International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Haradinaj lied to Brnabic; Vulin, General and Colonels banned from entering Kosovo

Minister of Defence Alkesandar Vulin and military health delegation forbidden to enter Kosovo, Cabinet of Minister Vulin informed, as TV Prva reports

July 10, 2019

It has been proved again that Ramush Haradinaj lied, the statement says, adding that the delegation was not allowed to visit Clinical Medical Center in Kosovska Mitrovica.

Just as a reminder, few days ago, media in Serbia had reported that Pristina reached decision to ban all Serb's officials from entering Kosovo. However, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic had stated afterwards that Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj informed her that this was fake news.

In the response from Pristina, it is just stated that "they are not in a position to grant this request". "It is again proved that Ramush Haradinaj does not speak the truth", the statement concludes.

Pristina had again breached Brussels agreement, adding to the list of officials medical personnel, along with Minister Vulin.

Ministry specifies that this visit was strictly humanitarian and that representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Military Medical Academy (VMA) wanted to discuss with the management of Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center the ways of improving cooperation this medical institution had established with VMA for the last six years, along with discussing further support to this medical center where both Serbs and Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija are being treated.

Delegation was headed by Minister Vulin, accompanied by Chief of the Military Medical Administration, Brigadier General Dr Sci. Med. Ugljesa Jovicic and representatives of VMA - Chief of VMA, Colonel Prof. Dr Miroslav Vukosavljevic and Head of the Treatment Department, Assistant Professor Dr Sci. Med. Nenad Ratkovic.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=10&nav_id=106981

Vucic: Opposition will not jeopardize me for a decade, I withdraw from SNS next year

Vucic claims that he will "step down" prior to opposition comes to a chance to get closer, underlying that something like this is hard to happen in a decade

July 8, 2019

When asked whether he will step down prior to opposition getting closer to him and when something like this will happen, Serbian President responded: "This would mean that I could pursue political career for another ten years, without them getting closer, but I do not intend to do that, it will happen much sooner".

The results are what count in the end and Serbia experiences economic growth, it is an independent, military neutral and sovereign country, which cherishes its national interests…

"Serbia is heading forward and it would be important for the investment plan to succeed, so that we could keep young people within the country, thus fighting for them and their future within the country", Vucic stated, adding that he is quite lucky to have "such experts" for political opponents.

He also reiterated that someone else would take over SNS next year, as he is not going to run for leadership role on the party assembly. "There is no doubt that someone else would take over SNS leadership next year".

"A man should know when it's the right time to make certain changes and when it is time not to identify yourself with the state", Vucic concluded while hosted on RTS.

When asked what would that change bring to SNS, Vucic said that SNS is undoubtedly the best and the strongest political party and that he will assist SNS in winning Parliamentary elections.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=07&dd=08&nav_id=106970

European Council Brussels, 20 June 2019

(OR. en)EUCO 9/19

Read more: European Council Brussels, 20 June 2019

Vucic with the Minister of Defense of Belarus

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spoke in Belgrade with the Minister of Defense of Belarus, Lieutenant-General Andrew Ravkov.
June 19, 2019 (Unofficial translation)

They discussed further development of cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of defense.
According to his office, President Vucic expressed his satisfaction because he will meet with President Alexander Lukashenko in two days in Minsk and again have the opportunity to discuss with him the possibilities for improving the ties between Serbia and Belarus.
He also expressed hope that the President of Belarus will visit Serbia by the end of the year.
President Vucic thanked the state leadership of Belarus on the principled position and continued support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, which is especially evident in international organizations by opposing the acceptance of the so-called " Kosovo in their membership.
He also informed Minister Ravkov of the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija, that is, with unilateral moves by Pristina authorities that directly threaten the lives of Serbs there.
The two interlocutors noted that cooperation in the field of defense in the past period reached a high level that Serbia and Belarus had in other areas, and discussed the possibilities for further improvement of military-military, military-technical, military-economic and military-educational cooperation, it is added in the statement.

Source: https://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2019&mm=06&dd=19&nav_category=11&nav_id=1556385

Council of the European Union (18.06.2019)


Council conclusions on enlargement and stabilisation and association process

Read more: Council of the European Union (18.06.2019)

Greece: New poll puts ND lead at 9.8 pct versus SYRIZA

Center-right New Democracy held on to a 9.8 percent point lead over incumbent SYRIZA in a public opinion poll ahead of the general election on July 7, 2019.

