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Belgrade Media Report 16 May 2024



Vucic: Everyone should make a decision on the resolution; I have no message for Montenegro (Tanjug)


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said today in Kotor, before the start of the summit of leaders of the Western Balkans and the EU under the slogan "One region, common vision", that he has no message for Montenegro regarding the resolution on Srebrenica. "So, let everyone make their own decision and we will act accordingly in the future," Vucic said when he arrived at the summit, when asked by journalists what he would say to Montenegro when it comes to the resolution on Srebrenica. "I don't have any message, that's their business. They make a decision on how to stand on those issues. We know what our message is. There are some others here who will say how and what they expect. We don't do that, nothing. We know what's our standpoint on that," said Vucic. He said that he has one question that no one has an answer to. "And what is the meaning of that today? Since they tell us that this does not apply to Montenegro, but to all others. And what is the meaning of that resolution? You say, it is not the imposition of collective guilt. But what is it? Since individual guilt has already been determined by judgments, which is another matter since not a single name is mentioned in the resolution itself. So, everyone should make their own decision and we will act in the future accordingly," Vucic emphasized.


All Belgrade’s proposals regarding use of Dinar in Kosovo and Metohija rejected (Tanjug/RTS/RTV)


The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic said yesterday in Brussels, after a tripartite meeting of the delegations of Belgrade, Pristina and the EU, that the representatives of Pristina rejected six constructive proposals from the Serbian side on the use of the Dinar in Kosovo and Metohija. Addressing the journalists, Petkovic said that Belgrade will not give up or be the side that closes the door to talks, and that it will fight for each of our people and institutions, because we must ensure a safe future for the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. He reported that the delegation from Pristina found the three issues that EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajcak considered as crucial for the harmonisation of the two sides to be trivial. Petkovic also mentioned that the topic of the dialogue was the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities, which forms the framework for the survival of the Serbian people, and the fact that Pristina maintains an embargo on Serbian goods, by which it violates the most fundamental values.


Stano, Lajcak: No readiness of Belgrade, Pristina to find compromise agreement (Beta)


EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Miroslav Lajcak said Wednesday following the chief negotiators’ meeting in Brussels that he is ready to host the parties again if they show readiness to reach a mutually agreeable temporary solution. “Hosted the Chief negotiators of Kosovo and Serbia for the 7th time on the implications of the Central Bank of Kosovo (CBK) regulation. Regrettably, the Parties did not manage to reach an agreement,” Lajcak wrote in a post on the X social media platform. Peter Stano, the spokesperson of the EU that is facilitating the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, wrote on X that the parties were not able to compromise on the remaining open issues. “The EU regrets this and assesses that there is no readiness of Kosovo and Serbia to find a compromise agreement going forward,” Stano said.


Vucic: Nation that does not know its past has no future (Tanjug/Politika/RTV/RTS)


A nation that does not fight and does not know its past cannot understand its present, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said at the Russian House in Belgrade on Wednesday evening.

"Those who control the past control the future, George Orwell said a long time ago. And a nation that does not fight and does not know its past cannot understand its present and, most importantly, has no future. That is the very reason an unsparing, ruthless battle is going on between those who want to change their political positions in the future by altering facts from the past and those who, on the other hand, want to preserve facts and evidence of past events unscathed, regardless of the power and the might of political factors of the present and the future," Vucic said in a speech on Revision of Historical Facts and Resistance by Freedom-Loving Nations. He said some historians tended to portray Serbia, as well as Russia, as being exclusively responsible for the outbreak of specific armed conflicts. "Special challenges are present when it comes to the topic of WWII. While the genocidal character, the mass scale, the brutality and the territorial scope of the genocide the Croatian state committed against Serbs, Jews and Roma between 1941 and 1945 are openly being denied in many communities and societies, those communities and societies are denying, even more openly and more brutally, the scale and the character of the suffering of civilians and members of the armed forces of the Soviet Union, and the Red Army's decisive role in the ultimate, complete demise of the Third Reich and Nazi Germany," Vucic said. He said the Serbs had never and would never remain silent in the face of denial or minimisation of the fallout of the Holocaust, given the shared fate and the suffering of the Serbs, Jews and Roma.


