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UNMIK Media Observer, Morning Edition, June 25, 2024

Albanian Language Media


Borell: Agreements must be implemented (media)

Several news websites reported on Monday evening that the agenda of the meeting between Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday in Brussels has been published. The European Union said that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and EU Special Representative for dialogue Miroslav Lajcak will hold separate meetings with the leaders from 15:00 hours, which will be followed by a tripartite meeting. 

Commenting on the upcoming meeting, Borrell told reporters on Monday that the problem remains the non-implementation of the agreements reached so far. “I continue to try to reach an operational solution in the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, because we already have an agreement. We have the Ohrid agreement. The problem is that the agreements must be implemented and the parties have not been able to implement them for one reason or another and I think it was necessary to resume the high-level meetings to know where we are, especially at a time when the member countries are discussing my proposal for the lifting of sanctions against Kosovo", Borell stated. He added that "if these sanctions are lifted, I hope they will. At least that's my proposal. Even if it's gradual, but quickly. This could create a scenario in which I'm not saying the dialogue will resume, but at least it won't close unexpectedly. The two leaders have not met for a long time in the framework of the dialogue, and I do not want to give up before I conclude my mandate".

Lajcak: Mandate not close to an end; focused on dialogue and next steps (media)

EU Special Representative for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, Miroslav Lajcak, said that he is not close to the end of his mandate as the person in charge of dealing with the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. "My work continues" and "I'm not going anywhere", he told the Pristina-based “Sbunker” platform, where he indicated that he is working on the next steps in the dialogue process.

“Perhaps I am not as close to the end of my term as initially thought. So what I can say is that my work continues. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. I am not yet in a mood to give advice to my successor,” Lajcak said.

Lajcak also said that his successor will come "sooner or later", but added that "the process has not started yet". “And once the successor is chosen, then of course we will have a lot to share. But at the moment, there is only one EU Special Representative and you are talking to him now, and the team is here. And, as I said, we are really fully focused on our work and preparing our next steps,” he argued.

Konjufca: Kosovo does not have any Association on its agenda (RTK)

Kosovo Assembly Speaker Glauk Konjufca said on Monday that Kosovo does currently have on its agenda the Association of Serb-majority municipalities. “No association is on the agenda for Kosovo for now,” Konjufca told reporters on the eve of the meeting between Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels.

Konjufca said he doesn’t expect anything from the meeting. “I am not expecting something important and essential. I don't expect Serbia will start implementing the basic agreement,” he said. 

Gervalla: Integration of pro-European countries, best response to Russia (media)

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gervalla, said on Monday that the integration of pro-European countries in the European Union “would be the best response to Russia”. Gervalla, who represented Kosovo at the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers and the Western Balkans in Luxembourg, said: “we came to Luxembourg today to discuss the further integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union, and not only the Western Balkans. In my opinion this is the main topic, the integration of all of Europe, the integration of all countries that adhere to European values and support European principles. This concerns not only political matters but more so security issues. At a time when Europe is faced with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, a stronger European Union is the best response to present and future challenges”.

Government of Montenegro: We have no open political issues with Kosovo (RTK)

The Montenegrin government said in a statement on Monday that Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani was on an official visit to Montenegro during the weekend and that during her stay in Ulcinj she "met and talked with the leaders of the municipal structure and the Minister of Human and Minority Rights".

The mayor of the Municipality of Ulcinj, Genci Nimanbegu, and Minister Fatmir Gjeka talked with Osmani and members of her delegation about "the European path of the two countries, good neighborly relations and the strengthening of bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields," it is stated in notification.

They discussed various initiatives, project-ideas and programs implemented by Montenegro and Kosovo to promote the importance of tolerance and mutual coexistence, inter-ethnic dialogue, the specificity of national culture, history and art.

