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Belgrade Media Report 09 May 2019

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Thursday 09 May 2019

LOCAL PRESS

• Western ambassadors urge Vucic to “exercise restraint” (Tanjug)
• Vucic: We can count on Italy (RTS)
• Mogherini: There is no conspiracy to divide Kosovo (Beta)
• Dacic about Thaci and Rami: The pinnacle of insolence! (RTS)
• Vucic from Tirana: Albanians say impossible things, they made Europe got used to it (Novosti online)
• Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to continue after tax abolition (RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Panel of leaders of Western Balkans marks beginning of second day of 2019 Annual Meeting and Business Forum of EBRD (TV1)
• HR Inzko submits report on B&H to UN SC, he calls on leaders to overcome differences and form authorities (TV1)
• Palmer meets members of Presidency: US remains committed partner to B&H in process of meeting conditions for Euro-Atlantic integration (BN TV)
• Summit of Brdo-Brijuni Process starts in Tirana (RTRS)
Montenegro
• Djukanovic: EU must accept Balkans; otherwise, Russia and China will take it over (CDM)
• Five years prison sentence for Mandic and Knezevic (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Zaev-Palmer meeting: Elections proved that the country is a mature democracy (Nezavisen vesnik)
• Plenkovic: We will do our best North Macedonia to open accession talks in June (Nezavisen vesnik)
• Interpol refuses to issue international arrest warrant for Gruevski (Nezavisen vesnik)
Albania
• Albania and Kosovo to fully ‘open borders’ (ADN)
• Opening of Accession Talks, Mogherini expects a positive response (ADN)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Western ambassadors urge Vucic to “exercise restraint” (Tanjug)

President Aleksandar Vucic met on Wednesday with ambassadors of the so-called “Quint” – US, Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, and of the EU Delegation. Vucic told them that Serbia is in a difficult position through no fault of its own, and that he “does not understand neither the introduction of taxes, nor the adoption by Pristina of new resolutions against Serbia and the Serb people.” In a conversation that was open, constructive and comprehensive, Vucic spoke with the ambassadors about a meeting in Berlin last week dedicated to the Western Balkans, his meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, as well as the stalled the dialogue with Pristina, the president’s press service said. The ambassadors called on Vucic to exercise restraint and continue with serious and responsible resolution of problems in the region towards full stabilization of the political situation. Vucic said Serbia would act rationally and seriously and resume the EU-facilitated dialogue with the Kosovo-Metohija Albanians as soon as Pristina revoked the taxes. The conversation also touched on the rule of law and the media strategy, the press release said

 

Vucic: We can count on Italy (RTS)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Wednesday in Rome with Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who promised the full support of his country to Serbia’s efforts to join the European Union, RTS reported. “You can count on Italy, you can count on me personally. You have huge support for the European road and we will request Serbia’s quick accession to EU”. What I said was quoting of Salvini’s statement, Vucic said to Serbian reporters after the meeting. Salvini said that Serbia had “huge support” of Rome and that Italy “would request Serbia’s quick accession in EU” Vucic said. Salvini said he would advocate this at every place and without waiting for the election for the European Parliament to be over, i.e. for formation of the new setup of the European Council and European Commission, Vucic continued. “I think we can count on Italy as a sincere friend and on Salvini as a friend of our country”, he concluded. Vucic also said that he told Salvini when stands against expansion came from the Union, this had negative effect on the spirit of the citizens of Serbia.

“After these messages, our people feel sunken and react the opposite of what Europe would like to see. And then some people wonder why the EU popularity is not at the level they would like it to be. I asked for the clearer support for Serbia to be seen and I said that the citizens of Serbia, as loyal people, would show this kind of loyalty to EU in the best possible way” Vucic said. He also said he invited Salvini to visit Belgrade. “I have met many successful statesmen, but his has extraordinary energy that is rarely seen. I invited him to come to Belgrade soon and I expect that when the European election is over, we should set the agenda of the meeting and he would come to Belgrade so that we could welcome him better” Vucic said. He also said he believed that Salvini was pleased with the talks. “I think we got into the essence of the matters of what the interests of Italy were, but also what the interests of Serbia could be and let us try to make an allied network of countries that would like to help us really join EU” he said.

