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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 21, 2020

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 21, 2020

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 168 new cases, 157 recovered (media)
• LVV rejects again Hoti’s invitation for a meeting (media)
• LDK, AAK, NISMA and AKR at the Leaders’ forum (RTK)
• Meliza Haradinaj: Kosovo concerned over Serbia’s purchasing of drones and missiles (RTK)
• Krasniqi to ARKEP: You are not preventing IPKO’s selling to Serbia (media)
• Hoxhaj: Viola Von Cramon going to the Hague, a political interference (RTK)
• Musliu concerned about MEP’s interference at the Special Court (RTK)
• British Embassy: We did not block communication with anyone (RTK)

Serbian Language Media:

• Antonijevic: Six newly infected of Covid-19 in Serbian communities (Kosovo Online)
• Vucic: Pleasant afternoon with Quinta, EU reps; support of resumed dialogue (N1, FoNet)
• Vucic consults on new Serbian government with coalition around SNS party (N1, FoNet)
• Armored vehicles purchased in US arrived in Pristina (Kosovo-online)

Opinion:

• Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia (Balkan Insight)

International:

• EU Summit’s ‘Historic’ Budget Pleases Central, South-East Europe Leaders (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Ivanusa: First coronavirus vaccines on market perhaps by end of year (N1)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 168 new cases, 157 recovered (media)
  • LVV rejects again Hoti’s invitation for a meeting (media)
  • LDK, AAK, NISMA and AKR at the Leaders’ forum (RTK)
  • Meliza Haradinaj: Kosovo concerned over Serbia’s purchasing of drones and missiles (RTK)
  • Krasniqi to ARKEP: You are not preventing IPKO’s selling to Serbia (media)
  • Hoxhaj: Viola Von Cramon going to the Hague, a political interference (RTK)
  • Musliu concerned about MEP’s interference at the Special Court (RTK)
  • British Embassy: We did not block communication with anyone (RTK)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Antonijevic: Six newly infected of Covid-19 in Serbian communities (Kosovo Online)
  • Vucic: Pleasant afternoon with Quinta, EU reps; support of resumed dialogue (N1, FoNet)
  • Vucic consults on new Serbian government with coalition around SNS party (N1, FoNet)
  • Armored vehicles purchased in US arrived in Pristina (Kosovo-online)

Opinion:

  • Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia (Balkan Insight)

International:

  • EU Summit’s ‘Historic’ Budget Pleases Central, South-East Europe Leaders (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Ivanusa: First coronavirus vaccines on market perhaps by end of year (N1)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

COVID-19: 168 new cases, 157 recovered (media)

The National Institute of Public Health announced that 168 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded during the last 24 hours in Kosovo. Meanwhile, 157 patients have been recovered.

Positive cases are from: Prishtina municipality 91 cases, Podujeva municipality 11 cases, Ferizaj 10 cases, Decan 8 cases, Peja 8 cases, Fushe Kosova 7 cases, Gjakova 7 cases, Drenas 5 cases, Obiliq 5 cases , Malisheva 4 cases, Mitrovica 3 cases, Prizren 2 cases, Shtime 2 cases, Vushtrri 2 cases, Lipjan 2 cases, and 1 case from Skenderaj municipality. 

The total number of positive cases in Kosovo is 6,045,  while 144 patients succumbed to the disease due to other concomitant diseases.

LVV rejects again Hoti’s invitation for a meeting (media)

The Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) will not participate at the meeting of the political leaders organized by the Prime Minister of Kosovo Avdullah Hoti, in order to inform them about the Paris Summit and the meeting with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels.

LVV Spokesman Perparim Kryeziu, told Telegrafi news portal that they would not respond to Hoti’s invitation.  

“There can be no genuine dialogue without new legitimacy through elections. Kosovo-Serbia dialogue should be well-prepared and with principals, while this government, apart from being illegitimate and illegal, is not prepared and does not have principles for this dialogue,” he stressed.

