WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • FROM THE UNGASecretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Majlinda Brega hosted Western Balkan and EU leaders, including Kosovo Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli and Foreign Minister of N. Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov, as a part of the RCC agenda.
  • FROM THE UNGA – BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Bosnian Chairman of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic addressed the UN General Assembly highlighting Bosnia’s commitment to the UN global agenda and BiH’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Read quick highlights here. Komsic also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • FROM THE UNGA – CROATIA: Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic addressed the UN General Assembly calling for continued support and to revitalize the UN. She denies she held a bilateral meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. But she met with the World Jewish Organization and B’nai B’rith and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Grabar-Kitarovic told Guterres that any change of border between Kosovo and Serbia would open Pandora’s box for the region.
  • Slovenian President Borut Pahor hosted a reception for members of the Executive Board of the UEFA and members of the Executive Board of the FIFA from Europe in Ljubljana.
  • US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott went on N1 TV Tuesday morning and said “I was an optimist it (the negotiation process) was going into the right direction a year and a half ago, but since last autumn it took a wrong path: Serbia’s campaign against Kosovo’s Interpol membership, Pristina’s introduction of tariffs, then Serbia’s Government’s decision not to negotiate further – that’s a negative cycle. It’s time to calm down and focus on both Serbia and Kosovo long-term interests.”
  • He added that he hoped the dialogue would begin before the election campaign starts in Serbia.
  • Former SPO head Katica Janeva did not give her testimony related to the “Racket” case on Tuesday, telling prosecutors she would do that once personally inspecting the evidence, her lawyer Irena Frchkoska told reporters upon the leaving the prosecutor’s office for organized crime and corruption.” (Nezavisen)
  • Foreign Minister of N. Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov expects his country to be a fully fledged member of NATO by April 2020.
  • Serbian Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic says that his state would not be joining the Eurasian Economic Union rather would be signing free trade agreements Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
  • SDA leader and Speaker of the House of Peoples Bakir Izetbegovic says that Bosnia and Kazakhstan have much room to improve cooperation while at  Meeting of Eurasian Parliament Speakers in Nursultan.
  • Meanwhile, Montenegrin Speaker of Parliament Ivan Brajovic notes that Montenegro’s future is in the EU, but is making strides in dialogue and relations with Eurasian countries while in Nursultan.
  • DEFENSE & SECURITY: “The Commander of EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, held his first meeting with the new EU Special Representative and Head of EU Delegation, Ambassador Johann Sattler, on Monday 23 September in the EU Office in Sarajevo.
  • During an open and productive Office Call, General Trischak informed the EUSR on current activities of EUFOR and its upcoming annual Exercise “Quick Response 19” that shall demonstrate the EU’s resolve and EUFOR’s capability to rapidly reinforce its troops in BiH with reserve forces held at high-readiness in partner nations.” (Sarajevo Times)
  • Croatian Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli says Croatia is on track to be a tourist destination year round.
  • “The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to invest some 300 million euros ($323 million) in 2020 to help Bosnia improve infrastructure, energy efficiency and private sector, its new country chief said on Tuesday.” (Reuters)
  • “Bosnian Serbs on Tuesday rolled out a new special police unit in what could fuel tensions in the Balkan country that went through a devastating war in the 1990s and remains ethnically divided.The Gendarmerie unit was presented for top Bosnian Serb leaders in Banja Luka, the main city in the Bosnian Serb-run part of the country.” (AP News)
  • United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) and the Macedonian Canadian Lawyers’ Association penned an open letter to the New York Times about the Athens Democracy Forum. 
  • A sign in the town of Zubin Potok in the north of Kosovo was removed by authorities for having “Republic of Serbia” included. 
  • MIGRANTS: The Croatian Ministry of Interior denies reports that they are abusing migrants. 
  • ENERGY: A wind farm opened in Vojvodina and has the capacity to produce enough electricity for 45,000 households.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • SPORT: Slovenia’s men’s volleyball team beat Russia to reach the semi finals of the European Championship. They will play Poland on Thursday. Serbia defeated Ukraine and will play against France in the semi finals on Friday.