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Belgrade Media Report 15 August

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LOCAL PRESS

• Vucic: I am going to Brussels to try to maintain peace (Tanjug/RTS)
• EU: Serbian, Kosovan officials’ inflammatory rhetoric cause for concern (Beta)
• Vucic: We know the names of our people who are on the list for liquidation (TV Prva)
• Brnabic strongly criticizes EEAS statement on relations between Serbia and Kosovo (N1)
• Petkovic: Announcement of EEAS missed, not both sides are guilty (RTV/Tanjug)
• Selakovic: Venezuela wants Kosovo and Metohija to remain part of Serbia (Tanjug)
• Cooperation of B&H with Europol on hold for years (Politika)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Stoltenberg responds to Turkovic’s letter: NATO is developing set of measures specially tailored for B&H (Nova BH)
• Dodik: NATO does not have any role in B&H (N1)
• Becirovic responds to statements from RS regarding NATO presence (Avaz)
• Correspondence between Turkovic and Stoltenberg sparks reactions in RS (RTRS)
• Cavara responds to HR Schmidt’s calls for appointing judges of FB&H CC (Hayat)
• Dunovic, Mahmutbegovic Cavara is inviting candidates for FB&H CC judges on his own initiative (Nova BH/Hayat)
Montenegro
• Three days of mourning after Cetinje shooting (CdM)
• On helicopter carrying Patriarch Porfirije: NATO says Montenegrin authorities should provide answers (Pobjeda)
• Russian diplomat declared persona non grata (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• Pendarovski: Framework Agreement brought peace and stability, preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity (Republika)
• Kovacevski: Ohrid Agreement promotes unity and togetherness (Republika)
• Osmani – Milkov: Efforts to continue developing cooperation in all areas of mutual interest (Republika)
• Mickoski: I will leave politics if any of the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE vote for changing the Constitution (Republika)
• Macedonia withdrew its consent for an honorary consulate of Russia in Bitola, Moscow announces counter reaction (Republika)
Albania
• Albania submits to the Council of Europe the resolution against Dick Marty’s report on the unfounded claims about the trade in human organs (Radio Tirana)
• Local elections/Berisha: Candidates will be appointed by the membership and there will be a competition between two or three people (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Vucic: I am going to Brussels to try to maintain peace (Tanjug/RTS)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday he would travel to Brussels for the upcoming round of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to try to maintain peace and stability, and added that this was his only objective. Speaking to reporters after a display of new weapons and military equipment produced by the national defense industry for the Serbian Armed Forces, Vucic said Serbia was not threatening anyone, but merely wanted to ensure respect of international rules and international legal norms, from UN SC Resolution 1244 to the Brussels agreement. “Those are agreements that are valid and in effect and they must be respected and implemented,” Vucic noted. When asked to comment on a recent EU press release equally blaming Belgrade and Pristina for an escalation of tensions and incendiary rhetoric in Kosovo and Metohija, Vucic said he had no comment to make. “That is for the best,” he added.

Asked by journalists at the Military Academy where he attended a display of weapons, he confirmed that before the meeting in Brussels he will also speak with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and probably with US envoy Gabriel Escobar. “I don’t know what to expect. We are interested in discussing everything. We don’t have a problem with topics. We want to talk about the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO). If they say that is not in accordance with the constitution, then we don’t want such a ZSO that is in accordance with the constitution, because such a community can be formed by any citizen. Why would we be interested in their constitution…,” asked Vucic. As for Pristina’s decision regarding Serbian license plates, the implementation of which has been postponed until 1 September, the situation is clear, said Vucic, and added, “unless someone wants to enforce something by force”. “It can only be done by force, but don’t expect Serbia to help you in legally regulating the problem,” said the President. Vucic said that Serbia wants to talk, and whether these talks will make sense, he says, will be seen in two or three days. When asked whether Albin Kurti is intensifying his rhetoric towards Belgrade due to internal problems, bearing in mind the power cuts now being introduced there, Vucic said that he did not want to comment on that. “I hope they won’t have to turn off electricity, because it would be bad for them, for us and all the people who live there. It’s a lot of money. Electricity can be bought on the market, but the question is who can pay for it. The question is whether he made a decision not to take on additional debt, or whether he has no money,” Vucic noted. Vucic said that it is not easy because the price of electricity today is higher than 430 Euros, and when it is bought for the winter, it is more than 1,000 Euros per megawatt hour. In our country, one megawatt hour is paid 40 Euros, which is 25 times less, and he added that the question is to what degree one entity, or a state, can take on that burden. “We still have money, despite the countless problems that arise on a daily basis related to electricity. For now, we are managing. We have enough money to not jeopardize the level of public debt in any way,” said Vucic.

