WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, and Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer had an “open and concrete” conversation with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Kosovo. They agreed to meet within the next ten days. 
  • Kosovoar news outlet Gazeta Express writes that Germany is looking to send a special envoy to the region for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
  • Meanwhile, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says that he would support any deal that Kosovo and Serbia reach,”including a possible modification of the border.” He also doesn’t think Croatia will block Serbia’s EU accession process.
  • But outgoing Kosovoar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj says that Kosovo’s borders are untouchable while President of N. Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski called changing borders a “dangerous idea.”
  • Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic thinks that an agreement between “Serbs and Albanians” is the solution to bring peace to the Balkans and noted “We should get the most that we can and lose the least that we can. There can be no solution without a compromise and both sides could get a lot – a more stable, happier future, long-term perace and prosperity.”
  • “The US Justice Department awarded a plaque to the Police Academy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity for implementing all the conditions for gaining membership in the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLESTA), FBIH Interior Ministry said on Monday.” (N1)
  • President of the European Council Donald Tusk will be on an official visit to N. Macedonia today after visiting Albania. Tusk is expected to be replaced by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel later this year.
  • Slovenian President Borut Pahor welcomed Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind to Ljubljana. They discussed their commitment to multilateralism and Kovind commended Slovenia on its technology sector. Pahor accepted a visit to India before Kovind had meetings with Prime Minister Marjan Sarec and Speaker of the Parliament Dejan Zidan.
  • Foreign Minister of N. Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov says that if there is no date for the opening of EU accessions talks, then nationalists and populists will become stronger and more popular.
  • “Bosnian delegation will offer strong arguments at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) conference in Vienna against the Croatian plan to dispose of nuclear waste at border location of Trgovska Gora, Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said Monday after meeting the Mayor of Novi Grad, Miroslav Drljaca, a town at the border between the two countries.” (N1)
  • Students at the University of Belgrade have been protesting since Friday by blocking the Rectorate, even holding a sit in. They are a part of the 1 in 5 million protests and are demanding the dismissal of Finance Minister Sinisia Mali who is accused of plagiarizing his doctoral thesis, and Education Minister Mladen Sarcevic
  • Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic also dismissed the idea that there could be a police intervention.
  • Kosovo Specialist Chambers: “Two former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commanders, Sokol Bashota and Naim Maloku, will be interviewed by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office this week for their role during 1998-1999 war in Kosovo.”
  • Migrants: The conditions in migrant camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina are deteriorating and some described them as “inhumane.”

BEYOND THE POLITICS