Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 33875

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.


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

Page 33876

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

3 Federation.

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

Page 33877

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

8 Yugoslavia?

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

18 Chamber.

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

Page 33878

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

8 States?

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

Page 33879

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

13 way.

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

18 issues.

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

Page 33880












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Page 33881

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

11 with.

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

16 attention?

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?

Page 33882

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

22 media.

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

Page 33883

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?


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.

Page 33884

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

19 intentionally.

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,

Page 33885

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

22 justice.

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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Page 33887

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.

Page 33888

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.

Page 33889

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

20 there?

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

Page 33890

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

6 propaganda?

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

Page 33891

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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Page 33893

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

Page 33894

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

Page 33895

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

13 meeting?

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

20 meeting.

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

Page 33896

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?

Page 33897

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

Page 33898












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Page 33899

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

11 expressed.

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

21 contribution.

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

Page 33900

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.

Page 33901

1 Q. All right, then. Well, did this fact feed the separatism from

2 outside?

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

Page 33902

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

Page 33903

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

15 adjournment.

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.

Page 33904












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Page 33905

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

8 meeting?

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

18 Group?

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

25 Group.

Page 33906

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]

Page 33907

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

5 tensions.

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

22 stance.

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?

Page 33908

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

11 interpreters.

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,

Page 33909

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.

Page 33910












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Page 33911

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

15 Yugoslavia.

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?

Page 33912

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

5 Yugoslavia.

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.

Page 33913

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

3 1999?

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

Page 33914

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

Page 33915

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

25 Belgrade.

Page 33916












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Page 33917

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

23 Russia?

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

Page 33918

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

24 off.

25 Mr. Milosevic, a trend is developing in your examination-in-chief.

Page 33919

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

Page 33920

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]

Page 33921

1 Q. My question is: Can you confirm these claims, or will you deny

2 them?

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

Page 33922












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Page 33923

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

13 answer.

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

Page 33924

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

9 have.

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

Page 33925

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?

Page 33926

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.

Page 33927


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

17 Russian.

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,

Page 33928












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Page 33929

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

21 please.


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.

Page 33930

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

6 one.


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?

Page 33931

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

Page 33932

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 --

Page 33933

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

13 examination-in-chief?

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

Page 33934












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Page 33935

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

19 itself."

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?

Page 33936

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.

Page 33937

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.


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

25 with?

Page 33938

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

Page 33939

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

5 Group.

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

9 version.

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

Page 33940












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Page 33941

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

19 sufficient.

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.

Page 33942

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

9 brief.

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;

21 correct?

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.

Page 33943

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

15 formality?

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

Page 33944

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

Page 33945

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.


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

23 that.

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

Page 33946

1 Mladic.

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

Page 33947

1 evidence.

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

Page 33948

1 situation in the world and our interpretation of what was going on in the

2 Balkans.

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

Page 33949

1 Mr. Nice, somebody took them from my table. I don't have them in front of

2 me.


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

Page 33950

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

11 it.

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

16 terrain"?

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

24 suffered.

25 Q. And civilians of Albanian ethnicity were moved out; correct?

Page 33951

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 --

Page 33952

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,

14 correct?

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.

Page 33953

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

Page 33954

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

15 later.

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?

Page 33955

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.

Page 33956

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

12 means.

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

Page 33957

1 reflected the Russian position. So I don't understand the point of your

2 questions.

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

Page 33958

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

Page 33959

1 we believed was right."


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

Page 33960

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,

Page 33961

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

5 accept?

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

12 report.

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

Page 33962

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.

Page 33963

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

25 questions."

Page 33964

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

Page 33965

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

10 accused?

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

Page 33966

1 exhibit this bundle of documents later, perhaps after he has withdrawn.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we can do that.


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

16 light.

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

Page 33967

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

Page 33968

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

Page 33969

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

Page 33970

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.


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

Page 33971

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

9 them.

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

Page 33972

1 government.

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

Page 33973

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

3 Minister.

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

20 time.

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?

Page 33974

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

Page 33975

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

8 responsibility."

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.

Page 33976

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

6 notes.

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

Page 33977

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

20 more.

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

Page 33978

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 --

Page 33979

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]


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

Page 33980

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.