 

Late on Wednesday Vucic traveled from Rome to Tirana, where on Thursday he would take part in the summit of the Brdo Brijuni Process. By the end of the day, he should meet with EU high representative Federica Mogherini. Radical Kosovo movement Self-determination (Vetevendosje) on Wednesday evening held protests in Tirana because of the arrival of Vucic and the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik to the summit, but Serbian President said, he was not interested in it. “I am used to rallies. I had protesters today on three sides. The fact that [the leader Self-Determination] Albin Kurti would protest, does not serve me well, I am not fascinated by the fact he would organize some protests. I would have been fascinated if he achieved some results” Vucic said in Rome.

 

Mogherini: There is no conspiracy to divide Kosovo (Beta)

There is no conspiracy to divide Kosovo and as soon as the authorities in Pristina abolish the 100-percent import fees on Serbian goods, the dialogue will resume, the European Union’s high representative for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, stated in Tirana on May 8. We are not part of any conspiracy, but only mediate in the creation of an atmosphere and space for both sides to sit at the table, Mogherini said at a news conference within the summit of the Brdo-Brioni process. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama concurred with Mogherini, saying that it was “a lie” that the EU and others, including Tirana, were forging a conspiracy to divide Kosovo, which Kosovo Premier Ramush Haradinaj suggested in Pristina earlier.

 

Mogherini said the EU and international partners wanted Pristina to abolish the import fees, the introduction of which in November last year, she stressed, halted the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Mogherini pointed out that the responsibility for that now lied on the decision-makers in Kosovo, and that the creation of conditions for resuming the dialogue would stop the campaigns for recognizing or not recognizing Kosovo.

 

Asked whether the recent meeting of the leaders of Germany, France and Western Balkan countries had failed, Mogherini said that last week’s talks yielded tangible results for Belgrade and Pristina, as well as for the region, but that negotiations during the past few months were tough. Our goal was to reach a mutually accepted legally binding agreement that would encompass all forms of the full normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, Mogherini said.

 

Dacic about Thaci and Rami: The pinnacle of insolence! (RTS)

The meeting of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Hashim Thaci in Tirana is pinnacle of insolence of Albanian politicians, said Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. Dacic characterized the meeting of Rama and Thaci as such, because the topic of the meeting was the national unification of Albanians, as well as the elimination of the borders between Albania and Kosovo and the merger of three municipalities from southern Serbia to Kosovo.

Dacic said that Serbia is “a small, but not a stupid country.” He added that while Belgrade talks about compromise and dialogue, Pristina and Tirana are looking for ways to create Greater Albania – an expansionist nationalist project at the expense of Albanians’ neighbors – and do it under the table. Dacic told RTS that a meeting between Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Wednesday in Tirana about “national unification” deserves a strong response.

“It’s no longer Serbia that’s talking about Greater Albania – it’s Thaci and Rama, this means spitting in the face of the entire EU, of everyone who is persuading Serbia that we have to be constructive and calm. We’re sitting at the table, while under the table, they’re arranging for the creation of Greater Albania,” said the head of Serbian diplomacy.

 

The meeting between Rama and Thaci, he said, represents the pinnacle of insolence of Albanian politicians, because during a summit Brdo-Brijuni, held in Tirana where regional cooperation is spoken about – they talk about correcting so-called “historical injustices.”  According to him, the question now arises whether Serbia should be taking part in gatherings such as the current one in Tirana, “because behind our back, the idea of Greater Albania is being pushed forward.”

“It seems the principle of the inviolability of borders is abandoned when somebody needs to attack Serbia and strike at it,” Dacic noted, asking what it would be like if Vucic and Milorad Dodik met to talk about unification of Serbs. The head of Serbian diplomacy pointed out it’s not about opening Pandora’s box now, because it was opened already by those recognizing Kosovo itself and violating the principle of the inviolability of borders.

“This is a promotion of Greater Albania that nobody is reacting to. Where are those who criticized Serbia for some idea of delimitation? They said there would be no change of borders – where were they yesterday?” Dacic asked. Serbia now has no secret plans – only this public one: not to recognize the unilateral declaration of Kosovo (independence), he said.  “This is our public plan and there is no way they could exert pressure, there is not a single Serb who will sign that. In conditions of general madness, sane people look crazy” the foreign minister said.

 

Vucic from Tirana: Albanians say impossible things, they made Europe got used to it (Novosti online)

Albanians have managed to normalize, through everyday repetition, the notion of “national unification” and nobody’s reacting anymore, says Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. “They are saying impossible things and have accustomed the whole Europe to that” the Serbian president said in Tirana after his meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini late on Wednesday. Vucic said he expressed his dissatisfaction to Mogherini over “the strange developments between Tirana and Pristina, like the story of national unification by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.”

