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Belgrade Media Report 21 October 2021

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Thursday 21 October 2021

LOCAL PRESS

Serbia and Spain have understanding on international scene (RTS/Tanjug/Politika)
Von Cramon: Kosovo police operation was necessary (N1)
Petkovic: Does Von Cramon truly advocates EU values (Tanjug/RTV)
Djuric: Completely contrary to UN report (Tanjug/RTV)
Borell, Blinken call for “sustained de-escalation” in Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)
Brnabic: Great importance of Germany’s support to Serbia’s EU path (RTS/Tanjug)
Improving cooperation, exchanging experiences in field of defense with Austria (RTS/Tanjug)
Brnabic: Covid passes as of 23 October in closed areas (Tanjug/RTS)
Belgrade-Pristina working group on registration plates meets in Brussels (Tanjug/RTS)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

RS parliament adopts proposal of Law on Medicines and Medical Devices without presence of opposition representatives (ATV)
RS opposition criticizes Law on Medicines and Medical Devices of RS; Stanic: RS parliament became tool in service of one man (BN TV)
Continuation of attack on B&H (Dnevni avaz)
Schmidt comments on RS parliament’s decision: Entities are obliged to respect B&H Constitution and decisions made by B&H institutions (AJB)
Dodik: RS’ initiatives for restoring competences do not threaten security or stability, adoption of law on medicines in RS is legitimate; Schmidt’s behavior points to lack of seriousness and usurpation, B&H does not have HR (RTRS)
Dodik meets with UN’s Jenca and informs him that situation in B&H has been unstable due to imposed internationals’ decisions (Srna)
Blinken, Borrell issue joint statement, express strong support to territorial integrity of B&H (Dnevni avaz)
US Embassy: US ready to use all available sanctions against those who violate DPA (Dnevni avaz/RFE)
Komsic announces criminal report against Seranic; Seranic: Criminal reports have become part of daily politics of B&H and it is up to courts and judiciary to decide (FTV)
Komsic reacts to Kalbukhov’s statement: There will not be any dialogue about B&H AF since they are undisputable category just as other state institutions (Glas Srpske)
Konakovic: Economic sanctions for those who follow Dodik’s game are ready; Osmanovic announced filing of motion before CC of B&H (Nova BH/N1)
HJPC removes Tadic from post of B&H Chief Prosecutor and appoints Kajganic (O Kanal/RTRS/N1)
Montenegro

Pribilovic: Everything we warned about turned out to be true (Dnevne novine)
Djukanovic on EC Report: Depressing picture we urgently need to change (CdM)
MEPs are looking for an investigation, they also mention Djukanovic (RTCG)
Abazovic: Katnic wiretapped earlier, ANB to detect misconduct (RTCG/VoA)
Abazovic and Radulovic pay visit to Atlantic Council (Gov. Press service)
Republic of North Macedonia

Geer: The commission expects the first Intergovernmental Conference by the end of the year (Libertas)
Albania

Albania-Kosovo governments’ joint meeting to be held in the last week of November in Durres (Radio Tirana)
Rama: The EC is the fairest and most impartial judge! The guiding document for us! (Radio Tirana)
Soreca: Time for the EU to keep its promise! (Radio Tirana)
Joint statement Blinken-Borrell: Accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should start without delay (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

Serbia and Spain have understanding on international scene (RTS/Tanjug/Politika)

Serbia and Spain are exceptionally friendly countries that do not have any disputable and open issues, said Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic during his visit to Madrid and pointed out that the goal of that visit is to initiate acceleration and multiplication of visits of officials of the two countries so to contribute to development of bilateral relations. Dacic pointed out that the two countries have an exceptional understanding on the international scene and that they support each other. “Spain exceptionally supports Serbia when it comes to territorial integrity, i.e. Kosovo and Metohija. Also, Serbia has a very strong and principled position when it comes to the territorial integrity of Spain, that is, the separatism of some Catalan politicians,” said Dacic.

Von Cramon: Kosovo police operation was necessary (N1)

European Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo Viola von Cramon told N1 on Wednesday that the recent Kosovo police operation was necessary, adding that it’s good that the Kosovo government tackled the problem of smuggling and organized crime. The police operation met with fierce resistance from the Serbs in the north of Kosovo with a number of people injured and one person suffering gunshot wounds. The operation met with condemnation from Belgrade and a call for an immediate end to unwelcome unilateral action from EU High Representative Josep Borrell.

According to Von Cramon, the EU frequently called the Kosovo authorities to deal with the problem. Enforcing the law happens everywhere not just in the north of Kosovo and mainly Albanians were arrested, she said and added that this type of crime does not know nationality.

She said that the excessive use of force was directed at Albanians as well as Serbs. The intervention was needed to deal with the problem, the operation did not take place only in the north but all over Kosovo and no one had any objection, she said and added that there is a problem with organized crime, corruption and smuggling and that it’s up to the Kosovo authorities to decide when to use the police. Von Cramon said that she can’t criticize what she called a sovereign decision by the Kosovo authorities until she sees the wider picture.

