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Belgrade Media Report 17 March

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LOCAL PRESS

Vucic: Eyes of Serbia are looking to China now (Beta)
Brnabic: Possibility of introducing more drastic measures not excluded (TV Pink/Tanjug)
New government measures to combat COVID-19 virus (Tanjug/Beta)
Government of Serbia passed the Decree: Constitution guaranteed rights restricted (Tanjug/B92)
Dacic: Lavrov’s visit to Serbia postponed; assistance from Russia in fight against coronavirus (Tanjug/Beta)
WHO supports Serbia in fight against coronavirus (Tanjug)
Joksimovic asks EC to redirect IPA funds for fight against coronavirus (Tanjug)
Sixteen years since the March pogrom (RTS)
RIK: All election activities cease during state of emergency in Serbia (Beta/FoNet/N1)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

One more COVID-19 case of B&H, raising the number to 26 cases in total; Parliament declared the state of emergency (N1)
B&H Presidency adopts 18 conclusions on measures for fight against coronavirus epidemic in B&H (Hayat)
RS government declares emergency situation for territory of RS (ATV)
All citizens of B&H who enter country will be sent to self-isolation to prevent coronavirus outbreak (N1)
Izetbegovic: Drastic measures against coronavirus are necessary in order to stop epidemic (Hayat)
Serbia and Montenegro close down border crossings towards B&H (Hayat)
Croatia

Croatia confirms nine more coronavirus patients, announces new measures (Hina)
Croatian army activities reduced to minimum (Hina)
Von der Leyen proposes ban to entrance to EU for citizens of all non-EU countries (HRT)
Montenegro

Djukanovic: Abiding by recommendations, we protect ourselves, our families and our country (CDM)
Government outlines new measures to prevent coronavirus outbreak (CDM)
Getting to grips with the coronavirus (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia

North Macedonia closes borders, Skopje Airport amid coronavirus outbreak (MIA)
No need to rush into declaring national emergency or crisis situation, says Pendarovski (MIA)
Dimitrov warns citizens against traveling abroad amid COVID-19 pandemic (MIA)
Pendarovski: There should be no problem to postpone April elections (MIA)
Number of coronavirus patients in Republic of North Macedonia rises to 26 after three new cases confirmed (MIA)
Spanish Senate ratifies NATO Accession Protocol (MIA)
Albania

Number of the infected in Albania reach 55 (ADN)
Albania extends emergency measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread (ADN)
Albania bans travels from UK (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

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Belgrade Media Report 16 March 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Monday 16 March 2020

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic introduced state of emergency in Serbia (B92/Tanjug/RTS/Beta)
Brnabic urges citizens to respect emergency measures (TV Prva)
Brnabic: Serbia closes borders due to coronavirus (RTS)
Vucic, Orban discuss cooperation in fighting Covid-19, Dacic meets with Dimitrov (Beta)
Video conference between Vucic and Merkel postponed until tomorrow (RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Federation of B&H declares state of emergency over coronavirus (N1)
Total number of coronavirus infections in RS reaches 20; RS authorities announce new measures to tackle COVID-19 (BHT1)
B&H Presidency reached agreement on deployment of B&H Armed Forces to B&H border (BN TV)
US State Department’s report shows significant human rights issues in B&H in 2019 (BN TV)
B&H Border Police faces new migrant wave with little equipment and low numbers of officers (FTV)
Croatia

Croatia to introduce strict measures to contain coronavirus spread (Hina)
Montenegro

Public Health Institute: Montenegro still coronavirus-free (RTCG)
Republic of North Macedonia

SEC proposes that the elections are postponed (Republika)
Albania

All Albania in lockdown as of Sunday as Coronavirus cases rise (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

Serbia voices solidarity with Iran in fight against coronavirus (Tehran Times)
North Macedonia: Pre-Election Poll Shows Increased Economic Anxiety, Declining Hopes for EU Accession (International Republican Institute)

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Belgrade Media Report 13 March 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Friday 13 March 2020

LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic and Merkel to talk via video call (Beta)
• Vucic on latest measures: Additional pay rise for medical staff, formation of two crisis headquarters (Tanjug/Beta/B92/RTS/RTV)
• Forty-four border crossings temporarily closed due to coronavirus (Tanjug/RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Crisis HQs of Banja Luka limits working hours of restaurants, malls and similar facilities (ATV)
• Crisis HQ of Federation of B&H introduces more restrictive measures over COVID-19 (N1)
• Several border crossings in B&H closed due to coronavirus (FTV)
• B&H HoR replaces two B&H CEC members due to expiration of their mandate, it also extends mandate of two B&H CEC members from the rank of Bosniaks (RTRS)
• Dodik: SDS and PDP betrayed conclusions of RSNA and interests of RS; Reactions of other RS politicians (RTRS)
• Izetbegovic: Decision on replacements in B&H CEC was politically correct, but it had to be harmonized and coordinated with SBB and DF (Fena)
• Kristo: B&H HoR’s decision to replace B&H CEC members is illegal (BHT1)
Croatia
• Croatia reports more cases of coronavirus bringing total to 27 (Hina)
Montenegro
• Institute for Public Health proposes closure of schools and working from home (RTCG)
Republic of North Macedonia
Albania
• Rama: Main cities completely quarantined for 3 days (Radio Tirana)
• Albania temporarily closes border with Kosovo (Radio Tirana)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• EU enlargement needs better strategic communication (EurActiv)

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Latest

Belgrade Media Report 12 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Dacic gives Diplomatic Academy students lecture on Serbian foreign policy priorities (Beta/Politika)
• Serbia, NATO committed to further improving partnership cooperation (Tanjug/Beta/Politika)
• Government passes new measures against coronavirus spread (Tanjug/RTS/RTV/Beta)
• EU wants Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to resume as soon as possible (Tanjug)
• Analyst: Russia’s three steps in preventing international recognition of Kosovo (Beta/Regnum)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• B&H bans entry for foreigners from countries severely affected by COVID-19 (ATV)
• Field: Dayton Agreement is not perfect, but consensus is needed for adoption of changes (Nezavisne novine)
• Croatian Ambassador Sabolic presents program of Croatia’s EU Presidency to delegation of Federation of B&H HoR Commission for European Integration (FTV)
Croatia
• Number of coronavirus cases in Croatia rises to 19 (Hina)
Montenegro
• Djukanovic: There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Montenegro; On negotiations between the government and Metropolitanate, useless to organize talks if nobody was willing to change anything (CDM)
• Markovic: The coronavirus situation is serious, public assemblies will be banned in case virus breaks out in Montenegro (CDM)
• Boskovic: Montenegro is our one and only sanctity (Avangarda)
• Fejzic: Cultural heritage is state-owned everywhere in the world (Pobjeda)
Republic of North Macedonia
• US Department of State releases report on Macedonia: High-level corruption main issue (Republika)
• Spanish Senate closes down due to coronavirus: Vote on Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol postponed (Republika)
• Prohor Pcinjski border crossing closes on Thursday (Republika)
Albania
• Rama imposes tougher preventative measures (Radio Tirana)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Migrants in new clashes on Greek-Turkish border (ANSAMed)
• Migrants on Greek islands to be offered €2,000 to go home (The Guardian)

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Latest

Belgrade Media Report 11 March 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Wednesday 11 March 2020
LOCAL PRESS

• Opening of Embassy in Yerevan an expression of friendship (RTV/Tanjug)
• Dacic: We continue with anti-recognition campaign until deal or compromise (TV Happy/FoNet)
• Dacic urges unconditional abolishment of taxes (Tanjug)
• SNS and opposition cancel all campaign rallies until 1 April over coronavirus (Tanjug/RTS/B92)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• RS government decides to ban public gatherings and close down schools until March 30 (N1)
• Stoltenberg meets Turkovic, Podzic; Podzic: We discussed implementation of B&H Program of Reforms (O kanal)
• Cormack: Different leaders have stood in the way of progress of B&H (Dnevni list)
• Radoncic: If migrant crisis escalates, Dodik should change his stances on engagement of B&H AF in protection of borders (FTV)
• Foreign Ministers of Berlin Process countries meet in Skopje (FTV)
Montenegro
• Djukanovic: WB is closer to European values now than ever (CDM)
• Darmanovic in Skopje: Europe remains committed to the WB (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• SDSM cancels all public party events to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (Republika)
Albania
• COVID-19 Outbreak, US Embassy urges politics to be united (ADN)
• Coronavirus Outbreak: Nurseries, educational institutions, nightclubs gyms and private sector in Albania to close down (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• U.S. Senator Calls On Kosovo To End Tariffs Or Face U.S. Troop Withdrawal (RFE/RL)
• Montenegro Suspends Army Officer for Joining Church Protests (BIRN)

