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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, June 2, 2021

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, June 2, 2021

Albanian Language Media:

• COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)
• EU supports Kosovo in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic (media)
• Kurti on Brussels meeting: It is about the future dialogue, not the previous one (media)
• On third day of visit to Kosovo, Palmer meets Konjufca (media)
• Von der Leyen: EC will advocate for a positive decision on visa liberalisation (media)
• Bislimi: France, the Netherlands, Belgium have visa liberalisation concerns (media)
• Abdixhiku: Kurti-led government is weak (media)
• Haradinaj urges government to adopt new recovery measures (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic: If Kurti doesn’t want to talk about ZSO, but about Kosovo’s recognition, they don’t even have to invite me for talks (KoSSev, RTS)
• Vucic tomorrow with Palmer and Lajcak (media)
• Kurti’s lawsuit – between law and political points (RTS)
• US envoy Palmer meets Bishop Teodosije at Visoki Decani monastery (N1)
• Serbian Railway: Since pandemic trains operate up to Rudnica only (KoSSev)
• Petkovic congratulates Rakocevic on his election as UNS President (Radio KIM)
• APA: EU do not want to publish “non-paper” on Western Balkans, where border change is proposed (Tanjug, Blic, Kosovo Online, Radio Mitrovica sever)
• Jevtic on attacks against SOC, non-provision of vaccines to Serbs and ‘good relations’ in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
• Indictment for assassination of Oliver Ivanovic confirmed, defence lawyers ‘embittered’ (TV Most)
• Popovic: Production of Russian Sputnik V vaccines starts in Belgrade this Friday (Dnevnik)

Opinion:

• Palestine, Kosovo and the dilemma faced by ‘small states’ (Kosovo 2.0)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)
  • EU supports Kosovo in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic (media)
  • Kurti on Brussels meeting: It is about the future dialogue, not the previous one (media)
  • On third day of visit to Kosovo, Palmer meets Konjufca (media)
  • Von der Leyen: EC will advocate for a positive decision on visa liberalisation (media)
  • Bislimi: France, the Netherlands, Belgium have visa liberalisation concerns (media)
  • Abdixhiku: Kurti-led government is weak (media)
  • Haradinaj urges government to adopt new recovery measures (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Vucic: If Kurti doesn’t want to talk about ZSO, but about Kosovo’s recognition, they don’t even have to invite me for talks (KoSSev, RTS)
  • Vucic tomorrow with Palmer and Lajcak (media)
  • Kurti’s lawsuit – between law and political points (RTS)
  • US envoy Palmer meets Bishop Teodosije at Visoki Decani monastery (N1)
  • Serbian Railway: Since pandemic trains operate up to Rudnica only (KoSSev)
  • Petkovic congratulates Rakocevic on his election as UNS President (Radio KIM)
  • APA: EU do not want to publish “non-paper” on Western Balkans, where border change is proposed (Tanjug, Blic, Kosovo Online, Radio Mitrovica sever)
  • Jevtic on attacks against SOC, non-provision of vaccines to Serbs and ‘good relations’ in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
  • Indictment for assassination of Oliver Ivanovic confirmed, defence lawyers ‘embittered’ (TV Most)
  • Popovic: Production of Russian Sputnik V vaccines starts in Belgrade this Friday (Dnevnik)

Opinion:

  • Palestine, Kosovo and the dilemma faced by ‘small states’ (Kosovo 2.0)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

COVID-19: 18 new cases, no deaths (media)

Kosovo reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 and no deaths from the virus in the last 24 hours. 239 persons recovered from the virus during this time. 

There are 1,822 active cases of COVID-19 in Kosovo.

Media report that Kosovo has begun the second round of vaccinations against COVID-19 with the efforts currently focusing on healthcare workers who received their first doses earlier. They also report that so far over 71,000 people have been vaccinated and that preparations for mass vaccinations, expected to begin on 15 June, are well underway. 

