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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 17, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 17, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 25 new cases, one death (media)
• Hoti: About 10 thousand citizens were vaccinated during the weekend (media)
• Kurti: For 55 days of government, we have done a lot of work (media)
• Trendafilova: KSC is not an ethnic court, victims are of different ethnic backgrounds (Klan)
• President Osmani met with Croatian President Zoran Milanovic (RTK)
• Gresa Caka-Nimani elected president of the Constitutional Court (media)
• Protest in front of Ministry against violence of girls in schools (media)
• Kosovo authorities seize over 2 tons of cocaine? (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Seven new cases of Covid-19 registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)
• Vucic: Serbia has always advocated for inviolability of UN recognized borders (Kosovo-online)
• Stano: The dinner will be a sign of wider political engagement of the EU and the Western Balkans (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
• Western Balkans leaders’ summit today in Brioni, Vucic after that in Brussels with Stoltenberg (Radio Mitrovica sever, RTS)
• Brnabic-Kurti meeting in Brussels tomorrow, geopolitics on the “menu” of the working dinner (Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
• Serbia’s Vucic will skip Western Balkans leaders’ working dinner in Brussels (N1)
• All municipal boards of the SNS in Kosovo for the removal of Stefanovic from party and state functions (KoSSev)
• Vucic: I would rather lose my head than give up Serbia, seizure of Kosovo is end of everything (KoSSev)
• Enthronement of Patriarch Porfirije in Pec Patriarchate postponed (KoSSev)
• Bishop Teodosije requested OSCE support for survival of Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo (RTS)
• Montenegro is not sending infantry platoon to KFOR (KoSSev)
• Dacic: Request for KFOR withdrawal more threat, than it is realistic (Kosovo-online)
• Health ministry official: More than 42 percent fully vaccinated in Serbia (N1)
• Petkovic: Kurti deceives public with statements on lawsuit against Belgrade (Kosovo-online)

International:

• Catalysing anti-corruption in the WB achievable only by an alliance of stakeholders, latest report highlights (EWB)
• Montenegro Scraps Plan to Join NATO Mission in Kosovo (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Another “weekend” series of domestic violence and violence against women (KoSSev)
• PM Brnabic: Celebrations as of June 21 if 50 pct of population is vaccinated (N1)
• How IDAHOBIT came to Kosovo (Kosovo 2.0)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 25 new cases, one death (media)
  • Hoti: About 10 thousand citizens were vaccinated during the weekend (media)
  • Kurti: For 55 days of government, we have done a lot of work (media)
  • Trendafilova: KSC is not an ethnic court, victims are of different ethnic backgrounds (Klan)
  • President Osmani met with Croatian President Zoran Milanovic (RTK)
  • Gresa Caka-Nimani elected president of the Constitutional Court (media)
  • Protest in front of Ministry against violence of girls in schools (media)
  • Kosovo authorities seize over 2 tons of cocaine? (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Seven new cases of Covid-19 registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)
  • Vucic: Serbia has always advocated for inviolability of UN recognized borders (Kosovo-online)
  • Stano: The dinner will be a sign of wider political engagement of the EU and the Western Balkans (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
  • Western Balkans leaders’ summit today in Brioni, Vucic after that in Brussels with Stoltenberg (Radio Mitrovica sever, RTS)
  • Brnabic-Kurti meeting in Brussels tomorrow, geopolitics on the “menu” of the working dinner (Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
  • Serbia’s Vucic will skip Western Balkans leaders’ working dinner in Brussels (N1)
  • All municipal boards of the SNS in Kosovo for the removal of Stefanovic from party and state functions (KoSSev)
  • Vucic: I would rather lose my head than give up Serbia, seizure of Kosovo is end of everything (KoSSev)
  • Enthronement of Patriarch Porfirije in Pec Patriarchate postponed (KoSSev)
  • Bishop Teodosije requested OSCE support for survival of Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo (RTS)
  • Montenegro is not sending infantry platoon to KFOR (KoSSev)
  • Dacic: Request for KFOR withdrawal more threat, than it is realistic (Kosovo-online)
  • Health ministry official: More than 42 percent fully vaccinated in Serbia (N1)
  • Petkovic: Kurti deceives public with statements on lawsuit against Belgrade (Kosovo-online)

