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Belgrade Media Report 11 October

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LOCAL PRESS

Welcome home, Vucic tells officials of NAM member states (Tanjug/Beta/B92/RTS/RTV)
Aliyev: Disrespect of territorial integrity impermissible (Tanjug/RTV)
Akufo- Addo: Threat of nuclear weapons persists (Tanjug/RTV)
Shahid: NAM as needed now as it was 60 years ago (Tanjug)
Putin’s message to participants of the NAM Summit (RIA Novosti/Tanjug)
Vucic thanks Russia for support, says meeting with Lavrov their most open to date; Lavrov: Solution for Kosovo must be in line with UN SC resolution
(Tanjug/RTS/Politika/Novosti)
Selakovic: Serbia expects visible reaction from UN to Pristina’s moves (RTS/RTV/Tanjug)
Selakovic: NAM Summit in Belgrade proves Serbia’s reputation (RTS)
Selakovic: NAM has returned to its birthplace (Politika)
Selakovic hosts dinner for ministers who will attend NAM summit (Tanjug)
Vucic to Kosovo Serbs: Go to the polls in as many numbers as possible (Tanjug)
Call to IDPs to vote at elections in Kosovo and Metohija (RTS/Tanjug)
Vulin: Serb world barrier to Greater Albania (Tanjug)
Russia considers Rama’s statement unacceptable (TASS/Tanjug/B92)
Matic: Pristina’s request is gross violation of CEFTA agreement (RTS/Kosovo online)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dodik announces RS forms teams to work on changes to law on preparation for independent RS within Dayton Agreement (ATV)
Cvijanovic states international factor’s double standards have caused problems in B&H and individual countries in region (Srna/RTRS)
Dodik’s announcement sparks reactions (Nova BH)
SNSD’s officials react to Campara’s request to B&H CC to establish Dodik is temporary incapable to perform duty of member of B&H Presidency (Nova BH)
Dodik’s advisor Tegeltija criticizes opposition for cowardice (ATV)
SNSD officials welcome Dodik’s announcement about withdrawing approval for formation of state institution (RTRS)
Komsic: Some international circles easily dismiss what Dodik is doing (O Kanal)
Izetbegovic: B&H Constitution must be respected (BHT1/Radio BIR)
Dodik says he is ready to talk with any domestic politician in B&H but without presence of foreigners, denies claims of Izetbegovic he refused to meet him (BHT1)
Konakovic: Dodik is testing field to see reactions to his actions (ATV)
Turkovic meets Nelson, Mennutti; Nelson expresses support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of B&H as well as reforms (Oslobodjenje)
US Embassy announces new sanctions against corrupted individuals, Nelson meets EU ambassadors to discuss new sanctions policy (N1)
Field: UK will support US in fight against corruption in B&H (N1)
Sarovic says sanctions against Dodik will affect RS as well (BN TV)
Dodik: I informed Lavrov about our intention to maintain our positions, and that we are ready to reject all imposed solutions (RTRS)
Dodik attends NAM Summit in Belgrade; Kazaz: This causes even bigger damage to B&H reputation (BHT1)
Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center’s analysis shows genocide denial cases significantly decreased since entry of former HR Inzko’s imposed amendments to B&H Criminal Code in force (AJB)
Croatia

Minister admits police violence, does not fear about Schengen accession (Hina)
Police director: 3 riot officers suspended over violent push-backs of migrants (Hina)
Milanovic: Police can’t act like that; it’s good measures are being taken (Hina)
Montenegro

Cabinet reshuffle better than new election, Jokovic says (Pobjeda)
Martinovic: Democrats find Krivokapic’s proposal acceptable (RTCG)
URA to Krivokapic: Government can only be expert, Prosecutorial Council an absolute priority (CdM)
Djukanovic: We’re determined not the allow repetition of tragedy from the end of 20th century, Montenegrin patriotism awakened (Delo/CdM)
Djukanovic convinced that current phase of enlargement fatigue will end and that Europe will understand that new members should be accepted (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia

Axios poll: Danela Arsovska holds convincing lead over Silegov, 28.2% would vote for VMRO-DPMNE candidates while 22.7% for SDSM (Republika)

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LOCAL PRESS

Welcome home, Vucic tells officials of NAM member states (Tanjug/Beta/B92/RTS/RTV)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated today, opening a commemorative summit on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), that international cooperation, while respecting fundamental principles, is the only path to human development and prosperity. Vucic, who began his address at this gathering with the words “welcome home”, pointed out that Belgrade was, is and will be a proud host to every human being who carries peace within himself. I hope that we will not only talk about the past, but also about the future that we want to build together. The world of dialogue, compromise and peace is still possible and achievable, he said. Vucic pointed out that the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 promotes three principles – peace and security, development and human rights, adding that Serbia, as the legal successor of Yugoslavia, the founder of the United Nations and the NAM, is a proud promoter of multilateralism and respect for international norms. According to him, marking the anniversary of the first conference of the NAM represents a desire to pay tribute to this movement, which made a significant contribution and a vision based on respect during the bloc divisions, noting that there was no room for domination of one state over another. Vucic said that the right to decide one’s own destiny is not a sin, but a right that must belong to everyone, regardless of the strength and power at its disposal. Vucic assessed that the world today is different in relation to the one from 1961, because globalization, interdependence and the development of new technologies have made the planet smaller, achieving an impact on everyone’s lives. At the same time, the challenges we face know no boundaries, and their nature is more complex. That is why we need to work more than ever on the development of multilateralism, because no country is isolated, no country is an island for itself, and cooperation is the only way to prosperity, he pointed out. According to him, that is the basis on which, despite the differences, the members of the Movement stand, which is a symbol of the freedom-loving part of the world, ready to fight for freedom, independence and sovereignty. He emphasized that Serbia knows best how difficult it is, because it is fighting to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolve the issue of Kosovo and Metohija.

Vucic pointed out that Serbia’s defense defends the universal principles on which the UN Charter is based, the principles of international law, but also some of the most important values ​​of the Movement. As he emphasized, Serbia, as the successor of the SFRY, has never stopped striving to strengthen cooperation with traditional friends around the world. The summit is jointly organized by Serbia and Azerbaijan. “We are proud that as a military neutral country we are striving towards the EU, and at the same time we are strengthening the development of friendship for African and Asian countries. That is our treasure and our strength,” said Vucic. During his speech, Vucic also referred to an old African proverb. “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together,” said Vucic, whose speech was accompanied by thunderous applause.

Aliyev: Disrespect of territorial integrity impermissible (Tanjug/RTV)

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday said Azerbaijan would strengthen the cooperation within the NAM in order to strengthen justice and respect of international law, and stressed that disrespect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of any country was impermissible. Speaking at the opening of NAM, Aliyev, who currently chairs the movement, expressed gratitude to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic for hosting the meeting and said the initiative demonstrated Serbia’s readiness to take on the legacy. The NAM being the largest international institution after the UN General Assembly, it is an example of multilateralism, with 120 member countries with different political, historical and cultural characteristics, he said. Respect of integrity and sovereignty as well as restraint from aggressive actions and from interference in internal political affairs of another country is at the core of the movement, he said. These principles are still valid today and, had the principles of the movement been accepted by all countries, we would not be having wars, Aliyev said. Aliyev urged attendees to declare clearly the position that double standards are not in line with international law. He said double standards had also had a negative impact on Azerbaijan and added that his country had been targeted by Armenia for the last three decades.

Akufo- Addo: Threat of nuclear weapons persists (Tanjug/RTV)

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Monday that Ghana believed in the power of the NAM and in adherence to the principles that were the essence of the NAM, including the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states. Addressing the 60th anniversary NAM summit in Belgrade, he said the threat of nuclear weapons persisted. He urged great powers to disarm and to show that they are ready to avert mutual attacks. But they have not disarmed, and we are still under the threat of nuclear weapons, said Akufo-Addo. He pointed out that NAM was as important in the 21st century as it had been in the 20th century because it protected the interests of developing countries. The goal the NAM should set is economic acceleration, he said. In 60 years, the movement must be empowered so that we achieve economic development and maintain the dignity of all, Akufo-Addo said.

