WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott: “The campaign for annulling the decision on recognition is equally unhelpful in an attempt by the two sides to get back to the negotiating table as are the taxes (100 percent import duties Pristina introduced on goods from Serbia and Bosnia last November).” Read a summary of his interview with Blic here or the full interview in Serbian here.
  • EU Chief Federica Mogherini hosted a working meeting with Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic, Albanian Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj, Kosovar President Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zoran Zaev, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, and Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak.
  • Prime Minister Zaev noted after the meeting, “The start of negotiations will be a joint success of both North Macedonia and EU, a result of the joint achievements during the pre-accession period.”
  • ON THE SIDELINES: Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic metwith Latvian counterpart Egils Levits. In addition she met with Kosovar President Hashim Thaci. Grabar-Kitarovic even snapped a photo with US Vice President Mike Pence.
  • ON THE SIDELINES: Kosovo FM Behgjet Pacolli walked the streets of NYC talking with Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz. Pacolli also met with Secretary of State of the Holy See Pietro Parolin
  • Prime Minister of N. Macedonia Zaev met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. He also met with Estonian counterpart Juri Ratas. Foreign Minister of N. Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov met with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
  • ON THE SIDELINES: Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met withSpecial Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo Zahir Tanin. See his whole itinerary for the UN here, which includes meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, and  Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker. See his full schedule hereSerbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic took a photo with Ivanka Trump. 
  • Far Out: “Today, a letter from NASA’s director of Mars Exploration, James Watzin, was presented to the mayor of Jezero, Bosnia and Herzegovina, honoring the connection between the small Balkan town and Jezero Crater, the landing site for the Mars 2020 rover. U.S. Ambassador Eric Nelson delivered the letter to Mayor Snezana Ruzucic in the town, population 1,100.” (NASA)
  • This is the first time the oldest charted military organization in the western hemisphere will travel to Croatia. The AHAC was charted in 1638 and has its headquarters on the 4th Floor of historic Faneuil Hall ‘the Cradle of Liberty’ in Boston, MA.” (Croatia Week)

  • Russia officially declares CIA spy as missing after he and his family disappeared on a trip to Montenegro.
  • Kosovo Specialist Chambers: Former KLA soldier Bashkim Gashi from Suhareke has rejected an invitation to go to The Hague. The Association of KLA Veterans urged him to go at the next invitation to not set a precedent.  
  • Worrying Trend: There were more deaths than births in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first six months of this year compared to the first six months of 2019.


BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Sport: The Croatian Football (soccer) Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Football Federation to increase cooperation and development in India. Proposals range from Indian teams joining the Croatian league to players and coaches being trained in Croatia.