EU supports Kosovo in dealing with COVID-19 pandemic (media)

The European Commission, on behalf of the EU, has made further disbursements under its €3 billion COVID-19 Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) package of which €50 million to Kosovo will go to Kosovo. 

“For Kosovo, this is the second and final tranche of its €100 million MFA programme. Kosovo has fulfilled the policy conditions agreed with the EU for the release of the second €50 million disbursement under the programme. These included important measures to improve the sustainability of public finances, enhance financial stability, strengthen good governance and the fight against corruption, as well as initiatives to increase youth employment,” a press release issued by the European Commission notes. 

Kurti on Brussels meeting: It is about the future dialogue, not the previous one (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti said the upcoming meeting in Brussels with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is not a continuation of the previous dialogue process but the beginning of a new one. 

“The meeting that will take place in Brussels is not a continuation of dialogue. It is the first meeting that I will have with the president of Serbia whom I have never met before, not counting a table with over 30 people in attendance in February of 2020 at the Munich Security conference. So this is the first meeting and we will see there what will be the next chapter of dialogue. It is a meeting about the future dialogue, not a meeting of the previous dialogue,” Kurti said.

Speaking to reporters following a meeting with President Vjosa Osmani to discuss the local election date, Kurti was asked whether there is consensus within the political spectrum on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue to which he replied that he has already met two out of three opposition parties and that there will also be a discussion at the Assembly on the dialogue process to determine “where we are regarding previous agreements, their implementation and impact.”

With regards to the local elections date, Kurti said the sooner they take place the better. “Like four years ago, local elections will take place in October,” he noted.

On third day of visit to Kosovo, Palmer meets Konjufca (media)

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer met today Kosovo Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca. 

Palmer is said to have congratulated Konjufca on new post and on the formation of new institutions as a result of February 14 elections and confirmed the readiness of the United States to support Kosovo towards further state-building processes, a press release issued by Konjufca’s cabinet notes.

“Speaker Konjufca, after thanking the United States of America for the valuable contribution to liberation and state-building journey of the Republic of Kosovo, expressed commitment to further deepening of cooperation and relations between the two countries. He also expressed special appreciation to Palmer for his engagement and contribution to the dialogue process between the state of Kosovo and Serbia.”

Von der Leyen: EC will advocate for a positive decision on visa liberalisation (media)

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, sent a congratulatory letter to Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani on her election saying that it was very encouraging when a woman serves in the position of the President

Von der Leyen stressed the importance of visa liberalisation for the citizens of Kosovo, confirming the commitment of the European Commission for advocating towards a positive decision by the EU on visa-free travel for Kosovo. 

She also noted that a credible EU perspective for the Western Balkans remains a priority of the European Commission, emphasizing the expectations for cooperation in deepening relations with the EU. She also stressed the importance of reforms and the dialogue process. 

Bislimi: France, the Netherlands, Belgium have visa liberalisation concerns (media)

Kosovo’s Principal Deputy Prime Minister Besnik Bislimi reported to the Assembly’s European integration committee where he said that the delays in the visa liberalisation decision are not due to EU countries that have not recognised independence of Kosovo.

“Countries that have recognised Kosovo are skeptical, their concern is that not enough has been done in the fight against crime and corruption. I think a part of the concern is not related to Kosovo but to the disappointment of the citizens in these countries towards the quick liberalisation process that included some countries which are now a source of many problems,” Bislimi is quoted in Telegrafi news website. He added further that France, the Netherlands are countries that have reservations on visa liberalisation for Kosovo and that, unofficially, Belgium has also expressed hesitation.

Bislimi said that Kosovo’s Interior Ministry is in continuous contact with these countries in an effort to inform them about the work authorities are doing in fighting crime and corruption.

Abdixhiku: Kurti-led government is weak (media)

Leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) Lumir Abdixhiku criticised the government of Kosovo led by Albin Kurti as being “weak” and “unprepared” to deal with tasks ahead. 

