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Belgrade Media Report 12 May 2022

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Thursday 12 May 2022

LOCAL PRESS

• Kosovo applies for membership in CoE; Vucic: Our answer must be smart (B92)
• Vucic from Brussels: It won’t be so easy for those who think they can blackmail us (B92)
• Serbia actively involved in fighting terrorism, radicalism, extremism (Politika)
• Selakovic with Spanish colleague on situation Western Balkans (RTV)
• Dacic thanked Mexican Ambassador for Mexico’s principled position on issue of Kosovo (Beta)
• Brnabic begins her working visit to Dubai (Tanjug)
• Improving economic cooperation with United Kingdom (Tanjug)
• Serbia wants to be part of Saudi Vision 2030 investment plan (Politika/Tanjug)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• HR Schmidt presents Report on situation in B&H before UN SC (BN TV)
• HR Schmidt has several meetings prior to his UN SC address: Security and integrity of states is not negotiable (Dnevni list)
• Dzaferovic addresses UN SC: International community’s support is necessary in relation to RS authorities’ activities that undermine DPA (Nova BH)
• Tegeltija does not address UN SC; Office of Chairperson of B&H CoM: Mission of B&H to UN refused to send requested note, confirming it is directly involved in obstructing Tegeltija’s address (Nova BH)
• Dodik: Schmidt’s address before UN SC and UK Ambassador to UN Woodward’s accusations against RS are result of West’s lack of power to control processes in Balkans (RTRS)
• Ruling parties in RS condemn Arnautovic’s statements and Dzaferovic’s address before UN SC (ATV)
• Viskovic: RS government’s reports to UN SC on situation in B&H changed stereotype about B&H, which was represented by OHR and some other centers of power (Glas Srpske)
• Avdovic: Schmidt did not convey any strong messages or political instructions to independent political institutions in B&H, such as B&H CEC (FTV)
• Brussels and EU administration confirm that there are no plans to open new round of negotiations on changing B&H Election Law (Dnevni list)
• Covic with HDZ of HNC: HDZ B&H must convincingly get the trust in general elections in Croat majority areas (Dnevni list)
• Cavara; Agreement on electoral reform is possible if good will exists, despite the fact elections are announced; HNS conclusions remain in force (Oslobodjenje)
• Members of B&H CEC Bjelica-Prutina and Rogic distance themselves from views of Arnautovic, emphasizing that many issues he raised were not discussed at B&H CEC Collegium and at CEC session (Nezavisne)
• Borrell organizes informal dinner for leaders of Western Balkans in Brussels; Dodik among participants of event (N1)
Croatia
• Milanovic reiterates he will veto NATO membership of Finland with aim to protect Croats in B&H (N1)
• Economy Minister: Croatia wants stability and progress of B&H (Hina)
Montenegro
• Djukanovic: We desperately need message that all WB countries have a place in EU (CdM)
• Djukanovic: More intensive integration is the only answer that the Balkans would not be a source of instability due to influence of anti-European policy (CdM)
• Djukanovic met with Lajcak in Brussels (CdM)
• Djukanovic met with Vucic, Varhelji, Rama… (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Misajlovski: Parliament blockade is only way to raise awareness to crises we are facing (Republika)
• Mickoski offers an immediate vote to amend the electoral model (Republika)
• VMRO-DPMNE will win 61 seats in next elections, and will not allow DUI to control Macedonian politics any longer (Telma TV)
Albania
• Rama meets Borell before informal dinner in Brussels (ADN)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Kosovo applies for membership in CoE; Vucic: Our answer must be smart (B92)

 

Officially, the so-called Kosovo has applied for membership in the Council of Europe. This was confirmed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic who said that he had just received that information. The request was submitted by the Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Donika Gervalla. Vucic said that Pristina violated another agreement – the Washington agreement. “It is up to us not to fall into hatred, but to provide a strong response, and I have scheduled a session of the National Security Council accordingly,” he said. He added that Serbia will show in the coming days that it can fight. “It is clear to you that key Western countries are leading this game, we are a small libertarian country defending its sovereignty, we will try to oppose them in a peaceful and diplomatic way,” he said, adding that life is a struggle and no retreat and surrender is an option when faced with blackmail and ultimatums. Vucic said that it was our job to protect our country, and that Belgrade would be asked to recognize the independence of the so-called Kosovo. As he said, Pristina has 67 to 70 percent of support in the Council of Europe, if they would vote for membership. “All that is not worth too much to them if they do not get the green light from Belgrade and Serbia. With this, all those who told us about respecting international law have shown us that they do not respect any values ​​and principles,” he concluded. According to him, that will create additional problems in the region. “We will not,” Vucic said, clearly saying whether Serbia would recognize the independence of the so-called Kosovo.

 

Vucic from Brussels: It won’t be so easy for those who think they can blackmail us (B92)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addressed the media in Brussels after a working dinner organized by Josep Borrell for leaders from the Western Balkans. “I am absolutely committed to further work within the Open Balkans Initiative. We had a sincere understanding on various issues, especially with the representatives of Albania and North Macedonia because we are not in an easy position. The situation is very complex for us, and tomorrow will be even more difficult because Ms. Gervalla has confirmed that she will apply for the so-called Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe,” he said. “I said it (Pristina’s CoE membership bid) was a violation of all principles, not only the principles of international law, but also norms from specific agreements, from UN Security Council Resolution 1244 to the Washington Agreement. Saying that for over 3,210 days they (Pristina) have had no intention whatsoever of even discussing a Community of Serb Municipalities, let alone implementing it, has become pointless,” Vucic said. He said he believed such initiatives by Pristina would be continued, but noted that this would bring further turbulence. “They want to take advantage of the Ukraine situation by accusing Serbia of being the ‘long arm’ of Russia. They think they can use the situation against Serbia to gain more than they were counting on before, portraying themselves as great fighters against Russian totalitarianism and alleged fascism,” Vucic said. He says that they present themselves as a great fighter against Russian fascism and totalitarianism. Vucic said that the situation is not simple, but that we have nowhere to go and we have to make rational decisions. He added that he hopes to bring Serbia into calmer waters, but we do not have much maneuvering space, except to fight on the international scene for further withdrawal of the so-called recognition of Kosovo. When it comes to the status of Ukraine as a candidate according to the “Cypriot model”, Vucic says that when Serbia makes decisions, they mean something. “Ukrainians are our friends, and when it comes to principles, wherever you look in the world you will understand that there are no principles and that only Serbia adheres to principles. We must understand that it is important for us to adhere to morals in decision making, and we can only adhere to public law. If we think that we will win because of that or that we will benefit from that, no, we won’t,” Vucic pointed out. Asked what to hope for, the President stressed that he hoped for a conversation. In Serbia, he stated, we have a problem in the sense that it is difficult to understand that something is changing. He added that he was satisfied with today’s talks, but that he was not happy with the overall situation. “I don’t want to tell you fairy tales and tell you, ‘Let’s go to sleep, everything will be fine tomorrow.’ I’m not going to do that,” he said. According to him, Serbia must live and as much as it can fight for vital and national interests, it will do so. “I have no personal fears, I am a political veteran, this is my last term as president and it is my task to do everything I can for my country. I am interested in my people and my country,” the President said. When asked about Serbia’s EU accession and speeding up the road, Vucic said that it was our strategic goal, that he could not speak on behalf of the EU, and that our goal was to continue working on fulfilling the conditions. “As far as the EU is concerned, ask them. I expect a lot to be clarified in mid-June, how it will be, I’m not an analyst, so I can’t just say that. We have to turn to the EU as we have nowhere else to go, but of course keeping our interests in mind,” said the President of Serbia from Brussels.

