Updated: 21-Nov-2001 Week of 26 May - 1 June 1999

26 May 1999

More than 30,000 sorties have been flown as part of NATO's air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's (FRY) military forces. Over one third of the Yugoslav Air Force's frontline combat aircraft and 75% of fixed surface to air missile sites have now been destroyed, along with over one third of Serb heavy forces on the ground in Kosovo. Serb forces remaining in Kosovo are suffering great difficulty in moving around, and are becoming increasingly isolated.

The Alliance continues to concentrate its attacks on military and related assets and infrastructure and to make extreme efforts to avoid any civilian casualties and collateral damage. It deeply regrets all civilian casualties.

Guidelines have been drawn up for humanitarian agencies wishing to operate in FRY, to help them minimise the risk if they enter the country during the air campaign. A system for notifying their movements through the UNHCR in Geneva has also been established.

NATO troops continue to provide support to the humanitarian effort led by the UNHCR in Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Yugoslavia (FYROM) (1). In both countries, NATO is building extra refugee camps, as well as improving the infrastructure to help with the efficient distribution of humanitarian aid. In Albania, transport is being provided for refugees who wish to move from the overcrowded camps in the North, which remain within the range of Serb artillery, to new camps which NATO has helped build in the South.

The Alliance notes that President Slobodan Milosevic has become the first sitting Head of State and Government in history to be indicted for wholesale war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murders and forced deportations.

NATO is now pursuing an end to the Kosovo Crisis on four fronts:

  • The air campaign continues to intensify, with increasing success;
  • NATO is supporting the vigorous diplomatic efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement, while also working closely with neighbouring nations to ensure that the crisis does not spread;
  • Substantial assistance continues to be given to the humanitarian efforts in the region. The Alliance's vital support has been welcomed by the UNHCR;
  • In conjunction with other organisations, NATO is participating in the development of a long-term strategy for South East Europe, to try and ensure lasting stability for the region.

1. Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

26 May 1999
50th anniversary conferences

Two NATO-sponsored conferences have taken place this week to commemorate the Alliance's 50th anniversary: one in Vilnius, Lithuania, on "NATO after 50 years: a new old Alliance"; and one in Berlin on the "Perspectives for the Alliance as a Community of Values". The calendar of activities and events on the NATO web site offers more information on these two conferences.

28 May 1999
The North Atlantic Assembly changes name

During its bi-annual spring meeting in Warsaw, 28-31 May, the North Atlantic Assembly officially renamed itself the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA). Issues discussed at the meeting were dominated by Kosovo, but also included future NATO enlargement, relations with Russia and Ukraine, defence and security cooperation between Europe and North America, information warfare and international security, and Mediterranean issues.

Additional information:

1 June 1999

Visit to NATO by the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Drnovsek.

Additional information:

  • NATO Speeches: Press Conference by the Secretary General of NATO, Javier Solana, and the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janaz Vrnorsak

  • High resolution photos of the visit to NATO by the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Drnovsek
1 June 1999

NATO-EAPC Research Fellowships Programme 1999-2001 announces award winners.