"Montenegro has a history of good relations that it has successfully built, especially over the last two decades. Since the beginning of its integration path, Montenegro has fulfilled a large number of obligations from the European agenda, as evidenced by its current position and the real expectation that it will enter the final stage of negotiations for membership in the European Union. Also, with its experience, Montenegro has helped countries that are at the beginning of their path to membership in the European Union. The Republic of Kosovo has just started its journey towards full membership in the European Union and in this process Montenegro can offer great professional support and share the experience gained," Minister Gjeka is quoted as saying at the meeting.

"Both countries have a common goal to join the European Union, to further harmonize their values with European values, trying to provide better living standards and conditions for their citizens. Montenegro has no open political issues with the Republic of Kosovo and in the coming years it will try to improve the existing cooperation with the aim of better and faster integration, and in that way it is of great importance to preserve universal values, coexistence, international, interreligious and multicultural harmony," the Montenegrin government said.

U.S.: Kosovo to impose appropriate sentences for human trafficking (media) 

The U.S. State Department said in its 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report that Kosovo needs to impose appropriate sentences in cases of human trafficking. The report notes that “the Government of Kosovo does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period; therefore Kosovo remained on Tier 2. These efforts included sentencing all convicted traffickers to penalties involving prison time, where appropriate, and not issuing any sentences of only fines. The government significantly increased funding for NGO-run shelters and updated SOPs to increase the reflection period from 30 days to 90 days, in which victims could recover before deciding whether to participate in criminal justice proceedings. The government increased overall prevention efforts, including increasing funding for awareness campaigns and printing handbooks for teachers on preventing child trafficking. The Trafficking in Human Beings Directorate (THBD) conducted more inspections of worksites where workers were vulnerable to trafficking and created pamphlets to inform victims about their rights and available services. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government investigated and prosecuted fewer suspects and identified fewer victims. While judges issued stronger sentences, the sentences were below the minimum penalty prescribed under the trafficking law. The criminal code classified forced begging of children by their parents as parental neglect or abuse rather than trafficking and, because of inadequate identification procedures for forced begging, authorities likely inappropriately deported some unidentified trafficking victims without referring them to appropriate services”.

Read full report at:

Osmani: Egyptian community, part of history of our nation-building (RTK)

Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani congratulated the day of the Egyptian community of Kosovo on Monday. Through a Facebook post, she said that the Egyptian community of Kosovo reflects not only the diversity of Kosovo society, but also the importance of unity and solidarity. "Our country is the common home of all communities, regardless of differences. The Egyptian community is part of the success story of our nation-building, as well as of institutional life. Congratulations on day of the Egyptian community of Kosovo,” Osmani wrote.


Serbian Language Media 


Borrell to host meetings with Vucic and Kurti (N1, media)

The European Commission said on Monday that High Representative Josep Borrell is due to host a high-level meeting of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue in Brussels on Wednesday, June 26.

The press release said that both Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti confirmed their participation.

It said that Borrell and EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak will hold separate meetings with Vucic and Kurti followed by a joint trilateral meeting. “The meetings will take stock of what has been achieved in the Dialogue under the leadership of the High Representative and focus on the way forward,” it added.

The press release said that Borrell will make live statements to the media before and after the meetings.

Vucic: I am travelling to Brussels; I don't believe in the will of the other side in creating the A/CSM (KiM radio) 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in an address to the public that he will travel to Brussels tomorrow evening, where he will have important talks, reported KiM radio.

KiM radio recalled that Vucic will be participating in a new round of dialogue at the highest level. His meeting with the PM of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, was planned, as well as a separate meeting with the EU special envoy, Miroslav Lajcak.

In his address to the public, Vucic said that "Kosovo and Metohija remain a great security, political and human challenge".

"We will behave constructively, try to do everything we can to solve problems through dialogue, to solve things through dialogue. I don't believe in the will of the other side to participate in the creation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities, I am afraid of their provocations, but we will hold firm and seriously", said Vucic. 

That there is no will in Pristina for the formation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities was confirmed by yesterday's statement of the President of the Assembly of Kosovo, Glauk Konjufca, who said that "the Association is not on the agenda" for Kosovo.

Lithium mine requires guarantees

N1 reported that Vucic said that the decision to allow lithium mining would not be taken without guarantees that the environment won’t be polluted.