 

Serbia actively involved in fighting terrorism, radicalism, extremism (Politika)

 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic attended on Wednesday in Marrakech the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Selakovic stated on that occasion that Serbia stands for the multilateral aspect of the fight against terrorism and that she believes that the United Nations should be a key forum for international cooperation in this field. He stated that our country fulfils all international obligations in the context of the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, especially those related to the introduction of embargoes on arms exports, including bans on non-state actors, terrorist organizations and related individuals, noting in particular that Serbia is a signatory to 15 international conventions on combating terrorism.

By participating in multinational peacekeeping missions within the UN and the EU, Serbia is contributing to the preservation of regional and global security in a concrete way, Selakovic said, paying tribute to member of the Serbian Army, Lieutenant Colonel Dejan Stanojevic and his colleagues who tragically lost their lives on 29 March in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He underlined that Serbia does not diminish the importance of other international forums, which is why it joined the Global Coalition from the very beginning and selflessly contributes to international efforts in the fight against ISIS, primarily through various forms of donations in military equipment and ammunition and participation in the training of Iraqi security forces. Selakovic added that Serbia, as a candidate country for EU membership, gives its full contribution by active participation in European policies in the fight against terrorism, and has developed strategic cooperation with EUROPOL. He especially emphasized that Serbia has instruments in its criminal legislation to prevent and punish incitement, organization and participation of its citizens in wars or conflicts in foreign countries, and informed that the Serbian judicial authorities have completed proceedings against 7 persons who were engaged on foreign battlefields, and that several investigations are underway against persons connected with terrorist activities. Selakovic said that the fight against terrorism, radicalism and extremism is of priority importance, and that Serbia is actively involved in combating these challenges and threats at the domestic, regional and international level.

 

Selakovic with Spanish colleague on situation Western Balkans (RTV)

 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met on Wednesday in Marrakesh with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Buen. The Head of Serbian diplomacy informed his Spanish colleague about the situation in our country and the region, emphasizing that peace and stability in the Western Balkans are a vital interest of Serbia. Selakovic also informed his Spanish colleague about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, and the state of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. On this occasion, Selakovic invited the Head of Spanish diplomacy to visit Serbia as soon as possible, proposing that political consultations between the two ministries be held before that.

 

Dacic thanked Mexican Ambassador for Mexico’s principled position on issue of Kosovo (Beta)

 

Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic met on 11 May with the Ambassador of Mexico Carlos Felix Corona and discussed bilateral relations and the advancement of cooperation, and thanked him for Mexico’s principled position on the issue of Kosovo. Ambassador Felix Corona reiterated that Mexico respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, stressing that the exchange of parliamentary visits was crucial for establishing better contacts between the members of parliaments, it said in a statement issued by the Serbian parliament. Dacic said that geographical distance was never an obstacle to close cooperation between Serbia and Mexico, recollecting that Serbia was always able to rely on Mexico’s support in the international community. The collocutors concurred that, during the 76 years of diplomatic relations, Mexico and Serbia had built solid bilateral relations and friendly ties, which should be further advanced through the development of close relations between the parliaments and friendship caucuses, the forming of which will be Serbia’s priority when the new convocation of parliament begins work.

 

Brnabic begins her working visit to Dubai (Tanjug)

 

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has started her one-day visit to Dubai today with a meeting with Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, who is the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the UAE and Deputy Ruler of Dubai. This meeting is the first meeting of the Prime Minister with the ruling family of Dubai at that level, and the meeting that is being held in the Emirates Towers building is also attended by Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the UAE Cabinet Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi. After the meeting, Brnabic and Al Gergawi will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the exchange of experiences on the development and modernization of the government, which represents an important step forward in close bilateral relations between Serbia and the UAE. The goal of the cooperation is the exchange of knowledge, but also the co-creation of projects. The umbrella Memorandum of Understanding covers nine areas, including digital economy, artificial intelligence, eGovernment, creative industries and science. The Memorandum was agreed with the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, and since 2018, the UAE has developed this type of cooperation with 11 countries, including Spain, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Costa Rica, Senegal, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Colombia.

Brnabic is also scheduled to visit the Emirates Towers, and then the Museum of the Future, which opened in February. The seven-story building features a combination of exhibit space dedicated to the future and workshops for testing and developing emerging technologies.

The visit of the Prime Minister will be hosted by Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications Omar bin Sultan Al Olama.

 

Improving economic cooperation with United Kingdom (Tanjug)

 

Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Tatjana Matic and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Chris Barton discussed on Wednesday the improvement of bilateral economic cooperation. At the meeting, which was also attended by British Ambassador to Serbia Sian Macleod, Matic pointed out that we nurture good diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom with a tradition of 185 years.

The agreement on partnership, trade and cooperation with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland certainly contributes to strengthening economic cooperation, increasing trade, as well as to a greater presence of British investments in Serbia, she said. Barton said that there is a great interest in the United Kingdom in deepening trade cooperation with Serbia at all levels.

 

Serbia wants to be part of Saudi Vision 2030 investment plan (Politika/Tanjug)

 

Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Tomislav Momirovic said on Wednesday that establishing a regular airline between Riyadh and Belgrade is in plan, which would have multiple benefits. After the meeting with Minister of Transport and Logistics of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Momirovic pointed out that Saudi Arabia is a country that is rapidly opening and modernizing economically, which is becoming a great opportunity for our companies to find their place on that market. He said that potential investments of Saudi Arabia in Serbia were also discussed at the meeting, and added that our country wants to be part of the impressive investment plan Saudi Vision 2030, which includes investments of €100 billion in infrastructure. He also met with Vice President of company “Aramco” for Industrial Services Fahad Al-Abdul Kareem, and as part of the two-day summit “Forum on the Future of Aviation” he also talked with Minister of Transport of Malaysia Wee Ka Siong. He said that that country is interested in a code-share agreement with Air Serbia, which would mean that companies could offer their passengers a wider choice of destinations and better transfers through their home airports. Momirovic expressed hope that a direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Belgrade will be established very soon, because regular air traffic between Serbia and Malaysia would bring new tourists to our country and be an additional incentive for the development of tourism in our country.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

HR Schmidt presents Report on situation in B&H before UN SC (BN TV

 