Read more: Greece: New poll puts ND lead at 9.8 pct versus SYRIZA

Han: Open the door to Northern Macedonia, it's important for Serbia

Political compromise in the Western Balkans must be rewarded, says Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for accession negotiations tomorrow ahead of tomorrow's meeting.

June 17, 2019 (Unofficial translation)

In the circumstances in which the EU Council could postpone a decision on launching accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania on Tuesday, Hahn urged EU ministers to allow opening of accession talks with Northern Macedonia as soon as possible and assessed that this would be an important signal for the entire region .

If there is a renewed dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, they must see that the investment in finding a political compromise will be rewarded. Otherwise, they do not have an incentive. Everyone needs to understand how important it is to give sigal to one country in the interest of the entire region, "Han said.

ohans Han, ahead of tomorrow's meeting of the EU Council, which will discuss the enlargement policy and the progress of the countries in the process of Eurointegration, reiterated that Northern Macedonia did everything it asked of it and warned that any postponement of an adequate EU response would pose a risk to it.

He reiterated that if a country that invested much in a European perspective and its leaders showed courage in reaching a compromise is not rewarded for it, then the EU loses credibility and the power of action in the entire region of the Western Balkans.


EU foreign and European affairs ministers at a meeting of the Luxembourg Council tomorrow should bring together the recommendations and recommendations on further steps in the country that are in the process of EU accession.

It is also expected to define the Council's response to the recommendation of the European Commission on the negotiation of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

According to the latest information, this decision could be delayed again.

While a group of countries headed by the Baltic and Central European countries are in favor of opening accession talks already in June, Germany is seeking a postponement until September due to a debate at the Bunset

At the same time, France and the Netherlands believe that this decision for Northern Macedonia could be made later, and they also oppose the start of accession negotiations with Albania because, according to the estimates, unprecedented evidence of progress in the rule of law is primarily in the fight against organized crime.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2019&mm=06&dd=17&nav_category=1262&nav_id=1555551

Valletta Declaration after Summit MED7 (14.06.2019)

We reiterate our full support and solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus in exercising its sovereign rights. We recall Turkey’s obligation to respect international law and good neighbourly relations.

Read more: Valletta Declaration after Summit MED7 (14.06.2019)

Wigemark: Billions of euros are disappearing in corruption

Government leaders and heads of anti-corruption bodies gathered today at a conference chaired by Wigemark to discuss a more concrete and stronger fight against corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is present in all segments of society
June 13, 2019
Fighting corruption is one of the key priorities on the path of a country towards full membership in the European Union, but that is a question that could not be completely eradicated by the member states, and billions of euros disappear in corruption, the head of the EU Delegation to BiH Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.
Government leaders and heads of anti-corruption bodies gathered today at a conference chaired by Wigemark to discuss a more concrete and stronger fight against corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is present in all segments of society.
In an introductory address at the conference on "Strengthening Anti-Corruption in BiH: What is Anti-Corruption Body Needed for Effective Anti-Corruption", Wigemark called corruption a cultural issue because it is culturally acceptable or not in a particular country.
Today's meeting focused on the need to strengthen anti-corruption bodies in BiH, which are 14, with particular reference to the latest European Commission report on BiH, where one of the recommendations refers to the need to "ensure the effective functioning and coordination of anti-corruption bodies" in BiH.
As pointed out, anti-corruption bodies are made by the wider body together with ombudsmen, public auditors, representatives of the judiciary and inspectors in various areas, all of whom, they said, are the guards of good public administration practice.
Wigemark stressed that all public institutions must work together to achieve any results, as well as the fact that more than 100 people work every day to fight corruption, but this does not include people from the judiciary and the police, agencies and ministries because if they get involved and they can talk about thousands of people who are fighting corruption.
- There are results, but BiH needs indictments, criminal proceedings and judgments because there are judgments at lower levels, however, at higher levels these results are not satisfactory. The situation is similar in all countries that have aspirations to be members of the EU - underlined Wigemark.
He expressed hope that a new anti-corruption strategy will soon be adopted in BiH, but whether this document exists or not, it is successful only if there is a political will to implement it, clearly said Wigemark.
He assessed that the results in the fight against corruption will be a true test of political will, as it is necessary to ensure coordination of the body, but it is necessary to give the whom that fight against this problem the right tool for the fight against the problem.
The conference was organized by the European Union project "Institutional Support to Anti-Corruption - IPAK" and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and Coordination of the Fight against Corruption in cooperation with the EU Delegation to BiH.
The meeting discussed what is needed for anti-corruption bodies in order to more effectively and successfully fight corruption until now, and will also discuss the role and purpose of anti-corruption bodies, but also the need to build the basis on which the capacities of anti-corruption bodies will be built at all levels of government in BiH.