“Whoever reads the government programme will see how empty it is. We are dealing with a government of interns and not one of the best men and women of the country that need to govern bravely.” 

Speaking at a debate organised by the “FOL” think tank, Abdixhiku said: “This government has, unfortunately for Kosovo, poorly started work, beginning from participation in Albania’s elections to the messages sent abroad.” He said the “arrogance” of the government will have a boomerang effect on it. 

The LDK leader further noted that the party will not be taking part in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. “This government is unprepared to take part in dialogue.We have a government that has no political position on dialogue,” he said, adding that he asked Prime Minister Kurti in the meeting they had last week to come out with a clear political position on the process and unveil it to the public, the civil society, and experts. 

Haradinaj urges government to adopt new recovery measures (media)

Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj has called on the Government of Kosovo to adopt new measures aimed at economic recovery.

Haradinaj said in a Facebook post that economic indicators show there will be further job losses in Kosovo in the coming period: “We recommend the Government of Kosovo to swiftly take a decision on new economic recovery measures that would have to include the economic crisis exit strategy so that the country’s economy stabilises as soon as possible. On the contrary, we risk further deepening of the crisis.”

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Vucic: If Kurti doesn’t want to talk about ZSO, but about Kosovo’s recognition, they don’t even have to invite me for talks (KoSSev, RTS)

“If they think that the ZSO will not be discussed, but that it will be talked about that we say the Republic of Kosovo is something we accept and recognize, he does not have to come and if someone expects it from me, they do not even have to call me,” said President Aleksandar Vucic at press conference held today after meeting with Chairman of the Presidency of BiH, Milorad Dodik and the President of the Republic of Srpska, Zeljka Cvijanovic, reported portal KoSSev.  

Ahead of the announced arrival of the American-European duo in Belgrade in an attempt to prepare for a meeting between the Serbian president and the Kosovo prime minister in mid-June, Vucic said at a press conference with Milorad Dodik that Serbia was ready for talks with Pristina but that nothing good awaits him.

Although there is no ultimatum, hard days await Serbia.

“Hard days for the country. So what?! We have gone through those difficult days many times; we will go through them again. Serbia is ready for talks,” Vucic said.

The public should know that mutual recognition is required from Serbia in the talks, and no longer as before – “wrapped recognition”, but with “direct mention”, he emphasized, reported KoSSev.

“In the end, all the talks that are being held, everything that is being asked of Serbia, comes down to us recognizing Kosovo. We are looking to get the most out of the dialogue for Serbia, the people and the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, but people should know that the biggest Western powers are asking Serbia to recognize Kosovo, one way or another, and our problem is that they are not even asking anymore wrapped in some form, they are seeking for it directly with the mentioning of mutual recognition,” said Vucic. 

“I cannot explain to you how much we long for the recognition of Albin Kurti, since Serbia I guess is not a member of the UN and we are not present anywhere in international bodies, so we will blossom when Albin Kurti recognizes us.”

He asked today “all those experts” who said that “wonderful people are coming to power in Pristina” and “salvation with Kurti and Osmani”.

“So, where did these wonderful people go?” Of all the efforts, Vucic says that only the efforts for Greater Albania remained, and added that recently it was “impossible to listen to an avalanche on Brdo near Kranj, a burst of the most difficult accusations.”

“There were no arguments there. It was just a shout and yelling about how Serbs are rapists and how we should pay war reparations, how we should be held accountable for genocide. And you see that there is no desire to talk.”

However, no one in Serbia is making a drama, it is not time to panic, but we are facing difficult days, Vucic repeated the messages from two days ago, confirming that a change in the mandate of the liaison office in Greece is being prepared, despite the denials.

Serbia will request a report from the High Representative for the first time

He stated that everyone well understands the weight of the position of the Republika Srpska and the entire Serbian people. “Serbia will always be with the Republika Srpska, respecting the integrity of BiH, but also the integrity of the Republika Srpska within BiH,” Vucic pointed out, reported RTS. 

