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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 1, 2022

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, July 1, 2022

Albanian Language Media:

• Kurti welcomes EC declaration that Kosovo fulfils conditions for liberalisation (RTK)
• Kurti: Belgrade warning to walk out from dialogue, scared someone in Brussels (media)
• PDK sends the Law on the KPC to the Constitutional Court (Koha)
• Miftaraj: Sending KPC law to Constitutional Court, regrettable (Nacionale)
• Kurti: Missing persons are priority of my government (media)
• The Assembly establishes an ad-hoc commission for electoral reform in Kosovo (Klan)
• Kurti: It was not unusual for me as a child wto hear and speak another language (media)
• Czech Republic presents priorities during leadership with Council of the EU (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• Stano reads and extracts only what suits him from the agreement, says Petkovic (TV Pink, Kosovo Online)
• Brnabic: Pristina’s decision puts Serbia in complex situation (Tanjug)
• EU envoy Lajcak discusses Kosovo, integration with opposition in Belgrade (N1)
• IFIMES: Latest Pristina’s acts do not contribute to normalisation of relations with Belgrade (Kosovo Online)
• Vucic: The Brussels Agreement, an international legal agreement; Hrnjaz: The Constitutional Court disagrees (KoSSev)
• Manojlovic (DS): ”The fate of Milorad Djokovic from Pec is the fate of our people in Kosovo and Metohija” (Danas, NMagazin, KiM radio)
• Hill: US wants to friends and partners with Serbia (N1)
• The results of the Serbian parliamentary elections possible next week; the Assembly and the Government in August and November the latest (Danas)
• Nikola Nedeljkovic rendered one-month detention (Radio KIM)

International:

• Albanian Coalition Tipped to Win Contested Seat in Serbian Parliament (Balkan Insight)
• The war in Ukraine and gas in the Western Balkans (atlanticcouncil.org)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Kurti welcomes EC declaration that Kosovo fulfils conditions for liberalisation (RTK)
  • Kurti: Belgrade warning to walk out from dialogue, scared someone in Brussels (media)
  • PDK sends the Law on the KPC to the Constitutional Court (Koha)
  • Miftaraj: Sending KPC law to Constitutional Court, regrettable (Nacionale)
  • Kurti: Missing persons are priority of my government (media)
  • The Assembly establishes an ad-hoc commission for electoral reform in Kosovo (Klan)
  • Kurti: It was not unusual for me as a child wto hear and speak another language (media)
  • Czech Republic presents priorities during leadership with Council of the EU (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • Stano reads and extracts only what suits him from the agreement, says Petkovic (TV Pink, Kosovo Online)
  • Brnabic: Pristina’s decision puts Serbia in complex situation (Tanjug)
  • EU envoy Lajcak discusses Kosovo, integration with opposition in Belgrade (N1)
  • IFIMES: Latest Pristina’s acts do not contribute to normalisation of relations with Belgrade (Kosovo Online)
  • Vucic: The Brussels Agreement, an international legal agreement; Hrnjaz: The Constitutional Court disagrees (KoSSev)
  • Manojlovic (DS): ”The fate of Milorad Djokovic from Pec is the fate of our people in Kosovo and Metohija” (Danas, NMagazin, KiM radio)
  • Hill: US wants to friends and partners with Serbia (N1)
  • The results of the Serbian parliamentary elections possible next week; the Assembly and the Government in August and November the latest (Danas)
  • Nikola Nedeljkovic rendered one-month detention (Radio KIM)

International:

  • Albanian Coalition Tipped to Win Contested Seat in Serbian Parliament (Balkan Insight)
  • The war in Ukraine and gas in the Western Balkans (atlanticcouncil.org)   

 

 

Albanian Language Media  

 

Kurti welcomes EC declaration that Kosovo fulfils conditions for liberalisation (RTK)

Prime Minister Albin Kurti has welcomed the statement of the European Commission, namely Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, according to which Kosovo has fulfilled all the criteria set for visa liberalisation.

“Greatly appreciative to the EU Commission and Commissioner Ylva Johansson for reaffirming our fulfilment of all visa liberalisation benchmarks, including fighting crime and corruption. Look forward to working with you on making visa liberalisation a reality for Kosovo’s citizens,” Kurti wrote on Twitter. 

