Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  UNMIK Media Reports - Afternoon edition  >  Current Article

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 5, 2022

By   /  05/05/2022  /  Comments Off on UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, May 5, 2022

Albanian Language Media:

• Germany’s Scholz: Progress needed on visa liberalisation for Kosovo (BIRN)
• Kurti: Germany, a strategic ally of Kosovo (media)
• Chancellor Scholz’s statement at Wednesday’s press conference (RTK)
• Opposition conditions participation at session with investigating commission (media)
• PDK: No normality in parliament until inquiry committee on energy is formed (media)
• Ischinger: Lajcak needs urgent support (media)
• Head of Kosovo Police meets EUROPOL Executive Director (Indeksonline)
• COVID-19: 16 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Vucic: Open talk important, even if we argue; Lambrecht: Important that there is stability in the Western Balkans (RTS)
• Vucic after meeting Baerbock: Difficult talks, but I am satisfied with Germany’s interest (RTS, media)
• Lajcak: Vucic and Kurti new meeting on May 13 (Radio Mitrovica sever, media)
• Vucic to Scholz: Serbia will not be the cause of problems (media)
• Serbian Patriarch in Decani: The prayer recited here is for all people – in Kosovo and the entire universe (KoSSev)

Opinion:

• Viskovic: Berlin understands Serbia’s position; joining some sanctions against Russia must be expected (RTS)

International:

• German Chancellor Presses Serbia, Kosovo To Resume Normalization Talks (RFE)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Kosovo leads growth forecasts as Western Balkans face new economic headwinds (emerging-europe.com)
• Kosovo Institutions’ Neglect Leaves Minority Girl’s Schooling in Limbo (Balkan Insight)
• Report on Novobrdo: Archeological material, illegally in Belgrade (Koha)

    Print       Email

Albanian Language Media:

  • Germany’s Scholz: Progress needed on visa liberalisation for Kosovo (BIRN)
  • Kurti: Germany, a strategic ally of Kosovo (media)
  • Chancellor Scholz’s statement at Wednesday’s press conference (RTK)
  • Opposition conditions participation at session with investigating commission (media)
  • PDK: No normality in parliament until inquiry committee on energy is formed (media)
  • Ischinger: Lajcak needs urgent support (media)
  • Head of Kosovo Police meets EUROPOL Executive Director (Indeksonline)
  • COVID-19: 16 new cases (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Vucic: Open talk important, even if we argue; Lambrecht: Important that there is stability in the Western Balkans (RTS)
  • Vucic after meeting Baerbock: Difficult talks, but I am satisfied with Germany’s interest (RTS, media)
  • Lajcak: Vucic and Kurti new meeting on May 13 (Radio Mitrovica sever, media)
  • Vucic to Scholz: Serbia will not be the cause of problems (media)
  • Serbian Patriarch in Decani: The prayer recited here is for all people – in Kosovo and the entire universe (KoSSev)

Opinion:

  • Viskovic: Berlin understands Serbia’s position; joining some sanctions against Russia must be expected (RTS)

International:

  • German Chancellor Presses Serbia, Kosovo To Resume Normalization Talks (RFE)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Kosovo leads growth forecasts as Western Balkans face new economic headwinds (emerging-europe.com)
  • Kosovo Institutions’ Neglect Leaves Minority Girl’s Schooling in Limbo (Balkan Insight)
  • Report on Novobrdo: Archeological material, illegally in Belgrade (Koha)

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Germany’s Scholz: Progress needed on visa liberalisation for Kosovo (BIRN)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosted Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Berlin on Wednesday, the first time they have met in a year. The stalled dialogue between the two, the war in Ukraine and the road towards European Union membership were some of the topics Scholz discussed with the leaders of the two Balkan countries.

After the meeting with Kurti, Scholz said progress needs to be made in visa liberalisation for Kosovars. “Further progress must be made in visa liberalisation for Kosovo; the federal government has emphasised this as an objective in the [German] coalition agreement, for which I am committed to the European Union in talks with partners,” the Chancellor said.

