Conclusion of the National Security Council of Serbia from 25 February 2022
1. The Republic of Serbia most sincerely regrets everything that takes place in the east of Europe. Russia and Ukraine have always been friendly countries to the Republic of Serbia, and Serbian people think of Russians and Ukrainians as of fraternal nations. We see loss of life of each man in Ukraine as a true tragedy.
2. The Republic of Serbia is committed to observing principles of territorial integrity and political independence of the states, as one of the basic principles of international law contained in the United Nations Charter and the Helsinki Final Act (1975), which guarantee the right of states to inviolability of borders.
3. Starting from Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which envisages that the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia shall be based on generally accepted principles and rules of international law, one of the basic principles of the foreign policy of the Republic of Serbia is also a consistent respect for inviolability of territorial integrity of sovereign countries. Just like it is committed to preservation of sovereignty and integrity of its own territory, the Republic of Serbia is likewise advocating respect for territorial integrity of other sovereign countries and the principle that borders can be changed only in accordance with the rules of international law.
4. The Republic of Serbia has always applied responsible and principled foreign policy and it paid dearly its commitment to principles and rules of international law, including also the principle of territorial integrity, because due to its strivings to preserve its territorial integrity, in the end of the 20th century, it was exposed not only to restrictive measures but also to aggression of 19 NATO member states. Despite all that, position of the Republic of Serbia in international relations has always been and it remained legally and politically impeccable, responsible and principled. There is nothing to reproach to the Republic of Serbia for its consistence in observing principles of international law.
5. In accordance with its so-far policy of striving for consistent and principled respect for principles of international law and inviolability of borders, the Republic of Serbia provides full and principled support to observation of principles of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. Fundamental principle of the contemporary international law is the principle of peaceful resolution of conflicts and refraining from threat and use of armed force against territorial integrity and political independence of any country whatsoever and in any way that is not in accordance with the United Nations Charter. Guided by fundamental principles of its foreign policy, the Republic of Serbia finds the violation of territorial integrity of any country, including Ukraine, very wrong.
7. Regardless of provocations coming often from countries and entities in the Western Balkans, the Republic of Serbia remains committed to observing principles from its Constitution to have its foreign policy based on generally accepted principles and rules of international law and it permanently advocates respect for precisely those principles and preservation of peace in the region, no matter the cost. The Republic of Serbia believes that preservation of peace and stability is of key importance for both progress of its economy and for biological survival of its citizens. Precisely because of that, the politics of the Republic of Serbia must be even more careful and more tolerant with irresponsible statements and actions coming from the region, because preservation of peace is a vital interest of Serbian people and the citizens of the Republic of Serbia.
8. Starting from a fact that its elementary duty is to invest all its efforts in preservation of peace and wellbeing of its citizens, while considering the need to possibly impose restrictive measures or sanctions against any country, including the Russian Federation, the Republic of Serbia will be guided exclusively by protection of its vital economic and political interests. As a country that experienced sanctions of the West in the recent past and whose compatriots in Republika Srpska are suffering from sanctions today, the Republic of Serbia believes that it is not its vital political and economic interest to impose sanctions against any country at this moment, nor to representatives or business entities of the respective.
9. Starting from the principle of military neutrality of the Republic of Serbia, and having in mind tremendous pressures the state of Serbia is put under, it is needed to terminate immediately all planning and exercise activities of the Armed Forces of Serbia and of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia with foreign partners, as well as not to carry out such activities until further notice.
10. In accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia that envisages the obligation of the Republic of Serbia to protect the rights and interests of its citizens in abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with other competent authorities, will take all measures envisaged by the law to safeguard the security of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia staying in Ukraine.
11. All state authorities and officials of the Republic of Serbia are warned of their legal obligation to refrain from inciting to and helping individuals to take part in conflicts in the east of Europe. Competent authorities will take all measures to prevent participation of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia, so-called, volunteers, in conflicts in the east of Europe, and they will sanction all the citizens not abiding legal bans from Article 386a and 386b of the Criminal Code.
12. The Republic of Serbia, will, of course provide any kind of humanitarian aid to the endangered Ukrainian people and citizens.
13. In accordance with their respective powers, the competent state authorities will take all measures to enable – in times ahead, that citizens and economy are supplied with enough energy, oil and oil derivatives, gas, but also food and other necessities required for decent and dignified life.
14. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will introduce this Conclusion to diplomatic and consular offices of the Republic of Serbia abroad, and instruct them to strictly observe this Conclusion in their respective activities.
15. For the purpose of implementation, this Conclusion is to be delivered to the General Secretariat of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, to the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, the Security-Information Agency, the Military Security Agency and to the Military Intelligence Agency.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC