NATO attacks Novi Sad bridge
April 26, 1999
BELGRADE (CNN) -- NATO bombs "severely damaged" the last of three bridges in Yugoslavia's second-largest city, Novi Sad, early Monday, according to Maj. Jan Joosten at NATO's Allied Supreme Headquarters in Brussels.
Three bridges connect Novi Sad on the north shore of the Danube to the Serbian heartland to the south. NATO had struck all three spans before, rendering two of them unuseable.
Besides the Novi Sad Bridge, Joosten said other targets were struck as well.
"We attacked in Pricevic -- an oil dump and we targeted several ground forces. We don't have any damage assessment," Joosten said. "The airport in Pristina (capital of Kosovo) was also targeted."
However, several missions were cancelled because of bad weather, Joosten said.
All NATO planes returned safely from their missions, spokesmen said.
According to Serbian TV, the all-clear sounded at 6:08 a.m. local time on Monday in Belgrade.
NATO summit concludes
Earlier in the day NATO wrapped up its 50th anniversary summit in Washington by promising missing protection and military aid for the seven countries which have helped in the air campaign against Yugoslavia.
"The nations of the region have risked and even faced armed confrontation with Serbia by facilitating and supporting our campaign to end the bloodshed in Kosovo," President Clinton said Sunday.
"Yesterday, or Friday, NATO made its position very clear," said Clinton. "We said unambiguously, if Belgrade challenges its neighbors as a result of the presence of NATO, we will respond."
Clinton and his 18 NATO counterparts began the final day of their three-day 50th anniversary summit by meeting the leaders of the seven countries -- Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia.
Russia opposes oil embargo
In other developments, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott was dispatched to Moscow to continue negotiations with the Russian government over Kosovo.
Clinton spoke Sunday with Russian President Boris Yeltsin at length about the Kosovo conflict and the NATO air attacks, according to National Security Adviser Samuel Berger.
"I believe President Yeltsin and the Russians are very serious about trying to find a peaceful solution. President Clinton encouraged President Yeltsin to do so and I think there will be continuing contact over the days ahead," Berger said.
However, Russia, an ally of Yugoslavia, adamantly opposes a NATO-proposed oil embargo aimed at cutting off Yugoslavia's oil supply. The two-pronged approach calls for intensified air attacks of Yugoslavia's oil production facilities and pipelines as well as searches of ships that might be carrying oil for delivery.
Russia has said it will continue to deliver oil by tanker to Yugoslavia.
Yugoslav officials condemned the U.N. effort to cut off its oil supply.
"The oil embargo would be another illegal, unauthorized activity by NATO, in addition to its aggression and a number of other actions in the field of economic strangulation of Yugoslavia," said Vladislav Jovanovic, the charge d'affaires at the Yugoslav mission to the United Nations.
"So the whole international community should react in the appropriate way in condemning that action and requesting that NATO act and behave in line with international law, and not as a wild and political and military alliance acting on its own and against the charter of U.N.," Jovanovic said.
NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said eariler that the procedures determining how ships will be searched and which will be boarded will be developed over the next few days by Clark. His plans will then be submitted to the alliance's political leadership for approval.
Shea did not give a date for when the so-called "visit-and-search regime" to interdict oil shipments would begin.
Correspondents Alessio Vinci, Satinder Bindra and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.
French waver on NATO plan to choke Yugoslav oil imports
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
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