Stano: Pristina has the right to abolish KM plates, but gradually (Tanjug)
EU spokesman Peter Stano says that Brussels “was informed, but not consulted” earlier this week about the plans of the authorities in Pristina related to license plates and freedom of movement on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, which special representative Miroslav Lajcak also discussed with the President of Serbia by Aleksandar Vucic. In a written statement for Tanjug, the EU spokesperson said that “according to the agreements from the dialogue on freedom of movement from 2011 and 2016, Kosovo has the right to gradually abolish KM plates”.
“The agreements are clear that only license plates issued by Kosovo are used in Kosovo,” says Stano. He adds that “it is important to give enough time for the implementation of this plan”, and that it “be prepared and implemented in close consultation with citizens and in accordance with good European practice”. “Freedom of movement is the cornerstone of the European Union. We expect both Kosovo and Serbia to promote freedom of movement in the region and to act constructively in this regard and not to set any unreasonable obstacles that would limit freedom of movement,” said Stano. On behalf of the EU, Stano repeated the call to “both sides” to use the EU-led dialogue as a platform to resolve all outstanding issues, including those related to freedom of movement and license plates. “The EU expects both Kosovo and Serbia to foster an environment conducive to reconciliation, regional stability and cooperation for the benefit of their citizens. This is key to achieving a comprehensive legally binding agreement on the normalization of their relations, which the parties should now fully focus on” concluded Stano in a statement for Tanjug.
Vulin: President, we should ask Serbians if they want political neutrality (N1)
Serbia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Aleksandar Vulin sent a message to President Aleksandar Vucic saying that he has managed to obtain Serbia’s military neutrality “through struggle” and asked him “how much more blackmail and attacks must come from Brussels before you decide that we ask Serbians if they also want political neutrality”, a Ministry press release said.
Using a derogatory term for Albanians, Vulin noted that European Union (EU) spokesperson Peter Stano said Kosovo has the right to unilaterally abolish Serbian license plates in Kosovo but that the Union was informed but not consulted on Pristina’s decision. Stano said that Brussels was not consulted on Pristina’s plans and that it was important to refrain from setting unreasonable obstacles that would limit the freedom of movement. “It did not cross Stano’s mind to mention the establishing of a Community of Serb Municipalities or to ask for the honoring of the Brussels Agreement,” said Vulin. The Minister called on President Vucic to “continue to speak and act as the president of all Serbs and not to bow down to the force and hypocrisy of the European Union.” „They have been lying to us and blackmailing us for too long, so let them also take responsibility for their lies,” Interior Ministry press release quoted Vulin as saying.
Vucic: Berlin and London support terror against Serbs in Kosovo (RTS)
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic warned that NATO is carefully observing relations between Serbia and Russia. He added that Berlin and London support the most terror against Serbs in Kosovo. He went on to saying that the West allows itself to do anything and claim it is grounded on law, while anything else done by others is observed as opposing democracy.
Lajcak met with representatives of the parliamentary opposition (RTS)
The special envoy of the European Union for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak, met in Belgrade with the leaders of the parliamentary opposition in the premises of the EU Delegation in Serbia. The meeting was also attended by the head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, Dragan Djilas, Dobrica Veselinovic from “Ne davimo Beograd”, Zoran Lutovac, the leader of the Democratic Party, Djordje Miketic from the Ecological Uprising, and the general secretary of the People’s Party, Stefan Jovanovic.
Lajcak congratulated the representatives of the parliamentary opposition on the achieved election results and on the acquired legitimacy to represent part of the citizens of Serbia in the Parliament. The meeting also discussed the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and other regional topics in the context of European integration.
SSP leader Dragan Djilas, in a written statement to the media, assessed that it is good that Lajcak decided that the opposition should be his interlocutor regarding the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, but also the entire European integration process. As he stated, Lajcak is one of the people who know this region best and who really believes that Serbia has a place in the European Union.
“He showed understanding for the disappointment of the people of the Western Balkans with the speed of the EU accession process, he said that he expects that relationship to be more positive in the coming period, because there is an awareness in the EU of the need for the entire region to move faster in that direction,” Djilas reported. He adds that Lajcak emphasized that it is up to Serbia to do more and thus contribute to the European integration process. “I presented the position of the SSP that we will support any decision or proposal that leads Serbia to Europe and contributes to reconciliation in the region,” says Djilas.
When it comes to the unilateral decisions of the PM of the temporary Pristina institutions, Aljbin Kurti, regarding the registration plates, Djilas states that he said at the meeting with Lajcak that the most important thing is to avoid conflicts that may arise due to such irresponsible policies of the Pristina authorities and to prevent any possibility violence against our citizens. “When looking for a solution, the government in Belgrade must first of all be guided by the idea of protecting our compatriots who live in Kosovo, because people’s lives are always the most important,” the SSP leader said in a statement.
The president of the Democratic Party, Zoran Lutovac, says that Lajcak said that his framework for dialogue is the normalization of relations, which, he says, differs from some other interpretations that it is about the recognition of Kosovo.
Porfirije: We reached agreement (B92)
Serbian Patriarch Porfirije and Montenegrin Prime Minister addressed the journalists, saying that an agreement on the Fundamental Agreement had been reached. After the meeting in the building of the Patriarchate, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Montenegrin Prime Minister addressed the journalists, saying that an agreement on the Fundamental Agreement had been reached.