Shahid: NAM as needed now as it was 60 years ago (Tanjug)

The NAM is just as needed now as it was 60 years ago, UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid said on Monday, noting that the relationship between the UN and the NAM was encouraging because both organizations were striving for peaceful resolution of disputes. “As a forum for consultation and collaboration, with consistent advocacy in favor of peace, cooperation, and friendship, the NAM serves as a keystone of the global multilateral system,” Shahid said at the 60th anniversary NAM summit in Belgrade. “This keystone is needed as much now as it was 60 years ago. While the conditions may have changed, the need for diplomacy and for a multilateral approach has not,” he said. “Issues such as disinformation, pandemics, climate change, and biodiversity loss are forcing our world to let go of any lingering notions of isolationism. The challenges we now face are entirely planetary in nature and extent. Our responses have to be equally as global if we are to succeed,” he said. “The NAM’s support for a multilateral approach to COVID-19 aligns very closely with my own vision for the 76th session of the General Assembly, which is captured in five priorities, or five ‘rays of hope’,” Shahid also said. “In fact, the first ray of hope is to ensure vaccines for all, which aligns directly with NAM’s initiative within the UN Human Rights Council on equitable, affordable, timely, and universal access to vaccines. Going forward, I will convene a High-Level Meeting on ‘Universal vaccination: From Hope to Action’ in January 2022, in New York,” he said.

Putin’s message to participants of the NAM Summit  (RIA Novosti/Tanjug)

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the participants in the gathering in Belgrade on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement that the positive potential of that organization is of special importance today, bearing in mind the turbulent situation in the world. In a telegram sent to the participants, Putin stressed that the Non-Aligned Movement has a very important role in international relations, that it consistently insists on the principle of equality between states, respect for sovereignty and legitimate interests, and also advocates constructive multilateral dialogue strictly in accordance with the UN Charter, reports RIA Novosti. “Today, when the situation in the world is increasingly turbulent and when humanity has to 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 is important that this authoritative and representative organization is actively involved in resolving crisis situations, making an essential contribution to the collective efforts to build a more democratic and stable world order among members of the international community. The Russian president recalled that Russia recently received the status of an observer in the Non-Aligned Movement, and assessed that this opens up new opportunities for cooperation in resolving regional and world issues, ensuring security and sustainable development throughout the world. Putin wished the participants successful work.

Vucic thanks Russia for support, says meeting with Lavrov their most open to date; Lavrov: Solution for Kosovo must be in line with UN SC resolution

(Tanjug/RTS/Politika/Novosti)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said late on Sunday his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is in Belgrade for the 11-12 October 60th anniversary summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), had been their most open and most sincere to date, and noted that Serbia and Russia maintained good relations in all areas. “I am proud to be able to say we have extremely good relations with Russia. Unlike those who are ashamed or afraid to say that, I am making no secret of that. I say that with pride, because it is in Serbia’s interest,” Vucic told a press conference with Lavrov. Vucic thanked Russia for supporting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia and for advocating the position that the Kosovo and Metohija issue can only be resolved through compromise, rather than through diktat imposed on Serbia. “In light of the many problems we face, it is natural that our conversation is the most open possible, that I say what I think and that I hear Russia’s stance,” Vucic said. Vucic said he had informed Lavrov of his fears over the position of Serbia and Serbs in the region and that the Russian top diplomat had presented to him Russia’s views, also giving him important advice. Vucic said Serbia would remain a militarily neutral country. “We will continue to protect the country accordingly, to develop defense capabilities to deter any potential aggressors who would try to threaten Serbia’s freedom,” Vucic said. He also thanked Russia for helping to ensure energy security in Serbia.

Lavrov said after meeting with Vucic late on Sunday that Russia insisted that the Kosovo and Metohija issue must be resolved solely in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and through direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. At a joint press conference with Vucic, he noted that the EU’s leniency towards the Kosovo Albanians did no credit to the bloc. Lavrov said his discussions with Vucic had addressed regional issues and that any solution reached by Belgrade and Pristina must be approved by the UN. Lavrov said Russian President Vladimir Putin had several times reiterated Moscow’s position on the Kosovo and Metohija issue – that it would accept any solution that suited Serbia and the Serbs. “We are concerned over provocations organized in the north of Kosovo in late September. Serbia and President Vucic exercised restraint and a firm stance, helping to resolve the crisis,” Lavrov said. “It is time to implement agreements reached several years ago, in particular the one on the establishment of a Community of Serb Municipalities, agreed as early as in 2013. The leniency towards the Kosovo Albanians when it comes to delays does no credit to the EU. Our starting point is that the US will use its influence on Pristina, which is very important, to ensure the negotiations proceed normally, in line with Resolution 1244 and with what suits Serbia and the Serbs,” Lavrov said.

Vucic: Serbia hoping to get best price for Russian gas

Vucic said late on Sunday he had asked Lavrov to tell Russian President Vladimir Putin Serbia was hoping to get the best price for Russian gas in Europe. At a joint press conference with Lavrov, Vucic said the energy issue was very important at this time. Naming five causes behind the ongoing energy crisis in the world and, in particular, in Europe, Vucic noted that it was also due to the fact that, for political reasons, European countries had not signed long-term agreements with Russia on natural gas supplies. Responding to a question by a Russian reporter, he said the energy crisis would last for at least six months, or perhaps for even two years. He reiterated that, fortunately, Serbia had had the courage to build a pipeline for Russian gas. Vucic said a deal on the best possible price for Russian gas was the way out of the crisis, but noted that Serbia would also build new power plants and retain coal as an energy source. “We will not gamble to ingratiate ourselves with anyone,” he said.

Selakovic: Serbia expects visible reaction from UN to Pristina’s moves (RTS/RTV/Tanjug)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met today in Belgrade, on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, with Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations for Europe, Central Asia and America Miroslav Jenca. Selakovic discussed the recent incidents at the administrative crossings, Selakovic’s cabinet stated. He pointed out that an adequate reaction is expected when Pristina violates Resolution 1244 with unilateral acts and endangers the rights and security of Serbs and other non-Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija, and KFOR to remain status-neutral. Selakovic added that Pristina continues to obstruct the normalization of relations with anti-dumping measures on the import of Serbian products, it is stated in the announcement. Selakovic pointed out that the UN is the most important international organization for Serbia, whose role is key to preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country. According to him, Serbia is consistently and continuously committed to respecting the principles of international law, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the status neutrality of the international presence in Kosovo and Metohija. 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 Pristina’s constant efforts to destabilize the situation are taken into account, he explained.

Selakovic: NAM Summit in Belgrade proves Serbia’s reputation (RTS)

The summit of the NAM is one of the biggest gatherings in Europe and even the world this year, especially now that is taking place during the pandemic, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic told Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) on Sunday, adding that organizing such an event only confirms Serbia’s reputation. Selakovic, who will be host of the meeting, said that EU membership remains Serbia’s strategic and essential goal but that Belgrade will not give up on its traditional friends – Russia, China and the NAM. “Belgrade and Serbia will show they are traditionally good hosts and will welcome the delegations from 105 countries and 11 organizations, with some 550 attendees of the event,” he added. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will also attend the meeting. “Bilateral meetings will be held throughout the summit. Russia as well as Serbia have been since July this year observers at the Non-Aligned Movement. Lavrov’s arrival means a lot because it further strengthens and empowers the nature and degree of this gathering, especially bearing in mind the energy crisis that is currently shaking the world,” stressed Selakovic. The movement today gathers 120 member states and 17 observers, including Serbia. “It is important to maintain the status of the observer, because Belgrade is the birthplace of the Non-Aligned Movement and its name stands next to the name of Josip Broz Tito in every talks with the representatives of the member states of the NAM. This reputation is still alive. These are our friendly countries, and it is important that we are recognized in this movement as a reputable, sovereign country and they are not only happy about our success but also want to cooperate both on the political and economic level,” he said. He believes that this can also influence a better understanding of the situation in Kosovo.

“Kosovo remains the main state and national issue, and the things we look up to our non-aligned friends and the values that the movement was built on, are a peaceful diplomatic activity, dialogue and absence of any sort of unilateralism. Because this vicious circle was created the moment when someone started to acknowledge a one-sided recognition of so-called independence as legitimate, the most of our non-aligned friends do not recognize it,” the minister underlined.

Selakovic: NAM has returned to its birthplace (Politika)

Selakovic says the October 11-12 60th anniversary summit of the NAM will mark a return of the organization to its “birthplace”. In an interview published by Politika on Sunday, Selakovic noted that it could already be said the summit would be very successful, with officials of over 100 countries, including more than 40 FMs, to meet in Belgrade despite the coronavirus pandemic. “They are the representatives of the very same countries that, to a considerable degree, associate the former Yugoslavia with Tito and Belgrade. Tito is no longer alive, but Belgrade remains a symbol of the struggle for the freedom of that part of the world,” Selakovic said. The policy of Serbia, which is primarily focused on EU membership, is not oblivious to traditional partnerships and friendships, Selakovic said, noting that, besides close ties with Russia and China, Serbia also maintained relationships with countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Selakovic hosts dinner for ministers who will attend NAM summit (Tanjug)

 

Selakovic on Sunday hosted a ceremonial dinner for foreign government ministers who will attend the 60th anniversary summit of NAM in Belgrade. The dinner was attended by more than 30 foreign guests, heads of delegations in the rank of ministers, as well as by Serbian government ministers. In his opening speech, Selakovic welcomed the foreign delegations to the birthplace of the NAM. “Although the world is not the same as six decades ago, we share the same values and want to pay a tribute to the glorious moments of our shared history,” said Selakovic. He wished the guests and their countries and peoples health, happiness and wisdom in a time when the world is facing growing challenges. “I hope that, on the basis of friendship, cooperation and the values embodied in the NAM, we will be able to overcome all the adversities that are ahead of us,” Selakovic stressed.

Ghanaian President arrives in Belgrade

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo arrived in Belgrade late on Sunday for the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM, which he will address on Monday and then officially begin a bilateral visit to Serbia. Akufo-Addo was welcomed with state honors that included a red carpet and a military guard of honor as Selakovic greeted him with the traditional bread-and-salt welcome. The participants of the 1961 founding NAM conference in Belgrade included the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, who, together with TitoNehruNasser and Sukarno, was one of the five creators of the concept of non-alignment. Nkrumah’s daughter will be a guest at the commemorative summit as a member of the Ghanaian delegation.

Selakovic meets Al-Sabah

Selakovic met with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah on Sunday. Expressing satisfaction with the fact that, for the first time in recent history, a Kuwaiti Foreign Minister was visiting Serbia, Selakovic said the two countries maintained friendly relations that dated back from the era of the former Yugoslavia and the NAM, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Selakovic said Serbia was interested in boosting overall bilateral ties with Kuwait and noted that, in addition to maintaining regular political dialogue, it was important to work on enhancing the economic cooperation between the two countries. The parties also discussed possibilities for signing an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation to establish a broader framework for chiefly economic ties, as well as for other forms of bilateral cooperation. They said the document would essentially be an agreement on strategic cooperation.

Selakovic, Marsudi: Serbia, Indonesia to focus on economic ties

Selakovic and his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi agreed on Sunday the level of bilateral political relations was extremely high but that economic cooperation was lagging behind and that the two countries would focus on strengthening it in the future. At a joint press conference after a meeting with Marsudi, Selakovic said they had agreed for him to pay a return visit to Jakarta in three months to discuss possibilities for deeper economic cooperation following political consultations between the two ministries. “At political level, we have no open issues,” Selakovic said, thanking Indonesia for respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty regarding the Kosovo and Metohija issue. He also thanked Marsudi for accepting an invitation to the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM in Belgrade. “For Serbia and Serbian citizens, Indonesia has a special place not only in our foreign policy and in plans to develop economic cooperation, but there is also an emotional aspect – 60 years ago, our presidents were visionaries and jointly initiated the establishment of the NAM, which has continued to exist to this day,” Selakovic said.

He said they had also discussed the possibility of more Indonesian investments coming to Serbia.

Marsudi said Indonesia was committed to strengthening the cooperation on legal issues and noted that, for that reason, the two countries must work on an extradition agreement and finalise it in early 2022. She also said the two sides had agreed to prepare an agreement on mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates. Marsudi said Indonesia had nominated the NAM archive for inclusion in the UNESCO program and thanked Serbia for its support and future collaboration on the nomination. She said the two countries had no open political issues and would focus on ways to strengthen economic cooperation, finalize an agreement on agricultural cooperation and bring even more Indonesian investments to Serbia. Selakovic and Marsudi also signed a memorandum on cooperation between their ministries in building diplomatic capacities, as well as a memorandum on cooperation between Serbian and Indonesian universities in terms of business and innovation incubators.

Selakovic meets Borith

Selakovic on Sunday met with Cambodian Minister Ouch Borith, a special envoy of the country’s Prime Minister for the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM. Selakovic said Serbia and Cambodia maintained a 65-year tradition of friendly diplomatic relations, and urged joint efforts to boost the present high-level political dialogue and communication, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Selakovic said high- and top-level visits would help to achieve this and added that he hoped the Cambodian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister would visit Serbia in the period to come. In turn, Borith invited Selakovic to visit Cambodia and noted that the Cambodian Prime Minister was ready to come to Serbia. Selakovic thanked Cambodia for its firm position on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, as well as for supporting Serbia in international organizations. Selakovic said the two countries must step up bilateral economic and business relations. The parties also discussed specific areas of potential cooperation, the statement said.

Vucic to Kosovo Serbs: Go to the polls in as many numbers as possible (Tanjug)

“They are doing what they did before,” President Vucic said briefly. “My message to Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija is to go to the polls in as many numbers as possible, to fight for their rights and for their country,” he said. “We have to survive on our hearths and we have to oppose their violence. They think that this will cause great damage to Serbia. But by doing so, you are only showing nervousness about what happened in Jarinje and Brnjak,” Vucic said.

Call to IDPs to vote at elections in Kosovo and Metohija (RTS/Tanjug)

The state of Serbia called on internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kosovo and Metohija, who reside on the territory of Serbia proper, to vote in the local elections in Kosovo and Metohija on 17 October. “Let’s vote for the stay and survival of our people in Kosovo and Metohija,” the video reads.

 

Simic: All ten municipalities must remain in our hands

Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija must remain united because only this way we represent a bulwark that neither Pristina nor their mentors can break through, said the deputy president of the Serb List Igor Simic and called on Serbs to use the right to vote and go to the local elections in the province held onv17 October. Simic told TV Tanjug that it is important to take away all the levers of power that can be taken away from Pristina, and that is why it is only necessary to go to the polling stations. “I believe that support will be provided to the Serb List candidates for both mayors and councilors, because all ten municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija where the Serbs are the majority must remain in our hands,” Simic pointed out. He appealed to the citizens to go to the polls, stating that these are not ordinary local elections, because they do not only talk about local topics. “We need to preserve a unified political corps, be strong, united, and in that way, resist any new unilateral moves by Pristina that are already being announced,” said Simic.

Vulin: Serb world barrier to Greater Albania (Tanjug)

Serbian Interior Minister and Socialist Movement leader Aleksandar Vulin said Serbian unity presents the only barrier to Greater Albania in reaction to the statement of the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama that the goal of his political career is to “unite Albania with Kosovo”. When the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama says that the main task of his political career is “the unification of Albania with Kosovo”, all Balkan countries are silent, UNMIK, which controls Kosovo and Metohija according to Resolution 1244, is silent, and the EU will not issue its famous statements calling for both sides to show restraint. When I, not in the capacity of Prime Minister of Serbia, but on my own behalf, call for the political unity of all Serbs and say that the task of my generation is to create a “Serb world”, then the whole region reacts to that, and the EU has something to say, Vulin said. “Because everyone is silent about Greater Albania, Serbs must speak. Everything that is allowed to Shiptars will not be banned to the Serbs. The only barrier to Greater Albania and the only force that will enable Serbs not to make decisions influenced by others is Serb political unity and the creation of a Serb world. I hope that everyone who is silent about Rama’s aspiration to create a Greater Albania will be silent when we Serbs talk about the Serb world,” Vulin said, as Socialist Movement announced.

Russia considers Rama’s statement unacceptable (TASS/Tanjug/B92)

Russia considers the statement of the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on the unification of Albania with Kosovo unacceptable and expects an appropriate reaction from the West on that occasion, stated the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. “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, as TASS reports. 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.

Matic: Pristina’s request is gross violation of CEFTA agreement (RTS/Kosovo online)

The request of the provisional Pristina institutions addressed to CEFTA, in which it is requested that Pristina is no longer represented in CEFTA through UNMIK, is a gross violation of the CEFTA agreement and the Brussels dialogue agreement, which cannot be changed in this way, Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Tatjana Matic said on Friday.