Petkovic: Does Von Cramon truly advocates EU values (Tanjug/RTV)

The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic stated that the Rapporteur of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee for Kosovo Viola von Cramon tried to relativize violence against Serbs in northern Kosovo. “In her dangerous relativization of the violence of Pristina and Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, in the north of the province, this time she crossed the line, accusing Serbs that they are to blame for more than 100 warp bullets and countless cartridges of tear gas and shock bombs that have been thrown at them,” Petkovic stated. Petkovic asked whether Srecko Sofronijevic, who was shot during the Kosovo police raid was guilty for trying to protect his wife and two kids, as well as whether those are European values ​​to which Viola von Cramon is committed. “If Mrs. Von Cramon truly advocates European values, she would carefully hear the statement of European Diplomacy Chief Josep Borrell, who openly condemned the unilateral violent actions of Pristina and stated that they were not coordinated,” Petkovic said. He assessed that “it is more than obvious that her boss is not in Brussels, but in Pristina”.

Djuric: Completely contrary to UN report (Tanjug/RTV)

By claiming that terror of Pristina special units is welcome and the necessary action, Viola von Cramon will enter into the annals of unscrupulousness, said the Serbian Ambassador to the US Marko Djuric. “Instead of alerting European and world public as the rapporteur of Kosovo, which as direct consequence had, due to the use of chemicals, that 71-year-old Verica Djelic from Zvecan passed away, while 35-year-old Srecko Sofronijevic was shot with a warp ammunition in his own yard, Von Cramon produces transparent lies of those who committed that crime,” Djuric said. He added that, completely contrary to the UN Report, publicly disclosed by Zahir Tanin at the Security Council UN session, in which it is said that this is clearly a sided action that was not coordinated with international missions and which caused dangerous escalation with consequences to civilians, Von Cramon knowingly ignores the blood of innocent civilians that has been spilled. “Instead of loudly opposing, as the EU parliamentarian, the action that was conducted with the violation of the key provisions of the Brussels agreement that relate to the functions and ethnic structure of the KPS north, in an unilateral way, she is criticizing by the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, who pointed to the dangers of unilateral action,” Djuric said. Namely, he adds that von Cramon decided that few Serbs, which still reside in Kosovo, must be “bad guys” while, as he says, “her guy Kurti must be good even when killing”.

“Congratulation on your courage,” said Djuric. He reminded that Von Cramon remained silent in her statements that some Serbs were killed and severely wounded, while her favorite in Kosovo were celebrating as legitimate and needed heavy arms in ordinary pharmacies, to arrest drugs.

“Political passions and lobbying support are a very toxic combination. In the event of an unfortunate Viola von Cramon, cynicism and bias are no more an exception but an iron rule. However, isn’t it time that there’s certain line that should not be crossed in the bias of their rapporteur?,” Djuric concluded.

Borell, Blinken call for “sustained de-escalation” in Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, EU foreign policy and security chief Josep Borrell and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for “sustained de-escalation” in Kosovo-Metohija, welcoming “Kosovo’s engagement to fight corruption and organized crime” and condemning “violence against civilians, journalists, police or other authorities.” “After the recent weeks of tension in the north of Kosovo, we encourage both parties to engage in continued and sustained de-escalation and avoid actions that threaten stability. We welcome and support Kosovo’s engagement to fight corruption and organized crime, and we reiterate that violence against civilians, journalists, police, or other authorities is unacceptable,” they said. Borrell and Blinken, who met in Washington last week, urged a continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. “We stress the importance of the EU-facilitated Dialogue, which is the key mechanism to address the comprehensive normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo,” they said.

The statement said that, following the Washington meeting between Blinken and Borrell, the US and the EU had “agreed to further strengthen their joint engagement in the Western Balkans in support of the region’s progress on its European path.” “We underscore our full support for the EU’s enlargement process. EU accession, a stated priority for the whole Western Balkans, helps consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights, and advance the rule of law. This region belongs in the European Union. Closer integration will enhance stability and contribute to prosperity for the people of the region,” the statement also said.

Brnabic: Great importance of Germany’s support to Serbia’s EU path (RTS/Tanjug)

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked on Wednesday with Vice President of the German Bundestag Claudia Roth about bilateral relations, continuation of political and economic cooperation, Serbia’s progress towards full EU membership and activities on the realization of the Green Agenda. Brnabic expressed her gratitude to Roth for her Thursday’s visit to Kragujevac, where the 80th anniversary of the day when German occupation forces killed thousands of civilians, including students of the Kragujevac high school, is being marked. Roth said that she is going to that city with the message that something like that should never happen again and in order to highlight the importance of shared memory. Brnabic pointed out that one of the two main priorities of the government she leads, apart from the rule of law, is the Green Agenda and that, in this regard, she is especially satisfied with the cooperation with Germany on projects in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. According to Brnabic, Germany is one of the main economic partners of Serbia and one of the largest investors in the Serbian economy – the most important bilateral donor and the first foreign trade partner. Germany’s support to Serbia on its EU path is extremely important, especially when it comes to opening two new clusters, which is expected soon, Brnabic said. Brnabic told Roth that Serbia has made progress in the area of ​​the rule of law, which was confirmed by the European Commission in its report, as well as that she is personally committed to work in the field of journalist safety and media freedom. Roth pointed out that during the pandemic in Germany, priorities have been placed on immunization of the population and human health, but that she is convinced that the Green Agenda will remain high on the priority list of the government that should be formed soon. Brnabic said that in Serbia, equal attention is paid to both the green energy transition and the protection of the environment.

