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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 26, 2020

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Albanian Language Media:

• Kurti: We only expect interpretation from the Constitutional Court (media)
• Thaci says he will not take part in negotiations led by Lajcak (Koha)
• Veseli: I will not cease efforts to set up tribunal for Serb war crimes (media)
• LVV’s Zogiani compares Grenell to former ambassador Dell (Kosovapress)

Serbian Language Media:

• Dr Antonijevic: The situation is calming down; protection measures are still mandatory (Kontakt plus radio)
• New attacks against Serb returnees in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
• “Opening of crossings after June 1, following analysis of III phase measures” (KoSSev)
• “Western Balkans belong to Europe” (B92, Tanjug)
• REC:”Office for KIM will soon publish the number of polling stations in KiM” (Kosovo Online)
• “All our eyes would be on Serbia, watching election process” – MEP says (N1)
• Kosovo society should not deny the crimes of certain KLA members (KoSSev, Novosti)
• Matkos Group director: We are not breaking the law (KoSSev)

Opinion:

• Profession, law, and justice (KoSSev)
• Kosovo between USA and EU (moderndiplomacy.eu)

International:

• Borell: Maintain the intention to bring the Western Balkans into the EU (EWB)

Humanitarian/Development:

• OpisMEDIJavanje: Any unverified information or half-truth can lead to major consequences (KoSSev)
• Kosovo Economy Faces Fresh Hit If Diaspora Stays Away (Balkan Insight)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Kurti: We only expect interpretation from the Constitutional Court (media)
  • Thaci says he will not take part in negotiations led by Lajcak (Koha)
  • Veseli: I will not cease efforts to set up tribunal for Serb war crimes (media)
  • LVV’s Zogiani compares Grenell to former ambassador Dell (Kosovapress)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Dr Antonijevic: The situation is calming down; protection measures are still mandatory (Kontakt plus radio)
  • New attacks against Serb returnees in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
  • “Opening of crossings after June 1, following analysis of III phase measures” (KoSSev)
  • “Western Balkans belong to Europe” (B92, Tanjug)
  • REC:”Office for KIM will soon publish the number of polling stations in KiM” (Kosovo Online)
  • “All our eyes would be on Serbia, watching election process” – MEP says (N1)
  • Kosovo society should not deny the crimes of certain KLA members (KoSSev, Novosti)
  • Matkos Group director: We are not breaking the law (KoSSev)

Opinion: 

  • Profession, law, and justice (KoSSev)
  • Kosovo between USA and EU (moderndiplomacy.eu)

International:

  • Borell: Maintain the intention to bring the Western Balkans into the EU (EWB)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • OpisMEDIJavanje: Any unverified information or half-truth can lead to major consequences (KoSSev)
  • Kosovo Economy Faces Fresh Hit If Diaspora Stays Away (Balkan Insight)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

Kurti: We only expect interpretation from the Constitutional Court (media)

Acting Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti said he expects the Constitutional Court to only interpret the decision for nominating a candidate to form the new government.

“With regards to the Constitutional Court decision, first I will not comment on what is being talked about, and second, we have to wait for the decision of the Court and then talk. I expect the Constitutional Court ruling to be in line with Article 112 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court should interpret the Constitution and not write it,” Kurti said today after a visit to the students’ centre in Pristina which has been converted to quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kurti added that neither the president nor the prime minister or the court can write the Constitution but to implement it and for the court to interpret it. “The change of the Constitution can be done by the parliament through an amendment and no one else.”

Thaci says he will not take part in negotiations led by Lajcak (Koha)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci said he would not attend dialogue facilitated by the EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak.

“Personally, as president, I will only respond to invitations for summits led by Merkel, Macron but I have no will to take part in negotiations processes led by Lajcak,” Kurti is quoting as telling reporters in Pristina today.

Thaci said he has full faith in the U.S. leadership in the process. “There is no factor other than the U.S. leading role that can push these things forward. Any readiness on the part of the EU is encouraging but personally, I am not in contact with Lajcak and I am not aware as to how far the Lajcak-Kurti-Borrell talks have progressed. We face two negotiators that come from countries that have not recognised Kosovo.”

Thaci was asked to comment on the recent meeting acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti had with head of the Central Election Commission Valdete Daka, to which he replied: “Before we deliberate on future steps, Kurti and his group should face justice.” 

He reiterated his claim that Kurti has ‘usurped’ the office of Kosovo prime minister saying he is responsible for two serious violations of the Constitution of Kosovo.

