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Voice of America, 99-03-27

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO PENTAGON FRIDAY L 2ND UPDATE BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [02] KOSOVO BY PHIL SMUCKER (SKOPJE)
  • [03] KOSOVO EXODUS (S/L) BY NICK SIMEONE (SKOPJE)
  • [04] KOSOVO-NATO (S/L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] KOSOVO-SIDEBAR-SKYEYE (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [06] BRITAIN/KOSOVO (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [07] RUSSIA/NATO (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [08] RUSSIA/NATO UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [09] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (S) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [10] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (S UPDATE) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [11] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)
  • [12] YUGOSLAVIA WRAP (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WASHINGTON)
  • [13] YUGO WAR / BALKAN SPILLOVER (CQ) BY NICK SIMEONE (SOFIA, BULGARIA)
  • [14] NISSAN / RENAULT (L-ONLY) BY STEVE HERMAN (TOKYO)
  • [15] NISSAN/RENAULT UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY STEVE HERMAN (TOKYO)
  • [16] FRANCE TUNNEL (L/S VER) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

  • [01] KOSOVO PENTAGON FRIDAY L 2ND UPDATE BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247253
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY U-S WARPLANES SHOT DOWN TWO YUGOSLAV MIG'S (FIGHTER JETS) OVER BOSNIA FRIDAY, AS A THIRD DAY OF NATO AIR ATTACKS POUNDED SERB TARGETS ACROSS YUGOSLAVIA. OFFICIALS SAY THE ATTACKS ARE FALLING MORE AND MORE HEAVILY ON THE SERB TROOPS NOW THREATENING ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON.

    TEXT: SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS ALLIANCE AIR CRAFT ARE DESTROYING YUGOSLAV AIR DEFENSES AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE SO THEY CAN SHIFT THEIR ATTACKS AND STOP A FEARED SERB OFFENSIVE AGAINST THE KOSOVARS.

    THERE ARE SOME REPORTS THAT SERBS HAVE KILLED CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO, OR PLAN TO USE THEM AS HUMAN SHIELDS TO PROTECT MILITARY FACILITIES FROM AIR ATTACK.

    /// BACON ACT ///

    CERTAINLY THERE IS REASON TO FEAR FOR THE WORST. AND WE DO FEAR FOR THE WORST, THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS WE'RE TRYING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO INCREASE THE EMPHASIS ON DEGRADING AND STOPPING THE FORCES IN KOSOVO.

    /// END ACT ///

    EARLIER, TWO YUGOSLAV HIGH PERFORMANCE MIG 29 FIGHTERS FLEW INTO NEIGHBORING BOSNIA, AND WERE QUICKLY SHOT DOWN BY U-S WARPLANES.

    /// BACON ACT ///

    WE DON'T KNOW WHY THEY WERE FLYING INTO BOSNIA. WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE ONE POSSIBLE REASON WOULD BE TO ATTACK S-FOR FORCES IN BOSNIA.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE NATO-LED TROOPS OF THE STABILIZATION FORCE, OR S-FOR, ENFORCE A PEACE AGREEMENT IN BOSNIA.

    NATO OFFICIALS SAID LITTLE ABOUT FRIDAY'S ATTACKS, BUT SAY THURSDAY'S TARGETS INCLUDED AIR DEFENSES, AIR FIELDS, AN AMMUNITION DUMP AND OTHER MILITARY FACILITIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PT
    26-Mar-99 8:18 PM EST (0118 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO BY PHIL SMUCKER (SKOPJE)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247260

    ATROCITIES (L-ONLY) CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE CREDIBLE REPORTS OF ATROCITIES BEING CARRIED OUT BY SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES INSIDE KOSOVO. MOST OF THE REPORTS CANNOT BE INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRMED BUT APPEAR TO FOLLOW A PATTERN ESTABLISHED IN KOSOVO OVER THE LAST YEAR. V-O-A'S PHILLIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM SKOPJE, MACEDONIA.

    TEXT: AMERICAN OFFICIALS SAY THAT ETHNIC ALBANIANS ARE REPORTING THAT UNIFORMED SERBIAN POLICE AND SOLDIERS AND CIVILIAN PARA-MILITARY GROUPS ARE CARRYING OUT THE ATROCITIES. THE FAMILY OF PROMINENT HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER, BAJRAM (BY'ROHM) KELMENDI, TOLD V-O-A THAT FIVE SERBIAN POLICEMEN ENTERED THEIR HOME EARLY THURSDAY MORNING AND BEAT MR. KELMENDI. THEY POINTED TO AN UNEXPLODED BOMB UNDER A BOOKCASE AT THE ENTRANCE OF THEIR HOME THAT THEY SAID HAD BEEN USED BY THE SERBIAN POLICE TO INTIMIDATE THE FAMILY.

    A POLICEMAN TOLD MR. KELMENDI'S 30-YEAR OLD SON TO KISS HIS TWO CHILDREN FOR THE LAST TIME. LATER, MR. KELMENDI AND HIS TWO SONS WERE LED AWAY. FRIDAY AFTERNOON, THE BODIES OF THE THREE MALES IN THE KELMENDI FAMILY WERE FOUND ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD OUTSIDE OF PRISTINA ACCORDING TO ETHNIC ALBANIAN SOURCES.

    AMERICAN OFFICIALS IN THE MACEDONIAN CAPITAL, SKOPJE, SAY THEY HAVE OTHER CREDIBLE REPORTS OF ATROCITIES BEING CARRIED OUT BY SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES AND ARMED SERBIAN CIVILIANS. SERBIAN OFFICIALS CONTEND THAT WESTERN REPORTS COMING OUT OF KOSOVO ARE EXAGGERATED AND DISTORTED. BUT ALBANIAN REFUGEES COMING ACROSS THE BORDER INTO NEIGHBORING ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA ARE ALSO TELLING STORIES OF SUMMARY EXECUTIONS. ONE WESTERN OFFICIAL SAID THAT HE FEARED THAT ETHNIC ALBANIANS WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH WESTERN EMBASSIES AND AID AGENCIES WERE BEING TARGETED.