“There is no immediate danger to us from this, they are doing it because of internal reasons, but they are also creating a new normality out of this, that this is nothing terrible – but it’s terrible that I said that we will not recognize Kosovo and Metohija” said Vucic, and recalled that this was and remains our policy, and that he had said it numerous times before.  He added that if he were to speak about Serb national unification, “15 EU services and at least 15 foreign ministers would react.”

 

When reporters remarked that Rama and Thaci’s “national unification” talk yesterday also touched on annexing three municipalities in the south of central Serbia to so-called “Kosovo” – Vucic ironically replied, “Only three?”  He then said that nothing would come out of that – and reiterated that with such rhetoric, Albanians are “establishing a new normality.” Nobody has reacted to this, he said, nor was it referred to in the conversation with Mogherini. “Federica’s not in favor of that, but nobody said anything” Vucic said. “They are saying impossible things and have accustomed the whole Europe” – and Serbia will, he says, “have it in mind, but the most important thing is that it behaves responsibly and in a balanced way, because in that way it can count on greater understanding.”

 

Vucic said he would tell Albanian President Ilir Meta, and Thaci himself – whom he will see during the Brdo-Brijuni gathering – what he thinks about the discussion between Rama and Thaci – but doubts that he will be able to explain to them how bad, dangerous and devastating it is for the region. “It seems, however, that Albanians do not want to hear even those who are much more important and more acceptable to them than me,” he observed.

 

Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to continue after tax abolition (RTS)

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer spoke on Wednesday in Sarajevo. The conversation was about the current situation in Kosovo and Metohija, tariffs and the possibilities for the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, the Serbian government announced. After the meeting, Brnabic said that she thanked Palmer for the fact that the United States has unambiguously and directly condemned the introduction of tariffs on Serbian goods by Pristina and urged it to abolish them.  In many things, the United States reacted even more resolutely and stricter than Brussels and took certain measures against Pristina. We still have different views on what the future of the dialogue and relations between Belgrade and Pristina should look like, but it is always good that we discuss that subject, she said.  The prime minister said that she conveyed to Palmer the clear position of Serbia and that is that Pristina must abolish tariffs so that the dialogue with Belgrade could be continued and emphasized that for us that it a red line that we cannot cross.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

Panel of leaders of Western Balkans marks beginning of second day of 2019 Annual Meeting and Business Forum of EBRD (TV1)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 2019 Annual Meeting and Business Forum was officially opened in Sarajevo on Tuesday. Focus of the second day was the panel discussion of the Western Balkans leaders. This year’s theme of the forum is ‘Connecting Economies for Stronger Growth’. The event focuses on ways to connect economies for strong growth and impact, both in the Western Balkans and beyond. Around 40 panel discussions will address a variety of themes and major trends, from boosting small business to the effects of migration on labor markets, the opportunities and pitfalls of tourism and the ways to connect the local and regional to the global economy. EBRD conference on Wednesday kicked off with a meeting of prime ministers and presidents of countries of the Western Balkans. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic arrived in Sarajevo to take part in this conference. Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Council of Ministers (CoM) Denis Zvizdic represented B&H at the meeting of leaders. Even though invited, the Kosovo delegation refused to come, as Kosovo President Hashim Thaci explained on Tuesday evening that “bilateral relations between Kosovo and B&H are at its lowest point”.

 

The joint message sent by the leaders was that they support efficient cooperation and helping each other on their paths towards the EU. Talking about key issues, they emphasized that unemployment is an issue all these countries deal with, which is why the authorities must work on stopping the departure of young people from their countries Serbian PM Brnabic said the economies of the Western Balkans countries must work on strengthening their connectivity and cooperation, thus showing the right path to political leaders. “The Western Balkans region has huge potentials, much bigger potentials than we are currently utilizing, so these type of meetings, where we talk about our issues and communicate with our partners, like the EBRD or the World Bank (WB), is a good, maybe the best way for us to change the overall perception and see how we can utilize all our potentials”, Brnabic underlined. The ‘Europeanisation’ of the Western Balkans has no alternative but it is easier said than done, Balkan leaders agreed during a panel. The problem is, Albanian PM Rama noted, that while the region is trying to adopt EU standards, the EU itself is being ‘Balkanized.’ “It is clear that if we want to work regionally, we need free trade in a single market, and the efforts invested in that direction taught us that it is easier said than done,” he said, explaining that the problems with that usually lie in details.  Zaev stressed that resolving of political problems is a precondition for progress of economy in the region. Djukanovic stated that it is necessary to work on the EU accession of the Western Balkans countries. He underlined that the EU needs to make a clear plan regarding the EU accession of these countries.