Veseli: I will not cease efforts to set up tribunal for Serb war crimes (media)

Leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Kadri Veseli took to Facebook to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the killing of 27 Albanians in a neighbourhood in Prizren by Serb forces.

“I will not cease my efforts for setting up a tribunal to sentence Serb war crimes committed during the war in Kosovo. We should not cease working to bring before justice all Serb perpetrators that massacred our innocent citizens,” Veseli wrote. 

LVV’s Zogiani compares Grenell to former ambassador Dell (Kosovapress)

Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and member of the Vetevendosje Movement, Avni Zogiani, commented on reports that the U.S. envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations Richard Grenell will not be going back to his ambassadorial post in Berlin.

In a Facebook post, Zogiani drew a parallel between Grenell and the former U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell. “Let us assume Grenell changes sectors as did Christopher Dell when he left Kosovo to work for Bechtel… the two have generated so much personal politics that anytime we tried to be critical of the patronising policy the two had, we were called anti-American. Through this approach Dell managed to put us in the relation with Bechtel which cost us a great deal just as he imposed to us a concession for the Airport and almost a gifting of the energy distribution. Today, there is nowhere you can complain over Dell’s actions just as tomorrow you will be unable to do so about Grenell’s consequences,” he wrote.

Zogiani said further that the fate of a country cannot be tied to one person, “especially when this person has an aggressive approach and pushes forward a policy of consequences.”

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Dr Antonijevic: The situation is calming down; protection measures are still mandatory (Kontakt plus radio)

In the last 24 hours, no case of Covid-19 patients was recorded, out of 29 new samples sent for analysis.

Dr. Antonijevic told Radio Kosovska Mitrovica that he was satisfied with what was done in the past period, when it comes to the current coronavirus virus pandemic.

“Testing is still being done, but not every day, but every other day due to the reduced number of indications for the virus. Testing is now done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and on Sundays as needed. The samples have been sent to the Clinical Center of Serbia lately, and the tests are being performed by the new laboratory “Vatreno oko”. All of that should work well, as with the laboratory in Kraljevo, with which we had excellent cooperation, and their promptness was at a high level, ” specifies Dr. Antonijevic.

When asked when there will be mass testing and serological tests for antibodies, Dr. Antonijevic says: “We have applied for a license for antibody tests and we expect that it will be in mid-June. We have all the conditions and we hope to start soon. As for mass testing, given that about 13,000 tests have been performed in Kosovo, and 1,800 in the north alone, it is possible to perform analysis and epidemiological assessment based on that number of samples. The number of those tested daily already indicates that the situation is calming down. If we consider that the number of samples is halved and that testing is not performed every day, then it is clear that the situation is calming down.” 

The virus has weakened but is still there. There will be consequences for sure, but I am in favor of life returning to normal as soon as possible, respecting all recommendations, Antonijevic concluded.

New attacks against Serb returnees in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

Kosovo Minister for Communities and Returns, Dalibor Jevtic announced today that a new attack against the Serb returnee took place, Kosovo-online portal reports.  

Jevtic wrote on his Twitter profile, that a Serb returnee Djordjija Djorovic was attacked with an axe on his property, in the village of Drenovcic in Klina municipality.

“Albanians who attacked him threatened him that if they saw him again on his own property they would “chop off his head as if he were a lamb,”” Jevtic wrote, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Jevtic also underlined it is a high time to put an end to the violence against the Serb returnees.

Meanwhile, Djordjija Djorovic explained to RTS what had happened on his property last night when two Albanians approached him and one of them threatened him, saying he would kill both him and his dog if he sees them on the property again. Djorovic said he informed KFOR and police about it, adding he does not dare visit his property again.

Djorovic said he does not know the Albanian who threatened him, but he knows another one who was with him. It was his neighbor, whose flock of sheep was on Djorovic’s property. Djorovic lives in a nearby village for three years and was visiting his house in Drenovcic village, whose foundation he has built and is awaiting further reconstruction.  

There are no other Serbs living in Drenovicic village. Djorovic cultivates around 20 hectares of land, belonging to him and his family relatives.  

In an earlier incident that took place in the village of Berkovo, Klina municipality, a house reconstructed by the Ministry for Communities and Returns and belonging to a returnee Zarko Vuckovic has been burned down.

