WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten D. Madison met with Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj on Monday to discuss capacity building in security institutions.
- Leaders of the three main political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina Bakir Izetbegovic (SDA), Dragan Covic (HDZ-BiH), and Milorad Dodik (SNSD) met to discuss guiding principles for the division of the government.
- BREXIT: Slovenia and the United Kingdom adopted reciprocal measures safeguarding certain citizens rights should there be a no-deal Brexit.
- RFE/RL: “Belgrade Bedfellows: Divergent Aims, Styles Laid Bare As Serbia’s Anti-Vucic Protests Intensify“: “For 14 weeks, opposition protests have been held against the presidency of Aleksandar Vucic while politicians mostly stayed in the background. That changed over the weekend when radical right-wing leader Bosko Obradovic led a charge of several dozen people into the headquarters of national state broadcaster (RTS), prompting many to ask whether the demonstrations demanding that Vucic ease his tight control over state media and hold fair elections are being hijacked by politicians.”
- Opposition leader Vuk Jeremic stated that Vucic’s resignation and an agreement for free and fair elections are the only demands of the protestors.
- But President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic noted she did not want to see Serbia destabilized: “They are Serbia’s internal affairs and I do not want to interfere. However, I don’t want to see the destabilization of the entire region, and the destabilization of Serbia would certainly result in the destabilization of other countries.”
- Prime Minister of N. Maceconia Zoran Zaev said that the country would head to general elections if his party’s candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, did not win the upcoming presidential election.
- Russia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement officially recognizing the name “Republic of North Macedonia” despite doubts.
- Montenegro’s President Milo Djukanovic reiterates that the only future for the Western Balkan countries is a part of the European family while on an official visit to Germany.
- In a show of solidarity, the Center for Peace and Multiethnic Cooperation illuminated the iconic Mostar bridge with the flag of New Zealand.
- Croatia’s Speaker of Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic met with Croats in Montenegro in Kotor and Tivat on Monday.
- Former Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel says the EU’s only hope for defense is NATO and that it is more to blame for tensions than the US.
- Five years on, Slovenia formally reiterated “its firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”.
- Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina have signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in tourism.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- Kurt Bassuener and Toby Vogel for Just Security, “The U.S. Congress, a Voice for the Balkans In the 1990s Wars, Needs to Step Up Again.”
- Filip Stanjovski writes in Global Voices, “Abandoned church construction site bears testimony to waning Russian influence in North Macedonia.”
- Xavier High School in Iowa welcomes two Croatian exchange students who are rising stars on the soccer field who hope to lead the team to back-to-back state championships.
- In the pros, Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany) striker Luka Jovic will suit up for Serbia against Germany on Wednesday for a friendly match. He is transfer target of top teams in Europe.