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Belgrade Media Report 5 July 2022

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Tuesday 5 July 2022

LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: UAE visit will strengthen friendship between the two nations (RTS)
• Petkovic: Pristina wants to stop negotiations with the term “enforced disappearances” (Tanjug/RTV)
• Drecun: Pristina jeopardizing dialogue, Vucic-Kurti meeting (Tanjug)
• Final results of Serbian parliamentary elections released (Tanjug)
• RIK: Election process completed, countdown starts for parliament formation (RTS/Beta)
• No complaints in fifth revote in Veliki Trnovac (Bujanovacke/Beta)
• Report says Serbian media landscape heavily polarized (N1)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Deadline for submitting candidate lists for general elections expires; Politicians express their expectations from October elections (O Kanal)
• Dodik says whoever wins majority in FB&H will continue same national policy and their goal will be destroying of RS (Nezavisne)
• Kovacevic: We expect absolute victory at all levels, independent majority in RS parliament (ATV)
• HR Schmidt: There may be some developments this week in Brussels regarding Election Law agreement (N1)
Montenegro
• Abazovic with EU ambassadors in Montenegro: We resolve difficult issues immediately without any reservations or conditions (CdM)
• Hrebickova: Open Balkans and agreement with the Church of Serbia are not Montenegro’s priorities on the way to the EU (Gradska RTV)
• Vujovic: The partners clearly say that if the negotiations with the SPC are more important than the negotiations with the EU, elect a new government (CdM)
• Vuksanovic Stankovic: No one in Montenegro has ever declared that Serbia is a genocidal state, that is part of political manipulation (Gradski.me)
• Celanovic: Citizens’ protest in front of the Government is justified, we once again call on the state-forming parties to deny support to Abazovic (CdM)
• Djukanovic: Montenegro has a lot to learn from tourism development of San Marino (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Osmani: If we say “no”, inter-ethnic tensions will start and we will have food and energy crisis (Republika)
• Macedonian Orthodox Church is against the French proposal, but does not go out to protest (Republika)
• Nikoloski: We will not allow constitutional changes! (TV Alfa)
• Today’s protest will start earlier – at 12h, when the session for the non-Macedonian proposal is scheduled (Republika)
• The European proposal is available on the government’s website (Libertas)
• The EC will present details about the Macedonian language in the Frontex agreement as soon as possible (Libertas/MIA)
Albania
• Rama appeals to Skopje: Accept the French proposal! We will ask decoupling if you refuse (Radio Tirana/Canale 5)
• Albanian delegation takes part in the proceedings of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Vucic: UAE visit will strengthen friendship between the two nations (RTS)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic today met with Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Belgrade Mubarak Saeed Burshaid Al Dhaheri, who conveyed greetings and a letter from President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, inviting Vucic to an official visit. Vucic, expressing gratitude to the president of the United Arab Emirates and his great friend Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, accepted the invitation. He stressed that this visit will only further strengthen the already sincere friendship between the two peoples and contribute to the development of relations between Serbia and the Emirates. Vucic and Al Dhaheri also discussed further strengthening cooperation in various fields and development of bilateral relations, as well as current regional and international issues of common interest. The two interlocutors also discussed improvement of the economic and especially the investment partnership between the two countries, with a special emphasis on the field of energy, the Serbian president’s press service has announced.

 

Petkovic: Pristina wants to stop negotiations with the term “enforced disappearances” (Tanjug/RTV)

 