“A house of a returnee Zarko Vuckovic in the village of Berkovo, Klina municipality, reconstructed by the Ministry for Communities and Returns last year was burned down over the last two days. The residents of the village claim it was an arson and they informed the Kosovo police about it, and the police to the spot,” the Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Minister Jevtic noted that frequent attacks against the properties of the returnees and non-majority communities represent an obvious pressure on them to abandon their properties.

“The incidents intended to fully diminish the process of return. What we build, others burn down, plunder or destroy in some other way. Without doubt there is a serious intent by those carrying out such misdeeds to hamper the process of the return. We are constantly urging to put an end to this wave of violence. I am afraid that as long as perpetrators of the attacks against the returnees do not face justice, the same intimidation method shall continue,” Jevtic said. 

“Opening of crossings after June 1, following analysis of III phase measures” (KoSSev)

KoSSev news portal reported late Monday that Kosovo Government spokesperson Perparim Kryeziu said that despite of the promising situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic the opening of the crossing points will be considered only after June 1, i.e. the beginning of further relaxation of measures and the analysis of their implementation.  

“The decision on opening the borders will be made after the implementation of phase three of relaxation measures and after the analysis of this phase, which will happen after June 1” Kryeziu said. However, he could not specify when such a decision could be made, “given that it is not known when the analysis of the applied measures in phase three will be conducted”. 

“We cannot predict today when that will happen because the third phase has not started yet”, he added.

Kryeziu also said that an epidemiological analysis of “phase two” was done on Sunday (May 25), whose implementation began on May 18, and did not exclude the possibility of repeating the same pattern for the third phase, i.e. to conduct the analysis seven days after the implementation of the third phase, which is scheduled to begin on June 2.

He also confirmed that the Kosovo government was discussing this issue with representatives in the region, but recalled that the final decision on opening the crossings would be made after assessing the situation regarding the pandemic in Kosovo.

At the same time, KoSSev further writes, Kryeziu did not have information last night about the rules that would be applied for those who would be returning to Kosovo from June 1, i.e. whether the rules on the seven-day quarantine would still be in force.

“Western Balkans belong to Europe” (B92, Tanjug)

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn stated that the Western Balkans belong to Europe and that the efforts of the countries in that region will be recognized

He told the Croatian Express that the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU is a process based on merit and that as such, it is in the true interest of the EU.

“It’s about ‘exporting stability instead of importing instability,'” Hahn, a former commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and enlargement negotiations, had pointed out.

He urged “friends from the Balkans” to continue with the reforms on the European path and that these efforts will be recognized.

He reminded that last month, the EU decided to open accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia, despite the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that by reprogramming financial resources and additional measures, such as lifting the ban on the export of medical devices, the EU has clearly shown that the Western Balkans belong to the EU.

Speaking about the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, Hahn said that it was a pandemic of unprecedented proportions, but that it must not serve as an excuse for governments to abuse the situation and impose disproportionate measures.

“The idea of using mobile devices as a means of controlling the spread of viruses can be a very useful tool. In the EU, we are well aware of the invasion of privacy. That is why we care about the importance of data protection and the use of data only to track people who were potentially in close contact with the carrier of the virus”, Hahn said.

https://bit.ly/3d1MOF6

REC: “Office for KIM will soon publish the number of polling stations in KiM” (Kosovo Online)

Serbian Republic Electoral Commission (REC) had a session on Monday, after which it has issued a press release informing the public that a total of 8,253 polling stations will be opened in the parliamentary elections on June 21 in Serbia, 29 of which will be under the Institute for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions, reported portal Kosovo Online. 

REC President Vladimir Dimitrijevic stated that there would be 1,196 stations in Belgrade, 1,781 in Vojvodina and 5,247 in central Serbia.

Members of REC stated that it was expected that the Office for Kosovo and Metohija would soon announce the number of polling stations in Kosovo, as well as that data on polling stations abroad, which would arrive soon.

“All our eyes would be on Serbia, watching election process” – MEP says (N1)

Vladimír Bilčík, the European Parliament (EP) rapporteur for Serbia, told N1 on Monday that his job was to make sure that the European Union got as much information about what was happening on the ground and give proper feedback to authorities in Serbia in the reports which the EU draft and adopt.

Speaking to N1’s European correspondent Nikola Radisic, after talking to Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and the representatives of the NGO’s, Bilčík said that it was early to talk about his new report because he would be drafting it in the autumn.