International:

  • Catalysing anti-corruption in the WB achievable only by an alliance of stakeholders, latest report highlights (EWB)
  • Montenegro Scraps Plan to Join NATO Mission in Kosovo (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Another “weekend” series of domestic violence and violence against women (KoSSev)
  • PM Brnabic: Celebrations as of June 21 if 50 pct of population is vaccinated (N1)
  • How IDAHOBIT came to Kosovo (Kosovo 2.0) 

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

COVID-19: 25 new cases, one death (media)

Kosovo has recorded 25 new cases of COVID-19 and one death from the virus in the last 24 hours. There are 4,889 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo. 196 persons have recovered from the virus during this period. 

Hoti: About 10 thousand citizens were vaccinated during the weekend (media)

The spokesman of the Ministry of Health, Faik Hoti, stated that during the weekend about 10 thousand citizens were vaccinated with the anti-COVID vaccine, while in total, the number of vaccinated has gone to about 41 thousand.

Hoti stated that the vaccination process is going according to plan, having a good flow and according to him, it is important that the process has gained momentum and the number of those who want to get the vaccine has increased.

“In total we have over 41 thousand vaccinated. The process continues today. Stability has been created, teams have established better cooperation, our colleagues from the municipalities have come to see how the vaccination should be done. The fact that we have combined vaccines has given citizens more opportunities to get the vaccine,” he added.

The official of the Ministry of Health has emphasized that they are waiting for the second contingent from UNICEF with about 38 thousand doses, while from the end of May 100 thousand Pfizer vaccines are expected to come.

Kurti: For 55 days of government, we have done a lot of work (media)

The Assembly of Kosovo is holding today an extraordinary session, where the Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti presented the governing plan of his government.

Kurti stated that for 55 days of government, a lot of work has been done that will lay the foundations of progress for the next four years. Kurti said that the anti-COVID measures imposed had an effect and were successful.

“When we came to the government, we drafted a plan that stopped the growing trend of cases that we inherited. After 41 days of entry into force, we can report that the measures were effective and successful, and thanks to them we have a completely different situation,” he said.

“Today we have a parliamentary majority, a government and presidency that are in line with their positions. Today we must celebrate this standard that we have achieved together, and it must be manifested with great reforms.”

“The program we have is a reflection of the promises and not only of the campaign. It is what we have been talking about for a long time about building a society where everyone gets what they deserve. A society that invests in education so that children are ready to compete in the global market, is our priority” Kurti added.

He further said that they plan to hire 400 pedagogues, psychologists and will make external evaluations of schools, while within the year the training of 500 teachers will take place.

“We are for free public education. In public institutions the fees for the payment of the semester will be removed. We will invest in health. For a long time, our clinics were seen only as a meeting place with the doctor to get the prescription and get treatment elsewhere. With this program we will increase inspection and monitoring by recruiting 30 health inspectors. We will keep the promise of a family doctor for 2000 thousand inhabitants,” he added, presenting the governing plan.

He stated that he is ready to cooperate with opposition leaders on foreign policy, in particular the dialogue with Serbia. Kurti said he could meet with them at any time to discuss the negotiations that await Kosovo, adding that they could improve the mistakes of previous governments together.

“Let us aim to unite on topics where we can find consensus. We will seek cooperation with the opposition on the topic of foreign policy and dialogue with Serbia. We may disagree on many issues, but try to agree on dialogue with Serbia,” he said.

Kurti pointed out that there are other topics, such as the courts in the north, the creation of a discourse on territorial agreements and footnotes, that he can discuss with the opposition.

“But let us not forget that you who have been in power for these 20 years, have already made a legacy left to us and most of my work in dialogue is in undoing the damage you have done as the association, footnotes, opening the status issue, threats of territorial change. If you have regrets, then let ‘s talk together and improve it.”

Acting leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Enver Hoxhaj criticized the presented government plan, saying that Kurti has the talent to advertise himself.

“The invitation of the Prime Minister to present the program in an extraordinary session two months after taking office is not about urgency. This session would have been common if it were to be held in late March. This urgency should be in dealing with the pandemic situation. The images of our elderly being pushed for a vaccine show that the country is heading towards a humanitarian catastrophe,” he said.