 

HR Inzko submits report on B&H to UN SC, he calls on leaders to overcome differences and form authorities (TV1)

High Representative (HR) Valentin Inzko submitted to the UN Security Council (UN SC) in New York on Wednesday a regular report on peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). According to TV1, the report put focus on failure to form executive authorities at the levels of the Federation of B&H and B&H, as well as failure to respect court decisions and arming of police in the entities. The reporter noted that HR Inzko characterized formation of a reserve police unit within the Repubika Srpska (RS) Ministry of Interior (MoI) as especially dangerous, which some people observed as establishment of armed forces of the RS. Inzko also mentioned purchase of automatic rifles for the police in the RS. HR Inzko stated: “BiH needs less weapons and less people in police uniforms. Not more. We must do everything in our power to prevent race in armaments of police. Instead of this, authorities at all levels of power should work for better cooperation due to maximum public safety and establishment of a safe environment for citizens”.

 

Inzko also mentioned denial of the genocide in Srebrenica and statehood of B&H, as well as calls for secession coming from officials of the RS. Inzko criticized a decision of the Croat People’s Council (HNS) on rejecting The Hague Tribunal’s verdicts to Croat leaders, as well as the initiative of SDA on changing of the name of the RS, which led to further secession announcements. Speaking about formation of authorities, HR Inzko stated that things stuck due to disagreements about changes to the B&H Election Law and the NATO path of B&H. Inzko stressed that he cannot rule instead of elected leaders in B&H and called on the leaders to overcome differences and form authorities.

 

Palmer meets members of Presidency: US remains committed partner to B&H in process of meeting conditions for Euro-Atlantic integration (BN TV)

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer met in Sarajevo on Wednesday with members of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency Milorad Dodik, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic. Collocutors discussed bilateral cooperation between the US and B&H, current political and economic situation in B&H and the EU path of B&H. Palmer reiterated that the US remains committed partner to B&H concerning implementation of reforms and fulfilling of conditions for progress in process of Euro-Atlantic integration. Members of the Presidency of B&H underlined that the EU future of B&H is not questionable and that economic reforms, growth and fight against corruption should be in focus of authorities in B&H in upcoming period. The Presidency members informed Palmer about the current position and progress made in negotiations about the adoption of B&H’s Annual National Program (ANP), which is one of the preconditions for activation of the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for NATO accession.

 

Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) Denis Zvizdic also met with Palmer. Zvizdic and Palmer discussed the current political situation in B&H and the region. Zvizdic said that Euro-Atlantic integration remains the main foreign policy priority of B&H, adding that within B&H one is working on comprehensive reforms in order to create favorable business environment, attract investments, create new jobs and accelerate economic development. Zvizdic informed Palmer that the B&H institutions met all conditions of the European Commission (EC) for obtaining candidate status, expressing expectation that the EC will grant B&H candidate status by the end of this year which would mark a new phase in relations between B&H and the EU.

 

Palmer met with Republika Srpska (RS) President Zeljka Cvijanovic. Cvijanovic told Palmer that the RS is committed to consistent compliance with the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). Cvijanovic also stressed that it is high time to form a new convocation of the B&H CoM. “I expressed regret over the fact that new government in the Federation of B&H is yet to be formed and we are yet to get a new B&H CoM because there are certain processes that are simply mutually conditioned and which mean that we have to cooperate in those fields in a more active way,” Cvijanovic underlined. Cvijanovic stressed that the issue of formation of reserve police force in the RS was very problematized in the Federation of B&H. “Of course, I explained that our only goal in all of that is to enhance and increase security of our citizens and our property in the RS and that we have no intention of taking away competences from anyone” Cvijanovic stressed.

 

Summit of Brdo-Brijuni Process starts in Tirana (RTRS)

The Brdo-Brijuni Process summit began in Tirana, Albania, on Wednesday. Participants of the summit include Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik, Bosniak member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. Hosts of the two-day summit are Presidents of Croatia and Slovenia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Borut Pahor, together with Albanian President Ilir Meta.