Allen: Continuous progress in Belgrade-Pristina normalization is important (Beta)


The US undersecretary of state for public diplomacy Elizabeth Allen stated yesterday, after a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, that continuous progress towards Serbia’s normalization with Kosovo, through the EU-mediated dialogue, was important. The Department of State has announced that Allen and Vucic discussed global issues and Serbia’s progress towards greater integration with the EU, including the Western Balkans Growth Plan. Allen said that it was important to cooperate in the building of European and regional stability, which is threatened by Russia’s aggression on Ukraine and the destabilization that the Kremlin is spreading through disinformation. She also pointed out the possibilities for strengthening ties in culture and education, including the announced opening of the American Resource Center in Belgrade in 2025.


Vucevic: Azerbaijan's support in UN, CoE extremely important to Serbia (Tanjug)


Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic yesterday received Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Serbia Kamil Khasiyev, with whom he discussed the continuation of good cooperation and the improvement of bilateral relations in areas where there is room for it.

Vucevic pointed out that the principled position of Azerbaijan in relation to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, and regarding Kosovo and Metohija, means a lot to Belgrade. The Prime Minister told the Ambassador that he expects continued cooperation especially in the field of infrastructure and energy, especially when it comes to green energy, but also in other fields, bearing in mind the potential of the Serbian economy. When it comes to Azerbaijan's participation in international institutions, Vucevic said that Serbia means the country's support in the United Nations, as well as in the Council of Europe. Ambassador Khasiyev underlined that Serbia is the only country in Europe with which Azerbaijan has established a special, strategic friendship and partnership, and that these foundations are based on good relations between the presidents of the two countries. The development of bilateral relations, especially economic ones, will be additionally strengthened by the holding of the session of the mixed economic committee, which should be held in Baku this year, Ambassador Khasiyev said.


Brnabic meets with Varhelyi (Tanjug)


Serbian parliament speaker Ana Brnabic received EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi on Wednesday to discuss topics including reforms and alignment of national regulations with European laws. Brnabic said that, in her new post, she would continue to advocate strengthening institutions and democratic principles in Serbia, an official statement said. "We will continue to work on reforms and we will devote the greatest possible attention to aligning national regulations with European laws," Brnabic noted. Congratulating Brnabic on becoming parliament speaker, Varhelyi wished her success in her further work and expressed gratitude for her excellent cooperation in the past. He also congratulated her on an agreement reached on implementation of ODIHR recommendations as well as on discussions underway with all political groups and a government working group with a view to improving electoral processes and strengthening democracy in Serbia. At the same time, Varhelyi said he hoped Serbia would open a third cluster in its EU accession talks this year. Brnabic said that would be great progress and thanked Varhelyi for supporting structural reforms, which she said were substantial for faster development of Serbia. Brnabic said full EU membership was a strategic priority for Serbia and that she would work on advancement of parliamentary cooperation with countries in the region in the coming period. Confirming his support, Varhelyi noted that he was confident rule-of-law reforms and work towards greater alignment with the EU foreign policy would be continued.


Varhelyi also meets with Serbian opposition (Beta)


European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said he had a productive meeting in Belgrade with representatives of Serbian opposition parties. In a post on the X social media platform, Varhelyi said he discussed with the opposition representatives in the Serbian parliament progress in Serbia’s accession to the EU, media freedom, rule of law and elections, and the Growth Plan. “Serbia is the biggest beneficiary of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (EIP) and Growth Plan. We bring important economic benefits linked to rule of law reforms,” said the EU enlargement commissioner.


Initiators of Srebrenica resolution: Document is not targeting Serbia or implying collective guilt (Beta/VoA)


The initiators of a draft resolution to declare 11 July International Day of Reflection and Remembrance of the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Germany and Rwanda, responded to a letter by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations in which the Mission requested that the draft be withdrawn, stating that the proposed document neither targeted Serbia nor implied collective guilt. In the letter to the global organization, the Mission asked for the withdrawal, explaining that Serbia had not been consulted regarding its content, and that the proposed document was creating tensions in the region and divisions among UN members. In the response the Voice of America had access to on 15 May, the permanent representatives of Germany and Rwanda to the UN said that "Serbia has been repeatedly urged to engage" and that "any Serbian proposal Serbia to amend the wording of the draft would have been taken very seriously". The German and Rwandan representatives also said that the draft had been built on a solid foundation and used consistent terminology. "In the draft resolution, the term 'genocide' is used in a strictly legal context, in accordance with the judgments rendered by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Court of Justice. It does not target Serbia, a respected member state of this organization, nor does it imply any collective guilt towards states, entities, or groups," the permanent representatives of Germany and Rwanda underlined in their response.


