HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 c432W
Sir Robert Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures he has taken to ensure that the Serbian population is informed of Nato's action relating to the crisis in Kosovo. [83141]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

We are using a variety of means to get the truth into Yugoslavia. The BBC World Service has increased its Serbian programming by almost half. It is now broadcasting 3 more 15 minute news bulletins. We are working with the BBC to find ways of getting our medium wave and FM footprint into Serbia as well so that the BBC's impartial reporting can be heard.

We are also using the Foreign Office's own media facilities to get our message across to the Serbian people. The London Radio Service has more than doubled its bulletins and has set up a Serbian language service now used by 3 stations in Montenegro. British Satellite News also offers a 7 day service and is used by 43 television stations in the Balkans, Ukraine and Russia.

We have used the internet to send a message to the Serbian people over the head of President Milosevic. Our Kosovo website gets 25,000 hits a day. We have translated it into Serbian and over 1,200 hits a day come from Yugoslavia.