Serbia’s Environment Minister Goran Trivan announced that a coordination body and a national laboratory for scientific research of the NATO bombing campaign aftermath will be created in the next few months.
The creation of a national laboratory does not entail the creation of a new scientific institution, but more like the coordination of all state-run laboratories capable of conducting the needed research, Trivan stated as Tanjug reported Saturday.
He added that the research subject will not only include consequences incurred by the use of depleted uranium, but other pollution as well, since chemical and petrochemical facilities in the territory of the then-Yugoslavia (Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija, Serbia) were damaged in the course of the airstrikes.
Kosovo is to be included in the research too.
"We will suggest and try and to reach parts of the research there (Kosovo) too”, he further said, emphasizing that “it is not a political issue” and “depleted uranium and chemicals do not make a distinction between nations”.
In his opinion, the Kosovo public has been treating the story on the bombing aftermath as “Serbian propaganda”, which, as he assessed, is not true.
For year, in the Serbian public there has been a debate on the relationship between depleted uranium and malignant diseases after the NATO bombing, but without any field research.
The first meeting that was held in mid-February in Nis, intended for, as it was said back then, the establishment of a Council for the preparation of criminal charges against 19 NATO member countries that participated in the 1999 airstrikes against Serbia. For now it is not known whether the council has been established or how far did they get with its creation.
A fact-finding initiative on the NATO bombing consequences was launched last autumn by some hundred experts in various fields, led by the Serbian Clinical Center of Neurology Ward Chief, Danica Grujičić. After a number of meetings with the state institution representatives, as media reported, no concrete steps were taken towards the creation of the bodies.
Pressing charges against NATO was announced last year by the Serbian Royal Academy of Arts and Science, as BIRN reported, after a legal team was composed in order to, as it was said, represent citizens of Serbia who had fallen ill with cancer due to the 1999 bombing campaign. It was announced then there were “some 50 persons from Nis interested, with possible relevant medical records”.
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