Djilas urges opposition parties to withdraw their candidates (Nova)


The Freedom and Justice Party leader Dragan Djilas urged opposition parties on 15 May to withdraw their tickets, because, as he put it, “not even a minimum of requirements for a legal election process have been met”. In a comment for Djilas said that instead of sharing his opinion on the events surrounding opposition tickets, he’d rather appeal to all opposition parties to be reasonable and accountable. “Let’s fight for Belgrade and other Serbian cities by fighting for proper elections in the future, for every generation to come,” Djilas said. Djilas urged all opposition parties to “remove barriers and put aside their egos in order to accomplish a historic victory that would end Aleksandar Vucic’s rule”.




Schmidt presents report on situation in B&H before UN SC (Hayat)


The UN Security Council (UN SC) held a regular semiannual session about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) on Wednesday and on this occasion, High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt addressed the UN SC and presented his latest report. Schmidt emphasized the importance of support from the international community, saying that this support is crucial because B&H as a state has to rely on efficient instruments and principles of democratic action but on the Constitution of B&H as well. Schmidt explained that the citizens are afraid of another war, and they want to live in peace and stability. Schmidt assessed the European Council’s decision to open the accession negotiations with B&H as positive but warned that B&H’s path to join the EU is at risk due to threats coming from Republika Srpska (RS) and others who are undermining B&H’s competences as stipulated by the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). According to HR Schmidt, the RS authorities led by RS President Milorad Dodik are actively undermining the state and their threat to paralyze the state bodies with a blockade is jeopardizing the state’s functioning. Furthermore, Schmidt warned that such anti-Dayton agenda of the RS authorities could lead to secession and this scenario would leave serious consequences in B&H and the rest of the region. He called on the international community to monitor the state institutions in B&H and act together if needed. “The security situation (in B&H) cannot be deemed unstable but in fact, it is fragile and can further deteriorate,” Schmidt stressed and reminded the UN SC of promotion of secessionist ideas at rallies alongside the Inter-Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) organized by the RS authorities, as well as reoccurring genocide denial and glorification of war criminals. He stated that denial of the Srebrenica genocide and glorification of war criminals would not be a problem had they not been turned into an instrument of policies and partisan calculations. He stressed that the Srebrenica genocide is a historic event, and this was established by the ICTY in 2004 and reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in 2007. He noted that this is not a matter of opinion but there is no such thing as collective guilt. Schmidt said the country’s progress on the EU path is quite noticeable, but he also warned about constant undermining of the Constitution, as well as ethno-national revisionism, depopulation and the decline in economic activity. Schmidt’s report was written on around 40 pages and covers the period from October 16, 2023, to April 15, 2024. Schmidt emphasized that this period was marked by B&H’s progress on the EU path, but also unprecedented attacks on the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP) in B&H. Amongst other things, Schmidt’s report also says that the Federation of B&H (FB&H) and the RS are violating the law and the decisions of the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H by transferring state property onto entities. Report speaks about attacks on the judiciary, attacks on returnees, and many other pressing issues in B&H. Schmidt also said that the B&H Council of Ministers (B&H CoM) adopted several important laws, and he emphasized that international support is crucial for B&H. He pointed out that the biggest challenge for B&H is the demographic crisis. HR Schmidt said that politicians in B&H received their mandates from the citizens. He emphasized that the number of citizens who left B&H is 600,000, and that B&H has only 3.2 million inhabitants.


Becirovic addresses UN SC session (N1)