The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirije, who was the first to address the gathered journalists, said that he had a joyful opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister of Montenegro for the third time. “Apart from the conversations we had on general topics, and everyday life, we also discussed the Fundamental Agreement,” he said. “Starting from the fact that the church is separate from the state and that our church, wherever it has its jurisdiction, respects the laws of that state, we concluded that it is important that the relationship between church and state is regulated by contract, as is the case with all religious communities, as it exists in all other states”, the patriarch said. “At this moment, we have reached an agreement, that is, an agreement on the Fundamental Agreement, with the proviso that the existing text of the Fundamental Agreement must pass through the Synod of Serbian Orthodox Church, and when and if it does, we will start signing,” said the Patriarch. He explained that the Serbian Orthodox Church considers that it never thought that it should have more rights than either a citizen of Montenegro or a member of another religious community. “But it goes without saying that the SOC cannot agree on being granted anything less than anyone else, and this agreement provides us with such a status,” said the SOC leader, who also thanked everyone who contributed to making this agreement a reality.
Montenegrin Prime Minister thanked the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church for a constructive conversation, and added that, as he says, he always had interesting conversations with him.
“When it comes to the Fundamental Agreement, we have completed the procedures at the new working groups, and we continue with other procedures, as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church, and I do not see any problems there. On the contrary, if everything goes in good spirit, which is felt at our mutual meetings, soon this issue will be raised and resolved in the best way, to show respect for the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, as well as respect for the state of Montenegro, which is secular and does not want to enter the internal organization of any church” Abazovic pointed out. According to him, there is no pressure, no hurry, and the atmosphere regarding the final signing of the contract with the Serbian Orthodox Church should be good. “I understand the criticism and other attitudes in Montenegro, but on behalf of the government, I want to say that we should take a different path. The path where there are constant divisions is not the path of progression and we will not support it” Abazovic pointed out. He also pointed out that the entire region has tried everything, except for agreements and cooperation, and that now is the time to take such a path and do it that way. “Issues that are unjustifiably held important, we should put off the agenda in a fair and democratic way” Abazovic concluded.
Montenegro’s PM positively views Open Balkans initiative (Beta)
Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic on June 30 reiterated that his opinion of the Open Balkans initiative was positive, adding that the possibility of Montenegro joining the initiative would be discussed in an open dialogue with all interested parties in the country. “In Montenegro, so far this matter has not been treated in the way it should be and reasons are many, possibly due to insufficient interest or lack of information. I think that in open communication, which has been maintained over the past month or two, we have been resolving some dilemmas with citizens or decision-makers,” Abazovic told reporters in Belgrade, during his two-day visit. He also said that the Montenegrin government had set up a working group to address this matter. “There is no rush, but we are all aware of the need for improving regional cooperation. Modalities leading toward that goal should be presented. After that, I think that there will be no obstacles to realization,” Abazovic specified.
Reception at the US Embassy, Hill says: We want to be friends with Serbia (Tanjug)
The USA wants to be friends and partners and, depending on Serbia’s determination in the future – allies, said the American ambassador in Belgrade, Christopher Hill, at the reception on the occasion of the Independence Day of the USA. The US national holiday, Independence Day, was marked with a traditional reception at the residence of the American ambassador in Dedinje, in memory of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was published in Philadelphia.
At the beginning of the ceremony, US Marines ceremonially presented the US flag to Ambassador Hill, who is the organizer of the ceremony. This was followed by the singing of the anthems of the USA and Serbia, which marked 140 years of diplomatic relations last year. In his address to the dignitaries, Ambassador Hill said that the USA wants to be friends and partners of Serbia and, depending on Serbia’s determination in the future – allies. “Our friends in Serbia want to understand you better and to devote at least as much time to listening as to talking. We look forward to building long-term relationships based on our common values and common interests. We want to be friends, we want to be partners and, depending on your commitment in the future, we want to be allies,” Hill said. He noted the fact that the Atlantic Ocean does not separate us but unites us and said that we should be tolerant of what we differ in, that we should be enlightened and open-minded in overcoming prejudices from the past and, most importantly, that we should look forward. He emphasized that Statehood Days usually mark a date important for the founding of the state, and that in the case of the USA it is July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia 246 years ago.
He pointed out that the Declaration of Independence introduced the concept of human rights that cannot be taken away because we are born with them. “Democracy of the people, by the people, for the people is under attack in many countries today. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. And since that hot summer day in Philadelphia almost two and a half centuries ago, the US has also made mistakes, but there is no doubt that we have done some things right. For millions of people on this planet, we have in fact become a beacon of freedom, an inspiration and a source of serenity and wisdom, and even solving problems. It is not easy to fulfill such expectations, nor did we choose that role,” said the ambassador. He invited all those present to toast the joint Serbian – American future.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Speaker of the Assembly Ivica Dacic, Patriarch Porfirije attend the celebration. Among the other dignitaries are ministers Maja Gojkovic, Gordana Comic, Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, Zorana Mihajlovic, Jadranka Joksimovic, as well as ministers Nenad Popovic, Nebojsa Stefanovic, Sinisa Mali, then the director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic, representatives of institutions, religious communities, the opposition, diplomatic corps… This is the first Independence Day reception organized by Ambassador Hill, who arrived in Serbia three months ago.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
SDA announces its leader Izetbegovic will run for member of B&H Presidency in upcoming general elections in B&H (Hayat)
The SDA Presidency has defined a list of candidates for the general elections set to take place in October. SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic has been unanimously endorsed by all municipal and cantonal organizations of SDA as the candidate for a Bosniak member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency. Leaders of the candidate lists for the parliaments are Semsudin Dedic, Serif Spago, Alma Colo, Nermin Mandra, and Denijal Tulumovic. Izetbegovic said before the session that he was always ready to accept what his party requested of him. Izetbegovic assessed that he will be proposed as candidate and he will accept this proposal.
DNS Presidency determines candidate lists for upcoming general elections in B&H; Nesic: Sarovic stands no chance of defeating Cvijanovic for RS President, I am only one who can do that (FTV)
The DNS Presidency has determined the lists of candidates for the upcoming general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). DNS will have nine candidates for the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly (RSNA). Aleksandar Glavas and Savo Popic are on DNS’s list for the state level. DNS leader Nenad Nesic criticized SNSD leader Milorad Dodik, claiming that due to his arrogance and corruption, the RS is going in the wrong direction. Nesic did not spare the opposition in the RS either, which he says has no ideas and has nothing new to offer. “(SDS leader) Mirko Sarovic has no chance of defeating (SNSD Vice President) Zeljka Cvijanovic in the October elections. The only one who can do that at this moment, and that is what all the research says, and that is the reactions in the people themselves, (who can) beat Zeljka Cvijanovic and the current regime as far as the candidate for the B&H Presidency is concerned is me,” Nesic underlined. Nesic said he does not want to be even compared to Sarovic because, as Nesic said, he is more capable than Sarovic. Nesic added: “If Sarovic is a change, and if that Sarovic has energy, with all due respect to Mirko Sarovic, then something is wrong here. Mr. Sarovic could go to rehab somewhere, and the third path knows its path”.
NATO decides to provide assistance to B&H through package aimed to enable B&H to strengthen its defense capacities (N1)
At NATO summit held in Madrid, NATO officials decided to provide significant assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) through package of additional assistance in building of defense capacities. In this way B&H has been placed in group of countries of strategic importance for NATO. Support will be grounded on existing framework of established cooperation. Until end of 2022, NATO will be working with collocutors in B&H on development of this package. Only five this type of packages of assistance were granted in history of NATO. Reporter commented that strengthened engagement of NATO in B&H means that NATO assessed that B&H is in jeopardy from activities of Russia, but also from some subjects in the region that are under influence of Russia. It was stated from B&H Ministry of Defense that work on abovementioned package will commence next week, when NATO officials will pay visit to B&H.
President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic said that no one should doubt Russia will attempt to destabilize B&H and region, because it has been already working on it. Djukanovic reminded that all NATO documents available before this summit recognize that B&H, Ukraine and Moldavia as countries exposed to a special risk in the context of Ukraine crisis. “We agree that these countries need special attention, not only of NATO, but also of the EU”, stressed Djukanovic.
An unnamed senior official of NATO told reporters in Madrid on Thursday that by granting a package of additional support in building defense capacities, B&H, by the decision of the member states of the North Atlantic Alliance, was included in the group of strategically important countries for NATO. This increased NATO engagement represents practical and political support introduced due to the possible, as it was said, falling under the influence of Russia and it was noted “better safe than sorry.” In the history of NATO, only five such support packages have been granted so far, and as of Wednesday, the countries that have such status are Georgia, Moldova, Iraq, Jordan, Indonesia, Mauritania and B&H. “The advisers gave us a political mandate to develop the details. The main decision yesterday (Wednesday) is to give the green light and work with B&H on the development of the pact. In practical terms, this means that we have received a comprehensive guide and a significant signal that B&H is considered a partner in a group of countries that the Allies consider to be of great political importance,” the unnamed senior official of NATO stressed.
According to the unnamed source, NATO is thinking about introducing political advisor with NATO HQ Sarajevo, who has so far had only military capacities. The source further noted that development of the additional package will be worked on with collocutors from B&H by end of the year. “We do not impose anything to anyone and everything is on voluntary basis. NATO supports Euro-Atlantic path of BiH and without prejudging we stick to principle that each country has the right to choose their path without influence”, said the unnamed female senior NATO official.
Podzic says NATO has prepared response in case Russia vetoes extension of EUFOR Mission in B&H (FTV)
The three-day summit of NATO in Madrid has come to a close. FTV noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) participated in the NATO summit in Madrid where it was marked as a strategic partner of the Alliance and received a number of promises. NATO member states promised that they would give B&H unconditional political and defense support thus making it resistant to malignant influences.
B&H Minister of Defense Sifet Podzic, who participated in the NATO summit in Madrid, said that various forms of hybrid warfare, including threats by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to B&H, are forcing him to seek NATO support like never before. Podzic received encouraging feedback that NATO has a prepared response in case Russia vetoes the extension of EUFOR Mission in B&H. Podzic conveyed a message from Madrid that NATO has decided to provide significant support to B&H and that the country is considered a part of the European single security structure. Podzic is the only Minister of Defense from the countries within the Membership Action Plan (MAP) who participated in the meetings in Madrid. Podzic also said there was some concern within the NATO in relation to EUFOR Mission and mandate, as well as potential veto, however the NATO conveyed a clear message they are ready to take a role in B&H if that happens.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Podzic said: “There was some concern related to B&H. You know that the EUFOR’s Mission ends in November, there were some indications that at the (UN) Security Council there could be a veto by the Russian Federation. We were strongly assured last night that allies are preparing adequate response for that case, what is, among others, their obligation under the Dayton Peace Accords, Annex 1a and 1b, where they are tasked with the peace implementation in the Balkans”. Podzic also said that the most important to him is that the support package for BiH was supported, as well as for all other countries, members of NATO, which are currently threatened by the Russian aggression on Ukraine. Podzic noted that, although he is a minister of the country that is not a member of NATO, he was treated at the summit as if he is a minister in a NATO member country.
Podzic was asked by media to comment on the claims of Croatian President Zoran Milanovic that B&H is unstable and possibly dangerous. In this regard, the B&H Minister noted that he cannot agree with Milanovic, “given that he is curing some of his frustrations like that”. The B&H Minister reminded that polemics was carried out regarding Milanovic’s statements that Croatia would block the NATO path of Finland and Sweden. “Not even my colleague (Croatian Minister of Defense Mario) Banozic agrees with that. We have excellent cooperation with Croatia”, he said, concluding that such Milanovic’s statements are unnecessary.
Komsic says messages from NATO Summit in Madrid were positive, B&H is transitioning from partner to ally of NATO (Nezavisne)
Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Zeljko Komsic assessed as very positive the messages that were sent from the NATO Summit in Madrid with regard to B&H. “It is especially important that the NATO sees secessionism of the smaller B&H entity (Republika Srpska (RS)) as a big problem, that it sees that the Armed Forces of B&H is one of the most important state institutions and – always important – unquestioned support to sovereignty and territorial integrity of B&H which means that any jeopardizing of B&H cannot go unanswered”, Komsic said. Komsic pointed out that it is obvious that B&H is transitioning from the phase of being a partner to the phase of being an ally of NATO in spite of “numerous obstructers of this process in B&H”.
Izetbegovic: NATO path is clear (FTV)
SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic, speaking about Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H)’s NATO path and the fact that Republika Srpska (RS) continues to oppose B&H’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance, said: “I think that they are very much in a position to make a turnaround in relation to NATO and in relation to everything and that we are currently watching (SNSD leader and B&H Presidency member Milorad) Dodik still driving on two tracks and slowly shifting the focus to this Western, pro-European, pro-NATO.” Izetbegovic believes that there will be changes. “With some kind of limbo that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Russia will enter in Ukraine, I think that Dodik will also change his policies. It will be ambiguous for a while longer, and then he will most certainly switch to the side of the stronger. We are in Europe. Ninety percent of the trade of B&H, of the RS, travel, communication, connections take place with EU countries, the West in general, and with NATO countries. We have nowhere to go from there. Neither us nor Serbia nor the Balkans. The path is clear,” Izetbegovic pointed out.
Johnson: UK will send military experts to B&H and NATO mission (BHT1)
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday that this country will send military experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) to support the NATO mission in B&H, as well as stability and security. He added that these experts will help B&H deal with the malignant Russian influence. The statement of the UK Government states that B&H is dealing with the biggest existential threat in its post-war history and that secessionist leaders are actively working on creating more division and conflict. It was stressed that this is being supported by Moscow. The military experts will be distributed in B&H for the education of members of the Armed Forces B&H (B&H AF) and the UK will ensure GBP 750,000 for the establishing of a center for cyber security in the University of Sarajevo.
“We cannot allow the Western Balkans to become another playground for (Vladimir) Putin’s pernicious pursuits. By fanning the flames of secessionism and sectarianism Russia seeks to reverse the gains of the last three decades in B&H, gains that have brought more stability to our whole continent. That is why we are stepping up support to BiH, answering the call from our friends to help protect the peace they so rightfully deserve to enjoy,” Johnson said in a statement released by his office. “The counter-disinformation expert will bolster the NATO HQ and B&H’s ability to resist malign influences – helping block Russian and other efforts to sow mistrust and undermine democracy in the country and region’’, reads the statement by the UK Government.
RTRS noted that new pressures are coming from the West. Namely, at the summit held in Madrid, leaders of NATO countries put B&H in group of countries of strategic importance and announced assistance in equipment and human capacities. London reacted first and announced deployment of military experts to B&H and formation of anti-Russian center in Sarajevo. It was confirmed at official web site of the UK Government. Text at this web site reads that Russia has been attempting to annul achievement acquired in B&H over last 30 years. Abovementioned text reads that the UK will reply to invitation of their friends to help in protection of peace.
Dzaferovic and Komsic welcome UK’s announcement of deployment of military experts to B&H (N1)
The UK announced deployment of military experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) in order to strengthen NATO mission in this country. This announcement sparked reactions within B&H. Members of B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic welcomed the decision of London. Dzaferovic welcomed this decision and noted that NATO does not need consent of entities for its actions, and that it already has the consent of the state. “All relevant findings indicate that the situation in B&H in the past year is dangerous and concerning due to secessionist activities of Republika Srpska (RS) authorities”, Dzaferovic was quoted as saying. Komsic expressed satisfaction with the UK’s decision, commending B&H Minister of Defense Sifet Podzic “for a job well done.”
Dodik: Who consented to this? (RTRS)
Serbian member of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency, Milorad Dodik, pointed out that nobody has given consent to the presence of any military formation, including the British one. Serbian member of the B&H Presidency, Milorad Dodik, pointed out that nobody in Bosnia Therefore, as Dodik said, they do not come to B&H in a legal way. “The fact that the other two members of the Presidency view B&H’s sovereignty as political trade speaks about them and the policies that brought them there, but also about B&H, which will not be able to survive those who has sworn in it,” said Dodik to Srna when asked to comment on Sefik Dzaferovic‘s statement.