The Minister of Industry and Trade of so-called Kosovo Roseta Hajdari previously said that Pristina had addressed CEFTA, stating that a letter with this request was sent on 24 September.

Matic, however, says for Kosovo online “that the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina are not in a position to deprive UNMIK of its status before CEFTA”. “On the same day, the competent person before Serbia sent a response within CEFTA, including the representatives of the European Commission, that the request is unacceptable within CEFTA,” says Matic.

Kosovo became a full member of CEFTA in July 2007, but the free trade agreement was signed on behalf of Kosovo by UNMIK, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1244. Decisions in CEFTA are made by consensus.

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Dodik announces RS forms teams to work on changes to law on preparation for independent RS within Dayton Agreement (ATV

SNSD leader Milorad Dodik announced that the development of the plan titled ‘Independent Republika Srpska (RS) Within the Framework of the Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is ongoing, whose “essence is to bring back what was given to the RS by the Constitution”. Following a session of the SNSD Executive Committee in Banja Luka on Friday, Dodik explained that the RS has formed teams of experts focused on issues of defense, justice, finance, a new constitution of the RS and a way how to respond to decisions and laws unlawfully imposed by High Representatives. He stressed that these issues will be discussed by the RS parliament, but that nothing will be done in violation of the Constitution of B&H. Dodik stated that the RS parliament will withdraw its consent to the formation of B&H Armed Forces, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of B&H and the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of B&H. “We will say that our conclusions are null and void, and that they are not in force. The parliament will pass regulations and conclusions related to how to regulate these legal vacuums. We will not do anything against the Constitution of B&H and we do not call in question the territorial integrity of B&H,” Dodik said. He added that legal violence of the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H and High Representatives is what is being called in question and rejected, and High Representatives with help of B&H CC have transferred competences from entities to the state in an unlawful and unconstitutional manner, and contrary to the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). Dodik called on the opposition parties to show unity on this matter, stressing that these issues are more important than the party interest. He concluded that Serbs who withdraw from B&H institutions do not need to worry as funds for their salaries will be ensured in the RS budget for 2022. According to Dodik, the High Representatives and the Constitutional Court of B&H constantly pass decisions which are detrimental for the RS. Dodik said that the RS parliament is expected to confirm the path towards independence and no sanctions or threats will stop it from doing this, urging on the opposition to join the initiative. According to Dodik, the main goal is to restore the Dayton competences and the decision of the CC of B&H on forests of the RS was the final straw when it comes to attempts to take away RS property. Dodik assessed that the CC of B&H has put itself in the role of a legislator and not an interpreter of the Constitution. Dodik underlined: “There is no authority in the world that can stop this. I call on members of the National Assembly to gather around this. I call on the opposition to work on this issue because this issue is beyond some party interest. I believe that this is the interest of this people. I also call on you in the media to inform the public in the right way about all this.” Dodik stated that the case of B&H Minister of Defense Sifet Podzic who postponed the military exercise with Serbia shows best how things function in B&H, arguing that he did it on his own and without a decision of the B&H Presidency. Dodik emphasized that he voted in favor an exercise with US soldiers as a condition for the exercise with Serbia which in his opinion, is of a big interest for the RS and the Serb people. According to Dodik, the SNSD Executive Committee also discussed energy-related issues and announced that there will be no increase of price of electricity supply in the RS. According to Dodik, the SNSD Main Board will hold a session in the mid of October and reach acts necessary to make this idea applicable in practice. Dodik also said the RS did not give its consent for formation of the SIPA and the Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA) of B&H, but these decisions where imposed by the High Representative. “And then the Parliamentary Assembly (of B&H) adopted something, I guess. All this will end, and there is no authority in the world that will be able to stop this,” Dodik underlines.

Cvijanovic states international factor’s double standards have caused problems in B&H and individual countries in region (Srna/RTRS

 

RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic has stated that ever since the beginning of the war, international factor has had double standards that have contributed to problems in B&H, as well as in individual countries in the region. RTRS reports that, asked by Srna to comment on the statement by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on unification of Albania and Kosovo, Cvijanovic asked if it is unusual such statements are not condemned by the international factor, noting that due to double standards “it is no wonder foreigners remain silent in regard to such statements by Rama. When Ivica Dacic hypothetically put the RS and Serbia in such context, he was condemned, although it was his reaction to unification of Albania and Kosovo”. RTRS reports that Cvijanovic reminded that Bosniak politicians from Sarajevo immediately started saying this would be impossible without war. When it comes to Kosovo, Cvijanovic said that the RS is following Serbia’s policy, which has been made clear long ago.

Dodik’s announcement sparks reactions (Nova BH

 

Milorad Dodik announced that several expert teams were formed which will work on a new RS Constitution, as well as defense, law, finances and one which would work on the decisions imposed by High Representatives. B&H Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic called Dodik’s initiative a “rebellion”. He said his goal was to “weaken the state and further strengthen the entity”. Previously, opposition leaders said that through such decisions and moves, Dodik is pushing the RS into isolation, and that his announcements were dangerous. Opposition RS MP Nebojsa Vukanovic says that Dodik’s goal is to hide the anarchy that exists in the RS, and he uses initiatives like this newest one to draw attention to something else. Vukanovic underscored that all know that the B&H AF and the HJPC B&H cannot be abolished. Vukanovic’s words show that Dodik will not have opposition’s support in the RSNA. The opposition previously rejected the call of RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic for a meeting. PDP leader Branislav Borenovic emphasized that the only place where the opposition will reveal its stances and confront them with the stances of the ruling majority, is the National Assembly. Federation of B&H (FB&H) Minister of Interior and deputy speaker of the FB&H House of Peoples (HoP) Aljosa Campara asked the Constitutional Court of B&H to launch a procedure of establishing of temporary inability of Serb member of the Presidency of B&H Milorad Dodik to hold the function of the Presidency member. Campara explained that Dodik’s unconstitutional announcements are jeopardizing peace, coexistence, political and economic stability of B&H.

President of SDA Bakir Izetbegovic said on Friday that destructive policies of Dodik can create crises but they cannot lead to the secession of parts of B&H. He announced that B&H institutions, B&H patriots and the international community will oppose these policies. Izetbegovic stressed that SNSD is asked to respect basic principles. He announced that he rejected a meeting with Dodik and President of HDZ B&H Dragan Covic. Izetbegovic explained that he rejected this meeting because Dodik would turn it into negotiations about the return to the original Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). He added that Dodik has an issue with the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and he should negotiate with them.

SNSD’s officials react to Campara’s request to B&H CC to establish Dodik is temporary incapable to perform duty of member of B&H Presidency (Nova BH

 

FB&H Minister of Interior Aljosa Campara requested the Constitutional Court of B&H to launch procedure to establish temporary incapability of member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik to perform this duty. This request sparked reactions of SNSD politicians. MP in B&H House of Representatives (HoR) Sanja Vulic stated that Serb people in the RS do not appreciate Campara’s opinion at all. Dodik’s advisor Radovan Kovacevic said that it is ridiculous and scandalous that demand to return to constitutional framework represents anti-constitutional acting and something B&H CC should condemn. Kovacevic emphasized that Campara’s request is nothing but part of political games of political Sarajevo and political Bosniaks, adding that abovementioned request is unrealistic. He concluded that no one, including B&H CC that left its constitutional competences long time ago, will prevent the RS to protect its rights and to restore its competences. Kovacevic said that it is ridiculous and scandalous that a political statement advocating return to the constitutional framework is presented as unconstitutional activity that requires a condemnation in the B&H Constitutional Court (CC). Kovacevic said that, with such behavior, Campara only confirmed that the RS is right in its stance that three foreign judges in the B&H CC work together with Bosniak judges against interests of Serb and Croat constituent peoples. He added that the CC also works against rights and position of the RS and such court is used as political means.

Dodik’s advisor Tegeltija criticizes opposition for cowardice (ATV

 

Advisor to the Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milan Tegeltija confirmed that the RS has formed an expert team to deal with, ATV carried, “all competences transferred under the auspices of High Representatives”. Tegeltija presented an opinion that the RS is under attack aimed towards reducing it to “an empty shell”. However, he added that the RS will provide its institutional response through the RS parliament. He added that the RS opposition is acting cowardly and the time has come for the opposition to say if they are in favor of the RS’ survival.