Hoxhaj said that the governing program has no action plan, it is weak and useless.

“The objectives are not translated into concrete activities, there are no deadlines and no budget planning. It is the weakest and most useless program. Albin Kurti had created the impression that as soon as he led the government, he would make the big transformation thanks to the political program. In fact, this has to do with something else, every demagogue and populist has a special talent to advertise himself and this talent is also shared by Albin Kurti,” he said. 

The leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lumir Abdixhiku, said that the governing plan is one of the most inconsistent documents he has ever seen, adding that there is no measurement, time or number.

“We will make good policies,” the program says. How can one define the abstract of good politics, this is not a measure, it is a slogan. There are two reasons for such a lack of definition: First, you do not know what you are going to do and second, you are afraid of setting a goal,” Abdixhiku said.

He added that no concrete plan for economic development has been given in the program.

“This program does not show how much economic growth will be for the next four years,” he said, instructing Kurti that governance should be done looking to the future, and not criticizing the past.

“You have summarized the whole health problem in 334 words, with one page for four years. As dry as health, remains the economy. I do not believe that anyone can write so many words about economics without any prediction. I invite the government to show us the economic indicators of the country for the next four years,” Abdixhiku said.

Trendafilova: KSC is not an ethnic court, victims are of different ethnic backgrounds (Klan)

Ekaterina Trendafilova, President of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, gave an interview for Klan Kosova where she spoke about the work of the court and her second mandate as president. 

Trendafilova said the Specialist Chambers have come a long way since her appointment as president in 2016. “During my first mandate, Kosovo Specialist Chambers set up their solid legal bases through adopting a wide range of documents ensuring speed, efficiency and security for judicial proceedings,” she said. 

“During the three months of autumn 2020, the Specialist Prosecutor arrested seven defendants in three different cases. One of these cases includes war crimes and crimes against humanity, while the second includes only war crimes. The third case related to alleged violations against the administration of justice. One-eighth of the accused for war crimes were arrested shortly after I began the second term in office, bringing a total of four cases before the KSC. The Pre-Trial Judge has been appointed for these cases and the proceedings are currently ongoing,” Trendafilova said, adding that she was certain that the Kosovo Specialist Chambers will serve as a model for best practices in local and international criminal justice systems.

Trendafilova also addressed reports of attempts to undermine the work of the KSC saying that they take very seriously challenges to the court’s mandate “and our legal framework ensures the KSC the possibility of indicting any individual suspected of committing acts against administration of justice.”

Asked about the possibility of KSC being moved from The Hague to a different location, Trendafilova said that the letter exchange between former EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and then President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga stipulates that due to the sensitivity of the cases that the court will address, KSC should be based outside Kosovo. “Agreement for establishment of procedures is mandatory and cannot be changed without consent from parties involved. Furthermore, the reasons for it being based outside Kosovo continue to exist.”

KSC President also clarified what she said was a misunderstanding about the work of the court. “The Law on Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office clearly stipulate that only individuals and not ethnic groups, organisations or other entities can be accused of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the KSC.”  Trendafilova also underlined that the victims identified in the indictments come from different ethnic backgrounds which she said goes to prove that the KSC is not an ethnic court. 

President Osmani met with Croatian President Zoran Milanovic (RTK)

The President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, in the framework of the Summit of Presidents of the Brdo-Brijuni region in Slovenia, met today with her Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanovic.

Both interlocutors assessed the relations between Croatia and Kosovo as excellent and expressed their readiness to intensify them in many areas of common interest. In this context, the possibility of cooperation in clarifying the fate of those who went missing during the war was mentioned.

President Milanovic said that Croatia supports the integrity and sovereignty of Kosovo, as well as visa liberalization and the European path.

The situation with the Covid-19 pandemic was also discussed at the meeting, while President Osmani thanked Croatia for donating a quantity of vaccines.

At the Summit of Presidents of the Brdo-Brijuni region, President Osmani is expected to have meetings with the Presidents of Albania, Northern Macedonia and Montenegro.

Gresa Caka-Nimani elected president of the Constitutional Court (media)

Media widely report that Gresa Caka-Nimani has been elected the new President of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

Caka-Nimani was decreed as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo on December 30, 2015.

