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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 5

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Friday, 21 May 1999
Overview
  • A delegation from the Union of Greece Scientists returned from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) where they have examined the chemical plant at Pancevo and the refinery at Novi Sad. They have prepared a report including their observations on materials released to the environment, which is currently being translated.1

  • Greenpeace-Greece said on 19 May that NATO’s bombing of FRY is not only causing widespread pollution throughout the Balkans but risks a major nuclear accident. They declared that the bombs were coming dangerously close to Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear plant, and that the "real effects of this war will be seen a few years from now".2

  • In Croatia, there has been "no evidence on any environmental impacts" there, according to the Public Health Institute, the Departments for Air Protection, the Section for Environmental Intervention Plans of the State Directorate for the Protection of Nature and Environment, and the Emergency Protection and Response service of the INA-Oil Company.

  • As of 21 May, the estimated number of refugees and displaced people in the overall region affected is 743’700, including 433’400 in Albania, 226’300 in the FRY of Macedonia, 64’000 in Montenegro and 20’000 in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Major Developments
Air
  • In Greece, debate continues over how much toxic fallout may have resulted there from NATO‘s bombing in Yugoslavia. Results from tests for dioxin levels in the atmosphere are expected back from laboratories in Germany by the end of the week.3

1. WWF International, 5/19/99.
2. Croatian National Focal Point for Infoterra, 5/19/99.
3. Kathimerini, Greek Newspaper, 5/19/99.
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