SNSD officials welcome Dodik’s announcement about withdrawing approval for formation of state institution (RTRS

 

The announcement of the B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik that the RS is going to withdraw is approval for formation of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), B&H Armed Forces and Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) sparked many reactions. The Secretary General of the SNSD Luka Petrovic stated “The Constitutional Court can react to anyone’s appeal and say: ‘Here, it is no longer yours’. So, I think it is the last moment to give an answer. Because, if we do not give any answer then future generations will say ‘Here is what they missed’, and if we give an answer then future generations will say ‘You see, they stopped further devastation of the RS at that moment’. We think that these last moves around forests, land, military property and concessions, primarily on the Upper Drina, are astonishing. We cannot be silent and we think that there will be fierce reactions from the RS. For now, they are political, and then they must be legislative”. B&H Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Stasa Kosarac assessed that RS has never had a better chance to return its seized competencies and annul the anti-Dayton and anti-constitutional actions of HRs of the international community. Kosarac was quoted as saying: “What Dodik and SNSD have been claiming and proving for years with their policy, and that is that B&H cannot live and function if the will of the legitimate representatives of two of the three constituent peoples is not respected, has finally reached the consciousness of a significant part of the international community. Serbia, Russia, China, and a significant number of EU countries, including Croatia, publicly or tacitly support Dodik’s intention to return the seized competencies to the RS and to reduce the political activities of everyone in B&H to the framework of the Dayton Constitution.” SNSD MP in B&H House of Representatives Sanja Vulic said that any silencing and distortion of the will of the Serb people, which the Bosniak political corps is constantly trying to do, according to Vulic, will not bring anything good to B&H. The SNSD said that it is a fair move to return to the Dayton framework and that they have an independent RS in Dayton B&H. They said that they will insist that SNSD deals with capital political issues as well as the economy, which is crucial, because that means supporting the work of the RS Government and competent institutions.

 

Komsic: Some international circles easily dismiss what Dodik is doing (O Kanal

 

Chairperson of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic commented on the most recent statements of Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik regarding withdrawal of consent on forming the B&H Armed Forces (AF), the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) and indirect taxes. Komsic said while Dodik is working on the destruction of the country, issues, such as amending the B&H Election Law, are being imposed as key issues. “What Dodik is doing should be the first question, the key issue in B&H, and only after that amending the Election Law can be discusses. But there are some circles in the international community that, somehow, easily dismiss what Dodik is doing, and their reaction to Dodik’s actions is usually in a form of general phrases,” said Komsic. Komsic also said there is a system in the “craziness created by Dodik” comparing it to North Macedonia, and attempted coup d’etat in Montenegro. He said the current situation in B&H reminded him of the situation in the early 1990s before the war, noting that ethnic concept that has been in force for 30 years only creates problems. Komsic said it seems that international officials and individual countries are again showing interest for the situation in B&H. “It seems to me the alarms are slowly going off. Because, this is not only the matter of B&H. There are many other important factors, from the region, other powers in regard to the destabilization of B&H and the whole region,” said Komsic. “All that Mister Dodik speaks of does not have a basis in the Constitution and the laws of B&H. He can say whatever he wants – this is a free country, except to deny genocide – for that he would be criminally persecuted. But it is absolutely irrelevant what he will do, or what the RS parliament will do, because they do not decide on these matters. Such types of decisions are, eventually, made in the Parliamentary Assembly of B&H,” Komsic told members of the press.

Izetbegovic: B&H Constitution must be respected (BHT1/Radio BIR

 

Speaker of the B&H House of Peoples (HoP) and SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic stated that the Constitution of Bi& must be respected. Izetbegovic stressed that he refused a meeting with member of the B&H Presidency and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik. “He turned that into negotiations on the return to the original Dayton, breaking up the Armed Forces. He turned that into negotiations. We will not negotiate those things,” Izetbegovic stressed. Izetbegovic expressed hope that there will be no armed conflicts and a situation where, as Izetbegovic said, B&H must be defended. Izetbegovic stated for Radio BIR: “Dodik believes that this is in his favor and that maybe one day it could, this time he set 2030 as a plan for the division of B&H, for the end of what Krajisnik and Karadzic actually started. That is the situation and we need to make our moves.”

Dodik says he is ready to talk with any domestic politician in B&H but without presence of foreigners, denies claims of Izetbegovic he refused to meet him (BHT1

 

According to BHT1, member of the B&H Presidency and leader of SNSD Milorad Dodik set a new condition by saying that he is ready to talk with any domestic politician in B&H but without presence of foreigners. Dodik emphasized that claims of leader of SDA Bakir Izetbegovic that he refused to meet him are untrue and repeated that the RS will reject anything that is – as he said – outside the Constitution of B&H. Dodik said: “There was a demand within an Ambassador of the European Commission that he mediates and organizes a meeting between me, Izetbegovic and Covic. I said that I accept the meeting under the condition that there are no foreigners. Thus, he probably rejected this meeting, but I did not schedule any meeting. I do not know what is with Izetbegovic. I do not reject talks but not in the atmosphere and under the capacity of foreigners.” Dodik explained that European ambassadors urged Izetbegovic to convene a meeting with him and Covic. Dodik stressed that he is not avoiding dialogue, but he refuses to participate in one organized by foreigners who showed their stance towards Serbs. He added that because of this the RS wants to return to the original constitution and this is the only way that it can remain in B&H. Dodik said that if this is not possible the Serb people have nothing to wait for.

Konakovic: Dodik is testing field to see reactions to his actions (ATV

The announcement of Serb member of the B&H Presidency and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik, who announced that the RS will withdraw its consent from the agreements on formation of the B&H Armed Forces (AF), the B&H Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA), and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), caused harsh reactions among politicians from the Federation of B&H (FB&H). People and Justice (NiP) leader Elmedin Konakovic criticized Dodik of testing out the field to see the reaction of both the B&H and international public, due to feeling encouraged by certain global actors – primarily Russia. “He saw that he can do that, so he is doing that,” Konakovic stressed. However, Dodik noted that he is not afraid of threats and possible sanctions for his announcements. Dodik criticized the US for, as he noted, focusing on threats. “I must tell them that they have encountered someone who does not care about sanctions,” he added.

Turkovic meets Nelson, Mennutti; Nelson expresses support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of B&H as well as reforms (Oslobodjenje

 

B&H Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic met with US Ambassador to B&H Eric Nelson and his deputy Deborah Mennutti on Friday. They discussed the current political situation in B&H with a special emphasis on necessity of full functioning of the state institutions, continuation of work on constitutional and electoral reforms, importance of independent judiciary and other important matters of mutual interest. The Ministry issued a statement saying that Ambassador Nelson reiterated support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of B&H as well as reforms in the interest of all citizens.

US Embassy announces new sanctions against corrupted individuals, Nelson meets EU ambassadors to discuss new sanctions policy (N1

