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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



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.

Read more: Romania Expels Alleged Islamist Recruiters

Montenegro Army Out of Date, Report Warns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.

Read more: Turkish military calls off war on headscarves, beards

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

Croatia President Backs Compulsory Military Service

 

 

 

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic has lent backing to the idea of reintroducing compulsory military service, which some analysts see as potentially useful.

Read more: Croatia President Backs Compulsory Military Service

Albania Police Chief Quits Over Extradition Fiasco

 

 

 

Albanian police chief Artan Didi quit on Tuesday after two officials from Tirana's Interpol office were detained, accused of hiding an extradition request from Belgium for MP Mark Frroku - who is wanted for murder.

Read more: Albania Police Chief Quits Over Extradition Fiasco

PM Ponta: Romania is willing to host any kind of capabilities decided within NATO

 

 

 

"All I can say now, the Defence Minister was also present, and the head of the Romanian Army General Staff, Mr Ciuca, too, is the fact that Romania is willing to get involved in hosting any kind of capabilities decided within NATO.

Read more: PM Ponta: Romania is willing to host any kind of capabilities decided within NATO

Bulgaria PM, NATO’s Rasmussen among officials wiretapped in Macedonia, too

 

 

 

High ranking officials of NATO and the EU member states have been wiretapped during their official visits to Skopje.
Macedonia’s biggest oppositional party – the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), announced the information exclusively for FOCUS News Agency.

Read more: Bulgaria PM, NATO’s Rasmussen among officials wiretapped in Macedonia, too

Croatia displays new AFV fleets

 

 

 

The Croatian Armed Forces (CAF) presented new armoured vehicles at their Gasinci training grounds on 20 March 2015.

Read more: Croatia displays new AFV fleets

СМИ: Турция может рассмотреть российское предложение по системе ПРО

Высокопоставленный турецкий чиновник сообщил СМИ, что власти Турции могут пересмотреть российское предложение по системе ПРО, если его цена и уровень передачи технологий будут значительно улучшены.

Read more: СМИ: Турция может рассмотреть российское предложение по системе ПРО

Italy and Albania Arrest Three ISIS Recruiters

 

 

 

Three suspects have been arrested in Italy and Albania, believed to be part of a terrorist cell that has recruited fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS.

Read more: Italy and Albania Arrest Three ISIS Recruiters

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