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Belgrade Media Report 13 October

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LOCAL PRESS

Importance of spirit of multilateralism, international cooperation, solidarity (Tanjug/RTS/Politika)
Message of peace and togetherness sent from NAM summit (RTS)
Selakovic thanks India for supporting Serbia’s territorial integrity (Tanjug/Politika)
Wang: NAM an indispensable force in international relations (Tanjug/Politika)
Serbia committed to gender equality, empowerment of women (RTS/Tanjug)
Mihajlovic, Safari discuss cooperation (Tanjug)
Vucic: We haven’t used NAM to campaign against Pristina (Beta/Politika)
Petkovic: Local elections in Kosovo and Metohija of crucial importance (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)
Brnabic: I call on the international community, KFOR and NATO to react urgently (Tanjug/Kosovo Online/B92/RTS)
Petkovic: Kosovo police shoot Serbs in north of Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug)
Vucic heads to Raska for meeting with Kosovo Serbs (RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dodik announces implementation of project ‘Independent RS within Dayton B&H’ (RTRS)
Borenovic: We will not support SNSD’s initiative that may endanger RS (RTRS)
Sarovic, Milicevic and Crnadak oppose Dodik’s initiative for RS’ withdrawal from B&H AF, ITA, and HJPC (ATV)
Kovacevic: Opposition should realize importance of this moment for RS (ATV)
Osmanovic: Dodik will either succeed in becoming some sort of hero in the RS or he will be sanctioned (Nova BH)
Several MEPs ask for sanctions against RS, EC still needs to respond; EU Delegation calls on politicians to focus on reforms and EU accession (Oslobodjenje)
Komsic said the other day there will be no American sanctions during current fiscal year (Dnevni list)
Dodik claims RS has support of Russia in process of return to original DPA (Nezavisne)
RS law on non-application of Inzko’s decision banning genocide denial published in RS Official Gazette (N1)
SDP says it wants to stop brutal attacks on the state, will request meetings with Schmidt and Sattler (Dnevni list)
Decision on cancelling exercise of Serbian Army, B&H AF reached at working lunch in Vares at which Serbs, Croats were not invited and allegedly, Podzic, Komsic, Dzaferovic and Masovic attended (Glas Srpske)
Dzaferovic criticizes Dodik for taking part at summit in Belgrade; Kosarac responds: Dzaferovic uses political positions in order to cover up responsibility for war crimes (O Kanal)
Turkovic: Clear European prospects is key to security and stability of entire Western Balkans region (Hayat)
NATO Parliamentary Assembly holds annual session; Stoltenberg says NATO supports reform processes in B&H (Oslobodjenje)
Croatia

Milanovic tells troops: You are first of all Croatian Army, then Army within NATO (Hina)
Montenegro

Abazovic: Citizens should not be held hostage to the desire for positions (RTCG)
Republic of North Macedonia

Zaev: An Albanian president will be elected when all citizens are ready to vote for him (Libertas)
Albania

Kim: We urge authorities to act on this and other recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR regarding 25 April election (Radio Tirana)
Morton: Fruitful discussion with Basha (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

Importance of spirit of multilateralism, international cooperation, solidarity (Tanjug/RTS/Politika)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said on Tuesday, addressing the participants of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the closing of the summit marking the 60th anniversary of the Movement, that solidarity is needed and pointed out the freedom-loving of members of the Movement values ​​from the United Nations Charter. Selakovic thanked the participants of the movement for coming to attend the conference in Belgrade and contributing to something that shows that this is a stronger part of the world and humanity. We are freedom-loving nations. We respect the values ​​defined in the Charter of the United Nations, we are committed to the principles from Bandung and the Belgrade Declaration, which was legalized 60 years ago, said Selakovic. He assessed that the participants showed solidarity during the conference, and that, as he stated, is what we need. Selakovic told the summit participants that Belgrade is their home. I would like you all to feel at home, because this is the birthplace of the movement, he emphasized. In addition, he wished the participants, their families and the countries they come from to be successful, progress, strengthen, show solidarity and understand each other well. Peaceful coexistence is important, that is what connected the founders of the movement – NehruNasserSukarno and Tito, concluded Selakovic. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, who chairs the NAM, summarized the two-day summit held in Belgrade and assessed that the participants recalled the noble goals of the Movement’s founders 60 years ago, such as promoting peaceful coexistence and sustainable development. He pointed out that the participating countries analyzed the current crises in the world and pointed out the importance of the spirit of multilateralism, international cooperation and solidarity as solutions to the problem. At the same time, as Bayramov said, an invitation was made at the summit to remove unjust obstacles that limit the export of vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic. Bayramov also pointed out that the participants condemned the introduction of unilateral measures in some countries and the violation of the United Nations Charter, as well as that they confirmed their readiness to adhere to the Bandung principles and to respect international law.

 

Selakovic: NAM fresher and younger than before

Selakovic said on Tuesday the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM had sent out messages of peace, solidarity and a desire to work together on the basis of the principles of tolerance and mutual respect and with the aim of a better future for the world. At the closing press conference of the summit, Selakovic said he was pleased Serbia had been given the honor of co-hosting the event despite its observer status in the organization. He added that Belgrade was proud to have hosted the first NAM conference 60 years ago. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Serbia has succeeded in organizing an exceptional and successful conference – one of the largest multilateral conferences in the world, he said. He said that, in spite of pessimistic expectations, Belgrade had managed to bring together 120 delegations of member and observer states as well as special guests, and added that this was a testimony to the respect the NAM commanded.

“From some other parts of the world that are not really represented in the movement, we saw caustic statements that the movement is obsolete. Would so many delegations have come, then? An extraordinarily strong energy of freedom-loving peoples and states committed to the UN Charter and the movement’s principles was being felt here,” Selakovic said. He particularly thanked the presidents of Serbia and Azerbaijan, Aleksandar Vucic and Ilham Aliyev, for supporting the conference. “It can be said the meeting was successful… Belgrade was the center of the world over the past few days,” Selakovic said. The movement is not obsolete, but fresher and younger than before, he said. Responding to a remark by someone from a neighboring country that he had never mentioned the former Yugoslav leader Tito, Selakovic said that, irrespective of internal squabbles, Tito had been one of the political geniuses of the 20th century.

“We are proud of that, as well as of the fact that he wanted to be buried in Belgrade even though he was not a Serb, and his descendants also live here,” Selakovic said. He thanked the son of the former Egyptian leader Nasser, the daughter of the former Ghanaian president Nkrumah and Tito’s grandson for making the conference even more successful.

Bayramov: Belgrade summit has united non-aligned nations further

Bayramov said on Tuesday the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM had united the movement further. At a closing press conference with Selakovic, Bayramov said the Belgrade summit was an example of a successful conference contributed to by two friendly countries, Azerbaijan and Serbia. He said the two-day meeting had been organized in an excellent manner by the governments of the two countries and that joint efforts had produced an excellent result they could be proud of. He said the conference had been attended by 120 delegations, six heads of state and government and 50 ministers, as well as guests and representatives of international organizations. Bayramov said the delegations had commended Azerbaijan and Serbia for a joint initiative to co-host the significant event. He said the summit had also issued recommendations for recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Bayramov expressed special gratitude to the people and the government of Serbia, to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and to everyone involved in organizing the event.

Message of peace and togetherness sent from NAM summit (RTS

The two-day summit held on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the NAM came to a close in Belgrade on Tuesday. On the second day of the summit, participants again sent a message of peace and togetherness, calling for stronger economic cooperation as the basis for strengthening political ties and influence in the world. Participants of the summit stressed that goals set six decades ago remain unchanged. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stressed that delegates at the summit spoke of the historical importance of the Non-Aligned Movement and noble goals, improvement of peaceful coexistence and sustainable development. “Analyzing international politics, we confirmed the importance of multilateralism and solidarity,” Bayramov underlined. Abdel Hakim Abdel Nasser, son of late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser who was one of the founders of the NAM, stated that the member countries of the Movement must cultivate special economic relations, facilitate movement and show privileges to other members. “It is not all about politics. I believe that politics is a consequence of good economic and social relations between peoples and countries, and not the other way around,” Nasser underlined.  Participants at the plenary session within the summit conveyed a message that countries can face the challenges only if they are united and that establishing the equality in the world needs to be addressed.

Selakovic thanks India for supporting Serbia’s territorial integrity (Tanjug/Politika)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic on Tuesday met with Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi, expressing gratitude for India’s consistent support for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

At the meeting with Lekhi on the sidelines of a high-level NAM conference, Selakovic said Serbia was proud of the friendship and the mutual support between the two countries. Serbia and India have great potential for further development of economic relations, as well as for strengthening their political ties, he said.

Wang: NAM an indispensable force in international relations (Tanjug/Politika)

The NAM has become an indispensable force in international relations, and China is ready to cooperate with its members and will continue to support them, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted in a letter to participants of a Belgrade high-level meeting marking the 60th anniversary of the NAM. “As the world keeps changing and the times continue to evolve, developing and emerging market countries are rising with an unstoppable momentum. Standing at the threshold of the third decade of the 21st century, it is even more important for developing countries to stay independent and keep their future firmly within their own hands. And it is even more imperative for developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to make the global governance system fairer and more equitable,” said the letter, read out by Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo on Tuesday. “China is a natural partner of NAM. We have been sharing weal and woe with developing countries. We have been providing political support to them, offering economic assistance, and speaking up for justice in the international arena. Those features shine like the primary colors of China’s foreign policy,” Wang’s letter said.

 

Serbia committed to gender equality, empowerment of women (RTS/Tanjug)

Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic spoke on Tuesday with the President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid about issues regarding human rights and gender equality, as well as about the Green Agenda and the energy transition process. Mihajlovic underlined that Serbia is committed to gender equality, recalling that the Coordination Body for Gender Equality was set up in 2014. She voiced hope that, with the further support of the UN, we will be able to work on new projects and to include the gender component into the energy sector. Mihajlovic and Shahid also discussed the world energy crisis and the energy transition process and noted that the goals are the green and sustainable energy and economy. She pointed out that the aim is to have at least 40 percent of energy obtained from renewable sources by 2040 and to become a carbon neutral country by 2050. Shahid underlined that gender equality is one of the priorities of his presidency over the UN General Assembly. What Serbia has achieved regarding gender equality and the Green Agenda is encouraging, you are inspiration to many, Shahid stated.

Mihajlovic, Safari discuss cooperation (Tanjug)

Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic on Tuesday spoke with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari about bilateral relations, cooperation in the energy and mining sector, energy security and joint mining projects. “I am glad you are in Serbia and attending the summit of the NAM. We are proud the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of its leaders is being celebrated in Belgrade, especially in the time the world is in now: a time of fighting a pandemic and an energy crisis,” Mihajlovic said. “I think energy and mining are suitable for boosting the efficiency of cooperation, in particular when it comes to oil and gas,” she said. Mihajlovic said she knew Iran was one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources and expressed a desire for stronger ties between the relevant ministries of the two countries and Serbian and Iranian experts, adding that experience-sharing would pave the way for new projects. Safari thanked the Serbian leadership for all it had done during the summit and for the cooperation between the two countries. “Energy is an important topic for us, too. We are ready to enhance relations in this area. We have many mines in Iran and Serbian companies are welcome to participate in all projects we are pursuing, also when it comes to explorations, exploitation and ore processing,” Safari said.

