International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Dodik responds to Power-We are copying the American model

March 11, 2023

In his response to a statement by USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, the President of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik, said that the law on “foreign agents” he wants to introduce in the entity is a copy of the “American model”.

Power warned on Saturday that Dodik is going down “a dangerous anti-democratic path” in trying to pass “Kremlin-inspired” draft laws.

She was referring to Dodik’s announcement that a law on “foreign agents” will be adopted in the RS, as well as the criminalisation of defamation which the entity is considering.

Dodik responded several hours later on Twitter.

“Republika Srpska is inspired by American law and the highest standards in the protection of human rights and freedoms, among which is freedom of speech, which implies responsibility, which is the case in the most developed Western societies,” he posted.

“We are copying the American model that made the US one of the world's great powers. It is interesting that the director of USAID is reacting, knowing that many “projects” in Bosnia and Herzegovina are financed through USAID,” he added.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/dodik-reponds-to-power-we-are-copying-the-american-model/ 

Victims’ assoc urges High Rep to react to FBiH entity President's statement

March 11, 2023

The “April 16” war victims' association strongly condemned a controversial statement of the President of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, Lidija Bradara (HDZ), regarding convicted war criminal Dario Kordic, urging the High Representative of the international community to react.

In a recent interview she gave N1, Kordic spoke about her support for Kordic. When asked whether this means that she in some way also supported his war crimes, Bradara argued that Kordic served his sentence and should thus not be characterised as a war crime convict anymore.

“Such statements set an example for young people that crime pays, that the war criminal becomes a myth and a martyr among his people, which motivates future war criminals,” the victims’ association said, adding that the High Representative, Christian Schmidt, must react to this glorification of war criminals and sanction those who promote them.

It stressed that “war criminals are not in line with European values” and that the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that those responsible for the atrocities in the village of Ahmici, including Kordic, were sentenced to long prison terms.

“He was released at the beginning of June 2014. Then he was welcomed in Busovaca by HDZ president Dragan Covic, Bradara, Marinko Cavara, Borjana Kristo…”, the association stated.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/victims-assoc-urges-high-rep-to-react-to-fbih-entity-presidents-statement/ 

Samantha Power warns about efforts to pass “Kremlin-inspired” laws in RS entity

March 11, 2023

She was referring to Dodik’s announcement that a law on “foreign agents” will be adopted in the RS, as well as the criminalisation of defamation which the entity is considering.

Power retweeted the statement of the US Embassy in BiH on the matter as well.

“The proposed laws would stigmatize and silence the independent voices in the Republika Srpska seeking to build a democratic and prosperous future for its residents. The proposed laws would make it harder for citizens to hold the Republika Srpska government accountable and make it easier for corruption to flourish unchecked. The proposed laws’ attacks on fundamental freedoms would discourage legitimate businesses from investing in the Republika Srpska. In short, the proposed laws would be bad for the democracy and prosperity the residents of the Republika Srpska want and deserve,” the Embassy said on Friday.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/samantha-power-warns-about-efforts-to-pass-kremlin-inspired-laws-in-rs-entity/ 

State Department rejects Dodik's comments and secession threats as irresponsible

March 10, 2023

The United States rejects Republika Srpska (RS) entity President Milorad Dodik’s March 9 comments, in which he sought to undermine the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court and made repeated threats about the Republika Srpska’s secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina, US State Department said

“Article III (3) of the Dayton Constitution clearly states that the Republika Srpska must fully comply with the decisions of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the final and binding rulings of the BiH Constitutional Court,” the statement said.

the State Department noted that the US is proud to stand with the people of BiH as they build a future in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations and strengthen the state institutions needed to take them there. Separatist rhetoric and threats to the Dayton Peace Agreement are irresponsible, dangerous, and detrimental to BiH’s progress towards further Euro-Atlantic integration.