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Belgrade Media Report 10 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: Albanians do not want compromise, Serbs want frozen conflict in Kosovo (TV Kopernikus/Tanjug)
• Brnabic: US policy clear, I would like EU policy to be clearer (Tanjug/RTV)
• Vulin: Тhaci revealed his mission (RTS/Tanjug/Novosti)
• Gojkovic thanks Armenia for not recognizing unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug/RTV)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• B&H Presidency member Dzaferovic meets with US’ Cormack and Nelson, underlines that blockade of institutions of B&H is unacceptable (BHT1/Nezavisne)
• Dodik: When it comes to migrants, this is sort of civilizational occupation of Christian world and not humanitarian story (ATV)
• Cvijanovic: I would support idea to form mixed police and military units of countries of Western Balkans and deploy them on external borders to prevent influx of migrants (N1)
Montenegro
• Markovic: Dialogue to lead to stronger institutions and rule of law (CDM)
• Djukanovic in Lithuania: The right moment for the Western Balkans to be brought back to Europe (CDM)
• Skvernelis: Montenegro and Lithuania face similar challenges and share common values (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Mickoski meets Orban, calls for an EU accession talks date for Macedonia (Republika)
• Zaev’s SDSM party drops the hated adjective “North” ahead of the elections (Republika)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES
• EU leaders meet Erdoğan to resolve fight over refugees (Politico)

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Belgrade Media Report 09 March 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Monday 9 March 2020
LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: Kurti is right (Tanjug/Beta/B92)
• Dacic: Kosovo issue poses greatest political and security challenge (Tanjug/RTS/RTV/Beta)
• Jeremic: Vucic agreed to Kosovo getting a seat in UN (VoA/N1)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Constitutional Court’s decision on Law on Agricultural Land of RS published in Official Gazette of B&H (FTV)
• Dodik: OHR and Constitutional Court of B&H are part of package against RS which aims to undermine constitutional and Dayton position of RS (RTRS)
• PDP not to endorse Proposal of Law on Constitutional Court of B&H prepared by SNSD and HDZ B&H (BN TV)
• Only one Serb minister appointed in new government of Sarajevo Canton; Jelicic goes from Croat to Serb during intermission (RTRS)
• SDA will propose law on Mostar together with SBB and DF (Dnevni avaz)
• Ambassador Sabolic: It is necessary to change Election Law to prevent possibility for one people to elect representatives of other people (Dnevni avaz)
• Dodik: Deployment of members of Armed Forces of B&H to border with Serbia and Montenegro is unacceptable (N1)
Croatia
• Croatia willing to help refugee children on Greek islands (Hina)
Montenegro
• Markovic to Irinej: Scenario of a religious and national state is not acceptable in Montenegro (CDM)
• Government ensures environment for successful negotiation of expert teams (CDM)
• Pazin: Argumentative dialogue can lead to solution (RTCG/VoA)
• Nuhodzic to Patriarch Irinej: There are no signs that conflict might erupt in Montenegro (MINA)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Zaev and Sekerinska to head MP lists (Republika)
• DUI completes candidate lists for MPs in upcoming elections (Alsat-M)
• DPA to run alone at elections (Alsat-M)
• Culev: Macedonia will close the southern border (Republika)
Albania
• Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, CAA open letter to US President Trump (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Erdogan holds Brussels talks as situation on Greek border gets nasty (EurActiv/AFP)