“In recent meetings, unfortunately, the Republic of Kosovo was represented by an illegitimate government; disoriented in the absence of a platform for dialogue; weak in relation to the Serbian side being without a wide support from the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo and at the same time dependent on an instrument of Serbia such as the Serbian List; and subjected to the already great concessions since the pre-negotiation phase in the case of renunciation of the principle of reciprocity and efforts to strengthen the statehood of Kosovo through membership in international organizations,” Kryeziu added.

He further criticised the government for lack of transparency of this process. 

“On Thursday, the ‘coordinator of the talks’ will start drafting the final agreement, although today, two days before the trip to Brussels, his name continues to be speculated,” Kryeziu said.

LDK, AAK, NISMA and AKR at the Leaders’ forum (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo hosted today a meeting with the political leaders to inform them about the Paris Summit and the meeting with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels.

The meeting started at 12:00 hours, however, only representatives of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) and the New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) responded positively to the invitation. The AAK is represented by Ahmet Isufi and Minister of Justice, Selim Selimi.

Deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo who is also Minister of Interior, Agim Veliu, is also participating at the meeting.

After the meeting, member of the leadership of the Social Democratic Initiative (NISMA), Bilall Sherifi told reporters that Kosovo should not slide into technical dialogue, however, he did not confirm whether the chief executive has introduced the coordinator for dialogue in this meeting.

Earlier today, both opposition entities, the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) and the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) rejected the invitation to this so-called Forum of the leaders. 

Meliza Haradinaj: Kosovo concerned over Serbia’s purchasing of drones and missiles (RTK)

Kosovo’s Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj took to Twitter to express concern over Serbia’s purchasing drones and missiles from China. 

“#Kosovo expresses its concern w/ #Serbia’s purchase of drones & missiles from #China. After continuous arms deals w/ #Russia, recent purchases expose a direct threat to peace & stability of the #WesternBalkans countries – a region that is determined to its #EU – #Atlantic path!,” she wrote. 

Krasniqi to ARKEP: You are not preventing IPKO’s selling to Serbia (media)

Memli Krasniqi, member of the Kosovo Assembly committee for economy, accused the board of the Regulatory Authority of Electronic and Postal Communications (ARKEP) for not undertaking official actions to prevent selling of IPKO to Serbia.  

“You have met with the Prime Minister only after he expressed interest. You are doing absolutely nothing on this direction or, you have not undertaken any step. You had the right to invite also IPKO about this, because I believe they are also obliged to report to you. Therefore, you do not either dare to vote pro selling IPKO to Serbia. If you vote, we will abolish that decision, because you are a board voted by the Assembly,” he said.

Principal head of the parliamentary committee for economy from the Serbian List Zoran Mojsilovic, said no one has official information about Serbia’s expressing interest or negotiations with Telecom Serbia about the purchase. “I understand that these discussions are political,” he said.

However, member of the ARKEP board Hazir Hajdari said that with €155 million the Serbian operator is the most serious bidder. 

Hoxhaj: Viola Von Cramon’s going to the Hague, a political interference (RTK)

Enver Hoxhaj, deputy leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has reacted to the visit of the European Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo Viola Von Cramon to the Hague, where she met with some of the leading officials of the Special Court, right after the conclusion of President Hashim Thaci’s interview there.

“Citizens of Kosovo are disturbed to see an MEP, a politician, visiting the SPO/SPC in The Hague. We learned from EU all this time that when politicians go to meet prosecutors and judges it’s called political interference. This is exactly what @ViolavonCramon did’” Hoxhaj wrote. 

The Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF), also reacted after the visit of the rapporteur for Kosovo in the European Parliament, Viola von Cramon in The Hague, a day after the interview of the President, Hashim Thaçi, calling her visit suspicious of independence from political influence.

Musliu concerned about MEP’s interference at the Special Court (RTK)

Kosovo Assembly MP Ganimete Musliu also reacted today against the visit of the Member of the European Parliament Viola Von Cramon at the Specialised Chambers in the Hague.

