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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 26, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 26, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: Five dead, 445 new cases (media)
• Stricter implementation of measures to prevent increase in COVID cases (media)
• Lajcak to visit Kosovo on March 1 (media)
• Rugova: There are tendencies to impose a new LDK leader (media)
• Ineffective justice for attacks on journalists (Radio Free Europe)
• “Government to prepare strategy against Russia’s malign operations” (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic: Serbia will continue to aid Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija (Kosovo-online)
• EU spokesman denies Lajcak bringing ultimatum to Belgrade (N1)
• Lajcak to visit Pristina and Belgrade next week (Radio KIM)
• Drecun: Lajcak pushed ZSO aside; story on non-paper appears who knows how many times (RTS)
• Selakovic says lack of EU’s reaction on “Great Albania” statements doesn’t help building trust (N1)
• One more protest held in Gracanica (RTV KIM)
• Zakharova: Agreement between Belgrade and Pristina shouldn’t be forced, rhetoric of Kosovo Albanians concerning (Kosovo-online)
• Petkovic replies to Osmani over map issue (Kosovo-online, social media)

Opinion:

• Kosovan abyss (KoSSev)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Serbia tightens anti-epidemic measures (N1)
• Half million doses of Chinese vaccines to be delivered to Serbia (B92)

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Belgrade Media Report 26 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Friday 26 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic meets Kosovo Serbs in Kursumlija (Tanjug/RTV)
Drecun: Lajcak pushed to the side ZSO, story about a non-paper appearing for who knows how many times (RTS)
Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnection important for whole region (RTS)
Dacic with Fabrizi on continuation of inter-party dialogue (Tanjug)
Bilcik: EP glad to help, as it did in 2019 upon Belgrade’s invitation (N1)
EU spokesman denies Lajcak bringing ultimatum to Belgrade (N1/Beta)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

US Embassy: US continues to provide full support to Euro-Atlantic integration processes in B&H (Dnevni avaz)
Turkovic says that with Commission for NATO Cooperation we are in situation, with support of US Ambassador and the NATO General in B&H, to form functioning body (FTV)
RS opposition, ruling structures accuse each other regarding NATO path of B&H (N1)
B&H sends report on progress in realization of Program of Reforms to NATO HQ in Brussels (EuroBlic/AJB)
Dodik and candidate for HR Schmidt agree in phone conversation that responsibility for future of B&H lies on elected officials in authorities (RTRS)
Turkovic: Current situation is that on one hand we want OHR to leave and at the same time we demand DPA to be fully implemented, which is impossible (FTV)
Cubrilovic says he is not afraid of his possible removal but it would not solve problems imposed by High Representative (EuroBlic)
B&H CEC establishes results of Doboj, Srebrenica elections (Hayat)
Croatia

Bosnia and Croatia sign military cooperation plan for 2021 (Hina)
Boskovic: Croats want to elect their representative, do not want imposed ‘member’ of Croat people (Vecernji list)
Europe thinking about abolition of principle of constituent peoples in B&H; Croats to become minority? (Jutarnji list)
Montenegro

Djeljosaj and Tuzi residents block boulevard towards Podgorica (CdM)
Do secret data leak from Montenegro? (Pobjeda)
Republic of North Macedonia

Mickoski: Mijalkov fled to Belgrade, but had to return after pressure was put on Zaev (Republika)
Mijalkov in the dock as the court will reach its verdict in the 2015 wiretapping scandal (Republika)
Izet Medziti also turns his back on Zaev and DUI (Republika)
Large-scale Albanian protests planned in Skopje over the Good Friday massacre sentences (Republika)
Albania

EP calls on EU to hold intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia and Albania (Radio Tirana)

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Belgrade Media Report 25 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Thursday 25 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic: Wrong are those who think we will give up what is ours (Tanjug/RTV/RTS)
Selakovc: EP Report inadmissible call for recognition of unilaterally declared independence of our province (RTS/Tanjug)
Selakovic: Belgrade fulfilled obligations under Brussels agreement, but Community of Serb Municipalities has not been established (Tanjug/RTV)
Dacic: I start talks with EP mediators, parties join in second half of March (RTS)
Blinken, EU Foreign Ministers discuss Kosovo dialogue policy (Beta)
Palmer and Lajcak bringing blackmail (Novosti)
Kosovo failed to enter Conference of European Constitutional Courts (Novosti)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

