell you that the president of the Russian Federation,
5 President Yeltsin, offered to me to write the statements requesting my
6 dismissal in any language, in any wording. You raised this question, and
7 please do not prevent me from answering it.
8 And I said that this would be his constitutional right, and I
9 would not try to simplify his job. And in that book, you can find a
10 clear-cut description of all my negotiations and discussions with Gore.
11 You can find the minutes of those meetings, you can find my notes, and in
12 that book, you can also find --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have stopped you because that's a sufficient
14 plug for your book, the other book.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, thank you very much. There were a number
16 of other topics, but I see the time, so I'll stop.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, any re-examination?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have questions for
19 re-examination, and I understood I have ten minutes. Just please mind the
21 Re-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Primakov, Mr. Nice asked you at the beginning
23 if you were aware about the Council for Harmonising Stands in State
24 Policy, and he enumerated me, General Mladic, and I don't know who else,
25 and you told him you were not aware of that council; is that correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. May I draw your attention, for the record and for the sake of this
3 exhibit, that at the beginning of this stenogram, it is set out very
4 clearly who attended. It is said that it was chaired by the president of
5 Yugoslavia, attended by the presidents of Serbia and other republics, the
6 Prime Minister, and certain ministers, and it goes on to say members of
7 the council.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm -- I've just stopped you. Is that a document
9 that you're going to tender through this witness? Is it?
10 JUDGE KWON: It was tendered already.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It was tendered already.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is the document introduced by
13 Mr. Nice. He asked questions of this witness based on it. And then
14 Dobrica Cosic, who was the chairman in opening the session, says: "I
15 hereby open the session of the council attended also by representatives by
16 the Republic of Serbian Krajina and Republika Srpska."
17 Q. Is it clear, Mr. Primakov, that we're not talking about members of
18 the council from Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina, that they are
19 just invited to attend the session of the council?
20 A. You have given this clarification and I'm inclined to agree with
21 it, but I know nothing about the council itself or the document.
22 Q. Mr. Nice presented this document because, as he says, the meeting
23 took place on the 9th of January, after our meeting, in order to show a
24 different stand on my part compared to what I had told you. I will quote
25 here. I have many quotations ready, but I don't have time. But at the
1 very beginning of my participation in the discussion at that meeting, I
2 quote, I said, "It is our strategic aim for the Serbian people in the
3 Balkans to be free and equal. The equality of the Serbian people implies
4 having all the opportunities to assert and protect its interests."
5 And then it goes on to say: "I'm absolutely certain that we
6 haven't used up the entire negotiating room available to us, and it is
7 upon us to use the negotiating space to the maximum with utmost
9 So I'm talking to the representatives of all the republics,
10 including the representatives of Republika Srpska and Serbian Krajina, and
11 I'm telling them that we should go to negotiations. Is that completely in
12 line with what I had earlier told you?
13 A. You spoke about the necessity for a political settlement. I have
14 already spoken about that. As for particular documents or your specific
15 statements, I cannot testify to that because I have no specific knowledge,
16 but what you just said coincides with your viewpoint as expressed to me
17 when we discussed other issues.
18 Q. On page 58, I say again regarding settlement in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina: "It should admit and accept a constitution based on
20 tripartite consensus." I used the word "consensus" here, I used the word
21 "consensus" when talking to you. So is this completely in keeping with
22 what I had told you? I'm talking about tripartite consensus of the three
23 constituent peoples.
24 A. You not only said that to me, but I also quoted your statement for
25 the Belgrade TV when they recorded an interview with you in Geneva.
1 Q. Mr. Primakov, in conclusion concerning this document, and I will
2 quote again from this document, but I would appreciate it if you could
3 give Mr. Primakov this entire document so he can read it later when he has
4 time just to see how consistent I was speaking in this forum relative to
5 my discussions with him. And I'm quoting again from the stenographic
7 I said we were not a party to the conflict in Bosnia. Serbia is
8 not represented at Geneva negotiations. The Yugoslav delegation is there
9 representing Yugoslav federal institutions. So we, Yugoslavia, as a
10 federation, are represented. It is Lord Owen who insisted, saying, "You
11 cannot refuse to give a contribution."
12 Page 12. He came out in front of cameras and: "On behalf of the
13 European Community, I invited Mr. Milosevic to participate in the work of
14 the Geneva conference, to give his contribution."