The session of the UN Security Council (UN SC) was held on Wednesday and the current situation in B&H was discussed. In his address before the UN SC, Chairman of the B&H Presidency Denis Becirovic confirmed all that High Representative Christian Schmidt stated in his Report. Becirovic said: "Key institutions of the Dayton Agreement, the Constitutional Court (CC) of B&H and the Office of the High Representative (OHR), were attacked." Becirovic accused RS authorities of not respecting the DPA in its entirety. "A dangerous attack on the constitutional order and the Dayton Agreement is happening. The peace and stability of B&H are seriously being endangered by the anti-Dayton policy of the bodies of the RS entity. The world must know the truth. The key issue in B&H does not come from our country but from outside of its borders. This was determined by foreign courts," Becirovic underlined. Becirovic also called on the UN to adopt the Resolution on Srebrenica. Becirovic stated that judgments of the highest courts ruled that the genocide was committed, adding that leadership of the RS does not respect verdicts of courts and they glorify convicted war criminals. According to Becirovic, this can be observed as a threat to commit new genocide which is why it is necessary that the UN General Assembly adopts the resolution on Srebrenica. Becirovic also warned about attempts to take away state property, as well as Dodik’s calls for the RS to unite with Serbia. Becirovic underscored that the IC must not let this happen. Addressing the UN SC, Becirovic among other things stated: “The HR is the only one authorized to report to the UN Security Council. It is important for humanity that the UN General Assembly adopts the resolution on Srebrenica. The RS does not respect the Dayton Agreement or its annexes. With such an irresponsible policy, they threaten peace and stability.”


Reactions to Becirovic’s address before UN SC (Dnevni avaz, RTRS)


RS President Milorad Dodik commented B&H Presidency Chair Denis Becirovic’s address before the UN Security Council on Wednesday. Dodik stated that Becirovic has outdone himself with his lies, firstly by claiming to speak on behalf of B&H. “There is no decision of the Presidency according to which Becirovic can speak on behalf of B&H. He spoke today on behalf of Bosniaks and those who elected him. Every claim he made today is as accurate as the fact that he is speaking on behalf of B&H”, said Dodik. He emphasized that it will remain on record that a legally elected member of the B&H Presidency "begged the UN Security Council not to abolish the colonial administration in B&H, and described a man without legality and legitimacy as the only one authorized to speak before the UN Security Council". No one from the RS can destroy B&H with one move as much as Becirovic did today. The lies he told against the RS, especially those about endangering the peace, are a continuation of Becirovic’s policy, as well as the Bosniak policy, which amounts to fabricating lies about the RS and the Serbs”, said Dodik. Dodik said that it will remain on record that a legally elected member of the B&H Presidency labeled a man without legality and legitimacy (Christian Schmidt) as the only one authorized to speak before the UN Security Council. The Presidency of B&H Zeljka Cvijanovic said that she informed the UN Security Council (SC) that Bosniak member of the Presidency Denis Becirovic will address a UN SC session on his personal behalf, not on behalf of the Presidency nor on behalf of everyone in B&H. According to Cvijanovic, Becirovic’s positions are well-known, and they do not reflect the position of everyone in B&H, instead they are, as a rule, aimed against democratically elected representatives of the Serb people and the RS. Asked to comment on announced address to the UN SC by Christian Schmidt, Cvijanovic said Schmidt will represent nobody because the UN SC did not verify him as the High Representative, as stipulated by the Annex 10 to the Dayton agreement. She added by saying that Schmidt’s views are coordinated with the Bosniak policy “so there should not be surprises this time as well”.


Schmidt's report, HR's mandate, Srebrenica Resolution supported by majority of countries at UN SC session; Russia and China present different opinion (RTRS)


