NATO general seeks to calm fears over Balkan Syndrome

11-01-2001

NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, General Joseph Ralston, was in Prague on Wednesday for meetings with Czech officials on the country's military status and its role within the alliance. At a press conference afterwards, however, the subject of Balkan Syndrome, which has been linked to the use of depleted uranium shells, and has allegedly caused the deaths of several soldiers, dominated proceedings. Nick Carey has this report.

Fears over the Balkan Syndrome have spread throughout NATO member countries over the past few days, the Czech Republic included, and there has been intense pressure on NATO to prove its claims that there is no link between the deaths of six Italian soldiers from leukaemia and the use of depleted uranium shells in the Balkans. General Joseph Ralston, the alliance's supreme allied commander in Europe, denied reports that NATO was covering up the facts concerning Balkan Syndrome: