Albanian Language Media:
- PM Kurti meets SRSG Tanin on eve of UN Security Council meeting (media)
- COVID-19: 2 deaths, 14 new cases (media)
- Health Institute warns of increased cases if people don’t get vaccinated (media)
- PDK calls on government to reconsider decision on gas pipeline (Klan Kosova)
- Court annuls decision on electricity payment in four north municipalities (Koha)
Serbian Language Media:
- Covid-19: 35 new cases, one death registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio kontakt plus)
- Belgrade marking 60 years of the Non-Aligned Movement (B92, media)
- UN SG Guterres says Non-Aligned Movement has crucial role in the world (RTS, N1)
- Putin: Positive potential of the Non-Aligned Movement of special significance (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
- Selakovic: Continuous consideration of the issue of KiM in the UN Security Council is of essential importance for Serbia (Danas)
- Lavrov in Belgrade: It is time to form the CSM, a solution that suits Serbia and resolution 1244 (KoSSev)
- Zakharova: Rama’s statement on the unification of Kosovo and Albania unacceptable for Russia (B92, Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
- Simic: All ten Serbian-majority municipalities must remain in hands of Serbian people (Tanjug)
- More than 13,000 license plates stickers issued in Kosovo (N1, RTS)
- Kurti’s wife’s book (Demostat, Danas)
- Kosovo Arrests Five Suspects for Plotting Terrorist Attacks (Balkan Insight)
- As Non-Aligned Summit Kicks Off In Serbia, Bosnian Serb Leader Slams International Overseer (RFE)
Albanian Language Media
PM Kurti meets SRSG Tanin on eve of UN Security Council meeting (media)
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti met with the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Zahir Tanin, on the eve of the UN Security Council meeting on Kosovo which will be held this Friday.
A press release issued by Kurti’s office notes that Tanin presented in brief the content of the report of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo that will be presented to the Security Council. The report focuses on government reform, rule of law, security issues and the pandemic situation and management.
“Kurti thanked Tanin for informing him of the report and raised some concerns regarding pluralism and democracy in Kosovo Serb-majority municipalities. Being on the eve of local elections, it is important to have free and democratic elections, where every citizen of the Republic votes on the basis of personal convictions and is not subject to pressure and intimidation and when such cases are present they should be monitored and reported, he said.”
“Emphasizing the institutional stability in the country and the fact that citizens of all communities in Kosovo are interested in work and justice, welfare and equality, the Prime Minister stressed the need to condemn the efforts of criminal structures and the attacks that took place in registration centers in Zubin Potok and Zvecan.”
COVID-19: 2 deaths, 14 new cases (media)
Two deaths from COVID-19 and 14 new cases with the virus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 74 persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 1,095 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.
Health Institute warns of increased cases if people don’t get vaccinated (media)
Kosovo’s National Institute for Public Health said in a statement today that all citizens, institutions, public and private organisations must respect the measures against COVID-19. “Unvaccinated people are our biggest concern. Vaccination is the best, cheapest and most efficient method in the fight against COVID-19. If we don’t get vaccinated, there can be an increased number of new cases and an increase in hospitalisations, deaths, an overload of the healthcare system and the return of more restrictive measures,” the statement notes.
PDK calls on government to reconsider decision on gas pipeline (Klan Kosova)
Abelard Tahiri, head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), called on the Kosovo Government today to reconsider its decision about the US-funded gas pipeline. Tahiri told reporters after the meeting of the Kosovo Assembly Presidency that Kosovo is entering an energy crisis, “therefore alternatives are very important especially given that this is a project financed by the United States of America – a grant that amounts to around US$200 million”.
“I think that the Kosovo Government’s rejection of the project inflicts exceptional damage to the country and our long-term perspective and our most important partner in the state-building process, the United States of America. We call on the government to reconsider its decision,” Tahiri said.
Court annuls decision on electricity payment in four north municipalities (Koha)
The Basic Court in Prishtina has annulled a decision by the Energy Regulatory Office to pay the electricity bills of the four northern municipalities for the period 2012 – 2017, following a complaint by the Ombudsperson. The Court has also ordered for the return of over €40 million to compensate for the damages to consumers who covered the electricity bills of the four northern municipalities.
Serbian Language Media
Covid-19: 35 new cases, one death registered in Serbian areas on Saturday (Radio kontakt plus)
Out of 95 tested samples in the Serb-populated areas 35 were positive for Covid-19, Crisis Committee of Mitrovica North announced on Saturday, Radio kontakt plus reports. One death case was registered as well.
The new cases were registered as follows: 12 in Leposavic, seven in Mitrovica North, five in Zvecan, three in Zubin Potok, two in Strpce and one in Gnjilane. Deceased person was from Leposavic.
Currently there are 206 active cases of Covid-19 in the Serbian areas, while 97 persons have completed a two-week isolation period.
A total of 172 persons have died in the Serb-populated areas in Kosovo since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Belgrade marking 60 years of the Non-Aligned Movement (B92, media)
Representatives of hundreds of countries gather in Belgrade today to mark the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Serbian media report.
The first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in the capital of the former Yugoslavia, which was one of the founders of that organization.
At the two-day gathering, Russia, which gained observer status in the Movement founded in the midst of the Cold War in July this year, will be among the non-aligned for the first time, as a counterweight to the opposing blocs led by the then USSR and the USA.
The first Non-Aligned Movement conference in Belgrade in September 1961 was attended by representatives of 25 countries, and was founded by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Indonesian President Sukarno, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah and Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito.
Conferences are held every three years in the country holding the presidency. Yugoslavia presided over the Movement from 1961 to 1964 and for the second time before the country’s disintegration, from 1989 to 1992, when it was suspended from membership due to the war and the disintegration of the state.
In September 1989, Belgrade hosted the NAM Summit, and numerous world leaders were hosted by the then President of the Presidency of the SFRY, Janez Drnovsek, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Budimir Loncar. Belgrade returned among the non-aligned, as an observer, after the democratic changes in 2001.
In September 2011, Belgrade marked the 50th anniversary of the first Non-Aligned Summit with a major ministerial conference. The gathering was attended by about 100 foreign delegations with about 600 delegates hosted by then-Serbian President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.
Participation in this week’s gathering, which is being held under strict security and epidemiological measures, has been confirmed by more than 100 foreign delegations, including about 40 foreign ministers, said Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3BvaKwN
UN SG Guterres says Non-Aligned Movement has crucial role in the world (RTS, N1)
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a video message on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement said the Movement has a crucial role in the world and pointed out global challenges without precedent the world is facing now as well as plans on how to resolve them, RTS reports.
He also said non-aligned states contributed to the global solidarity at the times of a crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He said it was necessary to increase the percentage of vaccinated people in the world, to increase activities in the fight against climate change, and called for a ban on and destruction of nuclear weapons and weapons for mass destruction.
UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said in Belgrade diplomacy was an important tool to resolving the planetary challenges.
He also said the respect for human rights and peaceful settlement of the conflicts, as well as removing differences in mankind were needed.
Shahid’s full remarks are available at: https://bit.ly/3lxg3Xf
Putin: Positive potential of the Non-Aligned Movement of special significance (Tanjug, Kosovo Online)
Russian President Vladimir Putin told the participants in the gathering in Belgrade on the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement that the positive potential of that organization is of special importance today, having in mind the turbulent situation in the world, reported Kosovo Online, citing Tanjug.
In a telegram to the participants, Putin pointed out that the Non-Aligned Movement has a very important role in international relations, that it consistently insists on the principle of equality of states, respect for sovereignty and legitimate interests, and also advocates constructive multilateral dialogue strictly in accordance with the UN Charter.
Today, when the situation in the world is increasingly turbulent and when humanity must face a growing number of threats and challenges, the positive potential of the Non-Aligned Movement is especially needed, said the President of Russia.
He pointed out that it was important for that authoritative and representative organization to be actively involved in resolving crisis situations, making an essential contribution to collective efforts to build a more democratic and stable world order, strengthening trust and mutual understanding among members of the international community, Putin said.
The Russian president reminded that Russia recently received the status of observers in the Non-Aligned Movement and assessed that this opens new opportunities for cooperation in resolving regional and world issues, ensuring security and sustainable development throughout the world.
Russia is represented at the gathering in Belgrade by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Selakovic: Continuous consideration of the issue of KiM in the UN Security Council is of essential importance for Serbia (Danas)
The United Nations is expected to react in a timely, adequate, and visible manner to numerous incidents, provocations and unilateral acts of Pristina that violate UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and endanger the rights of Serbs, said today Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic in talks with UN Assistant Secretary General Miroslav Jenca, reported Danas daily.
Serbia consistently, and continuously is committed to respecting the principles of international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the status neutrality of the international presence in Kosovo, said Selakovic, who met with Jenca on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary of the first Non-Aligned Movement conference.
He said that ”for Serbia, continuous consideration of the issue of Kosovo and Metohija in the UN Security Council is essential, so that the international community is regularly and transparently informed about events on the ground, especially if taken into account the Pristina’s constant efforts to destabilize the situation”.
Stefanovic informed his interlocutor about the recent events at the administrative crossings in Kosovo, assessing Pristina’s behavior as unacceptable and dangerous for the stability of the region.
According to Selakovic, from the UN is expected to react in a timely, adequate and visible manner to numerous incidents, provocations and unilateral acts of Pristina that violate Resolution 1244 and endanger the rights and security of Serbs and other non-Albanians, and KFOR to remains status neutral and act proactively in order to prevent any breach of the security situation on the ground
Selakovic added that Pristina now continues to obstruct the process of normalization of relations with new anti-dumping measures on imports of Serbian products, emphasizing that Belgrade continues to constructively contribute to dialogue with Pristina and is committed to finding compromise solutions, but that we need to finally see a responsible approach to the implementation of commitments and from the Pristina side, reported Danas.
Lavrov in Belgrade: It is time to form the CSM, a solution that suits Serbia and resolution 1244 (KoSSev)
”It is time to uphold the agreements reached several years ago, especially the agreement to form the ASM in Kosovo, which was officially harmonized in 2013, ” Sergey Lavrov said from Belgrade last night. Lavrov furthermore claimed that ”it does not serve the honor of the EU to give in to Kosovo’s attempts to postpone the most important issue for the Serb population in Kosovo”.
”It was our most open and honest conversation so far ” – the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic described last night’s meeting with the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade.
Vucic: Serbia will not forget its long-standing friend
The Serbian President emphasized that Serbia and Russia are long-standing friends and that the former had the latter’s support so far – not just in the United Nations but in other international institutions as well.
”I trust that this will continue in the future, just as we suit our Russian friends, in those relations within such organizations and institutions,” the president said in a joint media address on Sunday evening.
Vucic highlighted that Serbia must remember those who helped it during difficult times – which was what Russia did – from the fight with the Covid-19 outbreak to the Kosovo issue.
See more at:https://bit.ly/3DzrEex
Zakharova: Rama’s statement on the unification of Kosovo and Albania unacceptable for Russia (B92, Kosovo Online, Tanjug)
Spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova said that Russia considers the statement of the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on the unification of Albania with Kosovo unacceptable, expecting reaction from the West, reported TASS.
“We consider the statement of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on the unification of Albania and Kosovo absolutely unacceptable. Promoting plans to create a greater Albania is grossly contrary to the provisions of Security Council Resolution 1244 and undermines stability in the region,” Zakharova said, reported Serbian media citing TASS.
According to Zakharova, this statement does not fit into the context of joint efforts by Belgrade and Tirana to create a single market, which they are undertaking as part of the “Open Balkans” regional initiative together with Skopje.
“We expect an appropriate reaction from Western mentors of the Kosovo state-building project to this insolent provocation,” Zakharova concluded.
Simic: All ten Serbian-majority municipalities must remain in hands of Serbian people (Tanjug)
“Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija must remain united and unified, because only such people represent a bulwark that neither Pristina nor their mentors can break through”, Serbian List Vice President Igor Simic told Tanjug TV. He also urged Serbs to exercise their right to vote at upcoming local elections in Kosovo due on October 17.
“I believe support will be provided to Serbian List candidates for both mayors and councilors, because all the ten municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija in which Serbs make majority must remain in our hands”, Simic stressed.
Asked to comment on the introduction of anti-dumping measures in Pristina, that violate CEFTA and Brussels agreement provisions, and what it means in practice, Simic said this was a political measure that would harm Serbs, but also Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija.
Talking about Serbian List MP Ivan Todosijevic, sentenced by Pristina court to two years in prison for calling Racak “a fabrication”, Simic said the most important matter was that the EU has finally recognized the Brussels Agreement was violated, and the basic legal rules were violated by Todosijevic’s verdict.
“The reintroduction of a verbal delict in Kosovo and Metohija, on the soil of Europe in the 21st century, is unacceptable”, Simic said, adding that Serbs were being deprived of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of movement.
Asked to comment on the statement of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama that his career goal was a united Kosovo and Albania, Simic said that such a statement was dangerous and did not contribute to improvement of relations or lowering of tensions on the ground.
“This is also an invitation to KFOR, because their obligation is to ensure peace for all citizens and security”, he added.
More than 13,000 license plates stickers issued in Kosovo (N1, RTS)
Kosovo authorities have issued more than 13,000 stickers for vehicles registered in Serbia since Belgrade and Pristina reached an agreement to resolve the vehicle registration crisis, N1 reports.
Tensions went high in northern Kosovo when Pristina authorities decided to ban Serbian registration plates, forcing drivers to replace them with temporary plates. The local Serbs blocked Jarinje and Brnjak crossing points and Pristina previously deployed police special units ROSU there. The crisis was resolved in Brussels where European Union envoy Miroslav Lajcak had separate meetings with chief negotiators from Belgrade and Pristina.
The Serbian public broadcaster RTS quoted Ferdinand Nikola, an advisor to Kosovo Internal Affairs Minister as saying the agreement is being implemented and demand for the stickers for the Serbian vehicles was high. He added stickers are issued at the vehicle registration centers and at crossing points.
Kurti’s wife’s book (Demostat, Danas)
By Jasmina Lukač
The book by the wife of Albin Kurti, the Norwegian researcher Rita Augestad Knudsen, fits harmoniously into the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding conference of the former Non-Aligned in Belgrade, and the middle political position from the time of the Cold War.
Not only because the book entitled “Ideas of Freedom and Self-Determination” is available to everyone in Serbian on the website of the Helsinki Committee in Serbia, but also because the line of presentation begins and continues to lead from and through Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin.
So, from the American and Russian leaders from the beginning of the 20th century, when the rise of two empires occurs, the Soviet and the American, which will clash in the Cold War.
The line of thought is not tied to, say, the idea of general freedom, a planetary federation of peoples and a moral state, in the previous classical German philosophy of the 19th century.
The world in Kurti’s wife’s book is carefully built on the Soviet / Russian-American controlled conflict, and that “before” and “after” does not exist, or hardly exists.
About 240 pages discuss why the concept of the idea of self-determination (as a path to full freedom of one social group) as opposed to the established liberal-conservative model that gives priority to the established order, should and must be radicalized.
Simpler, when and how to make and create a new state, with the current international order “recognizing it correctly”, despite the controversial actions to reach that goal.
The similarity with Pristina’s political decisions is complete, since the decisions of Albanian leaders from Kosovo show radicalization in the moves, whenever they cannot “deliver” a step towards “liberation” to their public, i.e. voters.
Rita Augestad Knudsen often emphasizes the concepts of dependence and inequality, as what prevents self-determination and liberation.
The deep axis of the performance of Kosovo Albanian leaders is based on that, which brings them votes and internal support. They need constant showing of overcoming some form of inequality and dependence. Or, in the language of daily politics, they need reciprocity.
Although at first glance it seems that Pristina’s radical moves, to which, according to the interpretation in the book, Kosovo Albanians have a full (international) right, arise suddenly, without any direct provocation by Belgrade, of course that it is not so.
These moves, from the angle that Kurti’s wife explains with the legal history of the United Nations, are simply necessary. But, also, nothing can be measured with that necessity in the minds of voters, neither economic life, nor pandemic control, nor visa liberalization with the EU – in short, nothing at all.
The ability to rule is equal to the ability to retaliate against Belgrade, and as soon as there are no moves to show it, then it is as if you are not in power in Kosovo.
For example, the decision of Ramush Haradinaj from November 2018 to introduce “reciprocity”, i.e. draconian taxes on the import of goods from Serbia that do not contain a declaration with the inscription Republic of Kosovo, was almost the only way to put aside Pristina’s failure to join the international police organization Interpol.
In addition, Serbs from the North greeted this vote in Interpol with a night ride through the streets as if they had won a football match, which was an additional incentive to fight back so that the celebratory atmosphere turned in the opposite direction.
When the first and short-lived government of Albin Kurti, which replaced Haradinaj’s, in March 2020, reluctantly, under great American pressure, abolished those draconian taxes, it announced new “reciprocities”, especially mentioning that it would refer to “vehicles” and “movement of people”.