Vucic: We haven’t used NAM to campaign against Pristina (Beta/Politika)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday dismissed the claims by Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani that the NAM Summit had been abused for “a dirty and brutal campaign” against Pristina, stressing that the summit had been used only to promote Serbia and Belgrade. “We have spoken about some eternal values. About peace and stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty, and these are the values which the NAM was founded on. It has nothing to do with their values. Our job is to work and to struggle,” Vucic said at the Arms Fair in Belgrade. Vucic further said that Pristina believed that problems were solved by issuing aggressive statements against Belgrade on a daily basis, noting he was glad that they believed so. “We are not cheating or deceiving anyone. If anyone does that, then it is they and those who support them,” Vucic noted.

Petkovic: Local elections in Kosovo and Metohija of crucial importance (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)

The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic said on Tuesday in Jagodina that the local elections in the southern province, which will be held on 17 October, were of crucial importance since they will decide on the survival of the Serb people on their centuries-old hearths. He told the displaced Serbs to vote for the Serb List in the local elections in Kosovo and thus preserve the bastion of Serb national interests. “We received an enormous number of calls of internally displaced persons who are requesting and want to vote in the region of Kosovo and Metohija, because these are elections where, by preserving these ten Serb municipalities we are preserving the pledge for the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO). They will be a framework for the collective safety and rights of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija which almost doesn’t at present,” said Petkovic.

Osmani is nervous because the fake state of Kosovo is losing support

Petkovic said on Tuesday that by attacking the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the NAM that is being held in Belgrade, Vjosa Osmani shows justified nervousness, because it is clear to her that so-called Kosovo is losing international support every day. “I am glad that Osmani is closely following the events in Belgrade because in the previous days she was able to see for herself what credibility and international reputation, support and successful diplomacy mean. Let Ms. Osmani get used to it as soon as possible, because in the time ahead we will yet be able to see the results of this summit,” Petkovic stressed in a statement. He assessed that because of that, behaving like a jealous child, Vjosa Osmani is attacking Belgrade again, trying to play down her own political failures and shortcomings, which recently became obvious even to the media in Pristina. “By accusing Belgrade of crimes, she actually reveals the sum of the criminal nature on which the fake state of Kosovo was created, whose leaders are being tried today in The Hague for the monstrous crimes committed by the so-called KLA against Serbs as well as other peoples from the southern Serbian province,” Petkovic pointed out, his office announced.

Brnabic: I call on the international community, KFOR and NATO to react urgently (Tanjug/Kosovo Online/B92/RTS)

“I call on the international community, NATO and KFOR to react urgently and restrain Albin Kurti. The situation is more than dramatic and this is the last moment in which a clear reaction is needed in order to stop the crazy policy pursued by Pristina,” said Prime Minister Ana Brnabic regarding the latest situation in Kosovo and Metohija. This kind of behavior has exceeded every measure and brings us to the brink of chaos, Brnabic pointed out.

Shock bombs, explosions and sirens in Kosovska Mitrovica

In the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, the actions of the Kosovo Police are currently underway, and the citizens gathered and blocked Kneza Milosa Street. According to a reporter from Kosovo Online, the Kosovo police who came from South Mitrovica broke into one of the city pharmacies to check Kosovo’s customs papers. After that, the people gathered, expressing dissatisfaction with the mentioned operation, and the situation escalated when the Kosovo police started throwing shock bombs and tear gas. According to the information from that portal, during the police actions in several places in the north, near North Mitrovica and in Zvecan, at this moment there is no confirmed data on whether members of ROSU were also engaged, but members of the intervention police are currently in question. After the operation started, alarm sirens were constantly ringing in North Mitrovica, and the intersection near the Technical School was blocked. According to some allegations, the seizure of Serbian goods is in progress. Gathered people say Kosovo authorities carries out this action on their own. “They break into warehouses, shops, pharmacies do not work, they carry out the operation on their own and without consultations and preparations with the police in the northern part of Mitrovica,” eyewitnesses told RTS.

Petkovic: Kosovo police shoot Serbs in north of Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug)

The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic stated today that several dozen Serbs have been injured during an incursion of the special Kosovo police to the north of Kosovo and Metohija and added that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has gone immediately to Raska where he will have a meeting with Serbs from the province at 3pm. Speaking at an extraordinary press conference, Petkovic said that such a dramatic situation has been caused by Prime Minister of the provisional institutions of Pristina Albin Kurti. He added that this morning at 9.30, Albanian policemen from the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, together with members of ROSU who were armed to the teeth and equipped with live ammunition, shock bombs, tear gas and in armored vehicles, headed to the north of Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvecan. Several dozen people have been injured, whereas Srecko Sofronijevic, born in 1985, has been shot and seriously wounded. Doctors at the operating room in Kosovska Mitrovica are currently fighting to save his life, Petkovic said. According to Petkovic, this is already the seventh time that ROSU members make incursions in the north of Kosovo and Metohija and attack bare-handed Serbian people. The cause of this operation is allegedly some kind of smuggling of goods. But when you see that entire Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvecan are showered with   burst-fire by ROSU, it becomes clear that that is about the intention of Albin Kurti to cause conflicts on a much wider scale, he said. Showing the pictures of confiscated packages of juices and chocolates, he asked if these are the smuggled goods for which ROSU make raids to the north of Kosovo and Metohija with armored vehicles and creates almost a state of war. He explained that ROSU headed towards the technical school in Kosovska Mitrovica, but the brave bare-handed Serbian people managed to defend that part of Kosovska Mitrovica and chase away ROSU members, who then retreated to Camp Belvedere in the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica. Petkovic said that the Serbs gathered in Zvecan and although showered by burst-fire, managed to chase ROSU members away from the center of that city, where they were breaking into warehouses, private houses, pharmacies. When they returned to Camp Belvedere, six armored vehicles again headed towards the north of Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbs stopped them again near the place of Rudare, where a big clash took place as ROSU units used live ammunition too, Petkovic stated.