Until her appointment, Judge Caka-Nimani served as Senior Legal Advisor and Team Leader for the Office for Democracy and Governance at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Protest in front of Ministry against violence and insecurity of girls in schools (media)

After the case of sexual harassment of a minor near a school in Pristina, Collective for Critical Thinking and Feminist Action have organized a protest in front of the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.

The protest that was announced on Sunday, started at 12:00, while the point of protest is the neglect of the safety of girls and the lack of proper education policies.

Fjolla Muçaj, organizer said that the last case to in the ‘Faik Konica’ school, has shown once again the scary reality with which girls grow up in Kosovo.

According to her, the sexual abuse of girls in schools is an urgent issue that everyone should deal with.

“This reality, where the risk of sexual abuse is constant, comes precisely because of the social and institutional failure to treat violence against girls and women as a serious problem and concern for public safety. Institutionalized patriarchy is endangering the right to education and healthy upbringing of children in schools. This is because our institutions have consistently failed to come up with genuine policies that would seriously address the sexual violence against girls, not recognizing at all the presence of this phenomenon and the need to address it. On the other side, we are deeply concerned with the media reporting of these cases and consider that part of the problem is the media themselves and their scandalous reporting. The media are becoming a serious obstacle in combating these phenomena, treating issues of gender-based violence as ‘sensational’ news and means through which they earn more, violating above all human and journalistic principles. Disclosure of the identity of the victims and children involved in such cases as the latter is intolerable, for which we demand penalties from the relevant authorities,” she said.

Kosovo authorities seize over 2 tons of cocaine? (media)

Euronews.al reported that Kosovo State Police has seized over two tons of cocaine found inside a consignment of bananas arriving from Albania.

Sources told Euronews Albania that authorities had a tip-off and were keeping an eye on a red truck traveling from Italy to the port of the Durres then eventually trying to cross through the border in Kosovo, where it was busted in an operation conducted by international, as well as Albanian and Kosovo law enforcement units.

Police authorities are expected to hold a press conference later during the day to give more information on the major drug bust.

However, Kallxo.com reports that the Director of Anti-Drugs in the Kosovo Police, Bahri Shala has denied the news that more than 2 tons of cocaine were seized in Kosovo.

“I cannot give much information but there are not 2.2 tons that have been seized. This is information from the media in Albania that has manipulated the information. They are at the scene and are in the process of examining the scene. We still do not have exact information,” he said.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Seven new cases of Covid-19 registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio KIM)

Out of 54 tested samples seven were positive for Covid-19 in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo, Crisis Committee of Mitrovica North announced on Saturday, Radio KIM reports.

At the same time, 47 persons completed a two-week isolation period.

Currently there are 108 active cases of Covid-19 in the Serbian areas in Kosovo.

New seven cases were registered as follows: three in Mitrovica North, one in Leposavic, and three in Zubin Potok.

A total of 147 persons have died in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo since the outbreak of the pandemic.  

Vucic: Serbia has always advocated for inviolability of UN recognized borders (Kosovo-online)

Plenary meeting of the Western Balkan leaders ended, and it lasted longer due to harmonization of conclusions. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said “Belgrade accepted proposed conclusions, however there were many things that Belgrade didn’t agree to”, Kosovo-online portal reports.   

Vucic added that “one of the crucial issues was the issue of border changes”.

“We advocate for the principle of inviolability of the borders. It mentions how the borders within the region should be erased and that would be good, we could agree but of course we haven’t. We are ready for new talks. We all know our positions here, we all know who has recognized Kosovo and who hasn’t. It is nothing new and we know that since 2008. We would like respect for international law”, Vucic said.

Serbia has always advocated for inviolability of UN recognized borders, an organization which is universal, and not to treat the borders as per desire of some country, the changes (of the borders) can happen here, but tomorrow they can’t”, he said.“That our initiative was not accepted, but we are pleased with the rest of the text”.

He also said others requested much more and were much more displeased.

Stano: The dinner will be a sign of wider political engagement of the EU and the Western Balkans (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)

European Union spokesman Peter Stano says that the goal of tomorrow’s dinner, which is being organized for leaders from the Western Balkans in Brussels, is to start and expand mutual political engagement, reports news agency Tanjug.

