WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
VUCIC THREATENS DIALOGUE: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned that a Nagorno-Karabakh situation could engulf Kosovo if an agreement through the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is not reached. This comes on the heels of Kosovo’s Speaker of Parliament and Acting President Vjosa Osmani.
- Kosovo PM Avdullah Hoti noted that the only forward for the region is through the Dialogue. He said, “Kosovo’s Government remains committed to a constructive role in favor of peace, stability and prosperity of the entire region.”
- Meanwhile, Kosovo FM Meliza Haradinaj-Stublla had harsher words for Serbia’s Vucic. She wrote on Twitter, “After fuelling #NagornoKarabakh fight w/ #Serbian made arms, #Serbia’s @avucic, Milosevic’s Information Minister now threatens all @NATO
aligned neighboring countries that it will continue to prepare militarily for new #Balkans wars!…The ‘#Russia’s puppy’ policy & approach is clearly against EU values & @NATO security policies in #Balkans. All #Russian-#Serbian efforts to undermine region’s peace, stability & security are unacceptable for #Kosovo & will surely fail like their infamous capitulation in 1999.”
INT’L ROAD TO BYPASS VISOKI DECANI: Italian Ambassador to Kosovo Nicola Orlando and Head of the KFOR Mission, Italian General Major Michele Risi, mediated an agreement between the Decan/i municipality and the Visoki Decani Monastery to construct two roads – an international road that will bypass the Special Protected Zone (SPZ) and a local road that will pass through the SPZ. The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- PM Hoti noted, “Such an agreement testifies that the Republic of Kosovo is a country of equality, of freedom and rights which are respected and protected similarly for everyone.”
- Meanwhile, Abbot of the Decani Monastery, Father Sava Janjic, said, the “arrangement will protect the monastery from the construction of the international road, which will go via a bypass, and in return will enable rehabilitation of the existing road … for local use.”
- Kosovo news outlet KosSev highlighted U.S. President-elect visited the monastery on his trip and sent a letter to former PM of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj during a hearing a Senate session in March 2005. Read his full remarks HERE.
BULGARIA + N. MACEDONIA: Spokeswoman for Neighborhood and Enlargement for the European Commission Ana Pisonero is encouraging the two sides to double down efforts to come to a solution before the November 17 meeting of the Council of Ministers. Bulgaria could block N. Macedonia’s path to formally opening EU accession talks if an agreement on historical figures and identity is not reached.
RUSSIA + SERBIA: “Ana Brnabic, Serbia’s Prime Minister and The Russian ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Bocan Harchenko discussed on Thursday the relations between the two countries and cooperation on joint projects, primarily in the field of energy which would continue despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“According to her office’s statement, Brnabic said that increasing the capacity for gas storage in the entire country was one of the priorities in the coming period and that intensive cooperation with Russia would continue on that issue.” (N1)
SERBIA’S EAEU PATH: Serbia path to joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) should be completed by the end of the year according to Iya Maklina, an aide to the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission. She said, “So far, only Belarus and Russia have completed the ratification procedures. Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are still working on it. We expect this process to be finished by the end of the year.”
CONGRATS!: N. Macedonia qualified for its first ever major soccer tournament by defeating Georgia in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. Goran Pandev scored the only goal in the match at the young age of 37 years old, 19 years after making his first appearance for the national team. The tournament has been postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.
IN OTHER NEWS
OP-ED: “25 years after Dayton: Seize the moment with Biden in the White House” by Patrick Moore in Deutsche Welle
CULTURE: “The city on nine rivers – Sanski Most” in N1
SPORT: “NBA veteran star Vlade Divac visits Sarajevo” in N1
TRAVEL: “Croatia: the call of urban and nature” by David Farley in National Geographic