“But I think there are important things I would like to underline in terms of elections and the freedom and the fairness of the elections. One important point is that we have this extraordinary situation with the pandemic, with the recently lifted state of emergency. The authorities in Serbia and everybody must be involved on the ground to make sure that the elections are conducted properly, that the lives and the health of the people are protected. Still, at the same time that the ability to express your vote is also protected on the date of the elections,” Bilčík said.

He added that “this will be one of the first elections we will have in Europe following the pandemic, and so all our eyes will be on Serbia watching the process, at least from afar if we cannot be on the ground.

“I think the key question right now is the proper working of institutions. That relates to preconditions and conditions for the elections and the access to public media, and all media in Serbia. That relates to an active engagement of (Regulatory Body for Electronic Media) REM, which was a big issue during the inter-party dialogue. That also relates to other agencies which have to guard public interest, especially Anti-Corruption agency. We want to see these institutions active, engaged and as strong as possible in this campaign to ensure that there is free and fair competition in the run-up to these elections,” Bilčík told N1.

Referring to the announced boycott of the June 21 general elections by the part of Serbia’s opposition, he said that it “is not the way to change (Serbia), and the only way to change Serbia is through proper political work however difficult it may in times be. And I also think that the signals we are getting from Serbia are that some political actors are getting ready to take part in the elections. I hope in the coming days and weeks, even those who are still thinking of boycotting will reconsider.”

Bilčík added he understood “the situation in Serbia is not easy,” but also said his sense “is that a lot of the conditions have improved through the new legislation, through the changes in the workings of the institutions which I have mentioned, like the Anti-Corruption agency.”

“But we need to see proper implementation on the ground; we need to see a rising trust of the public and the political actors across the political spectrum in Serbia, that indeed, they believe the conditions on the ground are also improving, and the campaign will show it. In this sense I want to underline that the role of the media is going to be especially important because you cannot conduct an outdoor campaign, you cannot have big rallies at the moment, the public gatherings, so a lot of information that voters will receive and a lot of decisions the voters will make will be based on the presentation in the media and the debate.  

https://bit.ly/2ZF1PJ8

Kosovo society should not deny the crimes of certain KLA members (KoSSev, Novosti)

Interview is originally published on Tjednik Novosti , translation provided by KoSSev

The former adviser to the Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, Shkelzen Gashi spoke to Novosti about the circumstances of his dismissal. I said that some individuals from the ranks of the KLA, including its leaders, committed war crimes, after which a lynching campaign against me was organized. Albanians and Serbs remember only the crimes of the opposing side – Gashi underlined.

An analyst and author of several books, Shkelzen Gashi is one of the few people in the political and public life of Kosovo who is not staying silent about the crimes committed against Kosovo Serbs. Until a few weeks ago, he was a political adviser to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti. After Gashi spoke in a TV interview on April 24th about the crimes ”certain members of the Kosovo Liberation Army” committed against Serbs and other non-Albanian civilians, but also against Albanians who criticized the KLA, adding that some members of the KLA involved in these crimes ”were high-ranking officials”  – Kurti dismissed him the very next day, telling Gashi that ”it would be better if he does not lead this discussion from the position of his adviser”. Gashi’s statements caused extremely harsh reactions in the Kosovo public. He also received death threats.

You have known Kurti for decades and back in 2004, you were one of the co-founders of his party Self-Determination. Does the fact that he dismissed you show that your views on the past – that is, the crimes of KLA members – differ?

Gashi: I said in a TV interview that according to reports of prestigious international organizations and the decisions of international courts, individuals from the ranks of the KLA, as well as leaders in its structure, committed war crimes. The findings of the Humanitarian Law Center from the ”Kosovo Book of Remembrance”  project – led by Natasa Kandic – claim that from January 1, 1998, to December 31, 2000, 10,093 civilians lost their lives or went missing in Kosovo – 8,645 Albanians, 1,013 Serbs, 262 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, 84 Bosniaks, and 203 members of other ethnic groups.

Immediately after my interview, the media outlets close to the ‘political parties’ that have been ruling Kosovo for almost two decades – in a wild lynching campaign led against me – shared edited clips from that show on social networks and television channels, which were followed by slanderous statements that I said that the KLA committed crimes. This orchestrated campaign was not about my views, which are correct and which I have been sticking to for two decades, but about the current political moment.

It is a campaign directed primarily against Prime Minister Kurti, organized by his external opponents, who were joined by evil nationalists within his party. George Orwell clearly described them when he said that ”nationalists not only do not acknowledge crimes committed by them but have a strange ability to ignore them”.