“The United States has been and will remain the strongest supporter of and partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its people. We pledge to continue to uphold BiH’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and multiethnic character, and to hold responsible those who seek to undermine BiH’s institutions and the Dayton Peace Agreement. Our commitment is rock solid, and the United States of America is not going to give up on the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina,” the statement concluded.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/state-department-rejects-dodiks-comments-and-secession-threats-as-irresponsible/ 

Shameful birthday message to Ratko Mladic placed in the centre of Bratunac

March 10, 2023

Activists of the Citizens' Association "Eastern Alternative of Republika Srpska" put up a banner with a birthday message to the President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik and convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic, the former commander of the Republika Srpska Army, at the main intersection in Bratunac, a town near Srebrenica where the 1995 genocide took place.

In addition to photos of Dodik and Mladic, the banner reads “Happy birthday, live long and be healthy!”

The head of the “Eastern Alternative” Vojin Pavlovic told the Srna news agency that they put up the banner to meet the birthdays of Dodik and Mladic, which they both celebrate on March 12, in order to wish them happiness and health.

“It’s our sense of debt and respect and attitude towards these leaders and their merits that we express publicly, in a democratic way,” Pavlovic pointed out.

The chief imam of the Bratunac Muslim congregation, Elvir Hodzic, also spoke about the incident.

“There is a group of people, gathered around an Eastern Alternative Association, which tries in every possible way to draw attention to what they are doing. And the easiest way to disrupt inter-ethnic relations is by revitalizing the committed and judged genocide against Bosniaks in the UN-protected zone. They’re closely monitoring what the leader tells them and accordingly they measure their scope in denying the crime of genocide,” the imam said. “Given that the so-called international community isn’t reacting at all to the statements of the President of this entity, who goes further and further every time, we, the returnees, don’t expect any [legal] prosecution, neither regarding the statements of the ‘great leader’ [Milorad Dodik] nor regarding the occasional messages from the crime scene by this informal-formal group of people. Despite, nowadays, having the law against the denial of genocide, despite knowing who the perpetrators of this act are, if we give them a lot of media attention, I believe that they will have succeeded in their intentions,” said imam Hodzic said.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/shameful-birthday-banner-to-ratko-mladic-placed-in-the-centre-of-bratunac/ 

EU's Sattler-Another 4 yrs of FBiH govt in technical mandate inconceivable

March 10, 2023

The head of the EU delegation to BiH, Johann Sattler, told reporters in Sarajevo on Friday that the time has come to finalize the entire government formation process in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity.

“As for some deadlines, the time is running out, there are still three weeks left to reach an agreement. But, I believe that there is strength among domestic actors and those responsible to reach an agreement that will enable the formation of government in the FBiH,” Sattler noted.

He added that he cannot imagine that there is any responsible politician who would, on his part, cause further blockades.

“We already had a government in the technical mandate for four years. It is completely unacceptable that such circumstances continue. As for solutions, I believe that solutions are possible, that it is possible to reach an agreement on the home terrain,” Ambassador Sattler concluded.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/eus-sattler-another-4-yrs-of-fbih-govt-in-technical-mandate-inconceivable/ 

Prosecution confirms investigation against man who targeted journalists online

March 10, 2023

Bosnia’s state Prosecution is working on several cases related to Jasmin Mulahusic known for harassing and targeting journalists and labeling them as traitors, the Prosecution confirmed Friday.

Mulahusic, previously arrested and noted in international reports for his connections with radical groups, is still active on social networks through which he spreads hate speech and labels public figures from media, academic and political life, accusing them mainly of betraying Bosniaks, acting against the Democratic Action Party (SDA) or against the interests of the Bosniak people.

The BH Journalists Association has repeatedly stressed Mulahusic's attitude towards the media and journalists.

The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina told N1 that they are working on several cases and that the public will be informed about everything when the prosecutor's decision is made.

“We cannot provide more information or details regarding the case,” they told N1.

The targets of Mulahusic's attacks and hate speech campaigns are mainly people for whom he delivers propaganda about anti-Bosniak activities, which encourages an avalanche of negative comments from individuals who glorify the activities of the Democratic Action Party (SDA), of which Mulahusic is an open sympathizer.

Previously, he met in Luxembourg with the Prime Minister of Bosnia's Federation (FBiH) entity, Fadil Novalic, and the SDA, leader Bakir Izetbegovic, after which the SDA leader described this meeting as accidental, and the party issued a defensive statement.