High Representative (HR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Christian Schmidt criticized the Republika Srpska (RS) authorities on Wednesday, after he was allowed to address the UN Security Council (UN SC) session. Schmidt presented his semi-annual report on the situation in B&H even though Russia and China protested against this – because these two countries do not believe Schmidt to be a legitimate HR in B&H, as his appointment was not confirmed in the UN SC. Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said in his address that “German national Christian Schmidt is not a legitimate High Representative”. “Russia believes that the post of the High Representative in B&H still remains vacant, and there is no reason why he would be invited today to attend the UN Security Council session,” Ambassador Nebenzia stressed. By doing so, Nebeznia continued, the “authority of this body is being undermined”. “Behavior of the western powers, which appoint the High Representative without the approval of the Security Council, is cynical, but that is why this became a practice in the last 25 years,” Nebenzia said. Deputy Ambassador at the Russian Mission to the UN Anna Evstigneeva noted that Russia is concerned over the growing trend aimed at centralizing the multi-ethnic B&H in favor of Bosniaks, at the expense of other constituent peoples, and said that the same principle is applied to the electoral reform issue. According to Evstigneeva, the political decisions reached in B&H do not reflect the interests and will of all peoples, and this represents a gross violation of the Peace Agreement from 1995. “This is directly encouraged by numerous countries of the West,” she added. Shuang stated that the system of the High Representatives and the Bonn powers is a special arrangement from a special period, and – from the perspective of maintaining a lasting peace and stability, as well as EU accession – B&H needs to find a better path for fully restoring its sovereignty. “The international community should have a fair and wise approach, based on the current situation, and to ensure a constructive assistance in a way that meets the real needs of citizens of B&H, Shuang added. In his opinion, “unilateral sanctions, which are not based on law, could further heighten tensions and further complicate an already complicated situation.” China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Geng Shuang said it was not appropriate for Schmidt to address the UN SC as a High Representative because his appointment was not confirmed by this body. During his speech, Schmidt said that systematic challenges to the Dayton architecture of B&H, particularly its constitutional order, have intensified during the reporting period. Since October last year, the RS authorities, headed by SNSD, which is led by B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik, have intensified their activities aimed at unilaterally retaking state competences by the entity in the areas of defense, indirect taxes, and the judiciary, among others. These actions undermine the constitutional responsibilities of the state and the institutions established to carry out such responsibilities, representing rollbacks of key reforms carried out under the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP). These not only erode the fundamentals of the GFAP, but directly threaten to undo more than 25 years of progress in building up B&H as a state firmly on the path towards European Union integration. “The RS authorities are in grave violation of the GFAP and thus far appear undeterred from continuing to do so, despite the exhaustive efforts of my office and the international community to open dialogue and deescalate”, Schmidt said. Schmidt also said that the RS authorities have proceeded with unilaterally withdrawing the RS from the constitutional, legal, and institutional order of the state and establishing a parallel RS framework forcing a unilateral takeover of state competencies which they substitute with a parallel RS framework. “Both tactics serve the end goal of the de facto dissolution of the state of B&H,” the HR concluded.  Referring to the documents recently adopted by the RS parliament, Schmidt said that withdrawal from the B&H Armed Forces, judiciary and several more areas, constitutes undermining sovereignty of B&H, such moves are unilateral and the international community will not “sit idly”. “On several occasions, I called for talks to improve constitutional structure, but I received no reply. What conclusions can be drawn by citizens of the society that is recovering from trauma when they hear the rhetoric constantly repeated by the RS authorities, who are trying to carry out secession of the entity, leave the constitutional framework and take over the state competencies. Announced steps of the RS authorities undermine sovereignty of the state, B&H,” said Schmidt. He also talked about the upcoming elections, stating the negotiations have failed, however it needs to be ensured that citizens go to polls in October. “Although there is still time to reach an agreement, this year’s elections will be held in October, like they were implemented in 2018. We remain committed to B&H, because we want to be resolute, but we also appreciate dialogue and openness,” said Schmidt. Schmidt also said that almost 30 years after completion of war in B&H, there are war speculations again, reminding that citizens have protested in front of the OHR requesting for new war to be prevented. Schmidt said that SNSD as the ruling party in the RS advocates for peaceful dissolution of B&H and there is also a possibility to create an entity, Army. He warned that this undermines the DPA basis and represents a direct threat that more than 25 years of progress will be annulled, as well as threat to building of peace in B&H as a country that is on a firm path to the EU. Schmidt assessed that a result of obstructions, effects of laws do not exist, reforms processes are in deadlock and international agreements are on hold.  He also warned that holding of the general elections in B&H in October is also threatened due to failure to adopt B&H’s budget. Schmidt reminded that the announcements of the Croat political representatives on territorial reorganization of B&H are inacceptable. Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Barbara Woodward assessed that Schmidt’s briefing and report, yet again, paint a worrying picture of the situation in the country. “Political gridlock and instability continue at many levels. We are concerned by the actions of some members of the RS leadership, particularly Mister Milorad Dodik, whose threat to re-establish a RS army and to pull out of other state-level institutions — attempts to engineer de facto secession — are dangerous and risk conflict,” she said. The United States Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, thanked Schmidt for his report to the UN Security Council and noted that all political parties are responsible for the situation in the country, however, not all are equal in this blame. “We agree with the High Representative’s assessment that this is a dangerous path for all citizens of B&H and the wider region. Local political leaders use inflammatory rhetoric, threatening to prevent or boycott elections, and refuse to tackle corruption. The United States condemns this behavior,” she emphasized.

 

HR Schmidt has several meetings prior to his UN SC address: Security and integrity of states is not negotiable (Dnevni list

 

High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt is in New York where he had several meetings on Wednesday prior to presenting his report on situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) to the United Nations Security Council (UN SC). Among others, HR Schmidt met with President of the German Marshall Fund of the US Heather Conley. According to the OHR’s statement on Twitter, HR Schmidt discussed the current security situation with Conley and both agreed that transatlantic exchange is more important than ever in days of the war in Ukraine. “Security and integrity of states is not negotiable,” read OHR’s tweet. The HR also met with German Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Antje Leendertse. According to the OHR’s statement, HR Schmidt and Ambassador Leendertse discussed the HR’s biannual report to the UN SC and that Germany supports the HR’s important work to implement the Dayton Peace Agreement. HR Schmidt also met with Clint Williamson, Presiding Arbiter of the Arbitral Tribunal for Brcko, in Washington. The OHR’s Twitter statements reads: “Underscored that Brcko District serves as an example of successful coexistence that others in B&H are obliged to support unequivocally, including by not allowing outside crises to affect the joint effort by Brcko authorities to deliver shared prosperity to this community.”

 

Dzaferovic addresses UN SC: International community’s support is necessary in relation to RS authorities’ activities that undermine DPA (Nova BH

 

