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Belgrade Media Report 23 June 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Wednesday 23 June 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Vucic: I will not sign recognition, but situation not ideal (Tanjug)
Vucic replied to Kamberi: You hide Albanian crimes, but want to make me a criminal (B92)
Brnabic: Cluster 1 opened, conditions fulfilled for 3 and 4 (RTS/Tanjug)
Selakovic: Gratitude to Italy for supporting Serbia’s European path (Tanjug)
Di Maio: Dialogue path to solution between Belgrade, Pristina (Tanjug)
Stefanovic: Serbia must never forget its firm friendship with Russia (Beta/RTS)
Odalovic: More than 1,600 still missing in Kosovo and Metohija (FoNet/RTV)
PKS to open office in Jerusalem (Tanjug)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Grlic Radman: We hope that B&H will get the status of candidate, but 14 criteria must be met (Dnevni list)
Vucic compares RS and Kosovo and asks how can some people have right to self-determination while others do not (O Kanal)
EU Delegation and US Embassy react to announcement of formation of RS negotiation team for talks on future of B&H (Oslobodjenje)
Austrian Minister of Defense Tanner visits B&H, meets Podzic (BHT1)
Raising criteria for status of EU candidate does not help B&H (Nezavisne)
Mayor of Sarajevo Karic officially visits Banja Luka, meets Stanivukovic, reach agreement on cooperation: This is historic day (BHT1/BNTV)
UN’s Nderitu: We are very concerned about level of hate speech in B&H (BHT1)
Montenegro

Djukanovic: We’re proud that we didn’t allow state survival to be called into question after change of government (CdM)
Montenegro will be the first next EU member (RTCG)
Krivokapic won’t resign (Dan)
Abazovic: If someone wishes to overthrow the government, let them do it. As for me, I can leave tomorrow. (CdM)
Becic: We’ll defeat dirty centers of power inside and outside Montenegro (CdM)
DF will seek new Govt with new PM or elections prepared by transitional Govt (Pobjeda)
Republic of North Macedonia

Greece tells Zaev that he has no right to use the adjective “Macedonian”, warns him that he is in violation of the Prespa Treaty (Republika)
Szijjarto: EU risks losing the Balkans if it doesn’t open accession talks with Macedonia and Albania soon (Republika)
Albania

Date postponed, no opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia, Zacarias: It has not been agreed to hold the FIC (Radio Tirana)
“Veto”, Bulgaria’s representative in Luxembourg: We appreciate Albania’s achievements, dialogue is open with North Macedonia during the Slovenian EU Presidency (Radio Tirana)
Negotiations, German Minister calls on EU: We must meet our obligations to Albania and North Macedonia (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS 

Vucic: I will not sign recognition, but situation not ideal (Tanjug

I am no deserter, I will not run away or sign a recognition of Kosovo – someone after me will do that – but we cannot deceive the people by telling them the situation is ideal, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a special parliamentary session on Kosovo and Metohija on Tuesday. He urged MPs to fight and be united, as well as to understand the realistic situation regarding Kosovo and Metohija, noting that this was the only way to measure up opponents and their demands, as well as Serbia’s energy and strength that would lead to victory. “Victory is peace, stability, security and preservation of our national and state interests,” Vucic said. It is important to understand the facts regarding Kosovo and Metohija, he said. “We can deceive ourselves by saying 50 percent of the property (there) belongs to us, but we can only get that by force – have someone else lie to you,” Vucic told MPs. Vucic told parliament on Tuesday that it’s time to face reality, adding that a frozen conflict is not good for Serbia because the western powers will not change their attitude towards Kosovo. Vucic is in parliament to inform MPs about his meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Brussels last week as well as “the prospects for the Serbian state’s activities in Kosovo”. “We are not facing an easy job or a time to celebrate nor a time of great expectations but a time to face the reality around us,” he said and added that compromise is the only solution but that he does not see what the compromise solution would be like. Vucic said that he does not see that the Kosovo authorities have any intention of considering a compromise. He said that Serbia is growing stronger economically but warned that Kosovo is a political issue. “The western powers won’t change their attitude and whatever happens they will advocate independence for Kosovo and secession from Serbia at any cost,” he said. According to Vucic, delays will not solve the Kosovo problem and added that a solution has to be found in a rational, responsible manner and an awareness of the kind of Serbia left to our descendants. He said that the Pristina authorities have focused their activities on what he said is the most brutal campaign against Serbia. Vucic said that what Pristina is investing in the arming of its security forces is nothing to be concerned about but that a cause for concern is the fact that some western countries are also investing in arms and equipment and criticizing Serbia for arming itself. According to Vucic, Serbia is a sovereign state with the right to arm itself which Kosovo is not and does nto have that right. Vucic claimed that the officials from Pristina told EU High Representative Josep Borell and his envoy Miroslav Lajcak that they are not interested in anything signed by previous Kosovo governments, including the Brussels and Washington agreements. “That is when I realized that we were not longer talking about anything,” he said, adding that the politicians in Pristina are far removed from reality. He said that the Serbian authorities have earmarked 800 million Euro a year to help the Kosovo Serbs who he said keep moving out of Kosovo.