    AMERICAN AND BRITISH DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAD EXPECTED AN INITIAL INCREASE IN ATROCITIES TO FOLLOW NATO BOMBING. THEY SAY THAT THE NATO BOMBING CAMPAIGN IS DESIGNED TO DEGRADE THE SERBIAN SECURITY FORCES' ABILITY TO CONDUCT A CONVENTIONAL WAR. THEY ADMIT THAT AIR POWER CAN DO LITTLE TO DIRECTLY STOP THE ALLEGED ATROCITIES FROM TAKING PLACE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DWJ/PLM
    27-Mar-99 5:56 AM EST (1056 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] KOSOVO EXODUS (S/L) BY NICK SIMEONE (SKOPJE)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247274
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ETHNIC ALBANIANS FLEEING YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE SAY SERB FORCES ARE STEPPING UP ATTACKS AGAINST THEM -- DESPITE THE NATO AIR ASSAULT ON SERB TARGETS. CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE IS IN NEIGHBORING MACEDONIA WHERE HE HAS BEEN WATCHING REFUGEES TRICKLE ACROSS THE KOSOVO BORDER, BRINGING WITH THEM ACCOUNTS OF HOW THEY ARE BEING FORCED TO FLEE FOR THEIR LIVES.

    TEXT: FROM MACEDONIA'S BORDER WITH KOSOVO, THE BRIGHT FLAMES OF SEVERAL HOMES SET ON FIRE CAN BE SEEN IN THE HILLS JUST BEYOND THE FRONTIER -- A GLIMPSE OF THE TYPE OF ATTACKS SERB FORCES MAY BE CARRYING OUT DEEPER INSIDE THE PROVINCE, UNSEEN BY THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

    // OPT FOR LONG //

    THESE AREN'T THE FIRST HOMES TO BE BURNED, SAYS ONE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REFUGEE WHO MANAGED TO MAKE IT TO THE SAFETY OF THE MACEDONIAN BORDER.

    // OPT ACT IN ALBANIAN AND THEN IN ENGLISH OF TRANSLATOR //

    THEY SAID TO THE PEOPLE -- TO THE ALBANIAN PEOPLE IN KOSOVO -- THAT THEY HAVE TO LEAVE THE VILLAGES AND THE HOUSES AND EVERYTHING THAT'S THEIRS. THEY ARE AWARE THAT THEY WANT TO MAKE (TAKE PART IN) ETHNIC CLEANSING.

    // END ACT //

    // END OPT FOR LONG //

    JOURNALISTS ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO VENTURE BEYOND THE MACEDONIAN FRONTIER. A GROUP OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS, INCLUDING A CAR FULL OF WOMEN AND YOUNG CHILDREN, HAD JUST CROSSED FROM THE OTHER SIDE, BRINGING WITH THEM STORIES OF SERB SHELLING AND LOOTING GOING ON IN VILLAGES JUST OVER THE HORIZON.

    // SECOND ALBANIAN ACT //

    THEY SAY LEAVE THE HOUSE OR WE WILL KILL YOU, THE SERBS (SAID THIS)

    // END ACT //

    ONE REFUGEE, GESTURING TOWARD SPECIFIC PLACES IN THE KOSOVO HILLS, POINTED OUT WHERE HE SAID SERB FORCES ARE PLANTING LAND MINES TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM RETURNING. THOUSANDS OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO FLEE HERE TO MACEDONIA. "WE ONLY WANT TO SAVE OUR LIVES" SAID ONE, WHO IS NOW SET TO JOIN THE GROWING ETHNIC ALBANIAN MINORITY THAT ALREADY CALLS MACEDONIA HOME. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS
    27-Mar-99 1:38 PM EST (1838 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] KOSOVO-NATO (S/L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247272
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO HAS BEEN FRUSTRATED BY BAD WEATHER OVER YUGOSLAVIA, BUT IS CONTINUING ITS AIR STRIKES ANYWAY. DETAILS FROM RON PEMSTEIN AT NATO HEADQUARTERS.

    TEXT: DESPITE THE BAD WEATHER NATO HIT TARGETS AROUND BELGRADE, NIS AND IN THE PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. YUGOSLAV AIR DEFENSE UNITS WHICH HAVE BEEN QUIET UNTIL THEN, FIRED 17 TIMES AT THE NATO FIGHTERS BUT A MILITARY SPOKESMAN HERE SAYS THEY ALL MISSED THEIR TARGETS.

    NATO EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT REPORTS THE YUGOSLAV PARAMILITARY FORCES ARE INTENSIFYING A CAMPAIGN OF LOOTING, BURNING AND ETHNIC CLEANSING IN KOSOVO -- BUT MAINTAINS THIS STARTED BEFORE AIR STRIKES.

    NATO SPOKESMAN JAMIE SHEA TELLS REPORTERS NATO'S AIR POWER WILL SWITCH ITS FOCUS TO THE REPRESSION IN KOSOVO AFTER IT ELIMINATES THE AIR DEFENSE THREAT.

    ///SHEA ACT///

    WE HAVE TO FINISH PHASE ONE. THAT'S ENTIRELY LOGICAL AND THAT MEANS THAT WE HAVE TO BE IN A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TAKEN OUT SUFFICIENT AIR DEFENSE ASSETS SO THAT OUR PILOTS CAN OPERATE WITH A RELATIVELY GREATER DEGREE OF SAFETY IN YUGOSLAV AIR SPACE.

    ///END ACT///

    ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO FEAR THEY CANNOT LAST THAT LONG.

    ///REST OPT FOR LONG CR///

    MR. SHEA EXPRESSES CONCERN FOR SERBS IN KOSOVO WHO HAVE ALSO HAD THEIR LIVES DISRUPTED.

    ///SHEA ACT///

    I'VE SEEN REPORTS THAT 70 VILLAGES WHICH WERE ESSENTIALLY POPULATED BY SERBS IN KOSOVO HAVE ALSO BEEN EMPTIED AS A RESULT OF THIS FIGHTING. THE SERB POPULATION IN KOSOVO MAY NOT HAVE SUFFERED QUITE ON THE SAME SCALE AS THE KOSOVO ALBANIAN POPULATION, BUT IT HAS SUFFERED. LIVES HAVE BEEN RUINED ON THE SERB SIDE JUST AS MUCH AS ON THE ALBANIAN SIDE.

    ///END ACT///

    THE SERBS ARE A MINORITY IN KOSOVO BUT DOMINATE THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE. THEY STAND TO LOSE IT, IF YUGOSLAVIA AGREES TO GIVE THE MAJORITY ALBANIAN POPULATION A HIGH DEGREE OF AUTONOMY. YUGOSLAVIA HAS REFUSED TO SIGN THE AGREEMENT THAT ALSO INCLUDES A NATO-LED PEACEKEEPING FORCE TO PATROL KOSOVO.