The US Embassy to B&H announced on Friday that the US will deny entry visas to all individuals involved in corruption. Thus, the US extended sanctions for some individuals in B&H, noted the reporter. In an interview with N1 broadcast on Friday, US Ambassador to B&H Eric Nelson confirmed that the sanctions will be extended in relation to visas. The US Embassy to B&H issued a press release which reads: “US Embassy Sarajevo committed to increasing information sharing with like-minded partners concerning the activities of corrupt actors and make it more difficult for corrupt B&H actors to take their ill-gotten gains and invest them abroad; to stand up for anti-corruption champions within B&H including public servants, investigative journalists, and civil society; and to continue public engagement against corruption and its negative impact on B&H.” The reporter noted that James O’Brien – Nominee for Coordinator for Sanctions Policy with the rank of Ambassador, the US Department of State – will decide to whom the sanctions will refer. US Ambassador Nelson met with ambassadors of Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK to discuss methods of punishing of corrupted individuals. The press release of the US Embassy reads that as part of its commitment to holding corrupt actors accountable, US Embassy Sarajevo is implementing new steps to cancel or deny visas for travel to the United State for business or tourism for individuals involved in corruption. The US Embassy in B&H stated that their mission is also to “stand up for anti-corruption champions within B&H including public servants, investigative journalists, and civil society; and to continue public engagement against corruption and its negative impact on B&H”. The German Embassy to B&H stated that German Ambassador attended the meeting with Nelson and EU ambassadors in order to exchange information. Germany also sees corruption as one of the main problems in B&H and shares the view that fight against corruption should be at the center of all reform efforts. Embassy of the Netherlands also expressed support to the stance of USA and other partners that there must be more barriers preventing corrupted individuals from benefiting from corruption. According to the daily’s sources, there is currently no consensus within the EU on introduction of similar sanctions by the Union. Instead, the EU wishes to focus on improvement of integrity of B&H judiciary and empowering judicial officials to prosecute corruption. Asked about possible changes of the Law on Elections of B&H, Nelson explained that the US acts as a facilitator in this case and the US is lucky to have newly appointed envoy for talks on changes of the Law on Elections Matthew Palmer continuing with now more focused mandate for ensuring electoral reform in B&H. He emphasized that electoral reforms are essential for strengthening of B&H, functioning of its institutions, addressing the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by removing discrimination from the Constitution and assuring the citizens that they can participate in the elections as both candidates and voters. He revealed that Palmer’s recent visit to B&H and meetings with B&H political leaders are a part of his efforts to engage in more intense shuttle diplomacy, adding that Palmer inquired about what political leaders see as a path forward and how to reach consensus needed for the parliament of B&H to adopt limited changes of the Constitution of B&H. He argued that 2021 is a good opportunity to resolve the issues at the state level, especially regarding the election of members of the Presidency of B&H, and address the ECHR’s rulings. He noted that the issues in the Federation of B&H (FB&H) are important as there are serious challenges to the FB&H’s functionality but the US does not see a path to resolving these in the same timeframe as those at B&H level. He pointed out that it is important to focus on what can be achieved now and what commitment is necessary to continue to work on the issues in the FB&H. He stated that it is about step by step progress and emphasized the significance of progress achieved with the agreement regarding the elections in Mostar as it showed how difficult compromises can be reached when maximalist positions give way to efforts to resolve issues and commitment to resolving more difficult issue in the future. As to possibility of B&H political leaders agreeing to adopt the model proposed by former European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele, Nelson said that the US is not recommending any model in particular and the US is facilitating discussions about proposed models and whether or not there is consensus. He underlined that whatever model is adopted, it will have to stand up to review of experts who can assure everyone that adopted changes will meet the European standards, will not be questioned again by the ECHR and will clearly be a step forward. He noted that there are different ways this can be approached and ultimately the proposal that has broad enough consensus to ensure support of the two-thirds of the parliament of B&H will be adopted. He explained that as far as possible removal of ethnic prefixes, it is important to reaffirm that any proposal on the table will not erase constituent peoples from the Constitution as the goal is not to dilute the rights of constituent peoples but about ensuring greater fairness, integrity and equality for all. He stated that the ECHR mentioned ethnic prefixes in its rulings in relation to the Presidency of B&H and the goal is to address this issue in a way that is agreeable to parliamentary majority. He further reminded that the US and the international community in general made several very strong efforts to promote constitutional reform in B&H but all of them failed arguably because they were too ambitious or had no support as someone in B&H decided that “no deal was better than a good deal”. He deems that the agreement on the elections in Mostar can serve as a lesson as to how tough compromises are achievable but a sense of urgency and the need to address the issue of the Law on Elections before the 2022 elections must be emphasized. He stressed that the US will not give up on the opportunity for B&H to take a step forward but B&H political leaders must take responsibility because B&H’s sovereignty implies exactly this. He reiterated that there is a real opportunity to address the ECHR’s ruling, eliminate ethnic prefixes as the most discriminatory element in the Constitution, to improve the elections and restore the faith of the citizens that B&H is moving forward. Asked to comment on B&H’s path to join NATO, Nelson said that B&H has entered an important new phase where its partnership with NATO is guided by commitment to reforms that will address the important steps that B&H needs to take to raise its standards to the level of NATO allies. He confirmed that these standards relate military, security, rule of law, economy and human rights and B&H needs to take these actions step by step, adding that the Program of Reforms is a guide that B&H needs to submit to NATO to show areas where B&H authorities are committed to making progress, as well as areas where B&H expects NATO’s help. He underlined that this is a very important process and it will take many years for B&H to rise to the level of true interoperability with NATO allies but positive progress in these years will surely make the citizens to appreciate the value of collective security, reforms aiming to improve the standard of living and prosperity. He added that this is a tremendous opportunity for B&H to make significant forward movement and it is important to focus on this and not to get trapped in political debates about NATO membership which is years off. Commenting on the US Embassy to B&H’s assistance in procurement of new helicopters for the B&H AF, Nelson revealed B&H has procured four helicopters and they should arrive to B&H by the end of 2021. He expressed the desire to personally hand over new helicopters to B&H authorities and said that the procurement was made with investments from the B&H AF in small part and mostly with contributions from the US. He explained that the US sees the B&H AF as an example of truly functional institution at B&H level and a tremendous success story as was able to become a union of former armies that were in war against each other, as well as responsible institution and trusted exporter. He pointed out that the B&H AF to him represents a great testimony to B&H’s potential and what it can achieve when people get together to work on common goals. Asked about B&H’s path to join the EU, in particular what message is conveyed to B&H in increasing opposition to the EU’s enlargement, Nelson said that the message to B&H is that the door to the EU, as well as NATO, is open and the EU does expect the integration of the Western Balkans. “Again, I think that the path to joining the EU and the path to interoperability with NATO is about matching the standards of those communities. When I talk about my confidence in B&H’s future, I am thinking about how deeply rooted European values are here and how strongly the citizens here seek and support that future but sadly we see them choosing that future by leaving. They are leaving for the countries of the Euro-Atlantic community and they are not leaving for Russia. This is where people in B&H see their future but the challenge of moving towards those standards is not easy and there is no shortcut. Every new member has had to modify and reform its constitution in order to achieve the membership. So, important reforms need to take place here in B&H for the country to move forward,” Nelson stated and added that there is no single reform that will suddenly qualify B&H as a candidate. As to possible parallels between B&H and North Macedonia where the authorities conducted all necessary reforms only for the EU to change its mind and not fulfill its promise about granting the EU candidate status to North Macedonia, Nelson said that such questions should be addressed to the Head of the EU Delegation Johannes Sattler because he as the US Ambassador to B&H cannot speak on behalf of the EU and he can only speak on behalf of the US, as well its support to B&H’s aspirations to obtain the EU candidate status. He emphasized the importance of the US’ steadfast support for the hard work it will take to advance reforms, saying that reforms are difficult because B&H political leaders are not committed to compromise or show willingness to expand consensus and address the most important issues in B&H.

Field: UK will support US in fight against corruption in B&H (N1

 

UK Ambassador to B&H Matthew Field wrote on the Twitter on Friday that the UK will support the US in fight against corruption in B&H. According to a press release issued by the UK Embassy to B&H, the UK is committed to fight against corruption in B&H and they fully agree with the US and their other partners about the need to work more on promotion of transparency and prevention of corrupted individuals to take benefit from their criminal activities.

Sarovic says sanctions against Dodik will affect RS as well (BN TV

 

BN TV investigates if sanctions proposed by members of the European Parliament (MEPs) against Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik, could affect the RS and its citizens. SDS leader Mirko Sarovic is convinced that this will have an effect onto the RS as well. The MEPs sent a letter to EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, in which they asked activities to be initiated against Dodik, due to “boycott of reforms, undermining the rule of law, and damaging B&H in the process of its accession to the EU”. If such initiative is passed, Sarovic said the sanctions will affect both Dodik and the RS. “I believe this to be a very serious situation, a great warning. We should not allow an individual to drag the entire nation in such a serious problem,” Sarovic says. He added that Dodik’s constant talk of secession, the Dayton 2, boycotts, will lead to a situation in which finally someone will say this must stop, and Dodik will be stopped by certain sanctions. “God forbid, we might one day become something like Nagorno-Karabakh,” Sarovic said in explanation of how sanctions could affect the RS and its future. The EU conditions its pre-accession financial assistance to B&H with implementation of necessary reforms. The EU leaders recently approved such financial assistance but emphasized that all those that do not reach the necessary level of development, or do not show willingness for making necessary changes, will lose the financial assistance – it will be reduced and diverted to other countries of the region. Sarovic said B&H has not implemented any of the important reforms. He says the RS authorities even took things further by saying “the EU is no priority” at this moment. “There is no progress towards the EU; there are no reforms; there are no investments; there are no good news for B&H and the RS. And who can we point a finger at then to those that lead this country,” the SDS leader underscored, adding that citizens must be aware that people they voted for have made no effort to push the country forward and to implement positive changes.