Vucic replied to Kamberi: You hide Albanian crimes, but want to make me a criminal (B92

Shaip Kamberi said he sees the future in cooperation with Serbia, but negotiating team should know how to talk to people whose children were killed by the Serbs. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, responded to his statement and said that he could not believe that Kamberi did not want to admit Albanian crimes, and only talk about Serbian ones. “As a member of the Albanian people, I see a perspective in the EU, but also in the normalization of relations with Serbia. The formula for the coexistence of the Balkan peoples is understanding, everything else led to bloody conflicts. However, I believe that the Brussels dialogue expressed poor interest in the issue,” Kamberi said. “Hate speech and recycling of terms from the 1990s have no place in dialogue. I understand that Serbia represents its interests, but Serbia must understand that you are negotiating with people whose children were killed by Serbian Scorpions. Today it must be understood that Kosovo’s independence is the result of Yugoslavia’s breakup,” Kamberi said.

“The Serbian public must know that the killings of the Albanian population were committed, and the Serb forces carried out widespread and organized attacks on the Albanians,” Kamberi said. “It should be noted that the daily satanization and insult of Albanians and Kosovo is not in favor of dialogue. The Declaration of Independence did not violate the Resolution. You, President, distanced yourself from Vuk Jeremic and his then decisions in the negotiations, and I think you need to distance yourself. Today, Serbia has problems with its neighbors, with Montenegro, Croatia, and relations with Albania will depend on relations with Kosovo,” Kamberi said. Kamberi claimed that Serbia is systematically working on the marginalization of Albanian minorities, and he expressed that as an objection.

 

Vucic answered: You would hide every crime of Albanians 

Vucic said that he should be fair and acknowledged that it was not only Serbs who committed crimes and that he could not agree to that. “You always knocked on the open door. I listened to you for 20 minutes and you could hear that we Serbs are neither saints nor angels. Hadn’t Albanians committed crimes? I’ve never heard you talk about it. It’s hard for me to believe that story,” said Vucic. “You mentioned that Saranda Bogujevci will come, she can come. She is a woman who went through the hell of life. But she was admitted to Belgrade in 2013 to talk about a terrible crime against her family. And I have a counter-question for you, Mr. Kamberi, and those are the 10 locations,” Vucic asked. He also emphasized that he answered the question about the case of Saranda Bogujevci with a crime against the Sutakovic family. “I’m asking you who will tell about the crime against the Sutakovic family, where three children were killed, criminally and together with their father and mother were buried so that they would never be found. They can’t come to Pristina to tell you, because they didn’t survive. But you didn’t remember them. The difference between us is that I also remember Saranda Bogujevci and Sutakovic. But I don’t understand you preaching to us, and you would hide every crime just because it was committed by an Albanian,” Vucic said. “When did you hear something bad about Albanians from us? I don’t think we are better than Albanians in anything,” Vucic said. “It is not the one who dictated that text to you who wanted peace. And he did not want peace. But Serbia is for peace and that is why I will not apologize to anyone. Neither Kurti nor anyone who comes from Pristina,” Vucic said. “Serbia will never be tired of Kosovo. Serbia can be tired of wrongdoings, arrogant and ostentatious politics, but Serbia will never be tired of its people in Kosovo and Metohija or of Kosovo and Metohija. If you thought that we are tired, my answer is that you got it wrong. But it shows that we made a mistake and that we showed enough enthusiasm to protect our people in Kosovo and Metohija and we will work even better,” Vucic concluded.