Back in 2021, Luxembourg police agencies searched his house where he resides.

In addition, Mulahusic was investigated earlier by international judicial institutions for his alleged connections with persons close to the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and other terrorist organizations.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/prosecution-confirms-investigation-against-man-who-targeted-journalists-online/ 

Schmidt-Candidate status was much-needed boost to BiH stability and progress

March 10, 2023

The High Representative, Christian Schmidt, hosted a joint visit of the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Alexander Schallenberg, and his Italian colleague, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajaniwhere they spoke about current political developments in BiH and the Western Balkans region, with an emphasis on BiH’s European aspirations in light of the EU candidate status granted to the country.

“The EU Council’s granting of the EU candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina was a much-needed boost to the stability and progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina and a good response to the current geopolitical challenges,” noted the High Representative Christian Schmidt and voiced his expectation that domestic stakeholders will “use this momentum and make the most of it. The European Union has once again reaffirmed its commitment and dedication. The wider international community expects nothing less from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leadership but full engagement and dedication to the accession process.”

High Representative Schmidt expressed appreciation to Ministers Schallenberg and Tajani for the continuous support of their respective countries to the development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also used the opportunity to thank them for the support of Austria and Italy to the Office of the High Representative and the HR’s mandate in accordance with the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Soure:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/schmidt-candidate-status-was-much-needed-boost-to-bih-stability-and-progress/ 

CoE calls on Bosnia to urgently implement ECHR verdicts

March 10, 2023

At its meeting this week, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a series of conclusions on the issue of execution of verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights and called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement these verdicts as soon as possible in order to eliminate discrimination in the electoral process.

After the meeting, they issued the following statement regarding the implementation of the Sejdic-Finci verdict against Bosnia and similar verdicts saying that they:

1. recalled that in these judgments, the Court found discrimination against persons not affiliated with the constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina or those failing to meet a combination of the requirements of ethnic origin and place of residence as regards their right to stand for election to the House of Peoples and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

2. reiterated once more the crucial importance of the respondent State’s obligation, assumed under Article 46 of the Convention, to abide by the Court’s judgments promptly, fully and effectively to ensure the maximum possible reparation for the violations found; recalled Interim Resolutions CM/ResDH(2011)291, CM/ResDH(2012)233, CM/ResDH(2013)259 and CM/ResDH(2021)427 by which the Committee strongly urged the authorities and political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to amend the Constitution and the electoral legislation;

3. recalled furthermore with utmost concern that, as a direct result of the absence of measures taken by the respondent State to execute the present group of judgments, to date four general elections were held in under the same regulatory framework which the European Court found to be discriminatory;

4. noted with interest the coalition agreement of 29 November 2022 signed by leaders of several political parties following the elections of October 2022, by which they, inter alia, agreed to urgently and, within six months following the formation of governments at all levels at the latest, adopt limited constitutional amendments and changes to the electoral legislation with a view to implementing the present judgments; noted also that on 25 January 2023, these parties formed new government in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

5. stressed the utmost importance of relaunching the electoral reform work without further delay and strongly urged the political leaders and all relevant authorities to ensure that the above-written commitment leads to concrete results, while pursuing, as soon as possible, all consultations necessary, and to take all actions required to ensure the adoption of the constitutional and legislative amendments aimed at eliminating discrimination based on ethnic affiliation in elections for the Presidency and the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

6. reiterated once again the willingness of the Council of Europe, notably the Venice Commission, to assist by all available means the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in meeting their obligations under Article 46 of the Convention;

7. decided to resume examination of these cases at their 1468th meeting (June 2023).

Representatives of the countries in the Committee of Ministers are authorized to deal with all matters within the competence of the Committee of Ministers and to make decisions on its behalf. Decisions made by representatives have the same force and effect as decisions made by the Committee of Ministers at the level of foreign ministers.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/coe-calls-on-bosnia-to-urgently-implement-echr-verdicts/ 

US Embassy condemns Dodik's plan to introduce “foreign agent” law in RS entity

March 10, 2023

The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo strongly condemned the announcement of the introduction of a “foreign agent” law to regulate the activities of NGOs in the entity and dismissed statements by RS President, Milorad Dodik, who said that such a law is in place in the US.