Stano emphasized that “enlargement is a priority for both the region and the EU”, but that the goal now is to see the bigger picture.

“The aim of this meeting is to hear from the leaders of the Western Balkans how they see the political context and the situation, as well as to restart more frequent engagement on a broader basis, and not just on the issue of enlargement,” Stano said.

He emphasized at the regular press conference in Brussels that the intention of EU Foreign Minister Borrell is to renew the tradition of maintaining such formats with partners from the Western Balkans.

Stano points out that this is a logical continuation of the strategic debate that the EU foreign ministers had last week about the increased engagement in the Western Balkans.

Western Balkans leaders’ summit today in Brioni, Vucic after that in Brussels with Stoltenberg (Radio Mitrovica sever, RTS)

President Aleksandar Vucic expects two important meetings, the first today at the summit of the Western Balkans on Brdo-Brioni in Slovenia, and then a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels., reported Radio Mitrovica sever.

The plenary session of the summit is expected to start at 11 am, after which the conclusions from the session will be published, as well as the declaration. The declaration, which is expected to be adopted, should contain, among other things, the idea of the immutability of borders.

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani will attend the gathering for the first time and will meet with the leaders of the Western Balkans in this format for the first time. The President of Croatia, Zoran Milanovic, arrived in Slovenia the day before and talked with his Slovenian colleague Borut Pahor.

French President Emanuel Macron, whose arrival has been announced, will not attend the summit. The Brdo-Brioni initiative is a joint Slovenian-Croatian initiative, launched in 2010, to increase trust between countries in the region and help them join the European Union. 

Last year, the summit was postponed twice due to the epidemiological situation. After Slovenia, President Aleksandar Vucic will travel to Brussels, where he will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The agenda of their bilateral meeting will include political dialogue, partnership and practical mechanisms of cooperation between Serbia and NATO, as well as the KFOR mission and its role in preserving security in Kosovo and Metohija. The President of Serbia and NATO Secretary General are also expected to exchange views on combating the pandemic along with the vaccination campaign, as well as on the economic progress and the European integration path of Serbia. It is planned that after the meeting, around 5 p.m., Vucic and Stoltenberg will address the media together from the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The meeting of the President of Serbia with the Secretary General of NATO is currently more important than the meeting on Brdo near Kranj due to the announcement that one of the world powers could request the withdrawal of KFOR from Kosovo. The principle of the invariability of borders in the Western Balkans should apply to everyone, including the invariability of Serbia’s borders, the president of the Center for Foreign Policy, Suzana Grubjesic, told Radio Television of Serbia, quoted the radio. 

Sociologist Vladimir Vuletic told RTS that it would be important if in Brussels, in a conversation with Jens Stoltenberg, confirmation was obtained that there were only speculations that KFOR would withdraw from Kosovo, and that any such attempt would be prevented.

Brnabic-Kurti meeting in Brussels tomorrow, geopolitics on the “menu” of the working dinner (Kosovo Online, Tanjug)

The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic will attend the working dinner of the leaders of the Western Balkans, which will be organized tomorrow in Brussels by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, reported agency Tanjug. 

Kosovo Online quoted that the dinner was planned start at 8.30 pm, and in addition to Prime Minister Brnabic, the presence was confirmed by the Prime Ministers of Albania Edi Rama, Northern Macedonia Zoran Zaev, Kosovo Albin Kurti, as well as Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and BiH Council of Ministers Chairman Zoran Tegeltija.

EU Foreign Minister and host of the dinner, Josep Borrell announced that he would discuss the situation in the region, the geopolitical perspective of relations and the EU’s increased engagement in the Western Balkans with the Western Balkan leaders.

“At dinner, we will discuss the entire political situation in the Western Balkans. The Western Balkans is a big geopolitical issue. The region is part of the problem and part of the solution. We have to look at it from a geopolitical point of view and we will do it next week with all Western Balkan leaders,” he said. . 

Last week, the EU foreign minister asked the EU Council of Ministers for concrete proposals aimed at “strengthening the visibility of the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans”.