Chairperson of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic addressed the United Nations Security Council (UN SC) at its session held on Wednesday. Nova BH reports that Dzaferovic said, among others, that secessionist activities and other moves by the authorities in RS undermine the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) due to which support from the international community is necessary. “In order for the situation to stabilize, it is necessary to annul all unconstitutional laws and unblock the work of state institutions and enable uninterrupted elections in B&H and their financing,” Dzaferovic was quoted as saying. Dzaferovic also said he is concerned about some moves by the neighboring countries. Addressing the session, Dzaferovic said: “We are concerned about signals from part of our neighborhood. We are particularly concerned about accelerated arming of the neighboring countries, primarily Serbia, that, by including the B&H’s entity, the RS, in its national defense strategy, showed a worrying disrespect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of B&H. We are also concerned about Croatian authorities’ interference with the regulation of the (B&H) Election Law. The position of the Croatian President that he supports unilateral change of the Dayton through establishing the third entity in B&H is particularly concerning, as well as the fact that he is willing to condition potential NATO enlargement with amendment to the Election Law in our country.” Dzaferovic said that the crisis can be solved by strictly respecting the DPA and all 27 years of its implementation. He said that all actors in B&H have to respect the existing framework and solutions that B&H has in power. Dzaferovic said that no one has the right to unilaterally undermine existing solutions. Dzaferovic also assessed that High Representative Christian Schmidt’s report is objective. Dzaferovic warned that the RS authorities threaten to disband the state institutions, by depriving them of their competences, and he noted that this is already being done through legislation that has been initiated in the field of defense, state property, and medicines. “This threatens the territorial integrity and sovereignty of B&H, because the Dayton Constitution clearly defined that additional competences are necessary to preserve its integrity and sovereignty,” noted Dzaferovic. He concluded that the secessionist activities directly undermine the Dayton Agreement. Dzaferovic once again called the international community for help because, as Dzaferovic said, the RS is violating the DPA, it has secessionist ideas. He called for annulment of all conclusions of the RS parliament. Dzaferovic also complained about Croats, that they are obstructing elections, and asked Schmidt’s reaction regarding that issue, added the reporter. Dzaferovic stated: “The High Representative, Mr. Schmidt, made a decision on suspension of a secessionist law about state property which is important for stability, but in order for the situation in B&H to be completely stabilized, it is necessary to annul all unconstitutional laws, as well as conclusions of the RS parliament, from December 10, 2021, and all other Acts that are against Dayton.” Dzaferovic stated that it is necessary to abolish “all unconstitutional laws and conclusions of the RS parliament from 10 December 2021, and other acts that are against the Dayton” in order for the situation in B&H to stabilize.

 

Tegeltija does not address UN SC; Office of Chairperson of B&H CoM: Mission of B&H to UN refused to send requested note, confirming it is directly involved in obstructing Tegeltija’s address (Nova BH

 

Chairperson of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) Zoran Tegeltija, currently in New York, did not address the United Nations Security Council (UN SC) at its session on Wednesday. The Office of the Chairperson of the B&H CoM earlier stated they expect Tegeltija will be allowed to address the UN SC, and reminds that Tegeltija was originally the one to address the session, and that the request came after Chairperson of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic arrived in New York, who addressed the UN SC instead of Tegeltija because he has the primacy in line with the hierarchy. “Unfortunately, the Mission of B&H to the UN refused to send the requested note, thus confirming the veracity of the allegations that it is directly involved in the obstruction of Chairperson Tegeltija’s participation in the session,” reads the statement by the Office of the Chairperson of the B&H CoM. RTRS carried that, despite obstructions of the Bosniak political corps and B&H Ambassador to the UN Sven Alkalaj, Tegeltija submitted a letter to the UN Security Council (UN SC) to inform the ambassadors of UN SC permanent members – the US, France, the UK, Russia, China – about the real situation in B&H. In a letter to the UN SC ambassadors, Tegeltija warned that everything was done in Sarajevo to prevent him from addressing the UN SC. He gave an overview of the situation in B&H and what should be done if B&H is to move forward. Tegeltija’s letter entered the official minutes of the UN SC. With all the obstruction that aimed to prevent Tegeltija from addressing the UN SC, through a letter sent to the ambassadors, the Serb side was also heard. In the letter, Tegeltija reminded that due to the session of the UN SC, he changed the previously planned obligations in order to present his view of the situation in B&H before this world institution. Tegeltija informed them that Bosniak politicians and some representatives of the international community had done everything in Sarajevo to prevent him from doing so. This letter, the CoM Chairman said, remained the only way to realistically present the situation in B&H, and it reads: “Your representatives in B&H are providing you with one-sided information and an overview of the situation in B&H. This is my attempt to present this situation realistically and prevent unilateral informing of UN SC members about the situation in B&H. What is obvious is that some consider that I, as the CoM Chairman, should not be allowed to express my views and positions in international institutions and organizations, perhaps because I am a Serb who comes from the RS.” In the letter, the CoM Chairman stated that he is fully committed to consistent respect and implementation of the Dayton Agreement, which includes commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of B&H. He also emphasizes the commitment to European integration through the Coordination Mechanism. According to him, the claims that the RS is planning de jure or de facto secession from B&H are false propaganda. In this regard, he wrote: “Peace and stability in B&H are absolutely not endangered. At the same time, we believe that no parallel can be drawn between Ukraine and B&H. Any connection of the context of the situation in Ukraine and B&H is absolutely unacceptable to us.” The letter also states the commitment to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as that a small and largely dependent country such as B&H should maintain a neutral attitude towards this crisis. He pointed out that the report on B&H is submitted “by a German politician whose role was not approved by the decision of the SC”. In addition, Tegeltija considers that the OHR report in Sarajevo is tendentious and written under the strong influence of Bosniak politicians, and that “in no way does it describe the real and objective situation in B&H and again targets Serbs and Croats as the sole culprits for the current political crisis”. Tegeltija also expressed concern for the future of B&H, and he sees lack of internal consensus as the main reason. Tegeltija warned that certain B&H institutions have been put in the service and function of fulfilling the interests and policies of only one people, such as the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H. The letter further states: “The governments of some countries make wrong decisions based on inaccurate and incomplete information These reports are being used to convict individuals in B&H, threaten sanctions and put pressure on them. Only dialogue within the Dayton Agreement is the way to ensure the stability and progress of the country.” He concludes: “One must not allow anyone to feel threatened by another, if we want this B&H to succeed.”

 

Dodik: Schmidt’s address before UN SC and UK Ambassador to UN Woodward’s accusations against RS are result of West’s lack of power to control processes in Balkans (RTRS

 

Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik stated that the address of (High Representative) Christian Schmidt before the UN Security Council (UN SC) and accusations of UK Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward against Republika Srpska (RS), which she labelled as the culprit for the situation in B&H, are a result of lack of power of the West to control the processes in the Balkans. Dodik said that the crisis was obvious in international institutions as well, because the UN SC violated the procedures and allowed Schmidt, but also Chairman of the B&H Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic to address the session on Wednesday. Dodik assessed that this has shown that B&H stands no chance. Commenting on Dzaferovic’s address before the UN SC, Dodik said that Dzaferovic did not show anything new except new hatred towards Serbs. “That is why he hurried and simply appeared in New York, so that he could slander and lie about Serbs again, claiming only what he thought was true. This shows that the same UN SC violated the procedures and the Constitution of B&H”, Dodik pointed out. Dodik emphasized that Dzaferovic is not in a higher-ranking position than the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (CoM) of B&H Zoran Tegeltija, if he does not speak on behalf of the B&H Presidency. Dodik said that Dzaferovic did not speak on behalf of the Presidency, as there was no united stance of the Presidency, which “simply contributes to the destabilization and disintegration of B&H itself, and this session shows that B&H has no chance”. Dodik added that the RS cannot accept the qualifications coming from Woodward, whom he accused of lying about the RS. He concluded that Schmidt “is still not the HR, and nothing coming from him is binding”. He referred to Schmidt’s report as “violation of procedures”. Reacting to Daferovic addressing the UN SC, Dodik has sent a letter to all ambassadors of the UN SC permanent members, stating Dzaferovic’s speech before the UN SC is full of untruths. “I informed all the ambassadors that a completely untrue political mantra is expected to be heard in the speech of Mr. Sefik Dzaferovic, that only the RS, its institutions and officials, are the cause of all problems in B&H’’ wrote Dodik on his Twitter account. Dodik stated earlier in written form to the UN ambassadors that Dzaferovic’s views are a political mantra that only the RS, its institutions and officials are a cause of all problems in B&H.