According to indictment Novalic prepared plan with aim to acquire illegal property gain from disputable procurement (O kanal/BHT1)
B&H CoM adopts Program of Reforms for NATO and decision on formation of Commission for Cooperation with NATO (O kanal)
Dodik: Cooperation with NATO acceptable, membership in NATO is not (ATV)
Sarovic: SNSD’s support to Program of Reforms for NATO is scandalous move and yet another shameful confirmation of SNSD leader Dodik’s true treacherous face (BN TV)
Borrell: I reject the idea that the EU is pretending that it wants Western Balkans among its ranks (Dnevni list)
Palmer: Although US is well acquainted with events in Balkans, it will not solve obligations of B&H officials (FTV/VoA)
Palmer’s statements spark reactions in RS (Glas Srpske/VoA)
Weber: Crucial for USA and Germany to join forces and define joint strategic policy towards B&H (Dnevni avaz)
Dodik says statements by Izetbegovic on Serb and Croat representatives being racists are unacceptable (RTRS)
Croatia

HDZ B&H welcomes establishing of Commission for Cooperation with NATO (Vecernji list)
Montenegro

Politics, SPC and espionage (Pobjeda)
Djukanovic issues decrees: Ambassadors recalled (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia

What just happened!? (Republika)
Sela: Somebody more powerful than Zaev instructed Mijalkov to return (Republika)
Osmani flies directly from Paris to Sofia to meet Zaharieva (Republika/TV21)
Albania

DP and allies close deal on coalition (ADN)
Noto Exit Poll: The Opposition is Leading and Gaining Momentum (Tirana Times)
Borrell: EU will start the negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania (Radio Tirana)

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 25, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 25, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 437 new cases, five deaths (media)
• EU downplays Lajcak’s interview backdrop map with Kosovo as part of Serbia (Express)
• Montgomery: US committed to working with EU on Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (VoA, media)
• Kosovo journalist Visar Duriqi physically assaulted (media)
• Daka leaves the CEC meeting following LVV’s request for community votes (Koha)
• Hague Court extends detention for Kosovo war veteran leaders (Express)
• Emigrant votes are holding Kosovo’s electoral result ‘hostage’ (Euronews.al)
• LDK chairmanship to meet today at 16:30 (Express)
• Mustafa meets with Rhode, discuss latest developments in Kosovo (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• 95 new cases of Covid-19 registered in Serbian areas in Kosovo (KoSSev)
• One-month detention assigned to seven persons suspected of involvement in Laplje Selo fight (KoSSev)
• Gracanica: Students protest over decision to detain youngsters involved in Laplje Selo fight (Radio kontakt plus)
• Father Sava: It was not a lynch, but a fight of two politically opposed groups of young men (media, social media)
• Gracanica police station commander: Fight in Laplje Selo arranged in advance (KoSSev)
• Rasic: My son certainly didn’t know the fight was organized, school worked on Monday (KoSSev)
• Selakovic condemns EP call to five EU states to recognize Kosovo (B92)
• Vucic met SOC Patriarch, discussed Kosovo issue (B92)

International:

• Attack on Kosovo Investigative Journalist Condemned (Balkan Insight)
• Former intelligence chief indicted in ‘Gulenist’ case (Prishtina Insight)

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 24, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 24, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 461 new cases, three deaths (media)
• Palmer: Kosovo-Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina, two separate issues (VoA, media)
• European Parliament: Kosovo’s independence is irreversible (REL, media)
• Bajrami resigns from the Acting Finance Minister position (media)
• Haradinaj sees LVV movements as “powerless to face northern integration” (Koha)
• Head of Kosovo’s Agency for Agricultural Development arrested (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic: Meeting with Kosovo Serb representatives on Friday; Concentrated pressure of the EU and the USA (media)
• Vucic on the fight in Laplje Selo: We have all the information; two groups of young men organized the fight (KoSSev)
• Belgrade-ordered beating or an organized fight between high school students? (KoSSev)
• Jevtic: Why is there silence about attacks on Serbian returnees? (Radio Mitrovica sever)
• MEPs: Rule of law and normalisation with Kosovo crucial for Serbia (N1)
• EP on Kosovo: No reform results, call for formation of A/CSM (Radio Mitrovica sever)
• Andjelkovic: Albanians frontally attack Serbian List out of fear from Serbian unity in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
• Serbia & UAE to intensify defense ministries’ cooperation (N1)

Opinion:

• Kosovo must use this moment to reframe the narrative of the past (Kosovo 2.0)

International:

