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Belgrade Media Report 25 February 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Tuesday 25 February 2020
LOCAL PRESS

• Brnabic: Palmer and I jointly agree stability of region is most important topic (RTS/Tanjug)
• Serbian parliament approves EAEU free trade deal and agreement with North Macedonia (Tanjug)
• ZzS breaks with SzS over Sabac vote (Beta)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Postponing Djukanovic’s visit to B&H is to benefit of peoples in RS, B&H and Montenegro (Srna)
• Sattler: Changes to work of Constitutional Court possible (Oslobodjenje)
• Komsic meets Sattler: Presence of foreign judges in B&H CC represents protection from unconstitutional acting (FTV)
• Dzaferovic and Russian Ambassador Ivantsov discuss current political situation (Oslobodjenje)
Montenegro
• Markovic: The law applies to everyone (CdM)
• Palmer praises Montenegro’s efforts to hold dialogue with the Metropolitanate (CdM)
Albania
• Cakaj – Konjufca to support Presevo Valley project (ADN)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Brnabic: Palmer and I jointly agree stability of region is most important topic (RTS/Tanjug)

 

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic spoke in London, on the sidelines of the EBRD Western Balkans Investment Summit, with US Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer. Brnabic told reports that she spoke with Palmer mostly about the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina (B&H) and Montenegro and how much the latest political upheavals can affect the regional stability and the economic situation in Serbia. We didn’t speak about the taxes introduced by Pristina and the new Pristina administration. This perhaps shows the best how much the US at this moment thinks what kind of destabilization can hit B&H and how seriously they monitor the situation in that country on one hand, and on the other that Richard Grenell has fully taken over the issue of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, Brnabic said. She stated that the conclusion of the talks is that the regional stability is absolutely the most important topic, both politically and economically, and we agree on that with the United States. What we do not agree on is some views on certain things, on what is the cause and what a consequence of some instabilities in the region at the moment, but we can discuss that, Brnabic said. She underlined that regional stability is in the interest of Serbia and that it is one of the most important things, along European integration. She recalled that Serbia is a guarantor of the Dayton Accords, but it doesn’t hide that it has special ties with Republika Srpska (RS), which is our right and duty. But when we speak about B&H and RS, it is important to support regional stability. It is not a secret that we speak about that with Dodik. We have special ties with RS, but that doesn’t harm Bosnia-Herzegovina in any way, on the contrary. B&H should see this as a hand extended to them, Brnabic stated. She previously held separate talks with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers Zoran Tegeltija, whom she invited to visit Serbia.

 

Serbian parliament approves EAEU free trade deal and agreement with North Macedonia (Tanjug)

 

The Serbian parliament on Monday passed a bill approving a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that gives Serbia access to a market of over 180 million consumers. “This agreement poses no threat to our European path because the EU is not only our top foreign policy goal but also our top external trade partner, accounting for 65 percent of our overall trade, while EAEU member states account for around 7 percent,” Finance Minister Sinisa Mali said in a debate. He noted Russia accounted for around 90 percent of Serbia’s trade with the EAEU. “The agreement with the EAEU is not only beneficial to our businesspeople doing business with EAEU member states – at the same time, it is also a major motivation for foreign investors to come here,” Mali said. The Serbian parliament also approved an agreement with North Macedonia on mutual recognition of qualified trust services. In a debate, Mali said approving the agreement should have an impact on businesses in the two countries as they would migrate to quicker and more efficient e-business operations in their cooperation. “The mutual recognition also means that citizens and businesses from either country will be able to use online services of the other country, and they will be identifiable through electronic identification schemes equally accepted in both countries,” he noted.

 

ZzS breaks with SzS over Sabac vote (Beta)

 

The Together for Serbia (ZzS) party said in a press release that it was no longer a member of the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) as it is not possible to continue working together because other members of the SzS did not support the party’s decision to run in the local vote in Sabac, where they are currently in the local government. ZzS opted to run in the approaching local election in Sabac as a huge number of citizens is ready to defend decency in the city and stand up to the abuse of political power perpetrated by the regime, the press release read. “In this way we want to remove any difficulty with parties and movements with which we could not reach agreement. We are confident that the fight for a free Sabac is a strong contribution to the fight for a free Serbia,” ZzS said in the statement. Unlike the local Sabac vote, the party will not run in the forthcoming parliamentary, provincial and other local elections in Serbia.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Postponing Djukanovic’s visit to B&H is to benefit of peoples in RS, B&H and Montenegro (Srna

 