Because of this pressure, Prime Minister Kurti asked me to resign. I did not agree to it because I was telling the truth, only the truth, and nothing but the truth. In the end, he dismissed me, but I don’t believe that he doesn’t know that individuals from the ranks of the KLA, even its leaders, were involved in crimes. So, I can’t say he dismissed me because of a difference in views on that issue. It was simply how he chose to act within the resulting political turbulence.

You said that 1,013 Serb civilians were killed, and pointed out that the report by Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s Rapporteur – which also mentions organ trafficking – could not be ”considered anti-Albanian”. Your statements caused public outrage. You even had a police escort when you were a guest on TV Klan Kosova. Does it seem that Kosovo society is not ready to accept that numerous crimes were committed against Serbs and other non-Albanians, crimes as a result of which half of the 200,000 Serbs who lived in Kosovo in June 1999 left their homes?

Gashi: Kosovo society should not deny that during – and especially after the end of the Kosovo war – individuals were frustrated by the horrific crimes of Serb forces, and members of the KLA, even high-ranking ones, were involved in killing civilians of various ethnic and political backgrounds. Many prestigious human rights organizations responded to the killings, which had previously reported on the Serbian authorities’ violation of human rights of Kosovo Albanians – the killing of 8,645 innocent Albanian civilians, the rape of thousands of women, the expulsion of nearly one million Albanians, the burning and destruction of nearly 100,000 homes, and so on.

Dick Marty’s report makes no effort to equate the crimes of the Serbian state machinery against Kosovo Albanians with the crimes of certain KLA members against Serb civilians and other civilians of various ethnic or political backgrounds. After all, these crimes cannot even be compared. The obvious goal of this report was to reveal these crimes. So, no. Dick Marty’s report should not be considered anti-Albanian. It is simply a document that reports on crimes.

See full interview at: https://bit.ly/3eorFFz

Matkos Group director: We are not breaking the law (KoSSev)

We did not enter private property. Drinking water has not been jeopardized. Our company is not endangering the environment and we are not breaking the law. We have all the necessary permits. The accusations are unjustified, unreasonable and influenced by individuals who do not want the best for the development and well-being of citizens, the Matkos Group executive director, Labinot Vitia said in an exclusive interview for KoSSev, after residents of Strpce presented a series of accusations against this company, which is building several mini hydroelectric power plants in the municipality of Strpce.

The Matkos Group executive director, Labinot Vitia told KoSSev that out of four MHPPs that are being built in this municipality, one MHPP has been completed and is already producing electricity, while the other three are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Vitia stressed that the company had started construction only after fulfilling all legal requirements and obtaining permits from the Ministry of Environment for construction near the riverbed, building permits issued by the municipality of Strpce, and reaching an agreement with KEDS.

”Hydroelectric power plant ‘HC Brezovica’ produces green energy, which is introduced into the network and distributed from the substation Strpce to consumers in the municipality of Strpce, and the benefits are that the energy generated and expected to be produced will meet the needs of this municipality. In case of a surplus, it will be transferred to the distribution network,” Vitia said.

See the full interview at: https://bit.ly/3cZhJlv

 

Opinion

 

Profession, law, and justice (KoSSev)

By Fadil Lepaja 

Recently, a Kosovo public service journalist received a second reprimand for using the term ”Metohija” , which was interpreted as spreading racial and religious intolerance, as well as inappropriate behavior within RTK. This is just one in a series of similar situations in which the term ”Metohija” has been predominantly polarizing Serbs and Albanians for decades. The absence of public debate on this issue has turned the term into a taboo topic and it is not the only term that has an impact over extending the lack of understanding between the two peoples. With the aim of encouraging public debate, the KoSSev portal will publish a series of op-eds on this issue in the coming period.

Read an article written by Stefan Surlic, an associate at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences: What happened with Metohija?

Imagine a situation that is hard to imagine, but still give it a try! Try to imagine an RTS journalist persistently referring to Kosovo as an independent state and insisting on the crimes that the Serb state committed against civilians in Kosovo in some show. Or, better yet, don’t play with impossible things.

Now, try to imagine a similar situation at RTK – also a public service broadcaster, a Serb journalist referring to Kosovo by an unconstitutional name, denying the crimes that the Serbian state committed against Albanian civilians…! You don’t have to imagine it because it happens every day. I will now most likely be accused of parallelism, subjectivity, and so on.