Kurti: Belgrade warning to walk out from dialogue, scared someone in Brussels (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said today that the issue of licence plates dates from the post-war period and “is a legacy of structures left by Milosevic” whose regime, according to him “cannot continue in Kosovo indefinitely”.

Kurti told reporters in Prishtina that the EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak is informed about every decision taken by the Kosovo government. “Lajcak is informed about our actions. I know there are plans for a meeting in July, between the chief negotiators, but perhaps even more than that. We will have to wait and see how Brussels will prepare for this,” he said.

Kurti also said that Belgrade was making a mistake by warning to walk out from the dialogue. “We are interested in a legally-binding agreement centred on mutual recognition. The problem is probably with Belgrade’s warnings that they will walk out from the process of dialogue. They are making a mistake, but this may have scared someone in Brussels too,” Kurti added.

PDK sends the Law on the KPC to the Constitutional Court (Koha)

The head of the Parliamentary Group of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Abelard Tahiri submitted on Friday to the Constitutional Court, the law on the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council (KPC), which was approved by the Assembly days ago.

Tahiri told reporters after the handover that this law seriously violates the independence of the judiciary and extends the influence of politics in the KPC.

“We have never had such a clear tendency to capture an entire prosecutorial system as it happened with the recent approval of the law by the majority led by Vetevendosje. This law contradicts six articles of the Constitution. We fully believe that the arguments brought by PDK, in the draft that we submitted in our complaint, are a sufficient basis to issue such a law in contradiction with the Constitution,” Tahiri said.

According to him, between the two readings, the recommendations of the Venice Commission were also not fully considered.

Miftaraj: Sending KPC law to Constitutional Court, regrettable (Nacionale)

Director of the Prishtina-based Kosovo Democratic Institute (KDI), Ehat Miftaraj, reacted to news that the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) has sent the law on the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council to the Constitutional Court. He argued that the initiative is regrettable. “A party that obstructs reforms in the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council has serious problems with integrity, it has serious problems with seeing an independent prosecutorial system, it has serious problems with the concept of the rule of law, and the needs of the people of Kosovo for justice,” Miftaraj wrote on Facebook.

Kurti: Missing persons are priority of my government (media)

Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said today that resolving the fate of missing persons is a priority for his government. “There is no doubt that the issue of missing persons is a priority for the government. They have forcefully disappeared, and we will do our best for this issue to be resolved as soon as possible because families are in great pain and anxiety. We are ready and we want to resolve this, but it also does not depend only on us,” Kurti said.

The Assembly establishes an ad-hoc commission for electoral reform in Kosovo (Klan)

The Assembly of Kosovo, with &! Votes in favor and one abstention, established the ad-hoc commission for electoral reform in the Assembly.

Head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) Abelard Tahiri will chair the commission, while Adnan Rrustemi from the Vetevendosje Movement (LVV) will be the deputy chair. 

Kurti: For me as a child it was not unusual to hear and speak another language (media)

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, participated in the round table “Kosovo, as a multilingual society”. He said that he is happy that he is speaking as the prime minister of a state where people speak many languages ​​and that the laws of Kosovo guarantee the use of native languages.

“March 20 is celebrated every year by the Turkish community as the anniversary of the beginning of teaching in the Turkish language in Kosovo in 1951”.

“On April 4 this year, I was in Prizren, for the International Roma Day. There I met teachers of the Romani language who work in schools, and I heard young men and women reciting in their native language,” Kurti said.

Further, he said that work is being done to create a unit for translation and harmonization within his office, which, according to him, will be operationalized this year and will ensure quality translations of laws and by-laws in the official languages ​​of Kosovo.

“We know that much remains to be done in Kosovo. For me as a child, but also for my parents and friends, it was not unusual to hear languages ​​other than Albanian, and then to speak them. I still have the opportunity to speak with Serbs, Bosniaks and others, regardless of where I am.”