An official visit by Montenegro’s President Milo Djukanovic to B&H at this moment certainly will not bring anything good to either B&H or Montenegro given the developments in that neighboring country, says a press release from the office of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency. “The position of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency that an official visit by the Montenegrin president should be postponed for some time in no case can harm relations between B&H and Montenegro, but is only the matter of reason and realistic understanding of the situation in the field,” says the office of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency. When asked by Srna to comment on a statement by Montenegrin Ambassador to B&H Obrad Miso Stanisic that Dodik’s challenging of a visit by Djukanovic, a “proven and trusted friend of B&H,” overshadowed friendly and good neighborly relations, the office has said that they do not understand why a diplomat would give such a statement and asked why a position that is the result of reason would influence these relations. “Montenegro and B&H will continue with good neighborly cooperation, there were visits and there will be visits, but one thing is certain, this is not the moment for a bilateral visit. Immediately upon taking over the office of chairman of the Presidency, the Serb member of the Presidency invited President Djukanovic to visit B&H, which he has not done yet. Therefore, we are asking why a visit is necessary at this moment when the Serbian Orthodox Church and its faithful are persecuted in Montenegro,” says the office of the Serb member of the Presidency. It is logical and moral, says the office, that the official representative of the Serbian people in B&H, Republika Srpska (RS), and the Serbian people sympathize with their people in Montenegro and it wouldn’t be fair to welcome Djukanovic in Sarajevo. “We would like to remind the Ambassador of Montenegro that statements on alleged meddling by Serbian officials in the internal affairs of Montenegro could be heard from the official Podgorica. The Serb member of the B&H Presidency and RS institutions have never meddled in the internal affairs of any country, but have always supported the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people no matter where they live,” says the office of the Serb B&H Presidency member. The office says that the support does not mean the meddling in internal affairs of another country, unlike statements from the Montenegrin President concerning war events in Srebrenica or the recognition of Kosovo. “This politics is openly directed against Serbs, RS and Serbia and not a single Serbian official said that these statements could jeopardize good neighborly relations. Therefore we would like to send a message to the Ambassador of Montenegro, but also to opposition leaders in RS who are criticizing the position of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency, that Djukanovic’s visit should be postponed in order to review the situation and reality in the field before public appearances,” says the office of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency. The office says that the position of the Serb member of the Presidency is only a result of reasonable politics to the benefit of the people both in RS, B&H and Montenegro.

 

Sattler: Changes to work of Constitutional Court possible (Oslobodjenje

 

Head of the EU Delegation (EUD) to B&H Johann Sattler has said that changes to the work of the Constitutional Court of B&H are possible, but that one should go by way of structures and in keeping with procedures. “Citizens expect politicians to find a solution, and for now, this is the No. 1 priority,” Sattler told Oslobodjenje. He feels B&H can get out of the present situation without pressure from foreign factors. “I think this is possible, but one of the preconditions is the goodwill and a certain dose of creativity which will enable domestic leaders to gather at the same table to discuss solutions,” Sattler said. Sattler says his job and job of other international representatives in B&H is to maintain communications channels open and provide assistance.

“But, before doing anything, we need to see that there is the will and there is the readiness,” Sattler said.

 

Komsic meets Sattler: Presence of foreign judges in B&H CC represents protection from unconstitutional acting (FTV)

 

Chairman of B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic met with Head of the EU Delegation (EUD) to B&H Johann Sattler on Monday. Among other things, Komsic and Sattler concluded that presence of foreign judges in the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H represents protection from any unconstitutional acting, adding that role of foreign judges in the highest judicial body is very important. Komsic and Sattler also discussed implementation of measures outlined in the European Commission’s Opinion on B&H’s EU membership application. They agreed that the 14 measures whose implementation is condition for granting of candidate status to B&H have been put aside in in the course of last year and that very little has been done to implement them.

 

Dzaferovic and Russian Ambassador Ivantsov discuss current political situation (Oslobodjenje)

 

B&H Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic met on Monday with Ambassador of Russia Petr Ivantsov. They discussed bilateral relations of B&H and Russia, current political situation in BiH and the upcoming celebration of the 75th anniversary since Victory over Fascism. Dzaferovic emphasized the importance of the role of the OHR and the international community through its activities in the Peace Implementation Council, as well as the significance of presence of foreign judges appointed by the president of European Court of Human Rights in B&H Constitutional Court.

 

Markovic: The law applies to everyone (CdM)

 

The law applies to everyone. Nobody’s going to hold as lectures about that, not even Aleksandar Vucic, Dusko Markovic, said Montenegro’s Prime Minister. “Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral is a taxpayer which fails to fulfill its responsibilities. Taxpayers are those who work in Montenegro and exercise their rights in Montenegro. Tax Administration works in accordance with the law,” Markovic pointed out.

 

Palmer praises Montenegro’s efforts to hold dialogue with the Metropolitanate (CdM)

 

Montenegro is very grateful for the US continuous support and partnership, said Montenegro’s Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, during the meeting with Matthew Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary. Markovic and Palmer had meeting at the EBRD Summit in London. American diplomat praised Montenegro’s efforts regarding dialogue with the Metropolitanate as well as dialogue within the Union for Europe. “Montenegro has the capacity and potential to settle any issue in any situation, even in this one, provoked by the adoption of the Law on Freedom of Religion,” Markovic said.

 

Cakaj – Konjufca to support Presevo Valley project (ADN)

 

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gent Cakaj and Kosovo’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Glauk Konjufca have declared that they will spare no effort to support the project of United Presevo Valley until the end. After meeting at Thessaloniki High Level Conference on the European Perspective, the officials held a joint press conference, they stressed the importance of supporting the coalition of Albanian political parties in Presevo Valley of southern Serbia.

Moreover, they stated that this coalition is essential for the raising of national spirit and preservation of political rights of Albanians living in Presevo Valley. “In the quality of foreign policy leaders of the Republic of Kosovo and Albania, we underline once again the importance of support of the coalition of Albanian political parties in Presevo Valley. This coalition is essential for raising of national spirit and preserving of the political rights of Albanians in the Valley. Therefore, we will not spare any effort to support the United Valley project to the end,” underlined Cakaj and Konjufca.

 

 

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