- Djukanovic criticises EU for failing to grant visa liberalisation for Kosovo (KTV)
- Krasniqi: Veseli’s initiative on Tribunal to be put to voting in Assembly soon (RTK)
- Nobody paying debt for electricity consumed in northern Kosovo (KTV)
- Sejdiu says that Constitutional Court’s decision has turned time back (RTK)
- Peci: Haradinaj should either resign or assume responsibility for dialogue (KTV’s summary of Rubicon show)
Djukanovic criticises EU for failing to grant visa liberalisation for Kosovo
The short-sighted anti-migrant populism in some EU Member Countries has blocked integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU, thus diluting stability of the region, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
He made these comments at the Western Balkans Summit that was held in Sarajevo, where leaders voiced their deep disappointment with the EU for failing to keep its promises for launching accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, which has been opposed by the northern EU states.
Erdogan and other speakers at the Summit criticised the EU for its hesitation to expand the block.
On the other hand, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic called upon other Western Balkans leaders to come up with a clear and joint approach regarding their expectations in relation with the EU.
He said that the EU has failed to lift the visa liberalisation requirements for Kosovo citizens, or to approve opening of the last chapter of the accession process for Montenegro, and it has also delayed approval of the candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Krasniqi: Veseli’s initiative on Tribunal to be put to voting in Assembly soon
The PDK caucus leader Memli Krasniqi has announced that the ad-hoc Committee for Adjustment of Positions regarding establishment of State Committee on establishment of the Tribunal for Serbian genocide in Kosovo, for the Genocide Museum, the Deportation Memorial, and setting Genocide Day, after several meetings concluded its work on Tuesday.
Krasniqi, who chaired the Committee, said that the document would soon be put to voting in the Assembly session. He also proposed the draft decision that has been harmonised with all political parties.
“This Committee, which was established following the initiative of the Kosovo Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli, has made the first step towards our common goal to establishing international justice for victims of the genocide committed by Serbia in Kosovo.”
“The harmonised document is a good ground so that the State Committee for Establishment of the International Tribunal for Genocide and other crimes committed by Serbia in Kosovo is established soon, and do an efficient job in achieving our goal to bring justice to the victims of genocide and other crimes committed by Serbia in Kosovo,” Krasniqi said.
Nobody paying debt for electricity consumed in northern Kosovo
Around 12 million euro a year is the estimation of the total bill of the electricity consumed by the four Serb-majority municipalities in northern Kosovo.
Citizens of the municipalities of Mitrovica/Mitrovicë north, Zubin Potok, Zvecan/Zveçan, and Leposavic/Leposaviq have not paid for their electricity consumption since the end of the war.
From 1999 until 2017, citizens in other parts of Kosovo were charged with electricity bills consumed in the north. But after many complaints, the Court of Appeals by end of 2017, decided for suspension of this practice, as it was unlawful.
Minister of Economic Development Valdrin Lluka stated to Radio Free Europe that those electricity bills currently are not paid by citizens or by the budget of the Republic of Kosovo.
Lluka explains that northern Kosovo is being supplied from the international transmission network, but the debt will remain pending, until a decision on collection of the money is made.
According to Lluka, the consumed electricity will be paid one day, but it still has not been defined how.
To the end of resolving electricity issues in northern Kosovo there is an agreement signed between Prishtinë/Pristina and Belgrade in Brussels on 2013, under the EU facilitation. However, the agreement has never been implemented, because it provides that Serbia shall register a Serb company to supply electricity to northern Kosovo. Serbia has continuously hesitated to register the company, given that it does not recognise institutions of the Republic of Kosovo.
But Minister Lluka says that the company has already been registered in the Kosovo institutions, and it is expected to be licensed. Lluka added that currently KEDS has no access to the north.
“But the Serb company has already been registered. Initially, the reason for the blockade was using the term ‘Kosova Metohija’ in the company’s statute; but now this problem has been eliminated,” Lluka said.