 

EU: Serbian, Kosovan officials’ inflammatory rhetoric cause for concern (Beta)

 

The “recent increase of inflammatory rhetoric” on the part of officials in Kosovo and Serbia, in particular the mentioning of war and conflict in the Western Balkans, are a cause for great concern, the European External Action Service said in a press release on Sunday. Top officials on both sides will be considered responsible for any escalation leading to increased tension and potential violence in the region, the statement said. The EEAS urged both sides to “put an end to mutual hostilities and dangerous statements and act responsibly.” “All open issues will be addressed through the EU-facilitated Dialogue on normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia,” the statement noted, adding that the EU expected Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Premier Albin Kurti to discuss these topics in their upcoming meeting in Brussels, slated for 18 August. Reaching a “comprehensive and legally binding agreement” on the full normalization of relations requires a “climate that contributes to restoring trust, reconciliation and good relations”, with respect and the full implementation of earlier agreements, the EEAS press release read, adding that there was no place for actions or statements that were incompatible with the general interest and strategic goals of the region.

 

Vucic: We know the names of our people who are on the list for liquidation (TV Prva)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic TV Prva that Pristina’s actions do not contribute to easing of tensions, he’ll go to Brussels to present current state of affairs. “I’m going to Brussels with a strong will to show them all the dangers and challenges that Serbia currently faces. They want to abolish the KM license plates, that’s their only goal, it’s not even to have theirs accepted, but to abolish these, and that’s it. They have no right,” he said. “As well as asking for a declaration from those who have a Serbian identity card and live in Kosovo, they can do that for those who do not live in Kosovo, but for the Serbs who live there, that is not possible. They can, together with NATO, forcefully implement whatever they want,” he said. “The Albanians are behaving irresponsibly, as are their protectors, they are now in shock because I know that they were moving the units. Do you really think that I would think up that they want to liquidate our people in the north. Well, that was said on their meeting. They are now looking at how to find out how I know,” explained Vucic. “I went public with this in order to prevent it, but I don’t believe that I succeeded in that. They will not calm down until they finish the north of Kosovo, they think that they have finished everything else. We will not allow the pogrom of our people. You can do everything else by force. I am not really into insulting this tortured Kurti… We are doing everything to maintain peace, almost at any cost, unless there is a pogrom and the expulsion of our people. They are laughing at our tractors, since they are probably much braver,” he said.

 

The names of the candidates for Prime Minister

President of Serbia also spoke about the names of the candidates of the Serbian Progressive Party for the mandate of the new government and said that there are two names in the list, namely Ana Brnabic and Milos Vucevic. Vucic said that it is possible that the two SNS candidates for the mandate of the new government will be Ana Brnabic and Milos Vucevic. “There is a possibility that one candidate will be nominated by the coalition partners, and it is possible that Milos Vucevic and Ana Brnabic will be nominated from the SNS,” said Vucic. “I am very satisfied with the work of Brnabic, very satisfied. But if you think that the choice of ministers is something that I dictate, it is not… Politics is a list of compromises, you cannot decide on everything. If you ask me, Ana was an outstanding prime minister,” he said is. “If she doesn’t become prime minister, she will absolutely acquire an important position,” he added. “Tell me the name of the one who can call me and tell me who should or shouldn’t be a minister,” he said.

 

Brnabic strongly criticizes EEAS statement on relations between Serbia and Kosovo (N1)

 

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic strongly criticized the statement of the European External Affairs Service over the recent escalation of inflammatory rhetoric between the officials of Kosovo and Serbia, comparing it to an April Fool’s joke and arguing that Kosovo PM Albin Kurti is trying to “provoke an armed conflict”. “Looking at this EEAS statement, one would think today is April 1st, not August 14th. It must be some kind of joke. For 175 days, Kurti provoked an armed conflict with the Serbs. And this is happening in a year that will be remembered as the year in which he took away the most basic human rights from those same Serbs in Kosovo – forbidding them to vote. Apart from a useless written statement, the EU has done absolutely nothing because of this,” Brnabic posted on Twitter. She pointed out that it has been nearly ten years since Belgrade and Pristina signed the Brussels agreement, and that “even the EU itself admits that they cannot force Kurti to establish the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) – the backbone of the Brussels agreement”. She also wrote that “if the EU had done its part – ensured the implementation of the Brussels Agreement and guaranteed the basic human rights of the Serbs in Kosovo – things would be much different today”. “Therefore, please stop the hypocrisy,” Brnabic wrote.

 

Petkovic: Announcement of EEAS missed, not both sides are guilty (RTV/Tanjug)

 

The commitment of Belgrade and President Aleksandar Vucic to the dialogue and solving the problems in Kosovo and Metohija through political and peaceful means has never been questioned, and that is why today’s announcement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) was completely missed, as well as a series of previous appeals by the Brussels administration to “both sides”, the Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic announced on Sunday. “The fact that Albin Kurti and his extremist regime do what they want is, among other things, a consequence of the EU’s inaction in situations when strong reactions and measures against the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina were necessary,” Petkovic pointed out in a statement. He said that the EEAS, unfortunately, prefers to opt for fruitless appeals to “both sides”, which are only adding fuel to the fire, encouraging Kurti and encouraging his efforts to destabilize the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and in the entire region. Petkovic pointed out that just as “both sides” are not responsible for the fact that the First Brussels agreement was not implemented for almost a decade, even though its guarantor was the EU, neither Belgrade nor Pristina can be responsible for the series of provocations by Pristina and Kurti’s threats of force. “Instead of using empty rhetoric to divide the responsibility between the abuser and the victim, and the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are unequivocally the victims of Pristina’s aggressive and chauvinistic actions, the EEAS should finally take a more decisive position and prevent Kurti’s war campaign with punitive measures, because in the end, if the situation gets out of control, the responsibility should be shared not by Belgrade, but by those who could have acted in a timely and preventive manner and did not,” said Petkovic.

 

Selakovic: Venezuela wants Kosovo and Metohija to remain part of Serbia (Tanjug)

 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic on Friday wrapped up a visit to Venezuela, the last stop on his tour of Latin America. Selakovic noted that Venezuela supported the policy of keeping Kosovo and Metohija a part of Serbia and of respect of the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “Venezuela is a country that actively supports us in every international organization and its votes make a full contribution to Pristina not joining various international organizations,” Selakovic said, noting that this was not a calculated policy by Venezuela, but one based on friendship and a firm belief in respect of the fundamental principles of humanitarian law and international legal order. He said all Venezuelan officials he had met during the visit were firmly committed to development of overall ties with Serbia. “After a large number of meetings in Caracas, I can say that the last in a series of visits on my tour of Latin America went more than excellently,” said Selakovic, who met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Foreign Minister Carlos Faria, the country’s vice-president for economic affairs – who is also minister for petroleum – the ministers of tourism, trade, agriculture and sports and youth, as well as with former foreign minister Felix Plasencia, who currently heads a center for attracting investments. Recapping the visit to Caracas, Selakovic said Serbia and Venezuela were able to boost their cooperation to mutual benefit in the years to come. “Our Venezuelan friends want to see Serbia as their gateway to the European continent and they are interested in establishing cooperation, primarily in the economy, and also in education, culture, sports, tourism, modern technologies, as well as in experience-sharing in the field of attracting investments,” he said. “They also showed a great deal of interest in developments in our part of Europe and in our region,” Selakovic also said.

 

Cooperation of B&H with Europol on hold for years (Politika, by Mladen Kremenovic)

 

The daily reminded that the cooperation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) with Europol has been incomplete for years because B&H authorities still have not managed to establish the National Contact Point (NCP). The daily noted that the NCP has not been established although there was a consent for the NCP to be seated within the Ministry of Security of B&H. “However, politics got involved in field of security so cooperation with Europol has been on hold for years. Bosniak political elite has insisted on seating the NCP within the Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies of B&H, but the Republika Srpska (RS) claims that, by this, the Directorate would be given the competencies which do not belong to it,” Politika argued. As a consequence, B&H still does not have a liaison officer in The Hague, because the precondition for the already selected candidate, i.e. Aleksandar Stanojevic from the RS Ministry of Interior, to go to this position is to first establish the NCP. The daily noted that B&H is the only country in the region which still has not established a full cooperation with Europol, although the strategic agreement on this was signed in 2017 and it stipulated that all police bodies in B&H will be exchanging operative information with Europol through the NCP. Two years ago, this question was again raised and it was agreed that the NCP shall be in the Ministry of Security of B&H but representatives of the FB&H Ministry of Interior and Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies of B&H opposed this idea because they deemed that the NCP must be in the Directorate. In the meantime, the Ministry of Security of B&H already provided premises for the NCP, appointed personnel but everything was halted because of politics and numerous security analysts warned that this affects investigations carried out by police bodies and prosecutor’s offices. Some media from Banja Luka speculated that the Directorate wants to be in charge of exchange of data with Europol “so that it can ‘filter’ those and deliver filtered data to police agencies. Competent ones from the RS warned that the existing channel of communication the Directorate has with Europol is illegal,” the daily added. Minister of Interior of the RS Dragan Lukac pointed out that B&H is the only country in Europe which does not have a full cooperation with Europol and he argued that obstructions related to this issue are of a political nature. Lukac added that “certain people from Sarajevo want to keep the NCP by force in the Directorate although it does not hold police competencies” and he warned that the Directorate should not have access to data coming from Europol. Lukac said that the RS Ministry of Interior prepared a criminal report against persons who are enabling manipulation with the data and he concluded: “B&H functions in line with such principles that, even in rare moments when agreements are reached, someone still causes problems”.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Stoltenberg responds to Turkovic’s letter: NATO is developing set of measures specially tailored for B&H (Nova BH)

 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg replied to B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Bisera Turkovic’s letter in which she informed him about the challenges that B&H faces. In his response, Stoltenberg emphasized that the Russian aggression on Ukraine undermines European security and that is why NATO is ready to support its partners, which are exposed to malignant Russian influence and pressure, to strengthen their resilience Stoltenberg wrote: “Russian aggression against Ukraine fundamentally undermines European security. That is why NATO is ready to continue supporting partners who may be exposed to malignant influence and pressure, in order to strengthen their resilience. As you know, NATO is developing a set of measures, specially tailored for B&H, in accordance with your needs.” Stoltenberg expressed concern over the separatist rhetoric and activities that threaten the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). Stoltenberg’s letter also reads: “I am convincing you that NATO strongly supports the Euro-Atlantic path of B&H. The Alliance will continue to cooperate with your country and other international partners to preserve stability and promote reforms in B&H.”

 

Dodik: NATO does not have any role in B&H (N1)

 

According to N1, this correspondence bothered member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik who underlined again that NATO does not have any role in B&H and is not protector of its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Dodik underlined that the Presidency of B&H is only competent B&H institution for communication with NATO and other countries in regards to military issues. “The Presidency was avoided in this situation. Muslim side has been attempting to make sure they are only ones representing B&H. Stoltenberg obviously should have known this,” explained Dodik.

 

Becirovic responds to statements from RS regarding NATO presence (Avaz)

 

Delegate in the B&H House of Peoples (HoP) and candidate for member of B&H Presidency from the rank of Bosniaks Denis Becirovic (SDP) commented on the statement of SNSD leader Milorad Dodik, who said that NATO does not have any role in B&H. Becirovic said: “The path to full membership in NATO is a part of B&H’s legislation. In the Law on Defense, that SNSD MP also voted for, it was precisely stated that B&H state institutions will carry out necessary activities for B&H’s membership in NATO.” Becirovic stressed that with undermining the role and importance of NATO, Dodik deliberately misinforms the public in order to score cheap political points in the election year. Becirovic added that all B&H citizens will benefit from the membership in NATO since the membership means preservation of peace and security in the country, strengthening of cooperation in the area of defense and education and strengthening of economy itself. “NATO remains in B&H and if you feel cramped there, you do not need to stay. You should tell this to your sponsors in Moscow and Belgrade,” said Becirovic.