    MR. SHEA SAYS IF NATO PEACEKEEPERS WERE ALLOWED TO ENTER KOSOVO THEY COULD PREVENT THE FLOOD OF ALBANIAN REFUGEES CAUSED BY THE ACTIONS OF SERB-LED PARAMILITARY FORCES. (SIGNED).
    NEB/RP/ALW/JO
    27-Mar-99 12:15 PM EST (1715 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] KOSOVO-SIDEBAR-SKYEYE (L-ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247280
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO MAY SOON HAVE A BETTER IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING IN KOSOVO, WHERE MANY HARD-TO-CONFIRM REPORTS SAY SERB-LED YUGOSLAV FORCES ARE ATTACKING CIVILIANS. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON, WHERE OFFICIALS SAY CAMERAS ABOARD SMALL, UNMANNED AIRPLANES WILL SOON PEER DOWN FROM THE SKY AT THREATENED VILLAGES.

    TEXT: THE ODD-LOOKING AIRCRAFT IS CALLED THE PREDATOR, THOUGH IT LOOKS MORE LIKE A CROSS BETWEEN A SPACECRAFT AND A GRASSHOPPER. IT HAS A LONG NARROW BODY THAT THICKENS AT THE FRONT, STUBBY WINGS AND A TAIL THAT DROOPS DOWN.

    THE PREDATOR IS NOT DESIGNED FOR SPEED. ITS SMALL PROPELLER PUSHES IT SLOWLY THROUGH THE SKY, BUT IT CAN STAY ALOFT FOR UP TO 50 HOURS. PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS IT CAN TAKE PICTURES IN DAYLIGHT OR DARKNESS, AND SEND THEM IMMEDIATELY BACK TO THE BASE.

    /// BACON ACT ///

    IT GIVES US REAL-TIME (UP-TO-THE MINUTE) MONITORING CAPABILITY WITH A SERIES OF SEVERAL IMAGE COLLECTORS. SO THAT WILL IMPROVE OUR ABILITY. IT CAN BE, OF COURSE, DIRECTED OVER CERTAIN AREAS. IT SENDS BACK REAL TIME PICTURES OR INFRARED.

    /// END ACT ///

    MR. BACON SAYS THE PREDATOR IS SMALL AND IS DESIGNED TO BE HARD TO TRACK WITH RADAR.

    MILITARY EXPERTS SAY ANOTHER CHARACTERISTIC OF THE PREDATOR IS THAT IT CAN BE SENT TO PLACES TOO DANGEROUS FOR RECONNAISSANCE PILOTS TO VENTURE. IT ALSO HAS AN ADVANTAGE OVER SPY SATELLITES BECAUSE GROUND OBSERVERS CAN'T PREDICT WHEN IT WILL PASS OVERHEAD. HOWEVER, A MILITARY OFFICER FAMILIAR WITH THE PREDATOR SAYS IT SOMETIMES HAS PROBLEMS OPERATING IN YUGOSLAVIA'S FREQUENTLY FOUL WEATHER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/KL
    27-Mar-99 6:46 PM EST (2346 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] BRITAIN/KOSOVO (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247264
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY GEORGE ROBERTSON SAYS SERB MILITARY UNITS HAVE DESTROYED SEVERAL ETHNIC ALBANIAN VILLAGES IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE. HE SAYS EVIDENCE IS BEING COLLECTED TO BRING THOSE ACCUSED TO TRIAL AT THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS BRITISH DEFENSE OFFICIALS SAY THE NATO AIR STRIKES ARE DEGRADING YUGOSLAV AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS.

    TEXT: DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERTSON CALLS YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC A "SERIAL ETHNIC CLEANSER" AND SAYS THOSE FOUND GUILTY OF ATROCITIES AGAINST KOSOVAR ALBANIANS WILL BE PUNISHED.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    THERE ARE CLEAR SIGNS NOW THAT AN ALL-OUT SERB OFFENSIVE AGAINST THE KOSOVAR ALBANIAN PEOPLE HAS STARTED AND VIOLENCE IS WIDESPREAD. THE SERBS ARE BOMBARDING VILLAGES TO THE POINT OF OBLITERATION. WE HAVE HEARD THAT SOME VILLAGES DO NOT EXIST. AND I ASK YOU TO REFLECT ON THESE CHILLING WORDS -- THE VILLAGES NOW DO NOT EXIST.

    ///END ACT ///

    MR. ROBERTSON SAYS THE SERB MILITARY POLICE HAS SHARPLY INCREASED ITS PRESENCE IN KOSOVO -- FROM FOUR-AND-A-HALF THOUSAND TO 18-THOUSAND. HE SAYS NATO IS GATHERING EVIDENCE FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES ON KILLINGS IN KOSOVO, WHICH WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL AT THE HAGUE.

    CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL CHARLES GUTHRIE SAYS AIR STRIKES HAVE DAMAGED A YUGOSLAV ARMY HEADQUARTERS ON KOSOVO'S PROVINCIAL BORDER. HE SAYS MORE MILITARY INSTALLATIONS WILL BE TARGETED IN THE NEXT WAVE OF BOMBINGS.

    /// GUTHRIE ACT ///

    THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE YUGOSLAV AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE DEGRADED, LEAVING OUR FORCES TO CONCENTRATE MORE FULLY ON ATTACKING THOSE ASPECTS OF MILOSEVIC'S APPARATUS WHICH SUPPORT HIS CAMPAIGN OF REPRESSION IN KOSOVO.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE BRITISH DEFENSE OFFICIALS CONFIRM THAT NATO DOWNED TWO YUGOSLAV MIG-29 JET FIGHTERS IN BOSNIAN AIR SPACE. DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERTSON CALLS YUGOSLAVIA'S VIOLATION OF BOSNIAN AIR SPACE A SERIOUS DEVELOPMENT. HE ONCE AGAIN WARNS THAT NATO WILL RESPOND TO ANY ATTACKS AGAINST NATO PEACEKEEPER TROOPS BASED IN BOSNIA OR MACEDONIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PC/JO
    27-Mar-99 8:58 AM EST (1358 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] RUSSIA/NATO (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247268
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///EDS: WATCH FOR UPDATE AFTER EMERGENCY DUMA SESSION ///

    INTRO: LAWMAKERS IN RUSSIA'S COMMUNIST-DOMINATED PARLIAMENT ARE CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO NATO AIRSTRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA AND DEMANDING THAT MOSCOW GIVE AID TO BELGRADE. MEANWHILE, ANTI-NATO DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOSCOW CONTINUE FOR A THIRD DAY. FROM THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL, CORRESPONDENT EVE CONANT HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS ARE HOLDING AN EMERGENCY SESSION SATURDAY DESIGNED TO INCREASE PRESSURE ON THE KREMLIN TO TOUGHEN ITS STANCE AGAINST NATO AIRSTRIKES.