Kamberi again expressed disagreement; Vucic: They want to make me a criminal 

“You said that someone was dictating speeches to me, so you also think stereotypically about Albanians. So how do you perceive me here in Belgrade? The difference between us is that you were a minister at the time when these crimes were committed, I am not,” Kamberi said. Vucic answered and said that he knew that they wanted to present him as a criminal, which he had never been. “I understood – he wanted to say that I am a criminal. They know that I did not participate in events of that type in Kosovo and Metohija. Why don’t you tell people how many Albanians there really are to live in Medvedja, how many Serbs you expelled… now I will show you the graffiti I saw, this is graffiti: ‘Jesus hates Serbs’. Do you have to show me graffiti like this on any mosque where Serbs live,” Vucic said. “I have known you not since yesterday, not since the day before yesterday, and I know very well what you want. You are only interested in acquiring political position. When you show us by your example that you respect Serbs and Serbia, you will also receive our respect,” Vucic replied. Kamberi’s response followed. “I would never be a minister in an authoritarian government,” Kamberi said. “I am especially happy that you can speak like this. And I am sorry that you are not ready to praise my democratic potential, but yet you are able to praise Vuk Jeremic,” Vucic answered.

Brnabic: Cluster 1 opened, conditions fulfilled for 3 and 4 (RTS/Tanjug

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Tuesday night, after the EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference, that she can confirm that cluster 1 on the basic values has been opened, which is one of the most important within the new methodology accession, as well as that Serbia has fulfilled everything that is expected of it for the opening of clusters 3 and 4. Brnabic pointed out that Serbia continues with reforms with a focus on the rule of law and expressed hope that two more clusters will be opened during Slovenia’s presidency by the end of this year. We have heard from a significant number of member states that they will support us, and I guaranteed that this progress will continue, because we are doing everything we can for the benefit of our country and the citizens of Serbia, she said. She expressed gratitude to Portugal for its presidency and support for Serbia on its path to EU membership. Serbian Minister for EU Integration Jadranka Joksimovic announced that the application of the new methodology to our negotiation process began today, and that Serbia has in fact opened cluster 1, which refers to the basics of the rule of law. She explained that at the political intergovernmental conference at the highest level, our side stated that Serbia has already actually opened cluster 1 with the fact that five out of five chapters have already been opened. According to her, that is certainly an important impulse for us and we will continue to work further. EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said that talks were held with Prime Minister Brnabic on essential issues, and that Serbia has made enviable progress in the area of ​​the rule of law, but that additional results are expected from it. He said that a “new momentum” has been created and confirmed that the Commission is ready to strengthen the dynamics of the accession process during Slovenia’s presidency. We expect more results from Serbia, and that is a strong message that the Prime Minister heard from all of us tonight, Varhelyi pointed out and said that everyone from the Enlargement Commission is ready to help Serbia progress faster towards the EU.

Selakovic: Gratitude to Italy for supporting Serbia’s European path (Tanjug

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic expressed his gratitude to Italy for supporting the continuation of the EU enlargement and the process of EU integration of Serbia. After the meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, Selakovic announced that a joint session of the governments of Serbia and Italy would be held in November, which would be followed by a business forum. He emphasized that the two countries have a long tradition of good and friendly relations, as well as that Italy is one of the most important political and economic partners of Serbia in the EU. He stated with satisfaction that the strategic relations between the two countries, established 12 years ago, have been developed in practically all institutional areas, as well as that they are very stable and consolidated. Selakovic said that he had discussed with his Italian counterpart all topics of interest to both countries, adding that they noted that economic cooperation between Italy and Serbia was developing in a good direction this year, as well as showing signs of recovery after the pandemic. He pointed out that the interest of Italian investors in the market of our country is not declining, but has a tendency to grow, adding that Serbia considers the visit of the head of Italian diplomacy extremely important and timely. According to him, Di Maio’s visit is very important, having in mind the need to reaffirm the positive agenda and to evaluate what is the success of Serbia, both in regional policy and in terms of European integration.

Di Maio: Dialogue path to solution between Belgrade, Pristina (Tanjug

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday Italy was convinced the assistance provided by Brussels in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, with full support from the US, was a historic opportunity for both sides and that Rome was greatly encouraging a continuation of talks to find a solution that would enable them to do away with the past. At a joint press conference with Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic, Di Maio said he would reiterate the same message in Pristina in a few hours during an official visit. He said the Kosovo issue was central to stability in the Western Balkans and to security across Europe. Speaking about Serbia’s EU path, Di Maio said he hoped Tuesday’s EU-Serbia intergovernmental conference in Luxembourg would mark the beginning of stepped-up dialogue between Belgrade and Brussels. “For us, the enlargement process in the Western Balkans is a strategic priority of the European agenda and we will continue to do everything in our power, even in Brussels, to ensure the accession of all countries in the region remains a tangible goal,” Di Maio noted. He said the meeting with Selakovic had been productive and based on bilateral relations, as well as highly optimistic due to the upcoming November joint session of the Serbian and Italian governments. Speaking about economic cooperation, Di Maio noted Italy was already a top partner of Serbia in that regard and added that, despite a decline resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the level of bilateral trade had totaled around 3 billion Euros last year. There are about 600 Italian companies in Serbia, employing over 40,000 people, Di Maio said. He also said political, economic and cultural ties between Serbia and Italy were excellent thanks to the many similarities between the two nations.