 

Correspondence between Turkovic and Stoltenberg sparks reactions in RS (RTRS)

 

RTRS noted that recent correspondence between B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Bisera Turkovic and Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg resumes to spark reactions in the RS. Representatives of the RS reminded that there is no internal agreement within B&H on NATO accession of this country. Deputy Chair of B&H parliament’s Joint Commission for Defense and Security Dusanka Majkic (SNSD) stated for RTRS she believes that arguments of remaining part of humankind will be that military alliances are joined only upon strict demand and that same standard will be applied to B&H. Majkic stated that some have been claiming that deployment of German soldiers within EUFOR mission in B&H is aimed to bring B&H closer to the EU and NATO, adding that it is evidence there are number of pressures from all sides to push B&H to NATO by force. She stressed that political stances in the RS are clear in this regard, adding that so far no country entered military alliance by force. “I believe it will not happen with B&H”, said Majkic. Commenting correspondence between Turkovic and Stoltenberg, Majkic underlined that Turkovic misused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs again, adding that this Ministry works only in interest of one political option and one political stance. She went on to saying that Turkovic will resume to do everything in interest of Bosniak people and everything that is opposition to interests of other two constituent peoples in B&H. Deputy speaker of the RS parliament Milan Petkovic (United Srpska) underlined that B&H does not need any measures and that B&H does not have any agreement with NATO. He emphasized that B&H does not need any set of measures, because NATO alliance does not have any role in B&H. “The RS will never allow imposing of special measures by NATO”, explained Deputy speaker of the RS parliament, adding that they remember all atrocities this alliance committed against Serb people.

Vice President of SNSD Nikola Spiric commented statement of Bosniak delegate in B&H House of Peoples (HoP) Denis Becirovic (SDP) that NATO should stay in B&H and that Dodik and his followers can leave B&H if they want. Spiric stressed that this is message to all Serbs that Becirovic’s idea on civic B&H is just one stop towards Muslim B&H, adding that in order to achieve it they will even accept support of NATO. “What concerns is silence of the opposition in the RS”, stated Spiric.

 

Cavara responds to HR Schmidt’s calls for appointing judges of FB&H CC (Hayat)

 

FB&H President Marinko Cavara responded on Friday to the letter of High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt, who previously urged Cavara as well as FB&H Vice-Presidents Melika Mahmutbegovic and Milan Dunovic to finally complete the years-long process of appointment of the remaining judges of the FB&H Constitutional Court (CC). Namely, Cavara has kept refusing to appoint the FB&H CC judges for years, due to which he was included in the US list of sanctions and the HR also warned him about the need to complete this process. In his letter to the HR, Cavara presented an opinion that he is not the culprit for the delays but rather that the overall political situation caused this process to be prolonged. Cavara’s letter reads: “All those who use the appointment of judges of the FB&H CC as an alibi for all illegalities in the FB&H and Bosnia and Herzegovina will have no further possibility of abusing the political space. In accordance with the Constitution of the FB&H, as I stated, I will appoint four judges of the FB&H CC and refer that to further procedure in the shortest possible time ahead of us”, announced the FB&H President. The US Embassy to B&H welcomed Cavara’s expression of commitment to complete the appointment of the remaining judges, but the Embassy pointed out that the tone Cavara used in addressing the HR is arrogant. “The letter fully ignores behavior of HDZ B&H, which has largely contributed to sabotaging the FB&H institutions for the sake of fulfilling its narrow interest, and thus abused the control mechanisms contained in the FB&H Constitution”, reads the Embassy’s reaction.

 

Dunovic, Mahmutbegovic Cavara is inviting candidates for FB&H CC judges on his own initiative (Nova BH/Hayat)

 

FB&H Vice Presidents Milan Dunovic and Melika Mahmutbegovic sent a letter to High Representative Christian Schmidt, in which they pointed out that FB&H President Marinko Cavara is inviting candidates for judges of the FB&H Constitutional Court (CC) on his own initiative. In the letter, Dunovic and Mahmutbegovic emphasized that they have verified information and knowledge that Cavara is doing this, thus directly violating the FB&H Constitution and taking away the powers of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) of B&H, which is in charge of carrying out the vacancy notice procedure. Dunovic said in a phone statement: “Mr. Cavara, contrary to the Constitution and the law on the HJPC, wants to interview judges, and in addition to violating the Constitution, he believes that he is competent to assess which judge is the best. Therefore, it is really a mockery of all the citizens of B&H, and I think that the intention of Mr. Cavara in his communication with the judges, which could fall into the sphere of influence peddling, is to assess which judges could be, so to speak, suitable for the policies that he and his party represent. In my opinion, this is quite scandalous and I really hope that the High Representative will react to such a thing. Also, what is important is the fact that, more than two years ago, colleague Mahmutbegovic and I submitted a proposal with names for CC judges to Mr. Cavara, but he ignored those letters, which is now known to the general public, and he is now continuing with some self-proclaimed appointment procedure and still has not responded to those letters. Time will tell what the real truth is, whether Mr. Cavara wants to show that HDZ (B&H) is a cooperative party so that in return they might get the Election Law”.

