WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Cancelled!: Major General Timothy Orr of the Iowa National Guard has cancelled his trip to Kosovo “in connection to tariffs on Serbian and Bosnian goods,” reports RFE/RL.  Speaking of military, Kohavision reports that the US could suspend military aid to the newly formed Kosovo Ministry of Defense, including twelve new humvees, as a result of the 100% tariff.
  • But how much has been lost due to the tariff? Serbian Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic says about $100 million.
  • In the Area: Macedonian Speaker of Parliament Talat Xhaferi is in Slovenia on a two day working visit where he met with his Slovenian counterpart, Dejan Zidan. Slovenia aims to be the second NATO country to ratify the future North Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol.
  • He Said, She Said in BiH: The Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic has called for Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt its program for NATO. Bosnian Croat Member of Presidency Zeljko Komsic has conditioned the adoption of the first Annual National Program (ANP) for NATO to appoint Bosnian Serb Zoran Tegeltija as the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers. Bosniak Member of Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic has said that himself and Komsic are not conditioning the ANP on appointing Tegeltija, rather for the continuation of past agreements. Prime Minister of Republika Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic warned against any conditioning. Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to adopt the ANP in order to begin the Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first step in joining NATO.
  • 40 Years On: Bosniak Member of the Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, and former Bosniak Member of the Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic were at the Iranian Embassy in Sarajevo celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
  • Wilkommen: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Montenegro’s EU accession: “Your place is in the European Union, and if you continue this way, success on this road is safe,” Mass said after meeting Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic on Monday.
  • Italian Snafu: European Parliament President Antonio Tajani apologized for referring to parts of Croatia and Slovenia as “Italian Istria” and “Italian Dalmatia” at a commemoration for those who died fleeing the Yugoslav Partisans during WWII. 
  • Srebrenica Remembrance in UK: The theme for marking the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide was presented in front of the House of Lords. The theme will be “Bridging the Divide-Opposing the Hatred.”
  • #1od5miliona: After ten weekends of protesting, the Serbian opposition decided to boycott parliament until there are snap elections.
  • Quick Changes: Macedonia has begun the process of removing “Republic of Macedonia signs” for “Republic of North Macedonia” signs in the capital of Skopje.
  • There is a major manhunt ongoing for a man who is suspected committed two murders in Bosnia and Heregovina.
  • From Croatia to eSwatani: Croatia and the Kingdom of eSwatani have mutually recognized each other and established diplomatic relations after ten years of negotiations.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Freedom of the Press: The Hill’s Opinion Contributor A. Ross Johnson writes: “US Global Media needs freedom to do its job: Promoting freedom”: “Recent media reports have detailed battles for oversight of the five international multimedia networks — Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting and Radio and TV Marti — that comprise the U.S. Agency for Global Media…I recently observed reporting of RFE/RL’s Balkan Service in Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. RFE/RL journalists first exposed a Russian-supported youth paramilitary camp in Serbia, resulting in its being shut down. They interviewed Kosovo Serbs and Kosovo Albanians for contrasting views on a possible “land swap” between Serbia and Kosovo. They’ve reported views and actions of the pro-Russian political parties in Montenegro. Journalists for “Current Time TV” (produced in cooperation with VOA) report in Russian from both sides of the war in Ukraine. “
  • What did you say?: “What Language Do People Speak in the Balkans, Anyway?” by Dan Nosowitz in Atlas Obscura: “IMAGINE A SITUATION IN WHICH an American defendant hires a British lawyer for a trial in an American courtroom. The accused then demands that a British interpreter be found. British-American legal interpreters are hard to find, so the demand could delay the case for years, possibly even long enough that the case has to be simply thrown out due to the statute of limitations—despite the fact that, obviously, a British lawyer is perfectly capable of being understood in an American courtroom. This actually happens on a regular basis in the countries that once made up Yugoslavia. The language situation in the Balkans is so unusual that there is no consensus, either among native speakers or linguistic researchers, about what to even call the … thing people speak in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Outside the region, it’s usually referred to as “Serbo-Croatian,” but neither linguists nor the people who actually speak it like to call it that. When asked what language they speak as part of a census, some people in the Balkans simply mocked the question, writing “our language” or, its insensitivity probably owing to distance, “Eskimo.””
  • Hooligan Hate Crimes: The three Croatians arrested for attacking the Red Star Belgrade water polo team in Split over the weekend are facing charges of hate crimes.
  • Slovenia is now added to the list of countries “who carry out good manufacturing practice” and are on par with the United States Food and Drug Administration. They should be confirmed no later than July 15, 2019.
  •  Check out how to buy property in Montenegro!