According to him, Kurti wants to create a crisis and conquer the north. I am urging KFOR and the international community to react and stop Albin Kurti’s madness. If KFOR is unable to react and protect the Serb people, there are those who will do it, Petkovic said.

Vucic heads to Raska for meeting with Kosovo Serbs (RTS)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is heading towards Raska for an urgent meeting with the Kosovo Serb representatives. Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army, General Milan Mojsilovic, are on their way to Raska, where they will attend the meeting of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with Kosovo Serb representatives.

REGIONAL PRESS

Dodik announces implementation of project ‘Independent RS within Dayton B&H’ (RTRS

 

The SNSD Presidency held a session in Banja Luka on Tuesday. Leader of SNSD Milorad Dodik announced that the program titled ‘Independent Republika Srpska (RS) within the Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H)’ will be in the focus of political activities of SNSD that according to Dodik, openly works on restoration of competences of the RS. According to announcements, a session of SNSD Main Board in Pale will be scheduled by the end of the month and then come guidelines of the RS parliament that is expected to discuss the entire program against unconstitutional and anti-Dayton activities of High Representatives (HRs) and the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H. Dodik underlined that returning competences is destined for the RS and he dismissed the option to change the Constitution via laws. Dodik argued that arbitrariness of representatives of the international community (IC), decisions of the CC of B&H, imposed solutions and taking away competences from the RS led to the situation in which the RS is deciding about the future and the goal is the independent RS within the Dayton, strengthening of its institutions and return of its competences. Addressing media, Dodik said: “At this moment, we are estimating that there is no going back. We are very serious. We will not withdraw due to threats, sanctions like you could witness in some past times.” According to Dodik, the plan is to withdraw consent from three sectors and decisions on formation of the B&H Armed Forces (AF), the B&H Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) and the High Judicial and the Prosecutorial Council (HJPC). He added that the RS will declare null and void laws on the Court and the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H, reject their activities and prohibit their activities in the RS. Dodik announced that they will do the same with the State Investigation and the Protection Agency (SIPA) and the B&H Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA) and added that the RS will form its own intelligence service. Dodik said that he believes that the majority in the RS agrees with all this and they discussed this with “some important friends”, who according to Dodik, believe that something must really be done. Dodik said that war conflicts are not an option but he cannot guarantee this for the other side, adding that the RS is ready to protect citizens in cases of attacks. He also called on the IC to prohibit use of any kind of “military manifestations” to anyone in B&H. Dodik emphasized that institutions of the RS have been working on this for already a decade adding that dismantling of the territorial integrity of B&H is not a goal but restoration of sovereignty of the RS. Dodik noted that only legitimate means will be used for achieving this goal. Dodik was quoted as saying: “Now is the last chance for us to return home.” Dodik commented on the RS opposition’s criticisms against him, and he said that now is not the time for political disputing at the moment when the fate of the RS is being determined. Speaking about the RS’ representatives working in the B&H-level agencies and institutions that the RS would be withdrawing from, Dodik announced that all of them will be provided with job positions in the RS and their salaries will be paid through the RS budget. With regard to work of the B&H CC, the SNSD leader noted that time has also come to put an end to – what he called – the unconstitutional activity of the B&H CC that has been depriving the RS of its property. According to the SNSD leader, the B&H CC only acts responsibly towards “Muslims’ requests”. He warned that, if this is not prevented, the RS is at risk of being abolished very soon. He called on the people of the RS to understand this situation. Dodik noted that this comes in response to the B&H CC’s ruling to declare part of the Law on Forests of the RS unconstitutional so that the RS cannot register forests as its property. He concluded that this is “nothing radical, and has no aim to destabilize the situation” but rather that it aims to “strengthen the constitutional and Dayton position of the RS”. Dodik explained that a deadline will be given to the SIPA to leave the RS and if this is not done in due time, they will apply appropriate measures. Dodik said that these conclusions are final and there is no turning back. He explained that this way they are strengthening the Dayton position of the RS in B&H. Dodik stressed that they are against any conflict and they are calculating very clearly, they are making political decisions and they are ready for political dialogue. He invited the opposition to join this initiative. Dodik denied claims that SNSD is talking about war or conflict that the RS would be involved in. Dodik was quoted as saying: “We are against conflict. We are ready for dialogues. The RS will not conduct any armed actions unless attacked.” Dodik pointed out that this is a response to decisions concerning the transfer of competences from the RS to B&H. Dodik noted that SNSD has support of all coalition partners.