• MEPs call on Serbia to commit unambiguously to European values (europarl.europa.eu)
• Biden’s Early Move in Balkans Signals Interest in Europe (VoA)

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Belgrade Media Report 24 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Wednesday 24 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic: I expect joint pressure from the EU and US for Serbia to recognize Kosovo (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)
Selakovic: Necessary for UNMIK to continue activities in an undiminished scope and with an unchanged mandate (RTS)
MEPs: Rule of law and normalization with Kosovo crucial for Serbia (N1)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

SDA and HDZ B&H agree to form working groups in charge of FB&H-level issues primarily FB&H government formation, B&H Election Law and issues on EU path of B&H (O kanal)
Niksic: SDP B&H will not support any solution related to B&H Election Law that will introduce new segregation and new divisions (Nova BH)
International community wants to focus on election legislation reform in 2021 (Nezavisne)
Democratization Policy Council advocates ‘sandwich pressure’ strategy in B&H, in which citizens and IC would apply pressure on political elites (Dnevni list)
Dodik: Serbs were never more aware of their identity (RTRS/MIS TV)
FB&H HoP delegates Becirovic and Miletic submit proposal of amendments to B&H Criminal Code on banning genocide denial into urgent procedure (FTV)
Cubrilovic: HR’s ultimatum does not contribute to democratization and solving of some issues; Inzko is implementing conclusions of one political party (RTRS)
Eight FB&H parties address foreign embassies and seek urgent meetings on Srebrenica (Hayat)
Stromquist: Progress in area of rule of law is crucial for B&H (Fena)
Judge Blagojevic responds to Inzko: HR does not have mandate to impose laws (Glas Srpske)
Republic of North Macedonia

Mickoski calls on Zaev to resign after his latest rule of law disaster (Republika)
Zaev disappointed in LDP for leaving his group in parliament, but claims that the government will survive (Republika)

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 23, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 23, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 368 new cases, four deaths (media)
• EP criticizes Kosovo for not fighting corruption, expresses concern over closure of Task Force (Koha)
• Hoti on assault on Rasic’s son: Violence is unacceptable (media)
• Prosecutor’s office begins investigations about attack on Rasic’s son (media)
• Rasic: Attack on my son was an attempted murder (Prishtina Insight)
• Abbott: Some politicians have incited hatred and fear within communities (Koha)
• Kurti asks privatisation agency not to open new waves of privatisation (media)
• EP Foreign Affairs Committee to vote Kosovo report (Express)
• Suspicions of vote manipulation by Serbia, dozens of NGOs demand reaction of local and international institutions (Kallxo)

Serbian Language Media:

• 78 new cases of Covid-19 registered in Serbian areas in Kosovo (KoSSev)
• 14 newly infected in Gracanica (Kosovo Online)
• Serbian List and Office for KiM: Fight has nothing to do with politics (Radio KIM)
• Suspects for beating Nikola Rasic assigned detention (Radio KIM)
• Nenad Rasic believes that the attack on his son has a political background (N1)
• Rakic: Son of Nenad Rasic injured in “a private conflict” between young men (N1)
• Parents of detained young men: The fight was caused by Nikola Rasic (KiM radio)
• Sava Janjic: Dialogue with Serbs must go through Belgrade (Kosovo-online)

International:

• The world faces a pandemic of human rights abuses in the wake of Covid-19 (The Guardian)
• Small hydropower plant owner sues activist Shpresa Loshaj in Kosovo* for defamation (balkangreenenergynews.com)
• In Hostile Serbian Parliament, MP Fights for Rights of ‘Enemy’ Albanians (Balkan Insight)
• U.S. Development Bank Says It’s Committed To Balkans Amid Talk Of Serbian Office Closure (RFE)
• North Macedonia Murder Retrial Convicts Ethnic Albanians of Terrorism (Balkan Insight)

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Latest

Belgrade Media Report 23 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Tuesday 23 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Brnabic: Quality of life in Kosovo and Metohija depends on dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina (TV Happy/Tanjug/RTV)
Petkovic: Kurti abused attack on Nenad Rasic’s son for political purposes (RTS)
Brnabic attends dialogue with National Convent on EU (Tanjug/FoNet)
Faktor Plus: SNS, SPS would pass five-percent threshold (Tanjug/Blic)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Grujicic wins elections in Srebrenica, says that results almost similar to results from November are evidence that decision of B&H CEC to repeat elections was illegal (Nova BH)
Bosniaks announce they will not accept mandates they won in repeated elections in Srebrenica (Nova BH)
Jerinic and SNSD win elections in Doboj; Opposition claims that result of elections is evidence of frauds in November elections (RTRS)
SNSD: Someone needs to be held responsible for expenses and damages caused to Doboj and Srebrenica by annulment of elections (ATV)
Komsic: System of status of constituent peoples is outdated (Oslobodjenje/Fena)
Sattler: Current extent of presence of international community in B&H not compatible with EU integration (N1)
Cvijanovic, Viskovic meet Sattler to discuss political and economic situation (ATV)
Croatia