Džaferovic, who welcomed the decision of the Government of Great Britain to send “military experts to B&H” and that, as he believes, it will strengthen the NATO headquarters.
Serbian member of the Presidency emphasized that the NATO headquarters draws its presence in B&H on the basis of the corresponding resolutions of the UN Security Council, which established the ALTHEA Mission and extended the mandate that expires in the fall. “Since the conclusion of the Dayton Agreement, NATO has never had a direct engagement in B&H under the name of NATO. That engagement was achieved through the international military missions IFOR, SFOR and now EUFOR, which were approved by the UN Security Council. All UN Security Council resolutions related to those missions are of limited duration, mostly for 12 months,” explained Dodik. He emphasized that no resolution of the UN Security Council gave the NATO alliance a time-limited mandate, so NATO cannot appear as an alternative to EUFOR, unless there is a new resolution that would approve such engagement. Dodik pointed out that with the expiration of the UN Security Council resolution, no foreign military force can legally reside in B&H.
Dodik emphasized that “in addition to the illegal High Representative, B&H will also receive illegal so-called military specialists, all under the pretext of alleged secessionism and so-called malignant Russian influence.” Dodik also said that it is a manner of “an old colonial power that never knocked on the door of its colonies, as they clearly view B&H”. Dodik emphasized that establishing of the UK cyber security center is another name for establishing of the UK intelligence point. He underlined that the UK wants to treat its centuries-long frustration with Moscow in B&H. According to Dodik, this is nothing new, because ahead of last general elections in B&H, the UK sent its units to B&H, adding that they believe in this way their candidates from PDP have better chances.
Dodik was quoted as saying: “They would cure their centuries-old frustration with Russians in B&H, where there is no one who has not played, trained and filled their biographies. Nothing new from the British. And before the last election they sent their units here. I guess they estimate that their PDP candidates have better chances in this way”. Dodik stated that secessionism is indeed an issue for UK, but in Scotland, and he underlined that the UK should better deal with secessionism in Scotland.
Cvijanovic criticizes UK’s decision to send military experts to B&H (ATV)
The UK announced deployment of military experts to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) in order to strengthen NATO mission in this country. Republika Srpska (RS) President Zeljka Cvijanovic said that it would be better for B&H if foreign factors let elected domestic representatives in B&H to reach agreements. Cvijanovic said they did not see anything good from all the experts that paraded in B&H in the last 30 years. Cvijanovic stated: “They see us as an experiment in which an envoy needs to be sent every now and then, someone needs to come here every now and then to give us certain recipes for micro-solutions, and I responsibly claim that the institutions of both entities are very capable of making decisions on their own, and that they will make them better and with higher quality when they have full autonomy to act in accordance with the Constitution and the law”.
Croatian President Milanovic: Further destabilization of B&H will have serious implications on broader region and NATO (HRT1)
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic addressed NATO Heads of State and Government, saying he understands Sweden and Finland’s desire to join the Alliance, but noting that destabilization of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) will have serious implications for broader region and the NATO. “All we ask from you is that you, our allies, listen to us, like we carefully listen to you. Events in B&H directly influence our national interest and security. Further destabilization of B&H will have serious implications on the broader region and the NATO. We hope it will not be too late to turn the situation around”, Milanovic was quoted as saying.
Croatian officials comment on change in Croatian President Milanovic’s rhetoric regarding vetoing Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership until issue of B&H Election Law is resolved (HRT1)
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic’s address at the NATO Summit in Madrid has sparked numerous reactions among Croatian officials. HRT1 reminds that, several weeks ago, Milanovic insisted to veto Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO if the issue of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Election Law is not resolved. Addressing the media at the time, Milanovic said: “I will veto the invitation, and then I will persecute, like the Devil, every representative who votes in favor of ratification of that agreement’’. The reporter notes that during the Summit in Madrid, Milanovic completely changed his rhetoric and did not veto the official invitation to Sweden and Finland to join the Alliance, saying on Wednesday that the Croatian Parliament will adopt a decision on the issue, noting it is beyond his competencies. At its session held on Thursday, the Croatian Government adopted a proposal decision to support Sweden and Finland’s membership.
Addressing the session, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the Declaration from Madrid proved that “our consistent, clear, reasonable, rational and responsible policy in regard to Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership was confirmed yesterday in the Summit, and the Government’s position clearly became yesterday the President of the Republic’s position”.
HRT1 reports that Milanovic claimed on Wednesday that no one in Madrid “noticed the absence of court jesters from the Government’’. Reacting to this, Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlic Radman said on Thursday for the media Milanovic “turned out to be a court jester in his inconsistency. But, if we look at it retroactively, I think that with his actions, he contributed to Croatia’s bad reputation”. HRT1 reports that Members of the Croatian Parliament also commented on Milanovic’s actions. Addressing the media on Thursday, ‘Most’ MP Marija Selak Raspudic said: “What is irresponsible in that, if it is only a matter of an omission and the fact that he wrongly interpreted the possibility of using his competencies at the said moment, is that it is, in a way, playing with feelings and the rights of the citizens in B&H”. Head of the Croatian Sovereigntists Caucus Marijan Pavlicek reminded that Milanovic said on Wednesday “he does not oppose Sweden and Finland joining NATO, meaning he characterized himself, in his own words, as a traitor”. SDP MP Arsen Bauk said: “If the goal was to really block Sweden and Finland, then that goal was not achieved. However, I am not sure that blocking Sweden and Finland was the President of the Republic’s main goal”. Head of the Green-Left Bloc Sandra Bencic said: “He failed to achieve his goal, then it is logical that he softened his rhetoric. He backed down, and I think it is good for Croatia that he backed down”.