“Also, when I go outside Kosovo, in Skopje and Shkoder, I have opportunities for communication, political conversations, on the economy and on life. But for most Kosovo’s children, all these opportunities no longer exist. They depend on You Tube’s English language or on the gestures and kindness and knowledge of others,” Kurti said.

The effects of reciprocity for ID cards on the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue (Nacionale)

The Kosovo government’s decision to issue provisional identification documents at the border for Serbian nationals could affect the pace of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. 

Ardian Arifaj, political commentator, told the news website that the timing of the decision could put the facilitator in an inconvenient position. “Reciprocity was one of the most frequently mentioned promises of the Kurti government during the election campaign, so any measure of reciprocity toward Serbia was expected. The timing is unexpected, as it happened immediately after the visit by EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak, which was seen as a positive visit by all parties and for the process of dialogue,” Arifaj said.

According to Arifaj, Serbia will now use the decision on reciprocity as an argument against Kosovo. “The decision of the Kosovo Government, immediately after Lajcak departed from Kosovo, puts Lajcak in a difficult position, because he is visiting Serbia and they will surely bring up the decision of the Kosovo Government. In fact, Serbian President Vucic said that the decision of the Kosovo Government was supported by certain countries, without mentioning specific names. But the Government of Kosovo in fact does not need support for this decision,” he added.

Arifaj further argued that internationals are talking about a new momentum in the process of dialogue. “Internationals have started talking about a new momentum and about chances for starting the dialogue for a final settlement between Kosovo and Serbia. At the same time, Kosovo and Serbia are taking up fierce positions on the eve of a possible process for a final agreement: Kosovo with reciprocity measures and Serbia with the propaganda that Kosovo is allegedly planning to intervene with security forces in the north in October,” he said.

Czech Republic presents priorities during leadership with Council of the EU (media)

The head of the Czech Republic Embassy in Pristina Pavel Bilek and the EU ambassador in Kosovo, Tomas Szunyog, have presented today the advantages of the Czech Republic during the presidency of the EU Council. 

Bilek presented the priorities of foreign relations, highlighting those of the Western Balkans.

“Progress in EU enlargement negotiations. Supporting the accession process of the Western Balkan countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, as regards to Kosovo specifically, the Czech Republic has prioritised the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and the issue of visa liberalisation.

President Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister Albin Kurti and other political and civil society representatives were also present at this ceremony.

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

Stano reads and extracts only what suits him from the agreement, says Petkovic (TV Pink, Kosovo Online, Twitter)

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic commented on yesterday’s statement by EU spokesperson Peter Stano that “Kosovo has the right to abolish KM plates”, saying that it was completely unbelievable that Stano said that and that he did so without reading the agreements, cited portal Kosovo Online. 

“It is completely unbelievable that Stano decided that Pristina has the right to cancel license plates issued by Serbia, and he did that without reading the agreements. This is absolutely incorrect and at the very least hypocritical. The EU, as a mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, should know the content of all agreements reached,” Petkovic said on TV Pink.

Stano, as Petkovic said, viewed things one-sidedly, read and extracted from the agreement only what suited him, reported the portal, citing TV Pink. 

“That’s why he says that based on the agreements from 2011 and 2016, Pristina has the right to cancel the license plates, but this is not true. The agreed agreements state that all license plates in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija will be re-registered, but so that the people will be able to choose between the plates of the so-called Kosovo and status-neutral KS plates,” he explained.

He added that in September 2020, as he explained, Pristina unilaterally abolished status-neutral license plates.

Because of that move, as he stated, later we had all the problems and crises in Jarinje and Brnjak.

Petkovic also pointed out that “with the latest unilateral moves by Pristina and Albin Kurti to abolish Serbian identity cards and license plates with the markings KM, GL and PR issued by the Republic of Serbia, Pristina is not only perpetrating illegal institutional violence against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija in the most brutal way, but it violates all agreements, above all the agreement on freedom of movement, but also most directly threatens peace and stability in the Western Balkans”.

“With these unilateral moves, Pristina is creating a new security and political situation in the area of Kosovo and Metohija, but I am afraid that this may very well spill over into the area of the Western Balkans,” Petkovic said in a guest appearance on TV Pink, reported the portal.