Improving cooperation, exchanging experiences in field of defense with Austria (RTS/Tanjug)

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met on Wednesday with Austrian Federal Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, who is on her first official visit to Serbia. Stefanovic expressed gratitude to Austria on the strong support to Serbia on its European path and added that the most important foreign policy goal is membership in the EU, not only symbolically, but in the sense of reaching standards and values of the Union too. Stefanovic underlined that cooperation between Serbia and Austria in the field of defense is also important on that path, recalling that the Agreement on military cooperation between the two governments was signed last month. In addition to the improvement of cooperation in the field of military education and military health care, we also spoke today about the training of our special units in mountain warfare, in which Austria has exceptional experience, as well as about the continuation of cooperation in the field of CBRN defense, he said. Tanner said that the Western Balkan countries are important for Austria not only in terms of the economy, but also in terms of security and foreign policy and underlined that the EU is not complete without the Western Balkan countries. For that reason, Austria will continue to support Serbia and other countries of the Western Balkans in the process of EU accession, she said. Tanner also pointed to the good cooperation of armed forces of Austria and Serbia, especially in CBRN defense training.

Brnabic: Covid passes as of 23 October in closed areas (Tanjug/RTS)

Serbian Prime Minister Anan Brnabic announced on Wednesday, after the session of the Crisis Response Team for the Suppression of Infectious Diseases COVID-19 that from Saturday, 23 October, at 10 pm, mandatory covid passes will be introduced to all indoor catering facilities.

At the press conference, Brnabic explained that this applies to all catering facilities – restaurants, cafés, bars and all similar facilities after 10 pm, so you will not be able to stay indoors without a valid covid pass. She specified that the covid passes that are introduced do not only include proof of vaccination, but also a PCR test, not older than 72 hours, an antigen test not older than 48 hours and a certificate of coronavirus, not older than seven months. A covid warden will scan the QR code which shows whether the certificate is valid, the Prime Minister stated and added that the certificate will be able to be shown in paper form or in digital format, via a mobile phone.

According to her, there were problems with photos on covid passes, so they will not have photos, but covid guards and other authorized persons will be able to request a personal document with a photo with a pass, either an ID card or passport or other official document issued by an official body. Foreigners need a digital EU certificate or a certificate of the country with which Serbia has signed an agreement on the recognition of the certificate, Brnabic pointed out and announced that the government will adopt the decision on the introduction of covid passes tomorrow, at the regular session. She expressed hope that this will speed up vaccination, because it is the only way to defeat the coronavirus, stating that so far the first dose of the vaccine has been received by 54.6 percent of adults, the second by 52.5 percent, and the third dose by approximately 15 percent. According to her, if you have great skepticism about vaccination, it is not only a problem for the coronavirus epidemic, but also for vaccination against other diseases that have disappeared, and which could therefore return. The vaccine is the greatest achievement of modern medicine and science. We start on Saturday and I ask everyone to respect the measures for the sake of their loved ones, but also young people. To wear masks indoors, outdoors when there is no distance and to get vaccinated, she said.

Belgrade-Pristina working group on registration plates meets in Brussels (Tanjug/RTS)

The first meeting of a Belgrade-Pristina expert group tasked with finding a mutually acceptable solution to the vehicle registration plate dispute began in Brussels on Thursday. The EU special envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajcak welcomed the delegations, announcing that the working group, in which Belgrade and Pristina each have four representatives, would be chaired by his advisers. “The Group chaired by my advisers will be meeting on a regular basis. I trust they will present concrete findings in six months,” Lajcak posted on his official Twitter account.

REGIONAL PRESS

 

RS parliament adopts proposal of Law on Medicines and Medical Devices without presence of opposition representatives (ATV

 

The Republika Srpska (RS) parliament held a special session on Wednesday. Amongst other things, the RS parliament adopted proposal of the Law on Medicines and Medical Devices. It was adopted through an urgent procedure. The Law foresees that the RS will once again form its own agency for medicinal products and medical devices. The Law was proposed by the RS government, which explained this entity had such an agency from 2002 to 2009. In order to reestablish this agency, government officials say that many other laws and regulations must be amended. One of the laws that needs to change is the Law on Public Administration. The Law on Medicines and Medical Devices will come into force six months after it is published in the Official Gazette of the RS. The proponents of this Law say that need for forming an agency in the RS presented itself when the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) proved to be incapable of organizing regular supply of medical oxygen to healthcare facilities in the RS.  RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic emphasized that entity authorities are obliged to take care of its citizens, and to provide those treated in hospitals with enough oxygen supply. RS Minister of Health and Social Welfare Alen Seranic said he respects laws and regulations, and all those that did something outside of the law, should be held accountable. However, he pointed out that this current blockade in supply of oxygen, and the fact that no viable solution was offered, is unacceptable, and could bring unforeseeable consequences. General Director of the University Clinical Center (UKC) of the RS, Vlado Djajic, spoke of the problems the UKC RS experienced during lack of oxygen supply. He said this was a “horrible situation” in which the management felt helpless. Djajic said that on several occasions they were “down to the last drop” of oxygen, and they prayed to God for a solution.

ATV noted that 60 lawmakers were present during discussions in the RS parliament. However, when the time for voting came, SDS and PDP MPs left the hall, while DNS and SPS MPs did not even attend the session. None of the doctors, that are members of the opposition in the RS parliament, were present during Wednesday’s session, which members of the majority believe means that these professionals do not actually agree with the moves of their parties.

