Albanian Language Media:
- President Osmani met with Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes (media)
- Prime Minister Kurti starts his visit to the United States (media)
- CBK reacts to whistleblower letter: They are intended to damage reputation (media)
- Konjufca received the delegation of the Arab Union (Telegrafi)
- SBASHK informs Nagavci: On May 12 there is 1-hour strike in education (media)
- COVID-19: 11 new cases (media)
Serbian Language Media:
- Brnabic: Serbia to donate 3 mln euros to Ukraine (Tanjug)
- Zivkovic, Arsenijevic on list of Serbs suspected of ‘violating constitutional order’ (Kosovo-online, Danas)
- Should Serbia rely on China in the UN Security Council regarding Kosovo? (Danas)
- Stefanovic meet Lambrecht (Tanjug)
- Patriarch from Kosovo: Our shrines are the heritage of the entire world (KoSSev, N1)
- “If Pristina wishes to join Council of Europe, 14 stats will retract recognition of Kosovo” (Vecernje Novosti, Kosovo-online)
- Drecun: I am not optimistic about continuing the dialogue on May 13 (Tanjug, media)
- Selakovic thanks India for its support to Serbia on Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
- Selakovic: Brazil’s call for full implementation of the Brussels Agreement important (Kosovo Online)
- Vucic meets with Brammertz (Tanjug)
- KLA Hague Detainees Face New War Crime Charges (Prishtina Insight)
- Supreme Court Upholds Suspension of ‘Adventure Park’ Project (Prishtina Insight)
- Western Balkan countries face new economic challenges with growth set to slow to 3.1% this year (intellinews.com)
Albanian Language Media
President Osmani met with Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes (media)
The President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani Sadriu met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama, Erika Mouynes.
The expressed readiness to deepen cooperation in foreign policy, including the unwavering support of Panama for Kosovo’s membership in international organizations.
Among other things, President Osmani and Minister Mouynes discussed the current situation in the region, Europe and beyond, as well as the need to stand united against anti-democratic actors, who aim to destabilize and threaten common freedom-loving values.
Following the meeting, President Osmani and Minister Mouynes addressed an audience of academics and diplomats at a joint panel on the role of women in politics.
The President stated that the empowerment of women in politics is essential for building sustainable and inclusive democracies. “Our efforts will not stop until girls and women feel that their contribution and role in society is known and appreciated,” Osmani said among others.
Prime Minister Kurti starts his visit to the United States (media)
The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti has begun his official visit to the United States of America.
“During his stay in the U.S., the Prime Minister will meet with state officials, heads of enterprises, representatives of organizations, as well as the Albanian-American community. Today he will meet with representatives of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC),” the Office of the Public Communication of the Government of Kosovo announced.
CBK reacts to whistleblower letter: They are intended to damage reputation (media)
The news website reports that a whistleblower has sent a letter to the Kosovo Anti-Corruption Agency claiming misuses and nepotism at the Central Bank of Kosovo.
The CBK reacted today, emphasizing that the issues claimed in this letter are aimed at damaging the reputation of the CBK and putting this institution under pressure from the parties, who may aim to realize their close interests through the CBK.
“The Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo yesterday was notified through the media for an anonymous letter sent to the address of the Anti-Corruption Agency with fabricated claims related to the governance of the CBK.
The CBK has consistently been governed by the highest standards of professionalism, transparency and accountability.
The issues alleged in this letter are aimed at damaging the reputation of the CBK and putting this institution under pressure from the parties, who may aim to pursue narrow interests through the CBK,” the reaction reads.
Konjufca received the delegation of the Arab Union (Telegrafi)
The Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo Glauk Konjufca received today a delegation of the Arab Union for Sustainable Development and Environment, who are participants in the International Arab-European Conference.
According to a press release, this conference will be held on May 7 and 8 in Pristina, organized by the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Environment
Konjufca, as stated in the announcement, praised the good relations with the Arab states, expressing the readiness for concrete cooperation in various fields of interest for Kosovo, such as energy, environment and agriculture.
SBASHK informs Minister Nagavci: On May 12 there is a 1-hour strike in education (media)
SBASHK has sent an official letter to the Minister of Education Arberie Nagavci informing her about the one-hour warning strike on May 12, but also about other much more radical actions, not ruling out a general strike in the entire education sector if the executive continues to remain silent to their legitimate demands.
SBASHK says that the government, even after the promises that there will be a substantive dialogue, did not take a single concrete step, therefore it has decided to hold a warning strike in the entire education sector, from kindergartens to universities, not excluding even more radical actions after this date.
In the same letter, SBASHK has reiterated the requests for the government to continue with the salary increase of 100 euros for each month until the implementation of the Law on Salaries, in which the law is required to take into account the proposals of SBASHK, to start the implementation of the Law on Health Insurance, Amendment of the law on state-funded pension schemes, Law no.04 / L-131, especially amendment of Article 8, paragraph 1 and sub-paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3, referred to in the Law on Pension Insurance of 1983, according to which it is required to have 15 years of contribution to pension schemes before 01.01.1999 and the formation of the commission, which will sit at the negotiating table with SBASHK to find solutions to requests to the Government of Kosovo.
COVID-19: 11 new cases (media)
11 new cases with COVID-19 were confirmed in the last 24 hours in Kosovo. 7 persons recovered from the virus during this time. There are 406 active cases with COVID-19 in Kosovo.
Serbian Language Media
Brnabic: Serbia to donate 3 mln euros to Ukraine (Tanjug)
Serbia will make a 3 mln euro humanitarian donation to help Ukrainian children and displaced persons in and outside Ukraine, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic announced at an international donor conference for Ukraine, held in Warsaw on Thursday.
Brnabic said the donation would be provided through the UN system – 1.5 mln euros through UNICEF and 1.5 mln euros through UNHCR.
Zivkovic, Arsenijevic on list of Serbs suspected of ‘violating constitutional order’ (Kosovo-online, Danas)
Acting commander of North Kosovo police station, Major Goran Zivkovic said at today’s session of Mitrovica North municipal assembly that there is a list of Serbs suspected of committing serious criminal acts, adding that distribution of summons to the individuals from that list is underway, Kosovo-online portal reports.
Zivkovic made those remarks, responding to the municipal councillor’s question if there were the lists including the names of people who took part in protests in September and if they were invited to report to Pristina for the interview, adding those lists are not the secret.
“The lists are not the secret, there are the lists. One includes 58 names of people suspected of violating constitutional order of Kosovo, while the second list includes 14 names of persons suspected of attempting grevious murder, disrupting official persons in carrying out their duties and two or three criminal acts more”, Zivkovic is quoted as saying.
He also said police only deliver the summons to the individuals from those lists, saying they live in Mitrovica North, Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok and the persons receiving the summons should go to Pristina for an interview. He noted, he has no information in which period concretely the acts those individuals are suspected of committing took place.
Commenting on the alleged list with the names that appeared in the Serbian media, leader of the opposition Serbian Survival initiative, Aleksandar Aresnijevic whose name was on that list as well, said it was about persons who took part in protests and barricades over the last months, Danas daily reports.
Arsenijevic told a press conference in Mitrovica North today the lists are linked with events that took place at the end of last year in front of a pharmacy in Mitrovica North, as well as blockade of administrative crossing points of Jarinje and Brnjak relating to the licence plates issue. Danas daily published the alleged list Arsenijevic was talking about.
Arsenijevic said the persons mentioned are suspected of committing serious criminal acts for which prison sentence may be from one to 40 years, adding that people in the north feel intimidated. He also perceived it as “a sort of repression because of which some of the citizens from Kosovo and Metohija moved away to central Serbia”, while “some do not stay at their houses out of fear”.
“In addition to the list published in the media, there is talk about a secret list based on which non-Albanian people from the north will be arrested. I can say with certainty that all Serbs from the north took part in those protests. Given the possibility that you may be sentenced to 40 years in prison, people in the private talks say “they won’t surrender alive”. The fear is justified, the opinion of each citizen is that when you put 40 years in prison on one side and the life on the other – it is like choosing between life and death”, Arsenijevic is quoted as saying.
He also warned any action of the Kosovo police in northern Kosovo could cause far-reaching consequences, adding the fear may turn into rebellion.
“It is obvious that some wish to cause conflict of wider proportions. We kindly ask the international community, all relevant factors to deal with this issue in order to defuse the fear among the people, and make repression against the non-Albanian population in northern Kosovo weaker (…)”, Arsenijevic said.
Should Serbia rely on China in the UN Security Council regarding Kosovo? (Danas)
China is a partner that is important for Serbia, but those easy analyses and speculations that China will save Serbia at this moment do not fit into what Europe, the Western Balkans and the world are going through, because we have entered the process of changing the international order. However, since it has the same problems, China will certainly continue to support Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and its position on the Kosovo issue, say interlocutors of Danas daily.