Abazovic: Signing of Agreement to take place in Montenegro; Porfirije: In principle, agreement reached on Fundamental Agreement (RTCG)
A meeting between PM Dritan Abazovic and Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) Porfirije has been held yesterday in the Belgrade Patriarchate. After the meeting, Porfirije has announced that an agreement has been reached on the text of the Fundamental Agreement. Abazovic has announced that the agreement will be signed in Montenegro when the term is agreed. “The church is separated from the state and our church absolutely respects every state and its laws. It is important that the relationship between the church and the state is regulated by an agreement”, Porfirije has said. Abazovic has said that, as far as the Fundamental Agreement is concerned, the procedures have been completed at the level of working groups and that those that are standard for the Government have remained.
Protest in Podgorica over the draft version of the Fundamental Agreement with Church (RTCG)
A group of Montenegrin citizens gathered in front of the government building in Podgorica on June 30 to voice their dissatisfaction with a publicized draft version of the government’s Fundamental Agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church. The protesters called on parties “that cultivate Montenegrin values,” which were part of the government or supported it, to take to the streets and initiate a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic in parliament. A new protest was scheduled for next week. The protesters chanted, “They don’t acknowledge Montenegro, they are preparing for treason.” Activist Tanja Pavicevic read a declaration which said that citizens were demonstrating their strong opposition to the Montenegrin Cabinet’s intentions to sign a recently unveiled Fundamental Agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Krivokapic: We will wait to see what is written in the Fundamental Agreement, then plan further steps (RTCG)
Montenegrin Foreign Minister Ranko Krivokapic told Euronews Serbia at the NATO Summit in Madrid that the topic of the Fundamental Agreement is not part of the European agenda of the current government, and that the European Union asks Montenegro to fulfill its agenda.
“These are historical issues that we can open in many ways, from the law (on freedom of religion) adopted by the previous government, and not opened by this part of the government that I represent in order not to run away from the European agenda, to what cannot be fundamental. contract. The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro has four dioceses that are registered and which, as you can see, are very divided, where Metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic‘s legacy on the episcopal council he formed in 2006 was even abolished, all of which were erased when the new patriarch came. So, I think that there are many problems within the relations of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, and on the other hand it is not a priority, I consider it as a step in moving in the wrong topic, which works for someone forward, for someone backwards”, said Krivokapic.
Overall, as he said, it is an issue that depends on the sovereignty of the state of Montenegro.
“I look a little wider, the issue of the overall dissolution of the former Yugoslavia has now passed into the dissolution of that church, which was formed under Aleksandar Karadjordjevic. Macedonia is gone, it is a question of time when Montenegro will be returned to what its constitutional model from 1905 was from the Kingdom of Montenegro, when the Montenegrin autocephalous church was in the Constitution as such. ” Overall, I think the spending of the political energy we need for Europe is on topics that will not be resolved in this or the next steps as the things are going now,” he said.
Asked whether he would leave the Government due to the issue of the Fundamental Agreement, Krivokapic reminded that during the formation of the Government he said in an interview that if the current government deals with the European agenda, and that is the question of Montenegro joining the European Union as soon as possible according to the requirements that the EU expects to be met, then the government will last for 2.5 years. “If it does not fulfill the European agenda, it will not last until the day after tomorrow,” he said.
Krivokapic said that his Social Democratic Party would wait to see what was written in the Fundamental Agreement, and then plan further steps. “I thought that at the last session of the Government, which was public, we agreed to negotiate with four dioceses, which are the only ones registered in Montenegro, and that we will conclude an agreement with them. Who will sign on their behalf depends on them when they will authorize, but that someone must be in the legal system of Montenegro because the principle is clear. It is an act of internal law, said the Minister of Justice, there are no international elements as someone now implies, and the sovereign right of Montenegro is to conclude and terminate it as it wants, it is not about any public-law agreement, but about the agreement on the internal law of Montenegro “, he said.
According to Krivokapic, no one in the Government of Montenegro received that document, and that the decision will be made in accordance with the interests of Montenegro. “If the minority government does not fulfill the European agenda, it will have to go to the elections, because it has no legitimacy, there are more ministers than MPs in that government.” “If its priority is not the European agenda, but some other agenda, in this case we even see the agenda of another church, then she will have to go to the elections as far as the SDP is concerned,” he said.
Djukanovic: Agreement isn’t the most important issue for Montenegro, there’s no need to hurry, let’s lower tensions (CDM)
“The issue of the Fundamental Agreement is not the most important issue for Montenegro and its future. The most important thing for Montenegro is to unblock the negotiation process and go to Europe, but due to the circumstances, it has become an important political issue”, the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, has stated. He has added that neither the issue of the Fundamental Agreement should be rushed, or nor public talks avoided, but that tensions should be lowered.