    THE PARLIAMENT IS EXPECTED TO PASS A DRAFT RESOLUTION DESCRIBING THE AIRSTRIKES AS A "SERIOUS SECURITY THREAT" TO RUSSIA. THE HARD-LINE LAWMAKERS ARE ALSO CALLING FOR A LIFTING OF THE INTERNATIONAL ARMS EMBARGO AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA, AND FOR RUSSIA TO SEND VOLUNTEER FIGHTERS TO HELP BELGRADE COUNTER THE ATTACKS.

    BUT KREMLIN LEADERS SAY THEY DO NOT WANT TO FURTHER ISOLATE THEMSELVES FROM THE WEST IN THE WAKE OF THE KOSOVO CRISIS. AT THE START OF SATURDAY'S DEBATE, RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV CALLED NATO AIRSTRIKES A "DARK CHAPTER" IN HISTORY. BUT HE ALSO TOLD LAWMAKERS RUSSIA WILL NOT GET INVOLVED IN A WAR. NEWS AGENCIES REPORT RUSSIA'S DEFENSE MINISTER IGOR SERGEYEV ENCOURAGED LAWMAKERS TO RATIFY THE START-TWO NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTION TREATY TO AVOID, AS HE PUT IT, "UNLEASHING A NUCLEAR WAR."

    RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE WEST ARE AT THEIR LOWEST POINT SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR. THAT WAS UNDERSCORED BY MORE THAN A THOUSAND ANGRY PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATING FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE DAY OUTSIDE THE U-S EMBASSY IN DOWNTOWN MOSCOW SATURDAY.

    ///NAT SOUND OF PROTEST -- UP AND UNDER///

    CARS DRIVING BY HONK THEIR HORNS IN SUPPORT OF THE PROTESTERS AS THEY THROW BOTTLES AND ROCKS AT THE EMBASSY BUILDING. ONE MAN AT THE PROTEST WHO REFUSED TO GIVE HIS NAME CALLS AMERICANS "COWARDS."

    ///ACT MAN IN RUSSIAN -- IN FULL AND FADE UNDER///

    "WHAT IS THIS IDEA THAT AMERICA IS A GREAT DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY?" HE SAYS "THEY ARE MURDERERS. THEY ARE KILLING CIVILIANS."

    //OPT//

    ANOTHER DEMONSTRATOR, XENIA PETROVA, SAYS SHE CAME TO THE PROTEST OUT OF FRUSTRATION.

    ///ACT PETROVA IN RUSSIAN -- IN FULL AND FADE UNDER///

    "WE'RE HERE TO SHOW OUR SOLIDARITY WITH THE SERBS." SHE SAYS " THERE'S NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO BUT DEMONSTRATE DAY AND NIGHT."

    //END OPT//

    THE COUNTRY'S RIFT WITH THE WEST COMES AT A DIFFICULT TIME FOR RUSSIA'S CASH-STRAPPED GOVERNMENT. MOSCOW NEEDS AT LEAST FOUR-POINT-FIVE-BILLION DOLLARS TO PAY DEBTS THIS YEAR TO THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

    AS RUSSIA CONTINUES TO CONDEMN THE WEST FOR THE YUGOSLAV AIRSTRIKES, RUSSIA'S PRIME MINISTER BEGINS THREE DAYS OF FUND-RAISING TALKS IN MOSCOW WITH I-M-F OFFICIALS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/PCF/JO
    27-Mar-99 11:00 AM EST (1600 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] RUSSIA/NATO UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247273
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///EDS: UPDATES WITH RESOLUTION PASSAGE; REWRITES IN FIRST FOUR GRAPHS OF TEXT AND IN INTRO.///

    INTRO: BY AN ALMOST UNANIMOUS VOTE (EDS: 366-TO-FOUR) LAWMAKERS IN RUSSIA'S COMMUNIST-DOMINATED PARLIAMENT SATURDAY PASSED A RESOLUTION CONDEMNING NATO AIRSTRIKES AGAINST YUGOSLAV TARGETS. MEANWHILE, ANTI-NATO DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOSCOW CONTINUE. FROM THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL, CORRESPONDENT EVE CONANT HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS OVERWHELMINGLY ADOPTED AN ANTI-NATO RESOLUTION THAT DESCRIBES THE YUGOSLAV AIRSTRIKES AS A "SERIOUS THREAT" TO RUSSIA'S SECURITY. THE RESOLUTION RECOMMENDS A RE-EXAMINATION OF RUSSIA'S RELATIONSHIP WITH NATO AND CALLS FOR HUMANITARIAN AID TO BE SENT TO YUGOSLAVIA.

    THE DRAFT ALSO RECOMMENDS UPGRADING RUSSIA'S MILITARY READINESS AND POSTPONING DEBATE ON THE "START TWO" NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTION TREATY. THE TREATY WOULD CUT THE NUCLEAR ARSENALS OF RUSSIA AND THE UNITED STATES BY MORE THAN HALF.

    BUT SATURDAY'S NON-BINDING RESOLUTION IS MOSTLY A SYMBOLIC GESTURE. RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS PASSED IT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THE KREMLIN IS NOT REACTING STRONGLY ENOUGH TO THE NATO ATTACKS.

    KREMLIN LEADERS HAVE CLEARLY STATED THEY DO NOT WANT TO ISOLATE THEMSELVES FROM THE WEST. AT SATURDAY'S DEBATE, RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER IGOR IVANOV CALLED NATO AIRSTRIKES A "DARK CHAPTER" IN HISTORY AND SAID IF AIRSTRIKES CONTINUE, RUSSIA WILL REQUEST A SPECIAL U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING TO DISCUSS THE KOSOVO CRISIS. BUT HE ALSO FIRMLY TOLD LAWMAKERS RUSSIA WILL NOT, AS HE PUT IT, GET INVOLVED IN A WAR.

    AVERAGE RUSSIANS ARE ALSO CALLING ON THE KREMLIN TO GET TOUGHER WITH NATO. MORE THAN A THOUSAND ANGRY PROTESTERS DEMONSTRATED OUTSIDE THE U-S EMBASSY IN DOWNTOWN MOSCOW SATURDAY.

    ///NAT SOUND PROTEST -- UP AND UNDER///

    CARS DRIVING-BY HONK THEIR HORNS IN SUPPORT OF THE PROTESTERS AS THEY THROW BOTTLES AND ROCKS AT THE EMBASSY BUILDING AND BURN AMERICAN FLAGS. ONE MAN AT THE PROTEST WHO REFUSED TO GIVE HIS NAME CALLS AMERICANS "COWARDS."

    ///ACT OF MAN IN RUSSIAN -- IN FULL AND FADE UNDER///

    "WHAT IS THIS IDEA THAT AMERICA IS A GREAT DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY? AMERICANS ARE MURDERERS," HE SAYS. "THEY ARE KILLING CIVILIANS."