Source: https://www.oslobodjenje.ba/vijesti/bih/wigemark-milijarde-eura-nestaju-u-korupciji-465463

"The bombing of FRY legitimately, stopped violence, refugees returned, KFOR helped ..."

Belgrade - History has shown that the 1999 bombing of the FRY was necessary and legitimate because it stopped violence, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
June 10, 2019
Refugees could return home, and KFOR helped to create a safe and secure environment in Kosovo for all, including Serbian communities, he said.
"I know that NATO is still causing controversy in Serbia. Many are still sick of the airborne campaign in 1999. It's even harder for those who lost loved ones." Every lost innocent life is a tragedy, and we deeply regret it, "Stoltenberg told SETimes. "Politics".
He repeated what he said during a visit to Serbia last October, that, as he said, "this campaign has never been directed against the Serbian people." "On the contrary, the aim was to protect civilians in the wider region by stopping the actions of the Milosevic regime, which the international community condemned. We must never forget the past, but we must learn from it and leave it behind" Stoltenberg pointed out.
He added that this is what NATO and Serbia are doing through partnership, which is useful behind NATO, Serbia and the wider region.
Stoltenberg stressed that NATO appreciates the partnership it has developed with Serbia and hopes for a better future. "We fully respect Serbia's neutrality policy, as Austria, Sweden and Finland demonstrate, neutrality and partnership with NATO are not mutually exclusive. Our partnership is good for Serbia, good for the Western Balkans and good for NATO," stressed Jens Stoltenberg.
The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance has noted that we are facing the most unpredictable security situation in the world in recent years, but that NATO is a positive force in creating a sustainable international order.

 Source: https://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2019&mm=06&dd=10&nav_category=11&nav_id=1552945

New Democracy posts another convincing victory in second round of municipal, regional government elections

Eleven out of 13 regional government entities in Greece on Sunday (02.06.2019) have been won by candidates backed or affiliated with main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, painting the "political map" blue on Sunday evening, after precincts closed and the first results were announced.

Hard left SYRIZA is judged to have only picked up Crete, which in the first round when to a candidate emanating from once formidable PASOK party, whose stronghold is the large island.

Read more: New Democracy posts another convincing victory in second round of municipal, regional government...

"Future of Serbia is in EU"

May 31, 2019

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Prime Minister of the Republic of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel assessed today that the two countries have very good relations and share the view that without a stable Balkans there is no peaceful Europe, noting that the future of Serbia in the European Union.

Brnabic told reporters after meeting with Bettel that Serbia is firm on the path to membership in the Union and that this is our strategic goal.

A European Serbia is the task of this government, the Prime Minister reiterated, adding that it depends on the Union when Serbia will become its member.

She expressed satisfaction with Bettel’s position, assessing that Europe will not be complete until the Western Balkans are part of the EU.

The Prime Minister said that at the meeting with Bettel, the Belgrade-Pristina relations and dialogue were also addressed, and asked Bettel to help Serbia overcome the stalemate in the negotiations.

According to Brnabic, the door for dialogue on the Pristina taxes is completely closed to the Serbian goods, which, despite the calls from the international community to withdraw, remain in force.

In addition, as she pointed out, the frequent incidents and provocations of Pristina are continuing, which Belgrade does not answer because otherwise peace and stability in the Balkans would be threatened in the worst way.

We will not respond to incidents and provocations, unless they escalate to a degree that seriously endangers the lives and safety of Serbs in Kosovo, she said, expressing hope that this would not happen.

Brnabic pointed out that the current situation is not good for anyone, primarily those who live in Kosovo, but neither the region nor the European Union, which is why we need to find a way out as soon as possible.