President Vucic therefore all these days has been saying, as stated by Petkovic, that ”we have to preserve peace and stability, to build relations, to develop the economy because that is how we overcome obstacles, everything that divides us, especially in this difficult period when Europe and the whole world is facing a crisis because of the war in Ukraine”.

He says that this move by the Pristina authorities was more than a spark because Kurti showed that there was no more dialogue, and he was trampling on all agreements reached.

“When you want to ignore the agreement in Brussels, trampling on what we achieved on September 30, 2021, when we agreed on the sticker regime, you show that you are not interested in the other side, that you want war with the Serbs, that you want to attack the Serbs, to kill the Serbs and to expel the Serbian people, especially from the north,” said Petkovic.

He said that this was an old idea of the Pristina authorities and that they have an obsession with the north of Kosovo and that all this was going in the direction of destabilization.

When asked by the journalist what the technical dialogue will be about in the future, Petkovic said that ”we were all able to hear the historic conference of President Vucic, who spoke about everything that worries us, about the people, the Pristina authorities, but also about the hypocrisy of the international community”.

He explained that in the conclusions from 2011 on freedom of movement, it was stated that both sides will work to find status-neutral plates, but that the “RKS” plates were not that.

According to him, this agreement was reached in 2011 by Borko Stefanovic and the then democratic government and all of those who attacked Vucic who was fighting for the Serbian people in Kosovo, cited portal Kosovo Online. 

“They are saying that President Vucic is raising tensions because he is defending his people, and Kurti is making a crazy decision by which he wants to abolish license plates and predicts that on September 30, when the time for re-registration will expire, will start to confiscate vehicles. Where do they have the right to announce that they will nationalize the goods? Well, those are the cars of Serbian citizens, they are private property, more than 10,000 cars of our citizens,” noted Petkovic.

He added that the scale of the problem was enormous, and that ”Kurti not only violates all agreements, but openly wants all conflicts with the Serbs in the north”.

“We will not allow it, nor will we allow the Serbian people to be oppressed, to have their property confiscated. We will fight for our people, for all agreements,” he said.

Petkovic said that ”our people live non-stop under threat and terror because Pristina is constantly causing a certain kind of crisis towards the Serbian people, but also towards Serbia”.

Kurti was doing that, as Petkovic said, because the dialogue did not suit him, as well as the last agreement on energy that ”was in our favour and with which we finally managed, after 10 years, and Pristina’s refusal to sit down, to reach an agreement”, reported Kosovo Online.

Petkovic also wrote on Twitter that “Peter Stano does not know the agreements that the EU guarantees! The agreement on freedom of movement says that Serbs will be able to choose status-neutral KS plates! You were silent when Pristina forcibly abolished KS plates? No one can abolish KM vehicle plates! STOP with untruths” reported Kosovo Online. 

Petkovic cited points 6 and 7, of an agreement reached in the past, as it seems..

“6. As a temporary measure, the Kosovo authorities will extend the validity of the KS license plates for an initial period of five years, after which the two sides will reconsider this issue (with EU mediation if necessary).

  1. All car owners residing in Kosovo shall use RKS or KS vehicle registration plates (in accordance with item 6 above). They will be issued by the competent authorities in Kosovo and will be distributed through EULEX, if necessary. Each party shall use its best endeavours to ensure the implementation of the above,’’ it was said in Petkovic’s Twitter post.

Brnabic: Pristina’s decision puts Serbia in complex situation (Tanjug)

“There are no mentions of registration plates in the 15 points of the Brussels agreement. We have fulfilled all obligations deriving from that agreement”, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said, Tanjug news agency reports.

She added that Pristina’s latest decisions on ID cards and licence plates bearing the names of towns in Kosovo put Serbia, and in particular Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, in a difficult situation.

“The point is to constantly mistreat Serbs, provocations and lasting terror against them, and nobody does anything in this regard. They make statements that could verbally be more or less harsh, but it means nothing in practice”, she said. 