 

Ruling parties in RS condemn Arnautovic’s statements and Dzaferovic’s address before UN SC (ATV

 

Political parties of the ruling coalition in RS held a meeting. They condemned the action of the Chairperson and Bosniak member of B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic who addressed the UN Security Council (UNSC) without consent of B&H Presidency. They also reacted to the statement of the President of the B&H Central Election Commission Suad Arnautovic who announced exclusion of certain candidates from the upcoming elections. They said B&H CEC does not have that competency and this bring holding of the elections into question. One of the conclusions from the meeting of the ruling coalition was that statements from Arnautovic and representatives of the international community are very dangerous and that they are heading towards the collapse of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). Arnautovic wants to ban the Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik and HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic from running in the elections, with the help of, as the reporter said, the so-called High Representative Christian Schmidt. The leader of NDP Dragan Cavic said that Arnautovic should be dismissed for such statements. Cavic said that it is out of question to prevent anyone from going to the polls. He said that all of this is the work of SDA. Cavic stated: “Model the state through the Constitutional Court and constitutional procedures, and the elections through the free will of the SDA and other politically motivated representatives in the CEC, which will make it impossible for Pero, Stevo, Janko, Marko to go to the polls. It is insane. These people are doing everything against this country.” The leader of NPS Darko Banjac said: “Citizens of the RS are the only ones who can decide who will represent them and no one must prevent the will of the citizens of the RS.” Other leaders agreed that B&H CEC does not have the right to do that. They said that B&H CEC is not an interpreter of the Election Law, but should implement it. They also reminded B&H CEC that it cannot act outside these frameworks. The leader of SP Petar Djokic stated: “If the CEC makes decisions that are contrary to the law on elections in B&H, then we have the right to take some other steps and prevent the realization of such decisions. The consequences for making these moves by the CEC will have to be borne by the CEC itself and those behind such intentions of the CEC.” The leader of United Srpska Nenad Stevandic stated: “There is no law or rulebook on the work of the CEC that says that the High Representative is allowed to interfere in the election process. Therefore, Arnautovic could not refer to his statement on the law or the rulebook, because something like that does not exist.” The parties of the ruling coalition claimed that they are determined to protect democracy and the will of the citizens of the RS. Agreements and applications for the general elections should start next week. RS President and SNSD Vice-President Zeljka Cvijanovic said that the RS ruling coalition will continue working together as a team to overcome the global crisis and to position the RS clearly with a clear and precise stance on global events. “I think that, in the coming period, it is important to maintain stability of the RS,” Cvijanovic noted. NPS leader Darko Banjac stressed that Arnautovic’s announcement of excluding some candidates from the election process makes no sense, as the citizens are the ones to choose who should represent them. “Statements of the CEC Chairman and certain representatives of the international community are very dangerous, and – according to us – they undermine the Dayton Agreement,” Banjac noted.

 

Viskovic: RS government’s reports to UN SC on situation in B&H changed stereotype about B&H, which was represented by OHR and some other centers of power (Glas Srpske

 

RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic said that the reports of the RS Government to the UN Security Council (UN SC) on the situation in B&H changed the stereotype about B&H, presented by the OHR and some other centers of power. “The reports of the RS government have been very much read in the UN Security Council in recent years,” Viskovic said, adding that it will surely disappoint everyone in B&H who thinks that the RS report is “just a letter of some wishes”.

 

Avdovic: Schmidt did not convey any strong messages or political instructions to independent political institutions in B&H, such as B&H CEC (FTV

 

Commenting on the UN SC’s session, journalist Erol Avdovic told FTV that this was great success for High Representative Christian Schmidt given that this was his first live public address at the UN SC in New York. He assessed, however, that Schmidt did not convey any strong messages or political instructions to independent political institutions in B&H, such as the Central Election Commission of B&H that should have got instruction to disqualify those who obstruct B&H and the Dayton Peace Accords. Avdovic stated that it is also a great success of Schmidt that he got fully support of the UN SC, except for support of Russia and China. He reminded that the vote on the report has shown how much the situation was changed due to the war in Ukraine, not only in the UNSC but also on the international stage as it was visible how much Russia is powerless. Avdovic said that Russia wisely avoided procedural vote prior to the session that would lead to open support of the UNSC member states to Schmidt to address the UNSC, but they found a ‘Solomon solution’ instead and avoided scandal. He assessed that B&H Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic unbiasedly conveyed all key messages that are important not only for political Sarajevo but also for all citizens of Sarajevo. Avdovic reminded that Croatian representatives in the UNSC also addresses the session and used the UNSC as a platform to convey Croatian President Zoran Milanovic’s messages and threats on territorial reorganization of B&H, which inflicts immense damage. He added that Brussels ignores Zagreb’s requests as it is obvious that this is just a post-election game and a conflict between Milanovic and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

 

Brussels and EU administration confirm that there are no plans to open new round of negotiations on changing B&H Election Law (Dnevni list

 

Despite announcements by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic that new rounds of negotiations on reform of the B&H Election Law will follow, European officials are not coming to Sarajevo on that occasion and there will be no new talks. There are no plans to open a new round of negotiations on changing the B&H Election Law, it was confirmed from Brussels and the EU administration for Klix.ba portal. President of the European Council Charles Michel should arrive in Sarajevo in the coming days to discuss with B&H officials the lifting of blockade of B&H institutions, but not the reform of the Election Law. Although there were announcements that European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen will also come to Sarajevo, this, judging by everything, will not be the case. Klix.ba added that BiH Presidency member Zeljko Komsic has also confirmed that, to his knowledge, there will be no new negotiations. “As for the ambitions of Zagreb, embodied in (Croatian) President (Zoran) Milanovic, Prime Minister Plenkovic, (HDZ B&H leader Dragan) Covic that now someone will come here again and force someone to open a new round of negotiations, I would reduce it to the proverb ‘It is just wishful thinking’,” Komsic said.

 

Covic with HDZ of HNC: HDZ B&H must convincingly get the trust in general elections in Croat majority areas (Dnevni list

 

Dnevni list reports that HDZ Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) President Dragan Covic held a working meeting with delegation of HDZ B&H Cantonal Board of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC) on Wednesday during which they talked about the forthcoming general elections and activities of the Cantonal Board as well as all city and municipal boards (of HDZ B&H). It was stressed that HDZ B&H and its partners in the Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) must convincingly get the trust in the general elections in all areas in HNC where Croats are in majority.

