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Friday, March 26, 1999 Published at 07:42 GMT

Belgrade breaks off diplomatic ties

Yugoslavia's official news agency Tanjug quoted Belgrade on Thursday night announcing the breaking of ties with the United States, UK, France and Germany and the imposition of a war tax.

The statement from the Federal Information Ministry said:

Kosovo: Special Report
"The Yugoslav Government has decided to break off diplomatic relations with the governments due to the crime they have perpetrated against the people of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

"With their aggression on Yugoslavia using tremendous military and lethal potential, the governments of the United States, Britain and France have humiliated and embarrassed a historical friendship and alliance between the Yugoslav people and the peoples of the countries concerned.

Re-opening wounds

"The government of Germany has with this aggression re-opened unhealed wounds from World War II.

"The Federal Government has decided to reconsider its diplomatic and other relations with the rest of countries which have directly or indirectly taken part in the armed aggression on Yugoslavia.

"The Federal Government expresses its appreciation to the governments and peoples of all friendly countries which have been demonstrating friendship, support and solidarity with Yugoslavia, its government and its people in the defence of its vital interests from the Nato aggression."

The Federal Government also reviewed the current military and security situation in the country following the air strikes.

The Federal Government underlined that all available material resources needed by the armed forces for national defence must be placed at the disposal of the Yugoslav Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a priority.

The government has taken the necessary measures, including a decree on financing the national defence costs from special sales and import taxes on some goods and services ranging from 0.6 to 4%, to be paid into a special account managed by the Federal Government.

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