WAR IN THE BALKANS: Conflict Briefing: Day 48

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An advance team of a UN fact-finding mission arrived in Belgrade yesterday to investigate the security situation and humanitarian needs in Serbia and Kosovo.

The European Union formally adopted a decision to tighten existing sanctions on Yugoslavia.

The EU estimates international donors will need to spend up topounds 2.2bn to rebuild Kosovo in the three years after the conflict ends. In addition, the EU estimates short-term humanitarian aid to refugees will cost between pounds 214m and pounds 492m. The EU is also looking at widening medium-term balance of payments aid already earmarked for Albania and Macedonia to include other nations bordering Yugoslavia whose economies have been hit by the crisis, notably Bulgaria and Romania.

The Norwegian government proposed yesterday that it should set aside part of its enormous oil revenue to help pay for Nato's war in Yugoslavia and to aid refugees from the Balkans. During the annual budget revision, the Oslo government proposed to reduce the transfer of oil earnings to the petroleum fund by pounds 139m.