Stefanovic: Serbia must never forget its firm friendship with Russia (Beta/RTS

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said in Moscow on Tuesday that Serbia must never forget its firm friendship with Russia. “Serbia must never forget its firm friendship with Russia, but it should also not forget its own heroes, all of the people who gave their lives in WW2 and fought so that we could live in a free country today that makes its own decisions and is independent of foreign influences and wants to achieve the best for its people through partnerships,” he said. In Patriot Park near Moscow, Stefanovic attended a ceremony marking Day of Remembrance and Sorrow on the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in WW2. He then laid flowers at a memorial called Mothers of the Victors, according to the Serbian Defense Ministry. Stefanovic was invited to visit Russia by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, to attend a conference on international security in Moscow.

Odalovic: More than 1,600 still missing in Kosovo and Metohija (FoNet/RTV

The Chair of the Missing Persons Commission Veljko Odalovic said on Wednesday that more than 1,600 people who went missing during the war in Kosovo have not been accounted for yet. Odalovic said that 1,639 of the 6,064 people listed as missing by the International Committee of the Red Cross remain unaccounted for. “We can’t be satisfied until the last case is solved. I do not expect all of those cases to be solved because some remain unsolved in conflicts like this,” he told a gathering on the anniversary of the abduction and disappearance of 9 miners from the Belacevac mine. According to Odalovic, 75 percent of the missing persons cases have been solved. He said that hope comes from the fact that the Specialist Chambers of war crimes committed in Kosovo were working with Kosovo institutions to discover the fate of missing persons.

PKS to open office in Jerusalem (Tanjug

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (PKS) has decided to open an office in Israel, head of the PKS Strategic Analysis, Services and Internationalization Sector Mihailo Vesovic said on Wednesday at a business forum hosted by the PKS and the embassy of Israel in Belgrade. At the forum, which addressed water treatment and efficient waste water management, Israeli Ambassador Yahel Vilan said the PKS office would be set up in Jerusalem and urged a networking of Serbian and Israeli businesses. Vesovic said the office would expedite and facilitate cooperation between Serbian and Israeli businesses. He said he expected the cooperation between Serbia and Israel to be raised to a higher level.

REGIONAL PRESS 

 

Grlic Radman: We hope that B&H will get the status of candidate, but 14 criteria must be met (Dnevni list

 

The EU General Affairs Council discussed in Luxemburg on Tuesday preparations for the EU summit, which is to get status of EU candidate, but 14 criteria must be met place on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. It was stressed once again that the enlargement process is one of the most successful EU’s policies and that it is of strategic importance that it continues. Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman stated that certain progress on the countries, which are on the EU path, has been marked. Grlic Radman also said: “As for B&H, we would like to talk about their status of the EU candidate. Of course, 14 criteria must be met.” He added that taking into account the fact that B&H is a country that Croatia shares the longest border with, the Croatian side believes that the reform of the B&H Election Law is very important in order to achieve equality of three constituent peoples. He explained that this is the only guarantee for a stable, functional and prosperous country. Gasper Dvorzan, a State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, stated that continuation of the EU enlargement and stabilization of the Western Balkans is one of crucial, strategic issues. Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State of European Affairs of Portugal, underlined that the discussion on the enlargement is an extremely important issue. Thomas Byrne, Minister of State for European Affairs of Ireland, clearly stated that the enlargement process is one of crucial issues for his country.

Vucic compares RS and Kosovo and asks how can some people have right to self-determination while others do not (O Kanal

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic once again compared the RS and Kosovo. Vucic wondered how do the Albanians in Kosovo have right to self-determination but the Serbs in the RS do not. Vucic stated: “We do not interfere with B&H, we respect it. I repeated it a million times in front of everyone. Tell me what to tell these people? One of the greatest European statesmen told me ‘You are right. But you have to understand, and I know you understand, that the situation is different and you have to have a pragmatic approach. Do not go any further.’ I ask you if you can give me a principle according to which someone has a right and according to which someone else has no right”. Vucic said: “We are committed to respecting the integrity of B&H and we will always do so with respect for the integrity of RS, because RS is both a constitutional and Dayton category in B&H”.