Croatian FM for keeping some space open for dialogue between EU and Russia (Hina)
Grlic Radman: It is important for EU and the US to continue working together on challenges that include Euro-Atlantic integration of Western Balkans (Hina)
Montenegro

Saving PM’s credibility (CdM)
Picula: Public administration reform should be based on expertise and without political revenge (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia

Arrest warrant issued for Saso Mijalkov, as the police are unable to locate him (Republika/Alsat-M TV)
Zaev: We’ve had another escape (Republika)
Pendarovski called on authorities to find Mijalkov (Republika)
Zaev’s key coalition partner Kasami turns on him – puts pressure on the Interior Minister, won’t help SDSM during the municipal elections (Republika)
State Department: Closely monitoring Mijalkov situation (Republika)

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 19, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 18, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 340 new cases, ten deaths (media)
• LDK to elect a two-year mandate leader (media)
• Srpska’s game: Hodzic received thousands of votes in municipalities where no Bosniaks live (Express)
• Egyptian PLE also accuses Serbian List of stealing mandates (Koha)
• Roma Progressive Movement: Roma Civic Initiative is in fact the Serbian List (Telegrafi)
• German Ambassador: Voters have given a strong mandate for change (RTK)
• Kurti: I will create the health insurance fund (media)
• Mustafa: I would break the coalition with LVV even today (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Porfirije – a new patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church (B92, Tanjug)
• New Patriarch Porfirije in his first sermon: Kosovo is a covenant for us (KoSSev)
• Vucic met Patriarch Porfirije (RTS)
• Serbian List to new Patriarch: We are convinced that in this holy and responsible duty, you will be on same path as your predecessors (Radio Mitrovica sever)
• State Department congratulates election of Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch (media)
• Petkovic: Pristina has obligation to enable unobstructed work of media (Radio kontakt plus)
• Vukmirovic on ban to enter Kosovo: Pristina’s explanation ridiculous and ill-intentioned (RTS)
• Kurti: “We will analyze the ambiguities of the Washington agreement with the Biden administration” (BBC)
• EU launches project to support Western Balkans vaccination effort (N1)

International:

• Kurti’s comments spark pessimism in Belgrade over Kosovo-Serbia talks (euronews.com)
• Kosovo Warns of Census Delay, Blaming Pandemic and Elections (Balkan Insight)
• Filipovic: Improving cooperation with NATO in line with military neutrality is in Serbia’s national interest (EWB)

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Belgrade Media Report 19 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Friday 19 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Metropolitan Porfirije elected 46th Patriarch of Serbian Orthodox Church (Tanjug/RTS/RTV/Beta/B92)
First sermon of Patriarch Porfirije (RTS)
How Porfirije spoke about Kosovo and Metohija (RTS)
Vucic congratulated to Serbian Patriarch Porfirije (RTS/Tanjug)
Selakovic: Serbia is not violating Washington agreement but is not a “dumb observer” (Tanjug/RTV)
RTS crew banned from entering Kosovo (RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Pro-Bosnian parties support Initiative ‘My Address: Srebrenica’ in boycott of Sunday’s elections; They file motion with CC demanding to annul elections (FTV)
Dzaferovic: I support boycott of Srebrenica elections; Dodik should know RS is of vital interest of Bosniaks (FTV)
Dodik meets Grujicic in Srebrenica ahead of Sunday’s elections, mentions possibility of boycotting 2022 elections (FTV)
Cubrilovic: B&H CEC did not contribute to democratization with decision to repeat elections in Doboj and Srebrenica (RTRS)
Cvijanovic pays visit to Doboj (RTRS)
Tegeltija: Three issues standing in way of status of EU candidate are laws on HJPC, public procurements and prevention of conflicts of interest; I see OHR as lawyer for some Bosniak parties (Vecernji list)
Dzaferovic: We expect slightly stronger engagement of the existing administration from Washington; B&H needs a more active HR (FTV)
Dodik: I do not oppose B&H based on DPA capacities, but I oppose unitary B&H; Biden will not solve B&H’s problems (ATV)
RS parliament adopts three conclusions regarding Inzko’s report; Opposition MPs refuse to participate in voting (ATV)
OHR responds to RS parliament request: HR reports are available on UN, OHR websites (FTV)
Croatia