He said that for the first time, Serbia would request a report from the High Representative, in accordance with Annex 10 of the Dayton Agreement.

Serbia will talk to the High Representative, but will always ask for reports, Vucic said.

“I think it is very dangerous to play with the Bonn powers and impose laws, without respecting the Dayton Agreement, without the consent of the three peoples, without the consent of the Republika Srpska,” Vucic said.

He said that Serbia would not support the implementation of the Bonn powers by which someone would try to create a political situation in the Republika Srpska.

Asked whether the fact that Serbia will ask for a report from the High Representative means that Christian Schmidt is acceptable, Vucic said that Serbia does not decide on that, but the UN Security Council.

“I have known Schmidt for many years, he is a very serious and experienced politician,” Vucic said

He added that they are very good acquaintances and that he will meet him

“We understood each other well, although we did not think the same on certain issues,” said Vucic and pointed out that everything must be discussed, emphasizing that decisions cannot be made to the detriment of one side.

President Vucic said that Serbia wants to respect international law, but that he will not allow them to say that west of the Drina there are no 900,000 or one million Serbs.

Regarding the statement of the Bosniak member of the Presidency of BiH, Sefik Dzaferovic, that today’s meeting with the political leadership of RS is interference in the internal affairs of BiH, Vucic said that he would no longer justify the untruths uttered by Dzaferovic

“It is not a question of a big or a small Serbia, it is not a competition here, nor it is about Dzaferovic, but of respecting international law and who will progress faster,” said Vucic.

Dodik: Everything should return to the flow of legality

The Chairman of the Presidency of BiH, Milorad Dodik said that the topic of the meeting with Vucic was the situation in the Republika Srpska and that they informed President Vucic about the details.

“With special reference to what is related to the announcement that, in spite of the envisaged procedures of Annex 10, an attempt will be made to appoint a High Representative without a Security Council resolution, which we believe is directed against the interests of Republika Srpska and the Serb people in BiH,” Dodik said.

He added that they believe that everything should be returned to the course of legality and that a high representative in BiH should be appointed with a relevant resolution

“We think that the Office of the High Representative should be closed and that the time has long passed in that regard. Conclusions were reached in 2005, although the adoption of some five goals and two conditions placed the High Representative in a position, represented by some from the international community, where it will never be closed,” Dodik said

He emphasized that they (RS) were “against any of its rehabilitation in the sense of passing authorizations or any attempts to create new legislative solutions”.

“We are ready to say that we refuse and look for our political unity in the Republika Srpska and the complete understanding and role of Serbia that it has within the framework of the Dayton Agreement,” Dodik said

He added that they do not want the problematization of the agreement, the dramatization, but that they want the application of the constitution.

He stressed that the appointment must be in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolution and that, if that does not happen, it will not have legitimacy.

“We asked President Vucic to help us understand this situation and found a really great understanding and position of Serbia, which has many problems of its own. These are common problems of ours, related to Kosovo, behavior and ignoring the international factor on this issue,” said Dodik, reported RTS.

Vucic tomorrow with Palmer and Lajcak (media)

President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic will meet today unofficially the US Special Envoy for the Balkans, Matthew Palmer, in Belgrade, after his visit to Pristina, reported media. 

EU Special Envoy for Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak will talk with the President of Serbia on Thursday afternoon, and after the meeting with Lajcak, President Vucic will have official talks with Matthew Palmer, with whom he will have an informal meeting today.

According to Tanjug, after individual talks, President Vucic, Lajcak and Palmer will then hold a joint meeting, after which no address to the media was planned.

Lajcak and Palmer were in Pristina for the previous two days, and as the EU special envoy for dialogue stated, the purpose of this visit was to prepare for the first high-level meeting between Prime Minister Kurti and President Vucic, which will be held in Brussels in a few days.