RS opposition criticizes Law on Medicines and Medical Devices of RS; Stanic: RS parliament became tool in service of one man (BN TV

 

The ruling majority in the RS parliament adopted the Law on Medicines and Medical Devices of the RS during a special session held on Wednesday. The representatives of the RS opposition were not present during the voting, added the reporter. The conclusions were signed by the heads of the RS caucuses – SNSD, DEMOS, SP, United Srpska, NPS and representative group NDP. The ruling majority also adopted conclusions stating that based on the analysis of oxygen used in healthcare institutions, it was confirmed that oxygen of appropriate quality is used in the RS. During the discussion, the opposition pointed out several times that the RS authorities are running away from responsibility because technical oxygen was used in healthcare institutions instead of medical oxygen. The RS Minister of Health and Social Welfare Alen Seranic claimed that the oxygen used was of appropriate quality. RS PDP representative Jelena Trivic stated that the RS authorities persistently try to present this topic as legal and political while the essence of the problem is in the medical and human aspect. Trivic pointed out that technical and medical oxygen are not the same. “The difference is in delivery, storage, bottles and everything else. What you want to present as: ‘Good oxygen was used, adequate oxygen, but there were no permits’, you want to go into the field of permits. The essence is in which oxygen it is”, said Trivic. Trivic added that they have crossed the line, that this is no longer about money they robbed via failed banks, that it is no longer about lost opportunities and gain for the people and the RS. According to Trivic, this is endangering of their own people. Trivic stressed that, sooner or later, facts will be determined about responsibility and the Prosecution will work accordingly. “I salute all the prosecutors who are doing their job. Some of them started doing their job”, said Trivic.  RS SNSD representative Vlado Djajic claimed that it is clear to everyone present during the RS parliament session, as well as to the healthcare workers, citizens and patients, that the oxygen used in the healthcare institutions of the RS was valid and that it helped many patients. “Nowhere in the papers is there any mention of that technical oxygen that you quote here and you do not even have an idea what it is,” commented Djajic. RS PDP representative Igor Crnadak said: “You are trying to convince us that some oxygen, which is not medical (oxygen), is valid and that it is better than medical (oxygen). You are engaged in quackery. You are quacks. What is wrong with you people?”. SDS representative Tomica Stojanovic criticized the authorities for their problems with the procurement of medical oxygen and that it seems only the RS is incapable of procuring medical oxygen compared to the whole region and the world, except Peru. Stojanovic pointed out that the RS ranks first in the world in terms of mortality from COVID-19. Stojanovic commented that all their proceedings are done tete-a-tete and they still failed to procure medical oxygen. Stojanovic pointed out that the goal of this law is to legalize crime, corruption and everything else. Head of the RS SDS Caucus Miladin Stanic warned that the RSNA became a tool in the service of one man. Stanic criticized the fact that the law was adopted by urgent procedure when it is supposed to be enforced in six months. According to Stanic, this law is proof that the RS authorities are doing this for daily political purposes and that the law will never come to life. Stanic claimed that they are trying to hide the truth about crime.

Continuation of attack on B&H (Dnevni avaz

 

The daily reminds that the RS parliament on Wednesday adopted the Law on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices and the opposition representatives have not attended the voting part of the session. SBB B&H Vice President Admir Cavka, RS Bosniak Vice President Ramiz Salkic and RS representative of ‘Zajedno za B&H’ Group Senad Bratic agree that adoption of this law represents Constitution of B&H and Dayton Peace Agreement. “This is a show for the public where Constitution of B&H is directly violated. RS ruling structures are trying to divert the attention from the burning issues, which is that people are living more and more difficult”, said Cavka. Salkic deems that adoption of this law presents beginning of undermining of the constitutional order and stressed that it is clear that the RS parliament is in the service of Milorad Dodik’s separatist politics. “High Representative and state institutions are tasked to protect constitutional order and we expect concrete steps,” said Salkic. Bratic told daily that this is an attempt of forming of para-institutions: “Opposition in the RS understands that this is a serious situation, where Constitution is knowingly violated and they are aware that sanctions of the international community are possible.”

Schmidt comments on RS parliament’s decision: Entities are obliged to respect B&H Constitution and decisions made by B&H institutions (AJB

 

HR in B&H Christian Schmidt said that the RS Law on Medicines and Medicinal Products represents a serious contestation of competencies and undisputed work of the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices of B&H. He called on every individual representative in the RS parliament to respect their obligations in line with the Constitution, and to show responsibility towards public health and wellbeing of citizens. “The Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices of B&H is the only institution in B&H that is authorized, capable and equipped for making sure medicines and medical devices, which are being used in B&H, are safe, of high-quality and efficient. That is also the only such agency that was formed and which operates in line with the EU acquis communautaire, as a condition for B&H in process of joining the EU. Any annulment of this reform is directly aimed against protection of public health, and thus it is dangerous and an unnecessary risk for lives and wellbeing of all citizens of B&H,” Schmidt was quoted as saying.