For Serbia, the issue of missing persons is a highly humanitarian issue, not a political one, while the politicians in Pristina are “full of mouths” on the subject, and when something concrete needs to be done and Belgrade’s demands are met to investigate locations where there are well-founded suspicions that they are hiding mortal remains of Serbs, in Pristina there is complete silence, said the Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic. When asked to comment on the fact that Pristina is planning to insert the wording “enforced disappearances” in the Agreement on the Disappeared and thereby directly accuse Serbia of crimes, Petkovic said that the term “enforced disappearances” is absolutely unacceptable and that Pristina wants to block agreements and negotiations about the missing with that term. Petkovic said at a press conference in the Serbian government that all the initiative to reach an agreement on the missing persons with Pristina comes from Belgrade. “We initiated the topic, we initiated the text of the agreement and investigated all 23 locations for which Pristina submitted a request and thereby showed that the issue of missing persons is a highly humanitarian issue for us, not a political one,” said Petkovic. He stated that the text of the agreement was reached before Albin Kurti unilaterally made the decision to cancel Serbian license plates and identity cards. “We arrived to a text of the agreement that was acceptable to us because we have no problem with that topic, and then when that text was already acceptable to the EU and all participants in the process of finding missing persons, suddenly Pristina came up with a new wording where it wanted to insert, in addition to the term missing person, also enforced disappearance,” said Petkovic. He pointed out that Pristina, thinking that we do not know conventions and international law, wanted to exert pressure in order not to later use that document for possibly new trials against Belgrade. “Because, precisely that wording, enforced disappearance, is a legal category that is clearly defined in the special UN convention on protection against enforced disappearance, where the state and state authorities are solely responsible for enforced disappearance,” said Petkovic. As he added, they thought they would “trick” us into agreeing to such a document, so that Belgrade would allegedly be blamed for all the disappeared in the area of Kosovo and Metohija, including Serbs. “And where is the KLA? What is happening to that terrorist organization which is most responsible for the disappearance and killing of many?,” asked Petkovic and added that the Special Court in The Hague also confirms this, given that the top leaders of the KLA are being tried in The Hague today for war crimes. Petkovic once again called on the international community to “come to their senses” and put pressure on Pristina to form the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) because, as he said, if it does not fulfill everything that was signed in the agreement in Brussels, it may be too late and we may go to “a precipice with incalculable consequences”. Petkovic reminded that 3,364 days have passed since the ZSO was not formed and added that the ZSO is the one that should represent the institutional mechanism for the protection of the collective rights of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija, given that these rights do not exist today. He stated that every day we can see that with the unilateral moves of Pristina and Albin Kurti, the human rights of the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija are being narrowed and trampled on – the right to vote, the right to freedom of movement… “Please remember this call of mine to the international community, because we are primarily addressing them, the representatives of the international community, that is, the most powerful countries of the West, because they are the ones who can form the ZSO, because only their pressure can move us a step forward so that someone finally forces Pristina to fulfill its obligations,” said Petkovic.

 

Drecun: Pristina jeopardizing dialogue, Vucic-Kurti meeting (Tanjug)

 

The Chair of the Serbian parliamentary committee on Kosovo and Metohija Milovan Drecun said on Monday Pristina’s most recent unilateral moves regarding vehicle license plates definitely put a question mark over dialogue with Belgrade and jeopardized it. “According to the dynamics set for July, we had two meetings – the first on 14 July, dedicated to reaching an agreement on missing persons, and the second on 19 July, at the highest level – between Kurti and President Aleksandar Vucic,” Drecun said in a statement to Tanjug. Drecun said the EU special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajcak, too, had said Pristina’s unilateral moves had substantially changed the situation. That was Lajcak’s message that he is uncertain how the dialogue will proceed, Drecun said. “President Vucic, too, has said Pristina had broken off the dialogue. With their moves, they have rendered dialogue pointless and it is unclear whether a continuation of dialogue will take place,” Drecun said, noting that any progress now required strong activity by Lajcak. Lajcak needs to speak with both sides to see whether there is a possibility of the dialogue continuing and when that could happen, Drecun also said.

 

Final results of Serbian parliamentary elections released (Tanjug)

 

The Serbian national election commission on Tuesday announced the final results of the 3 April parliamentary elections. The Aleksandar Vucic – Together We Can Do it All list won 1,635,101 votes and will have 120 seats in the new parliament, the commission’s President Vladimir Dimitrijevic said. The Marinika Tepic – United for Victory of Serbia list won 520,469 votes, which is equivalent to 38 seats in the parliament, while the Ivica Dacic for PM of Serbia won 435,274 votes, or 31 seats. The Milos Jovanovic – Hope for Serbia and the We Must – Action – Ecological Uprising electoral lists will have 15 and 13 seats in the parliament, respectively.

The Milica Djurdjevic Stamenkovski – Serbian Oathkeepers’ Party list and the Bosko Obradovic-led list will each have 10 seats. The Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians list will have five seats, with the Usame Zukorlic-led The Mufti’s Legacy list to have three seats. The Together for Vojvodina and the Sandzak Party of Democratic Action lists will each have two seats in the parliament. The release of the final election results marks the start of a 30-day deadline for convening the new Serbian parliament. The long-delayed announcement of the results follows as many as five repeat elections at Veliki Trnovac in the Bujanovac municipality, southern Serbia, due to irregularities, disputes and false bomb alerts. Dimitrijevic also said 3,810,559 of the total 6,502,307 registered voters had cast their ballots in the elections. The elections were held at 8,267 polling stations and there were 112,722 invalid ballots. Once the new parliament is formed, a 90-day deadline for forming a new government will begin.

 

RIK: Election process completed, countdown starts for parliament formation (RTS/Beta)

 

The parliamentary election process has been completed and the 30-day period for holding a constituent parliament meeting when mandates of new MPs will be confirmed will be counted from the afternoon on 5 July, Republic Election Commission (RIK) President Vladimir Dimitrijevic has said. “A meeting of the RIK has been scheduled and we will make a final report on election results and submit it to the parliament,” Dimitrijevic has told RTS. Dimitrijevic has recalled that the election process is now complete after the voting has been repeated several times at a polling station in Veliki Trnovac, in the Bujanovac municipality. Dimitrijevic has specified that the deadline for holding a constituent parliament meeting is 4 August, after which MPs will have 90 days to elect a new Serbian government.