EU Delegation and US Embassy react to announcement of formation of RS negotiation team for talks on future of B&H (Oslobodjenje

In a statement for Oslobodjenje, the EU Delegation to B&H reacted to the announcement of RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic that the RS has established a negotiation team for talks on the future of B&H. The EU Delegation stated that B&H can realize its future within the EU only as an integral, peaceful and multiethnic state. “Respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of B&H are the fundamental principles of the country’s path to EU and they cannot be discussed. We call on political actors to focus on efforts towards sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic and use 2021 to launch vital reforms regarding elimination of discrimination, strengthening of the rule of law and improvement of citizens’ lives. The European Commission’s Opinion provides clear guidelines on this”, the EU Delegation stated. The US Embassy to B&H stated that the US stance on the issue of the Dayton Peace Agreement and the future of B&H as an integral state predestined for Euro-Atlantic integration is well-known, and remains unchanged. “We are dedicated to the principles of the Dayton Peace Agreement – B&H is a democratic, multiethnic, sovereign and independent state with unquestionable territorial integrity”, the US Embassy emphasized. The US Embassy also noted that B&H citizens deserve more from their leaders than disturbing actions which have the goal to divert the attention away from primary economic and electoral reform, as well as reform of the rule of law which will help B&H move forward, revive its economy and attract new investments. “Rhetoric which only deepens divisions is irresponsible and unacceptable”, the US Embassy warned.

Austrian Minister of Defense Tanner visits B&H, meets Podzic (BHT1

Austrian Minister of Defense Klaudia Tanner has paid an official visit to B&H on Tuesday and met B&H Minister of Defense Sifet Podzic. The two officials discussed possible missions of the EU in which the B&H Armed Forces (AF) may get involve bearing in mind that the ‘Resolute Support Mission’ in Afghanistan is about to end these days and B&H soldiers are supposed to come back from this mission soon. Tanner stated that within the region initiative Western Balkans, there is a plan to strengthen regional cooperation due to overcoming joint challenges and joint participation in peacekeeping missions. Addressing a press conference, Tanner stated: “The Western Balkans is very important region for the Republic of Austria which is why we monitor the situation and we are very present and engaged in military sense of the word within the EUFOR Althea Operation because Austria, aside from being the EUFOR Commander over the last couple of years there is traditionally the biggest number of soldiers from Austria”. Podzic stated that Austria plays an important role in the EU and in the region of the Western Balkans, especially in B&H through participation of a strong Austrian Embassy to B&H, participation in the EU mission, participation in the Office of the High Representative and participation in the EUFOR.

Raising criteria for status of EU candidate does not help B&H (Nezavisne

Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) Zoran Tegeltija met in Sarajevo on Tuesday French President’s Advisor for Foreign Affairs Isabelle Dumont and during the meeting, Tegeltija stated that raising of the criteria for obtaining the status of the EU candidate does not contribute and assists B&H on this path. Tegeltija said that B&H works with dedication on meeting of conditions for the status of the candidate and he expects that EU will recognize these efforts and award status of a candidate to B&H in 2021. During the meeting, they pointed out that there is room to improve economic relations between B&H and France and that there is a big interest of companies from B&H for doing business with French companies. Tegeltija assessed that relations between B&H and France are very good and without open issues and he praised the cultural cooperation between the countries, expressing his regret that economic relations are not in line with power of French economy or economic potentials and resources of B&H. Dumont also met Chairman of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik and member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic on Tuesday, who expressed gratitude for French support to B&H in the process of the EU integration. Dodik and Dzaferovic used the opportunity to again call on French President Emmanuel Macron to visit B&H.

Mayor of Sarajevo Karic officially visits Banja Luka, meets Stanivukovic, reach agreement on cooperation: This is historic day (BHT1/BNTV

Mayor of Sarajevo Benjamina Karic paid an official visit to Banja Luka on Tuesday where she met Mayor of Banja Luka Drasko Stanivukovic. During the meeting, Karic and Stanivukovic agreed that regardless of differences, they should look for what connects the two cities and added that friendship and cooperation are the imperative to which they will remain committed in the future period. Karic said that on Tuesday, they wrote a new page in the history adding that they bring change and they will show to young people that things can be done in a different way in relation to policies dating from 30 years ago. Stanivukovic emphasized that this was a historic day. He added that people are fed up of tensions, hate, intolerance and divisions on any ground and this meeting is a big step forward for both cities. During the meeting, Karic and Stanivukovic symbolically exchanged gifts while Karic called on the Mayor of Banja Luka to visit Sarajevo. Karic and Stanivukovic agreed cooperation of the two cities in the sectors of tourism, joint performance abroad regarding promotion of tourist potentials of Sarajevo and Banja Luka. This was the first official meeting between the delegations of Banja Luka and Sarajevo after 27 years and messages of friendship and cooperation were sent from the meeting.

