Clinton imposes trade embargo on Serbia
Yugoslav media says bus hit in airstrike
May 1, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton has ordered a U.S. trade embargo on the Yugoslav republic of Serbia, a White House official said Saturday.
The order represents a unilateral move to cut off oil supplies to Yugoslavia in addition to other items, National Security Council spokesman David Leavy said.
"As we continue to intensify the air campaign, this is another step in tightening the noose around (Yugoslav President Slobodan) 's war machine," he said. "The United States will continue to tighten the screws until our objectives are met."
Clinton ordered the embargo as NATO continues its fight to halt a reported campaign of persecution of ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo. The European Union is considering a similar embargo.
When leaders of NATO's 19 member nations met in Washington last week, they agreed to develop a "visit and search" regime for cargo ships headed for Yugoslav ports to further limit Milosevic's oil supply.
Clinton's order adds to those plans, but exempts the smaller, pro-Western Yugoslav republic of Montenegro from the sanctions.
Already in place are sanctions barring the sale of arms to Serbia and restricting financial transactions.
While food and medicine were exempted, Leavy described the step as a "total trade embargo" and said "it includes oil, all strategic goods, all software, all services, any other potential exports."
"The 19 NATO leaders made clear last weekend that NATO will prevail in reversing Milosevic's repression," Leavy said.
Yugoslavs say missile hit civilian bus
Meanwhile, Yugoslavia's state-run media and witnesses reported that a NATO missile struck a civilian bus Saturday on a bridge north of Kosovo's capital Pristina, killing at least 23 people.
The Tanjug news agency said the missile struck about 1 p.m. (1100 GMT), cutting the vehicle in two and sending part of it plunging off the bridge. About an hour later, the bridge came under attack again and an emergency services doctor was injured, the agency said.
NATO spokesmen said Saturday they had no information on those reports, which CNN could not independently confirm.
The alliance stepped up its pressure on Yugoslav oil supplies Saturday with attacks on key facilities in Novi Sad and Sombor, Vitanovac, Pozega and Kraljevo.
NATO spokesmen said good weather contributed to a successful night for bombing raids in Yugoslavia. Raids targeted airfields in Sombor and Obrava, in central Serbia, and Ponikve, in western Serbia.
Radio relays across Serbia were hit as well, and other strikes focused on bridges in Serbia and the Serbian province of Kosovo. A command post for Serb forces in Kapaonik was also hit.
The attack ushered in the 39th day of NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia. All NATO planes returned safely to their bases, allied spokesmen said.
Correspondent Chris Black contributed to this report.
NATO rejects Yugoslav peace offer
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