Brussels also sent a message about the desire to strengthen political engagement with partners in the Western Balkans on the issues of fighting the pandemic, economic cooperation, networking, defense against external influences and disinformation, and strengthening a positive and constructive narrative when it comes to the EU in the region, but also the Western Balkans in the EU.

Serbia’s Vucic will skip Western Balkans leaders’ working dinner in Brussels (N1)

Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President, won’t take part at the working dinner on Monday organized by the European Union for the Western Balkans leaders in Brussels but will meet Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General in the Alliance’s headquarters.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic will represent Belgrade at the dinner hosted by Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, N1 learned.

Other participants include prime ministers of North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro’s President and the Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency.

The topics during the talks at the dinner will be an overall political situation in the Western Balkans and the regional countries’ European integrations.

Vucic is due to meet Stoltenberg to discuss, as he has said, possible Alliance’s KFOR withdrawal from Kosovo, what Belgrade considered unacceptable and dangerous.

See at: https://bit.ly/3tVtm4B

All municipal boards of the SNS in Kosovo for the removal of Stefanovic from party and state functions (KoSSev)

The public has been speculating for months about the conflicts within the SNS, primarily on the line Vucic – Stefanovic. Several analysts also state that it is a “quiet departure” of Stefanovic, the KoSSev portal writes today.

Today’s news is that all municipal boards of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of Kosovo and Metohija held meetings on Sunday, at which a unanimous decision was made to demand the urgent removal of Nebojsa Stefanovic from all party and state functions, the SNS committees announced.

The committees from Kosovo and Metohija estimate that this should send a clear message that every member of the SNS is “responsible for his work and that no one has the right to endanger the reputation that the SNS has thanks to the diligent, responsible and dedicated work of President Aleksandar Vucic”, quoted the portal.

The portal reminds that yesterday the municipal boards of SNS Stari grad and Vozdovac (Belgrade) did the same. Several local committees of the SNS declared about a confidence in Stefanovic, and the process began in practice, after the MP from the ranks of the SNS, Vladimir Djukanovic, called for his removal via social networks.

Vucic: I would rather lose my head than give up Serbia, seizure of Kosovo is end of everything (KoSSev)

How will I explain to my people that Kosovo had the right to self-determination, which it did not express even through a valid referendum – this is how President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic often asks European officials during the Brussels talks. How come Serbs in the region do not have the same right? – Vucic also wonders. However, the only answer he receives, as he said, is them “staring like a stuck pig,” the President of Serbia revealed in an interview for TV Prva late Friday evening, KoSSev portal reports.

Vucic also said he has the same look on his face when the Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Milorad Dodik asks him the same.

Let it go, let’s grow economically – reads Vucic’s reply to Dodik.

In a guest appearance on Prva TV on Friday evening, the Serbian president revealed Serbia is committed that no border change takes place. Others aren’t committed to this, he warned, noting that they first changed the borders of Yugoslavia, then Serbia’s borders as well – by force. But now when it comes to Kosovo, they say that there will be no change of borders, he added.

”Whenever you see someone who is in favor of changing the borders, someone who persistently insists on it, know that these people are notorious crooks who want to destroy Serbia at any cost“, Vucic underlined.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3eU9hao

Enthronement of Patriarch Porfirije in Pec Patriarchate postponed (KoSSev)

The enthronement of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) Patriarch Porfirije in the Pec Patriarchate Monastery, announced for May 23rd, according to Belgrade-based media outlets, has been postponed. What had been unofficially announced some time ago has been officially confirmed by the Serbian Patriarchate on Friday, KoSSev portal reports.

The reason for the delay is the epidemiological measures in force in Kosovo, reads the announcement.

At the same time, the Patriarchate informed the public that a regular session of the SOC Assembly would be held on May 24th, which would begin with a liturgy on the feast of St. Cyril and Methodius, in the Memorial Church of Saint Sava in Vracar (Belgrade’s central municipality).

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

Bishop Teodosije requested OSCE support for survival of Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo (RTS)

Bishop of Raska-Prizren Eparchy Teodosije met the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Michael Davenport and requested support for the survival of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, RTS reports.