 

Cavara; Agreement on electoral reform is possible if good will exists, despite the fact elections are announced; HNS conclusions remain in force (Oslobodjenje

 

The daily carried an interview with Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB&H) President and Vice President of HDZ B&H Marinko Cavara who talked about the electoral reform and conclusions of the Croat People’s Assembly (HNS). Asked about scheduling of a new round of negotiations on elections reform, scheduled for May 22, under auspices of the EU representatives and the fact that general elections have already been announced, Cavara noted that the elections may be announced, but he reminded that the elections for Mostar have also been announced, but the agreement on regulations was reached later on. He stressed that progress in relations between Bosniaks and Croats can be reached and relations can be stabilized if the good will exists. He noted that it is unnecessary for Bosniaks to cause a crisis in the state just to prevent Croats to elect their legitimate representatives, but he noted that this must be the plan, reminding of their announcement not to participate in the talks on electoral reform any more, despite the fact that ruling of the Constitutional Court of B&H has not been implemented. “It is a known fact that Election Law is lacking the provisions for election of delegates for FB&H House of Peoples, meaning that it is impossible to elect delegates for B&H House of Peoples. This alone can lead us into a huge crisis, being that Election Commission, according to the Constitution, is not competent to adopt such changes and only B&H Parliament can do that,” said Cavara. Asked about decision of the HNS and HDZ B&H to participate together in the elections and if there is a ‘Plan B’, as the opposition fears that HDZ B&H will participate in the elections and then block authority formation, Cavara noted that that HDZ B&H is constantly being accused of certain blockades, but everyone can witness that SDA and “pro-Bosniak unitary parties from Sarajevo” are blocking all changes of the Election Law. He reminded that SDA deliberately boycotted the session of B&H House of Peoples and underlines that HNS and HDZ B&H did not discuss this issue, they discussed the fact that elections are inevitable and that greater political damage to Croat parties would be caused by boycotting the elections. He underlined that they most notably advocate peaceful solutions. Asked about a letter of HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic and announcement of implementation of HNS conclusions and territorial reorganization of B&H, Cavara noted that HNS conclusions remain in force and every member of HNS has to respect them. He argues that they will search for solutions and if that is not possible within Washington and Dayton Agreements, Cavara noted that it is obvious that such system cannot function because of arbitrariness and desire of the majority to dominate the minority and completely deny rights of the Croat people. “It remains to be seen in what way we will reach these solutions. We first of all advocate the talks, agreement and all solutions in line with Constitution and B&H laws,” said Cavara. The author noted that there is no doubt that elections will take place and asks Cavara about financing of the elections, to which Cavara said that elections are financed from B&H budget and everything else is illegal. “However, it is also clear that the Election Commission is completely illegal and it functions like that”, said Cavara, underlining that we seem to accept the concept that illegal things are acceptable, starting from the B&H CEC to the elections in Mostar, Travnik, Uskoplje and reminds that the B&H CEC declares a dead person an election winner, awards him a mandate, noting that according to the Election Law snap elections can be organized only when a head of municipality dies. “Such games of the Election Commission which are completely contrary to the Law and Constitution, are unacceptable, so I am not surprised by the statement that the elections can be financed by donations from the citizens, which is illegal”, said Cavara. He stressed that B&H institutions need to secure funds for the elections, but just the same B&H Parliament should have adopted the decision to implement the rulings of B&H CC. “Rule of law does not start from the interests of individuals from SDA or certain members of B&H CEC, but with implementation of B&H CC rulings, respecting of B&H Constitution as the higher legal act in a state and then of all other laws which follow”, said Cavara. He underlined that B&H did not have the budget last year, and this year it does not even have the fiscal framework that would enable adoption of the budget. Author reminded of the reaction of UK Embassy which reads that this behavior can lead to increased isolation and sanctions, Cavara commented that he does not know if there is a problem with translation of statements of certain foreign officials, such is the statement “further division of B&H is unacceptable”, stressing that it was not B&H citizens who divided B&H in two entities, but those who made the Dayton and Washington Agreements. He underlined that someone also gave a guarantee that the Agreements will not be changed to detriment of one of signatories, stressing that it is unacceptable for someone to say they do not respect Dayton and Washington Agreement, but they respect changes that were made afterwards. He stressed that crisis in B&H has to be solved, and simply the trust among the three peoples needs to be restored, underlining that “we have a situation that many of B&H institutions are functioning on para-state foundations”. Asked about the fact that High Representative Christian Schmidt mentioned him in his Report for UN Security Council, accusing him of blockade of appointment of judges of FB&H Constitutional Court and dysfunctionality of that institution, Cavara noted that Schmidt has not been here long and it is obvious he does not understand the situation in B&H. He noted that what he saw in media about Schmidt’s Report is completely unilateral approach, arguing that it seems that the same author wrote Schmidt’s as well as the reports of former High Representative. Cavara noted that the Report does not reflect the fact that political relations do not function in line with Dayton and Washington Agreements, which is the main problem and this is causing series of other problems. He underlined that the lack of the political agreement at the FB&H level prevents any more complex appointment, such is appointment of the FB&H President and Vice Presidents and then someone elects from someone from the previous mandate to carry out the procedure for appointment of FB&H CC judges. “The question is how much people understand the situation in B&H and how they interpret it and with what purpose. We often wonder whether international officials only do not understand, whether they are corrupt or someone ‘instructs’ them to speak in such manner, but I think this does not bring anything good nor it contributes to solving of the situation and crisis in B&H, which will escalate if misunderstanding of everyone who should help B&H, continues,” said Cavara. In the end, Cavara criticizes statements of Zeljko Komsic regarding “interfering” of Croatia in the electoral reform, arguing that Komsic should read the Dayton and Washington Agreements and see who are the guarantees of these agreements and who has right to comment. He concluded that Croatia as EU and NATO wants to help and to have EU and NATO member on its border and not the country where the crisis is raging.

 

Members of B&H CEC Bjelica-Prutina and  Rogic distance themselves from views of Arnautovic, emphasizing that many issues he raised were not discussed at B&H CEC Collegium and at CEC session (Nezavisne

 

The daily reports that members of the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC) Vanja Bjelica-Prutina and Vlado Rogic at the CEC session held in Sarajevo on Wednesday distanced themselves from the views of B&H CEC President Suad Arnautovic, emphasizing that many issues he raised were not discussed at the Collegium and at the CEC session and therefore do not represent the position of that institution but a personal position. “The CEC President expresses the views of the Commission in public. Unfortunately, I think that he has been expressing his personal views lately, and in that sense, I need to distance myself. I believe that it is necessary for the President to return within the framework of the Rules of Procedure and to go public with harmonized positions,” Bjelica-Prutina said. Bjelica-Prutina underlined that all unnecessary issues and all announcements about how they will act in the future unnecessarily disturb the public and this does not represent the position of the CEC. “My discussion is always well-intentioned towards this institution. I want us to maintain the status of an independent and professional institution and we have invested a lot in raising public trust. We were silent when we were the targets of various comments and it is completely unnecessary for it to be demolished now and I do not want to participate in it,” Bjelica-Prutina said, adding that this will be discussed in the future. Rogic, who is a member of the B&H CEC from the rank of the Croat people, said that he cannot agree with Arnautovic’s positions, especially with the parts that refer to what touches on the essence of B&H and its Dayton structure. “I cannot agree with the words of segregation and I think that it was not necessary and we will certainly discuss it in the future,” Rogi said. The daily notes that Arnautovic himself earlier stated some very controversial views, such as that it is unacceptable for the right to vote to be based on ethnicity and entity. “It is segregation exclusivity by which your ethnicity and your place of residence determine your human freedoms. This is an unacceptably discriminatory political distribution of voters,” Arnautovic said. The daily stresses that Arnautovic, most likely without the position of the B&H CEC Collegium and the B&H CEC itself, said that candidacy of SNSD leader Milorad Dodik and HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic will not be certified if the High Representative determines that they are behaving in an anti-Dayton manner. The daily notes that it is interesting that Arnautovic did not attend Wednesday’s session of the B&H CEC at which he was criticized. Dodik and Covic have reacted to Arnautovic’s statements regarding candidacies, stressing that the CEC does not decide on candidacies. “Arnautovic’s story is not his cleverness. In Sarajevo, they are constantly talking about preventing my candidacy and that it would be the collapse of the RS,” Dodik underlined. Reacting to Arnautovic’s statement, Covic said that it is good that it was heard in order to avoid “any speculation about what the B&H CEC is”. B&H CEC member Zeljko Bakalar, who filled in for Arnautovic at the B&H CEC’s session, expressed regret that this topic was opened at the public session of the Commission when the B&H CEC President is justifiably absent, adding that views need to be discussed.

