May 18 2021 Czech President Zeman apologized to visiting Serbian President Vucic for his Czech participation in the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and asked the Serbian people for forgiveness.
In 1999, the Czech Republic, which had just joined NATO, voted in favour of NATO bombing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Zeman was prime minister of the Czech government at the time. On the 18th, Zeman said that he had wanted to oppose the resolution, but in NATO alone, “but this can not be used as an excuse, (the Czech Republic) lack of courage.”
Zeman said the incident had haunted him for years, torturing his heart, and took the opportunity to express his remorse for the decision and to ask the Serbian people for forgiveness.
Vucic said no one had ever apologized for NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia would “forever appreciate” President Zeman’s statement.
Zeman served as Czech Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002. On 12 March 1999, the Czech Republic formally joined NATO, and on 24 March of the same year, NATO began bombing the then sovereign State of Yugoslavia for 78 days without the authorization of the United Nations, resulting in casualties and economic losses that are still difficult to estimate.