    THE COUNTRY'S RIFT WITH THE WEST COMES AT A DIFFICULT TIME FOR RUSSIA'S CASH-STRAPPED GOVERNMENT. MOSCOW NEEDS AT LEAST FOUR-POINT-FIVE BILLION DOLLARS TO PAY DEBTS THIS YEAR TO THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

    AS RUSSIA CONTINUES TO CONDEMN THE WEST FOR THE YUGOSLAV AIRSTRIKES, RUSSIA'S PRIME MINISTER BEGAN THREE DAYS OF FUND-RAISING TALKS IN MOSCOW WITH I-M-F OFFICIALS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/PCF/JO
    27-Mar-99 12:51 PM EST (1751 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (S) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247275
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO HAS LAUNCHED A FOURTH DAY OF AIR RAIDS ON SERB TARGETS IN YUGOSLAVIA, AS U-S AND NATO OFFICIALS EXPRESS GROWING CONCERN ABOUT REPORTED SERB ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON, WHERE SPOKESMEN SAY SATURDAY'S ASSAULT BEGAN WITH CRUISE MISSILES LAUNCHED FROM SHIPS.

    TEXT: PENTAGON OFFICIALS ARE GIVING FEW DETAILS OF SATURDAY'S ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAVIA, BUT THEY DO CONFIRM REPORTS THAT AT LEAST TWO CRUISE MISSILES WERE LAUNCHED FROM NAVY SHIPS AND SAY THE "ATTACK IS UNDERWAY."

    EARLIER IN BRUSSELS, NATO OFFICIALS SAID FRIDAY'S AIR STRIKES HIT TARGETS NEAR BELGRADE AND IN THE SERB PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. SOME OFFICIALS ARE IMPATIENT TO ATTACK SERB UNITS THAT ARE ALLEGEDLY ATTACKING CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO, BUT MILITARY LEADERS SAY THEY MUST FIRST BOMB AND WRECK YUGOSLAV AIR DEFENSES OR THE PLANES WILL BE SHOT DOWN.

    CONCERN OVER THE FATE OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO PROMPTED A NEWSPAPER REPORT (IN THE WASHINGTON POST) THAT WASHINGTON IS CONSIDERING A PLAN TO SEND GROUND TROOPS INTO YUGOSLAVIA.

    BUT PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS NO INTENTION OF SENDING GROUND SOLDIERS TO FIGHT IN KOSOVO AND DENIES REPORTS THE PENTAGON IS DRAWING UP PLANS FOR SUCH AN OPERATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/KL
    27-Mar-99 2:20 PM EST (1920 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (S UPDATE) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247276
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO'S SECRETARY GENERAL JAVIER SOLANA HAS ORDERED ALLIANCE AIRCRAFT TO STEP UP THEIR ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV MILITARY UNITS ACCUSED OF ATTACKING CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO. THE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM NATO HEADQUARTERS IN BRUSSELS CAME AFTER THE ALLIANCE LAUNCHED A FOURTH DAY OF AIR RAIDS ON SERB TARGETS IN YUGOSLAVIA. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON, WHERE A SPOKESMAN SAYS THE ATTACKS BEGAN WITH CRUISE MISSILES LAUNCHED FROM NAVY SHIPS.

    TEXT: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE FIRST THREE NIGHTS OF AIR RAIDS FOCUSED ON DESTROYING YUGOSLAVIA'S COMPLEX AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM. WHILE MILITARY OFFICERS SAY IT WAS NECESSARY TO CLEAR AWAY THE MISSILES AND RADARS, THE AIR ATTACKS APPEARED TO DO NOTHING TO SLOW THE REPORTED SERB ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO.

    FRAGMENTARY REPORTS OF ATROCITIES AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN THE SERB PROVINCE OF KOSOVO SPARKED CONCERN IN WASHINGTON THAT NATO'S ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV ARMY AND POLICE UNITS IN KOSOVO WOULD COME TOO LATE TO SAVE CIVILIANS THREATENED BY THE SERB OFFENSIVE. MEANTIME, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS NO INTENTION OF SENDING GROUND SOLDIERS TO FIGHT IN KOSOVO AND DENIES REPORTS THE PENTAGON IS DRAWING UP PLANS FOR SUCH AN OPERATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/KL
    27-Mar-99 3:04 PM EST (2004 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] KOSOVO-PENTAGON-SATURDAY (L) BY JIM RANDLE (PENTAGON)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247279
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO'S SECRETARY GENERAL, JAVIER SOLANA, HAS ORDERED ALLIANCE AIRCRAFT TO STEP UP THEIR ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV MILITARY UNITS ACCUSED OF ATTACKING CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO. THE ANNOUNCEMENT COMES ON THE FOURTH DAY OF AIR RAIDS ON SERB TARGETS IN YUGOSLAVIA. V-O-A'S JIM RANDLE REPORTS FROM THE PENTAGON, WHERE A SPOKESMAN SAYS SATURDAY'S ATTACKS BEGAN WITH CRUISE MISSILES LAUNCHED FROM NAVY SHIPS.

    TEXT: PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE FIRST THREE NIGHTS OF AIR RAIDS FOCUSED ON DESTROYING YUGOSLAVIA'S FORMIDABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM. MILITARY OFFICERS SAY IF THEY DID NOT BOMB YUGOSLAV MISSILES AND RADARS, THE AIR DEFENSES COULD HAVE SHOT DOWN NATO PLANES. SO FAR, THE AIR ATTACKS DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE SLOWED THE SERB ATTACKS ON CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO. REPORTS OF ATROCITIES AGAINST ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN THE SERB PROVINCE HAVE SPARKED CONCERN IN WASHINGTON THAT NATO'S ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAV ARMY AND POLICE UNITS IN THE PROVINCE WOULD COME TOO LATE TO SAVE CIVILIANS THREATENED BY A SERB OFFENSIVE.

    PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY FORTY THOUSAND SERB-LED YUGOSLAV TROOPS AND MORE THAN THREE HUNDRED SERB TANKS ARE OPERATING IN OR NEAR KOSOVO.

    CONCERN OVER THE FATE OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS PROMPTED A NEWSPAPER REPORT (IN THE WASHINGTON POST) THAT WASHINGTON IS CONSIDERING SENDING GROUND TROOPS INTO YUGOSLAVIA.

    BUT PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS NO INTENTION OF SENDING GROUND SOLDIERS TO FIGHT IN KOSOVO AND DENIES REPORTS THE PENTAGON IS DRAWING UP PLANS FOR SUCH AN OPERATION.