 

No complaints in fifth revote in Veliki Trnovac (Bujanovacke/Beta)

 

No complaints have been lodged after ballots picking members of the Serbian parliament were re-cast a fifth time in the village of Veliki Trnovac, Fejzi Beciri, head of the Municipal Electoral Commission in Bujanovac has confirmed, noting that the deadline expired on 3 July. In the fifth revote in Veliki Trnovac, held on 30 June, the Coalition of Albanians of the Valley won 698 votes and one seat in the Serbian parliament. The seat will go to Saip Kamberi, who headed the ticket. “Once the [Municipal Electoral Commission] adopts a summary report, it will be up to the National Electoral Commission to declare the final results of the parliamentary election,” Beciri told the Bujanovacke portal. Polling place number six in Veliki Trnovac has seen five revotes since 3 April, election day. The voting was abrogated four times after complaints by the ethnic Albanian Coalition and the Socialist Party of Serbia.

 

Report says Serbian media landscape heavily polarized (N1)

 

The Center for Media Pluralism and Freedom said in its latest report that Serbia’s media landscape is heavily polarized with critical media viewed as political opponents by the authorities. Serbia’s “heavily polarized media landscape between pro-government tabloids and critical media mirrors a divided political landscape, where critically minded media are often perceived as political opponents”, the report said. “In spite of the professional community’s high expectations that the new Media Strategy, adopted in 2020, could improve conditions for media pluralism and freedom in Serbia, the deadlines for the implementation of activities defined under its Action Plan have been exceeded,” it said. According to the report, the Serbian authorities do not enforce media laws which leads to a medium risk rating on fundamental protection with media freedom undermined by different instruments including the threat of law suits or criminal charges against journalists and SLAPP suits as well as intensive pressure against critically-minded journalists and media in parliament. In terms of market plurality, the report said, the major risks in Serbia stem from a high concentration of news media and commercial and owner influence on editorial content. “The major influence noted was that of state and party officials over private media, thanks to the political connections with certain media owners and marketing organizations. The influences were mostly conducted through direct contracting and public procurement. Many private outlets are owned by the ruling SNS supporters. State advertising was common in the Public Service Media as well. Media freedom and pluralism were particularly exposed by the lack of transparency in the process of project co-financing of media, as well as by persisting abuses of funds through project co-financing schemes,” the report said. The report warned of heavy political pressure on journalists and editors. “Media independence was undermined by editorial pressures from politically connected media owners and direct pressure and threats against journalists, which contributed to the high rates of self-censorship,” it said and added that the most influential privately owned media regularly participated in smear campaigns against the political opposition and media outlets perceived as government opponents. The report said that the journalistic profession in Serbia is open to everyone with no restrictions or discrimination but warned that the profession itself is insecure.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Deadline for submitting candidate lists for general elections expires; Politicians express their expectations from October elections (O Kanal

 

The deadline for submitting of candidate lists for general elections in October expired on Monday. Political parties arrived at the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) on Monday to officially submit their lists. The final verification of these lists will be done by 29 July and by 3 August. The B&H CEC will public official lists in official gazettes and media by 18 August. President of SBB Fahrudin Radoncic said that they have many new names on their lists which will contribute to changes on the political scene. He said that besides the Federation of B&H (FB&H) and B&H level, the battle for Sarajevo is the most important one. Radoncic said that they want to turn Sarajevo into a new Dubai and they need the support of citizens to do this together. The coalition ‘Zeljko Komsic – Movement for B&H’ will appear in elections in the FB&H in full capacity, while DF will be part of the coalition ‘State’ (Drzava) in Republika Srpska (RS), where they expect to have one MP in the RS parliament. DF Secretary General Dzenan Djonlagic said that their message is that people need to decide whether they want the relation to be 2:1 for B&H or against B&H in the B&H Presidency. SDP, ‘Our Party’ (NS) and ‘Justice and People’ (NiP) submitted their candidate lists as well. Representative of coalition ‘Pokret za Drzavu’ Edin Ramic said that their coalition has 10 parties gathered in the RS and they have candidates for the RSNA, RS Vice President and the B&H level. He believes that this coalition is the most significant one in B&H and it is the most multi-ethnic one. Ramic said that they have new people as candidates, as well as more experienced ones. He hopes that this will motivate people around the world to vote more. SNSD submitted their candidate lists as well. Spokesperson for SNSD Radovan Kovacevic said that they expect victory at all levels. He added that they expect individual majority in the RSNA. SDA Secretary General Halid Genjac said that they have Croats and Serbs on their candidate lists, while Bosniaks make up the vast majority. There will be a total of nine candidates for the B&H Presidency, which represents a historically low number. HDZ B&H will have more than 400 candidates for all levels of authorities. They believe that they will achieve victory and the Borjana Kristo will successfully enter the B&H Presidency. Vice President of HDZ B&H Darijana Filipovic said that the lists of the party represent a combination of experienced political figures and new young people who represent a new energy and freshness. President of HDZ 1990 Ilija Cvitanovic said that their most important role in the election process is to make sure that the Croat people in B&H have the opportunity to choose between the continuation of the situation or change, which HDZ 1990 carries. President of ‘Justice and People’ Elmedin Konakovic said that they can announce a serious election result and that they will lead political processes in the majority of cantons, as well as on the FB&H and B&H level together with their coalition partners. President of SDP Nermin Niksic said that their coalition has shown it can function together despite ideological differences. He stressed that when they agree on a program, there is no cheating and no lies. Secretary General of ‘Our Party’ (NS) Nihad Uk said that they expect that after elections no decision in B&H will be made without the approval of NS. President of the ‘List for Justice and Order’ Nebojsa Vukanovic said that his goal is to have a strong caucus that will insist on tectonic changes. Vice President of PDP Jelena Trivic said that those who destroyed the country, sent the people away and made corruption an everyday occurrence are the real traitors of all sides. She stressed that they will remove them from power.