 

Three days of mourning after Cetinje shooting (CdM)

 

The government of Montenegro made a decision to declare three days of mourning (13 Aug, 14 Aug and 15 Aug 2022) with flags at half-mast following Friday’s shooting in Cetinje when 11 were killed. In line with the Decision, TV and radio stations will dial down their entertainment programs and music will be taken off hospitality venues completely.

 

On helicopter carrying Patriarch Porfirije: NATO says Montenegrin authorities should provide answers (Pobjeda)

 

NATO Alliance, when asked about the helicopter of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs, which landed in Montenegro without permit, said that Montenegro’s competent bodies should be asked about it. “As for the answer to this question, we advise to ask the Montenegrin government,” the Alliance told Pobjeda. Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Porfirije landed into Montenegro by a Serbian government helicopter to sign the “fundamental agreement”. The Basic State Prosecutor’s Office in Podgorica brought a case against Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, high-ranking police officials, chief flight surgeons both in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as employees in the flight department in the Airports of Montenegro, because they enabled a large number of foreigners to enter Montenegro without permit and consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense of Montenegro. The charge was filed by the expert for electronics, telecommunication and air traffic Predrag Boljevic.

 

Russian diplomat declared persona non grata (CdM)

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared one diplomat of the Embassy of the Russian Federation accredited in Montenegro as persona non grata, due to activities that are contrary to Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced. “The formal note on this decision, which specifies a deadline of seven days for leaving the territory of Montenegro, has been delivered today to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Vladislav Maslenikov”, the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

 

Pendarovski: Framework Agreement brought peace and stability, preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity (Republika)

 

The leaders of the four then largest political parties, together with President Boris Trajkovski and the EU and the US representatives, 21 years ago in Ohrid signed the Framework Agreement that prevented the further escalation of the conflict and brought peace and stability as prerequisites for further democratic development of the Macedonian society, President Stevo Pendarovski wrote in the message on the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. As Pendarovski points out, the key benefits of the agreement were the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the unitary character of the state. With it, as he says, the foundations were laid for constitutional and legislative changes that guarantee the rights of the less numerous ethnic communities. In the past 21 years, among other things, through the implementation of the Framework Agreement, we became a member of NATO, and we received candidate status and opened negotiations with the European Union. In that process, we built a model of a functional multi-ethnic democracy that preserves peace and stability and set the highest standards for the rights of communities, writes Pendarovski.

 

Kovacevski: Ohrid Agreement promotes unity and togetherness (Republika)

 

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski writes that Saturday marks 21st anniversary of the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Over the years, Macedonia has shown that it is successfully building a common future for all citizens equally. We are a multicultural, multi-ethnic functional democracy, a country of friendship, coexistence and togetherness. It is our strength, our foundation for developing a state with equal conditions for all Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Vlachs, Roma, Bosniaks and all other communities who consider this country their home, said Kovacevski. According to Prime Minister Kovacevski, the Ohrid Agreement is based on the principles of inclusiveness, and it promotes unity and togetherness.

 

Osmani – Milkov: Efforts to continue developing cooperation in all areas of mutual interest (Republika)

 

Bujar Osmani had a phone call with the new chief of Bulgarian diplomacy Nikolay Milkov concerning this country’s European integrations, as well as the efforts to continue developing the cooperation between Macedonia and Bulgaria in all areas of mutual interest in accordance with the 2017 Friendship Treaty and the protocol from the joint intergovernmental committee.