“Some time ago, I received an incomplete text of that Agreement. I understood that this was just the beginning of writing that document and that it should have had additions in the part that must have been done by the state, and that after that it should have been negotiated with that religious community, and that there was still a lot of time and space for everyone, first of all the expert public, to express its opinion on that document”, President Djukanovic has told reporters in Madrid after the NATO summit. He has pointed out that he knows for sure that the Government of Igor Luksic offered it to the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in 2010 or 2011, as well as to other religious communities. “Other religious communities signed it, the Serbian Orthodox Church rejected it, arguing that there was no need to sign the Agreement with the state it created. I am convinced that there is no need to hurry and avoid public discussion on that issue”, President Djukanovic has stated. “So, we have to respond to that importance, and we have to allow everyone to get involved on that issue and everyone has to do their part of the job. The Government must take into account the interests of the state, the church must take into account its own interests”, President Djukanovic has pointed out. President Djukanovic has stressed that he is optimistic and added that “Montenegro has shown that it has a democratic capacity for much more difficult challenges”.
Radulovic: Political decisions of allies haven’t been aimed at solving problems in the Balkans for a long time (Pobjeda)
A group of intellectuals, civil activists and journalists from Montenegro and the region have urged the European Union, the United States of America and NATO to increase their military, political and economic involvement in the countries of the Western Balkans in order to prevent the further malignant influence of non-Balkan and non-European factors, Pobjeda reports.
Their appeal, which Pobjeda had access to, indicates the necessity of an active relationship with the pro-European opposition and political structures and authentic civil society in the region in order to confirm and strengthen support for the Euro-Atlantic orientation and the future of the Western Balkans. “The Western Balkans needs a greater understanding by European and Euro-Atlantic friends”, says for Pobjeda the president of the European Movement in Montenegro, Momcilo Radulovic, who is also one of the appeal signatories.
Djukanovic: Full unity of Alliance demonstrated at Summit (CDM)
“First of all, the full unity of the Alliance was demonstrated at the Summit. In addition, decisions were adopted that confirm the determination of the NATO alliance to remain a key factor in preserving peace and stability in the world”, said the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, after the two-day NATO Summit that was held in Madrid. He added that he considered the Summit to be a very successful one.
“Common, absolutely unique responses to key challenges have been defined. The responses to the threats coming from Russia, but also to other challenges such as cyber and hybrid actions, such as the threat of terrorism, such as the threat to food safety and the threat of climate change, have been defined. What is very important is the repeated unique and harsh condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the equally steadfast determination of the NATO alliance to contribute to the further determined defense of Ukraine, which is not only a defense of the freedom and independence of that country, but also a true defense of European security, European stability and the Euro-Atlantic value system. We talked very thoughtfully and very uniquely about other challenges, such as the challenges that China brings to the geopolitical scene”, he told reporters after the Summit.
Djukanovic: The war in Ukraine and the coup attempt in Montenegro are from the same political title, we will see the effects of Abazovic’s visit to Serbia (CDM)
The President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, stated, on the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic to Belgrade, that every conversation between the countries of the region is very important. “Unfortunately, during the last couple of years, relations between Serbia and Montenegro have cooled down. Perceptions of reason are different. We in Montenegro find reasons in the renewed political idea of Serbia to, under the guise of caring for the rights of Serbs in the region, essentially interfere in the sovereignty of neighboring countries. It is something that must bother every state. In this case, it certainly bothers Montenegro”, pointed out Djukanovic, answering the questions of the journalists during the NATO summit in Madrid. It is natural, he adds, that the ruling political structures are looking for ways to overcome these differences through dialogue. “Any conversation on this topic is very welcome. In that context, I think that the invitation to Prime Minister Abazovic is welcome. We will see what the effects of that visit will be, but as an effort to renew the dialogue at the highest level in order to heal the relationship, it is certainly to be welcomed”, said Djukanovic from Madrid.
Retrograde nationalist policies threaten the disintegration of B&H
Speaking about the role of Montenegro on the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H)’s candidate status for the EU, Djukanovic says that a few days ago, at the EU summit in Brussels, he proposed that B&H be given candidate status at that summit. “I was not the only one who advocated for that. There were many of them, especially representatives of the region, who repeated the argument about any decision. Unfortunately, at this moment, the EU has decided to grant the status only to Moldova and Ukraine, but it seems to me with a clear readiness to grant status to B&H in the coming period, I sincerely believe during this year. This is my expectation, my forecast. Let’s hope I’m right. I am deeply convinced that B&H needs additional attention from the international community. It seems to me that the international community has significantly relaxed its role in Bosnia in recent years, and that this is one of the reasons why, we believed, the buried breath of retrograde nationalist policies threatening further disintegration, and certainly preventing Bosnia’s functionality and stopping realization of its European ambitions”, said Djukanovic.
Asked whether he thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin could try to destabilize B&H, or the wider region, through domestic politicians, Djukanovic clearly said – I do not have any dilemma about that. “The war in Ukraine is not just a Russian-Ukrainian war. The current Kremlin policy is trying to collapse the European value system, and that policy is looking for allies and space for its penetration in every part of Europe. Of course, it is looking for it among our dissidents. So, he is looking for it among the leaders of parties that are Eurosceptic, and which are opponents of European unification,” Djukanovic pointed out. He added that it is not a coincidence that the Western Balkans are among those priority preferences of the current Russian policy, because, as he says, the countries in those parts are quite weak.
