- In Serbian, Kurti calls for replacement of license plates (media)
- Janjic: Intimidation ahead of accepting Kosovo’s decision, part of Serbia’s model (Koha)
- Kurti congratulates U.S. Independence Day (media)
- Osmani travels for an official visit to Slovenia (media)
- “Finland supports Kosovo’s CoE membership, visa liberalisation” (Telegrafi)
- Former KFOR Commander says there are many dangers in the region (Nacionale)
- Kosovo Government has not yet sent offer to KLA veterans (KP)
- Former PDK MP accused of causing bodily harm to two police officers in Skenderaj (media)
- Foreign Office to pay £423,000 to whistleblowing lawyer who lost job (The Guardian)
In Serbian, Kurti calls for replacement of license plates (media)
The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti called on the Kosovo Serbs to change their car license plates to “RKS”, based on the decision that the government took days ago.
“The process of vehicle registration will be organized in 34 other municipal registration centers, and this will enable the transition from illegal plates to valid ones, plates with the ‘RKS’ sign, based on the laws of the Republic of Kosovo. In this way, we guarantee the supremacy of the law in addition to politics and individual interests, which is in the interest of every citizen of our common state. During the first registration, the technical control will not be required, while the municipalities can decide not to request the payment of 10 euros based on municipal tax. Our Ministry of Internal Affairs will issue an Administrative Instruction that will regulate each step in detail,” Kurti said on Sunday.
Janjic: Intimidation ahead of accepting Kosovo’s decision, part of Serbia’s model (Koha)
Dusan Janjic, director of the Forum for Ethnic Relations in Serbia, said that the repeated statements from Serbia’s leaders over what they say are preparations for attack on Serbs in the north of Kosovo are part of a model used by the leadership in Belgrade.
Speaking to Belgrade-based paper Danas, Janjic said: “Intimidation, which is usually followed by an acceptance of decisions taken in Pristina, is a repeated model.” He said that raising a technical issue to the level of a political one is a strategy used to preserve status quo on one hand and changing the situation on the ground on the other. Janjic noted that such a strategy spreads mistrust and fear. “We are not laying the ground for dialogue but for a new conflict,” he warned.
Kurti congratulates U.S. Independence Day (media)
Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti congratulated 4th of July, Independence Day of the United States, saying that democracy does not defend itself. “We the people of the democratic world need to defend it.”
“Let us pledge, therefore, that we will continue to do everything we can, at all costs, to ensure that Ukraine’s democracy will triumph over Russia’s autocracy. And, standing behind Ukraine and its citizens, let us prove to the whole world, democrats and autocrats at the same time, our steadfast determination, that ‘the government of the people, by the people and for the people, will not disappear from the earth’.”
Osmani travels for an official visit to Slovenia (media)
The President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani has traveled for an official visit to Slovenia, at the invitation of the President of this country, Borut Pahor. In a series of joint activities, President Osmani will discuss the possibilities of deepening cooperation and interstate relations.
She will also hold meetings with the leaders of the Parliament of Slovenia and the National Council of Slovenia. Osmani will also award medals to the Slovenian Armed Forces for the contribution to peace and security within the NATO mission in Kosovo and will meet with the Kosovo diaspora in Slovenia, hold a lecture organized by the Center for the European Perspective and the Bled Strategic Forum, as well as the participate in the show “Spring Awakening”, a co-production of the National Theater of Kosovo and the Center for Arts and Community – Artpolis, which will be given in the Theater of Nova Gorica.
“Finland supports Kosovo’s CoE membership, visa liberalisation” (Telegrafi)
Finland’s minister for European Affairs, Tytti Tuppurainen, says that the stability of the Western Balkans is the most important issue of Europe, in the current situation after Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine.
Commenting on the statements of the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic that the reciprocity established by the government of Kosovo for identity cards and license plates will be “deadly”, the Finnish minister said that any escalating rhetoric is something she regrets.