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Belgrade Media Report 06 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Brnabic: No increased migrant pressure on Serbian borders; zero tolerance for persons trying to cross the border illegally (RTS)
• Dacic: Foreign exchange between Serbia, Russia should be increased (Tanjug/Beta)
• Vulin: Serbia is not a colony (RTS/Tanjug/Beta)
• US asks Serbia to stop buying arms from Russia (RFE/N1)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Dodik: B&H Presidency already decided that B&H AF will not be deployed at eastern borders; Komsic: By refusing to engage B&H AF in protection of borders, Dodik takes responsibility for all possible consequences of migrant crisis (RTRS)
• Dodik meets with Ivantsov and Koc respectively, says RS representatives in B&H will not participate in decision-making until disputable decision of B&H CC is withdrawn (RTRS)
Croatia
• Stoltenberg: North Macedonia soon to become member of NATO (Hina)
Montenegro
Markovic forms expert team for the negotiations with the Metropolitanate (CDM)
Amfilohije accepts Markovic’s call for dialogue (CDM)
Pazin: Law on Freedom of Religion obliges everyone to respect legal order of Montenegro (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Sekerinska and Dimitrov will not be holders of candidate lists due to bad ratings (Republika/Vecer)
• Pendarovski-Sobotka: Austria gives unequivocal support to Macedonia’s EU perspective (Republika)
Albania
• Meta publishes letter addressed to Brussel: ‘Demounts’ lie mounded in Commission’s Report (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Dendias: Evidence that border migratory movement is spurred by Turkey (ekathimerini.com)
• Migrants dodge tear gas as Greek-Turkish border crisis deepens (Reuters, by Lefteris Papadimas, Joseph Nasr)

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Belgrade Media Report 05 March 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Thursday 5 March 2020
LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: Us recognizing Kosovo but getting nothing – there will be none of that (RTV/Tanjug)
• Joksimovic: Importance of maintaining open communication with France (Tanjug)
• Patriarch Irinej at the State Department (RTS/Politika)
• SzS announces election boycott at all levels (Beta/Tanjug)
• Popov: Migrant numbers dropping (N1)
• First election list submitted to RIK: SNS collected 50.000 signatures in a few hours (Tanjug/B92)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Mostar: Delegations of SDA, HDZ B&H meet; No progress reached at meeting (BHT1)
• Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says proposed amendments on formation of B&H CC are fully in line with DPA and legal priorities harmonized between B&H citizens (RTRS)
• UK Ambassador Field: UK seriously takes all attacks at legal and constitutional framework of B&H (Dnevni list)
• B&H officials comment on migrant crisis (BHT1)
Croatia
• EU Defense Ministers hold informal meeting in Zagreb (Jutarnji list)
• Borrell: I told Turkish leadership that unilateral actions will bring no solutions; Western Balkans is priority for EU and me personally (Jutarnji list)
• NATO’s Stoltenberg, Ministers of Defense of EU member states meet in Zagreb to discuss new migrant situation (HRT1)
• Zagreb: Plenkovic, Stoltenberg discuss security challenges (HRT1)
Montenegro
• Darmanovic: Hostile propaganda against Montenegro was launched in Belgrade (MINA)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Vucic: Most Serbs Prefer a ‘Frozen Conflict’ with Kosovo (Foreign Policy)

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Latest

Belgrade Media Report 04 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: There is no big plan and agreement for Kosovo (RTS/Tanjug)
• Brnabic: Serbian diplomacy has every right to ask countries to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo (Beta/Politika)
• Vucic slates regular parliamentary elections for 26 April (RTS/Beta)
• Pastor slates provincial elections for 26 April (Beta/Politika)
• Gojkovic slates local elections for 26 April (Tanjug/RTS/Beta)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• New Sarajevo Canton government appointed (FTV)
• Dodik: B&H CC is just called B&H CC, this is occupation court that wants to create new political system (RTRS)
• Muratovic: If OHR fails to act, Chairman of B&H Presidency has right to address UN SC and asks for OHR to secure implementation of DPA (Dnevni avaz)
• Radoncic: My first responsibility is to defend sovereignty of B&H and B&H citizens and then care about migrants (N1)
• Number of migrants in B&H is expected to increase to 10,000 (O Kanal)
• Western Balkan countries should jointly protect borders of Western Balkans (ATV)
Croatia
• Plenkovic: We all stand in solidarity with Greece (Hina)
Montenegro
• Is Montenegro braced for a large wave of migrants? (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Coalition with Besa – the beginning of the end of SDSM? (Republika/Netpress)
• Dimitrov: If there is no decision on negotiations, the EU will send a bad signal to the region (Republika/Slobodna TV)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Serbia Keeps Pressure on Kosovo Despite Western Push for Thaw (Bloomberg News)
• Serbian President Sets Election Date as Boycott Threat Fades (Bloomberg News)

