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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 7

By   /  07/04/2020  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, April 7

• 20 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kosovo (media)
• Apostolova: EU can allocate €160 million for Kosovo (RTK)
• Osmani discusses inter-institutional cooperation with Vitia (RTK)
• Limaj calls on Kurti to undertake urgent measures in Malisheva (media)
• Lajcak to start consultations on Pristina-Belgrade dialogue this week (Express)
• Thaci: Kurti a serious violator of Kosovo’s Constitution (media)
• Svecla: There were tendencies to increase tensions in the north (Koha)
• Haradinaj warns of Serbian and Russian agents (Indeksonline)
• Science and Arts Academy calls on parties to overcome divisions (media)
• Moscow opposes Kosovo’s reciprocity toward Serbia, criticises EU (Koha)
• Von Cramon to Mustafa: EP is on Kosovo’s side on its EU aspirations (media)
• Thaci sues Bahtiri for assault on Kosovo’s constitutional order (media)

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  • 20 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kosovo (media)
  • Apostolova: EU can allocate €160 million for Kosovo (RTK)
  • Osmani discusses inter-institutional cooperation with Vitia (RTK)
  • Limaj calls on Kurti to undertake urgent measures in Malisheva (media)
  • Lajcak to start consultations on Pristina-Belgrade dialogue this week (Express)
  • Thaci: Kurti a serious violator of Kosovo’s Constitution (media)
  • Svecla: There were tendencies to increase tensions in the north (Koha)
  • Haradinaj warns of Serbian and Russian agents (Indeksonline)
  • Science and Arts Academy calls on parties to overcome divisions (media)
  • Moscow opposes Kosovo’s reciprocity toward Serbia, criticises EU (Koha)
  • Von Cramon to Mustafa: EP is on Kosovo’s side on its EU aspirations (media)
  • Thaci sues Bahtiri for assault on Kosovo’s constitutional order (media)

Kosovo Media Highlights

20 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Kosovo (media)

Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health announced that 20 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Kosovo in the last 24 hours.

The Institute said that it carried out tests on 129 samples and that 20 of them resulted positive for COVID-19. “These are contact cases, 15 of which from Banje, Malisheve, 2 from Malisheve, 1 from Bllace, Suhareke, 1 from Drenas, and 1 from Prishtina,” the Institute said in its daily report.

The number of coronavirus cases in Kosovo at present totals 193.

Apostolova: EU can allocate €160 million for Kosovo (RTK)

Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Nataliya Apostolova said EU continues to support Kosovo. 

“Spoke 2day w/ Ministers @HajdariRozeta & #Bislimi on further EU support to Kosovo to fight #COVID19. Up to €160m could be made available to Kosovo by EU in 2-6 months thru macro-financial assistance, budget support & IPA grants 2 support private sector, agriculture & alleviate poverty,” Apostolova wrote on her Twitter account. 

Osmani discusses inter-institutional cooperation with Vitia (RTK)

Kosovo’s Acting Minister of Health, Arben Vitia, hosted a meeting with the Speaker of the Assembly Vjosa Osmani and her deputy, Arberije Nagavci. They discussed the importance of inter-institutional coordination for the management of the situation with COVID-19.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Health, Osmani expressed appreciation to Vitia and to all the institutions involved in preventing the spread of pandemic in Kosovo. According to her, preventive measures taken in time contributed to have a better situation compared to the countries in the region. She said that the Assembly of Kosovo remains committed to working closely in fighting with this “invisible enemy”, who recognizes neither political nor ethnic divisions. They also   discussed about the coordination of actions in relation to addressing the issues from the decision of the Constitutional Court.

On Sunday, Kosovo’s incumbent Government has undertaken some of the main measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The press release notes that movement restriction will end on 12 April as ruled by the Constitutional Court.

Limaj calls on Kurti to undertake urgent measures in Malisheva (media)

NISMA leader Fatmir Limaj called on Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Monday to undertake urgent measures to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus in the municipality of Malisheva, several news websites report.

Limaj said the increased number of infected cases in this municipality is very concerning. “Equally concerning is the government’s ignoring of the citizens of this municipality who are the most threatened in the country,” Limaj wrote in a Facebook post.

“I call on the outgoing Prime Minister, in line with his competencies, to shift the attention to this municipality and to undertake all necessary measures in order to prevent new cases”.

Lajcak to start consultations on Pristina-Belgrade dialogue this week (Express)

The EU’s recently nominated envoy for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia Miroslav Lajcak, will start with consultations on his first week in the duty. This was announced by Peter Stano, Spokesperson of the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy. “He will start with consultations with focus on Pristina-Belgrade dialogue during this week,” Stano said at a press conference. He however did not specify who will be Lajcak’s initial contacts.

The news portal contacted the Office of the EU High Representative Josep Borell, to learn when would the dialogue stat. “EU’s message, as expressed today on the statement of the chiefs of the missions of the EU member states, is in line with earlier calls of the EU, including those of the High Representative Josep Borell, for the resumption of the dialogue without delays, because ‘status quo’ is unsustainable,” Stano said.

Express tried to contact the representatives of the acting government of Kosovo as well as the Office of the President of Kosovo on the matter, however neither of them responded to the query.