After the meeting with  the German leader, Kurti insisted Kosovo was proactive in the EU-facilitated dialogue process with Serbia. “Kosovo is proactive and constructive. We want a final agreement [with Serbia], which has mutual recognition not at the bottom of it but at the centre. We are committed to move fast and achieve concrete results and to cooperate more,” Kurti said.

Read full article here: https://bit.ly/3MPocRB

Kurti: Germany, a strategic ally of Kosovo (media)

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that he was honoured to meet German Chancellor Scholz and that Germany is a strategic ally of Kosovo. He added that the reenergizing of the Berlin Process is good news for Kosovo. “It was a pleasure to confirm that we share the same values. The European Union and NATO have Germany as a strategic ally for the Republic of Kosovo and we are confident that the reenergizing of the Berlin Process by Chancellor Scholz is good news for every country of the Balkans and especially for the Republic of Kosovo … We will have more agreements [with Germany], and our economic and trade cooperation will increase, and I believe that good days await the Republic of Kosovo both in the European Union and the Berlin Process,” he said.

Kurti also talked about the Common Regional Market which is one of the elements of the Berlin Process. “The Common Regional Market is at the core of the Berlin Process. It is not a substitute for the EU, but rather a preparation for it. For the Common Regional Market to be implemented, Serbia needs to recognize Kosovo’s documents and enable the four-fold movement which is one of the values of the European Union. I believe it is high time to put pressure on Belgrade to recognize Kosovo’s documents, so that there can be a free movement of goods, services and people, and we can get closer to the European Union,” Kurti said.

Chancellor Scholz’s statement at Wednesday’s press conference (RTK)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti met on Wednesday with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The latter also met with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, in an attempt to advance the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process.

The Chancellor’s Office has published the full official transcript of this conference.

Asked if he thinks that the meeting between Kurti, Vucic and Lajcak would contribute to reaching an agreement and what specific role it would Germany play, Chancellor Scholz said that he is very eager to help the countries of the Western Balkans, which are not yet part of the European Union, to have the opportunity to become part of the bloc very soon.

“An essential precondition for this and also for peace in the Balkans is certainly the understanding between Serbia and Kosovo,” he said.

He added that this would only work if there were a concrete agreement that the two countries can reach with each other, covering a lot of details.

“But it certainly includes in the end what Germany has done a long time ago, namely, recognition of Kosovo,” he added.

“That’s why we’re happy to help these conversations take place, and we’re also happy to help create a framework for them to happen; because we are not arbitrators who then judge who is right, but we are those who must make it possible for the leadership, the heads of governments act towards agreement and practical results, and that is what it’s all about. I have the impression that there is a great will to make progress now.”

He said that in addition to the willingness to always provide the framework, talk to everyone and move things forward.

“One is the revival of the Berlin Process, which has made a great contribution to cooperation in the Balkans and which we want to promote. The second is of course, the issue of the membership in the EU, that I already talked about.

According to him, this is a realistic prospect now. “In view of this, it is worthwhile to make decisions and reach an understanding,” Chancellor Scholz was quoted as saying.

Opposition conditions participation at session with investigating commission (media)

Kosovo opposition political parties have conditioned holding of today’s Assembly session with the establishment of an investigating commission for energy. 

Head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Abelard Tahiri, has requested from the opposition to unite and leave the session, if the investigating commission is not part of the agenda. “There cannot be parliamentary normality today without the establishment of the investigating commission on the issues that we have raised,” he said. 

Head of the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) parliamentary group Mimoza Kusari Lila said they agree with establishment of the investigating commission, but they do not agree on violation of legal dispositions. She called on opposition political parties to sit and discuss modalities together. 

Arben Gashi, head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) said democracy of the Assembly is being endangered by not allowing decision-making in this institution. 