 

Dodik says whoever wins majority in FB&H will continue same national policy and their goal will be destroying of RS (Nezavisne

 

SNSD leader Milorad Dodik recently commented on candidates from the FB&H for the highest individual positions in upcoming general elections and he said: “To speculate on election winners in the FB&H, at least when it comes to Muslims, would be a waste of time. Whoever wins the majority will carry out the same national policy and the RS will remain their main goal that needs to be destroyed.” To substantiate these claims, Dodik said that all political parties from Sarajevo “had a single stance” during talks on changes to the Election Law of B&H. Dodik also said that “dangerous nationalistic Muslim pulse is hidden in false civic parties from Sarajevo” and he claimed that “the existence of left wing which is not burdened with nationalism is merely an illusion”.

 

Kovacevic: We expect absolute victory at all levels, independent majority in RS parliament (ATV

 

SNSD officially submitted its candidate lists for the upcoming elections to the B&H Central Election Commission (CEC) on Monday. ATV reports the information was confirmed by SNSD Spokesperson Radovan Kovacevic who said that SNSD leader Milorad Dodik will be running for the post of the RS President, reminding that Dodik already served two mandates in the said post and has the support of SNSD’s coalition partners, and that SNSD Vice President Zeljka Cvijanovic will be running for the B&H Presidency. In a statement for ATV, Kovacevic said SNSD candidate lists include a large number of “people who have the experience and the knowledge, but also a large number of new, younger people, who have new energy and strength how to contribute to additionally improve lives of all citizens in the RS, but also how to additionally protect all RS’ interests at all levels, i.e. from the RS, through Sarajevo, but also on all world meridians, to represent citizens of the RS and protect the RS’ interests in the best possible way”. Referring to expected election results, Kovacevic said: “We expect absolute victory at all levels, we expect we will have independent majority in the RS pariament, but continue successful cooperation with all our coalition partners.”

 

HR Schmidt: There may be some developments this week in Brussels regarding Election Law agreement (N1

 

The High Representative to B&H Christian Schmidt stated that one should not break a train at full acceleration, while alluding to an agreement regarding changes to B&H Election Law. Schmidt said that there may be some developments this week in Brussels when the Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik, HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic and SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic meet with European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi. Schmidt was quoted as saying: “They are in Brussels this week and I think that some decisions will be made that can be discussed. These are perhaps certain suggestions. Those proposals go exactly to the one, so, they should be addressed to the one who makes those proposals. So, does this country need and want to change the law or is it being changed? No. Well, for 15 years there has been talk of changes to the Election Law and it has not been changed. But I think that also certain things can be regulated and some things can be changed.” Schmidt also said that the German government halted assistance to the RS worth EUR 120 million because of “secessionist behavior” and he added that a discussion on sanctions might be possible sooner or later. Schmidt added that he expects the Constitutional Court of B&H to make a decision on establishment of the Agency for Medicinal Products of the RS on Wednesday and he announced that only then he will “act”.

 

Abazovic with EU ambassadors in Montenegro: We resolve difficult issues immediately without any reservations or conditions (CdM

 

The Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazovic, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Montenegro Oana Cristina Popa, and the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Montenegro Janina Hrebickova held a working breakfast with the ambassadors of the EU member states in Montenegro, his Cabinet announced. During the working breakfast, they discussed the reform process, challenges on the way to further integration, internal political conditions in our country, regional cooperation, geopolitical challenges caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation on Ukraine, infrastructure projects and economic development of the country, with a special emphasis on the northern region of Montenegro. Popa pointed out that the working breakfast coincides with the Stabilization and Association Council meeting, which will be held this month in Podgorica and for the first time outside the EU. Hrebickova stressed that “such positive signals from Brussels and from all EU member states have not been seen in the last 22 years. Therefore, Montenegro can be a collateral winner of current opportunities”. “We are strengthening the democratic capacity in order to make the most important decisions that will boost our European perspective. “In order to be able to focus on our European agenda and the reform process, we must solve difficult issues immediately, without holding back or conditioning,” stressed Abazovic. At the meeting of Prime Minister Abazovic with the ambassadors of the EU countries in Montenegro, the results of a public opinion survey were presented, which show that the government of Montenegro has the support of over 60% of citizens. The working breakfast was organized on the occasion of the beginning of the Czech presidency of the EU, Ambassador Hrebickova spoke about the focus of the EU during the presidency of the Czech Republic, with special attention to the importance of the European integration of the Western Balkans.

 

Hrebickova: Open Balkans and agreement with the Church of Serbia are not Montenegro’s priorities on the way to the EU (Gradska RTV

 

The EU wants to see work on reforms in all departments in the country, which must be implemented so that Montenegro can make concrete progress on its way to the EU by the end of the year, Czech Ambassador Janina Hrebickova told Gradska RTV. She emphasizes that the Open Balkans and the contract with the Church of Serbia, although very important issues for society, are not priorities on EU path. “These are not priorities, because the priority for the EU, for the presidency and for all member states and institutions of the EU is that the government of Montenegro, ministries of Montenegro, society, all institutions of Montenegro, commit themselves and actively work to make reforms that are necessary to speed up the membership of Montenegro”, believes Hrebickova. The Czech ambassador points out that they regularly talk with representatives of the government of Montenegro, and that all ministries must participate in the reform process. “It was the same with us in the Czech Republic, when we entered the EU integration process, we all had to work a lot in all departments, both at the political, technical and expert level. And that needs to be seen in order to speed up the integration process and for Montenegro to move forward a little faster. We hope that all departments understand this in Montenegro”, concluded Hrebickova. French Ambassador Christian Thimonier believes that the European Union expects concrete steps from Montenegro. The priority, he says, are reforms in the judiciary. The Open Balkans and the contract with the Church of Serbia are internal issues and should be treated as such. “We all hope that no one will take advantage of these sensitive issues to undermine Montenegro’s path to the European Union, and that is the most important thing,” Thimonier says. According to Hrebickova, the President of the country Milo Djukanovic sent a very wise message from Madrid. “That everyone, the president and ministers and the prime minister together with us, with the presidency but also with all EU member states, should work on accelerating reforms in all departments. I think that is very important”, Djukanovic assessed. Gradska TV tried to get an answer from Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic himself to the question about the priorities of the 43rd government of Montenegro, but after the meeting with the ambassadors of the EU, which was clearly not pleasant for him, the Prime Minister, visibly annoyed, rushed off without even listening to the questions. “No, but ask that Djonovic,” commented Abazovic briefly. The Prime Minister’s meeting with the ambassadors lasted more than two hours.

 

Vujovic: The partners clearly say that if the negotiations with the SPC are more important than the negotiations with the EU, elect a new government (CdM

 

The General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Ivan Vujovic, commenting on the statement of the Czech Ambassador Janina Hrebickova, said that our partners are clearly communicating the priorities of the 43rd government – “if negotiations with the privileged SPC are more important than negotiations with the EU – elect a new government”. We remind you that Hrebickova said that “the open Balkans and the agreement with the Church of Serbia are not the priorities of Montenegro on the way to the EU”. “Our partners clearly communicate the priorities of the 43rd government. If the government is European, the priorities are European. If the priorities are different, then the government is not European. If negotiations with the privileged SPC are more important than negotiations with the EU – elect a new government. Everything is clear, it couldn’t be clearer. Crystal clear,” said Vujovic on Twitter.

 

Vuksanovic Stankovic: No one in Montenegro has ever declared that Serbia is a genocidal state, that is part of political manipulation (Gradski.me

 

The position of the SDP is that we support cooperation and developing of the relations with all countries from the region, but we do not support the policy of suppressing the interests of the state of Montenegro and making us completely meaningless as a nation, said the head of the parliamentary group of the SDP and the Liberal Party Draginja Vuksanovic Stankovic. She believes that Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic must think carefully before making a decision on signing the so-called Fundamental Agreement. “Abazovic bears the responsibility and must protect the interests of Montenegro. With this kind of work, he will destabilize the system, because the contract he plans to sign represents the complete destruction of the state, its capitulation and occupation. After that, Montenegro will exist only on paper, because it foresees that the complete sacral and cultural heritage of Montenegro will be transferred to the ownership of another state”, assesses Vuksanovic Stankovic. The MP also referred to the statement of Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin that everyone who voted in the Montenegrin parliament that Serbia is a genocidal state should be ashamed. “Vulin attacked us that we think that Serbia is a genocidal state. No one in Montenegro has ever said that. It is not a single country or nation that is genocidal, but individuals and the government that advocates such a policy. It is strange that he speaks of Serbia as a genocidal creation, and we voted for the Resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, which took place on the territory of another country, which means that Vulin and Serbia are still trying to implement Great Serbian projects through these statements. Or they think that Republika Srpska is part of Serbia. None of us has ever declared that the Serbs are a genocidal nation, that is just part of the political manipulation they are carrying out, with which they want to create divisions and spread the idea of a Serbian world,” said the MP. She adds that it is not a shame that the Montenegrin parliament voted for the Resolution condemning the genocide of a nation, but that these are civilizational values.