The Office of the U.S. Presidential Envoy Richard Grenell, did not want to make any comment on EU’s statement after Lajcak’s nomination. “We do not have any comment on this, at the time,” said Dick Custin, Grenell’s spokesperson.

Thaci: Kurti a serious violator of Kosovo’s Constitution (media)

President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, said that the acting Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, has seriously violated the Constitution of Kosovo by issuing the decision to restrict the movement of citizens during the coronavirus crisis.

“I requested for a state of emergency to be declared. Even at the meeting of the National Security Council everyone was in favour while Kurti was comfortable and saying that the situation is normal and there is no need for a state of emergency to be declared,” Thaci is quoted as saying in an interview with the Tirana-based Top Channel.

Thaci said that he himself fully upholds the Constitution of Kosovo and that the curfew imposed by the government should have been adopted by the Assembly. “Kurti is a serious violator of the Constitution which has also been confirmed by the Constitutional Court.”

Thaci said that at the meeting of the National Security Council on 22 March, he observed that there was a “fear” and “paranoia” in Kurti. “Seeing his stubbornness, unpreparedness with the new situation, the prime minister moved into an anti-constitutional path,” he said.

Svecla: There were tendencies to increase tensions in the north (Koha)

Kosovo’s acting Minister of Internal Affairs, Xhelal Svecla, said that there were tendencies on the part of certain political elements to increase tensions in the north of Kosovo. “Their goal was to strike a blow at the LVV, stop the exponential growth of LVV. These are more afraid of this growth than they are of coronavirus cases,” Svecla said in an interview for KTV.

“We are the only country in the world that, despite managing the situation extremely well, we have a motion of no confidence for the government, which shows that political opponents are not sparing anything, not even the health of the citizens, to fight us politically.”

He said that the focus of the government of Kosovo at this stage is to fight the spread of coronavirus while in regards to the decision of the Constitutional Court that restricting the movement of the citizens by the government was not in line with the Constitution of Kosovo, Svecla said that they are working on setting up supporting mechanisms.

“It was said that those decisions cannot be taken by the Government of Kosovo but by the Ministry of Health based on the Law on Prevention and Fighting of Infectious Diseases. And this is what we are doing. We will go back to the law on prevention of infectious diseases and will take adequate decisions based on it.”

“We are ahead of two most critical weeks and we are working to make sure the life is organised as orderly as possible,” he said adding that it was very important Kosovo manages to flatten the curve of coronavirus spread. “We are at the final stage of identifying all legal possibilities for sanctioning irresponsible citizens,” Svecla added.

Haradinaj warns of Serbian and Russian agents (Indeksonline)

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) parliamentary group chief, Daut Haradinaj, said in an interview to T7 on Monday evening that Kosovo authorities need to stay alert as among the medical staff entering Kosovo from Serbia there could be Serbian and Russian agents. 

Haradinaj said that “in relation to the north, I don’t see myself as part of the opposition but rather as part of the institutions. The reality in the north is what it has been since 1999. In these circumstances, we need to stand united and be very alert. We must not provoke any situations of conflict during the pandemic”.

Science and Arts Academy calls on parties to overcome divisions (media)

Kosovo’s Academy of Arts and Sciences (ASHAK) in a statement issued on Monday called on political parties and institutions to overcome divisions and stand united during the COVID – 19 pandemics.

ASHAK said it was concerned and disappointed with the current situation “as Kosovo’s citizens, regardless of their political beliefs, have been placed under unprecedented rhetoric while political parties and their supporters do not want to back down from actions that have conflict tendencies”.

Moscow opposes Kosovo’s reciprocity toward Serbia, criticises EU (Koha)

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Monday reacting against the decision of the Kosovo Government to replace the import tariff on Serbia with reciprocity measures.

It said, “the authorities in Pristina continue to manipulate with the issue” and that “Kosovars did not back down on their position as requested by their Western supporters”.

The statement also notes what it calls “ecstatic reaction by the European Union” and argues that the EU needs to have a mature assessment of the situation without favoring any of the parties. 

Von Cramon to Mustafa: EP is on Kosovo’s side on its EU aspirations (media)

German MP at the European Parliament Viola von Cramon told the leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo that he should not worry about Kosovo’s EU aspirations. 

“Happy to tell @IsaMustafaKS EP stands on his side for Kosovo’s EU aspirations. He shouldn’t worry, as politicians across different party families, incl. his political family @EPP, are standing up for EU integration, reform, stability & functioning institutions, not just leftists,” von Cramon wrote.

Her posting came as a response to Mustafa’s comments on Kosovo’s relations with the EU and the U.S made on Monday.

Thaci sues Bahtiri for assault on Kosovo’s constitutional order (media)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci has sued the Mayor of Mitrovica Agim Bahtiri for assaulting the constitutional order of Kosovo and for violence against high representatives of Kosovo.

Thaci alleged that Bahtiri tried to prevent him from exercising his official duties.

On 30 March, Bahtiri had said on social media that the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) would not be giving up the government without elections and warned of possible bloodshed.

Bahtiri reacted to the lawsuit saying that he was surprised Thaci decided to sue him and not the Swiss senator Dick Marty. “I am ready 24 hours a day to give clarifications to justice authorities, despite having given a statement once already,” Bahtiri said adding that he has never threatened anyone in his life.

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