Let us look at the bigger picture. There are many politicians, if not the majority of the intellectuals in the Kosovo Serbian community, who deliberately ignore the official name of Kosovo on television – a name defined by the constitution and the law of the Republic of Kosovo. In contrast, in Serbia there are only a few Serbian politicians, civil society activists, and intellectuals who call Kosovo a state or a republic. Some are even Albanian, citizens of the Republic of Serbia, mostly from the Presevo Valley. There are few Serbs in Kosovo who recognize Kosovo as their state, and even fewer who say so publicly. I do not know a single Albanian in Kosovo who does not recognize Kosovo as his state or may be reluctant to state it publicly unless it is an Albanian who left Kosovo with the Serbian police and army.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3bYbI7i

Kosovo between USA and EU (moderndiplomacy.eu)

The issue of Kosovo is yet again becoming one of the hottest on the international agenda. While the US administration is set on the early (before the presidential elections in November) signing of an agreement on normalizing relations through territorial exchanges,  the European Union leadership, under pressure from Germany, is pursuing their own agenda: a settlement of political crisis in the region and prevention of a new territorial carve-up in the Balkans. These differences can well result in a buildup of tension on both coasts of the Atlantic not only regarding the Balkan but also in relation to other burning international issues.

So far, the United States is somewhat outplaying the EU on this issue. The Trump administration, after securing solidarity with Kosovo’s President Hashim Taci in his confrontation with radical Prime Minister Albin Kurti, has de facto forced the latter to resign. It is the leader of the Self-Determination Radical Movement who is strongly opposed to an agreement with Belgrade and partition of Kosovo into Serbian and Albanian parts in exchange for the lifting of Serbia’s objections to Pristina’s membership in international organizations. Considering that Serbia’s position is backed by Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, there are grounds to assume that Serbia’s refusal to counteract efforts by Kosovo diplomacy will mean Kosovo’s admission to the UN as an independent state – even in the absence of a legal acknowledgment of independence on the part of Belgrade and a number of EU members (Spain Greece, Cyprus, Rumania and  Slovakia).

See more at:https://bit.ly/2Xzwx3G

  International

 

Borell: Maintain the intention to bring the Western Balkans into the EU (EWB)

BRUSSELS – The European political model, based on democracy and respect for human rights, is facing challenges, said Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, adding that the battle of narratives is especially present in the Western Balkans, Nova.rs reported.

“We must maintain our intention to bring the Western Balkans into the EU,” Borell said in an address to German ambassadors via video conference.

He said that many dramatic changes are taking place in the world, with the United States increasingly losing its primacy, while Asia is becoming more economically, security-wise and technically represented.

“COVID-19 is the first major crisis in recent decades where the United States is not leading the global response. Everywhere we look, we see a strengthening of rivalry, especially between the United States and China,” said Borrell.

He stressed that the EU should follow its own interests and not be instrumentalized by either Washington or Beijing.

“We need a better strategic approach to managing vulnerable and dependent parts. The world risks becoming less free, less successful, less equal, and more divided, and that is why you diplomats will have a lot of work to do,” Borrell told German ambassadors around the world.

https://bit.ly/36A0YuW

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

OpisMEDIJavanje: Any unverified information or half-truth can lead to major consequences (KoSSev)

”A correspondent is a journalist who regularly prepares news, reports, and analyses for a media outlet located in another city or country. They are not journalists who specialize in a certain area. They follow all important events related to politics, culture, entertainment, or sports. They act independently, or as part of a correspondence office if there are several correspondents. They do not follow events only in the city where the correspondence office is located, but they cover a wider geographical area,” WDR radio correspondent, Violeta Oroshi explained.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3ehlAdV

Kosovo Economy Faces Fresh Hit If Diaspora Stays Away (Balkan Insight)

Hundreds of thousands of diaspora Kosovars normally take long holidays in their homeland every year, so their likely absence this year because of the health crisis will deal a fresh blow to Kosovo’s economy.

Arbnora Shkreta lives with her family in Sweden, but never fails to visit her native Kosovo twice a year, once in the summer and again in the winter. This year may be different, however.

With her father among those considered at higher risk from COVID-19, travel for him has suddenly become dangerous and Shkreta and her family are considering postponing their planned summer visit of five to six weeks, regardless of whether the country opens its borders with the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Nor does she think it fair to risk placing extra strain on Kosovo’s under-resourced hospitals.

See at: https://bit.ly/2AdxKFK

 

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