    /// REST OPT ///

    EARLIER IN BRUSSELS, NATO OFFICIALS SAID FRIDAY'S AIR STRIKES HIT TARGETS IN KOSOVO, NEAR THE CITY OF BELGRADE AND ELSEWHERE.

    DURING THE FIRST FEW AIR RAIDS, YUGOSLAVIA SENT SOME MIG FIGHTERS UP TO CONFRONT HUNDREDS OF ALLIANCE AIRCRAFT, BUT NATO SHOT DOWN FIVE OF THE SERB PLANES.

    FRIDAY NIGHT'S AIR BATTLE SAW THE SERBS SWITCH TO ANTIAIRCRAFT MISSILES. NATO OFFICIALS SAY THE SERBS LAUNCHED 17 MISSILES, BUT HIT NO NATO PLANES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JR/KL
    27-Mar-99 4:59 PM EST (2159 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [12] YUGOSLAVIA WRAP (L) BY PAULA WOLFSON (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247253
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A THIRD DAY OF NATO MISSILE ATTACKS ON YUGOSLAVIA WAS MARKED BY A MYSTERY - - WHY DID TWO YUGOSLAV FIGHTER PLANES CROSS INTO BOSNIA'S NO FLY ZONE ? MILITARY INVESTIGATORS ARE SEARCHING SCATTERED WRECKAGE FOR CLUES, AS DIPLOMATS STUDY NEW REPORTS OF A WAR OF REVENGE BY SERBIAN-DOMINATED YUGOSLAVIA AGAINST THE ALBANIAN MAJORITY IN THE BLOODY PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. V-O-A'S PAULAWOLFSON HAS DETAILS.

    TEXT: BY DAY AND BY NIGHT, NATO SENT MORE BOMBS INTO YUGOSLAVIA. A LONE CRUISE MISSILE FROM A U-S SHIP IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA SIGNALED THE START OF FRIDAY'S MILITARY ACTION IN THE BALKANS. BUT THE NEWS OF THE FIRST DAY TIME BOMBING WAS SOON OVERSHADOWED BY WORD TWO YUGOSLAV FIGHTER PLANES WERE DOWNED OVER BOSNIA.

    NATO SPOKESMAN JAMIE SHEA MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT IN BRUSSELS.

    ////SHEA ACT////

    I DON'T HAVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION AT THIS PRESENT TIME ON HOW THOSE AIRCRAFT WERE SHOT DOWN...SIMPLY THE CONFIRMATION THAT THEY HAVE BEEN SHOT DOWN.

    /////END ACT/////

    IN WASHINGTON, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAID IT MAY TAKE TIME TO FIGURE OUT JUST WHY THE YUGOSLAV PILOTS ENTERED BOSNIAN AIRSPACE. WERE THEY ON A MISSION AGAINST PEACE-KEEPERS ON THE GROUND? OR WERE THEY TRYING TO LURE ALLIED PLANES INTO A FIGHT?

    //////BACON ACT//////

    WE DON'T KNOW WHY THEY WERE FLYING INTO BOSNIA. WE CAN ONLY SPECULATE AT THIS STAGE. OBVIOUSLY, ONE POSSIBLE REASON COULD BE TO ATTACK "S-FOR" FORCES IN BOSNIA.

    ////END ACT////

    MEANWHILE, DIPLOMATS WERE FOCUSING ON DISTURBING NEW REPORTS OF ATROCITIES IN KOSOVO. WHILE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SAID THEY DO NOT HAVE INDEPENDENT CONFIRMATION, THEY LEFT NO DOUBT THEY FIND THE ACCOUNTS OF BLOODSHED DISTURBING.

    ///OPTIONAL /RUBIN TEASE ACT////

    WE ARE EXTREMELY ALARMED BY THESE REPORTS.

    ///END OPTIONAL ACT///////

    STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAID THOSE RESPONSIBLE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

    //////RUBIN ACT////

    WE ARE PUTTING A GREAT DEAL OF RESOURCES AND EFFORT INTO CHECKING THESE OUT AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN AND AS THOROUGHLY AS WE CAN. ANY AND ALL EVIDENCE OF ATROCITIES WILL BE TURNED OVER TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR YUGOSLAVIA.

    //////END ACT/////

    DIPLOMACY CONTINUED IN A HIGH TECH VEIN. PRESIDENT CLINTON AND SECRETARY OF STATE MADELINE ALBRIGHT BROADCAST MESSAGES TO THE YUGOSLAV PEOPLE VIA SATELLITE.(OPT) MS. ALBRIGHT - - WHO SPENT PART OF HER CHILDHOOD IN BELGRADE - -SPOKE IN SERBO-CROATIAN.

    //////ALBRIGHT AND ENGLISH TRANSLATOR/////

    NATO'S OBJECTIVE IS NOT TO HARM INNOCENT SERBS...BUT TO STOP THE ATTACKS IN KOSOVO

    //////END ACT (END OPT)/////

    ONE CHALLENGE BEFORE THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS HOW TO HEAL THE RIFT WITH MOSCOW OVER NATO'S DECISION TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA. AN ATTEMPT BY RUSSIA TO GET A U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE OPERATION ENDED IN FAILURE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PT
    26-Mar-99 8:49 PM EST (0149 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [13] YUGO WAR / BALKAN SPILLOVER (CQ) BY NICK SIMEONE (SOFIA, BULGARIA)

    DATE=3/26/99
    TYPE=NEWS ANALYSIS
    NUMBER=5-42964
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: RE-ISSUING 5-42957 WITH M U S T S U B 1ST PARA TEXT (DELETING REFERENCE TO NATO'S USE OF BULGARIAN AIR SPACE), OTHER MINOR EDITS ///

    INTRO: THE EFFECTS OF THREE DAYS OF NATO BOMBING IN YUGOSLAVIA ARE ALREADY BEING FELT ACROSS EUROPE. IN THE BALKANS, YUGOSLAVIA'S NEIGHBORS MACEDONIA AND BULGARIA ARE NERVOUS ABOUT INSTABILITY AND THE KOSOVO CRISIS SPILLING OVER INTO THEIR TERRITORY. V-O-A'S NICK SIMEONE IS IN (THE BULGARIAN CAPITAL,) SOFIA.

    TEXT: THE NATO BOMBING OF SERB TARGETS IS PUTTING YUGOSLAVIA'S NEIGHBORS IN A DELICATE POSITION. TAKE FOR EXAMPLE THE CASE OF BULGARIA. ALTHOUGH BULGARIA'S LEADERS HAVE SAID ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS THAT THEY FULLY SHARE THE VALUES AND INTERESTS OF THE NATO ALLIANCE, DURING THE CURRENT CRISIS PRIME MINISTER IVAN KOSTOV HAS ISSUED A CAREFULLY-WORDED STATEMENT SAYING HIS COUNTRY DOES NOT CONSIDER BELGRADE AN ENEMY.