Census in Croatia postponed due to epidemic (HRT)

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 17, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, February 17, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 297 new cases, five deaths (media)
• Kosovo’s political leaders congratulate anniversary of independence (media)
• Blinken congratulates Kosovo on independence anniversary (media)
• MEP Von Cramon calls for visa liberalisation, continuation of dialogue (media)
• German MP Beyer calls on EU to grant Kosovo visa liberalisation (media)
• Elezi: CEC assessing ballot packages from diaspora (Klan)

Serbian Language Media:

• Jarinje: Journalists’ protest due to the prevention of the RTS crew to enter Kosovo (Kontakt plus radio, KiM radio, TV Most, Radio Gracanica, Radio Mitrovica sever)
• Are Serbs really integrated into Kosovo society? (RTK2)
• Anniversary of Kosovo declaration of independence: Survival of Serbs endangered more than before (Radio kontakt plus)
• Maliqi for Danas: The Serb community still lives either in segregation or in the ghetto (Kosovo Online)
• Beqaj: Kosovo far below expectations of citizens (Radio KIM)
• RTS on February 17 in Kosovo, former Serbian diplomat terms it “failed project” (RTS)
• Lajcak: I still believe that it is possible to find a solution for Kosovo (Danas)
• Vucic to German “Bild” on Kosovo issue, Merkel (B92)
• Senior Duma official says Russia, Serbia have closest possible relations (N1)
• NUNS condemn an obstruction of journalist Dejan Kozul’s work in Kosovo (Kontakt plus radio)
• Canadian Ambassador, Serbian President hope for direct flights (N1)
• Romanian ambassador calls for joint infrastructure and energy projects (N1)

Opinion:

• What were the elections like for Kosovo Serbs? (Kosovo 2.0)
• In Serbia, State’s Ties to Crime Become Hard to Miss (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Historic Images of Kosovo Peace Talks Go on Display (Balkan Insight)

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Belgrade Media Report 17 February 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Wednesday 17 February 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Serbia will be exposed to pressure, again; I would always choose Angela Merkel (Bild/Tanjug/B92)
Vucic with Slutsky: Friendly relations proven in various challenges (RTV/Tanjug)
Brnabic: Kurti’s statements unsurprising but regrettable (Tanjug)
Lajcak: It is absolutely possible to find a solution for Kosovo (Danas)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar Mayor Kordic: Mostar was never a ‘case city’ but it was somewhat of a victim of experiments conducted by international community (O kanal)
Izetbegovic: Irma Baralija betrayed Mostar (Hayat)
International community congratulates formation of Mostar city leadership (O kanal)
Izetbegovic: Look at all the things that Serbia is doing so that Serbs who moved out of Srebrenica voted in Srebrenica (Hayat)
Cvijanovic: Bosniak politicians have never truly taken care of Bosniak or Serb people in Srebrenica, announcement of boycott is only piece of puzzle in plan for problematization of Srebrenica (Srna)
Viskovic visits Srebrenica: Decision of Initiative ‘My Address: Srebrenica’ to boycott elections represents hoax by Bosniaks (RTRS)
DNS and PDP sign agreement on support to SDS’ candidate for post of Doboj Mayor Cvijan Filipovic (BN TV)
SNSD’s Jerinic certain about having stable majority in Doboj City Assembly, with more than 25 councilors (Nova BH)
Sattler: B&H must face its past and work on reconciliation, OHR needs to be gradually closed (Nezavisne novine)
Izetbegovic, Palmer discuss reform of Election Law and implementation of ECHR rulings (Oslobodjenje)
RS parliament adopts conclusion according to which HR is requested to create report on progress in implementation of peace agreement in B&H for period 2009-2020 and submit it with RS parliament within 90 days (RTRS)
Croatia

Croatian Foreign Ministry congratulates new Mostar mayor (Hina)
Montenegro

Djukanovic: We’ll overcome crises (CdM)
Krivokapic: Brussels is adamant – adopting the law on prosecution in this way would cross a “red line” (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia

Mickoski: The new treaty with Bulgaria negotiated by Buckovski will be a disaster (Republika)
Albania

Rama congratulates Albanians on Independence Day of Kosovo (ADN)

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