The UN Security Council (UN SC) held a regular semiannual session about the situation in B&H on Wednesday and on this occasion, High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt addressed the UN SC and presented his latest report. Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya pointed out that Schmidt does not have a mandate to act as a high representative and that he has no right to address the Security Council session. Nebenzya said that Schmidt's address to the SC discredits this UN body, adding that he presents a picture of B&H in a subjective way, just like B&H Presidency member Denis Becirovic, as his address does not have the full consent of the B&H Presidency. “Becirovic's address was not discussed in the Presidency, and in this way, the actions against the constitutional order of B&H continue. This may lead to a new conflict, which threatens the stability of B&H. There are attempts to implement Western ideas about a unitary state, ignoring the interests of the Serb people. The official Banja Luka will continue to protect Dayton and adhere to constitutional responsibilities,” said Nebenzya. Chinese Ambassador to the UN SC Geng Shuang said that issues within B&H should be decided by the representatives of the three peoples. He pointed out that the announced resolution on Srebrenica is not in line with the rhetoric of maintaining peace and stability in the region. “I again call for concern about the appointment of Christian Schmidt and the abuse of Bonn Powers. China will continue to support B&H’s sovereignty,” said Shuang. RTRS presenter noted that this session of the UN SC clearly showed that the US, the UK, and France have picked their side, as they supported Schmidt and see Republika Srpska (RS) leadership as the reason for everything bad that happens in B&H. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Robert A. Wood noted that RS President Milorad Dodik’s policy and rhetoric are undermining the sovereignty of B&H, which threatens peace and stability in the B&H. He said that the US will continue to use all means, including sanctions, to confront those who enable corruption and who destabilize B&H. UK Ambassador to the UN James Kariuki said the greatest threat to a positive future, and to the DPA itself, lies in the efforts of RS politicians to subvert the State and its institutions, adding that the HR continues to play an integral role in B&H. Schmidt's report and the High Representative's mandate were supported by, amongst others, the US, Slovenia, the UK, and Switzerland. Those representatives also called for respecting historical facts and reconciliation in B&H, pointed out issues with youths leaving the country, and also urged B&H authorities to ensure an improved level of transparency and election integrity in the October local elections. On the other hand, Russia and China criticized his report as well as the announced Resolution on Srebrenica. Shuang said that the resolution on Srebrenica should be withdrawn for further consultations. A Permanent Representative of Serbia to the UN reiterated that Serbia condemns all crimes committed in Srebrenica, but that they are still against the adoption of the Resolution. EU Ambassador to UN Stavros Lambrinidis stated before the UN Security Council that he gives full support to the mission of the High Representative and EUFOR. “EU is concerned because of initiatives from the RS fighting against European path of B&H. this includes secessionist rhetoric, issue of the elections and referendum, fight against decisions of Constitutional Court of B&H, calling of certain groups foreign agents,” said Lambrinidis.


Croatian Ambassador to UN Simonovic: Support to Schmidt’s decisions and calls B&H for solving of election issues (Radio Sarajevo)


Croatian Ambassador to the UN Ivan Simonovic addressed the UN Security Council and supported the European path of B&H and actions of the High Representative Christian Schmidt. He expressed support to the country in opening of the accession talks with the EU, but at the same time presented certain remarks, especially in regard to separatist initiatives. Simonovic underlined importance of harmonization with the Statement of the EU and congratulated B&H on “green light” for opening of the talks, underlining that the next step is fulfilling of conditions that the EC listed in October 2022, encouraging B&H to continue this process in timely manner and with success. Ambassador especially praised Chair of Council of Ministers Borjana Kristo for her leadership, stressing that this is a joint success that demonstrates importance of cooperation between three constituent peoples. “We encourage B&H to successfully carry out necessary steps in the process of EU accession, which is a result of legislation and reform initiatives within the country. We commend Kristo for her dedicated work, but we underline that this achievement is result of joint efforts of all three constituent peoples, demonstrating the power of cooperation between them,” said Simonovic. Ambassador welcomed engagement of High Representative in preserving of the stability and functioning of B&H, especially underlining his role in unblocking of the processes of appointment of FB&H government last year. Ambassador also supported the decision on changes to B&H Election Law, which strengthens election process. However, Simonovic also underlined the necessity for change of the current election system, which “prevents Croat from electing their representative”. He underlined that building of the trust is key issue for political stability in B&H and added that international community should promote such approach. In the end, Simonovic stressed that peoples in B&H should take over more responsibility for the future of their country and their wellbeing, adding that political solutions need to be based on the current constitutional order and agreement with other constituent peoples. He expressed hope B&H will continue its path toward the EU, with support of Croatia. “Establishing of the trust is crucial for political stability of B&H and international community has important role in promoting of this process. Finally, peoples of B&H need to take over bigger responsibility for future of their country and their own wellbeing. Certain attempts of separatism, as listed in the report, cause concern. We believe that political solutions in B&H should be in line with current constitutional order and agreement with other constituent peoples we hope that B&H will continue to make progress toward EU membership and Croatia will continue to provide support,” said Simonovic.