According to the US Embassy statement, RS authorities have announced plans for two pieces of “repressive, anti-democratic legislation that, if implemented, would drastically impinge on the rights and freedoms of the people living in the Republika Srpska” and would benefit “only the ruling coalition in its effort to consolidate power” while hurting everyone else.

The Embassy said that the US always supported the right of people around the world to exercise their fundamental freedoms, including the rights of the residents of Republika Srpska to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of the press.

“The proposed laws would stigmatize and silence the independent voices in the Republika Srpska seeking to build a democratic and prosperous future for its residents. The proposed laws would make it harder for citizens to hold the Republika Srpska government accountable and make it easier for corruption to flourish unchecked. The proposed laws’ attacks on fundamental freedoms would discourage legitimate businesses from investing in the Republika Srpska. In short, the proposed laws would be bad for the democracy and prosperity the residents of the Republika Srpska want and deserve,” the statement says.

RS President, Milorad Dodik, announced on Wednesday the introduction of a so-called “foreign agent” law to regulate the activities of non-profit organizations in the entity. He argued that this legislation would mirror U.S. legislation.

According to the US Embassy, however, the law is more in line with Russia’s policy.

“We have seen this movie before, and we know how it ends. When Russia expanded its foreign agent legislation in 2020, it too claimed that it was merely copying the U.S. model. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and we have seen the results,” the Embassy said, adding that Russian authorities have used their repressive legislation to “suppress dissent, eviscerate civil society, and eradicate free media.”

It elaborated in its statement that an entity or individual designated as a “foreign agent” by the Russian government is subject to “burdensome reporting and labelling requirements, arbitrary police raids and inspections, and exorbitant fines for failing to self-identify” while journalists even face imprisonment for running afoul of Russia’s “foreign agent” laws.

“The U.S. model of registration of foreign agents is diametrically opposed to this approach, and one we would encourage governments anywhere in the world to follow in the interest of transparency. Under the United States’ Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), an individual or organization that engages in advocacy or lobbying on behalf of a foreign principal is required to register with the Department of Justice and declare their relationship, activities, and financial compensation. These registrations are made public. FARA does not ban or restrict any activities, and it does not apply to independent media or civil society organizations. It allows the public to be informed about the activities of foreign agents in the United States without limiting freedom of speech or association in any way,” the Embassy clarified.

It said that the move to introduce the “Russian model of foreign agent legislation” is part of an “alarming pattern, coming on the heels of Republika Srpska authorities’ March 2 announcement that they will introduce amendments to the criminal code criminalizing defamation and insults and imposing jail sentences for the publication of video, photos, or documents without consent.”

“By criminalizing actions that are usually handled as civil matters, this legislation would threaten freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and have a direct effect on journalists’ ability to report the truth,” the Embassy said.

It also mentioned the Thursday attack on RS journalists’ property and the government’s “dismissive response”, noting that they underscore “how precarious the situation of independent media in the Republika Srpska already is.”

“This legislation, which the Republika Srpska National Assembly will consider on March 14, would make the situation drastically worse and threaten the existence of a free and independent press that is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy,” the US Embassy statement says.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/us-embassy-condemns-dodiks-plan-to-introduce-foreign-agent-law-in-rs-entity/ 

Austrian and Italian FMs express full support for High Representative in BiH

March 10, 2023

After meeting with BiH officials in Sarajevo on Friday, the foreign affairs ministers of Austria and Italy, Alexander Schallenberg and Antonio Tajani, expressed support for the High Representative of the international community in the country, Christian Schmidt.

Schallenberger and Tajani said at a press conference after meeting with BiH’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Elmedin Konakovic, that their countries fully support BiH’s EU integration.

“The EU has not delivered its part. Twenty years and we haven't done the job. Now we have a new opportunity and one of the solutions is the EU integration of this area. Schmidt is a good man who builds bridges and is engaged in it. It is not an easy job and we support his work”, Tajani said.