“LVV and Prime Minister Kurti have always had a hostile policy towards investments in energy, both about the New Kosovo project and recently, the American gas pipeline project. LVVs opposition to the formation of an investigative commission for energy expenditures is a fact that the government is afraid of these investigations,” said Ramush Haradinaj. Leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK). 

Further, the opposition political parties obstructed the speeches of the majority MPs by hitting the tables of the Assembly of Kosovo and whistling. Eventually, the session was interrupted, and MPs went on a break. However, the same situation was created when the MPs got back to proceed with the session, therefore the Speaker of the Assembly Glauk Konjufca invited to an urgent meeting the heads of parliamentary groups in the Assembly of Kosovo and the Vice Speakers of the Assembly.

PDK: No normality in parliament until inquiry committee on energy is formed (media)

Abelard Tahiri, head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) parliamentary group, told a press conference today that the government is strongly opposing the formation of a parliamentary inquiry committee on energy. He added that there will be no normality in parliament until the committee is formed. “As initiators of the committee, we will not back down from our position, and we will not fall for the provocation of the government to correct our demand. We want a parliamentary inquiry, and this is inevitable. The [government] firm position not to allow inquiry clearly shows that something is being hidden. It is evident now that some people have committed criminal offences. In addition to concealing their crimes they are also undermining democracy. There is no reason for us to stay in parliament while this right is being denied to us,” Tahiri said.

Ischinger: Lajcak needs urgent support (media)

Former German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said today that the normalisation of bilateral relations between Kosovo and Serbia is long overdue. “Thank you @Bundeskanzler for re-energizing efforts to bridge the divide between #belgrade and #pristina. It has been 14 years since the Declaration of Independence of #Kosovo. Normalizing the bilateral relationship is overdue! Miroslav Lajcak needs urgent support! @albinkurti,” Ischinger tweeted.

Head of Kosovo Police meets EUROPOL Executive Director (Indeksonline)

Kosovo Police General Director Samedin Mehmeti is attending the regional conference of police directors in Skopje, North Macedonia, dedicated to the fight against organised crime, challenges and support. At the conference, Mehmeti met with EUROPOL Executive Director Catherine De Bolle and discussed important topics of mutual interest, including cooperation in many areas and the exchange of information related to the fight against crime and the overall security situation.

COVID-19: 16 new cases (media)

16 new cases with COVID-19 were confirmed in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 8 persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 402 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.

 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Vucic: Open talk important, even if we argue; Lambrecht: Important that there is stability in the Western Balkans (RTS)

After the meeting with the German Minister of Defense, Christine Lambrecht, who is visiting Belgrade, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said that they had meaningful, open, and honest conversations, reported Radio Television of Serbia. 

Vucic said that Serbia has open intentions to get closer to the EU and that he has received good signals for faster accession.

According to him, Germany is the most important partner of Serbia, while only eight years ago, it was in fourth place. He said that Serbia will preserve peace and stability. ”I provided guarantees that we will behave in this way. I did not use the opportunity to speak badly about others in the region,” Vucic said, adding that it would be clear who used untruths.

The President mentioned that we have cooperation with Germany in the field of defense, which we can improve in various areas.

Ukraine was also discussed, he said. 

“She conveyed to me in a polite way the expectations from Serbia on the road to the EU,” says Vucic and thanked for the talks on Kosovo organized in Berlin.

“It is important that we talk openly, even if we are arguing,” Vucic said.

He points out that he believes in the European future of Serbia, just as he believes in the good intentions of Germany to help us on that path.

He said once again that he would address the citizens of Serbia tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Lambrecht: It is very important that there is stability in the Western Balkans

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht thanked President Vucic for constructive, open, and honest talks.

“It was important that we had this conversation about our cooperation in the field of defense policy. I hope that we will continue to work in that spirit of trust in the future, for example when it comes to training or implementing initiatives to equip the army,” Lambrecht added.

