WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

CORONAVIRUS – BiH: The U.S. Embassy Civil-Military Affairs team and NATO in BiH donated “a shipment of critically-needed protective and disinfection equipment to local Civil Protection Agencies, the AFBiH, and Red Cross associations” in Tuzla, Brcko, and Bijeljina. The IMF approved a $358 million loan to BiH to combat COVID-19, but the loan remains locked because of internal politics. By the numbers: 1,342 confirmed cases, 51 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – CROATIA: A plane carrying 58 tons of medical equipment arrived on Tuesday from Shanghai, China. Croatia chaired a video conference of Ministers of Sport of EU countries to gauge the impact COVID-19 has had on sports. By the numbers: 1,908 confirmed cases, 48 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – KOSOVO: A pregnant woman in Kosovo has passed away from COVID-19 By the numbers: 598 confirmed cases, 15 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – N. MACEDONIA: N. Macedonia eases restrictions on time curfews. Macedonians face a 20 EUR fine for not wearing a protective mask in public. By the numbers: 1,231 confirmed cases, 55 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – MONTENEGRO:  The Montenegrin Government eased curfew restrictions. By the numbers: 313 confirmed cases, 5 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – SERBIA: The EU will send blankets, cushions, and tents for migrants within an aid package to Serbia to combat COVID-19. By the numbers: 6,890 confirmed cases, 125 deaths.

CORONAVIRUS – SLOVENIA: The Slovenian Government has adopted a draft amendment to its COVID-19 package to include more liquidity for the economy and should see up to 300,000 more beneficiaries. By the numbers: 1,344 confirmed cases, 77 deaths.

*** ALL COVID-19 STATISTICS FROM 8:00PM EST ON APRIL 21,2020***

AUSTRIAN AID: Austria is going to deliver gloves and disinfecting supplies to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and N. Macedonia.EU STIMULUS FUND: The latest estimate of the EU’s second COVID-19 stimulus package is around $3 billion.

U.S. + N. MACEDONIA: Defense Minister of N. Macedonia Radmila Sekerinska spoke with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasia about ways the U.S. and N. Macedonia can work together to combat COVID-19.

U.S. + CROATIA: U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst spoke with Minister of Economy Darko Horvat “about the strong and continuing collaboration between U.S. and Croatian companies.”

GRENELL OUT!: The Albanian American Civil League, a Washington-based lobbying group led by former Republican Congressman Joe DioGuardi, penned a declaration calling for the dismissal of President Trump’s Special Envoy to the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue Richard Grenell.

SLOVENIAN MILITARY: Brigadier Robert Glavas is set to take over as the new chief of the general staff of the Slovenian Armed Forces. He will replace Major General Alenka Ermenc who was dismissed at the first session of the new government on March 14. President Borut Pahor is expected to promote Glavas to a Major General on May 15, Slovenian Armed Forces Day.

KOSOVO @ UN: The UN Security Council will discuss the UN Mission in Kosovo tomorrow morning.

KOSOVO COALITION: The leader of the opposition party Democratic League of Kosovo (PDK), Kadri Veseli, claims acting Kosovo PM Albin Kurti reached out to potentially form a coalition. Veseli’s response? “They should not mislead public opinion on isolation and at the same time send messengers to jointly create a government.”

ZAEV INTERVIEW: Zoran Zaev, leader of SDSM in N. Macedonia, provided Croatia’s Vecernji List with an exclusive interview. He discussed negotiating with Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, NATO accession, domestic politics, and the the relations between N. Macedonia and Croatia.

SERBIAN ELECTIONS: Opposition leader Bosko Obradovic of the Dveri party has called on President Aleksandar Vucic to postpone elections to autumn even though the current government’s mandate ends on June 3.

BELGRADE-BUDAPEST: Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic visited the construction site of the Belgrade-Budapest railway. Trains will travel up to 200km/h and travelers can expect to get from Belgrade to Novi Sad in 20 minutes. The project is estimated to cost over $2 billion for the train line from Belgrade to the Hungarian border.

SHOW ME THE MONEY: Montenegrin PM Dusko Markovic’s gross earnings amounted to 3,000 EUR / month for January-March. The average salary in Montenegro is around 500 EUR/month.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sarajevo City Hall on Tuesday celebrated its 119th birthday.

MIGRANTS: A group of 120 migrants have been relocated to a new camp in Lipa which is between Bihac and Bosanski Petrovac.

IN OTHER NEWS

OP-ED: “Dialogue on a Ventilator” by Lazar Rakic in KosSevHUMAN INTEREST: “Sabina Hodzic-Mehmedovic decided to put all Hardships that Her Family went through into a Book about Srebrenica” in Sarajevo Times

CULTURE: “A flight over Neretva river emerald green canyon (VIDEO)” in N1

CULTURE: “Electronic Music and Journey through Vranduk Fortress in One Amazing Video!” in Sarajevo Times

TECHNOLOGY: “Pipistrel Announce Plans for Cargo Aircraft, ‘Flying Van’ & Hydrogen Shuttle” in Total Slovenia News

SPORT: “Vedran Corluka to Stay in Moscow until 2021, and Maybe Longer?” by Slobodan Kadic in Total Croatia News: “Vedran Corluka extended his contract with Moscow’s first-team Lokomotiv until 2021 two months ago, and they are certainly counting on him after his professional career. The 34-year-old defender is still the captain of the squad, and Russian media announced that he agreed with President Vasily Kiknadze in two minutes!”