However, such circumstances have arisen that this new radical “reciprocal” measure was introduced only now, in the fall of 2021 and after the expiration of the second five-year Brussels agreement on vehicle registrations.
It should be recalled that Kurti’s first government fell in the spring of 2020, then he was re-elected prime minister after the new elections in 2021, and after that he was occupied by the accumulation of newly acquired political power in his party Self-Determination.
He managed to end the period of cohabitation, because in the previous so-called war KLA coalition, the president who is elected in the parliament was from one party, and the prime minister from the other party. Instead, he won over Vjosa Osmani, who from the ranks of the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo, practically approached his Self-Determination.
Kurti and Osmani, after her election as the president of Kosovo, chose the appearance for the public of Scandinavian-type politicians.
For example, they posted their joint family photos on Instagram, with their spouses and children.
The time for a new “reciprocity”, i.e. radicalization of “self-determination”, to the detriment of the current order, which is supervised by the European Union, appeared when the mentioned expiration of one of the agreements from Brussels coincided with the emphasis of the provisions from the Washington agreement.
According to the agreement from the White House, should we remind, the one-year moratorium on Pristina’s actions to seek recognition of its independence from the new states was emphasized, as well as the moratorium on Belgrade to lead the opposite, de-recognition campaign.
Although Osmani announced that some new and strong state would recognize the independence of Kosovo, maybe even Greece, which was supported in some newspaper articles of some liberal former Greek politicians, there was simply nothing to show in that respect as a success for Pristina.
On the contrary, the newly appointed American official for the Balkans, well acquainted with Serbia, considering that he came to that position from the position of deputy ambassador in Belgrade, Gabriel Escobar stated that the moratorium should be extended. Then the most definite statement came from the administration of Joseph Biden, that what was signed during the time of his predecessor Donald Trump, will be valid until further notice.
However, as a continuation of gaining independence, something had to be shown to the Albanian population of Kosovo. Kurti’s government therefore seemingly hastily made a radical decision, insufficiently administratively based, to cover the Serbian label on the license plates with a sticker, just as it is required in Serbia to cover those with the label of Republic of Kosovo.
This radical move was necessitated in the first place by the local elections in Kosovo scheduled for October 17.
The fact that the Serbian side responded to Kurti’s government’s decision on “sticker reciprocity” by blocking the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings, calling on NATO, and showing military force, including the Russian ambassador’s visit to a barracks, fully fits the picture given through Kurti’s wife’s book.
According to that picture, self-determination is another name for statehood, and when it is threatened by a stronger one, then it must defend itself, that is, to align with the current leader, in order to prove that “self-determined (people)” are able to take care of themselves. And not just about security, but for example about gas supply. During the sticker crisis, Kurti’s government also refused to allow Kosovo to join the American gas pipeline line through northern Macedonia for now.
Finally, Kurti’s wife’s book does not offer a clear enough answer on how “self-determined ” adapt to the current international order, but a hope that this order, thanks to its basic postulates (Wilson and Lenin, so to speak), has the ability to adapt to them.
Kosovo Arrests Five Suspects for Plotting Terrorist Attacks (Balkan Insight)
Kosovo police on Sunday announced the arrest of five persons suspected of planning terrorist attacks, all of whom are reportedly well known to the authorities.
Kosovo’s Special Prosecution on Sunday said police had arrested five persons suspected of planning terrorist actions against country’s constitutional order and security.
Explosive devices, fire arms, drones and anti-tank weapons were seized during the operation, which was conducted after several months of covert investigation and surveillance, the prosecution said.
“Within the due time, Special Prosecution will file a request for detention of the five suspects,” the press release added.
BIRN has learned that the five were part of a radical Islamist group, and that all of them have also been arrested before for being part of such groups.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3oQBDb9
As Non-Aligned Summit Kicks Off In Serbia, Bosnian Serb Leader Slams International Overseer (RFE)
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik used his speech to a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on October 11 to challenge the international high representative who oversees civilian facets of a 25-year-old peace deal that still helps govern Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Dodik, a secessionist who is the Serb member of Bosnia’s ethnically tripartite presidency, said the Office of the High Representative is “illegal” and that Western countries are “imposing solutions” on Bosnia.
He described Bosnia, which comprises the Serb-majority Republika Srpska and a Muslim and Croat federation, as a “protectorate” of those outsiders.
See more at:https://bit.ly/3DxPk2D