Schallenberg agreed, saying that the EU must step up its efforts and arguing that Schmidt has a difficult job and needs the support of the people of BiH.

He said that Schmidt had to use his Bonn Powers to help BiH and that the people of the country should view him as a “partner” in the long term.

Schellenberg noted that BiH was granted EU candidate status last year and stressed that this represents a new opportunity for the country.

“After Russia's aggression against Ukraine, we are in a different geopolitical situation and this is an opportunity that must be used. Austria is one of the biggest investors here and will remain so. We are one of the countries that takes advantage of your brain drain, but we are not happy about it. Too much time has been lost and you have 14 key priorities that you must fulfil and we will help you there,” he said.

Konakovic said that BiH’s new government has a policy of compromise and that it was not expected that the President of BiH’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Milorad Dodik, would change his “secessionist rhetoric” overnight.

“No one expected that Dodik would change his rhetoric and give up some of his set goals verbally and that he would side with Europe in the event of Russia's aggression against Ukraine. We announced compromise policies and had the most swiftly elected female mandate holder for the formation of the Council of Ministers and the elected Council of Ministers in history. We hope that we will have an adopted budget and strong institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the legal deadline,” he said.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/austrian-and-italian-fms-express-full-support-for-high-representative-in-bih/ 

EU Delegation concerned about Dodik's announcement of law on “foreign agents”

March 10, 2023

The EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina warned that the announcement of Milorad Dodik, the President of the country’s RS entity, regarding the introduction of a law on “foreign agents” would be detrimental to civil society and contrary to the country’s EU integration process.

Dodik recently announced that a law on the activities of non-governmental organizations and similar associations in Republika Srpska will soon be proposed, adding that it will be “identical to the American law.”

“Any unfounded limitation of the effective exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to association (and expression), is in itself contrary to the aspirations of Bosnia and Herzegovina to progress on the European path,” the spokesperson of the EU Delegation, Ferdinand Koenig, told BUKA.

In this context, recent announcements by RS authorities regarding the introduction of regulations that could significantly narrow the space for civic engagement are unacceptable for the EU.

The EU Delegation pointed out that ensuring a favourable environment for civil society is among the priorities the EU defined for BiH to achieve progress in its integration efforts.

As he was announcing the law, Dodik said that the USA calls foreign non-governmental organizations or those financed by foreigners “foreign agents on the territory of the USA”. He said the RS will use the same terminology in its law and emphasized that it will include the obligation of NGOs to report every transaction and activity.

“The RS authorities should not be afraid of the work of civil society organizations. On the contrary, their engagement is a key component of democratic societies”, the EU Delegation told BUKA.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/eu-delegation-concerned-about-dodiks-announcement-of-law-on-foreign-agents/ 

CoE registers “harassment and intimidation” of Bosnian journalist Nikola Moraca

March 10, 2023

The Council of Europe’s Safety of Journalists Platform recorded the case of the journalist Nikola Moraca as a case of "harassment and intimidation of journalists" committed by the authorities.

On 24 February, police in Banja Luka questioned the crime reporter Nikola Moraca on suspicion of violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation and confiscated his phone. The previous day, Moraca had published an article alleging that local authorities failed to arrest a suspect in an investigation into the rape of an 18-year-old girl. On 24 February, police also questioned Sinisa Trkulja and Boris Lakic, editor and executive director respectively of SrpskaInfo, and Nebojsa Tomasevic, a reporter for the news website Glas Srpske, which published a summary of Moraca’s article.

“At a support gathering, Moraca said he had received the news in the evening of 24 February that the police had looked for him the day before at EuroBlic and SrpskaInfo. The journalist immediately called a lawyer, and they both went to the Banja Luka police station, where police officers and prosecutors questioned him for three hours about his work and how he knew the initials of the suspect’s name. Moraca declined to reveal his sources and hand out his phone, even after he was told that if he did not reveal his sources, he would be considered a witness under Article 337 of the Criminal Code. He was then declared a suspect and had his phone seized without judicial warrant,” the CoE Safety of Journalists Platform noted.

