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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Turkey's Hurkus trainer to enter service in 2018

Turkey's indigenous Hürkus trainer aircraft will enter service in 2018, according to the country's defence ministry (MoD).

Read more: Turkey's Hurkus trainer to enter service in 2018

Serb 'Protection Force' Members to Join Kosovo Police

 

 

 

The process of integrating the Serb-run Civilna Zastita (Civil Protection) force in northern Kosovo into the regular police is expected to begin next week.

Read more: Serb 'Protection Force' Members to Join Kosovo Police

Turkey completes major F-16 upgrade programme

 

 

 

The Turkish Air Force received its final upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon on 10 April, 2015 during a ceremony at Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI's) facility in Ankara.

Read more: Turkey completes major F-16 upgrade programme

Turkish army clashes with PKK

 

 

 

Guns had fallen silent thanks to a de facto cease-fire and the peace process had been moving along, if not at desired pace.

Read more: Turkish army clashes with PKK

Islamic Extremism ‘Imported’ to Kosovo, Report Says

 

 

 

A report examining why people from Kosovo go to fight alongside Islamic State insurgents said Muslim extremism was a ‘foreign import’ but was boosted by economic hardship in the country.

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Greece, Cyprus 'zone of stability' in volatile region, Tsipras says

 

 

 

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stressed that Greece and Cyprus constitute a zone of stability in a volatile region during a joint media conference on Friday (17.04.2014) with visiting Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades.

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Montenegro Hires Orion to Push NATO Case

 

 

 

Montenegro has signed up the firm Orion Strategies to lobby decision-makers in the US over its stalled NATO membership bid.

Read more: Montenegro Hires Orion to Push NATO Case

Russia Offers Serbia Stronger Military Ties as Counter to NATO

 

 

 

Serbia should step up cooperation with the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization to meet its goal of military neutrality after strengthening ties with NATO, Russia’s ambassador to Belgrade told lawmakers.

Cooperation with Russia could “intensify” when a Serbian parliamentary delegation visits St. Petersburg for talks that will touch on the Russian-led alliance, said Milovan Drecun, a lawmaker of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is “being very active in Serbia,” Alexander Chepurin told a security forum in parliament in Belgrade. “It would suit Serbia’s interest to maintain good relations with the ODKB as well,” he said, referring to the Russian-language acronym for the group of six former Soviet republics.

Russia is trying to counter what it sees as an expansionary push by NATO that included the acceptance of ex-communist countries in the former Soviet sphere of influence in the past two decades. The alliance is strengthening its presence among its members on Russia’s border as European Union members and the U.S. say they have evidence that leaders in Moscow are stoking a war in Ukraine. Russia denies involvement.

Serbia is seeking to join the European Union but not NATO, which bombed the country in 1999 during the war over the breakaway province Kosovo. It’s been in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program since in 2006 and agreed on a so-called Individual Partnership Action Plan with the alliance in January. Its Constitution forbids formal membership in any military alliance.

Chepurin called for more Serb-Russian military exercises, after the Belgrade-based Defense Ministry said last month it’s planning 22 drills with NATO and two with Russian troops this year. He also welcomed Serbia’s decision to send soldiers to a May 9 Victory Day military parade in Moscow.

Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-07/russia-offers-serbia-stronger-military-ties-as-counter-to-nato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romania Expels Alleged Islamist Recruiters

 

 

 

Seven foreign nationals accused of recruiting members for an Islamist militant group have been expelled from Romania.

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Montenegro Army Out of Date, Report Warns

 

 

 

Although Montenegro is close to joining NATO, the country's army relies on outdated combat equipment and lacks the money to modernize, a report says.

Read more: Montenegro Army Out of Date, Report Warns

Turkish military calls off war on headscarves, beards

 

 

 

Headscarves have long been a symbol of the power struggle in Turkey between secular elites labeled as the "center" and a conservative segment labeled as the "periphery.

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AUSA Global 2015: US effort to counter Russia in Europe expands south

 

 

 

The US Army has expanded its role in an operation meant to reassure European allies of American support and deter Russia from further moves into Eastern Europe.

Read more: AUSA Global 2015: US effort to counter Russia in Europe expands south

US To Help Albania Set up its Own FBI

 

 

 

After meeting US officials in Tirana, Albania’s Interior Minister announced that the FBI will help set up a similar Bureau in Albania to help counter organized crime and corruption.

Read more: US To Help Albania Set up its Own FBI

Kosovo Army Will Need NATO Approval to Act in North

 

 

 

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said Kosovo's future regular army would need to consult with NATO first about any actions in the Serb-majority north.

Read more: Kosovo Army Will Need NATO Approval to Act in North

Boom in Private Security Causes Concern in Montenegro

 

 

 

Interior Ministry report voices concern over growth of private security companies undertaking services once provided by the police - often without much supervision.

Read more: Boom in Private Security Causes Concern in Montenegro

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