News Release

New Attention to Unpublicized Provisions of Rambouillet


WASHINGTON — New questions are continuing to emerge about the actual terms of the Rambouillet text. Milosevic’s refusal to sign Rambouillet was the cited reason that NATO began the bombing of Yugoslavia. Today, the Washington Post published an exchange between NATO spokesman Jamie Shea and a representative of the Institute for Public Accuracy:

[The Washington Post, “For the Record,” Wednesday, April 28, 1999:]

From a NATO press conference at the National Press Club Monday with spokesman Jamie Shea:

Q: The Rambouillet Accords, appendix B in particular…called for the occupation of all of Yugoslavia…. Unrestricted passage throughout [its] air space, territorial waters, rail, airports, roads, bridges, ports without payment, the electromagnetic spectrum and so on. Was not the Rambouillet accord, which [Slobodan] Milosevic refused to sign, in fact, a desire to occupy all of Yugoslavia and not just simply Kosovo?

Mr. Shea: No, absolutely not…. We were looking…to be able to deploy an international security force, and that means, of course, being able to deploy the assets for that security force…. At the moment, all of our predeployed elements in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have come in by the Greek port of Thessaloniki. And for that, obviously, one has to have an agreement with the Yugoslav government to be able to have access to those roads, those rail systems, the air space for the business of setting up an international security presence, and therefore NATO personnel who may have had at the time…to transit temporarily through Yugoslavia will have had to enjoy those kinds of immunities…

Q: That’s simply not the language, sir. It’s “free and unrestricted passage,” the ability to detain people, for example,… and total use of electromagnetic spectrum, sir.

A: I was not a negotiator at Rambouillet…but my understanding, sir, is that it refers to, as you say, passage, exactly transit. And that’s the point I’ve made.


For more information and interviews on this subject and its implications, contact:

Robert Hayden
Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh

At the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.

The Rambouillet text is available at the State Department’s website.