Dodik visits Hungary, meets PM Orban to discuss many topics from the area of agriculture, energy and political-related issues (ATV)


RS President Milorad Dodik visited Budapest on Wednesday. Dodik first met Hungarian Prime Minister (PM) Viktor Orban and then he met Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary Peter Szijjarto. During their meeting, Dodik and Orban discussed many topics from the area of agriculture, energy and political-related issues. According to the officials, everything is going in line with plans when it comes to cooperation on realization of many projects. In this regard, Dodik and Orban announced that negotiations with Hungarian companies about the projects that Germany cancelled in RS will begin at the end of May. In this regard, ATV mentioned the Hrgud wind power plant and the water sewage system in Gradiska. According to Dodik, value of the projects – along with some other projects – reaches up to EUR 150 million. Dodik also stated that 360 subjects in the RS applied for agricultural projects financed by Hungary in the RS and all of them will be included in this project. Dodik announced that the RS Government will discuss this issue in the next days. He underlined: “It is important to have, aside from Serbia, this type of economic partner like Hungary.” Dodik explained that they also discussed issues related to electricity, adding that the RS wants to have the best possible relations with Hungary. Dodik stated that Hungary will take over the EU Presidency as of July 1, which will be an opportunity to review the realistic possibility of B&H’s EU integration. He underlined that B&H Constitutional Court and B&H House of Peoples do not function, the state budget has not been adopted yet, and there are attempts to impose the new Election Law. One the other hand, B&H has an unelected foreigner behaving inappropriately. Szijjarto confirmed that his country will vote against the Resolution on Srebrenica (in the UN General Assembly). Szijjarto elaborated that all goals of raising tensions must be stopped. “I want to clearly and loudly say that Hungary will vote against the Resolution, which, deliberately or not, demonizes the entire Serb nation regarding the tragedy in Srebrenica,” Szijjarto stated. Dodik thanked Szijjarto for having complete understanding of RS’ stance regarding this matter. Dodik told members of the press that the Resolution will make relations in B&H even more complex. “B&H seems like some cursed area in which we get a decision on the (EU) negotiation status, and only a few days after that, Mister (Christian) Schmidt, which presents himself as the High Representative, and he is not that because he did not get the (UN) Security Council verification, he imposes changes to the Election Law, imagine that, and he prescribed some additional rules,” Dodik said. After this happened, Dodik says B&H is now “in a state of vacuum.” These changes and the Resolution on Srebrenica have put B&H’s progress on the EU path aside, and we were supposed to focus all our attention and work on the European integration process, and not on the abovementioned subjects, Dodik concluded. Szijjarto called on foreigners to stop interfering in internal matters of B&H arguing that B&H should have its own sovereignty. Szijjarto also called on foreigners to stop threatening with sanctions. Szijjarto said that B&H was on a good road to the EU integration, a lot of things were done but Christian Schmidt, who represents himself in B&H as fake High Representative (HR) destroyed the harmony by imposing technical changes to the B&H Election Law on his own. Dodik said that the RS is very grateful to Hungary for this kind of a stance on this issue, adding that this should be said out loud and clear because the Resolution is unilateral move of the Bosniak side. According to Dodik, he informed Hungarians that this was not a result of a single state-level stance within B&H adding that the RS will not accept the Resolution that additionally complicates the situation and destabilizes B&H. ATV reminded that as of July 1, Hungary will be presiding over the EU and the country will advocate peace in the Balkans while the RS will certainly use this possibility to boosts its rank on this road as much as possible.


Senators after the meeting with Milatovic: Montenegro is an important member of NATO, Russia and China represent a serious threat to transatlantic security (CdM)


The President of Montenegro Jakov Milatovic is visiting the USA, where he spoke with numerous members of Congress who, after the meeting, emphasized the important role of Montenegro as a member of NATO. On Wednesday, Milatovic met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Chairman Ben Cardin, the committee's leading Republican member Jim Risch, Sen. Jean Shaheen, and Sens. Pete Ricketts and Chris Murphy. He also spoke with Senators Roger Wicker and Peter Welch. The chairman of the committee, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, announced on X that he had a "productive conversation with Milatovic". "We are grateful to Montenegro for its vital role as a member of NATO and its support for Ukraine. The US supports the implementation of reforms in Montenegro, which are necessary for EU membership", wrote Kardin. Republican Senator Jim Risch stated in a statement that "Montenegro plays an important role as a NATO member in strengthening collective defense, while Russia and China pose a serious threat to transatlantic security." "Montenegro has always played an important role in the future of the Western Balkans, and I am glad that I was able to discuss with President Milatovic how our two countries can work together and advance common interests in the region. I hope that Montenegro will continue to integrate into the transatlantic community and contribute to joint regional efforts, progress towards the EU and the allocation of two percent of GDP to defense," said Senator Risch. Senator Shaheen, chairwoman of the Senate Subcommittee for Europe, said after the conversation that Montenegro is an important ally. "The US is grateful for its impressive contribution to NATO as well as its continued support for Ukraine. I look forward to supporting her efforts towards EU accession", said Shaheen at X. In the announcement of Milatovic's visit published by his cabinet, it is also stated that during his visit to America, the President of Montenegro will give a lecture at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, and that he will be a guest at a special session of the Atlantic Council. The Montenegrin president, as the youngest head of a NATO member, opened the NATO youth summit in Florida on Monday. "Strengthening the credibility of NATO membership is one of the key priorities of Montenegro and is at the very top of my agenda. Montenegro's membership in NATO contributed to the strengthening of our geopolitical position, but also to the improvement of democratization, the rule of law and the building of independent institutions", according to the announcement of his cabinet.