She believes that it is the right time to liberalise visas for Kosovo, while she points out that Finland is in favor of Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe and other international organizations. . “I want to make it very clear: Finland is in favor of visa liberalisation for Kosovo. Of course you deserve it. Your young people deserve it. I have met many young Kosovar people who are eager to travel, to have equal rights to travel. Kosovo is the only country in the Western Balkans that does not have visa liberalisation. And now is the time to give it. Finland is in favor of this and we have been working towards the goal of the Council reaching an agreement on visa liberalisation… I see Kosovo as part of a multilateral order. I welcome your decision to apply for membership in the Council of Europe. Finland supports your request to become a member of the Council of Europe,” she says.
On Serbia being the only country that has not imposed sanctions on Russia following its military aggression in Ukraine, Tuppurainen notes that countries must clearly decide which side of history they are on. Talking about the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, the Finnish minister for European affairs said she believes is the right moment to expand it even further. She emphasized that it is not up to Kosovo alone to solve the problems that are on the table.
Former KFOR Commander says there are many dangers in the region (Nacionale)
Erhard Buhler, former KFOR Commander, told the news portal the general security situation in Kosovo is good, and there is no reason to worry about it, as external security is guaranteed by the presence of KFOR. However, he said he was concerned about the growing influence of states like Russia, China and others in the Western Balkans, especially as there are many unresolved issues and potential frozen conflicts in the region. He therefore considers that it is more important that the EU integration process finally progresses, adding that he considered the last European Summit a disappointment.
Buhler said that Serbia must finally accept the immeasurable suffering that Milosevic’s regime has brought to the people of the former Yugoslavia but considers that the responsibility for progress in dialogue belongs to both countries. Buhler said he supported the goal of Kosovo authorities to join NATO; however, he added that a great deal of political and military work was still required.
Talking about the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process, Buhler said that facilitation by the EU representatives has not been very successful for several reasons. “Always expressing optimism and raising expectations to the highest level, then formulating further conditions through spokespeople and publicly criticizing the negotiating parties is insufficient and ineffective. Of course, the main responsibilities are the negotiators of the two countries. Together you should try to formulate an overriding strategic interest and goal that is pursued by both parties,” he said.
Kosovo Government has not yet sent offer to KLA veterans (KP)
Two weeks since Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti meeting representatives of the KLA War Veterans’ Organisations and vowing to send a proposal over their demands to be included in the minimum wage law, no such offer has been made to date, Kosovapress reported.
Kosovo Government spokesperson Perparim Kryeziu said however that a “concrete” proposal is being finalized and will be shared with KLA veterans within a short period of time.
Former PDK MP accused of causing bodily harm to two police officers in Skenderaj (media)
Two Kosovo Police officers were injured in an incident over the weekend in Skenderaj with the media claiming that the MP from the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and former deputy mayor of the town, Nuredin Lushtaku, and family members are behind the act.
Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla said that attack against Kosovo Police representatives is an attack against Kosovo’s legal order. “The Republic of Kosovo’s police officers should be untouchable and unobstructed in performing their legitimate public duties,” Svecla said, adding: “Today’s event is not only intolerable legally and morally but also constitutes an attack on the order of the Republic.”
Deputy leader of the PDK, Vlora Citaku, said the attack on police was shameful. “Attacking the Kosovo Police should be unacceptable in any circumstance,” she wrote on social media. She said no one is above the law and urged the relevant authorities to act.
Lushtaku meanwhile said that one of the police officers tried to shoot at his brother and ended up hitting his colleague and that he was not armed. Police said the two officers were injured while at a checkpoint in Skenderaj with one sustaining a gunshot injury and the other was subjected to blunt object trauma. They are not in a life threatening condition. Lushtaku was detained by the police and released following interview. Investigations are ongoing.
Foreign Office to pay £423,000 to whistleblowing lawyer who lost job (The Guardian)
A prosecutor dismissed from a Foreign Office job after blowing the whistle on suspected corruption in the EU’s biggest foreign mission has agreed a settlement with the UK government of more than £400,000.
Maria Bamieh, a barrister, has claimed for the past eight years that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) failed to provide support after she attempted to expose possible collusion between EU officials and suspected criminals in Kosovo.
Instead, she said, government officials told her to ignore apparent evidence of collusion at the EU’s rule of law mission, called EULEX.
Read more at: https://bit.ly/3yCxHz8