- Thaci: We won’t accept new conditions for visa liberalization (media)
- Haradinaj: Sovereignty cannot be given to unclear dialogue process (Klan)
- French-German delegation to visit Kosovo today (RTK)
- Thaci vs. Thaci (Zeri)
- Serbia to raise police operation in north Kosovo at Security Council (Express)
- Kosovo MFA wants international probe into UNMIK’s Russian official (Express)
- Security situation discussed in Veseli-COMKFOR meeting (media)
- Veseli: Tribunal for Serbian genocide in Kosovo, necessary (Epoka)
- Pacolli criticizes EU: UEFA more principled toward Kosovo than you (RTK)
- Philips: Serbia must recognize Kosovo (RTK)
- Mustafa: Government will fall, coalition with VV not ruled out (EO/Zeri)
- NATO SG: Russia always tried to interfere in EU and NATO internal processes
- Kosovo’s economy in regress (Koha)
Thaci: We won’t accept new conditions for visa liberalization (media)
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci told reporters after a security forum in Montenegro on Saturday that, Kosovo has met all the requirements in the visa liberalization process and that it will not accept any new conditions. Thaci said all agreements reached in the EU-facilitated dialogue in Brussels must be respected and implemented in line with the Constitution of Kosovo, “but not with aspirations that can threaten the functioning of the state of Kosovo and its territorial integrity”. “Kosovo has met all the requirements in the areas of the economy, police and legislation. Visa liberalization will happen, and we will not accept any new conditions. We will not agree to lift the tariff or form the Association [of Serb-majority municipalities] in exchange for visa liberalization. Kosovo does however stand behind the agreements reached in Brussels and their implementation,” Thaci said.
Haradinaj: Sovereignty cannot be given to unclear dialogue process (Klan)
Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Sunday that Kosovo’s sovereignty should not be part of an unclear dialogue process with Serbia. “To give something from our sovereignty to become an EU member is normal because many states have done such a thing. However, to give sovereignty to a process such as dialogue with Serbia, which is unclear and undefined, was a wrong logic of ours and some of our international partners,” Haradinaj said.
French-German delegation to visit Kosovo today (RTK)
A French-German delegation will visit Kosovo today. The delegation will be comprised by officials in charge for the region at the foreign ministries of France and Germany, who as it appears, will come to discuss with Kosovo leaders the Paris Summit, reports RTK.
The national broadcaster has learned that Alexandre Adam, deputy adviser to the French Presidency, Thomas Bertin, head of the mission for Balkans at French Foreign Ministry as well as Ambassadors Didier Chabert and Carole Blestel-Feffer, will be part of the French delegation.
While Mathhias Luttenberg, head of the division for bilateral relations with the Middle East and Southern Europe, Christian Hellbach, Special Director for South-East Europe and Turkey at the German Foreign Ministry as well as German Ambassador Christian Heldt. Will be part of the German delegations.
The delegation will initially meet President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, at early hours, to proceed later with Assembly President Kadri Veseli and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj as well as dialogue team.
Thaci vs. Thaci (Zeri)
The paper reports on the front page that it took President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci six years to come out against the Association/Community of Serb-majority municipalities which he had signed himself in Brussels and six months for him to express support for the 100 percent import tariff on Serbian goods, which he originally opposed.
The paper writes that apart from being criticised for lack of consistency, Thaci is also facing challenges in gaining support for his border correction idea. This however has not prevented him from launching another idea, also affecting current borders, that of Kosovo uniting with Albania.
“There will be no autonomy and there will be no association because that would imply a Serbian republic inside Kosovo. Yes, it is true I agreed earlier to such a thing but the circumstances have changed,” Thaci said recently at a conference in Pristina. As for the tax, he said: “I have supported the tax since the beginning. The tax is and will remain in force.”
Political analyst Belul Beqaj said that frequent changes of opinions on the part of politicians speaks about their need for personal gains. “The aura of Kosovo’s political leadership has been degraded by them in the first place but the image of the state does not depend on the country’s head of state. The problem is that those called to represent the state are causing increasing embarrassment to us,” Beqaj said.
Serbia to raise police operation in north Kosovo at Security Council (Express)
Serbia is expected to request that the meeting of the UN Security Council, scheduled for 10 June, discuss the Kosovo Police operation in the north as well as the arrest of two UNMIK officials, Vecernje Novosti reported. Serbia is also expected to speak about recent President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci’s statement against the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities and that of Kosovo joining Albania.
Kosovo MFA requests international probe into UNMIK’s Russian official (Express)
Express reported that Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a letter to the UN and other countries calling for a full international and independent investigation into the role of Mikhail Krasnoschenkov, Russian member of UNMIK, during the Kosovo Police operation on 28 May.
The letter also explains why Krasnoschenkov was arrested and though later released, declared persona non grata. “All persons arrested were treated in line with standard legal procedures by respecting their rights and liberties, guaranteed by law,” the letter which Express claims to have secured reads.