“When you see such scandalous actions of an MEP, it is not at all surprising that today we have a Specialized Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, which instead of dealing with justice, deals with fulfilling the personal ambitions of an MEP, who clearly has political affiliations in Kosovo,” she wrote. 

“The least she should do is apologize and resign for this scandalous visit. The Specialized Prosecutor’s Office and the Specialized Chambers were set up to reveal allegations fabricated by Serbian structures and promoted by Dick Marty. They were not created to decide the geopolitical fate of the state of Kosovo or the fate of its political and institutional leaders,” Musliu wrote.

British Embassy: We did not block communication with anyone (RTK)

The British Embassy in Kosovo through a post on Twitter denied the allegations of a Kosovo daily  that the embassy has interrupted communication with the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi.

“The British Embassy continues to engage with the full range of political and institutional leaders in Kosovo. This is a normal and essential element of the diplomatic work of the Embassy. As a key partner and friend of Kosovo, the UK remains in close contact with all parts of the Kosovan State, and with all parliamentary parties, both government and opposition.

The Embassy has not “blocked communication” with any political or institutional leaders. Any suggestion that it has done so is false,” reads the Tweet.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Antonijevic: Six newly infected of Covid-19 in Serbian communities (Kosovo Online)

Epidemiologist Aleksandar Antonijevic stated that in the last 24 hours, there have been six new cases of coronavirus in Serbian areas, 40 have been cured and there were no deceased.  

At the press conference, Antonijevic emphasized that two patients were from North Mitrovica, two each from Leposavic and Zubin Potok, while there were no new infected ones in Zvecan.

Among the infected were four pregnant women, as well as about 15 to 20 children, he stated.

According to Antonijevic, so far, a total of 637 people have fallen ill in Serbian areas: There are 505 new cases in the new wave, and currently there are 455 active cases, said Antonijevic.

He pointed out that 119 people were hospitalized, while 338 citizens are in home isolation.

Vucic: Pleasant afternoon with Quinta, EU reps; support of resumed dialogue (N1, FoNet)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic wrote on his Instagram account that he spent a pleasant afternoon with the Quinta countries’ ambassadors and the European Union top diplomat in Belgrade, and added they all supported the resumption of the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalization of relations, N1 reported on Monday.

Vucic talked with the ambassador of the US, Antony Godfrey, France Jean Lui Falcone, Italy Carlo Lo Cascio, Germany Thomas Schieb, UK deputy envoy Rebecca Fabrizi and the head of the EU Delegation in Serbia Sem Fabrizi.

Later, Vucic’s office said in a statement that the interlocutors “exchanged views on the current issues like the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue, Serbia’s European path and consultations about the new country’s government Vucic held with the parliamentary parties”.

“Quinta’s ambassadors and Fabrizi said the respect of the rule of law, especially the right on gatherings and media freedom were essential for Serbia’s road to the EU,” the statement said.

The statement added that diplomats welcomed Vucic’s intention to form an inclusive government with a clear mandate to lead the country towards the EU.

Vucic thanked the EU for its aid to Serbia during the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery afterwards, adding he was grateful to the non-EU member countries like the US and the UK for their help as well.  

See at: https://bit.ly/3jsKcDN

Vucic consults on new Serbian government with coalition around SNS party (N1, FoNet)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic held consultations on forming a new Serbian government with officials of the coalition formed around his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), FoNet news agency reports.

Besides SNS officials, the meeting was attended by Party of United Pensioners (PUPS) leader Milan Krkobabic and Social Democrat Party of Serbia leader and outgoing Trade and Telecommunications Minister Rasim Ljajic. 

Vucic held consultations earlier with leaders of the two other parties that won seats in parliament at the June 21 elections – outgoing Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and SPAS leader and former New Belgrade municipal mayor Aleksandar Sapic as well as the leaders of some of the national minority parties that have reserved seats in parliament.