Borenovic: We will not support SNSD’s initiative that may endanger RS (RTRS

The PDP Presidency held a session in Banja Luka on Tuesday. PDP leader Branislav Borenovic said that they will not support the initiative of SNSD that may endanger the RS. He underlined that PDP will not support any initiative of SNSD that represents a road to uncertainty for the RS, that can endanger its peace and stability leading the RS citizens into isolation and an open conflict. According to Borenovic, no one supports proposals of Dodik and SNSD that announce radical measures. Borenovic said that PDP supports holding of a special session of the RSNA but also a session about public procurements during the pandemic and application of previously-adopted conclusions especially those that refer to the decision of the Constitutional Court of B&H about agricultural land and the law that former High Representative Valentin Inzko imposed. Leader of PDP stressed that the biggest issue in the RS is corruption and this is proven by recent affairs and arrests. PDP claims that numerous cases of misuse of office were committed by the RS authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Borenovic said that the statements of President of SNSD Milorad Dodik are dangerous and they can lead to conflict. The PDP Presidency agreed that the country needs to be built by strengthening the institutions and not causing a conflict situation. Borenovic said that proposals of SNSD do not have anyone’s support and their only goal is to create conflict and political chaos in the RS and B&H. PDP stressed that the biggest issue in B&H is corruption and the regime of SNSD supports and upholds this system. Borenovic said that the RS authorities are trying to shift the blame from their own officials to institutions that are not involved. He said that the people have the full right to expect answers and they are disappointed about the fact that individuals achieved massive profits while curfew was enforced in the RS. Borenovic said: “The PDP Presidency believes that moves of Dodik and SNSD that announce radical measures enjoy no one’ support. They are obviously aimed to create conflicts and a political chaos in the RS and in B&H. The PDP Presidency believes that the decision of the Constitutional Court of B&H – according to which some provisions of the law of the RS on forests are not in line with the Constitution of B&H – is unnecessary and bad.”

Sarovic, Milicevic and Crnadak oppose Dodik’s initiative for RS’ withdrawal from B&H AF, ITA, and HJPC (ATV

 

Certain senior officials from the RS opposition are against restoring competences that belong to the RS, which indicates that the RS parliament’s upcoming session on this matter might pass in an atmosphere of heated debating. Namely, SDS leader Mirko Sarovic, Chairman of the SDS Main Board Milan Milicevic, and PDP Vice-President Igor Crnadak expressed opposition to SNSD leader Milorad Dodik’s initiative for withdrawal of the RS from the B&H Armed Forces (AF), the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA), and the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC). However, unlike harsh criticism that came from Milicevic and Crnadak, Sarovic noted that it still too early to say how RS SDS’ representatives will vote, and stressed the need for learning more details about this initiative. Sarovic only remarked that he does not see how this initiative could be carried out. Milicevic made it clear that he will not give his support to this initiative. Milicevic was quoted as stating: “The RS is not ready for where this lead. Due to those war games of individuals, it will – to say the least – end in complete isolation. Of course, that this would be detrimental to the RS citizens.” Crnadak assessed that Dodik’s initiative for such RS’ withdrawal does not represent going back to adhering to the original Dayton Agreement but rather to leading the RS “down the road to the abyss”. In Crnadak’s opinion, Dodik wants to lead the RS into “an open conflict with the whole world”. Crnadak added. “Neither PDP nor I will support the path of the RS to an isolation”. According to Sarovic, there could be sanctions against Dodik but in his opinion, it would be way more dangerous if the sanctions are directed against the RS. Sarovic stated that he advocates return of competences of the RS and that in the past, he opposed to that which is why he suffered some sanctions but they must consider whether the initiatives are real or not at this moment. He reminded that competences of the RS were transferred to the state of B&H thanks to votes of MPs from the RS, including SNSD MPs. Sarovic underlined that return of competences is not simple, arguing that Dodik may be saying this because this goes in favor of his party. In his opinion, such rhetoric is bad and dangerous.

 

Kovacevic: Opposition should realize importance of this moment for RS (ATV

 

Spokesperson for SNSD Radovan Kovacevic stressed that ruling coalition in the RS has two options, which is either to follow the opposition’s example and do nothing or to restore what belongs to the RS according to the Dayton Agreement. Kovacevic made a sarcastic remark that the only thing that can still be taken away from the RS is air, now that the RS has been deprived of its agricultural property and forests. Kovacevic noted that the RS needs to fight for its rights in all possible, democratic ways, and this includes decisions that the RS parliament should pass in line with the Constitution. Kovacevic thus urged the opposition to take this situation seriously and realize the importance of this moment for the RS. “We call on the opposition parties to join us and for us to do this in a united manne,” the SNSD spokesperson added. The reporter noted that, according to SNSD, it is symptomatic that the opposition’s stances on this matter are the same as those of politicians from Sarajevo “who work towards disappearance of the RS”.

Osmanovic: Dodik will either succeed in becoming some sort of hero in the RS or he will be sanctioned (Nova BH

 

According to statements of some of MPs given in informal conversation, even the closest associates of Dodik are aware of what his rhetoric and moves could cause and it is necessary to distance oneself from Dodik and his rhetoric. They also said that it is unclear how Dodik plans to implement all the steps he announced, because it is impossible to draw an inter-entity border or erase all the activities of B&H institutions, such as the Court and the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H and B&H OSA, from the previous period. SDA Vice President Adil Osmanovic stated that Dodik will either succeed in becoming some sort of hero in the RS or he will be sanctioned by the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H or the international community. “It is obvious here that Dodik tries to rescue his political identity in a way to push the RS entity as a whole in a very uncertain period by conducting an arrogant, reckless and dangerous policy,” Osmanovic assessed.