Pristina, as she said, should implement the Brussels agreement, because if this document is not implemented, it means that there is no first agreement on normalization.

According to Brnabic, the European Union, as a guarantor, needs to insist more on the implementation of the agreement and the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo, which Pristina refuses to do.

She expressed gratitude for Luxembourg's support to European integration of Serbia, stressing that the political cooperation between the two countries is at the highest level.

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg sent congratulations to Brnabic on everything she did to implement digitisation, pointing out that Serbia is leading in this race.

He said that he would be pleased to host her in Luxembourg because Serbia is a friend and partner, and mutual trust and cooperation capacities enable further improvement of these relations.

Bettel said that Serbia has a European future, stressing that only together we can find solutions to common problems.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=31&nav_id=106939

We've waited for 24 hours; we'll know what to do"

Aleksandar Vucic is "absolutely shocked" the EU has not reacted to Hashim Thaci saying that Pristina would not form the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO).

May 31, 2019

This is Pristina's obligation under the 2013 Brussels Agreement, reached under EU's auspices and mediation.

Speaking on Friday, the president also said that "we will see EU's reaction, today or tomorrow" and added that "we know what to do" if that reaction doesn't happen.

Vucic pointed out that this enough speaks to the gravity of the situation. The Albanians, he noted, have only one church in which they are praying, and that is the United States, "and don't care at all about anything they say or do against Russia and the Serbs."

It is important for them to be praise the US mission to the OSCE for their "anti-corruption action," he added, pointing out that it was "as anti-corruption as Haradinaj and Thaci are against corruption."

"To me it is much more important and more indicative that the Germans, the English and the French, and Brussels are silent. That document (Brussels agreement) was signed in Brussels by Dacic and Thaci, but in the presence of Kathy Ashton (Katherine Ashton, then EU foreign policy chif," said Vucic.

"If the EU is not in a position to guarantee an agreement in whose making it took part, let it be said, so we know that these agreements have no further legal force."

Then "other things, too, will be taking place in a different way," he continued.

It will add to uncertainty and will cause a lot of problems to all parties, but it is important that the EU informs us on this issue instead of informing us about the various types of nonsense that some political tycoons write to them about," said Vucic, and concluded:

"It would be good to inform us about what we have a spent a lot of time and we spent energy on, so that we can pacify things. SO I hope that we will see today or tomorrow EU's reaction on this issue, and if it doesn't come, that's good too - then we, too, know what we are supposed to do."
Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=31&nav_id=106938

Russia could help clean up Kosovo mess - if Serbia asks

Konstantin Kosachev has assessed as an extremely dangerous the situation in which Pristina authorities "aggravate relations with neighbors."

May 30, 2019                           

The president of the Russian Federation Council's Committee on International Affairs is also quoted as saying that Russia can provide support to Serbia in ensuring security - if it receives Belgrade's request.

Kosachev told FM Radio that the West is not encouraging Pristina authorities to enter into a conflict with Belgrade - but that its Western sponsors have lost control of Pristina.

This is, said Kosachev, an extremely dangerous situation.

"Unfortunately, the authorities of Serbia will once again have to decide to clean up the consequences of the mistakes of the West, but I do not exclude the possibility of cooperation with the authorities of Russia - if we get an appropriate request," Kosachev said, according to Sputnik.

Source:  https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=30&nav_id=106934

Pacolli: Ana Brnabic is banned from entering Kosovo

Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli say Prime Minister Ana Brnabic will not be allowed to enter Kosovo.

May 30, 2019              

As he said, the ban will last "as long as she follows the racist and sick ideology against the Kosovo population and the nationalities living there."

Pristina media reported that Pacolli was reacting to Brnabic's alleged statement about the Kosovo Albanians being people who came out of the forest.

Pacolli thinks the prime minister's alleged comment is "completely unacceptable."

"It institutionalizes racism in Serbia, promoted by the government of Ana Brnabićc which originates from the ultra-nationalist ideology of sick people," said he.

However, at yesterday's press conference, the prime minister did not talk about the Albanians in general, but about "people who represent Pristina (authorities)" - those terrorists among them who were on trial in The Hague, but have never been convicted only because all witnesses against them got killed.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=30&nav_id=106931

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