IFIMES: Latest Pristina’s acts do not contribute to normalisation of relations with Belgrade (Kosovo Online)

Conclusion of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue by signing a legally binding agreement on normalisation of relations that would ensure lasting peace and stability is of crucial importance for the future of the region, Ljubljana-based International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) said in its analysis, Kosovo Online portal reports.

It added that the recently reached agreement on energy, mediated by the EU, provided an impetus to the continuation of the dialogue, however, the latest Pristina’s unilateral acts, respectively the one to limit the freedom of the movement, do not contribute to the normalisation of relations.

The Institute also said implementation of the Brussels Agreement, respectively the establishment of the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities was ‘unavoidable’.

“The fears about Serbia as the largest country in the region are groundless, because there are neither grounded fears about Germany, as the largest and the most powerful EU member state”, it said.

IFIMES added the prevailing opinion in the EU is that Serbia is the engine of normalisation in the Western Balkans, as well as the engine of the European integration of the countries there.

They also touched upon the Open Balkans Initiative, which as they said achieved remarkable, and as per many parameters measurable and very promising results.

“This should additionally qualify countries in the region for EU membership, and can be a crucial evidence that European commitment of candidate states was beyond any doubts and lasting”.

They also elaborated on how parts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and partly in Montenegro perceive this initiative as a project of “the Serbian policy” and link it to the President Aleksandar Vucic.

“Arguments that mentioned states use are mostly based on reactions and actions of the international community, as there are no arguments for the analysis and stances why would Open Balkan be ‘Serbian world’”, it said.

EU envoy Lajcak discusses Kosovo, integration with opposition in Belgrade (N1)

European Union envoy for the Kosovo dialogue Miroslav Lajcak met with part of the Serbian opposition to discuss the dialogue and the country’s European integration, opposition officials said on Thursday.

Democratic Party (DS) leader Zoran Lutovac said that Lajcak told them how far along the dialogue was and which direction it had taken. “He said that his framework for the dialogue is a normalization of relations and asked us about our views of the process and what we think normalization includes,” he said, adding that his party feels that standards have to be established before discussing status. Lutovac said that nice things were said in talks with officials from Brussels but that tensions rose as soon as they turned their backs.

People’s Party (NS) official Stefan Jovanovic said that the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue was “a process that has got stuck”. “We expressed concern over current relations between Belgrade and Pristina and Pristina’s unilateral actions,” he said, adding that Lajcak seemed to be pesimistic over the events in the past 24 hours.

We Must (Moramo) coalition official Dobrica Veselinovic said that crucial objections about the way the dialogue was being handled were voiced at the meeting. “One of those was the claim that there is no dialogue on important issues, including attitudes on Kosovo,” he said. “We pointed out one simple thing – we the citizens of Serbia and Kosovo have no links except by car. Regulated public transport – trains, buses – would ease the situation. I keep saying that we have to make life easier before dealing with complex issues,” he said.

Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) leader Dragan Djilas did not speak to reporters after the meeting, choosing to issue a statement saying that Lajcak’s decision to include the opposition in his meetings on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and European integration process was a good thing.

“I presented the position of the SAA that we will support any decision or proposal that leads Serbia to Europe and contributes to reconciliation in the region,” said Djilas in a statement. 

The leader of the SSP stated that, “due to the problem of the unilateral decisions of the government of Albin Kurti regarding the registration plates”, the most important thing was to avoid conflicts that may arise due to such an irresponsible policy of the Pristina authorities and to prevent any possibility of violence against citizens.

“When looking for a solution, the government in Belgrade must first of all be guided by the idea of protecting our compatriots living in Kosovo and Metohija, because people’s lives are always the most important,” said Djilas.

Lajcak: Glad to meet Serbian opposition

EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak wrote in a Twitter post that he was glad to have met officials of parliamentary opposition parties during his visit to Belgrade.

“Glad that during this visit, I met with parliamentary opposition parties in Serbia to hear their views and approaches to the Dialogue. Normalization of relations with Kosovo is in Serbia’s national interest and as such needs cross-party support,” Lajcak wrote, reported Serbian media. 

Vucic: The Brussels Agreement, an international legal agreement; Hrnjaz: The Constitutional Court disagrees (KoSSev)

“The president announced that the Brussels agreement is an international legal Agreement. The Constitutional Court disagrees with that”, an associate professor of International Law at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Milos Hrnjaz said, commenting on allegations made by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, reported KoSSev.

