WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) will be visiting Kosovo today followed by Serbia and Ukraine later in the week “to demonstrate bipartisan support for the new Ukrainian government and continued dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina,” according to Murphy’s Twitter
  • Retired Iowa National Guard Colonel Todd Jacobus writes on Twitter: “Excellent meeting of Iowa Sister States Kosovo Committee this morning at Kosovo Consulate in Des Moines, discussing upcoming visits by distinguished Kosovo guests. Excited to learn that Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi may visit Iowa THIS MONTH! #IowaWithKosovo
  • He continued, “Petrit Selim, Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Foundation Kosovo, visits Iowa, getting update from President Rob Denson & Des Moines Area Community College DMACC on 28 Kosovar Women In Energy at Ankeny Campus. Great investment in Kosovo’s future. #IowaWithKosovo
  • BLED STRATEGIC FORUM: Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec opened the 2019 Bled Strategic Forum with a call to action on climate change and greater multilateralism. The President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés echoedSarec’ssentiments and called climate change the”greatest challenge we must address” in her opening speech.
  • BLED STRATEGIC FORUM: Visiting Slovenia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the migrant crisis and the controversial purchase of Russian S-400 military equipment. He held discussions with Slovenia’s President Borut PahorPrime Minister Marjan Sarec and his counterpart Miro Cerar.
  • Serbia’s Dacic said Palmer “won’t have an easy time, but Serbia will be a constructive partner.”
  • Kosovo’s Pacolli reiterated that Kosovo’s goal is to have mutual recognition.

  • There is one person who is against Palmer’s appointment as Special Representative, and that’s Serbian Ambassador to Russia Miroslav Lazanski. He told N1: “If he had studied history a little he should not have accepted. All envoys either died or were dismissed, from Richard Holbrooke to Hoyt Lee. I don’t know of any envoy to the Western Balkans who succeeded. This is something that every smart American politician should avoid.”
  • Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met with Swiss President Ueli Maurer in Bern on Monday. Brnabic noted, “At this moment we are investing over 100 million Euros in infrastructure for research and development, finishing the building of the scientific-technological park in (the northern city) Novi Sad, constructing the one in (southern city) of Nis and developing the other in (central town) Cacak. Switzerland will continue to help those centres across Serbia,” and said the two countries should meet twice a year to increase relations across all sectors.
  • Komsic on Bosnian Serb Member of Presidency Milorad Dodik and appointing the Prime Minister designate who is supposed to be from Dodik’s party: “There is no logic in objecting the NATO, which guarantees elementary security. If you’re a part of NATO, you can forget about conflicts. There are no more conflicts, no more wars, no fear of war, no fear that someone will attack you from aside because you have western neighbours who are NATO member states. There is no fear of Serbia which has good cooperation with NATO, and it will probably one day become a NATO member state.
  • “But Dodik has a problem with Bosnia and Herzegovina sending the ANP. The ball is in his court and he was told so. All legal prerequisites have been met, he can be appointed the prime minister-designate and the only thing he has to accept is to respect the decisions of the Presidency, the Parliament, the Law on Defence and the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means the continuation of the NATO road. If he can oblige to that, then let’s talk,”
  • Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro plan to have a design by September 2020 for the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline (IAP). The 320 mile (516 km) pipeline will be jointly owned by companies in each state.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina will host “Traditional family day” the day before the First Sarajevo Pride Parade with a walk from the Eternal Flame to the Parliament building.
  • There are still no Bosnian language class for Bosniak students in Republika Srpska, but rather they are in the class for “the language of the Bosniak people.”

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Science: “Europe’s Oldest Lake Reveals Clues About The Last Million Years Of Climate In The Med” in IFL Science: “Lake Ohrid, between Albania and North Macedonia, is one of Europe’s oldest and deepest lakes. Lakes like this usually only last a few hundred thousand years before they become filled with sediments, but this doesn’t seem to be the case for Ohrid as it is much older. Now, its age has allowed researchers to open a window into the past of the Mediterranean Basin.”