15 Was it clear to you then that there are three sides negotiating in
16 Geneva; the Muslim, Croat, and Bosnian Serb sides, whereas I was invited
17 to give a contribution to a peaceful settlement, and you were the one who
18 insisted that I should certainly contribute to that peaceful settlement?
19 That speaks to the nature of my participation in Geneva.
20 A. That is correct. There were three delegations involved there, and
21 we intensified our discussions with you resulting in your travel to Geneva
22 after it became clear that your presence there could help find a way out
23 of the impasse that had been reached. And in my earlier testimony, I
24 already said that you did precisely that, because on the eve of your
25 arrival, Republika Srpska declined to agree to the constitutional order
1 suggested by the Vance-Owen Plan, and you exerted a very important
2 positive influence. So the Bosnian Serb delegation abandoned their
3 previous position on the very next day.
4 Q. Since we don't have any more time, just a few more brief questions
5 arising from the cross.
6 Mr. Nice questioned you about the stances expressed in the Contact
7 Group. Tell me, please, were the positions of the Contact Group an
8 expression of unity or an expression of compromise between the Russian
9 members and other members or maybe among various members? So it's unity
10 versus compromise.
11 A. This is how I should answer this question: In a number of issues,
12 we achieved unity. On certain documents, there was compromise, in order
13 not to lose the positive outcome that this compromise was able to yield.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we are encroaching on the time
15 of --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more question.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: One more question. We are likely to be expelled
18 if we don't leave.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more question. Just one
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You said, I noted it down when you spoke about those various
23 documents, you said you did not torpedo documents because there was a core
24 to them with which you agreed. So you didn't torpedo documents because
25 there was a core to them with which you could agree. That's what you said
1 when you spoke of the Contact Group.
2 Tell me, what is the core with which you agreed?
3 A. I would like to clarify one point. This doesn't apply to all the
4 documents of the Contact Group. Some documents were passed
5 unconditionally by all, but there were also some documents that didn't
6 suit us completely on all points, but we thought it was a lesser evil and
7 it would be more useful to accept them despite the fact that certain parts
8 of those documents did not exactly suit us.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more, please.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Since Mr. Nice, speaking of Rambouillet, trivialised everything to
13 the point that he made everything seem to hinge on one word, military or
14 not military. Tell me one thing: When the Russian representative in
15 Rambouillet put his signature to the draft, is it true that he said
16 "except annexes 2 and 7"? Is it true, in other words, that even the
17 Russian representative declined to sign annexes 2 and 7, envisaging the
18 presence of NATO troops in Yugoslavia?
19 MR. NICE: Of course it's a leading question. It also completely
20 mischaracterises the exchange between the witness and myself, the witness
21 having himself settled upon the word "military" as the sole defining
22 reason for the change of heart of the accused. But given the pressure of
23 time, if the Court wants the witness to answer the question as formulated,
24 I'm not going to take any further time.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: A very brief answer and that will be the final --
1 this is the final question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already lost the thread. What
3 was -- what were we talking about? I was listening to the Prosecutor.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Primakov, is it the case that in Rambouillet, not even the
6 Russian representative was willing to sign annexes 2 and 7 relating to
7 military presence?
8 A. My answer will be yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Primakov, that concludes your evidence.
11 Thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You may now leave.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
14 MR. NICE: Mechanics of the exhibit: It's been put together in
15 the form in order to be a helpful document that contains everything on a
16 particular topic in one place. Now, that may or may not be what you would
17 prefer. It may or not be helpful but that's the basis upon which it was
18 done. We've identified in it all the existing -- in the index, we've
19 identified all the documents that have already been produced, so that one
20 course would be to allow this to be an exhibit as it stands and then it's
21 just a file of basically NATO security -- Contact Group, Security Council
22 documents and one or two others where we can find everything.
23 Alternatively, we'll filet out everything that's been produced already.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be 795, and I'm going to pull out those
25 exhibits which are already into the evidence. So it's going to be 11
1 tabs, tab 1 to tab 11.
2 JUDGE KWON: Or we can use the --
3 MR. NICE: The existing tab numbers might be easier for the
4 purposes of the record, and then if the Registry would allow the existing
5 index to travel with the exhibit, people will always understand what
6 actually happened.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, that's preferable.
8 MR. NICE: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like to inform the parties that there is a
10 plenary next week Wednesday, so we'll sit on Monday, Tuesday, and
11 Thursday. Please take note, Mr. Milosevic.
12 We are adjourned.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.39 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 1st day of
15 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.