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March 25, 2024 (EIRNS)—March 24 was the 25th anniversary of the beginning of NATO’s bombing of Serbia. For the occasion, TASS General Director Andrey Kondrashov has produced a documentary entitled “Belgrade,” a segment of which was shown on Rossiya 1 TV yesterday. The segment featured, among others, clips of an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s a huge tragedy!” Putin said of the events of 1999, reported TASS. He reiterated that “what the West did was completely unacceptable.” He recalled that he had said many times that in fact, they simply unleashed a war in the heart of Europe, without any resolution of the UN Security Council.

“Everything always unfolds exclusively in their [the West’s] own interests. We must take this into account and act, proceeding from our interests, of course. But we should keep in mind that they can turn any situation upside down. They will try to turn it around in a way that is beneficial to them. We must do this in a way that meets Russia’s interests,” Putin said.

As an example, Putin recalled how the West reacted to the events in Yugoslavia in 1999 and to the situation that developed in Ukraine after 2014. The Russian President recalled how he spoke with a Western politician when the events in Crimea were unfolding in 2014. He reminded his colleague that in Yugoslavia, almost all NATO countries “took part in military action in Europe without a UN Security Council resolution.”

“Do you know what the answer was?—`Well, how can that be! There [in Yugoslavia] there was a civil war for eight years, people were dying and it was necessary to put an end to it,’” he recalled that conversation.

“So. Why not go and get permission from the [UN] Security Council and act. No. They did it just like that. But what am I talking about? Why did I remember 2014—after 2014, in fact, a civil war and repeated military operations against the rebelled Donbass began in Ukraine. And this lasted exactly eight years. ... But, in their [Western] understanding this is a completely different case,” the Russian leader said indignantly.