 

Borrell organizes informal dinner for leaders of Western Balkans in Brussels; Dodik among participants of event (N1

 

EU High Representative (EU HR) Josep Borrell organized an informal dinner for the leaders of the Western Balkans, in Brussels on Wednesday evening. At the moment of news broadcast, the dinner was yet to begin. It has already been confirmed that among participants of the meeting was Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency Milorad Dodik, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. Dodik is representing B&H at the dinner, instead of Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) Zoran Tegeltija, who was initially planned to participate in the dinner but he travelled to New York. Borrell confirmed that the main topic of the discussion at the dinner includes consequences of the war in Ukraine and the situation in the region in that context. Borrell noted that the EU wishes to prevent a negative influence of Russia in the region, and this refers to political, security, and energy situation. The EU HR announced that the EU wants to talk to its closest partners and future member states of the EU about these issues, and to prevent the crisis from reflecting itself on the region. The EU HR stressed that the EU wants to hear the partners’ concerns and plans in this regard. Borrell announced that he will explicitly demand from the countries, which have not joined sanctions against Russia, to introduce the sanctions, due to the situation in Ukraine. “We know that Russia is trying to exploit our vulnerabilities, and the vulnerabilities of the region. We should work together in order not to allow Russia to exploit these vulnerabilities. As I said before – the Western Balkans are not our backyard, it is our courtyard. It is part of our geography. It is not the backyard. It is the courtyard. And we will act jointly to face Russia’s disruptive actions directly in the region,” he stated. Ahead of the meeting, Borrell announced a special session on B&H for next week, stressing that the only future of the Western Balkan countries is in the EU. He added that there is no room to endanger sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of B&H and that he will make this clear to Dodik at the meeting.

Dodik said in Brussels that the war in Ukraine does not affect stability of the region, although it produces economic effects. Dodik noted that the cause of instability in B&H are internal political issues, the lack of agreement on the electoral reform, and “the fake High Representative”. Dodik said that the EU can be a factor of cooperation in resolving these issues. “As for the war in B&H, it is very far today. We have significant political problems in B&H, we are preparing for the elections while we have not been able to carry out electoral reform, which is why there is a well-founded dissatisfaction with the fact that the constituent status of the peoples is being endangered. Also, we have a falsely represented High Representative, who has not been appointed by the UN Security Council, and all that worsens the situation in B&H,” Dodik noted.

Borrell announced that Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will hold a session to discuss security in the Western Balkans in light of Russian invasion of Ukraine. “I would like to use the chance to repeat there is no space for endangering of territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of B&H. I have to be honest, I am saying this with special accent on Mr. Dodik,” said Borrell. Dodik said that the fact is that B&H is stable and peaceful and Ukrainian crisis has no impact on B&H, when it comes to war. He underlined that B&H has political issues, but there is no single, serious indicator that violence could occur. “Those are all propaganda and tricks. The most responsible people for security in B&H, such as Althea and NATO Commanders, who carried out the assessments, said there are no elements for endangering of security,” said Dodik. He underlined that he expects from the EU “additional stabilization, understanding of situation in the Balkans”.

 

Milanovic reiterates he will veto NATO membership of Finland with aim to protect Croats in B&H (N1

 

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic reiterated on Wednesday that he will veto the NATO membership of Finland if the Election Law of B&H is not amended, and noted that he is doing so to protect Croats in B&H. Milanovic noted that he will request vetoing Finland’s NATO membership “at the ambassador level”. “I will ask that this is blocked at the ambassador level. I will warn about that. (Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic) will go against that”, Milanovic underlined. The Croatian President said his conscience is clear and announced the intention to use “all civilized and political means” to fight for what he considers the right thing to do. “I have done my part and I will continue using all civilized and political means to fight for what he considers right and fair – against oppression, against the interference of everyone in this poor country, except us who do not interfere but rather seek the mere basics”, he concluded. Speaking about the situation in B&H and the announced re-candidacy of the Croat member of B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic for the member of B&H Presidency, Milanovic asked if one can imagine a greater insult than that. Milanovic stated that Komsic cannot be a representative of those who did not elect him. Milanovic stated: “OK, that is really enough. It is not alright. It is a scam. So, he cannot be a representative of those who did not elect him. He cannot. It fights with basic logic, with basic postulates. Croats cannot be afraid that the organized Bosniak voting machinery will mutilate their representatives in the House of Peoples. They cannot, it is a life in fear. That is not political stability. That is not normal.”

 

Economy Minister: Croatia wants stability and progress of B&H (Hina

 

Croatian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipovic said in Sarajevo on Wednesday that B&H had been and remained an important neighbour and partner to Croatia and that it was necessary to strengthen cooperation and support the stability of that country. Filipovic was attending the 11th Sarajevo Business Forum and in his welcome speech he underscored that Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic‘s government was taking the challenges of economic recovery and progress seriously and was committed to them despite the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and now the Russian aggression against Ukraine. He said that the economic progress and recovery of the entire Western Balkans were important to Croatia, as the area is its immediate neighborhood, which should and must have a clear perspective of membership of the European Union. Therefore, he said, Croatia will always be ready to offer its knowledge and experience necessary for the implementation of reforms important for European integration, and this is especially true for B&H, where Croats are one of the three constituent peoples. Croatia is strongly committed to the stability and security of B&H and its progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration, said Filipovic, adding that there were numerous opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries.

 

Djukanovic: We desperately need message that all WB countries have a place in EU (CdM

 

“We desperately need the message that all Western Balkan countries have a place in the EU,” said Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic after an informal dinner for the 6 Western Balkan leaders in Brussels. He said this commenting on a recent statement by French President Emanuel Macron, who proposed the formation of a European Political Community for countries that have the status of candidates for membership in the European Union or want to apply for it. “It simply an important statement. So, it is not just about the current presidency of the European Union by France, but about the statement made by the president of one of the largest European countries and thus countries that have an extremely great influence in creating EU policy,” said Djukanovic. He believes that additional talks will be needed on that issue, what is exactly meant by the idea of ​​a political community announced by President Macron. “But regardless, it seems to me that we now urgently need a message that all Western Balkan countries have a place in the EU, and that the pace of that position will depend on only one factor – our ability to implement reforms, reach standards, and that by further affirming the policy of the regatta, we will each use our chance depending on our abilities. I’m not worried about that, it will develop healthy competition in the Western Balkans, and I am sure that it will ultimately lead to the membership of all countries in the EU in the not-so-distant period,” Djukanovic pointed out.