 

Immediately after arriving to Tirana, B&H delegation, headed by Dodik, held bilateral meetings. Namely, B&H representatives met with Meta, assessing that there are no unresolved, open issues between B&H and Albania. Ahead of the meeting with Meta, Dodik told the media that it is very good that the Brdo-Brijuni Process summit is taking place. “It already yielded serious results and it needs to define some new policies, new approaches. What Slovenian President, Mr. (Borut) Pahor, already advocated in previous weeks is related to finding a way in which the EU would accept and we would be ready to speed up the path towards EU integration, insisting that this should be geopolitical and not a technical issue. In that regard, I believe that talks at this summit will be held in the framework of that,” Dodik said.

 

Members of the B&H Presidency were also scheduled to meet with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. According to RTRS, one of the topics of the meeting between B&H Presidency members and Mogherini was supposed to be the delay in the process of formation of the authorities in B&H and how that delay is hindering the fulfillment of conditions that B&H recently took over in Brussels. “As far as Mrs. Mogherini is concerned, those are issues of EU integration of B&H, fact that collective Presidency was in Brussels and that we had certain agreements there. Unfortunately, I cannot say that we fulfilled that. One wide, open possibility for the EU to provide an opinion by the end of May for B&H in regard to its further joining of the EU has been jeopardized by the fact that we did not fulfill the part of the agreement we made with the EU leadership, which is primarily related to formation of the authorities” Dodik told the media ahead of the meeting with Mogherini.

 

‘Self-Determination Movement’ organized protest on Wednesday due to attendance of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Chairman of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik to the Summit. Participants of protest were carrying banners reading that Vucic and Dodik are not welcome as well as flag of terrorist Liberation Army of Kosovo. Protest escalated into conflicts with police. The protesters attempted to reach the building in which meeting between Dodik and Meta was taking place. However, police prevented them from reaching the building, arresting several violent protesters. Commenting on the protest, Dodik said: “People have the right to hold protests. As you can see, I am here.” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said that both Dodik and Vucic are welcome in Tirana.

 

Montenegro

 

Djukanovic: EU must accept Balkans; otherwise, Russia and China will take it over (CDM)

European Union must integrate Western Balkans as quickly as possible if it wants to preserve its future and protect region from Russian and Chinese influence, said Wednesday, President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic. “Through politics and Beijing, Moscow aims to prevent NATO and EU enlargement” said Djukanovic. That means that the region should be the zone of responsibility of the EU and its strategic interests. Governments of Serbia and Montenegro faced this year a wave of protests due to the alleged corruption and abuse of official position. Meanwhile, the EU is reducing funds for the WB countries, together with the World Bank and other western money lenders, leaving the gap to be filled by China.

 

“Third parties, such as Russia and China, are gaining advantage thanks to lack of concrete activities of the EU” said Djukanovic. Chinese loan for the first phase of the highway has had an impact on the huge increase of debt of Montenegro and forced the Government to increase taxes and partially freeze salaries in the public sector. “Why European financial institutions fail to offer the same conditions” said Djukanovic, defending the cooperation with China. He said that reforms he had been carrying out had provoked protests, but foreign forces also played their role. “Politics of nationalism has been defeated but not completely destroyed. Some are trying to revive it, and just can’t accept the fact that our place is in the EU” said Djukanovic.

 

Five years prison sentence for Mandic and Knezevic (CDM)

Democratic Party leaders Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic were sentenced to five years in prison by the decision of Judge Susana Mugosa, who found guilty all accused in case of terrorism attempts on the day of parliamentary elections in Montenegro in October 2016.

Mugosa said that Eduardo Shishmakov was sentenced to 15 years in prison and Vladimir Popov 12. Bratislav Dikic was sentenced to eight years in prison. The Accused Nemanja Ristic and Predrag Bogicevic were sentenced to seven years in prison. Dragan Maksic was sentenced to imprisonment of one year and nine months. The imprisonment sentence for a year and a half was given to Srboljub Djordjevic, Milan Dusic, and DF driver Mihailo Chedenovic. Branka Milic was sentenced to three years in prison. Kristina Kristic was sentenced to one year in prison.