    HANGING OVER THIS REGION IS THE FEAR THAT THE KOSOVO CONFLICT -- NOW AN AIR WAR BETWEEN NATO AND YUGOSLAVIA -- COULD ENGULF OTHER NATIONS. IF THE PAST FEW DAYS ARE ANY GUIDE, ATTACKS BY NATO PLANES AND MISSILES AGAINST TARGETS IN YUGOSLAVIA APPEAR TO PUTTING THE REGION MORE ON EDGE THAN THE INTERNAL REBELLION IN KOSOVO EVER DID.

    TO CALM THE NERVES OF BALKAN LEADERS, THE ATLANTIC ALLIANCE HAS GIVEN YUGOSLAVIA'S NEIGHBORS GUARANTEES OF SECURITY. BUT PRIME MINISTER KOSTOV IS NOT SATISFIED, SAYING IF THE CONFLICT IS NOT RESOLVED SOON IT WILL LEAD TO THE COLLAPSE OF THE WHOLE REGION.

    THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA, BULGARIA'S NEIGHBOR TO THE WEST, IS ALREADY SEEING THE EFFECTS OF WAR SPILL OVER ITS BORDERS. MORE THAN 20-THOUSAND REFUGEES FROM KOSOVO HAVE FLOODED THE COUNTRY TO JOIN FELLOW ETHNIC ALBANIANS, WHO MAKE UP MORE THAN 20 PERCENT OF MACEDONIA'S POPULATION. THE 10-THOUSAND NATO TROOPS STATIONED ALONG MACEDONIA'S BORDER WITH YUGOSLAVIA HAVE PROMPTED BELGRADE TO ACCUSE THE COUNTRY OF SERVING AS A BASE FOR NATO AGGRESSION. THURSDAY'S RIOTS BY PRO-SERB DEMONSTRATORS IN THE CAPITAL, SKOPJE, WHICH DAMAGED THE U-S EMBASSY AND PROPERTY BELONGING TO OTHER NATO MEMBERS, LAID BARE THE DEGREE OF HOSTILITY THAT SOME PEOPLE IN THE REGION FEEL.

    IF THE REGION IS ABLE TO AVOID A WIDER BALKAN WAR, ITS ECONOMY MAY NOT BE SO LUCKY. MOST AIRPORTS IN BALKAN CAPITALS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO CLOSE NOW THAT THE SKIES OVER SOUTHERN EUROPE ARE LARGELY THE DOMAIN OF NATO AIRCRAFT. THAT IS AFFECTING AIR AND LAND TRAVEL ACROSS MUCH OF EUROPE, WITH FLIGHTS FROM FRANKFURT (GERMANY), ONE OF THE WORLD'S BUSIEST TRANSPORTATION HUBS, BEING RE-ROUTED TO AVOID AREAS WHERE NATO WAR PLANES ARE FLYING.

    IN THE LONG TERM, ANALYSTS SAY INCREASED INSTABILITY IN THE BALKANS COULD SCARE AWAY POTENTIAL INVESTORS. MOST OF THE COUNTRIES IN THIS REGION DEPEND HEAVILY ON TRADE WITH YUGOSLAVIA, AND RELY ON ITS OVERLAND ROUTES TO GET GOODS TO MARKET. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NJS/JO/WTW
    26-Mar-99 10:12 PM EST (0312 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [14] NISSAN / RENAULT (L-ONLY) BY STEVE HERMAN (TOKYO)

    DATE=3/26/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247255
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FRENCH AUTOMAKER RENAULT HAS ACQUIRED 35 PERCENT OF JAPAN'S NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY. THE AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED IN TOKYO BETWEEN NISSAN'S PRESIDENT AND RENAULT'S CHAIRMAN AND GIVES THE FRENCH COMPANY VETO POWER ON NISSAN'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS. STEVE HERMAN WITNESSED THE SIGNING CEREMONY AND HAS THIS REPORT:

    TEXT: WITH A SIGNATURE AND A HANDSHAKE RENAULT CHAIRMAN LOUIS SCHWEITZER ACQUIRED CONTROL AND AN ESTIMATED FIVE-AND-A-HALF BILLION DOLLAR EQUITY STAKE IN NISSAN, WHICH HAS BEEN STRUGGLING. THE JAPANESE AUTOMAKER IS BELIEVED TO BE SADDLED WITH DEBT TOTALING ABOUT 21 BILLION DOLLARS AND THE PACT WITH THE FRENCH COMPANY IS VIEWED HERE BY ANALYSTS AS VITAL TO KEEPING THE COMPANY AFLOAT. NISSAN COURTED THE FRENCH AFTER TALKS COLLAPSED WITH THE GERMAN-AMERICAN AUTO GIANT DAIMLER-CHRYSLER.

    AFTER MR. SCHWEITZER AND NISSAN PRESIDENT YOSHIKAZU HANAWA SHOOK HANDS, THE RENAULT CHAIRMAN JOKED, "WHAT DO WE DO NOW?" THAT WAS PROBABLY A SERIOUS QUESTION ON THE MINDS OF NISSAN'S AND RENAULT'S TOP MANAGEMENT GATHERED AROUND THEIR TWO LEADERS. NEITHER COMPANY IS STRONG IN THE ALL-IMPORTANT U-S MARKET. BUT THE TWO COMPANIES ARE BOASTING THAT RENAULT'S LOW COST VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT COMBINED WITH NISSAN'S MANUFACTURING STRENGTH WILL ALLOW THEM TO FLOURISH INTERNATIONALLY.

    AMONG THE MOST IMMEDIATE ACTIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BE RADICAL RESTRUCTURING FOR NISSAN, INCLUDING CUTTING THE NUMBER OF DIRECTORS IN HALF. RENAULT IS TO DISPATCH A TEAM OF MANAGERS TO TOKYO, LED BY AN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT WITH A REPUTATION FOR COST SLASHING.

    RENAULT AND NISSAN COMBINED CREATES THE WORLD'S FOURTH LARGEST AUTOMAKING GROUP WITH ANNUAL SALES OF JUST UNDER FIVE-MILLION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SH/PLM
    26-Mar-99 11:14 PM EST (0414 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [15] NISSAN/RENAULT UPDATE (L-ONLY) BY STEVE HERMAN (TOKYO)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247271
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE JAPANESE AUTOMAKER NISSAN AND FRANCE'S RENAULT HAVE SIGNED WHAT THEY CALL A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT, CREATING THE WORLD'S FOURTH BIGGEST CARMAKER. STEVE HERMAN REPORTS FROM TOKYO THE AGREEMENT ALSO GIVES THE FRENCH COMPANY EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER JAPAN'S SECOND LARGEST AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURER.