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

Armored vehicles purchased in US arrived in Pristina (Kosovo-online)

Rahman Rama from the Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) said yesterday that the first shipment of the armored vehicles purchased in the US for the needs of KSF arrived in Pristina, Kosovo-online portal reports citing Pristina-based Indexonline.

“We have bought these armored vehicles in the US. We signed the agreement last year and yesterday the first shipment arrived, while the second one would follow in the coming period,” Rama said briefly.

Kosovo-online portal added that several armored vehicles arrived and the vehicles would be used for the needs of KSF and its specialized units. 

 

 

Opinion

 

Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia (Balkan Insight)

By Maxim Samorukov

Serbia’s authorities broke an old taboo when they blamed pro-Russian radicals for instigating some of the recent violence in the country, and Russia-Serbia relations may never be the same again.

In the past week, Serbia made global headlines as one of the first countries to find itself in political turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 7, thousands of Serbs took to the streets, protesting against the re-imposition of lockdown restrictions. The protests continued for several days with outbursts of violence in which dozens of people were injured, and even including an attempt to storm parliament.

The unrest took place just days before the long-awaited resumption of talks between Kosovo and Serbia, giving rise to suspicions that provocateurs might have infiltrated the protests.

Many observers accused Russia of stirring up more trouble in the Balkans: Moscow is seen as an opponent of the resolution of the Kosovo issue, which would likely ease the Euro-Atlantic integration of Russia’s long-time ally.

No evidence of Russia’s direct involvement in events in Serbia has been shown, but, regardless, the protests have already brought about changes to Russia-Serbia relations.

Serbs had plenty of reasons to feel annoyed about the way their government had handled the pandemic. After two months of strict lockdown measures, most of the restrictions were lifted in May ahead of parliamentary elections. A significant proportion of the opposition boycotted the vote, allowing the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, led by President Aleksandar Vucic, to score a landslide victory.

Only days later, the authorities reported an upsurge in the number of new COVID-19 cases and tried to re-impose most of the restrictions. In response, many accused Vucic and his party of knowingly endangering people’s lives in order to hold the vote and secure a loyal parliament.

See at: https://bit.ly/2OFl4eW

 

 

International

 

EU Summit’s ‘Historic’ Budget Pleases Central, South-East Europe Leaders (Balkan Insight)

After a marathon summit, EU leaders reached what they called a “historic agreement” on the bloc’s budget and a 750-billion-euro coronavirus recovery fund that was welcomed by central and south-eastern European states.

After four days of difficult discussions at the first in-person EU summit since the coronavirus outbreak, leaders of member states managed to agree on Tuesday morning on the bloc’s budget for 2021-2027 and on a 750-billion-euro coronavirus recovery fund.

“We negotiated four long days and nights, more than 90 hours, but it was worth it,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Leaders from central and south-east European EU member states also expressed satisfaction.

See at: https://bit.ly/2Cour0f

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Ivanusa: First coronavirus vaccines on market perhaps by end of year (N1)

World Health Organization (WHO) in Serbia Director Marijan Ivanusa told N1 on Tuesday that the first quantities of a coronavirus vaccine could be available on the market by the end of the year but warned that there might not be enough for everyone.

“We have high hopes in the new vaccine and I hope the first quantities can be available on the market by the end of the year. However, that does not mean that there will be sufficient quantities for everyone,” Ivanusa said. 

He added that a lot of effort is being invested in developing a vaccine. “Work is underway on 160 types of vaccine with some 20 in clinical trials… We expect wide-spread vaccination in the middle of next year”. 

He also noted that the distribution of the vaccine is an important issue which the WHO is working on with its partners to make sure that every country gets the amount of vaccine it needs since there are countries which have enough money to buy all quantities of the vaccine in the near future.

Ivanusa said that nurses, doctors, medical staff and other related professions will be the first to be vaccinated. 

 

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