Several MEPs ask for sanctions against RS, EC still needs to respond; EU Delegation calls on politicians to focus on reforms and EU accession (Oslobodjenje

 

The daily reminds that members of European Parliament Tineke Strik, Dietmar Koester and Klemen Groselj sent a letter to EU Neighborhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi, asking him to sanction the RS and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik. Among other things, they requested suspension of projects funded by IPA III program in the RS. Groselj confirmed that they have not received a response from Varhelyi yet. He reminded that the new progress reports on Western Balkan countries will be presented in October, which will be an opportunity to discuss the letter, as well as the situation in the Balkans where there is practically no progress at all. MEP Ladislav Ilcic explained for the daily that the letter represents an independent initiative of the three MEPs who signed it. IN his opinion, it is to wise to address only partial issues in B&H and thus increase tensions. He noted that some politicians in B&H use such initiatives to present themselves as protector of their ethnic group, so that they only strengthen the position of such politicians. Ilcic noted that B&H needs electoral reform which will secure legitimate representation of all citizens and ethnic groups, but also many other reforms which will bring the country closer to the EU. The daily reminded that Strik and another 11 MEPs sent another request to Varhelyi, asking him to explain why the EC is ignoring problems with rule of law in the EU neighborhood. EU Delegation to B&H stated that the current political crisis can be resolved if political actors show willingness to relax tensions, engage in productive dialogue and reach compromise. The Delegation underlined that all political actors must act responsibly towards citizens who want stable lives with safe jobs, good healthcare and education. These issues along with prevent of corruption should be in focus of all political officials. The Delegation called on all politicians to focus on the common goal of EU accession and implement the necessary reforms.

Komsic said the other day there will be no American sanctions during current fiscal year (Dnevni list

 

The Americans have openly announced publishing of a new ‘black list’ for, among others, the Western Balkans that should include ringleaders of big corruption affairs. According to the daily, “the Sarajevo circles” got delusional again and wished that the Americans will ban ‘corrupt gang’ from the RS and western Herzegovina from entering the US, however Croat member of the Presidency of B&H and DF leader Zeljko Komsic stated the other day, to disappointment of Sarajevo, that the US Department of Treasury has already published names of people from throughout the world and the region who are on the ‘black list’ because the fiscal year in the US ends earlier than in rest of the world. Daily notes there are no people from B&H on the list, and according to Komsic chances of the US including someone from B&H on the list by end of the year are small. The article went on to say it is paradox that “the area ruled by Izetbegovic” is forgetting or delusional that Bosniak criminals and corrupt officials may end up on the ‘black list’ because ‘Izetbegovic’s surrounding’ is full of plunder, bribe, corruption and nepotism, reminding of several ongoing affairs such as ‘Asim’, ‘Respirators’, ‘Diplomas’, ‘Memic’ etc.

Dodik claims RS has support of Russia in process of return to original DPA (Nezavisne

 

Following his meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in Belgrade, Milorad Dodik told journalists that the RS has Russia’s support to steps it announced in the process of return to the original Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). “I informed Minister Lavrov that we are ready to preserve our Dayton position and that we are ready to reject all solutions that were imposed in past. He found that to be reasonable, having in mind that these are constitutional and Dayton rights and said that Russia understands it and can back it up,” Dodik said. The daily noted that both the High Representative and Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H have been disputing the rights of the RS granted by the DPA and its economic cooperation with Serbia was seen as problematic as well, in spite of the Agreement on Special and Parallel Relations foreseen by the DPA. The daily added that the RS’ “extorted reply due to decisions of protectors and foreign judges of B&H CC” was described by political Sarajevo as “proclamation of independence in disguise”. SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic said several days ago that “one million and 450,000 patriots, with assistance of the international community, are ready to prevent secession of any part of B&H”. Croat member of the Presidency of B&H Zeljko Komsic assessed the RS’ announcements as detrimental and he expressed his doubt in success of the announcement on abolition of the Armed Forces of B&H while, at the same time, he announced continuation of fight for a civic state. Federation of B&H (FB&H) Minister of Interior Aljosa Campara asked B&H CC to launch a procedure of proclaiming Dodik as temporarily incapable of performing the duty of B&H Presidency member, while Dodik’s advisor Radovan Kovacevic said that Campara’s statement only confirmed that B&H CC “is a political tool of Bosniak politics”. SDS leader Mirko Sarovic said that it is unusual Dodik did not consult anyone with regard to the latest initiative nor he informed the RS institutions about it. Sarovic also assessed that the initiative is unserious and added that it cannot be realized. SDS’ Milan Radovic warned that Dodik’s announcement represents “an adventure that can result in immense consequences” and he argued that the RS citizens did not present their stance on this matter so the RS authorities do not have the mandate to make such political moves.

RS law on non-application of Inzko’s decision banning genocide denial published in RS Official Gazette (N1

 

Media in the RS reported that on Tuesday afternoon, the RS law on non-application of the decision of the former HR Valentin Inzko that banned denial of the genocide was published in the RS Official Gazette, as well as changes to the RS Criminal Code according to which – among other things – calling the RS genocidal is prohibited. The daily reminded that the decree on non-application of Inzko’s decision was signed by RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic. The RS law contains only three articles: The Decision of the High Representative shall not be implemented in the territory of the RS; competent bodies of the RS shall not cooperate with competent bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina with regard to the implementation of Inzko’s decision and the RS Law will come in force one day after the publishing.