Recalling the inactions and illegal decisions of the previous government, Vuksanovic Stankovic says that they will not go unpunished. “All those who work against the interests of Montenegro will not be in power and will be prosecuted. As soon as our judiciary comes to life, we will start with our predecessors who were the biggest detractors of the state they were at the head of,” said the MP. She expects the current leadership to drop the ball and focus on priorities. “It is primarily the unblocking of the judiciary, in order for the state to function, and then step by step towards solving the accumulated problems. I’m not sure that the government understands the priorities, but Minister Marovic seems like a serious person, dedicated to what she does. I think that her goal is the unblocking of the euro path and European integration, and that her priorities are not the Open Balkans and the signing of the Fundamental Agreement,” concludes Vuksanovic Stankovic.

 

Celanovic: Citizens’ protest in front of the Government is justified, we once again call on the state-forming parties to deny support to Abazovic (CdM

 

The protest organized by a group of citizens in front of the government building in Podgorica is completely justified and, when it comes to such important issues, the Social Democrats will always respond to citizens’ calls, announced the general secretary of the SD Milos Celanovic. As he stated, it is quite clear that Prime Minister Abazovic has a clear goal – signing such a contract with the SPC, which means a classic betrayal of Montenegro and its vital state interests. This is supported by his attitude that, as far as the working version of the contract is concerned, he would not change anything. That’s why Abazovic was brought in, to humiliate Montenegro and complete what his predecessor, Zdravko Krivokapic, failed to achieve. “The social democrats once again call on the state-forming parties to, as far as today, take a step towards preventing this shameful betrayal of our homeland. It’s high time they cancel their support for this treacherous government and change society tonight – that instead of being with Abazovic inside the government building, they should be with citizens, sincere patriots, at a protest in front of the government,” Clanovic concluded.

 

Djukanovic: Montenegro has a lot to learn from tourism development of San Marino (CdM

 

Montenegro and San Marino have many common points and connections that concern our history and our future. Both countries have a long and proud history, says the President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, who welcomed with the highest state honors the captains of the Regent of San Marino, Oscar Mina and Paolo Rondelli, who are on an official visit to Montenegro. “Montenegro wants to be a member of the EU, and San Marino wants to have specific relations with the EU that will be based on functioning on the common European market, but all this implies belonging to the European system of values”, Djukanovic has stated. He has announced that there will be discussions with the San Marino delegation about economic cooperation, as well as identifying common priorities. Djukanovic emphasizes that not only tourism and services are the subject of mutual interest. “We have a proposal from San Marino for the adoption of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, an agreement on the protection and promotion of investments. Knowing that culture is a very characteristic area in both countries and that the exchange of cultural goods is the best basis for establishing high-quality interstate relations, an agreement in the field of culture is what we will work on together. Likewise, the fields of science and education”, Djukanovic has said. According to him, our common preoccupation is sustainable development, preservation of natural potential and preservation of cultural and historical heritage.

 

Osmani: If we say “no”, inter-ethnic tensions will start and we will have food and energy crisis (Republika

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani said that if we say “no” to the inclusion of Bulgarians in the Constitution, inter-ethnic tensions will begin and we will have the biggest food and energy crisis. “What is the argument from the Croatian, Montenegrin community to ask why they are not in the Constitution, there is no argument other than typical discrimination. It is in our interest to bring in the Croats and Montenegrins as Croatia has brought in all of them, 25 communities. We must not harbor feelings of anger towards others, we do not have such problems as to hate others, we cannot but include the Bulgarians in the Constitution, there are as many as 3,000, they all have the same rights and privileges. This is a good proposal, which paves the way for us to catch the train to the EU. If we don’t start, Albania will start negotiations, Bulgaria will go to elections, this issue will get stuck, we will enter into crises, people will flee from here. If we say no, if Albania starts the negotiations, believe me, thousands will leave the country, inter-ethnic tensions will begin, we will have the biggest crisis with food and energy,” said Osmani. Meanwhile, Hristijan Mickoski does not even plan to say hello the current Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani in his life, let alone sit at the same table with him. This sharp reaction of the VMRO-DPMNE leader comes after Osmani’s statement today that if we do not accept the French proposal, there will be inter-ethnic tensions, and we will have food and energy crisis. According to Mickoski, it is unacceptable in the 21st century for someone to threaten inter-ethnic tensions and called Osmani a coward. With a man who threatens inter-ethnic tensions in a NATO member country, I have no intention of even saying hello, let alone talking, in my life, Mickoski said sharply. Mickoski told Osmani that neither the Macedonian people nor the citizens are afraid of those who threaten and that only a coward threatens, and he who is not a coward comes before the people and explains to the people how things stand.