“Mr. Krasnoschenkov used an official vehicle of the United Nations with UNMIK plates to put up a roadblock to prevent the Kosovo Police from carrying out its mission,” the letter continues.
“We expect the United Nations to launch a thorough, independent and professional investigation into the involvement of its staff in what was primarily a damage for the image of the United Nations in Kosovo and not only. The Government of Kosovo is ready to cooperate closely with such an investigation of the United Nations and will provide all information and evidence to the United Nations in New York,” the Ministry said.
Security situation discussed in Veseli-COMKFOR meeting (media)
Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli met over the weekend the KFOR Commander, Major General Lorenzo D’Addario whom he thanked for KFOR’s cooperation and continued engagement in Kosovo. The two discussed the recent political developments, in particular those relating to security. “KFOR is our most trusted partner in this direction and we jointly pledged to coordinate all our actions aimed at increasing security and stability of our country,” Veseli wrote on Facebook.
Veseli: Tribunal for Serbian genocide in Kosovo, necessary (Epoka)
Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli appealed for unity on establishment of “the tribunal for Serbian genocide in Kosovo”. “I have not undertaken the initiative for the tribunal only about the right of our nation. Let us not allow our blood to be violated and let us prevent it from happening again the future. It is very difficult when we remember the sacrifices,” Veseli said on Sunday, at a meeting with the youth structures of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). He invited all parliamentary entities to support the initiative and not make political calculations. “The Tribunal is not a matter of revenge but a matter of our right, while punishment of criminals will open way to new era,” he said.
Pacolli criticizes EU: In relation to Kosovo, UEFA more principled than you (RTK)
Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli has made a comparison between the European Union and UEFA in relation to Kosovo. “Good to see UEFA having a more principled and clear policy on Kosovo than EU. All UEFA countries “obliged” to accept playing Kosovo,” Pacolli wrote on his Twitter account, tagging EU High Representative Frederica Mogherini and Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn.
Philips: Serbia must recognize Kosovo (RTK)
David L. Phillips, director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, is quoted as saying in RTK that the United States don’t have a clear position on the idea of a possible land-swap between Kosovo and Serbia. According to Phillips, certain individuals in the U.S. National Security Council support Kosovo’s partition, while others, including members of the U.S. Congress, are against initiatives for border changes. He further argued that the land-swap idea is bad because it does not imply Kosovo’s automatic membership in the United Nations. “Serbia must recognize Kosovo in its current borders. The tariffs will be lifted, and Serbia will get a quicker path toward EU membership, because it will meet the requirements of Chapter 35,” Phillips added.
Mustafa: Government will fall, coalition with VV not ruled out (EO/Zeri)
Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Isa Mustafa, said the government of Kosovo led by Ramush Haradinaj has no legitimacy and continues to face scandals.
In an interview with Ekonomia Online, Mustafa said the government needs to fall as soon as possible as it is uncapable of pushing forward any major process, be it visa liberalisation, dialogue, recognition or EU integration. For this reason, LDK is working together with other opposition parties to undertake a motion of no-confidence against the government.
“We are working with Vetevendosje and the Social Democratic Party and also with other ruling parties to convince them that Kosovo does not benefit from such a governance. With regards to Vetevendosje, it is determined to dismiss the government through a no-confidence motion. As for PSD, I spoke to its leader. They are ready to head to elections but normally have some views which for them may be reasonable. I think we can find common language but nevertheless we need to make efforts to get the support of ruling parties’ MPs,” Mustafa said.
Mustafa did not rule out the possibility of a pre-election coalition with Vetevendosje, if early elections are called. “We have to see how the situation develops. If others get together, then we know beforehand that we will not be able to win over two-three parties joined together and in this aspect, we as LDK will consider the option of joining a coalition,” he added.
NATO SG: Russia has always tried to interfere in EU and NATO internal processes
Several media report that during his visit to Tirana on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia has always tried to interfere in EU and NATO internal processes. “I call on all political stakeholders to engage in dialogue. We have seen Russia’s attempts to interfere in our processes and in NATO member states,” Stoltenberg told reporters after meeting Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. Rama said Russia doesn’t have a friendly approach toward NATO, EU and integration processes. He added that strikes by opposition parties are also detrimental to Albania.
Kosovo’s economy in regress (Koha)
In its leading front-page story, the paper reports on the European Commission’s latest Progress Report on Kosovo, focusing on setbacks in the area of economic development. According to the report, the growth of informal economy, initiatives for salaries of public servants and social transfers for special groups are creating fiscal threats and have a negative impact on macro-economic stability. The EC notes that this situation has obstructed the growth of the private sector in Kosovo. The report also highlights the high level of corruption and the poor rule of law. The Kosovo government meanwhile has downplayed the findings of the progress report, whereas opposition parties argue that the only way out of the current situation is the downfall of the current government.