She said that today’s meeting was held in difficult times that are a challenge for everyone.

“Thank you for taking the time to talk to me after the talks in Berlin and for giving me that opportunity,” she added.

“We are experiencing a war in the middle of Europe that has been inconceivable for any of us, especially here in a region where all people know what these horrors mean and what the consequences are. But this war also shows how important it is to us, who share the same values, that we stand to those values; to clarify we are ready to bear consequences for it. These values are peace, freedom, and territorial integrity. That is something we have in common, and that is something that we emphasized in today’s conversation,” said the German Minister.

“Therefore, we as Germany clearly welcomed the fact that Serbia has clearly positioned itself in relation to these values when it comes to the position in the UN, because these are values that are important when we talk about the accession of Serbia and other countries to the European Union,” Lambrecht said.

Germany is a reliable partner of Serbia when it comes to the EU accession process, she pointed out.

“We support that, and it is very important for us that there is stability here in the Western Balkans. We support that, but we are also an honest and open partner and we talked like that. It also means clearly articulating what one expects from the other on that path. Our desire and hope are that the process of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina to gain new momentum,” she added.

She also stated that she was satisfied to hear a clear statement that Serbia supports the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“It is important for BiH to be able to rely on that, and that all aspirations for stability in that country have support,” Lambrecht said.

She pointed out that all this is a precondition for the region to be able to develop in a peaceful way.

Vucic after meeting Baerbock: Difficult talks, but I am satisfied with Germany’s interest (RTS, media)

At the end of the visit to Berlin, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said that the talks were difficult, but that he was satisfied with the great interest of the German government for the talks with Serbia. Vucic also confirmed that the talks between Belgrade and Pristina will continue on May 13. He also announced talks on gas with the Russians after May 10, reported Radio Television of Serbia.

After the meeting with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Vucic said that he talked on all important issues, such as the European perspective, the crisis in Ukraine, the situation in Kosovo with the Minister. 

“The talks were not simple, but I am satisfied with the great interest of the German government in the talks with Serbia. That is important news,” he explained.

Vucic pointed out that in the first three months, the trade exchange with Germany increased by 26%.

This does not mean that this level will be on an annual level, but it will certainly be above seven billion euros. Germany skyrocketed as a trade partner; it is becoming incomparably more important. It will exceed 15% of the total foreign trade of Serbia for the first time, it is convincingly the most important country,” he explained.

Vucic said that some parts of the conversation were not simple and easy, but an easy path cannot always be chosen.

He pointed out that it is important to talk with Germany because it is the strongest European country and the most important for Serbia, but he pointed out that Serbia cannot change Germany’s positions on the issue of Kosovo or anything else, reported RTS.

When asked by a journalist whether there was pressure at the meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Serbia to recognize Kosovo or impose sanctions on Russia, although this was openly discussed at the press conference, he said that the statements were only a weaker mirror of what was happening at the meeting itself, and that Serbia’s position is difficult and complicated.

“Scholz is a decent man, we are superficial, and we do not listen to what our interlocutors say. Have you heard what he said exactly and who he considers guilty for the events in BiH, what he thinks should happen in Kosovo and Metohija, and about sanctions. Do you think that he did not tell me that at the meeting, and that it was not said in a stronger form,” Vucic asked.

Asked whether the interest and role of Germany in the Western Balkans has increased, because he talked with the German Chancellor yesterday, today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that a meeting with the Minister of Defense will follow, and whether he is happy or worried, Vucic said that he will talk more about everything tomorrow when he addresses the citizens, reported RTS.

“It is important to talk to Germany because it is the strongest European country in every sense and the most important for us. We cannot choose and change Germany or change Germany’s position on Kosovo or something else. That will not happen,” Vucic said. 

He added that he could not express personal emotions, and that the essence of his job was to fight for a better position for Serbia in Germany.