 

Macedonian Orthodox Church is against the French proposal, but does not go out to protest (Republika

 

The Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) has not discussed the new French proposal and has no position on the issue. Bishop Timotej confirmed this for “Republika.mk”. He also says that it is not the church’s job to go out on protests. We have not discussed the new proposal. It’s not our job to go out on protests. We just point out if something is acceptable or not, explains Timotej for Republika. A few days ago, the Synod of the MOC said it was against the French proposal and urged the authorities to preserve the Macedonian national interests.

 

Nikoloski: We will not allow constitutional changes! (TV Alfa

 

In Monday’s interview with TV Alfa, VMRO-DPMNE Vice-President Aleksandar Nikoloski commented on the protests held against the acceptance of the French proposal for the Bulgarianization of Macedonia and said that he was very happy that tens of thousands of citizens support those same protests and that he was convinced that if the economic conditions in Macedonia, if people could afford to put gas in their cars, there would be hundreds of thousands.

“These protests became a beautiful movement of Macedonians, I am very happy that Macedonians showed their patriotism because many thought that Macedonians lost their patriotism and buried it deep inside themselves, but at these protests we see that this is not the case and that patriotism is here and it just needs to be woken up, I am happy that our friends from other parts and people who live in Macedonia are joining us, I see many Serbs, Roma, Vlachs who are coming, I see Turks who are coming and that is very important because this is a common battle and I know that there are also numerous Albanians who support this, some of them come to the protests, some intimately. What happened tonight was a spontaneous expression of the people’s dissatisfaction, in conditions where the government continuously ignores the people’s revolt, in conditions when the people come out for three days in a row, almost never in the history of the country, spontaneously and self-organized for three days in a row to appear before the government, a normal government would either resign, or withdraw from the solution, in this case this proposal which means erasing the Macedonians, the Macedonian language, Macedonian history and Macedonian culture. Instead, they are going towards arrogantly passing it, there are some announcements that this document will be adopted by the government tomorrow and at the end of the day it means nothing because the basis of this document is the change of the Constitution, and for the change of the Constitution a two-thirds majority is needed. We made it clear and tonight I want to repeat that VMRO-DPMNE and the parliamentary group will not vote to change the Constitution of Macedonia! This means that the Constitution will not be changed, by not changing, the agreement falls. Because the basis of the agreement made by Kovacevski and Petkov is the change of the Constitution and we will not allow it, that is, we will not support it in the Parliament and without us, they do not have a two-thirds majority,” said Nikoloski. The whole game is for Albania to start the negotiations because there are no conditions for Albania, there are conditions for Macedonia and here only Albania benefits, Nikoloski said in an interview. Nikoloski recalled that he stated back in 2018 that Bujar Osmani from the position of Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs and the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati made an agreement for Macedonia to slow down the reforms in order to form a new group of Macedonia and Albania, because previously Albania was in a group with B&H and Kosovo, i.e. undefined states. Until then that group did not exist because Macedonia was in a group with Croatia, and when Croatia entered the EU, it was left alone because Greece made a problem with the name, and the group was Albania, B&H and Kosovo, that group normally did not correspond to Albania because that these two are undefined countries, and Albania, in order to get out of that group, very wisely used this team, which is now in DUI, and stuck to Macedonia. And from this perspective it is very clear why they did it. And that is to congratulate their diplomacy, but to the detriment of Macedonia. First, they got out of a bad group, they entered a group with Macedonia, Macedonia is dragging them and now that Macedonia is burdened with problems from Bulgaria, they stand out and continue negotiations, explained Nikoloski. Nikoloski said that the essence of the French proposal is for Albania to start negotiations, not Macedonia. The essence of all this is for Edi Rama and Albania to start negotiations, and the public must know that.

 

Today’s protest will start earlier – at 12h, when the session for the non-Macedonian proposal is scheduled (Republika

 

Instead of 19h like in the previous days, the protest against the French proposal will start earlier – at 12h in front of the government building, because that is when the session where this proposal will be considered and most likely signed immediately is set to be held. Information comes from several parties, including the leader of the largest opposition party, Hristijan Mickoski, that there is a fast-paced and insidious push of the proposal that the people is against. We learn from our sources that the government will make a decision on the French proposal tomorrow at a session, the leader of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE Hristijan Mickoski told the media on Monday. He called on the Macedonian people to come outside the government building and say “no” to the proposal. Yesterday, under the motto “Ultimatum – No thanks” in front of the government for the third day in a row, the protest continued against the acceptance of the “French proposal” to lift the Bulgarian veto and start negotiations for Macedonia’s EU membership. Demonstrators started throwing stones, eggs and toilet paper at the government building, and explosions, probably from firecrackers, could also be heard. The demonstrators who broke through the protective fence are led by the MP and leader of the Left, Dimitar Apasiev. Some of the demonstrators clashed with the police who set up a cordon in front of the government building, after they broke through the protective fence and started throwing stones at the police.