Civil society representatives, despite their criticism about the energy sector in general, admit that recently the independence of Kosovo energy has been improved.
Dardan Abazi, researcher with INDEP, said in an interview with RFE that northern Kosovo should be integrated into the Kosovo energy system.
On the other hand, Minister Luka believes that energy issues in the north will be resolved in 2020. This is because the Continental Europe Transmission Operators have made the decision that the Republic of Kosovo will control and manage its energy borders.
Sejdiu says that Constitutional Court’s decision has turned time back
The Social Democratic Party caucus leader Dardan Sejdiu said that the Constitutional Court’s decision on the Negotiating Team has turned the situation back to a year ago when Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi was the only one who spoke about the dialogue, RTK portal reported.
Sejdiu told Telegrafi that PSD has been trying to unify the Albanian political spectrum for the dialogue with Serbia.
Sejdiu added that six months later, it was Vetëvendosje’s chairman Albin Kurti, who after the Platform and the Dialogue Team was voted, said it was the way to go ahead with two thirds of the votes in the Assembly.
He said the three PSD members withdrew from the Negotiating Team one day after the Constitutional Court’s decision, as it does not make any sense to be in a team which has no powers, adding that the goal was for the dialogue to be returned to the Assembly and not continue as it was done since 2011.
As far as dialogue with the Serbian state is concerned, Sejdiu said that the logic of things is not who should be wiser, but they should be united as Kosovo before Serbia.
Peci: Haradinaj should either resign or assume responsibility for dialogue
(KTV’s summary of Rubicon show)
Foreign policy expert Lulzim Peci said that the Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj should either resign the Office, or assume responsibility for dialogue with Serbia.
On KTV Rubicon show, Peci said that it is up to Prime Minister to prepare Kosovo in this dialogue.
“Ramush Haradinaj should resign his post, or assume responsibility by preparing Kosovo for dialogue with Serbia by cooperating closely with the opposition,” Lulzim Peci said.
According to him, Kosovo initially needs to make internal consolidation in relation to how we see dialogue with Serbia.
“We need to know what we want to talk about. We will either end up with division, or with the Association of Municipalities. Something may come up that I cannot predict now; yet, for now there are these two options, but we are not being able to prepare even a draft,” he said.
He said that even if a new government is constituted in Kosovo, it should know what to do with the tariff.
On the other hand, Kosovo Assembly Member Ilir Deda said that foreign policy is a reflection of the interior policy. He stressed that “although if we oppose the appointment of Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrelli as mediator of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, the heads of state have no credibility to even say it.”
Elections and possible appointments to EU institutions, according to Deda, do not show a strong EU, and as such, the EU has no credibility to lead the dialogue process.
He said the dialogue has been dead for a while, and needs to be restarted.
“The EU on its own has no credibility to lead this process because, let us remind everyone, we had Ms. Ashton from Britain, the closest state to Kosovo and what did we win? The Association! We also had Mrs. Mogherini from Italy, the same … So the country they come from does not matter much,” Deda said.
“There will be a break for a while in the dialogue until they get formally elected or take over the duty there, then there will be elections here, there will be elections in Serbia,” Deda went on.
“We lost 2019 and half of 2018 with stupidities of Mr. Thaçi,” he stressed.
In the meantime, Leonora Kryeziu of Prishtina Institute of Political Studies (PIPS) has said that the figure of the new EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrelli is not the only crucial figure in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
“I do not think that only Mr Borrelli’s figure is crucial for the dialogue with Serbia and the Kosovo issue. Many obstacles may arise, but we should not see it as a threat that will lead to prolongation of Kosovo’s final status,” Kryeziu stated to KTV Rubicon show.
“During the period when the dialogue was led by Ms Mogherini, we had different internal political developments that more or less were given a ready-made direction to which the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue would move, and we have caused the biggest harm in the dialogue issue with our own initiative,” she said.