Palmer reiterated in Pristina that the United States strongly supports the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which should result in reaching a final agreement and mutual recognition, and at a joint press conference with Miroslav Lajcak, said that the United States was not a party to the dialogue, but a partner who aimed to improve the relationship between the two sides.

Palmer also said in Pristina that the Community/Association of Serbian Municipalities should be formed in accordance with the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina.

The continuation of the dialogue in Brussels will be held, as expected, on June 15.

Kurti’s lawsuit – between law and political points (RTS)

After several years of announcements by the Pristina authorities that they would file a lawsuit for genocide, the new Pristina administration gave itself a period of a year and a half to prepare for the process. And it could end before it even began – that’s how lawyers saw a possible lawsuit. On the way to the International Court of Justice, which decides on disputes between states, Pristina faces several formal obstacles. In addition, a long process of gathering evidence, reported Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).

The idea of a lawsuit by the Pristina institutions for genocide during 1998 and 1999 was not new, but the new Pristina government hopes that the process could start at the end of next year. Such assessments, however, were not in line with Pristina’s legal capabilities.

RTS reported that members of the United Nations, i.e. members of the Statute of the Court, have access to the International Court of Justice, and Kosovo was not. It would not be the first time that an unrecognized state as an exception gets access to a court, but even in that case, experts did not see a chance for success

“If one country is a member of the Genocide Convention, it can sue another country that is also a member of the convention. Consent is presumed. Kosovo is not a member of the Genocide Convention, therefore, that consent is not presumed. That means Kosovo could sue Serbia only in that bizarre case, if Serbia explicitly agreed to participate in such a dispute, which is extremely unlikely,” said Tibor Varadi, a professor of international law.

The practice speaks best about the probability of proving the genocidal intention of a state – no country has been convicted of the most serious crime so far. That was why politicians who often abuse this topic were carelessly entering the slippery legal field, believes the former member of the Serbian legal team before the International Court of Justice.

“Unfortunately, as far as I know, as an observer, there is often a lot of influence from legal brokers, usually from countries with a lot of experience, and these are some ‘skilled legal teams’ who put pressure on the political authorities to initiate such a procedure due to some of their own interests. Such influences have existed before in the cases before the ICJ by BiH and the Croatian team in the proceedings against Serbia. In that sense, I would not be surprised if such pressures are exerted on the Kosovo authorities as well,” said lawyer Novak Lukic. 

With or without foreign pressure, the lawsuit benefits points at home, experts believe. Along with these points, evidence should be collected as well, and as announced by the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, the Institute for Research of War Crimes, which has not been formed yet, will oversee that.

“It will take him years to gather evidence and materials to prepare a lawsuit for genocide against Serbia. I am convinced that such a lawsuit cannot be prepared without experts that we do not have in Kosovo. So, the chances are very small, and the stakes are huge,” said Bekim Blakaj from the Pristina Humanitarian Law Center.

Pristina’s prospects, at least formally, increased by the possibility of someone else filing a lawsuit on its behalf. Thus, it was speculated that the issue of Belgrade’s responsibility before the ICJ could be raised by Albania. A similar practice was underway – namely, the Gambia has sued Myanmar for genocide even though it was not a victim country.

“Such a theoretical possibility exists, but it is not probable. The Gambia-Myanmar dispute would give some instructions as to whether it is realistic. Then, there is the fact that lately, this terrible act of genocide has been devalued a little in public discourse. It seems to me that at this time when ‘non-papers’ are spinning, maybe something that could be called ‘non-processes’ is also spinning,” said Tibor Varadi.

Although individuals have been tried for war crimes at The Hague tribunal, in disputes between states, the ICJ was guided by established facts from previous proceedings.

“In that sense, I really believe that the Kosovo authorities, to call them that, who would try to initiate such a procedure, must be aware that no case related to Kosovo and Metohija has reached the level of genocide before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. In that sense, proving genocide before the ICJ will be a thankless job for them, when they have behind the same facts that established that there were no levels of genocide before the Tribunal,” said Novak Lukic.