Serbia has joined UN resolutions condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but currently does not participate in EU sanctions against Russia. One of the arguments heard for such a decision is the Moscow support in the UNSC regarding Kosovo, wrote Danas.
Such a perspective has changed in the part of the public after the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic became independent based on the precedent of the ICJ when deciding on Kosovo’s independence, opening a question whether Serbia can rely on China, as a permanent member of the UNSC.
Danas recalls that China kept aside and refrained from the Kosovo issue, leaving it to the West to deal with it. However, last year China did not recognize the election of Christian Schmidt as the high representative of the international community in BiH.
China messages were in support of the agreement reached between Belgrade and Pristina.
Sonja Biserko, founder, and president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights told Danas that Serbia cannot get out of the European context because it belongs to it geographically and in every other way.
– China is a partner that is important for Serbia. Serbia is also important to China as a hub for Europe. But Serbia’s energy dependence and everything else depends on how Europe and the Western Balkans will solve it. After all, Vucic was in Athens, where a new flow of gas and oil supplies is being built for the entire Western Balkans, and Serbia must be tied to that. Those light analyzes and speculations that China will save Serbia at this moment do not quite fit into what Europe and the Western Balkans are going through – she points out.
As she explains, there is a lot of speculation and in general it is not considered that the war in Ukraine, which started in 2014, is a profound disturbance of the international order, especially when it comes to Europe, which will now have to change its security framework.
– The Western Balkans is seen as a part of that European whole, an interesting sphere, and an important part for European security. In that sense, everything that is happening with various missions coming to Belgrade from America or Europe, and the departure of our representatives to Berlin, shows that Europe is fully aware of that and that a new approach to the Western Balkans is being intensified. We will see what will be new at the EU Summit in July, chaired by Macron, which is seen, or at least expected to be significant in shaping the new Europe – says Biserko.
She adds that things will change in China as well, and everything depends on how the war in Ukraine will end.
– Will Russia be defeated or will it win, so the boundaries of the spheres of interest of the great powers will change, which will significantly affect the events. That is not predictable now. The pro-Russian line still prevails on our televisions, but Serbia cannot get out of the European context – she states.
According to her, there is an initiative that certain decisions that some members of the UN Security Council veto, are placed before the General Assembly, because the veto was not as important in the past as in recent times, which blocks the work of the UN Security Council as an international body.
– And things will change there, of course not overnight. But we have entered the process of changing the international order. I hope that a lot of the liberal order will remain in these changes, because that is the highest standard that has been achieved in civilization – says Biserko.
On the other hand, Dragana Mitrovic, professor at the Faculty of Political Science and director of the Institute for Asian Studies, told Danas that speculation over Russia ending its support to Serbia’s sovereignty will not happen and that these are misinterpretations of what the Russian president said.
– When it comes to China, it will certainly continue to support our sovereignty and territorial integrity and our position regarding the Kosovo issue, since it is thus defending its interests. This is the case with all other states that do so in the UN and other forums and that have not recognized Kosovo’s independence. Since China itself has had problems with separatist movements since its founding, it will continue to defend the position that state sovereignty is inviolable and that the UN Charter is a source of international law and a framework in which such issues can be resolved, as well as that it cannot support something as unilateral moves – concludes Mitrovic.
Stefanovic meet Lambrecht (Tanjug)
Serbian Defence Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht met in Belgrade on Thursday.
The ministers agreed the visit reflected the successful bilateral defence relations as well as an intention to advance them.
Lambrecht said defence cooperation between the two countries was highly developed but that there was also room to advance it further.
Stefanovic said the most significant aspect of cooperation in military technology was a purchase of, and crew training for, H-145M helicopters for the Serbian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
He also said a German donation of Dingo military ambulance vehicles would help to advance military medical cooperation, established by joint participation of Serbian and German troops in an EU mission in Mali, the most developed field of defence cooperation between the two countries.
Stefanovic and Lambrecht also discussed possibilities for advancement of cooperation in military education and engagement as part of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy.
Patriarch from Kosovo: Our shrines are the heritage of the entire world (KoSSev, N1)
“Our shrines belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church – Decani, the Patriarchate of Pec, the Mother of God Ljeviska, and again, all other holy sites in Kosovo and Metohija. They are the heritage of the SOC, however, everything that is spiritual is never, if it is authentically spiritual, limited to one person or one nation,“ the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije said from Visoki Decani.
