WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • N. MACEDONIA ELECTIONS: SDSM candidate Stevo Pendarovski notes that he will win and then run for a second term in an interview with Fokus. Meanwhile, VMRO-DPMNE candidate Dr. Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova says, “This is a problem of democratic deficit, which means that there is no democracy in this country, and where there is no democracy there is neither EU nor NATO. You need to be a decent place for living for the EU and NATO. This place is far from the EU, once again you will hear that we will not start negotiations”
  • If you missed our exclusive interview with Dr. Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, you can read it here.
  • Kosovo President Hashim Thaci for The Independent: “For us in Kosovo, we would like to see Britain in the European Union – definitely the EU cannot be the same without Britain…Without Britain, the European Union will lose a lot of substance. It is not a good situation, for the EU or for us in Kosovo.”
  • He continued on the US role in the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue: “Skeptics have been saying that (US President) Trump would not care about the Balkans. In fact he has been very attentive, very supportive, but really he was following the policies of other presidents over Kosovo and the Balkans, Bush senior and junior, Clinton and Obama. Trump has sent two letters in two months, both to me and President Vucic of Serbia, with a very clear message to reach an agreement this year.”
  • RUMOR: Gazeta Express says that an unnamed source told them the France-Germany plan for the April 29 meeting between Serbia’s and Kosovo’s leaders:  “Reportedly it will be proposed the dual sovereignty. Kosovo will keep its territorial integrity intact, whereas Serbia will enjoy a kind of sovereignty over Serbs in Kosovo and Serbian orthodox churches.”
  • Vucic notes that Serbia will retaliate over the 100% tariffs if they are not lifted by May 6th. He also says, “I won’t accept to resume any dialogue without the abolishment of the taxes whatever happens and whatever the pressures may be at any personal cost, not the one Serbia might pay.”
  • SERBIA + RUSSIA: Serbia and Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on to build a nuclear research center in Serbia. Serbian Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popovic and Russia’s Rosatom nuclear energy corporation CEO Alexei Likhachev were present for the signing. Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic is on his way to Russia to meet counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Finally, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic met with Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin to discuss an upcoming meeting between Vucic and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the China Belt and Road Forum.
  • Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic received the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sumu Chakrabarti who is in the region for the annual Sarajevo Business Forum. Djuknaovic noted that “the only way is Europe and Euro-Atlantic integrations” for the region.
  • His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, will visit Slovenia on the 14 and 15 May 2019, as a guest of His Excellency Borut Pahor in establishing the first annual UK-Slovenia Day of Friendship 
  • The President of Poland Andrej Duda was at the EUFOR HQ in Butmir, Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. Duda met the Members of Presidency Milorad Dodik and Sefik Dzaferovic on Tuesday, as well. 
  • Bosnian Croat Member of the Presidency Zeljko Komsic noted on the anniversary of the Ahmici massacre: ““The crimes committed in Ahmici and Trusina are a constant reminder to us all. Such tragedies must never happen again, to anyone…These crimes will always remain in our hearts, but it’s high time that we look the truth in the eyes, and move on as a society Crimes committed on behalf of one ethnic group must not be justified by crimes of the other group. We mustn’t allow those glorifying war crimes and war criminals to continue to be the bearers of social processes in the country.”
  • Voice of Croatia: “Croatia looking to bolster is defense industry through EU funds and PESCO
  • The Sarajevo Business Forum, also known as the “Balkan Davos,” kicks off today. 
  • Deutsche Welle: “Western Balkans waiting for a green energy revolution
  • A measles epidemic has been declared in N. Macedonia since 960 cases have been registered since the beginning of the year.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina held a day of mourning on Tuesday after four teachers passed away in a car accident on Friday 
  • A cargo ship has hit rocks near Pula, Croatia. Luckily the shit did not take any water.
  • Slovenia sweeps gold at the Bouldering World Cup held in Moscow.
  • The number of companies that would reinvest in Croatia is on the downfall.