Russia cleans up after NATO’s ’99 bomb fest

Russia has sent 60 bomb disposal experts to Serbia to help remove explosives dropped by NATO in 1999. The sappers will work in the mine-infested area around the airport at Nish. It was heavily bombed during NATO’s campaign against Serbia in the wake of th

The Russian Emergencies ministry plane set off for Serbia on Thursday. Serbian soil is littered with explosive devices left after the many Yugoslav wars between 1991 and 2001, making the countryside particularly dangerous.

The mine sweeping will begin in August and continue until the snow falls in Serbia later in the year. The next phase of the job is planned for spring 2009.

Emergencies Ministry representative Yury Brazhnikov said the aim of the mission was to allow the area around Nish “to function economically”.

“We will continue working over the next year. This mission is a gift from Russia to Serbia,” Brazhnikov said.

Another aim of the mission is to remove the remaining obstacles to the construction of the Serbian section of South Stream – a pipeline which is due to transport Russian gas to Europe.