Dodik: RS’ initiatives for restoring competences do not threaten security or stability, adoption of law on medicines in RS is legitimate; Schmidt’s behavior points to lack of seriousness and usurpation, B&H does not have HR (RTRS

 

Serb member of the B&H Presidency and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik addressed a press conference in Banja Luka on Wednesday and commented on the current issues in the RS and B&H. On this occasion, Dodik stated that the RS authorities’ latest initiatives for restoring competences which used to belong to it, but were transferred to the B&H level, are in line with the Constitution of B&H and do not threaten security or stability. Dodik sent a message to “all those who frighten citizens with war” and said that no one will wage war. Dodik stressed that peace will be preserved, and that citizens have no reason to be concerned. When it comes to the situation in the RS, Dodik asserted that the RS is stable and its healthcare system functions. In this regard, the Serb member of the Presidency criticized the RS opposition for following the policy of pro-Bosnian political parties from the Federation of B&H (FB&H). The Serb member of the Presidency commented on the RS parliament’s adoption of the Law on Medicines and Medical Devices of the RS, which enables formation of the RS Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices. In this regard, the Presidency member said that he sees nothing disputable about adoption of this law, welcoming adoption of this law and the initiative to form the RS Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices as very important and legitimate. “The RS had its Agency for Medicines. That is something we already tried and saw it was good,” he noted. Given that SNSD took part in decisions on transfer of some competences to the B&H level, Dodik said that some activities were transferred to the B&H level, but this does not mean they were in line with the Constitution and he added that such transfer failed to yield results. In his opinion, the RS has a legitimate right to react and seek its competences back and regulate that in its own manner. Dodik stressed that the RS had lost its Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices “due to pressures from the international community, far promises on membership in the EU, imaginary projects from some offices far away”. Commenting on the fact that Christian Schmidt called on the RS parliament not to adopt the Law on Medicines and Medical Devices of the RS, Dodik replied by reiterating the RS’ stance that B&H does not have a HR until the UN Security Council (UN SC) appoints one. Dodik accused Schmidt of misrepresenting himself as the HR and added that such behavior points to lack of seriousness and to usurpation. “We see that they have started threatening every individual, or more precisely, member of the parliament” he added. Dodik announced that all documentation for a RS parliament discussion on other activities regarding restoring of competences should be prepared by 28 October, after which the RS parliament Collegium should schedule a session.

Dodik meets with UN’s Jenca and informs him that situation in B&H has been unstable due to imposed internationals’ decisions (Srna

 

Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik hosted Wednesday in Banja Luka Miroslav Jenca, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas.

The Serb B&H Presidency member thanked the UN Assistant Secretary-General for all programmes implemented and supported by the UN in the RS and B&H, emphasizing that due to increased distrust in certain representatives of the international community, the UN presence should be more significant in B&H. Dodik also informed Jenca at the meeting about the current political situation in RS and B&H, emphasizing that RS was insisting on consistent respect for the B&H Constitution. He also emphasized that the situation in B&H had been unstable for a long time due to the imposed internationals’ decisions, but calm, and that RS would not be making any moves that could endanger peace, the Office of the Serb B&H Presidency member announced.

Blinken, Borrell issue joint statement, express strong support to territorial integrity of B&H (Dnevni avaz

 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell issued a joint statement, expressing strong support to territorial integrity of B&H. According to the statement, EU and USA agreed to strengthen their joint engagement in the Western Balkans, in support to progress of the region on its European path. “We underscore our full support for the EU’s enlargement process. EU accession, a stated priority for the whole Western Balkans, helps consolidate democratic institutions, protect fundamental rights, and advance the rule of law. This region belongs in the European Union. Closer integration will enhance stability and contribute to prosperity for the people of the region. In this context, we stress that accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should start without delay”, reads the statement. Statement further reads that the European Union and the United States are united in their firm support for the territorial integrity of B&H, as well as in their joint work to promote electoral and constitutional reform and maintain the functionality of its state institutions. “We have serious concerns about increasingly divisive rhetoric in B&H. We call on all parties to respect and protect state institutions, resume constructive dialogue, and take steps to advance progress on the EU integration path – including on relevant reforms. The EU and the United States stand ready to facilitate these steps,” reads statement.

US Embassy: US ready to use all available sanctions against those who violate DPA (Dnevni avaz/RFE

 

The US Embassy to B&H commented the decision of the RS parliament to adopt Law on Medicinal Products and Medical Devices and in statement to Radio Free Europe (RFE) the Embassy representatives stated: “USA are ready to use all available sanctions against those who undermine Dayton Peace Agreement, but they are not a replacement for responsibility of all leaders in B&H to reject destabilizing actions and instead work on improving of functionality”. The statement reads that there is no constitutional path which would allow an entity to unilaterally withdraw from the state institutions, but daily noted that after the RSNA session, Milorad Dodik announced that the RS will not give up these intentions (of revoking of consent for forming of Armed Forces, HJPC, ITA, OSA and SIPA). “Such activities would be unconstitutional and anti-Dayton. Further development on foundation of peace from Dayton Peace Agreement is the best guarantee of security and path towards prosperity for everyone in both entities and Brcko District”, reads statement. Embassy representatives noted that forming of RS agency for medicines is “an attempt to divert attention of the citizens from the problem of the corruption, which restrains them”. “We will continue to support political leaders and all citizens who raise above the rhetoric of divisions and who work on establishing of the trust and creating of secure and prosperous country for all,” the Embassy stated.