 

The European proposal is available on the government’s website (Libertas

 

In order to transparently inform the public, the government of the Republic of North Macedonia published on the official website the proposal of the French presidency in its entirety and you can download it at the following links:

 

https://vlada.mk/sites/default/files/dokumenti/draft_general_eu_position.pdf

https://vlada.mk/sites/default/files/dokumenti/draft_council_conclusions.pdf

https://vlada.mk/sites/default/files/dokumenti/draft_eu_common_position_for_the_1st_igc.pdf

 

The proposal, which incorporates the remarks of the government, is available to the public and has been put to a wide consultation, which began this morning with a meeting of the President of the government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, with the members of the government coalition. During the day and in the following days, the government continues to transparently inform the government coalition, all stakeholders and citizens about the proposal through a public debate.

 

The EC will present details about the Macedonian language in the Frontex agreement as soon as possible (Libertas/MIA

 

In the coming hours, or days, the European Commission will provide details on the agreement with Frontex, which Sofia has so far blocked because of the Macedonian language, the MIA correspondent from Brussels reported. According to Macedonian government representatives, the negotiation framework proposed by the French presidency should also unblock the Frontex agreement, which North Macedonia could not sign until now due to Bulgaria’s refusal to include the Macedonian language in it. At yesterday’s regular press briefing in Brussels, MIA requested an answer from the European Commission if and when this agreement will be signed and if North Macedonia accepts the French proposal, in what form will the Macedonian language appear, will it be a clean wording without asterisks, footnotes and additions . The European Commission was not immediately able to provide an answer. “Now we are considering the practical implications, including the possibility of the contract with Frontex, we need to see a series of operational details on that topic, to see what the implications will be on it” said the spokeswoman for the European Commission Dana Spinant. MIA sent a written request to the Directorate General for Internal Affairs of the European Commission with this issue. From there it received a reply that the services of the European Commission are working on the issue and that they will send an answer “as soon as possible”.

 

Rama appeals to Skopje: Accept the French proposal! We will ask decoupling if you refuse (Radio Tirana/Canale 5

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama has called on North Macedonia to accept the French proposal for unblocking European integration. In an interview for Canale 5 in Skopje, Rama asked North Macedonia not to allow him to stay at the door of the EU for another 17 years. “You should accept that because there will be no other proposal. It’s the final one. It is not necessary to stay at the door of the EU for another 17 years. The door must be open and therefore all issues will be able to be discussed through the dialogue between North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Open this door, open it now,” said Rama. According to the head of the Albanian government, now is the time to make a choice and that it will be a grave mistake not to accept the proposal, because the country will be abandoned and no one will have the will to return to it, therefore the proposal should not be rejected. “The new proposal is final, you must understand that it is final and I strongly believe that it is the right time and it is absolutely right to accept and open this door”, said Rama. Asked if he would have accepted the French proposal if he were in the place of the Macedonian authorities and the Macedonian people, who still remember the negative role of the Bulgarian army in World War II and all the denials of the Macedonian identity, Rama said that he was very clear against Bulgarian behavior and considered it shameful. “But at the same time, it is a fact that Bulgaria is a member of the EU and the Union has a way of dealing with things that have turned into abducting states in the interest of one or the other state and in a sense it has been put in doubt even the spirit of expansion. But this is the reality”, said the Prime Minister. Rama emphasized that Albania will seek decoupling from North Macedonia on its way to the EU if Skopje rejects the French proposal.

 

Albanian delegation takes part in the proceedings of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (Radio Tirana

 

The delegation of the Parliament of Albania is participating in the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, being held in Great Britain. The head of this delegation Damian Gjiknuri had a meeting with Secretary General Roberto Montella. Through a post on the Facebook social network, Gjiknuri emphasizes that the focus of the work of the Parliamentary Assembly is the resolutions on the condemnation of Russian aggression in Ukraine and issues of strengthening security in the space of the OSCE member states. “In the capacity of the Chairman of the delegation of the Parliament of Albania, I participated in the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, which is conducting its work in Birmingham. The focus of the meeting is resolutions on the condemnation of Russian aggression in Ukraine and issues of strengthening security in the space of the OSCE member states. During the work, I had the pleasure of meeting Secretary General Roberto Montella as well as the heads of delegations from other countries with whom we discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation”, writes Gjiknuri.

 

 

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Belgrade Media Report 30 September 2022

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