On Wednesday night, the President of Serbia held what he described as the “sharpest” press conference – as a result of which he will “go down in history”. He announced that Pristina was preparing a “general attack” on the north by October 1st at the latest – all with the support of Quint countries, recalled the portal.

Speaking about the Brussels Agreement, which he defined as an international legal agreement, Vucic said that the Serbs fulfilled everything that they were supposed to, while the only thing that Pristina should have fulfilled was not fulfilled, noting that “the Western five are remaining silent on this”.

Associate professor of International Law at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, Milos Hrnjaz, addressed the allegations made by the Serbian president.

“The president announced today that the Brussels Agreement is an international legal agreement. The Constitutional Court disagrees with that,” Hrnjaz wrote on Twitter. 

After Belgrade had repeatedly highlighted the need to respect international law to the West amid the outbreak of war in Ukraine – primarily the need to respect Resolution 1244, Hrnjaz states that we have now “designated a convenient situation”.

“On the outside, we demand respect for international legal obligations, and on the inside, we do not ask the question whether they are in accordance with the constitution,” this professor said.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3R1gMO0

Manojlovic (DS): ”The fate of Milorad Djokovic from Pec is the fate of our people in Kosovo and Metohija” (Danas, NMagazin, KiM radio)

Tatjana Manojlovic, journalist and vice president of the Democratic Party, future MP in the Serbian Assembly, said today that ”the fate of the arrested Milorad Djokovic from Pec is the fate of our people in Kosovo and Metohija”, reported Danas daily.

“That is the fate of a returnee, an ordinary person who does not engage in high-level politics. It is a life of uncertainty, insecurity, a life of continuous struggle for law and justice. Milorad Djokovic, the only Serb in Vitomirica near Pec, was arrested when someone pointed a finger at him and said: hold the murderer. He was arrested at the moment when the local authorities ruled in his favor and said that the usurped property must be returned to him. After years of fighting to prove that his property is his, now he probably has years of fighting to prove that he is not a murderer,” believes the Democratic Party vice-president.

As stated in the statement of the DS, ”Djokovic returned to Vitomirica 15 years ago, all the time he was conducting a court case for the restitution of property, he moved in Serbian and Albanian communities, he worked hard, he helped his elderly returnee neighbours, while there were still some in the village. And now, when his (property) should be returned to him, for justice to be served, he was arrested. Based on someone’s: he killed. Anyone can be labelled that way. Especially if it bothers someone.”

“Responsible politicians must fight very loudly and clearly for every individual citizen.” May Milorad’s next few years are not eaten by locusts. That everyone has the right to justice. It is the most responsible political job. Borders are being moved and delineated, history is written by the winners, the powerful play games, the truth is one, but the interpretations are many. Slogans and platitudes cannot be eaten and slept along peacefully with them. A human must be in focus,” said Tatjana Manojlovic.

Hill: US wants to friends and partners with Serbia (N1)

US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill said Thursday that the US wants to be friends and partners with Serbia, N1 reports.

“We want to be friends, we want to be partners and, depending on your future determination, we want to be allies”, Hill said at an Independence Day party at his residence.

He said that the US wants to better understand “our friends in Serbia” and looks forward to building long-term relations based on common values and interests. The depth and width of our relations can lead us to do great things together if … we are tolerant towards our differences and resolve prejudices from the past with an open mind and look forward, Hill said.

The event was attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) head Patriarch Porfirije and a number of ruling coalition and opposition officials.

The results of the Serbian parliamentary elections possible next week; the Assembly and the Government in August and November the latest (Danas)

Belgrade based daily Danas reported today that unless no participant in the election in Veliki Trnovac submitted a request to cancel the vote, the Republican Election Commission could announce the final results of the parliamentary elections as early as next week. This would complete the election process that began on April 3, when the parliamentary elections were held, after three months.

According to Danas, observers say that everything went mostly in accordance with procedures, and the participants have not yet announced any demands or complaints.