Komsic announces criminal report against Seranic; Seranic: Criminal reports have become part of daily politics of B&H and it is up to courts and judiciary to decide (FTV

 

Chairman of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic announced that a criminal report will be filed against RS Minister of Health Alen Seranic for the attempt to illegally disempower the B&H Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices. Seranic stated that the problem of the affair ‘Oxygen’ is the politicizing of the entire situation and stressed that oxygen administered to patients is of very good quality. He assessed that criminal reports have become part of the daily politics of B&H and it is up to the courts and judiciary to decide. Seranic said that he is ready to be held responsible for everything he is being charged for, but he is not ready to be held responsible for the death of any patients and he will fight for the supply of oxygen for RS patients.

Komsic reacts to Kalbukhov’s statement: There will not be any dialogue about B&H AF since they are undisputable category just as other state institutions (Glas Srpske

 

Chairman of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic reacted to the statement of Russian Ambassador to B&H Igor Kalabukhov who stated that B&H Armed Forces are not a category defined by the Dayton Peace Agreement, but rather a category established in 2008. Komsic said that Kalabukhov has done what Russia has bene doing for a longer period of time and that is interfering in internal issues of B&H. He added that there will not be any dialogue about the B&H AF since they, just as other state institutions, are an undisputable category.

Konakovic: Economic sanctions for those who follow Dodik’s game are ready; Osmanovic announced filing of motion before CC of B&H (Nova BH/N1

 

Nova BH reported about reactions in the FB&H to adoption of the law on formation of an agency on medicinal products and medical devices in the RS. Speaking about all those who plan to follow the policy of leader of SNSD Milorad Dodik primarily pharmaceutical companies, leader of the NiP Elmedin Konakovic called on pharmaceutical companies to think twice whether they will play the game of Dodik. He reminded that a set of economic measures is already prepared for those who will follow Dodik with the aim to aggravate this game. Vice President of SDA Adil Osmanovic announced filing of a motion before the Constitutional Court of B&H and he has no doubt that the law will be disputed. He added: “This is the only way we can behave; in line with the Constitution and the law. This is the only way that civilized policies and politicians act.”  Konakovic announced that there will be no cooperation in B&H with the unconstitutional institution that the RS Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices would represent. “We warn everyone who might decide to become accredited through that unconstitutional agency for medicines that we will do everything we can to restrict those who violate the Constitution of B&H”, Konakovic noted. Our Party (NS’) representative in the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) Damir Arnaut said for N1 that Dodik is testing the field through the Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices, and stressed this adoption already contains elements of a criminal offense. The FB&H Chamber of Economy reacted by saying that formation of the agency in the RS represents the same burden that the situation with the chemical industry already witnessed a couple of years ago when companies from the FB&H – that are doing business in the RS – had to register in a registry. According to FB&H Chamber of Economy, all this is a result of lack of harmonization of processes. President of the FB&H Chamber of Economy Mirsad Jasarspahic stated that the EU does not accept this adding that the EU wants to consider this as a single economic area.

HJPC removes Tadic from post of B&H Chief Prosecutor and appoints Kajganic (O Kanal/RTRS/N1

 

The High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) rejected complaints filed by B&H Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadic on the decisions of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel about her removal. Following the confirmation of her removal, the HJPC appointed Milanko Kajganic as an acting B&H Chief Prosecutor. Kajganic was appointed with seven votes for, three against and three abstained. President of HJPC Halil Lagumdzija proposed the appointment of Dijana Kajmakovic as the acting B&H Chief Prosecutor, but this was not accepted by other members. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel processed Tadic regarding claims that she did not use the automatic case assignment system to assign cases to prosecutors and that she did not perform security checks, which was considered as neglect. Both the first and second instance commissions determined that Tadic did not follow the codex and that she needs to be removed from her post. Tadic’s lawyer Vlado Adamovic said that he expected the HJPC to take over responsibility for the events and that his client will remain the B&H Chief Prosecutor. RTRS noted that the HJPC’s session was closed for media, but it was attended by representatives of the Embassies of the US, the UK, and The Netherlands in B&H as well as of the OSCE Mission and the OHR. The Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) reacted to the decision of the HJPC on removal of Tadic from. HNS issued a statement assessing that Tadic’s removal from the post of the Chief Prosecutor was forced and directed by the Bosniak political leadership. HNS alleged that this removal was aided by “para-intelligence pressures and media spins that marked the collapse of the third pillar of authority in B&H”, which is how the statement refers to the judicial authority in B&H. N1 quoted HNS’ statement as the following: “Today’s destructive campaign is an introduction to an uncertain situation, not only within judicial institutions and the rule of law but also in terms of political and institutional framework.” HNS concluded that the Bosniaks do not even hide their attempts to establish rule over the FB&H. Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik said that this is yet another indicator why the RS should form its own HJPC. Dodik also said SDA’s goal is to abolish the RS. Dodik added that the HJPC made the abovementioned decision on Wednesday with only votes of Bosniak members of the Council. He said “no Serb vote, or vote from the RS came”. Dodik concludes that this is just realization of SDA’s declaration goals, which says B&H should operate without entities. Dodik views Tadic’s removal as an act of retaliation for her resistance towards influence from Director of the B&H Intelligence-Security Agency (OSA) Osman Mehmedagic and SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic. Dodik noted that no Serb or Croat in the HJPC voted for Tadic’s removal, while she was removed “with six Muslim votes”. The Serb member of the Presidency noted that SDA has already managed to establish control over the Central Election Commission (CEC) of B&H “unfortunately through some people from the RS”, as well as over the Court of B&H through “suspicious personnel from Sarajevo who present themselves as I do not even know what, Spanish, or Others”. Dodik reminds that Izetbegovic spoke in the past about his goal of controlling the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H. They already control the Court of B&H, Dodik added. “They are completing their devilish plan, in which they wish to regulate B&H in a way that suits them,” Dodik concluded. Chair of Serb Caucus in the parliament of B&H Nenad Stevandic said that it becomes clear in which direction B&H judiciary is heading if one takes a look at all affairs in the FB&H over the past year, in which SDA members were the main participants yet nobody has been processed yet, and knowing that the Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H (Gordana Tadic) was removed instead. “Those unsuitable for SDA are being removed. This is the path to judicial collapse and domination of one of the peoples and one of the parties over B&H judiciary,” Stevandic concluded.