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Belgrade Media Report 03 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Dacic: Sierra Leone withdraws recognition of Kosovo (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)
• Vucic and Thaci met at the White House (VoA/Tanjug/Beta)
• Daily communication between police forces of Serbia, Hungary (RTS/RTV/Tanjug/Beta)
• Lutovac calls DS assembly, suggests that party’s Statutory Commission be disbanded (Beta)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Radoncic says B&H will not be able to deal with 10,000 migrants per day; Comments of B&H Border Police officials (O Kanal/BHT1/Glas Srpske)
• SDA Collegium will discuss issue of audio recording on Tuesday; Sarajlic resigns to all party posts (Al Jazeera Balkans)
• Session of HDZ B&H and HNS Presidencies held; Covic optimistic ahead of meeting with SDA (BHT1)
Montenegro
• Vukovic: Recycling the old matrix will be in vain (Dnevne novine)
Republic of North Macedonia
• European Commission confirms Macedonia should start the EU accession negotiations (Meta)
• Spasovski hopes for a date for negotiations (Republika)
• Foreign Affairs Minister Dimitrov interviewed by Greek daily newspaper To Vima: What is important now is for the accession negotiations to start and the division among the people to be overcome (Meta)
• Macedonia increases the number of border policemen and soldiers in case of a new wave of refugees (Meta)
Albania
• Thousands supports President’s anti-govt protest as Meta calls on people to rise (ADN)
• Rama: EC report shows that we have successfully done our homework on integration, now it’s up to EU countries (Radio Tirana)
• Cakaj: Tripartite initiative Albania-Croatia-Kosovo established to boost relations (Radio Tirana)
• Yuri Kim: EU accession process and the reforms required will make Albania stronger. We hope EU will say “YES” to Albania (Radio Tirana)
• Maas: Germany committed to a speedy start of EU membership negotiations with Albania (Radio Tirana)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• What is in the Commission’s updates on North Macedonia and Albania? (EWB)

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Belgrade Media Report 02 March

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LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic meets with Palmer in the course of US visit (B92)
• Vucic: Grenell is right, it is an attempted hoax (Beta/B92)
• Dacic: Kurti is playing maneuvering games (RTS)
• Joksimovic: Serbia preparing for new wave of migrants (FoNet)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Day of RS and 28 years since adoption of first constitution of RS marked in Belgrade (ATV)
• First session of commission for cooperation of RS parliament and Serbian parliament held in Belgrade (RTRS)
• Sattler: End the blockades, decisions of CC of B&H are final and binding (Vecernji list)
• Attendees of last week’s meeting in Istocno Sarajevo receive letter from EUD, OSCE, US Embassy to B&H (N1)
• SNSD Executive Committee rejects EUD, OSCE and US Embassy’s letter as act of pressure; Dodik deems letter as inappropriate interference in B&H internal matters (FTV)
• Ivantsov: Inzko is obstacle to compromise in B&H (Glas Srpske)
• Izetbegovic: We will fully analyze this scandal and sanction all responsible (BHT1/FTV)
• Radoncic: B&H has very limited capacities to fight against influx of migrants (BHT1)
Montenegro
• Vucic meddled in internal affairs of Montenegro. Again. (CdM)
• Djukanovic: European Convention is an inspiration for Montenegrin society (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Zaev-Miskoski debate (Kanal 5 TV)
• BESA doesn’t see other Albanian parties joining their coalition with SDSM (Republika)
• EC expected to again recommend opening of accession talks with Macedonia and Albania (MIA)
Albania
• Meta promises new lawsuits against majority’s officials (ADN)
• Rama praises Kurti’s decision to lift 100% tax (ADN)

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES

• Serbian president tells ‘Post’ he will buy weapons from Israel (The Jerusalem Post)
• Montenegro’s president accuses Serbia and Russia of undermining independence (Reuters)

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