The Coalition of Albanians of the Valley will get one deputy in the Serbian Parliament, and the SPS will have 31 instead of 32.

A period of 120 days begins for the formation of the Government after the final results of the parliamentary elections were announced. 

In those 120 days, the deadline was one month for holding the constitutive session of the parliament where the mandates of the new deputies will be confirmed, and when the Serbian Parliament was constituted, the 90-day deadline for voting the government began.

Daily reported that the Assembly could be constituted in the first week of August at the latest, and the Government at the beginning of November at the latest.

However, according to Danas unofficial knowledge, it is possible that the constitution of the assembly and the formation of the government will be done faster, since it was expected that the fifth vote in Veliki Trnovac would finally end the elections.

Danas reported that, however, experience showed that the speed of the formation of the executive and legislative power depended only on the political assessment of the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, since the West expected the new government to impose sanctions on Russia.

Within that period of 90 days, the President of Serbia should consult with the representatives of the parliamentary parties and assign the mandate for the composition of the government to the party that gathers the majority in the Assembly.

Danas reported that in the Law on the President of the Republic was written: “The President of the Republic is obliged to propose to the National Assembly the candidate for Prime Minister who can secure the election of the Government”.

Daily recalled that Vucic himself announced talks about the government as soon as the parliament was constituted.

Nikola Nedeljkovic rendered one-month detention (Radio KIM)

20-year old Nikola Nedeljkovic from Belgrade, arrested on June 28 at Gazimestan after commemoration of the Saint Vitus Day there was rendered one-month detention, his defence lawyer Jovana Filipovic said, Radio KIM reports. 

Nikola was arrested after leaving a memorial complex at Gazimestan over what police said was “inciting discord and intolerance”. Radio KIM said it learnt that Nikola is accused of saying “Kill, kill Shiptar”, and the only witness to it, as the Radio further reports is a police officer who has arrested him.

“(…) What we know at the moment is that Nikola will be in a detention unit in Mitrovica. As far as the evidence is concerned I claim there is no evidence as no one, nor Nkola said at Gazimestan what he is accused of”, Filipovic added.

Nikola is also accused of possessing a flag, which police believe was sending a disputable message. Filipovic explained that the flag was not his and Nikola used the flag only to be photographed with it.

“We have presented video recordings showing that Nikola returned the flag, which they claim belongs to him. It is shown on the recordings submitted by both the prosecution and us today. There is no material evidence whatsoever, only the statement of that police officer”, she said.

Filipovic also announced she will appeal the decision. 

 

 

International 

 

Albanian Coalition Tipped to Win Contested Seat in Serbian Parliament (Balkan Insight)

After no less than four repeat votes in an ethnic-Albanian village since April, a coalition of Albanian parties appears to have won the marathon battle for the seat, results suggest.

First results suggest an ethnic Albanian coalition has secured a seat in Serbia’s parliament, ending a marathon battle that began with the April Serbian general elections.

After elections were repeated for a four time in one polling station in the village of Veliki Trnovac on Thursday, preliminary results suggest the coalition of Albanians of the Valley, led by Shaip Kamberi, won 698 votes out of 725 total votes – the largest turnout in all five votes.

As no complaints have been submitted so far, it appears that the elections are finally over.

The vote was repeated four times because the Serbian Socialist Party, SPS, and the Albanian coalition kept appealing the results.

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

The war in Ukraine and gas in the Western Balkans (atlanticcouncil.org)

Russia’s brutal and unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine has galvanized action to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil, gas, coal, and nuclear fuel. The Russian cut-off of gas supplies to several European nations—Poland and Bulgaria first, followed by Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark—and the reductions by Gazprom of gas to Italy (15 percent) and Germany (40 percent through Nord Stream) have raised the urgency of phase-out and diversification.

Western support for the Southern Corridor and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline has long been an important element of European gas diversification efforts. Although a very minor consumer of Russian natural gas, the Western Balkans is an area in which Russia has sought to oppose NATO and EU expansion and counter Western gas diversification efforts. The West needs to maintain a strong and supportive posture in this important southern flank of NATO.

Read more at: https://bit.ly/3yys1pP

 

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