“Precisely because it is spiritual, even though it is ours, it transcends the significance and beauty of the borders in which we exist and to which we belong, and these are the holy sites which are the cultural heritage of the entire world. That is why we should not be surprised that all the listed holy sites are under the protection of UNESCO,” the Patriarch told the media.
The Patriarch underlined that this is the reason all sides and parties must make an effort, which the Church and the monks are already doing, to protect cultural heritage, especially the heritage from the 14th century, and preserve their historical significance.
“The most important thing is to talk, to make an effort regardless of any misunderstandings, and never give up the need to solve issues through talks, dialogue, regardless of how long it may take,” the patriarch said, addressing the media in Visoki Decani.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/37qNI0w
“If Pristina wishes to join Council of Europe, 14 stats will retract recognition of Kosovo” (Vecernje Novosti, Kosovo-online)
If Pristina officially submits request to join Council and Europe and Partnership for Peace program, which represents an entry door to join NATO, Serbia will respond by activating campaign of de-recognizing Kosovo, and it has firm promises of 14 states that they are ready to revoke recognition of Kosovo, Belgrade-based Vecernje Novosti daily writes today.
The intention to join international organisations announced by Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti during his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz represents gross violation of the Washington Agreement, and opens the way to the Serbian side to detach itself from that agreement made during the times of Donald Trump, the daily continues.
It also recalled the statement of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic made following the meeting in Berlin that if someone breaches the Washington Agreement then “Serbia’s hands will be untied”.
Former high-ranking diplomat Zoran Milovijevic opined this was not a solo Kurti’s act, but it was rather about synchronised operation with the West.
“This is about an attempt to reconfirm Kosovo “statehood” and get it involved in international organisations controlled by the West. Given that the policy of recognition is not going (well), they try to include them into international organisations through the back door. We will of course oppose it. However, if that happens then our obligations and limitations cease to exist, and our hands are untied (…)”, Milivojevic said.
In September 2022, Belgrade and Pristina signed the so-called Washington Agreement at the White House, accepting an one-year moratorium on recognition and derecognition campaigns, as well as membership in international organisations. Upon expiry of the agreement, US officials said on several occasions it continues to be in force.
Drecun: I am not optimistic about continuing the dialogue on May 13 (Tanjug, media)
Chairperson of Serbian Parliamentary Committee for KiM, Milovan Drecun told Tanjug agency that the talks, on their own, are not enough for progress to be made in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. He said that he was not an optimist about the continuation of negotiations on May 13 in Brussels.
For progress to be made, an agreement should be reached, at least a preliminary one, so it should be worked out through expert teams and then finally adopted – Drecun told Tanjug.
Commenting on the talks between Vucic, Kurti, Lajcak, Drecun said that there had been no progress.
He said that immediately after that meeting, Kurti’s new request could be heard, asking the EU to put pressure on Belgrade to recognize documents issued by Kosovo, which, as he stated, “Serbia will not do, because in that way, it would indirectly recognize a false state”.
Drecun also recalled Kurti’s position on Kosovo applying for NATO membership for Peace program, although they do not have an army and are not recognized by all members of that alliance, and Pristina expecting an invitation from the CoE to join the organization.
“From only two of Kurti’s statements, you can see that not only that there was no progress in the talks with Vucic, but that Kurti wants to further strain relations with Belgrade, everything is calculated,” Drecun said.
According to him, that leads to a situation when some in the West will say that it is not expedient to talk in such a way and will insist on having the dialogue focus on the “mutual recognition” rather than being focused on fulfilment of what was already agreed under the Brussels Agreement, including the Community of Serbian Municipalities, which are also Kurti’s intentions.
“As long as the United States and key EU countries like Germany insist on mutual recognition, and they know that no government in Serbia will do that, nor will the citizens allow it, there is no way out of that vicious circle,” Drecun said.
Asked what can be expected from the dialogue scheduled for May 13 in Brussels, Drecun said that he was not an optimist.
Selakovic thanks India for its support to Serbia on Kosovo (Kosovo-online)
Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selakovic met Ambassador of India to Serbia, Sanjiv Kohli and thanked him for principled and consistent support of India to preserving sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia by its firm stance not to recognize Kosovo and support it extends to Serbia in international organisations in this regard, Kosovo-online portal reports.
As the Ministry said in a statement, Selakovic in particular touched upon participation of the Indian delegation at the April session of UN SC on work of UNMIK, recalling that India supported the role and mandate of UNMIK and advocated for its further engagement.
Selakovic also said relations between the two states were friendly and strong, adding Serbia remains committed to further fostering and deepening general cooperation with India.