Gjelosaj with Gervalla: We will continue to cooperate at all levels and work on our common European perspective (CdM)


The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy Nik Gjeloshaj, during a working visit to Pristina, met with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Donika Gervalla-Schwarz, who emphasized good neighborly relations between Montenegro and Kosovo as a basis for strengthening overall bilateral cooperation. "Montenegro is committed to Euro-Atlantic values and as such is a friend of the Republic of Kosovo. We will continue to cooperate at all levels and work on our common European perspective. The future of the region is in the European Union", Gjeloshaj pointed out. At the end of the meeting, Vice President Gjeloshaj thanked Vice President Gervalla-Schwarz for the reception, expressing readiness for further cooperation to improve bilateral relations in the common interest.


Serbia resents the resolution on Srebrenica, and Croatia resents the resolution on Jasenovac (CdM)


After Germany and Rwanda initiated a resolution before the United Nations, on the basis of which it is requested that 11 July be declared the International Day of Remembrance of the Genocide in Srebrenica, tensions in the region have not subsided. The Prime Minister of Montenegro Milojko Spajic announced that he will support the resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica, but also any resolution that condemns crimes against innocent victims. However, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Milos Vucevic, said that it is not up to Serbia to say what Montenegro should do, and that Podgorica should assess its own political interests, but that this move and announcement "does not do anything good" for the relations between the two countries. The announcement that the parliament of Montenegro will pass a resolution on the genocide in Jasenovac also caused a reaction from the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gordan Grlic Radman. In the meantime, Croatia sent a note of protest, because Minister Grlic Radman did not receive guarantees from his Montenegrin colleague Filip Ivanovic that the resolution on Jasenovac will not be adopted. He expressed his astonishment and concern over the fact that the declaration on Jasenovac, which the Montenegrin parliament should adopt by the end of the week at the proposal of President Andrija Mandic, is being discussed at all. "I asked myself what kind of historical-political context it is and the reason why Montenegro is doing it. I said that the adoption of such a resolution, which is strange to us and which we believe is politicized and misused for internal political contests in Montenegro, will have a negative impact on Montenegro's European path, but of course also on our bilateral and open issues", Grlic Radman said.


Greece to be strict on North Macedonia's consistent implementation of Prespa Agreement: FM (MIA/Mega)


It is clear that North Macedonia's consistent implementation of the Prespa Agreement is a prerequisite for any outcome on its European path, and we will be strict over its observance, says Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis, MIA reports from Athens. FM Gerapetritis told Mega that implementation of the Prespa Agreement is Greece's main request, adding their "extreme dissatisfaction" from the events during the inauguration of the new president of North Macedonia. "The Greek government has had a very structured plan in supporting the European prospects of all countries in the Western Balkans. Greece was the country that initiated the procedures for integration in the European family. Therefore, we are extremely disappointed with this outcome," says Gerapetritis. On the parliament's ratification of the three memoranda signed with North Macedonia, the FM says it will happen "once Greece sees full implementation of the Prespa Agreement". "I cannot understand the opposition's stance, because they are submitting a draft-law for ratification of the memoranda at a time when it is obvious that the other side is unwilling to comply," notes Gerapetritis.


