LONDON (CNNfn) - The British government launched a broadside against global Y2K preparedness Tuesday, warning travelers that the Millennium bug could make life hazardous when visiting a number of countries.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Britain's equivalent of the U.S. State Department, published a list of 48 countries on its Web site, indicating how prepared they will be for the Y2K problem.
The state of readiness in a further 75 countries will be published later.
The FCO said the study had been prepared in conjunction with surveyed countries. The State Department is due to post its own findings Tuesday.
An FCO official emphasized that the initial list isn't necessarily those countries likely to be most badly hit by Y2K-related problems, but includes the countries most frequently visited by British citizens.
The official said the U.K and U.S. studies, while separate, are unlikely to produce any "glaring differences" in their assessment of global preparedness.
For most western countries, the British government doesn't predict too many problems. The list stops short of warning travelers not to visit certain nations but highlights a wide range of potential shortfalls including possible breakdowns in the transport, communications, health and energy sectors.
The surveyed countries include the United States, where health services are pinpointed as the main weakness. Global problems run through to the Ukraine, one of the most-hazardous nations, according to the report, where fears about the safety of its nuclear industry have led to international efforts to co-ordinate remedial action.
The FOC sought to head off potential criticism of its stance, insisting that it is seeking to improve general awareness rather than pinpoint individual failures of readiness.