The two youngest mayors in B&H announced that they will look to the future and build new bridges of friendship. “I am proud that we have made Banja Luka a city without divisions,” Stanivukovic said. Karic stressed that today we are writing the pages of history. “But I would rather say that we are writing the pages of the future. Regardless of the fact that we are aware of our differences, we will look for what unites us,” Karic pointed out. The delegations of Banja Luka and Sarajevo agreed further cooperation in the fields of tourism, sports, culture, all with the goal of ensuring a better future. “The citizens of Banja Luka and the citizens of Sarajevo elected new people and they elected new generations to bring new times and today new times simply came to our entire country, the RS, the FB&H and B&H. Friendship and cooperation are imperative,” Stanivukovic underlined. Karic said that Sarajevo is donating a children’s park with an equipped children’s playground to Banja Luka. “Today, we are writing the pages of history, but I would primarily say that we are writing the pages of the future. Despite being aware of our differences, we will seek what connects us, we will seek the things that have been connecting our citizens for years and generations,” Karic underlines. She added that this sends a positive message to the EU, and the world, that B&H and its citizens are united and that they are part of Europe. Stanivukovic said that the past and differences in opinions should not spoil today’s relations and the willingness to live together, work together and develop together. He said he is proud to be Banja Luka Mayor, and the organizer of this meeting. He concluded that this was a simple meeting, but something that just had to happen.

UN’s Nderitu: We are very concerned about level of hate speech in B&H (BHT1

Guest of BHT1 central news was Deputy UN Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Prevention of Genocide Alice Nderitu. Speaking about motives of her visit to B&H, Nderitu reminded that the office that she assumes was formed after tragic circumstances in the Rwanda, the genocide that was committed there and the genocide that was committed in Srebrenica in 1995. She added: “This is a mechanism that established that there was genocide in both cases. I am also here to pay tribute to the victims of the horrible crimes (…) As for hate speech, we are very concerned due to the level of hate speech that we witness in this country. There is a lot of work that we do in partnership with technological companies and social media. As for hate speech among ethnic groups, our office was made to prevent that the crimes, the horrors never happen again.” Asked about contribution of her visit and her views following meetings with officials in B&H, Nderitu mentioned two aspects that can change: one is connection like the meeting of Mayor of Sarajevo Benjamina Karic and Mayor of Banja Luka Drasko Stanivukovic, merging and getting closer which is a positive aspect, while the second aspect is political. In this regard, she mentioned the need to connect politicians in B&H while the education system should solve the fact that the story must be told the way it happened. She added: “This is something that is being thought all over the globe and I was really surprised to see a different situation here, a different context. Therefore, people should get closer to work together and we must solve the education problem.” Nderitu also said that mono-ethnic schools in B&H are unacceptable. Asked about a solution for denial of the genocide in B&H, Nderitu stated that a legal solution cannot be the only way but this is one of the ways that guarantees responsibility. Nderitu: “However, there are other initiatives that must be done. I am partially here because of that. I go all over the country, I recognized everyone’s pain, of all ethnic communities here, speaking with special distance (…).” She underlined that it is important for a country to get rid of the hate speech for the sake of its future which is why it is important to follow the rule of the law.

 

Djukanovic: We’re proud that we didn’t allow state survival to be called into question after change of government (CdM

Last night, the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) marked 30 years since its founding. As the DPS leader Milo Djukanovic said at the celebration, this party was celebrating the holiday in the opposition for the first time. “It took three decades for the party that lost the elections to recognize the election results with a small difference, and we are especially proud of that”, said Djukanovic. He recalled of all the successes achieved in the last 30 years, of which he singled out the correction of historical injustice and the return of independence, NATO membership and solid foundations for EU membership. He pointed out that all this was done by the DPS, a state-building party that is the creator of the modern development of Montenegro. As Djukanovic said, important work was done to consolidate the party after the parliamentary elections, but he stressed that the party was working tirelessly, preparing reorganizations at the local level to get the party ready for future challenges.