 

Mickoski: I will leave politics if any of the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE vote for changing the Constitution (Republika)

 

Hristijan Mickoski announced his withdrawal from politics if VMRO-DPMNE MPs support the constitutional amendments for the inclusion of Bulgarians. He ordered an end to, as he says, statements from the government that some of the deputies of VMRO-DPMNE were ready to vote “for” the changes to the Constitution, resulting from the French proposal. Here I want to close that topic. At the cost of my professional and political career, there are no such people. I will leave, I will leave politics and I will never deal with politics again, if the Constitution is changed while I am president, under these conditions, said Mickoski. The president of VMRO-DPMNE also informs that the talks with the coalition partners regarding the initiative for a referendum related to the French proposal will continue tomorrow. The dilemma is whether the referendum will be proposed by 44 MPs or whether 150,000 signatures will be collected for its announcement.

 

Macedonia withdrew its consent for an honorary consulate of Russia in Bitola, Moscow announces counter reaction (Republika)

 

Macedonia withdrew its consent for an honorary consulate of Russia in Bitola, Moscow announces a counter reaction. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said that Macedonia informed it about the withdrawal of its consent for the establishment of honorary consul of Russia in Bitola. There is nothing in the statement about the motives for this step – apparently, they could not be formulated due to their clear absence, commented the Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Ivan Nechaev. According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is a politically motivated and hostile gesture by the Republic of Macedonia towards Russia. There is no doubt that this is again a politically motivated, hostile gesture. The purpose of the repeated attack against us is to deepen the gap in Russian-Macedonian relations that arose due to the dependent behavior of Macedonia, to show the blind loyalty of this Balkan country to the Western allies, their policy of sanctions and the harsh pressure on Russia. We regret this attitude of the Republic of Macedonia, because with this move the support and cooperation that develops through the consular representation in Bitola is sacrificed. An appropriate counter-reaction from Russia will follow. It is unfortunate that this time in Skopje, due to the anti-Russian course, the institution of honorary consuls, which helps in the development of interpersonal contacts, provide support to people and businesses, is being sacrificed. Accordingly, they do not care much about their own interests there and provoke our counter reaction, which will certainly follow, said the Russian MFA.

 

Albania submits to the Council of Europe the resolution against Dick Marty’s report on the unfounded claims about the trade in human organs (Radio Tirana)

 

Albania has submitted to the Council of Europe the resolution against Dick Marty’s report on the unfounded claims about the trade in human organs. Amid discussions and debates, the Assembly approved on 21 July with 125 votes in favor the resolution against Marty’s report. The permanent mission of Albania delivered to all the member countries of the Council of Europe and the observers the Resolution on the groundless claims about the illegal trade of human organs in Kosovo and Albania, approved in the parliament of Albania on 21 July, with a request to submitted to the competent authorities. The Resolution of the Assembly of Albania requests that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe make a follow-up report and review the Resolution of 2011, reassessing the allegations of illegal trafficking of human organs in Albania and/or Kosovo. “In light of the developments that took place during the last decade, facts, evidence and updated information, taking into account the commitment, will and full cooperation of Albania and Kosovo in the service of the truth and the establishment of justice. The representation of Albania requests from the permanent representations of the member states and the observers in the Council of Europe to convey to their competent state bodies the Resolution on the baseless accusations of illegal trafficking of human organs in Kosovo and Albania. The Permanent Representation of the Republic of Albania to the Council of Europe uses this opportunity to reiterate the expressions of deep respect to the permanent representations of member countries and observer states of the Council of Europe”, the document states. But on 22 July, the Council of Europe, when asked by Radio Free Europe if it will consider Albania’s Resolution, said that the Assembly of the Council of Europe can decide to prepare and debate reports, including follow-up reports on any topic that falls within the mandate of this Council.

 

Local elections/Berisha: Candidates will be appointed by the membership and there will be a competition between two or three people (Radio Tirana)

 

The democratic leader Sali Berisha spoke about the upcoming local elections reiterating that one thing is certain that the candidates will not be appointed by Sali Berisha, nor the chairmanship but the membership and there will be a competition between two or three people. Berisha also focused on the purity of the candidates underlining that the Democratic Party has been and will remain the initiator of any form of lustration for state security employees. “Of course, every citizen has the right to be familiar with his file, and no one else but him, if he does not seek to be elected,” Berisha was quoted as saying.

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Belgrade Media Report 30 September 2022

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