He told a news conference that the decision to open a lithium mine in western Serbia would not be taken quickly and added that the whole thing could be stopped in 2028, the possible year of the mine opening. “We won’t even try to start until the Germans guarantee that we will have clean rivers and mountains, that there will be a dump which meets all European standards,” he said.

Vucic said that a discussion about lithium has to be opened in Serbia and added that “nothing will be done by force”.

He reiterated his claim (initially made two years ago) that the Jadar project to mine lithium was stopped by unnamed western security services to slow down Serbia’s development. The Rio Tinto company’s Jadar project was stopped by Ana Brnabic’s government following mass protests with state officials saying it could not be revived.

According to Vucic, Serbia does not have any more time to lose but added that “we might lose the next 10 years if the people’s view and the arguments are something we can’t accept,” he said.

The Serbian President claimed that wars would be fought over lithium in the future.

Djuric: The EU gains a lot from Serbia's membership; the enlargement process needs to be accelerated (Kosovo Online)

Serbian Foreign Minister Marko Djuric stated yesterday in Luxembourg that implementing the reform agenda by 2027 is one of the state's priorities on the path to the EU. He emphasised that the Union stands to gain significantly from Serbia's membership and that of the entire region, with the message that Serbia does not want to be a "secondary market" but a full-fledged EU member.

"Today was an important day for Serbia's European integration; we discussed how to accelerate and give new impetus to Serbia's European integration," Djuric told reporters.

He conveyed to his interlocutors that for the Serbian government, implementing the reform agenda by 2027 is an absolute priority because the goal is for the country to be fully prepared for full membership by then, in terms of the economy, rule of law, democracy, and other aspects.

Read more at:

Petkovic met Italian Senator Craxi (Radio Mitrovica sever)

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Petar Petkovic, met with the President of the Commission for Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Council of the Republic of Italy, Senator Stefania Craxi. 

"A very good meeting with the president of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Senate of the Republic of Italy, Senator Stefania Craxi. I told her that Belgrade is fully committed to dialogue, the process of normalising relations with Pristina and the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues. I informed my interlocutor in detail about the impossible conditions in which the Serbian people live in Kosovo and Metohija, which is under daily attacks by Kurti's regime," said Petkovic.

Petkovic thanked Senator Craxi for the time and constructive conversation.

"I am glad that we will have the opportunity to host her in Belgrade, considering that she has accepted our invitation to visit Serbia by the end of this year. A very important message of Senator Craxi that we will have strong support in Italy on the road to peace, stability and progress!", said Petkovic.


International Media


Vucic: “I expect the Situation in Europe and the World to escalate in the coming Months” (Sarajevo Times)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said during today’s address to the public that he expects the situation in Europe and the world to escalate, saying that we are living in the time of the biggest geopolitical crisis since the Second World War.

“I expect the situation to escalate in the coming months and that we will face very serious consequences. I am talking about Europe and the world. But we must be firmly determined to do our job in the best possible way, to preserve peace, to ensure economic growth,” said Vučić, as broadcasted by Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).

Vučić pointed out that Serbia needs the stability of public finances in order to achieve all goals. As he stated, in the first quarter, Serbia had the highest growth rate in Europe at 4.7 percent.

Read more at:

How will the appointment of Mark Rutte as NATO Secretary General affect the Western Balkans? (EWB)

NATO will continue to be engaged in the Western Balkans after the outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte soon replaces Jens Stoltenberg as the Secretary General of the Alliance, according to security and policy experts. At the same time, our interlocutors point out that one should not expect that NATO will expand during Rutte’s mandate by admitting new members from this region.

Franz-Lothar Altmann, an independent German academic and Professor of international relations at the University of Bucharest, states for EWB that Mark Rutte “will rather be a copy than a counterpart to Stoltenberg”. He explains that Rutte “is a strong supporter of Ukraine” and he will “observe intensively Russia’s attempts to weaken EU’s and NATO’s ties in the Balkans, in particular in Serbia and in Republika Srpska”.

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