Montenegro will be the first next EU member (RTCG

The Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel estimated that Montenegro will be the first next member of the EU. Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic met with Bettel during his visit to Luxembourg where he is staying on the occasion of his participation in the Intergovernmental Conference on Montenegro’s accession to the EU. Krivokapic’s cabinet announced that the interlocutors discussed the process of Montenegro’s accession to the EU and pointed out that maintaining the dynamics of the integration process of the Western Balkans is important for the region, but also for Europe. Bettel stated that he was satisfied with the meeting at which he said that Luxembourg is a friend of Montenegro and that it is on these foundations that the relations between the two countries are being upgraded every day. “Bettel said that Luxembourg supports Montenegro in the integration process, saying that we will be the first next member of the EU,” the statement reads. Krivokapic said that Montenegro appreciates the experience of Luxembourg and that it is an example of how a small country can use all economic potentials and EU membership to create a prosperous society. He invited Bettel to visit Montenegro and suggested that an agreement on avoiding double taxation be signed between Montenegro and Luxembourg on that occasion. Bettel accepted the invitation and said that he would come to Montenegro together with the delegation of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and that the main topic would be the improvement of economic cooperation. Bethel stated that he is satisfied that from 1 April this year, through the airline Luxair, there is a direct airline on the route Luxembourg – Podgorica, as well as the line between Luxembourg and Tivat which began operations on 15 May. He, as it was announced, also proposed an exchange in the field of education.

Krivokapic won’t resign (Dan

In a statement for Dan daily, Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic said that he had assumed responsibilities and obligations, and would not give up on them. Leaders of parties making up the parliamentary majority will meet on Thursday at 5 pm in order to discuss further steps for overcoming the current political crisis. This meeting has nothing to do with dialogue with parliamentary majority, announced by Krivokapic last week. He won’t resign, the PM was adamant.

Abazovic: If someone wishes to overthrow the government, let them do it. As for me, I can leave tomorrow. (CdM

If someone wants to overthrow the elected government, he has to be aware that the political price of it is high, Montenegro’s DPM, Dritan Abazovic, told the press. Abazovic also said that his party would attend the meeting of leaders of the parliamentary majority scheduled for Thursday.

“We’ve never avoided dialogue. We’ve attended every meeting so far. For us, it’s not important who’s convening the meeting, they’re all our colleagues, it’s a normal thing to sit and talk.” On ways of overcoming the political crisis now when there are conflicts between the Democratic Front, DF, and the rest of the government, Abazovic explained that the war with the DF had existed since the formation of the government. In a statement, the DPM also said that he fully supported Zdravko Krivokapic.

Becic: We’ll defeat dirty centers of power inside and outside Montenegro (CdM

The time has finally come for Montenegro to be governed from the institutions of Montenegro, parliament speaker Aleksa Becic said on Monday. He has promised the citizens that he will defeat the dirty centers of power inside and outside Montenegro. Recently, after the parliament adopted the Resolution on the Srebrenica Genocide, Becic has been the target of a campaign by the Serbian media. Along with Zdravko Krivokapic, Becic is called a traitor, who “stabbed the Serbian people in the back”.

DF will seek new Govt with new PM or elections prepared by transitional Govt (Pobjeda

The leaders of the Democratic Front (DF) Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic and the leader of the Movement for Changes Nebojsa Medojevic will ask at tomorrow’s meeting of the leaders of the parliamentary majority to reach an agreement on a new government with a new prime minister based on the electoral will of citizens. Several Pobjeda sources have said that if no agreement is reached on a new government, they will then propose a transitional government to prepare for parliamentary elections, including an agreement on electoral conditions. “We don’t insist that the prime minister be from the DF, he can also be from the URA or the Democrats, but PM Krivokapic does not have our support”, says a source close to the DF top ranks. However, the DF believes that due to the refusal of the Democrats and URA to replace PM Krivokapic, it will be difficult to reach any agreement.

 

Greece tells Zaev that he has no right to use the adjective “Macedonian”, warns him that he is in violation of the Prespa Treaty (Republika