RTS recalled that Serbia previously received a lawsuit for genocide from two addresses – from Sarajevo and Zagreb. In the case initiated by BiH after a 17-year procedure, it was determined that official Belgrade did not incite genocide, but also that it did not do enough to prevent it. The court rejected the mutual lawsuits of Croatia and Serbia.

US envoy Palmer meets Bishop Teodosije at Visoki Decani monastery (N1)

The Raska-Prizren Diocese said on Tuesday that Bishop Teodosije discussed the problems facing the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo with State Department envoy Matthew Palmer.

“Bishop Teodosije informed Palmer about the problems the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raška and Prizren is facing … particularly about the problems of our people in the light of a series of recent incidents and the refusal of the Kosovo institutions to implement the decision of the Constitutional Court on the Decani Monastery land,” the press release on the diocese web site said.

The Visoki Decani monastery has been in the focus of public attention for months over a land dispute with the local authorities and the construction of a road which the brotherhood says infringes on monastery property.

“Bishop Teodosije expressed his position that our Church has always been open for a dialogue but that it is up to the local institution to show readiness to respect the decisions of courts and the rule of law,” it said.

See at: https://bit.ly/3yZtILs 

Serbian Railway: Since pandemic trains operate up to Rudnica only (KoSSev) 

Shkumbin Hyseni, a member of the board of the Railway Regulatory Authority, said in a meeting of the Kosovo Assembly committee on infrastructure on Tuesday, “that there are four trains from Serbia operating illegally in Kosovo on a daily basis”, media reported.

Meanwhile, Serbian Railway in Kraljevo confirmed to KoSSev portal that the trains of the Serbian railway since outbreak of the pandemic have not operated further than Rudnica (town outside of Kosovo).  

Prior to the pandemic there were trains operating two times a day, 6.50 in the morning and 14.50 in the afternoon, departing from Kraljevo to the final destination in Mitrovica North, the portal added. 

Petkovic congratulates Rakocevic on his election as UNS President (Radio KIM)

Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Petar Petkovic congratulated newly elected President of the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) Zivojin Rakocevic, Radio KIM reports.

In his congratulatory message Petkovic said that Rakocevic as a member of the UNS Steering Board, journalist, writer and cultural activist demonstrated high professionalism and deep commitment to his people, in particular in Kosovo and Metohija.

Petkovic also expressed confidence that in his new capacity Rakocevic would continue advocating for the principles of free speech and writing, and that improving position of the media professionals in particular in Kosovo and Metohija and pledging for shedding the light on the destinies of the missing journalists there would be his priorities. 

In addition to Petkovic, numerous journalists, representatives of the cultural and public life in Serbia, region and the world congratulated Rakocevic on his election. 

APA: EU do not want to publish “non-paper” on Western Balkans, where border change is proposed (Tanjug, Blic, Kosovo Online, Radio Mitrovica sever)

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union keeps a document “under the key”, that is, a controversial “non-paper” in which changes of borders in the Western Balkans are proposed, claims the Austrian agency APA, Serbian media quoted.  

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose country holds the next EU presidency, proposed, according to earlier Slovenian media reports, a new drawing of borders in the Balkans.

Media quoted that the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU responded to an APA inquiry allegedly saying, “after a detailed check, I must inform you that we cannot give you access to that document”. 

It was explained that the publication of the only document, which this EU institution has, would jeopardize international relations.

According to the Slovenian media, this unsigned document with proposals on new borders in the former Yugoslavia, Jansa, bypassing the official path, was handed over to the President of the EU Council, Charles Michel.

However, that was never confirmed, and Jansa denied that the Slovenian government had anything to do with that document

Otherwise, the APA added, the document stated that, if the proposals reach the public, the document must be negated.

Slovenia will take over the EU presidency on July 1 and has announced that it wants to pay special attention to bringing the Western Balkans closer to the Union, reported media.