    TEXT: AT A JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE, NISSAN PRESIDENT YOSHIKAZU HANAWA AND RENAULT CHAIRMAN LOUIS SCHWEITZER TRIED TO PUT ASIDE REPORTERS' CONCERNS THAT THE NISSAN-RENAULT ALLIANCE WOULD MEAN A CULTURE CLASH. THE HEAD OF THE FRENCH CARMAKER SAID IT WOULD BE JUST THE OPPOSITE -- THAT THE COMBINATION OF RENAULT'S SPEED IN DESIGNING NEW MODELS AND ITS REPUTATION FOR THRIFTINESS, COMBINED WITH NISSAN'S QUALITY AND MANUFACTURING KNOW-HOW WILL BE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS.

    NISSAN PRESIDENT HANAWA REJECTED SPECULATION THAT THE FRENCH AND JAPANESE COMPANIES WILL NEED A THIRD PARTNER TO EFFECTIVELY COMPETE AGAINST THE LIKES OF DAIMLER-CHRYSLER, THE FORD-VOLVO-MAZDA COMBO AND GENERAL MOTORS. HE SAID QUOTE 'WE ARE GOING TO BECOME A TOP-LEVEL COMPANY IN TERMS OF SIZE.'

    RENAULT IS INVESTING NEARLY FIVE-AND-A-HALF BILLION DOLLARS INTO NISSAN AND WILL GET MORE THAN A THIRD OF ITS SHARES -- GIVING IT VETO POWER ON THE NISSAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS. IT WILL ALSO SEND AN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT TO TOKYO TO BECOME CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF THE JAPANESE COMPANY. BUT NISSAN SAYS IT WILL NOT BE SWALLOWED BY ITS FRENCH PARTNER. INSTEAD IT HOPES TO RECOVER FROM ITS MASSIVE DEBT LOAD TO BE ABLE TO ACQUIRE IN THE FUTURE AN EQUITY STAKE IN RENAULT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SH/TMD/JO
    27-Mar-99 12:07 PM EST (1707 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [16] FRANCE TUNNEL (L/S VER) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=3/27/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-247267
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///EDITORS: TO MAKE SHORT, CUT OUT OPTS///

    INTRO: THIRTY-FIVE PEOPLE ARE NOW BELIEVED TO HAVE DIED IN THE FIRE THAT RAGED FOR MORE THAN TWO DAYS IN THE MONT BLANC ROAD TUNNEL THAT LINKS FRANCE AND ITALY UNDER THE ALPS. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: IT TOOK 52 HOURS FOR FIRE-FIGHTERS TO EXTINGUISH THE BLAZE THAT STARTED WEDNESDAY IN THE MONT BLANC ROAD TUNNEL.

    EVEN AFTER THE FIRE ITSELF STOPPED, THE HEAT AT THE CENTER OF THE TUNNEL WHERE THE FIRE BEGAN REMAINED SO INTENSE THAT POLICE AND FIRE-FIGHTERS HAVE SO FAR BEEN UNABLE TO GAIN A FULL PICTURE OF THE DISASTER.

    A MAKESHIFT MORTUARY WAS SET UP SATURDAY WITHIN THE ELEVEN AND A HALF-KILOMETER TUNNEL WHERE POLICE TECHNICIANS BEGAN THE MACABRE TASK OF IDENTIFYING THE CHARRED REMAINS OF THOSE WHO DIED.

    ///OPT///

    POLICE AND FIRE OFFICERS DESCRIBED A HELLISH LANDSCAPE WITH MOLTEN AND CHARRED VEHICLES ACROSS THE ROADWAY, OFTEN WITH BLACKENED SKELETONS INSIDE THEM. THEY SAY HUGE CHUNKS OF CONCRETE, UNABLE TO RESIST TEMPERATURES OF MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND DEGREES CELSIUS, CRASHED DOWN AMONG THE WRECKAGE. ///END OPT///

    IT WAS THE FIRST EVER FIRE INSIDE THE MONT BLANC LINK BETWEEN FRANCE AND ITALY TO CAUSE DEATH -- OUT OF SOME 15 BLAZES SINCE THE TUNNEL WAS FIRST OPENED IN 1965.

    ///REST OPT ///

    THE DISASTER HAS NONETHELESS RAISED INEVITABLE QUESTIONS ABOUT SAFETY.

    THE FIRE STARTED IN A BELGIAN TRUCK CARRYING MARGARINE AND FLOUR. THE TRUCK'S DRIVER, WHO SAYS HE TRIED TO PUT OUT A FIRE IN HIS ENGINE AND THEN BEGAN TO RUN FOR SAFETY, DESCRIBED WHAT HE CALLED "A BALL OF FIRE" ROLLING THROUGH THE TUNNEL. THE DRIVER WAS RESCUED BY AN ITALIAN POLICE CAR THAT RUSHED HIM TO SAFETY.

    ACCORDING TO A LOCAL NEWSPAPER IN THE FRENCH ALPS, THE FIRST KNOWN CASUALTY, A FRENCH FIRE-FIGHTER, WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH THE NECESSARY BREATHING APPARATUS THAT WAS ESSENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL.

    UNDER SCRUTINY IS THE TUNNEL'S VENTILATION SYSTEM. WHEN THE FIRE BROKE OUT, THICK CLOUDS OF BLACK SMOKE MADE SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS USELESS. IN ADDITION, THE SINGLE TUNNEL CARRYING TRAFFIC BOTH WAYS HAS REFUGES THAT CAN HOLD UP TO 45 PEOPLE, BUT NO GALLERIES ENABLING MOTORISTS TO ESCAPE ON FOOT.

    IN ONE OF THE REFUGES, WHERE SOME PEOPLE TRIED TO HUDDLE AWAY FROM THE FLAMES, THE BODY OF AN ITALIAN MOTORCYCLIST WAS IDENTIFIED SATURDAY. THE MOTORCYCLIST, WHO WORKED FOR THE COMPANY OPERATING THE TUNNEL ON THE ITALIAN SIDE, IS CREDITED WITH SAVING THE LIVES OF AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE AS HE DROVE REPEATEDLY DEEP INSIDE THE TUNNEL TO RESCUE THEM. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JL/ALW/JO
    27-Mar-99 10:55 AM EST (1555 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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