Mugosa said that the aim of the criminal organization was to scare citizens, violate the constitutional structure of Montenegro, and prevent the entry of our country into the NATO alliance. As the judge said, members of the organization were accountable and aware of their deeds and wanted to execute them, knowing that it was illegal.

 

Republic of North Macedonia

 

Zaev-Palmer meeting: Elections proved that the country is a mature democracy (Nezavisen vesnik)

The successful conduct of presidential elections shows that the country is moving in the right direction and facilitate efforts to get a date for opening EU accession negotiations, Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs told PM Zoran Zaev at meeting held ahead of 2019 EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Sarajevo. They underlined the excellent cooperation between the Republic of North Macedonia and United States, with Zaev expressing gratitude for the continuous US support to country’s NATO and EU membership, government press service told Wednesday. “Democratic, fair and crystal-clear elections have confirmed that our country is becoming a mature democracy, and citizens supported to the concept of one society for all. We have shown as a country that we have the capacity to solve the difficult issues, and now we are focused on the future and economic progress of the country. Positive effects and encouragement for new investments are already felt by ratifications of the North Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol. For us, it is very important EU to give us a date for opening EU accession negotiations in June in order to realize the European dream of many generations,” Zaev said. Palmer pointed out the importance of our country getting a date for opening EU accession negotiations, especially because of the fact that North Macedonia showed that it is an example in the region by signing and implementing the Prespa Agreement and with the reform processes.

 

Plenkovic: We will do our best North Macedonia to open accession talks in June (Nezavisen vesnik)

Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said that Croatia will do its best to support North Macedonia to get a date for opening accession negotiations in June.

He also said that EU enlargement would be high on the agenda when his country is to take over the rotating EU Presidency next year. “All our friends in what is now North Macedonia are fully aware how much we supported their European path” PM Plenkovic said. “It should be noted for those who are not familiar with details that Macedonia concluded the Stabilization and Association agreement even before Croatia, they actually initialed the SAA on the margins of the Zagreb summit 19 years ago, if there’s a country that understands the mood and is firmly convinced that after the agreement between Greece and Macedonia and to change the name they deserve a step forward it’s Croatia” said Plenkovic. “We will do our best to support this direction, but first we will see what the Commission will recommend in the reports at the end of May” said PM Plenkovic.

 

Interpol refuses to issue international arrest warrant for Gruevski (Nezavisen vesnik)

Head of Public Prosecutor’s Office for organized crime and corruption Vilma Ruskoska says that the Interpol refuses to issue an international arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who was granted asylum in Hungary. Concerning case related to organizers of the violent storming of Parliament on 27 April 2017, she requested from the police to issue a domestic and international warrant. North Macedonia Interpol says that Interpol refuses to issue an arrest warrant without giving any explanations, Prosecutor Ruskoska says ahead of the conference on progress in fight against organized crime and corruption. Interpol does not want to issue an international arrest warrant for the former UBK official Nikola Boshkoski, who fled to Greece. “The requests for five other defendants in the previous case, Interpol issued the arrest warrants. But they declined to issue arrests warrants for Gruevski and Boshoski although it refers to the same crime” said Ruskoska. She does not know why Interpol does not issue the arrest warrants, although the request was submitted more than two months ago. For the remaining defendants for organizers of the violent storming of the Parliament on April 27, 2017, Ruskoska said that together with their lawyers are reviewing the evidence, after which she intends to complete the investigation.

 

Albania

 

Albania and Kosovo to fully ‘open borders’ (ADN)

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, was received this Wednesday by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama. During the meeting, the main topic of the discussion was the necessity of the full opening of the Kosovo-Albania border and the creation of an Albanian space without borders, under the Euro-Atlantic umbrella.

“I had a meeting with Prime Minister Edi Rama. At this meeting we raised the need to correct historical injustices by joining the Albanian factor about sensitizing the right to unite Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovc with the territory of the Republic of Kosovo” said Thaci.

 

Opening of Accession Talks, Mogherini expects a positive response (ADN)

The EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, stated on Wednesday during the joint press conference held with Prime Minister Edi Rama, that a positive response is expected in June for Albania’s opening of the accession talks. According to her, she would be disappointed if positive decision was not taken. “I think I was very clear. It is not only in the interest of Albania, but also in the EU interest to open negotiations with Albania. Last year we had a positive recommendation. For me it would be a great disappointment if this decision was not taken now. It is not a simple job and should not be taken for granted, but I will support all positive results,” said Mogherini.

 

 

 

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