SDP says it wants to stop brutal attacks on the state, will request meetings with Schmidt and Sattler (Dnevni list

 

During SDP’s Strategic Planning session, elected officials of SDP discussed strategic dedication as part of preparations for the upcoming general elections. According to the statement issued by the party, SDP is aware of catastrophic political situation in B&H, “coordinated attack on state institutions, spreading of war psychosis and increasingly aggressive and rude rhetoric attacks and disputing of territorial integrity of B&H”. “Such behavior will not and cannot pass without our clear response. B&H is above us all and nobody should delude themselves with ideas about its division,” reads the statement. It has been announced that the SDP leader will send a letter with concrete information about endangering of General Framework Agreement for Peace in B&H to all the parties, members of the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists. At the same time, this will be an invitation for urgent reaction of all members through institutions of the European Unions, towards protection of sovereignty of B&H and undertaking of measures for sanctioning of all anti-state and anti-European forces in B&H. The statement further reads that SDP will ask for urgent holding of separate meetings with High Representative Christian Schmidt and EU Special Representative in B&H Johann Sattler with a goal of protection of constitutional order of B&H, implementation of the Dayton Agreement, sanctioning of those who publicly and openly violate the Constitution and the Dayton Agreement, exchange of information about possible, necessary sanctions of the EU for all officials who violate the Dayton Agreement and dispute rulings of international court for war crimes and European Court of Human Rights.. The statement further reads that SDP will also ask for holding of urgent meetings with Ambassadors of states, witnesses of the GFAP, in order to warn them about possible consequences of Milorad Dodik’s rhetoric, which could provoke reaction of nationalists who are waiting for their opportunity. In this regard, the party decided to form the Board for Protection of Constitutional Order of B&H, which would be composed of relevant expects.

Decision on cancelling exercise of Serbian Army, B&H AF reached at working lunch in Vares at which Serbs, Croats were not invited and allegedly, Podzic, Komsic, Dzaferovic and Masovic attended (Glas Srpske

 

The daily investigated how the decision on cancelling the military exercise of the Serbian Army and the B&H AF on Manjaca from 9 to 16 October was reached. According to a source of Glas Srpske, B&H Minister of Defense Sifet Podzic (DF), Chairman of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic (DF), member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic (SDA) and Chief of the Joint Staff of the B&H AF Senad Masovic met for a working lunch in Vares at the beginning of September to discuss this issue. The daily learns that no representative of Serbs and Croats attended the event. The source told the daily that Podzic scheduled the working lunch at the beginning of September knowing that their Serb and Croat colleagues in the B&H Ministry of Defense and the B&H AF will not be able to attend it and there is no doubt that during the lunch, they figured out the excuse why the exercise should not be held. According to the source, Bosniaks in the B&H Ministry of Defense and the B&H AF tried to postpone the exercise in all possible ways because they were bothered with the fact that the Serbian Army was supposed to present is abilities in the military barracks in Manjaca while Podzic reached the decision under a lame excuse of deteriorated epidemiological situation and lack of funds due to failure to adopt the budget of B&H. The source also claims that this decision is illegal because it was reached contrary to the Constitution and laws of B&H as Podzic was missing consent of the B&H Presidency for this decision and he only had oral consent of Komsic and Dzaferovic given during the lunch. Head of the Cabinet of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik, Danijel Dragicevic confirmed that Dodik was not even invited at this lunch.

Dzaferovic criticizes Dodik for taking part at summit in Belgrade; Kosarac responds: Dzaferovic uses political positions in order to cover up responsibility for war crimes (O Kanal

 

Ahead of the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism held in Sweden, the Bosniak member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic reacted to the speech of the Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik at the NAM Summit and his stance that B&H is an international protectorate. Dzaferovic said that no one will take seriously anyone who insults their own country at international gatherings. Dzaferovic pointed out that Dodik will not change the opinions of friendly countries within the Non-Aligned Movement, especially when it comes to countries of the Islamic world. Dzaferovic concluded that Dodik could not represent the RS in Belgrade because the entity is neither a subject of international law nor was Dodik invited to the summit. Dzaferovic was quoted as saying: “The invitation was sent only to the state. Also, Dodik himself cannot represent B&H, because he is not the Chairman of the Presidency and his rhetoric goes beyond the framework of the Constitution, laws and the Foreign Policy Strategy. Therefore, Dodik does not represent the RS entity, but he disgraces it, just as he disgraces the Serb people, wherever he appears. The manner of his address is not appropriate for state gatherings. It is something that is always palpable when he shows up.”

Dzaferovic said that B&H is on the path to EU and NATO, and it is natural that it is oriented towards the Euro-Atlantic space. He denied Dodik’s claim that B&H is a protectorate, and noted that many countries had international supervision similar to B&H. Dzaferovic also rejected Dodik’s negative comments about some countries, and underlined that he is proud of B&H’s good relations with EU, USA, Canada and Japan. Dzaferovic and the reporter argued that Dzaferovic was bothered with the fact that Dodik represents the RS although he deprives him of the right to speak on behalf of B&H and he was also enraged because the Islamic countries had a chance to hear a totally different view about the situation in B&H contrary to what they could hear from Bosniak officials. Dodik reacted by saying that those who attended the summit could hear him saying that he was there as a Serb member of the B&H Presidency from the RS and that he spoke on his own behalf.

