Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 06:16 GMT
B-52 bombers head off
Eight B-52s have taken off from the west of England
Nato air and sea forces have left their bases as a strike on Yugoslavia over the Kosovo crisis appears imminent.
The eight long-range bombers, believed to be armed with cruise missiles, flew out of RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. No details have been given of their mission.
Nato's Mediterranean force, comprising eight warships, has left the Italian port of Trieste and headed out into the Adriatic.
Cruise missiles are expected to form the first wave of attack, hitting key air defence sites to clear the way for bombing raids on Serb forces in the province itself.
On Wednesday, he appeared to close the door on any chances of a last minute halt to Nato action by reiterating on US television that air strikes would go ahead.
Saying there had been no change overnight in the behaviour of Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic he said: "We are going to continue with the decision taken yesterday".
Reports from Moscow suggested President Milosevic wanted further talks.
Borislav Milosevic was quoted by Russian news agency Itar-Tass as saying Yugoslavia was ready to "solve problems peacefully and continue talks on a political solution which would take into consideration the national and government interest of Yugoslavia and Serbia".
Correspondents say Nato is fully aware of the capability of the Serb air defences and the campaign is expected to be tougher than those waged by the British and Americans against Iraq.
State of emergency
The declaration, read out on state television by Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic, cited an "imminent threat of war, the danger of aggression against Yugoslavia by Nato".
The main independent radio station, B92, was taken off the air and its editor-in-chief, Veran Matic, was detained in Belgrade. However, B92 continued broadcasting through the Internet.
Meanwhile the authorities in the neighbouring former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia have now reopened their border as thousands of refugees from the latest Serb-led offensive flee south.
They shut the border temporarily to people carrying Yugoslav passports in an effort to control the growing humanitarian crisis there, after taking in nearly 20,000 refugees.
That represents just a fraction of the 250,000 people who are reported to have been displaced since the conflict began just over a year ago.
The last of the United Nations aid workers are also reported to have been withdrawn from Kosovo.
Russia has reaffirmed its opposition to the strikes and says it is ready to call an emergency meeting of the Security Council.
He said European stability would also be harmed and the situation in Kosovo destabilised.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, said planned Nato attacks were an act of aggression and ran counter to UN resolutions.
The Russian Defence Minister, Igor Sergeyev, warned of "a new Vietnam inside Europe".