“It is always good to talk about it, but there is greater interest from Germany. I will say tomorrow why there will be even greater interest from everyone for Belgrade and Serbia and let the people themselves assess how good it is, and how bad it is,” Vucic concluded.

Difficult conversation with Kurti and Lajcak 

He also referred to the meeting with Kurti and Lajcak. President Vucic says that last night’s informal evening with the EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak and the Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti was very difficult, and that German representatives insisted that what was signed in the Brussels Agreement must be implemented, reported RTS.

When asked if he could reveal some details of that meeting and if there was a shift, Vucic answered that he did not like to talk about the details, but that the conversation was “very, very difficult”.

“Talks will continue. The director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, is going to Brussels on May 13 to try to agree on something,” said Vucic.

He pointed out that the problem for Belgrade is that some refuse to talk about the Community of Serbian Municipalities at all, but that it is important that all German representatives said that what was signed must be implemented.

“Now you see that what we were criticized for becomes our point of support, and that what they said was bad for us, now others do not want to apply,” said Vucic.

And, as he said, it is pointless for him to talk about the details, because he does not want to collect political points in that way. 

“My job is to fight for Serbia, and I will continue to do that,” Vucic said.

Negotiations with the Russians on gas after May 10

Speaking about the energy situation, Vucic said that Serbia depends on 100 percent of Russian gas and imports 60 percent of Russian oil, and that there is no word now on diversification of supplies, reported RTS.

“What kind of diversification should we talk about? We will only have the opportunity to get something to Serbia in two years, but the question is what to come. We are working only just on the Bulgarian interconnector, Bulgarians have yet to announce a tender these days, and then at least 300 more days for them to build it on their side. What to bring? From where? It does not fall from the sky,” said Vucic.

He added that Germany takes 55 percent of Russian gas, Serbia 100 percent, therefore there is a problem with both gas and oil.

“We are now starting negotiations with the Russians after May 10 on the price of gas and everything else. We have more problems with oil. Whether we will bring oil by Janaf because we cannot do otherwise, we still have to study that, “said Vucic. 

He stated that in the last month, we have been buying 60 percent of Russian oil instead of Iraqi, because Russian oil is cheaper and that it comes through Croatia.

“What now, to drag it in barges every day and not to use the oil pipeline? That is why the Hungarians and Slovaks are protesting, that is why their minister says that it will be a catastrophe for the European economy,” Vucic emphasized.

He reminded that gas is also important for the economy, because a large number of factories are German and of the 15 largest exporters, five are German companies, and of the 100 largest factories 50 are German.

“We urgently need to build oil storage facilities, we are negotiating with the British, we need to see how to upgrade gas storage facilities so that in two years we have a billion cubic meters somewhere to put in order to have gas in three months,” Vucic said.

He recalled that Serbia has the cheapest electricity, bread, and oil in Europe, and announced that in the coming days, the state will “draw the line” around food and energy to see what it has at its disposal.

The situation, both politically and economically, has never been more difficult

Vucic says that Serbia’s position is difficult and complicated, and that with Putin’s statement (that Donetsk and Lugansk became independent based on the precedent of the International Court of Justice when deciding on Kosovo’s independence) was additionally complicated.

He pointed out that the position of Serbia has become almost impossible, and not by its own fault.

Answering journalists’ questions in Berlin, he said that he would talk to the citizens about everything tomorrow, but that the situation had never been more difficult, both politically and economically.

Vucic said that Serbia has managed to overcome difficulties so far and that it had a strong economy.

He also stated that the great news was that the growth rate in the first quarter was 4.3 percent, even though in March, as the most important month, was the war in Ukraine.

He also pointed out that he must continue to fight for investments, even though there are none anywhere in Europe and they are three times less everywhere than last year.

Vucic said that he would talk to political parties in early June and consult on what people think, reported RTS.

