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Wednesday, April 21, 1999 Published at 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK

World: Europe

'Nato is killing my nation'

Bombing has caused $30bn damage, says Mr Draskovic

Kosovo: Special Report
It will take at least five years to repair the damage caused by Nato air strikes on Yugoslavia, according to Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic.

Mr Draskovic told the BBC that Nato's campaign had caused $30bn damage.

[ image: Vuk Draskovic: A million Serbs displaced]
Vuk Draskovic: A million Serbs displaced
He said five years of reconstruction would be needed even if the attacks stopped immediately.

He said "a few thousand people" had been killed or injured - almost all of them civilians and including children.

He also spoke of a million Serbs displaced within their own country. These included:

  • 400 000 who had left Belgrade abroad or to villages

  • 500 000 who had left other cities including Nis, Novi Sad, and Pancevo

  • 80% of the ethnic Serb population of Kosovo

"Nato is killing my nation," Mr Draskovic concluded.

'Back to 1945'

Serbian analyst Vladica Trenkic agreed that Yugoslavia had been "devastated" by the bombing, with the oil refining and car manufacturing industries in ruins.

Some accounts suggested that the country's economic development had been put back to the same level as at the end of World War II, Dr Trenkic said.

He added that the Nato bombings had not weakened the position of President Slobodan Milosevic.

"People who are suffering devastation are blaming Nato," Dr Trenkic said.

"Across the political spectrum no-one is attacking each other - they work together to defend the country."

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