 

Djukanovic: More intensive integration is the only answer that the Balkans would not be a source of instability due to influence of anti-European policy (CdM

 

The President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic met in Brussels with the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola. Djukanovic emphasized that the only response to the influence of third parties is more intensive integration, “so that the Balkans would not be a source of instability for the whole of Europe due to the influence of anti-European policies.”

According to Djukanovic’s cabinet, Metsola welcomed the opportunity to exchange views on the current situation and ways to improve relations between Montenegro and the EP. Djukanovic congratulated Metsola on her election to an important position and thanked her for the attention that the EP and the president personally pay to the European future of Montenegro. “We look with great gratitude to the role of the EP and the attention you are paying to the region and its European perspective, determined to continue working on our European future with a continuous dialogue with the European Parliament,” he said. The President of Montenegro informed Metsola about the current internal situation in the country with a special focus on forming a new government and its priority – unblocking the negotiation process, appreciating that “we have the capacity to continue to be a promoter of the European value system in the region.” At the same time, he expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the Western Balkans, which was decisively influenced by the slow and then halted accession process, but also the deteriorating geopolitical relations between East and West. Recalling that there is no vacuum in geopolitics and that third parties have tried to penetrate their interests in the WB, Djukanovic emphasized that the only answer to that is more intensive integration, so that the Balkans would not be a source of instability for the whole of Europe. That does not exclude, says Djukanovic, the necessity of fulfilling tasks, implementing reforms and strengthening the rule of law, but with a more proactive EU attitude in which the EP can play an important role. EP President Metsola thanked Djukanovic for his clear and open views, reminding that the recent visit of parliamentarians to Montenegro on Europe Day is a clear sign of solidarity and support for our country. According to Djukanovic’s cabinet, she welcomed the formation of the new government with the message that they expect continued cooperation with Montenegro, primarily with the President personally, convinced that this will encourage the acceleration of the necessary reforms. This is a decisive year in that regard, Metsola said, emphasizing the need to complete the appointment process in the judiciary in a depoliticized, transparent and competitive manner. “Assessing that the fight against corruption should continue to be in focus, she announced the forthcoming exchange of visits between Montenegro and the EP with interest in hearing suggestions on the necessary narrative of European institutions in favor of speeding up the WB accession process. “She was also interested in the extent of malignant influence in the field of disinformation, as well as concrete ways of EU support to economic progress of Montenegro and the region in the context of the pandemic consequences and 100% harmonization of foreign security policy with the EU.” With gratitude for understanding the needs of the European future of Montenegro and the region, Djukanovic gladly accepted the initiative for more intensive communication in order to achieve goals in mutual interest. Metsola announced that she would be happy to visit Montenegro and the region, which will be an opportunity to continue the dialogue.

 

Djukanovic met with Lajcak in Brussels (CdM

 

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic met in Brussels with EU Special Envoy for Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak. “Today, I continued my regular dialogue with Miroslav Lajcak with a meeting in Brussels on the eve of the working dinner organized by Josep Borrell for the leaders of the Western Balkans. “The focus was on Montenegro after the election of the new government, as well as the situation in the region, in the context of the war in Ukraine,” Djukanovic said on Twitter. “A short meeting with Josep Borrell before the dinner for the leaders of the WB. Full agreement on the importance of Montenegro’s stay on the Euro-Atlantic path. The only good future for WB is the EU, which is also important for the EU,” stated Djukanovic on Twitter. It is encouraging, Djukanovic points out, when a message comes from a high EU address that in these difficult times, “the EU highly values people who stand shoulder to shoulder with the Union”.

 

Djukanovic met with Vucic, Varhelji, Rama… (CdM

 

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, at the invitation of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, is taking part in a dinner for Western Balkan leaders in Brussels. On the eve of the dinner, Djukanovic met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi. “The working dinner at the European External Action Service will be an opportunity to exchange views on the current state of relations, consequences and challenges of aggression against Ukraine in the context of European security, wider geopolitical shifts and implications for the Western Balkans and its European path,” said Djukanovic.

 

Misajlovski: Parliament blockade is only way to raise awareness to crises we are facing (Republika

 

VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Vladimir Misajlovski said that the party has blocked bad legislation in the past, but that now, with the current blockade of parliament, it wants to raise greater awareness of the disaster Macedonia is in. VMRO-DPMNE started filibustering the work of the parliament yesterday, and will block most legislation, unless it is necessary for maintaining living standards. We have a devastated healthcare, a very bad economy with no capital investments, no foreign investments, strike in the education, strikes in other branches, inadequate salaries and spiking prices. Not to mention the energy crisis, the pandemic and everything else that is happening, Misajlovski said. He added that the opposition party will support the government in talks about overcoming the major crises and the dispute with Bulgaria. “We offered to sit with them, and help them, but the government is not considering our offer. I hoped that after Dimitar Kovacevski became Prime Minister reason will prevail, but they continue to push processes under the table, like the one with Bulgaria.”

 

Mickoski offers an immediate vote to amend the electoral model (Republika

 

VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski offered to the SDSM – DUI coalition to stage a joint vote on amending the election model, and to abolish the six electoral districts in exchange for one, single district. Mickoski said that VMRO-DPMNE will not block this proposal and supports a group of small parties that are allied with SDSM, who request this. “It’s a strange situation. SDSM is in coalition with DOM, LDP, VMRO-NP, DS. They all want to have a single electoral district. But SDSM is also in coalition with DUI, which rejects this idea. Let’s put this to vote tomorrow, and we will advance the request from Justice Minister Nikola Tupancevski to prepare workgroups,” Mickoski said. DUI and other Albanian parties which win seats in the 6th district, where the voter registry is greatly inflated, oppose this proposal because it would lose them seats.

 

VMRO-DPMNE will win 61 seats in next elections, and will not allow DUI to control Macedonian politics any longer (Telma TV

 

VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski expects that his party will win 61 votes and will be able to form a stable Government following the early general elections he is calling for. In an interview with Telma TV, Mickoski said that the next Government will not be held hostage to Ali Ahmeti’s DUI party, which is strengthening its role as king-maker between the feuding Macedonian parties. We will shape the future of Macedonia based on the needs of its citizens. That is why we are calling for early general elections. We will not allow our future to be shaped in Mala Recica, said Mickoski, referring to Ahmeti’s stronghold near Tetovo. He said that DUI has never been so powerful as it is now, in coalition with the relatively weak SDSM party, which does not have majority in Parliament on its own. “This is why DUI and SDSM do not want elections. In SDSM, their officials enjoy their privileges and are afraid to lose them in the next elections. And in DUI, they realize that they will never be this important again.”

 

Rama meets Borell before informal dinner in Brussels (ADN

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama met Wednesday with the Head of European Diplomacy, at the same time the Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell in Brussels. Rama has shared a photo where he appears shaking hands with Borrell, while they are both smiling. “Brussels – With Josep Borrell, Head of European Diplomacy and Vice President of the European Commission,” writes Rama. Their meeting comes shortly before Borell’s informal dinner with Western Balkan leaders in Brussels. Present will be Prime Minister Edi Rama, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, President of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zoran Tegelti, Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovacevski, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and Kosovo Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla.

 

 

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Belgrade Media Report 30 September 2022

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