He also said the relations between two states were based on UN principles and Non-Aligned Movement values, marked with mutual respect and high level of support on most important matters in international fora.
Selakovic added it would be a great honour to Serbia to host Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Selakovic: Brazil’s call for full implementation of the Brussels Agreement important (Kosovo Online)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selakovic met today with the newly appointed Ambassador of Brazil, José Mauro da Fonseca Costa Couto, and thanked him for Brazil’s principled support on Kosovo, commitment to consistent respect for international law and full implementation of legally binding international documents, reported Kosovo Online.
According to the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Selakovic singled out Brazil’s support for Serbia in the UN, emphasizing the importance of the Brazilian delegation linking the achievement of peace and stability in Kosovo to the full implementation of the Council Resolution at the recent UN Security Council on UNMIK.
The Minister added that it was very important for Serbia that Brazil appealed at the session to the full implementation of the Brussels Agreement.
Selaković stated that the bilateral relations between Serbia and Brazil are characterized by a high degree of understanding and support on the most important issues, saying that Serbia is committed to improving overall relations with Brazil.
The Minister pointed out that it is necessary to intensify the political dialogue at the highest level, sending an invitation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Alberto Franco França, to visit Serbia. He also stressed the importance of regular dialogue between the two foreign ministries and expressed readiness to organize bilateral political consultations in Belgrade this year.
Vucic meets with Brammertz (Tanjug)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with Chief Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Serge Brammertz on Friday, Tanjug news agency reports.
Brammertz is in Belgrade as part of preparations to submit his next report to the UN Security Council.
Vucic and Brammertz discussed cooperation between the Mechanism and Serbia, implementation of a national strategy on punishment for war crimes, judicial cooperation between countries in the region in relevant cases and the issue of finding missing persons.
They agreed that Serbia’s cooperation with the Mechanism was good and proceeding continuously with efforts being made by both sides, and that joint programmes in the form of training and other forms of support had been helpful in Serbia in the implementation of a strategy on war crimes.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3kLU65r
KLA Hague Detainees Face New War Crime Charges (Prishtina Insight)
The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague on May 2 filed fresh indictments for war crimes, torture, unlawful murders and political arrests against four KLA leaders held in The Hague.
The Specialist Prosecution in the Hague has filed new charges against the four detained former KLA leaders, Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi, allegedly committed in the dormitories of Gjilan/Gnjilane, in Budakove and Semetishte in 1998 and 1999.
The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office claims they detained 12 people and sent them to Budakove in 1998 and 1999. The 12 are described as Serbs, collaborators with Serbs or as supporters of the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK. Albanians were among those detained.
According to the prosecution, the two detained Albanians were taken to a basement in Budakove, tied up and beaten, being considered traitors to Kosovo. The prosecution said one of the two detainees, a young man, was tortured with boiling water that left him unable to walk.
The indictment says ten of the 12 detainees were either released or escaped, while two died. One was allegedly last seen in KLA detention.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3sfGVxC
Supreme Court Upholds Suspension of ‘Adventure Park’ Project (Prishtina Insight)
Acting on NGOs’ requests, the Supreme Court on May 4 enforced the Court of Appeal’s suspension of the ‘Adventure Park’ project in the protected area of Gërmia Park.
The Group for Legal and Political Studies, GLPS, and Active Citizens NGOs have welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court to reject the appeal of the Municipality of Prishtina to the Court of Appeal for an extraordinary review of the suspension of the Adventure Park project in Prishtina.
The ruling leaves the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in force.
The non-governmental organisations had opposed the Municipality of Prishtina’s issue of a permit to construct a park in an area home to some of the oldest trees in Kosovo.
The organisations said the municipality had wrongly issued the permit for construction in a protected area, voicing suspicions that legal procedures had been breached.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3sjrm8q
Western Balkan countries face new economic challenges with growth set to slow to 3.1% this year (intellinews.com)
After a strong recovery from the coronacrisis in 2021, when regional growth hit 7.4%, GDP growth across the six Western Balkan countries is set to slow to just 3.1% this year, the World Bank forecasts.
In its latest Western Balkans Regular Economic Report published on May 4, the World Bank pointed to the new challenges the region is now facing following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“[T]he post-pandemic recovery has been cut short, as the war in Ukraine sends shockwaves across the region,” the report says.
Actual growth this year could come in lower than that, as the development bank lists a “daunting” array of downside risks to the economic outlook.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3P6B1sO
Read full WB economic report on Western Balkans here: https://bit.ly/3sdDhEr