 

Dodik: I informed Lavrov about our intention to maintain our positions, and that we are ready to reject all imposed solutions (RTRS

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Belgrade on Sunday, ahead of the high-level meeting to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the NAM. RTRS reports that Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik met with Lavrov in Belgrade on Sunday. RTRS reports that, after the meeting, Dodik said it was a comprehensive discussion, during which they talked, among others, about the situation in the Western Balkans. “I informed the Minister about our intention to maintain our positions, and that we are ready to reject all imposed solutions. He is of view it is reasonable, taking into account those are constitutional and the Dayton rights, and that Russia understands and can support that,” said Dodik for the media. RTRS reports that Dodik also attended a working dinner hosted by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, attended by Lavrov and Speaker of the Serbian Parliament Ivica Dacic. Following the meeting with Lavrov, Dodik reminded that Russia does not accept imposed solutions of the High Representative, adding that it is a known stance of Russia that “someone is represented as the High Representative without a decision of the UN Security Council”. “He has no legitimacy and Russians earlier proposed that he is appointed for a couple of years and that the resolution is adopted to clearly state he has no Bonn powers,” said Dodik. He added that he and Lavrov talked about economic cooperation, cultural projects and improvement of cooperation. Dodik assessed that this was a detailed discussion, which also regarded the situation in the Western Balkans. “I also talked to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic about the situation in Western Balkans and challenges and especially about the issue of Kosovo,” said Dodik.

Dodik attends NAM Summit in Belgrade; Kazaz: This causes even bigger damage to B&H reputation (BHT1

 

Member of the B&H Presidency and leader of SNSD Milorad Dodik travelled to Belgrade on Sunday to attend the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Belgrade that will be held on Monday and Tuesday on the occasion of marking of the 60th anniversary of the NAM. Dodik previously said that he will take part at the event but not as a member of the B&H Presidency adding that Chairman of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic failed to put this issue on the agenda. Dodik explained that even if this happened, he would have informed Komsic that he will not take part at the event as a Serb member of the B&H Presidency promoting stances of B&H but his own stances. Komsic and member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic refused to attend the event due to the fact that Serbian Ambassador to B&H Aleksandar Djordjevic refused to come to a meeting in the B&H Presidency a while ago to talk about the arrest of B&H citizen Edin Vranj in Serbia. BHT1 noted that in this way, the current political crisis in B&H is reflecting on diplomatic activities of the country. Asked to comment on this issue, professor Enver Kazaz said via phone that although B&H does not have direct benefit from the event, representatives of authorities of B&H are causing additional damage to already-damaged reputation of the state. Kazaz stated that instead of a diplomatic reaction towards the international community and trying to strengthen positions of B&H at the summit, Komsic and Dzaferovic acted in an irresponsible way towards the country that they say they defend. Kazaz added that in the meantime, Dodik obviously wants to continue with destruction of B&H. In his opinion, a single and united participation of B&H at the event could have improved bilateral relations with other members of the NAM in terms of economy. BHT1 noted that this year, Russia will take part at the event as an observer for the first time ever since formation of the movement and analysts assessed this as strengthening of the Russian influence in the Balkans and an attempt to create counterbalance to the West and the EU.

Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center’s analysis shows genocide denial cases significantly decreased since entry of former HR Inzko’s imposed amendments to B&H Criminal Code in force (AJB

 

The Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center conducted an analysis of the effects of the amendments to the Criminal Code of B&H, introduced by the decision that former High Representative (HR) Valentin Inzko imposed back in July. Namely, Inzko introduced amendments banning the denial of genocide and defining up to five years in prison for such law violations, with special sanctions in case the denial is committed by someone who works in institutions. According to Al Jazeera Balkans, Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik has been the leading figure in B&H when it comes to denial of genocide in the last two months. Still, results of the Memorial Center’s analysis show that the number of genocide denial cases has significantly decreased since Inzko imposed the amendments. Based on the analysis, 133 cases of denial and relativization of genocide were registered since the end of July, when Inzko’s amendments entered force. The analysis pointed to the issue of public broadcaster in the RS, the RS Radio-Television, and certain media in the RS entity as well as in Serbia and Montenegro continuing to participate in denial of genocide. The analysis concludes that RTRS committed 12 genocide denials, which is less than before, Srna news agency’s genocide denials decreased by 66 percent, and Glas Srpske daily committed two genocide denials. Coordinator at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center Edin Ikanovic told that the genocide denials are mainly committed by “elected officials and academic community”,along with media “close to the current authorities in the entity of the RS and the neighboring Serbia”. The Prosecutor’s Office of B&H confirmed that it has been working on over 30 cases pertaining to the Srebrenica genocide denial, after it was banned by the amendments to the Criminal Code. In a statement, journalist at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) Lamija Grebo said that the actual prosecution of genocide denial cases will dictate the course of further trend of genocide denials.

 

Minister admits police violence, does not fear about Schengen accession (Hina

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic confirmed in Luxembourg on Friday that Croatian police officers had taken part in the violence against migrants on the border with B&H, but that that wouldn’t affect Croatia’s aspirations to join the Schengen Area. Several European media outlets released on Wednesday evening disturbing video recordings showing masked men wearing clothes similar to Croatian police uniforms pushing migrants back to B&H. Masked men were pushing back migrants from Croatia across a backwater of the Korana river, hitting them with batons such as those used by riot police. Some of the men also wore vests like those of riot police. “As soon as he saw the footage, the police direct sent a task force that worked very intensively and as far as I know at the moment, they determined that those had been police officers,” Bozinovic said in Luxembourg, where he is participating in a meeting of EU home affairs ministers. He assumes that it was a case of “individual acts of violation committed by several police officers”. Bozinovic added that the director or someone from the police directorate should provide more details. The Minister considers that those incidents will not cause negative political reactions in the EU, with regard to Croatia’s efforts to join the Schengen Area. “No, I don’t expect negative reactions at all. In every police in the world, since police officers are in close contact with citizens, with offenders and with all categories of people, it happens that they exceed their powers. We’ll see if that was the case here, and then sanctions will be imposed” Bozinovic said. “If legal proceedings would prove what we are talking about, then that is certainly unacceptable behavior, but I wouldn’t link it exclusively to the suppression of illegal migration. That is unacceptable behavior of a police officers in any situation, be it on the street, at the stadium or somewhere else,” he added. As for Croatia’s accession to the Schengen Area, Bozinovic said that things were going well, that the most demanding negotiations for joining the area without internal border control had been completed, that police had shown their readiness and that they had successfully passes the strict evaluation of external borders protection. After video recordings of violence against migrants in Croatia and Greece have been released in several EU countries, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylve Johansson said on Thursday that they were shocking and that there was convincing evidence of misuse of European funds, which the EU gives to its member states for external border management. EC spokesperson Adalbert Jahnz announced an investigation into whether Croatia had used the money from European border managements funds for the accommodation of staff who had taken part in the forced pushbacks of migrants. We closely monitor how European money is spent and if it is established that is was used for illegal actions, then there may be a suspension of payment or fines or requests for returning the money, Jahnz said.

Police director: 3 riot officers suspended over violent push-backs of migrants (Hina

Croatian Police Director Nikola Milina said on Friday that three police officers, who were recognized as some of the persons in video recordings showing violent pushbacks against illegal migrants, were suspended, and further disciplinary steps would be taken. A task force, set up to deal with the allegations about the violence against migrants along the border between Croatia and B&H, established that the three riot police officers could be seen in the video recordings released earlier this week. The behavior of the suspended police officers has amounted to a violation of their duties, which undermines the reputation of the police, Milina said. It has been established that those three police officers were engaged in those violent pushbacks while they were on duty. “It is our responsibility to shed light on the whole case. We do not want such individual incidents to be detrimental to the fact that the Croatian police receive commendations for their work in the protection of the European Union’s external border and for other duties they perform,” Milina said. He reiterated that there were no orders about the violent treatment of illegal migrants. At least three times a week I remind police departments’ heads that no unlawful use of violence against vulnerable groups, including migrants, is allowed, he said.

Milanovic: Police can’t act like that; it’s good measures are being taken (Hina

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Saturday he was confident the case of Croatian police who took part in violence against migrants on the Bosnian border was an isolated case, adding that police must not act like that and that it was good that measures were being taken.