Moraca, Trkulja, and Lakic currently remain suspects and could face up to one year each in prison if charged and convicted.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/coe-registers-harassment-and-intimidation-of-bosnian-journalist-nikola-moraca/ 

GRECO-BiH needs measures to prevent corruption amongst its top officials

March 8, 2023

In a report published on Thursday, the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) urged authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to “strengthen their efforts and overcome the political blockages that hold back certain reforms from taking place in order to prevent corruption amongst persons with top executive functions.”

This includes “members of the Presidency and their Heads of Office and advisers, the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and their Heads of Office and advisers and members of the Border Police and State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA)”, GRECO said.

It noted that there is a legal vacuum in terms of corruption prevention policies in the country and called for adopting an operational corruption prevention action plan based on a risk assessment, “specifically targeting persons with top executive functions.”

“In addition, clear guidance regarding conflicts of interest and other integrity-related matters should be developed in a code of conduct for persons with top executive functions. The Agency for Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption (APIK) should also be provided with adequate financial and human resources to perform its tasks effectively,” it said.

It also called for an independent review of the legislation governing freedom of information should be carried out to address existing problems such as “the lack of responsiveness of the authorities to requests information.”

“The system for managing conflicts of interest of persons with top executive functions should also be reviewed and strengthened, notably by ensuring that statements of interests are subject to regular substantive checks. In the same vein, all persons with top executive functions should be subject to the same disclosure requirements, irrespective of whether they are elected or not, and all declarations should be made systematically, easily (?) made public and accessible online for transparency and accountability purposes,” it said.

GRECO urged BiH authorities to set up a system of regular anti-corruption action plans +with clear goals based on identified risks and an external assessment of their achievement. IT noted that the existing codes of ethics of the Border Police and SIPA need to be supplemented with practical guidance illustrating all issues and risk areas with concrete examples.

“Training on ethics and integrity for new recruits and serving personnel should be based on the practical guidance to be adopted for the codes of ethics and be compulsory for all. Security checks relating to the integrity of police officers also need to be carried out at regular intervals throughout their career and a system of asset declarations should be put in place,” it said.

GRECO also stressed the need for introducing further measures to promote “a more gender-balanced representation in all ranks”, to ensure that appointments of top police officials in the Border Police and SIPA are “based on merit and guided by open, standardised and transparent competitions and to introduce an institutional system of rotation of police staff in risk-prone areas.”

“Additionally, a legal provision defining incompatibilities with policing duties should be adopted and authorised secondary activities need to be duly recorded. Moreover, rules should be adopted to ensure transparency and limit the risks of conflicts of interest when police officers leave the Border Police and SIPA to work in other sectors. Finally, the protection of whistleblowers should be reviewed and strengthened,” it said.

GRECO announced that it will assess the implementation of these recommendations in 2024.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/greco-bih-needs-measures-to-prevent-corruption-amongst-its-top-officials/ 

Croatian President expects all EU members to recognise Kosovo

March 7, 2023

Croatia firmly supports the international affirmation of Kosovo's independence and expects it to be recognised by all EU member states, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic told Kosovo's Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz on Tuesday, the Office of the President said in a press release.

Milanovic and Gërvalla-Schwarz, who is on an official visit to Croatia, discussed bilateral relations, the current plan for the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, Kosovo's membership of the United Nations and other international organisations, and Kosovo's Euro-Atlantic prospects.

“President Milanovic confirmed to Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz that Kosovo has always had and can continue to count on solid support from Croatia when it comes to the international affirmation of its independence and Euro-Atlantic prospects,” the statement said.

President Milanovic advocated that such a position be taken by the entire European Union.

“We expect all members of the European Union to recognise the independence of Kosovo,” he said according to the press release.

Milanovic welcomed efforts invested to normalise relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which would ensure long-term stability in Southeast Europe and European prospects for the entire region.

Kosovo has not been recognised by five EU members: Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Spain and Slovakia.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/croatian-president-expects-all-eu-members-to-recognise-kosovo/ 

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