WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- Serbian Minister of Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic is on a three day visit to the United States. He met with Acting Acting Administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Uttam Dhillon, noting that Serbia seized more than four tons of narcotics in 2018.
- Slovenia Times – “The US army has decided to curtail ongoing military activities in Slovenia due to restrictions imposed at the Poček grounds near Postojna, the US Embassy in Ljubljana has said.”
- But Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec met with Gautam Rana, the Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Ljubljana, and insisted that the exercises would go on as planned.
- Bosnian Croat Member of Presidency Zeljko Komsic filed criminal charges against Bosnian Serb Member of Presidency Milorad Dodik over his comments about the Armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The prosecution has filed a case.
- Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov spoke with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic about the four-dimensional (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Serbia) format on energy and infrastructure projects.
- Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic met with the President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble that Western Balkan stability is a prerequisite for European stability.
- Dane Taleski was appointed as the new National Coordinator for NATO in North Macedonia. He will replace Stevo Pendarovski who was elected president on May 9.
- Speaking of Pendarovski, he sweeped the intelligence services of N. Macedonia by dismissing multiple officials.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia signed a tripoint border protocol on Wednesday and moved towards international law standards.
- Associated Press: “Kosovo report blames president for Turks’ deportation“
- Total Croatia News: “Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević and War Veterans Minister Tomo Medved would attend Saturday’s 74th commemoration for the Bleiburg victims in Austria on the government’s behalf, while President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović‘s office said her envoy would be her chief-of-staff Anamarija Kirinić.”
- Meanwhile, Plenkovic noted that fishing and fisheries are “strategically important” for Croatia.
- The Director for the Office of Kosovo and Metohija in Serbia, Marko Djuric, urged all Serbs in the four northern municipalities participating in the extraordinary elections on Sunday to vote for Srpska Lista.
- Nektaria Stamouli in the Wall Street Journal: “Balkan Leader Warns of New Migration Crisis if Europe Shuts Region Out“: “The European Union risks fresh migration and security headaches if it turns its back on Balkan countries that want to join the bloc, the newly elected president of this fragile nation warned.”
- Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar pledged to aid African countries, noting Africa, and in particular Ghana, as “one with the fastest growing economy and great potential for the future.”
- In another move centered around the 2019 Africa Day International Conference event in Ljubljana, Slovenia and Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase economic cooperation.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- Trendlines Podcast by World Politics Review: “How Vucic Has Skillfully Exploited Serbia’s ‘Stunted’ Democracy” featuring Belgrade-born journalist Aleks Eror and World Politics Review Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet.
- Alon Ben Meir in Value Walk: “To Prevent Brain Drain, Kosovo Must Eradicate Corruption“:
“On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the end of Kosovo war, the country is facing a dramatic large-scale brain drain. Every day, young professionals wait in long lines in front of EU embassies to apply for visas to legally leave Kosovo in the search for job opportunities and more promising futures. While it may be argued that massive brain drain is a problem that some European and Western Balkans states are facing, Kosovo’s migration is becoming increasingly acute, especially because of the endemic corruption among the political elite, much of the business sector, and many private and government institutions.”
- ESPN: “Glory’s Djulbic recalls war-torn youth“: When Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic steps out for Sunday’s A-League grand final against Sydney, his late father Esad will be at the forefront of his mind. Djulbic was just nine years old when he and his family fled war-torn Bosnia. His father stayed behind to fight in the war. A few months later, Djulbic was given the devastating news that his father had died. For three long months Djulbic and his family grieved until a phone call changed their lives forever.”
- Yahoo Sport: “Luka Jović is the Serbian striker you need to know about“
- Slovenian cyclist Kristijan Koren was one among four others to be banned for doping.
- Serbia makes the final ten in the Eurovision song contest advancing to the finals.