“I believe it’s an isolated case because otherwise that would be seen and known. Police must not act like that and that’s obviously overstepping one’s authority,” he told the press in Osijek. “But we must also talk about the police officers who are doing a very tough job every day year-round for modest pay and are protecting the Croatian border. That’s a tough job in the interest of the wider community. I wouldn’t want the police as a service to be stigmatized because of this” he added. “Somebody has to protect the border, border equals state. People coming to the border without authorization and want to cross it are committing a criminal offence. Those are facts,” he said, calling for resolving the recently reported case of Croatian police beating illegal migrants.

“If accountability is established, there should be consequences and punishment, but a problem remains. People, perhaps even families, gather on the Croatian border every day, who want to cross the border and go somewhere else, but that’s illegal,” he added. Asked if there was individual or command responsibility in the latest case, Milanovic said he did not know. “I don’t believe anyone ordered that. It’s evidently an isolated case. I hope we have solved that. The border problem remains. We see that some states, our partners in the European Union a little more to the east, would like the European Union’s border to have a fence. I wouldn’t want that. I find it inhumane.”

 

Cabinet reshuffle better than new election, Jokovic says (Pobjeda

I firmly believe that the new government should be set up based on the election result, the Leader of the Socialist People’s Party, SNP, Vladimir Jokovic, says in an interview for Pobjeda. According to him, the SNP is being sincere from the very beginning and is ready for talks. “If we see that certain political parties are not frank, new elections may be an option, or, to be precise, they would be the way to overcome the current state of play and the crisis,” he says. Jokovic adds that armchairs (positions) are not their priority and the SNP won’t negotiate over the positions and names in the government until they get firm guarantees that every party is going to keep their promise. He’s not satisfied with the previous relations within the coalition bloc, noting that other parties violated the agreement. Therefore, the SNP was forced to warn them that they would not allow anyone to humiliate or undermine them. The leader of the SNP emphasizes that dismissal of their renowned member Vasilije Lalosevic, who had performed tasks of a managing director of the Directorate for Sports and Youth but later on got fired by the government, was a direct attack on the SNP and no one who wishes them bad luck can get their support.

Martinovic: Democrats find Krivokapic’s proposal acceptable (RTCG

The proposal of Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic on the government reshuffle is acceptable to the Democrats, MP and deputy leader of that party Vladimir Martinovic has told Radio CG.

Today, the ruling parties should submit comments on Krivokapic’s proposal that the government have 16 ministries and three DPMs.

URA to Krivokapic: Government can only be expert, Prosecutorial Council an absolute priority (CdM

For the URA Civic Movement, the government reshuffle can be based only on the same principles on which the current government of Montenegro functions – therefore, it is an expert-non-party principle. URA says that before continuing the talks on the government reshuffle, it is necessary to make an analysis of the Government’s work so far, URA has told Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic. “Work analysis can be an integral part of the government’s Annual Report. Only on the basis of clear indicators and measurable parameters in all ministries can we talk about improvement in the ministries, both in terms of staff and their structure,” URA says. “Therefore, we suggest that the next meeting of the parliamentary majority be organized after the submission of the Report on the work of the Government so far” URA points out. “We also use this opportunity to emphasize that the Prosecutorial Council is an absolute state and social priority for URA and that it cannot be a part of the talks on the possible government reshuffle,” URA stresses.

Djukanovic: We’re determined not the allow repetition of tragedy from the end of 20th century, Montenegrin patriotism awakened (Delo/CdM

President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic heard exactly what he’d expected at Brdo near Kranj in Slovenia. According to him, the readiness of the European Union, EU, to allocate EUR 30 billion for infrastructure projects in the region seems praiseworthy. He also recalled that it was quite logical that great powers would try to realize their interests in the Balkans in an effort to use the vacant space in the EU.  The President also warned about the ambitions of Serbian nationalists in the region and the instrumentalization of the Serbian Orthodox Church aiming to achieve the territorial goals. Milo Djukanovic, as seven-time prime minister and current president of Montenegro is well acquainted with the EU policy regarding the Western Balkans, WB. He witnessed years of enlargement fatigue, the subsequent complete halt in enlargement policy and blurring of a hitherto clear European perspective of the WB countries. Following the Summit in Brdo near Kranj, President Djukanovic talked to a journalist of the Slovenian daily Delo Novica Mihajlovic. Asked to assess whether the Summit opened space for optimism in the Balkans, Djukanovic said: “Given the document and what I could hear during the discussion, Brdo opened space for a new wave of optimism. Right now, I cannot tell what’s going to happen. The document as well as the discussion clearly confirm that the enlargement policy is going to continue and that there’s a place for the WB in a united European family. Of course, we must abide by the rules, accelerate reforms, reach standards, but the door is not closed.” Having in mind that the Summit didn’t say anything about the deadlines for EU membership, the President noted: “Unfortunately, we cannot talk about deadlines as the EU itself doesn’t want to define the exact year. I know that the initiative of the host country, specifically President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Jansa, was to determine an indicative time frame. They avoided it this time as well, reiterating the commitment to have the WB countries in the Union. As for us, we’ve clearly taken a radical turn with the renewal of independence: we no longer want to be on the Balkans’ sidelines, we want to adopt a European system of values, to become an integral part of Western civilization.” On the recent events in Montenegro and the so-called Serbian World, he commented: “Instead of all Serbs in one country, there’s a slogan “Serbian World”. High officials of the Government of Serbia say that the task of the current generation of Serbs is to unite all Serbs and thus protect their rights, allegedly endangered national rights. It’s the same goal, just differently shaped. Of course, this all was accompanied by a serious attack – the media, financial and intelligence one, with the aim of achieving what they couldn’t in the early 90s.” The President continued: “The market for the project of a greater Serbian state is significantly narrower now. Greater Serbia nationalism lost its strongholds in Croatia, and no matter whether they want to admit it or not, it lost them in Kosovo as well. Now there’s only Montenegro and Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina left. Of course, they don’t want to give up on Republika Srpska, but it’s a serious risk to attack it, as Dayton is a product of the international community and its creators are going to defend it decisively until the very end. No one likes to come into conflict with the creators of Dayton – the Americans. In this regard, Montenegro looks like an easy prey. We in Montenegro are extremely determined not to allow the repetition of a tragedy from the end of the twentieth century. The experience over the past few years awakened Montenegrin patriotism to the degree that Serbia can hardly do us a bigger favor.”

Djukanovic convinced that current phase of enlargement fatigue will end and that Europe will understand that new members should be accepted (CdM

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic is convinced that the current phase of enlargement fatigue will end and that Europe will understand that it needs to accept new members. He has met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili during his official visit to Georgia. Djukanovic has stressed that Montenegro supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and its efforts to establish full control over its territories within internationally recognized borders, with full sovereignty, and to fight for a future of its own choosing. “What we asked for us, we want for others,” Djukanovic has stated, highly appreciating the firm vision and wisdom to properly understand the geopolitical circumstances in Georgia. In the context of bilateral relations between the two countries, Djukanovic has emphasized that in addition to historical and similarities in terms of goals, there is a similarity in the structure of the two countries’ economies, which should be used as a development opportunity. A meeting of Chambers of Commerce has been suggested, in order to intensify cooperation in tourism, facilitate the travel of citizens, use the energy potentials and experiences of Georgia in the field of food production. The relations between the two countries would be especially strengthened by more intensive cooperation in the field of culture, bearing in mind that both nations are proud of their history and tradition.

 

Axios poll: Danela Arsovska holds convincing lead over Silegov, 28.2% would vote for VMRO-DPMNE candidates while 22.7% for SDSM (Republika

The “Axios” Institute conducted a poll in the period October 2-6 on a stratified sample in each municipality / City of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia separately in terms of demographic environment and number of inhabitants in the municipality / City of Skopje. The poll was commissioned by the Institute for Sociological Research, Logos initiative. The poll on the rating of the political parties related to the local elections was conducted on a sample of 1,345 respondents on the entire territory of the Republic of Macedonia. The latest poll conducted by the Axios Institute, shows a visible increase in the rating of the coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE by 1 percent compared to SDSM and their coalition. Also, the poll conducted on the territory of the city of Skopje increased the lead by 0.9 percent of the independent candidate, Danela Arsovska, over her opponent Petre Silegov from SDSM and the coalition. The margin of error of the poll is about 2%.

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