The Raska-Prizren Eparchy wrote on Twitter that “Bishop Teodosije spoke with the Head of the OSCE Mission in KiM, Mr. Michael Davenport. Bishop informed Mr. Davenport about all the problems Eparchy is facing regarding the rights, laws and their implementation, in particular in the case of Visoki Decani Monastery and requested support for our survival”. 

Montenegro is not sending infantry platoon to KFOR (KoSSev)

The Army of Montenegro will not send an infantry platoon to the KFOR Mission in Kosovo due to the coronavirus crisis and budgetary constraints, Ministry of Defense told Vijesti TV, KoSSev portal reports.

One of the leaders of the Democratic Front Milan Knezevic opposed this planned engagement and warned of filing an interpellation in the Assembly against the Minister of Defense, Olivera Injac and Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic.  

The Ministry also said two of its representatives would remain in KFOR, one officer and one civilian staff from the Ministry, so Montenegro could continue contributing to a collective NATO defense system. 

Dacic: Request for KFOR withdrawal more threat, than it is realistic (Kosovo-online)

Serbian Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic assessed today requests for withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK from Kosovo represent more a threat than it was realistic to happen, Kosovo-online portal reports.

Regarding this, Dacic said, it came as no surprise that President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said one of the major powers would request withdrawal of KFOR and UNMIK from Kosovo, adding these were political and intelligence information Serbia received concerning the stances of certain countries, Kosovo-online portal reports.

“It is yet another support to Pristina’s stances in a sense that situation in Kosovo and Metohija is normalizing and there is no longer the need for (the presence of these organizations), and along with that pressures were exerted to have less frequent UN Security Council sessions on Kosovo (…)”, Dacic explained.

Dacic also said that regardless of Resolution 1244 not being respected it still exists.

“In order to revoke it, a decision must be made and this is our greatest advantage at this moment. To make a new decision it must be voted. It means that making a new decision must be the result of consultations with UN SC member states, including two permanent members, Russia and China, that support us”, Dacic explained.

Health ministry official: More than 42 percent fully vaccinated in Serbia (N1)

More than four million doses of vaccine against coronavirus have been administered in Serbia by Saturday morning, Serbian Health Ministry Secretary Mirsad Djerlek said, N1 reports.

Out of this number 2,279,000 were the second dose, which makes slightly more than 42 percent fully vaccinated people, he added.

“We have crossed 42 percent of adults vaccinated, we are moving towards the goal, which is to have three million revaccinated people in Serbia by the end of June”, Djerlek told RTS public broadcaster.

Djerlek also said the anti-vaccination lobby stood no chance, no matter how strong it is, if the state system is well organized.

“The strategy is to go in depth, to vaccinate people where they live and whenever they are available. It is impossible for a person who lives far away to meet the deadline and come for the vaccine. Once we start with the new organization and vaccination points from village to village, I think we will be able to improve the result“, he said.

Petkovic: Kurti deceives public with statements on lawsuit against Belgrade (Kosovo-online)

Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Petar Petkovic commented on the latest statement of Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on lawsuit against Belgrade by saying that Kurti “continues deceiving both his own and international public with the statements on some sort of a lawsuit against official Belgrade for alleged war crimes and genocide”, Kosovo-online portal reports.

“He now went one step further and announced the opening of an institute that should allegedly document those crimes. Such a possibility exists neither in legal literature nor in practice, and neither experts nor the political public in Pristina believe such announcements”, Petkovic added.

He once again recalled that Kosovo as part of Serbia can’t sue its own state, “nor it can be a party in the proceeding”.

 

 

International

 

Catalysing anti-corruption in the WB achievable only by an alliance of stakeholders, latest report highlights (EWB)

“Releasing governance from the state capture and democratic backsliding caused by the slow progress in squeezing out the corruption and allowing private interests to acquire a hold on government, can only be achieved by an alliance of stakeholders acting in concert”, concludes the 2020 Regional Anticorruption Report published by the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity.

The report “Western Balkans 2020: State-capture risks and policy reforms”, released in April, reflects the overall corruption environment in the Western Balkans in an objective and quantifiable manner, by using the Corruption Monitoring System (CMS) as a methodology that ensures comparability of data across countries and registers the actual level and trends of corruption, as well as the public attitudes, assessments, and expectations in relation to corruption.