Lajcak: Vucic and Kurti new meeting on May 13 (Radio Mitrovica sever, media)

The European Union’s special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak, announced on his Twitter account that the next meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti should take place on May 13th, reported Radio Mitrovica sever.

“I welcome the opportunity for an informal conversation at the dinner on dialogue with Prime Minister Kurti and President Vucic in Berlin. I am grateful to the German government for being the hosts. We will continue the discussion at the level of the main negotiators on May 13,” Lajcak said on his Twitter account after tonight’s meeting with Vucic and Kurti, without announcing any additional information about either tonight’s or the upcoming talks.

Vucic to Scholz: Serbia will not be the cause of problems (media)

President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday that he told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that Serbia would not be the cause of any problems and the Western Balkans will have peace and stability, reported broadcaster N1.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Scholz, Vucic said that they discussed the war in Ukraine and regional relations, adding that the talks were very open. “I don’t think only one side is to blame for the problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I promised Scholz that Serbia won’t be the cause of any problems and when we promise something, we keep our word and, in that regard, the Western Balkans will have peace and stability,” he said. Vucic said that he did not even want to comment on “shameless claims by those who are saying Serbia will cause conflicts, which has not happened”, reported Tanjug.

He said that the German chancellor was very clear about his country’s views and demands. “Serbia has a different view of Kosovo which is why we have a lot of other problems…. We will do everything to head towards a compromise solution,” he said.

Vucic recalled that Serbia was under sanctions for a whole decade which is why official Belgrade has a different attitude towards sanctions. “We understood Germany’s message,” he said and added that there is no doubt that Serbia chose to be on the path to Europe. “The Serbian leadership will support that path,” Vucic said.

Tanjug reports that Vucic pointed to the position Serbia had taken on the nature of the conflict (Ukraine) and to Belgrade’s votes in the UN and the OSCE. 

“Regional relations were a key issue as well, we had an open and substantial conversation,” Vucic said.

He said that Scholz expressing confidence about the European future of the Western Balkans was very important for Serbia.

Vucic said they had noted a major upward trajectory in Serbia-Germany bilateral relations, in economic ties.

He said bilateral goods trade in the first three months of the year amounted to 1.839 bln euros and was expected to reach a total of 7.5 bln euros in 2022, rising by 26 pct y-o-y.

Germany is Serbia’s largest and most significant trade partner and Serbia is the same to Germany when it comes to the Western Balkan region, Vucic said, adding that he was looking forward to a visit to Belgrade by Scholz soon.

Responding to a Reuters query about whether Belgrade’s stance on Russia would have consequences for Serbia’s EU accession process, Vucic said there was no doubt that Serbia had chosen to be on the European path but that, as a country that had been under sanctions for a decade, it had a different view on sanctions on Russia than other countries did, reported Tanjug.

Scholz told the media that Germany supports Serbia’s European Union accession process. He said that the key issue discussed at his meeting with Vucic was the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. “That dialogue is of huge importance both to the peace and stability of southeastern Europe and the integration of both countries,” he said. Scholz added that every issue should be solved in dialogue and that all accepted obligations must be fulfilled. “That requires courage and determination … unilateral moves are not beneficial,” he said.

According to Scholz, the German government confirms the accession of the six Western Balkans countries to the EU. “Germany supports Serbia’s accession process with expertise and project financing,” he said. Scholz said that candidate countries have to defend common values in tough times, adding that it is important for everyone to send the same message and not accept the war being waged by Russia against Ukraine. Scholz said that it is very important that the EU has noted the fact that Serbia very clearly supported the EU stand on the war in Ukraine in the UN General Assembly.

He said he had voiced concern over the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and “secessionist aspirations” by Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, reported news agency Tanjug.

“Serbia is on the EU path and it’s important for it to be consistent in implementing reforms and achieve progress in rule of law, freedom of the media and the fight against corruption and organized crime,” he said. Scholz said he would visit Serbia soon.

