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State Department: Serbia-Montenegro - Public Announcement, July 1, 1998

Serbia-Montenegro - Public Announcement
July 1, 1998

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to and around Serbia's southern province of Kosovo. The potential for rapid changes in the security situation there is high. Ongoing tensions between ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians have worsened in spring 1998, with a series of armed clashes throughout the region.

Both the police and Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) are active in the region and each operates numerous checkpoints throughout Kosovo. There have been incidents at both kinds of checkpoints where guards have fired at vehicles whose occupants did not obey their commands. Due to the potential for violence, the authority of the individuals operating any checkpoint should not be challenged.

While American citizens traveling in other parts of the country have not to date experienced security problems, travelers should be aware that sanctions imposed against Serbia-Montenegro may adversely affect their travel plans. Due to the sanctions affecting financial institutions in Serbia-Montenegro, for example, merchants and hotels have begun to refuse credit cards as a form of payment. Travelers will find it increasingly necessary to travel with sums of cash, an inconvenience which increases the potential for theft. In addition, European nations have stated that they will deny landing rights to Jugoslav Airlines (JAT). When this policy is implemented, and especially if Serbia-Montenegro retaliates against European air carriers, those wishing to depart Serbia-Montenegro may find it necessary to leave overland and enter another country in order to board an international flight.

American citizens already in Serbia-Montenegro may contact the U.S. Embassy for current security information. The Embassy is located at Kneza Milosa 50, Belgrade; telephone (381)(11) 645-655.

For further general information on travel to Serbia-Montenegro, consult the latest Department of State Consular Information Sheet.

No. 98-025

This supersedes the Public Announcement dated May 12, 1998.

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Sunday, 5 July 1998