WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Bosnian Serb Member of the Presidency Milorad Dodik accuses a British national having a list of over 300 people in the region who spread Russian influence. He also said “Republika Srpska has all elements of the state, it respects the international law, it is a peace and stability factor in the region and has no aspirations towards anyone.”
  • It will be put to the test as prominent Bosnian Serb businessman Slavisa Krunic was murdered along with two others in Banja Luka. The US Embassy tweeted it was “shocked by the brutal assassination.” Three were arrested for in connection to the murder.
  • In another scandal, Bosnian border police deny putting migrants in cages after a short video emerged on the internet yesterday.
  • Kosovo opposition party Vetvendosje released a statement calling for the dismissal of  Chief State Prosecutor, Aleksander Lumezi: “He [Lumezi] has not filed any indictment against mafia, corrupt officials or those who committed sexual crimes. Therefore, thanks to him, criminals are still free and powerful.” The party has called for protests on Friday.


  • Serbia’s Financial Minister Sinisia Mali says that Serbia will sign ten agreements at the One Belt One Road summit in Beijing.
  • Meanwhile, Greek opposition leaderKyriakos Mitsotakis pledges to “do everything in my power to ease the negative repercussions of the deal (Prespa Agreement)” should his party come to power. He added, “I am still waiting for (Greek Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras and his deputies to explain this in northern Greece.”


  • After initial meetings diplomats in Brdo pri Kranju which will last two days, Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar says “A key priority for Slovenia and a large majority of other countries is a mulilateralism that is efficient and based on clear rules. It is a guarantee for stability, predictability and orderly relations.”


  • Voter mobilization is key in Slovenia for the upcoming European Parliamentary elections according to political scientist Alem Maksuti who noted that in 2014 elections saw only a 25% turnout.


  • Volkswagen is building an electric car plant in the region and Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey are hoping to convince the German car manufacturer to choose them. A final decision will be in November.


BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Sheryl Crowe re-released the song “Redemption Day,” a duet she recorded with Johnny Cash in 1996 after visiting military bases, sang for troops, and visited families in Bosnia with then First Lady Hillary Clinton

  • She reflected: “I’d never been anywhere even close to a war-torn area. We had all these resources tied up in Bosnia, and I kept thinking about how and why do we choose where to get involved. Is it desire for control, greed for oil – what is it?”
  • Fifteen-year-old Slovenian golfer, Pia Babnik won the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship over the weekend. She is currently ranked the 37th best amateur golfer in the world.
  • Olive Oil Times: “In Slovenia, ‘The Tree Needs to Look Beautiful” in part 4 of its series on Slovenia:”‘There was a time when a squirrel could travel from Koper to Portoroz jumping from one olive tree to another,” Miha Jakovcic recalls ‘nonno’ Giovanni, his wife’s grandfather saying, as he looks at the magnificent vistas from one of his olive groves in the hills of the Slovenian coast.'”
  • Dubrovnik ranks number 1 on the most Instagrammable places in Europe list, according to Big 7.


  • Croatian Mixed Martial Artist Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic retired in February due to a sudden stroke. This is where he is now and what his thoughts are on retirement.