Jevtic on attacks against SOC, non-provision of vaccines to Serbs and ‘good relations’ in Kosovo (Kosovo-online)

Serbian List Vice President and former Minister for Communities and Returns Dalibor Jevtic reacted to the statement of Self-determination MP Alban Hyseni that Self-determination has and wishes to have good relations with the Serbian people in Kosovo but doesn’t have them with Serbian List, as Kosovo-online portal reported earlier.

Jevtic said that for the first time this year Serbs in Kosovo were not congratulated on Orthodox Easter (by institutions).

“Good” relations with Serbs in facts: out of 60.000 doses of vaccines against coronavirus administered in Kosovo, 0 administrated/offered to Serbs, attacks on Serbian Orthodox Church, for the first time congratulation message on Orthodox Easter in Kosovo not addressed to the Serbs, violation of the rights guaranteed by the law (language, guaranteed places in institutions) and so on”, Jevtic wrote on Twitter reacting to Hyseni’s statement. 

Indictment for assassination of Oliver Ivanovic confirmed, defence lawyers ‘embittered’ (TV Most)

Kosovo Court of Appeals made a decision to confirm the indictment in the case of the assassination of Civic Initiative Freedom, Democracy, Justice (SDP) leader Oliver Ivanovic, TV Most reports.

“Explaining the decision, the Court of Appeals did not evaluate each objection of the defense related to the poor conduct of the procedure, abuse of rights by the prosecution, violation of material rights to objection, to the evidence we pointed out in the appeal for each piece of evidence, but only stated that there are elements of a criminal act in the indictment”, Jovana Filipovic, defense lawyer of Silvana Arsovic, former secretary of the late Ivanovic said.

She added this statement of the Court of Appeals didn’t present anything other than misleading the public.

“Although it is indisputable that a criminal act was committed”, Filipovic pointed out, adding that the “Court of Appeals had to completely review all evidence, especially those disputed in the objections, but also to explain the basis on which it accepted the said evidence”.  

Popovic: Production of Russian Sputnik V vaccines starts in Belgrade this Friday (Dnevnik)

Production of Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus starts this Friday at the Institute of Virology Torlak in Belgrade, Innovation and Technological Development Minister Nenad Popovic said, Dnevnik daily reports.

Popovic wrote on Twitter that high Serbian and Russian officials would take part in an official ceremony to mark the beginning of production.

On May 19, the Russian National Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology “Gamaleja” confirmed the quality of the vaccine produced at Torlak, thus granting permission to this Institute to produce Sputnik V vaccine.

Serbia would become the first country in Europe to produce the Russian vaccine.  

 

 

Opinion

 

Palestine, Kosovo and the dilemma faced by ‘small states’ (Kosovo 2.0)

By Aidan Hehir

Kosovo’s new government balances principles and pragmatism.

On May 16, Kosovo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted:

“As every state #Israel has the right and the obligation to defend its people against 2000+ rockets fired at civilians only by Hamas, who is holding Palestinian civilians hostage in its war. We mourn all victims. We urge for refrain, stop of violence & seeking peaceful solutions.”

The tweet provoked criticism for its overtly pro-Israeli stance; many Kosovar Albanians drew parallels between their own suffering at the hands of the Milošević regime in the 1990s and that of the Palestinians and urged the government to show solidarity with their plight. Others lamented what they perceived as the Ministry’s obvious attempt to win favor with the United States by blindly supporting its ally, Israel. 

Vetëvendosje came to power claiming to be above the tawdry, self-serving politicking that has blighted Kosovo for so long, and many of its supporters were therefore naturally disheartened, though the current Minister of Foreign Affairs — Donika Gërvalla — is from the Guxo political list rather than Vetëvendosje. 

Pro-Palestinian marches were held in Kosovo — as were much smaller events in support of Israel — and those critical of the position taken by Kosovo certainly have a case; while Israel does have a right to defend itself, it can only legitimately do so within the parameters of international law, something it has clearly failed to do. 

See more at: https://bit.ly/3pbDlC9

 

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