BELGRADE, March 23 /TASS/. A Serbian non-governmental organization has demanded that NATO pay compensation for the damage it had inflicted on Serbia during 1999 bombardments of Yugoslavia.
The Belgrade Forum for the World of Equal and the Club of generals and admirals launched the initiative at their meeting held on Monday on the eve of the 16th anniversary of NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that started on March 24, 1999.
Retired General Jovo Milanovic recalled that NATO’s aggression was "a violation of all norms of international law that caused enormous material damage to Yugoslavia and huge human casualties. The participants in the meeting supported Milanovic’s initiative to resume inquiries about compensations and initiation of criminal proceedings against western leaders who made and supported the decision on bombardments.
The NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia which were unsanctioned by the United Nations Security Council lasted for 78 days. NATO bombs and cruise missiles launched from warships deployed in the Mediterranean hit various targets in the territories of Serbia and Montenegro. The failure of talks on Kosovo in the French city of Rambouillet and Serbia’s refusal to sign a peace plan that would allow the deployment of foreign troops in Kosovo and would mean the province’s military occupation were the main reasons behind the NATO aggression.
NATO delivered 2,300 air strikes during its bombing campaign according to Serbian sources killing more than 2,000 civilians (predominantly in Kosovo and Metohija) and 1,000 servicemen. More than 5,000 people were wounded and over a thousand went missing. Serbia’s military and industrial infrastructure was almost totally destroyed. More than 1,500 populated localities were ruined. Serbian experts have estimated the damage from NATO bombardments from $60 to 100 billion.