Following Vulin's statement of 'Serbs and Greeks united against Albania', Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs summoned in the Serbian Ambassador (Radio Tirana)


Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned in Serbian Ambassador Slobodan Vukcevic to provide explanations regarding statements made by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vulin concerning Prime Minister Edi Rama's meeting with the Albanian Diaspora in Athens. The Ministry views Vulin's remarks as provocative and contrary to the spirit of cooperation. In an official announcement, the Ministry stated its expectation of an immediate response from Serbia to prevent such statements from impacting relations between Tirana and Belgrade. The Ministry views the provocative statement by the Serbian official as inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation and detrimental to peace and stability in the Balkans. Albania plays a significant role in promoting peace and security in our region, and cooperation with Serbia is essential. The Ministry expects an immediate response to prevent the recurrence of such damaging statements, ensuring that our relations remain focused on good neighborliness and European integration, the statement concluded. Following the May 12 meeting between Prime Minister Rama and the Albanian Diaspora in Athens, Vulin stated that only Serbia and Greece should unite to prevent the formation of Greater Albania. "The next time the government of Greece considers recognizing the so-called Kosova, let it recall Edi Rama's reception in the heart of Athens. What Rama could not achieve in Tirana, he experienced in Athens. Kosovo's accession to the Council of Europe would constitute an unprecedented contribution by the Greek government and Dora Bakoyannis to the establishment of Greater Albania. Only Serbs and the Serbian world, as well as our dear Greeks, can prevent Greater Albania. Consider this carefully," Vulin had stated.


Meloni: Agreement with Albania on migrants, an inspiration for other countries (Radio Tirana)


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, during an interview with journalist Maurizio Belpietro as part of the event "Il giorno della verita" highlighted Italy's serious challenges regarding migration flows, emphasizing that the agreement with Albania on migrants has served as inspiration for other countries, according to the official website of the Italian government. "Agreements with North African countries are not just possible, they are necessary and are one of the main issues that Italy has brought to the European Union's table. I have tried to make the approach to migration issues in the EU a topic in our discussions," emphasized Meloni. "Europe is doing the same today, despite leftist objections. Not the agreement with Tunisia, not the agreement with Egypt, let alone with Albania for processing asylum seekers' requests in Albania. Because it is not clear what the left's proposal is. I still haven't understood what their solutions are to this issue, they simply tell us that we need to cancel those agreements. So let's give up the pact with Tunisia, not speaking abou Libya. According to them, we are far from implementing the principles of the rule of law with Albania," stressed Meloni. "Let's say that everything possible has been done to slow down our work, but we continue to do that work and the results are coming slowly, right? Not at the speed we all hoped for, but the results are coming. So far, illegal migrants on the Central Mediterranean route have decreased by more than 60% compared to the same period a year ago. So, little by little, this work is bearing fruit and is a path already followed in the European Union. So, I believe that thanks to the citizens' vote, we can finally tell Europe that this is the path to follow," appealed the Prime Minister. "The debate is not about how to redistribute them, the debate is about how to treat them before they leave," she emphasized.


UK installs cameras worth £1.6 million at Albania-Kosovo border to reduce illegal immigration (Radio Tirana)


A sophisticated camera group, funded by the United Kingdom with £1.6 million, has been deployed on the Albania-Kosovo border to combat illegal immigration and criminal gangs. These devices include a fleet of drones and cameras for license plate identification, aiding the Albanian system in identifying British vehicles used by criminals. The new drones will help authorities detect migrants attempting to pass through difficult-to-reach areas. Minister Against Illegal Immigration, Michael Tomlinson, visited Albania to see the effectiveness of these measures and promote projects to reduce illegal immigration by offering education and employment opportunities for Albanian youth. He also discussed with Albanian authorities how to address the challenges of illegal immigration at a ministerial conference in Tirana. Meanwhile, interceptions have increased on flights from Rwanda to prevent unprotected migrants from risky Channel crossings. The government expects a decline in the number of immigrants arriving in the UK by 300,000 next year.


Albania partially suspends visa liberalization with Belarus (Radio Tirana)


Albania has partially suspended the visa waiver agreement with Belarus. The decision was taken by the Council of Ministers, upon the proposal of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Igli Hasani. The partial suspension of the agreement will only apply to diplomatic and service passports. According to the decision, the Council of Ministers decided to partially suspend the agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the government of the Republic of Belarus, for reciprocal visa waiver, approved by Decision No. 152, dated 19.2.2020, of the Council of Ministers. The partial suspension of the agreement applies only to diplomatic and service passports.


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Media summaries are produced for the internal use of the United Nations Office in Belgrade, UNMIK and UNHQ.  The contents do not represent anything other than a selection of articles likely to be of interest to a United Nations readership.