Serbian Patriarch in Decani: The prayer recited here is for all people – in Kosovo and the entire universe (KoSSev)

The holy site of Decani has been alive with prayer for centuries, alive with light for centuries, the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije said today in the Visoki Decani monastery. “Whenever I visit Visoki Decani, but also other holy sites, I understand that we returned home,” he underlined.

Following the regular session of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Patriarchate of Pec, the Serbian Patriarch visited the Visoki Decani monastery later today.

During his speech, the Patriarch spoke about the role of the brotherhood of the monastery – to recite prayer for peace and well-being of humanity and everyone.

“The prayer that you recite, we feel and know, you offer for all people who live in Kosovo and Metohija, regardless of the nation and religion they belong to, but more than that, your offer a prayer for the entire world, regardless of nation, race or their religion,” the Patriarch said.

“The monastery is filled with love, which is not only preserved as the love of Christ, but it is ignited by the prayers of the monks of Decani and spread in concentric circles throughout the universe,” he stressed.

Read more at:https://bit.ly/3M2vWjj

 

 

 

Opinion

 

Viskovic: Berlin understands Serbia’s position; joining some sanctions against Russia must be expected (RTS)

Former ambassador to Germany, Professor Ivo Viskovic, told RTS that Berlin has an understanding for Serbia’s position regarding the war in Ukraine. He believes that it must be expected that Serbia joins some sanctions, and that everything else would be dangerous, not only in relations with Germany, but also in the EU, and the consequences that would arise would be not only material but also social.

Viskovic told RTS that Serbia’s position on the war in Ukraine is not as difficult as it seems, because Germany has shown understanding for Serbia’s specific position, i.e., that Serbia cannot impose sanctions on Russia so directly and comprehensively. 

“For us, that would mean a big problem, primarily in relation to the issue of energy, i.e., gas and oil deliveries. I think that was the most difficult part of the conversation for us, and that not only Germany, but also the EU and the entire West expect us to join sanctions. That is the biggest problem for us in relation to all consequences that may arise later,” Viskovic said.

The position is as such that Serbia is expected to join at least some mild sanctions against Russia, adding that everything else would be dangerous, not only in relations with Germany, but also with the EU. The consequences that would arise, would not only be material, but also social ones. ”Probably everything we have done in terms of reforms on the way to the EU would be called into question and we would probably take a step back in social terms, organization of society, democratization of society and so on,” he said. 

When asked whether there is room for the process of harmonizing foreign policy with the EU to be gradual, Viskovic said that the idea of a turnaround is advocated only by those who think we are too pro-Western.

“It is particularly important to me personally that President Vucic said that we are continuing the path towards the EU. There is no turnaround in that regard. I think that is a good political assessment and that we will not lose anything in that sense, and that this pro-European orientation can be strengthened I think it will take some time for it to be more widely accepted among the citizens, because we have a pro-Russian or even pro-Putin mood that dominates the public due to a number of different circumstances. I think that tomorrow’s address by the President in this regard will be very important, to see exactly where we are now and what potential dangers threaten us and what potential benefits this or that commitment can bring,” Viskovic emphasized.

He noted that Russia has always acted according to its own interests and that the support for us on the issue of Kosovo in the UN was formally principled, and essentially related to some of their plans, such as Crimea, eastern Ukraine, etc.

“I think that even the most well-meaning person in relation to Russia and its policy can understand that Russia is playing as a great power in its own interest, and not in ours or someone else’s,” Viskovic said.

Significant influence of Berlin on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, but …

Viskovic points out that the significant influence of Berlin is, perhaps, crucial for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. He adds that the influence of French President Emanuel Macron cannot be overlooked here.

“But I am not optimistic in that regard. The Albanian side is tightening and hardly there will be a meeting on the highest level soon. Even the statements made by Kurti in Berlin indicate that he is not ready to fulfill what is expected of them within the Brussels Agreement and subsequent agreements. I think that the level that has now been agreed for Brussels at the level of the heads of the negotiating teams is the maximum that can be achieved now. In the future, both sides should show readiness for compromise, and on the Albanian side, the obligation to create a CSM,” Viskovic emphasized.