 

Pribilovic: Everything we warned about turned out to be true (Dnevne novine

In the 2021 Report on Montenegro, the European Commission (EC) states, among other things, that the civil service has been seriously affected by lowering the criteria through the Law on Civil Servants and Employees, and that the capacity of our state to retain experienced staff is jeopardized when it comes to the issues related to the EU accession process in many sectors.

The former minister of public administration, now a member of the Democratic Party of Socialists Suzana Pribilovic has warned in her statements that something like this would happen, because experienced staff who had worked for years to meet the criteria in negotiations with the EU were fired, and inexperienced people were hired. Asked whether the report would be more favorable and whether we would have a better situation in the country when it comes to negotiations with the EU if European partners had reacted more decisively instead of turning a blind eye to party-affiliated employments and brutal revenge, Pribilovic says that “the EU and European institutions have always been a committed and credible partner to Montenegro”, and that she does not think that our European partners did not react adequately. “Their messages were loud and clear to all of us. However, it is difficult to send messages to someone who does not want to hear them. Government officials interpreted and translated every message of the European Union as they saw fit. The same was the case with the parliamentary majority that makes up the government. I think that this Report will be treated in the same way,” Pribilovic points out.

 

Djukanovic on EC Report: Depressing picture we urgently need to change (CdM

The stalemate in the negotiation process must be overcome by consolidating the negotiating structures and returning the executive power to the necessary negotiation process pace, says Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. The Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro Oana Cristina Popa has presented Djukanovic with the latest EC Report on Montenegro’s progress on its path to the EU. With gratitude for the submitted Report, Djukanovic has referred to the assessment of its objectivity and unfortunately, the depressing picture that we urgently need to change. “The European agenda must be the absolute priority of every government,” Djukanovic has pointed out.

MEPs are looking for an investigation, they also mention Djukanovic (RTCG

 

MEPs have launched a proposal to pass a resolution on Pandora’s documents and call on the authorities of the countries involved to conduct appropriate investigations. Among the politicians mentioned is Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. “We deplore the fact that a number of politicians, including high-level EU decision-makers, have found themselves in Pandora’s documents, and we call on the authorities of the Member States involved to conduct appropriate investigations into possible violations. We especially regret the fact that politicians such as Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and the President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, who are in the European Council, also the Minister of Finance of the Netherlands Wopke Hoextra, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic and former Maltese Minister and EU Commissioner John Dalli, were mentioned in the documents,” MEPs proposal said. It is added that all the politicians mentioned in Pandora’s documents are allegedly connected with offshore companies in several countries.

Abazovic: Katnic wiretapped earlier, ANB to detect misconduct (RTCG/VoA

The new management of the National Security Agency (ANB) is here to reveal numerous irregularities, says DPM Dritan Abazovic. In his statement for the Voice of America, he has told ANB officials, police and prosecutors that the state will stand behind them, and that it is up to them to gather courage and inform the public about some important details. Abazovic says he saw a farewell message from former ANB official Luka Bulatovic, who was found dead a few days ago in a rented apartment in the Momisici neighborhood of Podgorica. “I note with regret everything that happened to the former ANB official. I just want to say that the new ANB management is there to detect misconduct. It happened in early February when the big affair related to the ANB was launched, it happened with the discovery of an eavesdropping device in the cabinet of the Special State Prosecutor, which is from the previous period – there is no dilemma, from the period of the previous management,” states Abazovic. He points out it remains to be seen whether these events are related.

Abazovic and Radulovic pay visit to Atlantic Council (Gov. Press service

Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic and Minister of Foreign Affairs Djordje Radulovic delivered a lecture at the headquarters of the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. If we want the Western Balkans in the European Union, we need a new political establishment that will promote a policy of reconciliation. We have had enough of politicians with the virus of the 1990s, we need new progressive politicians. I am an optimist and I think that the Western Balkans have many possibilities, said Abazovic. Speaking about the importance of the first democratic change of government in the history of Montenegro in 2020, Abazovic pointed out that the Montenegrin “Berlin Wall”, which symbolized weak institutions, corruption and crime, was torn down. In that sense, Abazovic stated that the biggest advantage of last year’s change of government is that the citizens gained sovereignty and that they now believe that the government can be changed in democratic elections. Foreign policy is a key interest of the government of Montenegro and it will not change. We are fully in line with EU foreign policy, a reliable partner of NATO. With the help of our EU and NATO partners, we will work on its implementation, which will at the same time make Montenegrin institutions stronger and more independent, Minister Radulovic pointed out during the lecture. The lecture was attended by several distinguished professors, including Daniel Serwer and Benjamin Haddad from Johns Hopkins University, representatives of the National Democratic Institute, the Europe Office of the Atlantic Council, the Williams Institute (UCLA), the EU Delegation to the US, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the Congressional Research Service and others. The mediator of the lecture was Damir Marusic, Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center.

