War in the Balkans: Briefing: Day 30

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The Independent Online
International relief agencies are struggling to get food and blankets to an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees stuck in a remote border post, blocked by rugged mountains and Macedonian authorities.

The UNHCR says an offer to temporarily settle up to 20,000 refugees in the United States is welcome, but evacuating Kosovo refugees from Macedonia to other European countries remains the top priority.

Turkey, with strong cultural ties to the region, has contributed warplanes to the alliance force. They have so far flown only air defence patrols and are not thought to have attacked Yugoslav targets.

France has agreed to host more refugees after the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, was criticised for saying his country would not unconditionally take in large numbers.

More than 160 Greek volunteers have left for Yugoslavia to act as "human shields" against Nato bombing. The mission is part of the wide-ranging Greek opposition to the Nato attacks.

Russian and Yugoslav students can apply for two new grants named after the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, at a university in St Petersburg. The rector, Yuri Savelyev, said the grants were a sign of support for Belgrade.

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