Viskovic states that he is glad to see that Chancellor Scholz himself did not deviate from the policy pursued in the time of Angela Merkel.

“It’s simply because of Germany’s interests. The chancellor represents Germany’s interests. What surprised me was that he responded quite openly at the press conference, although the president said that these were softened versions of what was discussed. You never go public with problems, usually with what you managed to do during the conversation. But the answers to the questions show that Chancellor Scholz does not have the experience that Merkel had, because he was much more unconvincing in the answers to direct questions, than in what the associates prepared in the framework of an individual press release,” said Viskovic.

He noted that in Germany itself, there was a great polarization over the war in Ukraine.

”They have reached the stage where they have offered their most modern tanks to Ukraine, and I think that has caused controversy in Germany itself, because German public opinion is sensitive to that, knowing what has happened in the past,” he explained.

 

 

International 

 

German Chancellor Presses Serbia, Kosovo To Resume Normalization Talks (RFE)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Kosovo and Serbia on May 4 to be constructive in the process of restarting normalization talks and reiterated his desire to see all Western Balkan countries become members of the European Union.

Scholz held separate talks in Berlin with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic as the German chancellor continues efforts to break a deadlock in normalization talks that have been on ice since last summer.

Read more at:https://bit.ly/3MR9ZDB

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Kosovo leads growth forecasts as Western Balkans face new economic headwinds (emerging-europe.com)

The Western Balkans should also not lose sight of their long-term goals to achieve energy security and resilience as part of the green reform agenda

The six countries of the Western Balkans region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) are facing a new range of economic challenges, despite a better-than-expected rebound from the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest Western Balkans Regular Economic Report, published on May 4 by the World Bank.

Read more at:https://bit.ly/3LU2yM4

Kosovo Institutions’ Neglect Leaves Minority Girl’s Schooling in Limbo (Balkan Insight)

A pupil from the deprived minority Ashkali community – expelled for disruptive behaviour last October – has not been to school since, after authorities failed to find an alternative.

A girl from Kosovo’s minority Ashkali community has not attended school in five months, after being suspended from her elementary school in Ferizaj/Urosevac, and after local institutions failed to find alternative schooling.

Naim Frasheri elementary school in the village of Zaskok in Ferizaj/Urosevac, suspended the unnamed pupil on October 20, 2021, because she had allegedly assaulted her teacher.

However, the Kosovo police report says the eighth-grade pupil’s mother assaulted the teacher, not the pupil herself.

Read more at:https://bit.ly/3PbjJuD

Report on Novobrdo: Archeological material, illegally in Belgrade (Koha)

Kosovo’s Ministry of Culture received confirmation from the Inspectorate of Cultural Heritage in a detailed report that artefacts from the Novobrdo Castle were smuggled to Belgrade and that legal procedures were not respected when the archeological material was taken from the site of the castle. The 16-page report includes recommendations on how the Ministry needs to act and suggests initiating court proceedings. “As elements of a criminal offence are met, the Ministry needs to initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for the damages caused during the work and archeological excavation,” one of the recommendation notes. The inspectorate also suggests that “through UNESCO the artefacts need to be returned to their place of origin”.

The Journal of Archaeological Science published a study “Mummified animal skin with tar content from the castle of the late mediaeval town of Novo Brdo (Central Balkans)” by five authors from Serbia who were financially supported by the government of Serbia. In 2015, the company “KOTO”, selected by UNESCO, started working on the restoration of the castle. The project was funded with €1 million by the EU. The work resulted in many defects which have yet to be repaired. During this time, the archeological material was illegally transferred to Belgrade.

 

    Print       Email

You might also like...

UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, August 16, 2022

Read More →