 

Geer: The commission expects the first Intergovernmental Conference by the end of the year (Libertas

The report comes in the context of the recent European Union Summit for the Western Balkans, which gave unequivocal support to the region’s European perspective, said the country’s EU Ambassador, David Geer. He added that in relation to Northern Macedonia, according to the Report, the country continues to meet the conditions for the start of negotiations and it is important that the country maintains a steady pace of reforms. “The momentum in these reforms is important, especially in the fight against corruption. Sustainability of structural reforms is an ongoing process that will require the involvement of multiple stakeholders. The report shows that up to 96% is compliance with the Union’s foreign security policy” Geer said. According to him, regarding the beginning of the negotiations, it was confirmed that the postponement of the negotiations has a negative impact on the credibility of the EU. “The issues between Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria should be resolved and the continuation of the implementation of the agreements with Bulgaria and Greece should be emphasized. The commission also said that in accordance with the conclusions, the EC is waiting for the first intergovernmental conference before the end of the year,” said Geer.

 

Albania-Kosovo governments’ joint meeting to be held in the last week of November in Durres (Radio Tirana

The joint meeting of the two governments Albania-Kosovo will be held in the last week of November in Durres. The news was announced today by Foreign Minister Olta Xhacka. During this meeting, a review of the agreements between the two countries will take place. In total, it is about 86 agreements signed between the parties. In her speech, Xhacka said that a working group will be set up to implement the agreements in force and to draw up plans for new agreements to be made in the future. “The meeting between the two governments Albania-Kosovo that will take place in the last week of November in Flag Week, the 7th in succession, which will be a review of all previous agreements so far, is about 86 agreements related during joint meetings that have been developed so far. The aim is to advance this process to give a new impetus to all agreements and to identify new areas of cooperation. The meeting of the two governments will focus on the fields of economics, diplomacy, justice, science and culture. The two foreign ministries, that of Albania and Kosovo, have decided to establish a joint working group for the implementation of the agreements in force and the drafting of plans for future agreements, said Xhacka.

Rama: The EC is the fairest and most impartial judge! The guiding document for us! (Radio Tirana

Prime Minister Edi Rama said that the EC Report reaffirms once again the conviction that Albania has met all the conditions to formally start what was previously decided in the European Council and to undertake the membership discussion together with the EU. “EC Report reaffirms once again that Albania has met all the conditions to formally start negotiations and undertake the membership discussion. I want to emphasize that we find in the EC a fair and impartial partner, a rigorous partner who evaluates progress based on field research and therefore I will repeat today that in no capital of the member states is there a similar structure or to be able to compete in terms of the quality of research and in terms of justice and judgment of the EC and EU delegation here in our country. The progress report is the guiding document for us. The report objectively seals that Albania comes from an undisputed electoral process in terms of integrity and OSCE recommendations. Secondly, Albania has made progress in key state-building reforms. The vetting process is referred to as a success process,” said Rama.

Soreca: Time for the EU to keep its promise! (Radio Tirana

 

During his speech at the joint conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama, Ambassador Luigi Soreca commented on the European Commission progress report on Albania, presented the day before. For the EU Ambassador in Tirana, Luigi Soreca, Albania’s integration into the EU is happening day by day, although there is still no date for the first intergovernmental conference. Ambassador Soreca urged the EU to keep its promise immediately. “I think that integration happens day by day, Albania is integrating into the EU thanks to fruitful exchanges. Albania has given the results, it is time for the EU to keep its promise. To read the report and find in it the strong points to overcome the remaining impasse,” said Soreca. On his part, Prime Minister Rama said that Albania has achieved the required results, but it is the EU that is not achieving results. “There is a nuance that should be emphasized in the word result. Albania has achieved results, it is the EU that does not achieve results. It is the EC that has said we should sit down and it is not sitting down. The results that Albania has achieved are here. EU helps us with the instruments, with the great knowledge of how this work is done and with the critical judgments and with its own funding. If anyone here today has to render account for why the results have not been achieved, it is the EU. Things have their logic in the EU and we have to accept it. Today that family has some problems that we have not created and we cannot solve them,” said Rama.

Joint statement Blinken-Borrell: Accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should start without delay (Radio Tirana

“Negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia should be opened without delay”. The joint statement was made by the government of the United States of America and the European Union, following a meeting between Secretary Antony Blinken and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. One week after Borrel’s meeting in Washington with Secretary Anthony Blinken, the joint statement was published on the State Department’s official website. The United States and the European Union are urging European Union member states to take the big step for Albania and North Macedonia on a date for the first intergovernmental conference. The US and the EU have also focused on important issues in the Western Balkans, expressing their determination to strongly support the region, to support the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; to encourage Kosovo-Serbia dialogue as well as calling on political forces in Montenegro to maintain a strategic western orientation. The European Commission published yesterday the progress report for Albania, where in this report the EC recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania, after it has met the conditions. Territorial administrative reform is another point on focus in the Report where it is emphasized that the decentralization of local government should continue and more should be done for the autonomy and finances of the municipalities. The EC says that Albania has made progress in strengthening the fight against corruption and has made good progress in the fight against organized crime, noting good results in this regard.

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