WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • FROM THE UNGA: US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker and Special Representative to the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer met with leaders from the Western Balkans.
  • FROM THE UNGA – BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: Bosnian Chairman of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic met with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres who said that NATO and the EU should be open to BiH. He also addressed the UNGA calling for more cooperation with the UN, NATO and the EU.
  • FROM THE UNGA- N. MACEDONIA: Prime Minister Zoran Zaev attended the Global Business Forum.

  • FROM THE UNGA – SLOVENIASlovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar says that Croatia must show respect for the democratic and  legal standards to make it into the Schengen Zone.
  • Outgoing Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj says he will not allow any partition of Kosovo and added, “the heart of every Albanian beats: God Bless America!” 
  • President of N. Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski said there would four embassies closing throughout the world to make way for more important posts like a NATO Ambassador. There are 27 embassies worldwide.
  • Bosnian Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic received new EU Ambassador to BiH Johann Sattler. The two talked about BiH’s path to NATO and the EU.
  • EU delegation in BiH  quoted: “The functioning of law enforcement agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina is important for Bosnia’s EU integration. This has been confirmed in the Commission Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application, which pointed to law enforcement agencies being fragmented and vulnerable to undue political interference. The Opinion asked for stronger cooperation among law enforcement agencies. In this regard the European Union will continue to closely monitor developments in the rule of law, including the functioning of the RS gendarmerie.”
  • A company owned by the father of Serbian Minister of Defense Branko Stefanovic was registered to produce arms in April. He has been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.
  • Croatia, which is trying to buy 12 fighters to modernize its air force, said on Wednesday it had received 13 expressions of interest in response to a request for offers for the planes.
  • ‘We have received 13 offers after contacting 26 potential bidders. Five offers involve new fighter jets and eight refer to used ones. We shall now assess the validity of the offers,’ the state commission tasked to run the procurement process said in a statement. (Reuters)
  • Montenegro and China signed an agreement to increase scientific cooperation between Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (MASA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
  • “Police in Slovenia say they strongly condemn the formation of self-styled vigilante groups, who have appeared in increasing number recently to clamp down on illegal migration into the country.
  • Spokesman Drago Menegalija said Wednesday that police welcome any help from individual citizens regarding suspicious vehicles or persons, but that this does not include members of the so-called ‘home guards’ in the country.” (AP News)
  • Slovenian airlines Adria Airways has a week to sort out its financial woes and present a financial plan to the Slovenian Civil Aviation Agency

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • CULTURE: The Sarajevo Canton names a park after WWII hero Jelena Vitas.