The Greek government issued a stern warning to Zoran Zaev that he is violating the Prespa Treaty when he tries to insert the adjective “Macedonian” in his public remarks. The specific case which prompted a reaction from Greek government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni was Zaev’s tweet during the football game between Macedonia and the Netherlands, where he said he is supporting the “Macedonian football team”. We demand the full implementation of the Prespa Agreement and its spirit and we call on Mr Zaev to refrain from divisive rhetoric, especially in such a sensitive issue such as football. In any case, the good faith implementation of the agreement is one of the criteria for the country’s accession to the European Union, Peloni said, adding a direct warning that Macedonia could face even more difficulties in its stalled EU accession process. Zaev enthusiastically uses the imposed name “North Macedonia” when talking about the country and its official institutions. But he has insisted that the Prespa Treaty allows Macedonia to use the adjective “Macedonian” when discussing issues such as “Macedonian culture”, “Macedonian sports” and such. But it is clear that this is now agreed with Greece. Zaev also claimed that, with the 2018 treaty, Greece accepted that we are Macedonians, and accepted that our language is Macedonian. Zaev also claimed that the Prespa Treaty removes obstacles on Macedonia’s path to the EU. All these promises are coming crashing down in the past months, as Bulgaria blocks Macedonia and raises nationalist demands, while Greece is apparently waiting in the wings, ready to strike at any provocation. Greece already raised objections over the Macedonian football team, because it used the FFM logo of the Football Federation of Macedonia on the jerseys. Even after Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani said that FFM does not have an obligation to change its name and insert a “North” in it because it is not a publicly funded institution, Zaev promised that he will pressure the Federation to rename itself.

Szijjarto: EU risks losing the Balkans if it doesn’t open accession talks with Macedonia and Albania soon (Republika

Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto warned that Europe risks losing the Balkan countries unless it allows the opening of EU accession talks soon. The warning comes as the ministers in the European Council again failed to reach agreement to allow Macedonia and Albania to open accession talks, as Bulgaria blocks Macedonia with its historic and national identity demands. There is a competition over the integration of the Balkans and exerting influence over the region. The EU is best placed to win, and the countries in the region have chosen the European path. But the trans-Atlantic direction of the region cannot be taken for granted, Szijjarto warned, while calling for the accession talks with Macedonia to be opened as soon as possible. “If we don’t do that, the EU risks to undermine the stability and security in its surrounding,” Szijjarto added. Hungary, which has also nominated the EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, is a strong supporter of allowing Macedonia to open its EU accession talks, as well of having the other countries in the region advance along the same path. If this doesn’t happen, Szijjarto warned, the EU could lose the Balkans like it lost the United Kingdom. During the meeting of the EU foreign ministers, Szijjarto also met with VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski, who is in Luxembourg to push for the opening of accession talks with Macedonia.

 

Date postponed, no opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia, Zacarias: It has not been agreed to hold the FIC (Radio Tirana

The Secretary of State for European Affairs of Portugal Ana Paula Zacarias has confirmed that there are no opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia. The Portuguese minister says that it was decided to postpone the date for the First Intergovernmental Conference.

The reason is the veto of Bulgaria against North Macedonia, from which Albania also suffered.

Even with the Portuguese presidency in the EU, Albania failed to open negotiations and it is now expected to see what will happen in the Slovenian presidency. “We started the day with enlargement talks. Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, it was impossible to reach an agreement on maintaining the framework of negotiations and holding the First Intergovernmental Conference on Albania and North Macedonia. We hope that the Slovenian presidency will be able to reach a date. The European perspective of the Western Balkans is a vital part of the European Union,” said Zacarias. All countries were in favor of opening negotiations for Albania, even the most skeptical Netherlands gave ‘ok’ for holding the first intergovernmental roundtable, but now in the coming months the fate of our country’s European integration will remain with the Bulgaria-North Macedonia dialogue, only if the Slovenian EU Presidency decides to divide the road between the two countries. Today the EU foreign ministers met at the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, but the result was the disagreement to hold a First Intergovernmental Conference for the two Western Balkan countries.

“Veto”, Bulgaria’s representative in Luxembourg: We appreciate Albania’s achievements, dialogue is open with North Macedonia during the Slovenian EU Presidency (Radio Tirana

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has confirmed its position in the EU General Affairs Council on the negotiations between Albania and North Macedonia. Deputy Foreign Minister Rumen Alexandrov represented Bulgaria, stressing that the implementation of the Neighborhood Agreement should be a condition for North Macedonia to join the EU. Bulgaria has also left open the possibility of dialogue and mutual settlement in the Slovenian EU Presidency, which starts in July. Meanwhile, there was an appreciation for Albania. The Deputy Minister said that Bulgaria reaffirms its support for the adoption of the negotiating framework of our country.

Negotiations, German Minister calls on EU: We must meet our obligations to Albania and North Macedonia (Radio Tirana

The German Minister of State for Europe at the German Foreign Ministry Michael Roth reacts regarding the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia. The German Minister calls on the member states of the European Union to think strategically and understand that they must fulfill their obligations to Albania and North Macedonia. “Please allow bilateral issues be handled bilaterally, without blocking all progress. Let us think strategically and understand that we must fulfill our obligations to Albania and North Macedonia. Thank you!” writes Minister Roth.

 

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Belgrade Media Report 03 December 2021

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