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

Montenegro Scraps Plan to Join NATO Mission in Kosovo (Balkan Insight)

Defence Ministry on Sunday said it was abandoning the previous government’s plan to deploy 30 troops in the NAT0-led KFOR mission – reflecting opposition to the idea from now dominant pro-Serbian political forces.

Montenegro on Sunday said it will not deploy soldiers in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo this year, citing budget restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Defence said it had abandoned the plan to send a platoon of 30 soldiers to Kosovo, announced by the former government, led by the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS.

The Kosovo Force, KFOR, is a NATO-led international peacekeeping force. It has been present in the former Serbian province of Kosovo since the war there ended in 1999. Once about 50,000 strong, it now numbers about 3,500 troops, about 660 from the US.

“Due to the situation caused by pandemic and budget restrictions, in 2021 the Montenegrin government does not plan joint preparations, trainings or engagements of the Montenegrin Army infantry platoon in KFOR,” the ministry told local TV Vijesti.

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

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Another “weekend” series of domestic violence and violence against women (KoSSev)

Violence against women and domestic violence is common in police reports in Kosovo. Both the previous day and night, Kosovo police registered several attacks on women, including forms of domestic violence, reported portal KoSSev on Saturday. 

In Pristina, in the first case, which took place on the night between Friday and Saturday, a man was arrested for physical violence against his wife, while in the second case, also domestic violence of a husband against his wife, the attacker was released in regular proceedings.

And while in the first attack there is no information about the nature of the victim’s injuries, in the second the woman refused treatment.

In Lipljan, two men were arrested for attacking a woman in her apartment. It is assumed that it is the girlfriend of one of the attackers.

A man was arrested in Suva Reka last night for harassing a woman. Although there is no information on the type of harassment, it was announced that the attacker’s phone was confiscated for further investigation, because he also abused communication by phone.

In another case, in the same place, the husband was first arrested for physical violence against his wife, and then he was released, so the case goes within a regular procedure, while the attacked woman was medically taken care of.

A man was arrested in the village of Brod in Dragas because he verbally threatened his family members several times. He was remanded in custody.

A man was arrested in Prizren for attacking his partner with whom he lives. According to her, he is a drug addict.

In Malisevo, the man was attacked by his son and his daughter-in-law, as he himself reported to the police. The detained couple was released through a regular procedure, and the attacked man was offered medical assistance and a temporary order for emergency protection was issued.

In Pec yesterday, a woman reported her ex-husband who threatened to kill her precisely because of the separation. He was then arrested.

In South Mitrovica, police are looking for a man who was reported by his wife for verbally threatening her, while in North Mitrovica, the father-in-law reported his son-in-law.

According to the man’s report, his daughter’s ex-husband thinks that his father-in-law does not allow him to live with her, and that he, at the time of the threat, had a weapon behind his belt. Police units searched the house of the reported father but did not find any weapons.

PM Brnabic: Celebrations as of June 21 if 50 pct of population is vaccinated (N1)

Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic said the authorities might allow celebrations and other events as of June 21 if 50 percent of the population gets vaccinated against coronavirus by then, N1 reports. She once again urged citizens to vaccinate.

Vaccination is a matter of national security, Brnabic said on Saturday after the visit to Laznica healthcare institute, in eastern Serbia.

“We would like to open Serbia for celebrations, wedding parties, birthday parties, and other events, but we should have 50 percent of the vaccinated population for that to happen. We are at 42 percent now or some 2,270,000 people”, Brnabic noted.

See more at: https://bit.ly/33W4IGh

How IDAHOBIT came to Kosovo (Kosovo 2.0)

The day celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ+ people.

On May 17, LGBTQ+ people worldwide will mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) for the 15th time. 

It is a global annual event that draws the attention of decision makers, the media and the public to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions and sex characteristics. But it also celebrates all the diversity and gains won to achieve better lives for LGBTQ+ people. 

May 17 was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The decision came twenty years after the first ever Gay Pride Parade was organized in New York City, that followed the Stonewall riots of 1969, widely known as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. 

The concept — first known as IDAHO — was developed in 2004. In 2005 many individuals and large international organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) demanded public support for the day in a yearlong campaign.

See more at: https://bit.ly/2S1bSGQ

 

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