WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
CORONAVIRUS by the numbers:

  • BiH: 14,708 confirmed cases,  8,411 recovered, 447 deaths.
  • CROATIA: 5,740 confirmed cases, 4,962 recovered, 160 deaths.
  • KOSOVO: 10,419 confirmed cases, 6,058 recovered, 341 deaths.
  • N. MACEDONIA: 12,083 confirmed cases, 529 deaths.
  • MONTENEGRO: 3,696 confirmed cases, 68 deaths.
  • SERBIA: 28,497 confirmed cases, 25,028 recovered, 652 deaths.
  • SLOVENIA: 2,2072confirmed cases, 129 deaths.

SLOVENIA PREPARES FOR POMPEO VISIT: Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor met with U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Ljubljana on Thursday. Ambassador Blanchard wrote in a statement, “I have long advocated for continued high-level engagement between U.S. leaders and their Slovenian Government counterparts, and believe this visit will provide an outstanding opportunity to highlight the many ways in which we cooperate as a part of our enduring bilateral relationship defined by shared interests and priorities.” Check out our photo of the day below for a picture of the meeting!

VUCIC DENIES FK-3 PURCHASE: Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic denies there is a deal for Chinese FK-3 air defense missile systems. He said, “Every time we decide to buy something, someone is against it. We haven’t yet purchased FK-3; we’re thinking about it and we’ll how much money we have.”

EC MACRO-FINANCING: The European Commission (EC) agreed to Memoranda of Understanding on macro-financial assistance with Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, and N. Macedonia. Talks with Bosnia and Herzegovina are underway. By the numbers: Albania – 180 million euro, Kosovo – 100 million euro, Montenegro – 60 million euro, and N. Macedonia – 160 million euro.

EC + CROATIA: The EC will disburse 88.9 million euro to Croatia for the first installment from the European Solidarity Fund for the earthquake centered in Zagreb this March.

EC ON MONTENEGRO ELECTIONS: EC Spokeswoman Ana Pisonero told Vijesti, “We welcome the establishment of a Special Election Assessment Mission of ODIHR, especially given the challenges associated with COVID-19. Its findings and conclusions will be an important element of the EU assessment of the election process.” She added that the EC will publish freedom issues in its upcoming EC report.

SERBIA TO CONTINUE PROCESSING KLA CLAIMS: Serbia’s Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic said on Tuesday that Serbia would continue to process alleged crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

TURKEY SENTENCES GULENISTS: Turkey sentenced six Gulenists arrested in Kosovo and deported to Turkey to a total of 56 years in prison. The sentences range from 8 years to 15 years. Kosovo has remained silent on the proceedings. When they were arrested in 2018, then Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj denied knowledge of the operation and President Hashim Thaci said it “endangered Kosovo’s security.”

AZERBAIJAN AIMS TO SUPPLY BALKANS: Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company SOCAR expressed interest in supplying the Balkans with gas. Azerbaijan PM Ali Asadov said, “If a gas network is established in Albania, Albania will be our natural partner and we can export gas there as well. It’s possible to supply Azerbaijani gas to other neighboring countries in the Balkans.”

NATO + N. MACEDONIA: Fifteen roops from N. Macedonia will participate in the Combined Resolve XIV exercise in Germany and Carpathian Eagle exercise in Romania throughout the month of September.

LASKO PIVO SALES UP FROM 2019: “Pivovarna Laško Union, Slovenia’s largest brewery, last year generated EUR 156.5 million in net sales revenue, up 2.2% year-on-year, on the back of higher sales in the domestic market. Net profit was meanwhile up by 20% to EUR 24.4 million, shows the annual report published on Monday.” (Slovenia Times)

COVID FLIGHT: A flight from Skopje to Finland has prompted Finland to require Covid tests and quarantine measures for passengers arriving from high risk countries. On Monday, 24 of 156 passengers tested positive on a Wizz Air flight originating in N. Macedonia.

IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION IN CROATIA: “Croatia is becoming a country with more and more immigrants with over 30 percent of its incomers in 2019 coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vecernji List daily reported on Tuesday. The data provided by the national statistical office (DZS) shows that in 2019, a total of 40,149 people emigrated from Croatia, and 32,453 of them were Croatian nationals (80.8%) while a fifth, that is 7,667 were foreigners.” (N1)

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