Turkovic: Clear European prospects is key to security and stability of entire Western Balkans region (Hayat

 

B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Bisera Turkovic met with Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anze Logar in Ljubljana on Tuesday. Turkovic stated that the connections between B&H and Slovenia are multi-layered and unbreakable. She added that the region cannot be stable unless B&H is peaceful and stable. Turkovic stressed that it is important for the EU enlargement to remain a high priority despite other challenges. Logar said that B&H is a target country for the development of cooperation with Slovenia and reminded that he signed the decision for the pre-accession funds for the Western Balkans. Following the meeting, Turkovic stated that inflammatory rhetoric and attempts to slow down progress we all see are losing support and strength they now draw from some foreign influences rather than from democratic legitimacy or the support of peoples and citizens. Turkovic pointed out that clear European prospect is key to the security and stability of the entire Western Balkans region, stressing that its absence creates room for foreign negative influences. Turkovic added that the idea of specifying the deadline for countries to join the EU can be an important stimulus.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly holds annual session; Stoltenberg says NATO supports reform processes in B&H (Oslobodjenje

 

Participants of the annual session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Lisbon, Portugal agreed that the NATO continued to show its ability to reach consensus among allies and to conduct basic tasks of collective defense and crisis management in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic and other new challenges. President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Gerald E. Connolly said that the goal of strengthening of the parliamentary cooperation is to create a safe environment for citizens. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke about current global security challenges and situation in individual parts of the world, with a special focus on Afghanistan. Speaking about the situation in B&H, Stoltenberg said that NATO supports reform processes and added that the policy of open door is a principle the NATO will not give up on in the Western Balkans. The parliament of B&H stated that the B&H delegation, i.e. MPs Asim Sarajlic and Nikola Lovrinovic, took part in the event online.

Milanovic tells troops: You are first of all Croatian Army, then Army within NATO (Hina

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic on Tuesday attended a military exercise on the Eugen Kvaternik artillery range in Slunj, calling it impressive and telling soldiers that they were, first of all, the Croatian army and that they defended the Croatian state. The 11-22 October exercise is also taking place at the Gasinci artillery range and at the military barracks in Petrinja to evaluate forces for participation in NATO missions, operations and initiatives. The state and the politics democratically elected by the Croatian people are expected to ensure the material conditions for the army, Milanovic said, according to a press release from his office. “What the priorities will be, how much money will be set aside and to what end, what is most important – democratic politics has an important role in that. I expect and see understanding for it, there are resources,” he said. “You are, first of all, the Croatian army, defending the Croatian state, Croatian sovereignty, territorial integrity and Croatian borders, although formally you are not guardians of the border nor should you be,” he added. Speaking of Croatia’s role as a NATO member, the president said a lot had changed in international relations, with new partnerships, new conflicts and new aspirations being created. “Our strategic position is relatively comfortable at the moment, our interest is, first of all, our interest. You are, first of all, the Croatian army and then, of course, an army within NATO, without a hidden agenda, fairly, openly. But, I repeat, first of all the Croatian army. This is the homeland, you defend it,” the President said.

 

Abazovic: Citizens should not be held hostage to the desire for positions (RTCG

 

Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Civic Movement URA Dritan Abazovic has said that his party supports the government of Montenegro, and that it will continue to do so. He believes that it is not correct for the citizens of Montenegro to be hostages of individuals’ desire for positions. He said that the most important issue that burdens the citizens is the change of the Prosecutorial Council, and whoever does not want that, obstructs justice. “People who do not understand that these changes are not a priority, they do not want justice. Citizens want justice, to see what happened to their money, and URA will insist on that until the end,” Abazovic said after the press conference on the occasion of signing the contract for the Mediterranean Hotel.

Commenting on the condition of the DF that it will not support the laws of the government, if the negotiations on the reconstruction of the government fail, Abazovic said that he does not share the opinion that the citizens should be held hostage to the desire for positions. “If someone thinks that citizens should be hold hostage, because one thinks of positions, I do not share that opinion. I do not think that is correct. URA supports the government, it will continue to support it and that is not disputable. Can we make it better, yes we can,” Abazovic said. Nobody talks about the government’s priorities, said Abazovic. “Nobody talks about the program of the reconstructed government. Can you hear about the government’s priorities?” He is interested, he says, in the change of the Prosecutorial Council because they promised justice: “I am interested in voting on the law on the origin of property.”

 

Zaev: An Albanian president will be elected when all citizens are ready to vote for him (Libertas

The Prime Minister Zoran Zaev says that he has nothing against the President of the country being Albanian and that he would like to see that, but stressed that this requires support not only from the Albanians living in the country but also from the rest of the non-Albanian population, because as he said, the president is elected by direct elections, not by party and political agreements. “I will wait for the moment when the citizens and Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs and Turks will be ready to choose a citizen who is not Macedonian. This is our common country, we are all born here, our fathers and grandfathers were born, and here will be our common future,” said Zaev in response to a journalist question about the claims of DUI leader Ali Ahmeti that the next thing this party will fulfill be the election of an Albanian as president. The Prime Minister reminded that the President is elected in direct elections where the citizens vote, and that it is not agreed by party and politics. Bosniaks and all who live in our country would vote for him for president, said Zaev at a press conference in the government.

 

Kim: We urge authorities to act on this and other recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR regarding 25 April election (Radio Tirana

The American Ambassador in Tirana Yuri Kim has shared a message regarding the 25 April elections in our country. Through a post on social media, Kim refers to OSCE Recommendation No. 4, which deals with patronage workers, while stressing that they urge the authorities to act on OSCE / ODIHR recommendations. According to Kim, citizens should be guaranteed the right to vote freely. “We urge authorities to act on this and other recommendations of @osce_odihr regarding the April 25 election. The right of citizens to vote freely – without fear or pressure or illegal enticement – is basic to democracy,” writes Kim.

Morton: Fruitful discussion with Basha (Radio Tirana

British Foreign Secretary for Europe and America Wendy Morton has reacted through a post on Twitter regarding the meeting she had with the chairman of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha. Opposition parties in the Albanian parliament can play an important role in strengthening democracy and ensuring that all citizens are represented. “Fruitful discussion with the Chairman of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha on the current political situation in Albania. Opposition parties can play an important role in parliament to strengthen democracy and ensure that the voices of all citizens are represented,” Morton wrote on Twitter.

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Belgrade Media Report 07 December 2021

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