Kovacevski at a meeting with coalition partners on the French proposal (Libertas)
The Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski will have a meeting with the leaders of the parties in the government coalition in the Government this morning, at which the proposal of the French presidency will be considered. Kovacevski announced on Facebook that the meeting, which opens a process of broad consultations, will be held at 11 o’clock. “Immediately after the meeting, we will publish the proposal in integral form on the official website of the Government. During the day, in addition to the meeting with the coalition, a series of consultations and talks will be held with the expert and professional public as well as the media. As I announced yesterday, the whole process will be transparent, and the public will be informed in detail about all the next steps. I call for accountability from all relevant stakeholders in society, speculations on important state and national issues do not benefit anyone” said Kovacevski. He appealed to all political actors and the media to rely on official information from the institutions and asked for constructiveness and support from all stakeholders to make a wise decision in the interest of all citizens.
Pendarovski: The modified French proposal is far better for us than the previous one (Libertas)
French President Emmanuel Macron told me today, and I conveyed it to our Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, that France, as the EU presidency, will make modifications to the proposed text of the negotiating framework, said the head of state Stevo Pendarovski from Madrid, adding that this proposal is far better for us than the previous one.
– This is not a new proposal. In two or three places in the proposal there are modifications that they made in consultation with both parties. However, we said not to repeat the mistake of the last time, no one can – not president, not prime minister – no one can speak on behalf of an entire nation, an entire country, there are competent institutions in our country. “We have to communicate what is now a modified French proposal, of course first in the Government, the coalition partners have to communicate it, it has to be communicated with the Macedonian public and it has to communicate with the Macedonian Parliament,” Pendarovski told Sitel.
The head of state said that he was familiar with the content of the proposal, but as he said it was “gentlemanly” not to comment on it until we receive an official response from Sofia and Skopje.
– Both sides will be expected to express their position and here I have a small reservation for Sofia, because there is a rather chaotic political situation in which there is no government, the government has fallen, and the foreign minister who is practically the most advanced player on their side in those talks, he resigned a few days before the government fell, said Pendarovski, who is attending the NATO summit in Madrid.
He emphasizes that this modified French proposal is far better for us than the previous one.
We cannot stand for an agreement that does not give us anything, and we must have a guarantee for the Macedonian identity and a guarantee that language, nationality will never be mentioned anywhere from now on, no matter how long the negotiations last. So, if we do not get it with guarantees from the EU, not from Sofia, but from the EU and Brussels, we cannot enter the process further, added Pendarovski. The head of state also informed that in conversations with “our friends” at the NATO Summit he was told that if we do not use this, it could be the last such chance, because the next one could be initiated in who knows how many years, – We were friendly suggested not to repeat the mistake, as in 2008 when we were rejected from NATO membership, because we did not have an agreement with Greece. You know that, the agreement with Greece was made for a single reason. Prespa protects the Macedonian national identity and Prespa cements the Macedonian language for the whole world. At the UN, the Macedonian language has been translated into all six official languages, and it is the largest world organization. According to him, now our government should immediately come out and welcome the efforts of the French presidency and say what are the next stages in our country.
– That is the most important thing. I repeat, it does not matter that the French presidency ends today, it is important that the French proposal, modified in this way, continues to live and will be taken over by the Czech presidency. This is about some continuity of European policies towards us. So, the Czechs will not start from scratch from tomorrow as if nothing happened. Do not forget that certain important components, for example bilateral or unilateral statements about our language that were provided by the Portuguese proposal are in a certain form also contained in this so-called French proposal, emphasizes the President of the Republic.
Rama appeals to the Macedonian parliament to accept the French proposal (Radio Tirana)
Prime Minister Edi Rama has appealed to North Macedonia to accept the proposal of French President Macron to resolve the stalemate with Bulgaria. Through a Twitter post, the head of government addresses the Macedonian lawmakers and asks them to pass in parliament the French proposal that would pave the way for the start of negotiations for membership in the European Union for Tirana and Skopje. “The latest French proposal, which is also the final one, gives North Macedonia the possibility of an unconditional accession and paves the way for the official start of negotiations for the membership of both countries in the European Union! “I say to the Macedonian & Albanian brothers in North Macedonia: Accept it!” Rama writes on Twitter.
Balla: The first intergovernmental conference will be held next week (Radio Tirana)
The head of the socialist parliamentary group, Taulant Balla said that the first intergovernmental conference will be held next week! However, what does this mean for our country? The first Intergovernmental Conference officially starts the negotiations for a country’s membership in the European Union. The conference brings together government representatives and sets out the basic frameworks. These frameworks set out the guidelines and principles governing membership negotiations with each candidate country. The Commission will immediately begin the necessary preparatory work. Negotiations take place between ministers and ambassadors of EU governments and the candidate country in what is called an intergovernmental conference. The first stage involves rigorous review of the candidate country’s legislation; negotiations then proceed methodically through a series of EU legislation, which the candidate country must adopt, implement and enforce. Negotiations also extend to other rights and obligations that all Member States must accept – these are known as the Community acquis. Accession negotiations must be completed before a new member state can join the European Union.
Albania close to negotiations! Borrell: Time to bring the Western Balkans into the Union (Radio Tirana)
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell says he welcomes the proposal submitted by the French presidency for a compromise between Skopje and Sofia.
Through a twitter post, Borrell writes that this is a moment to move forward in bringing the Western Balkans into the European Union. “We welcome the compromise proposal presented by the French Presidency Emmanuel Macron, which will now be broadly consulted in Skopje. “This is a moment to move forward in bringing the Western Balkans to the EU,” Borrell writes.