Portuguese investigators will be joined by a government delegation Nato and the European Union are meeting on Tuesday to discuss the suggested link between uranium-tipped weapons and cases of cancer among Balkan peacekeepers. Nato, the United States and Britain say there is no evidence of a link - a position backed by the World Health Organisation - but Portugal has sent three ministers to Kosovo to conduct further investigations. Portugal, Italy and Greece are among Nato members pressing for a full-scale inquiry amid health concerns in many European countries over use of the armour-piercing weapons in Kosovo and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Six Italian soldiers, five Belgians, two Dutch nationals, two Spaniards, a Portuguese and a Czech have died after tours in the Balkans. Four French soldiers and five Belgians have also contracted leukaemia. The German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has added his voice to calls from several countries for an investigation, after a number of soldiers who had served in Kosovo and Bosnia became ill with leukaemia. Depleted uranium (DU) is used in munitions to make bullets or missiles more dense so that they can pierce armour. The material gives off relatively low levels of radiation, but can be dangerous if ingested, inhaled in dust or if it enters the body through cuts or wounds, BBC reports.
Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS!
Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)