WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • Quint State Embassies in Kosovo Statement on elections in the north: “The Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States take note of the elections on May 19, 2019.  We note that the election day itself appears to have taken place in an atmosphere of calm. Still, the Embassies recall the findings of the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) in 2017, which expressed serious concerns about intimidation in many Kosovo-Serb areas, especially against political parties competing against Srpska List. These flaws, as well as requirements to update voter registries and clarify procedures, remain unaddressed and result in restricted electoral competition and limited political participation, thus raising questions about the overall democratic process in those areas.”
  • Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic blasts the statement, saying, “I want to congratulate them on their inventiveness. I have never read something so stupid in my life.”
  • Gazeta Express: Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 6. On Monday, Haradinaj met with Albanian President Ilir Meta.
  • Meanwhile, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and discussed regional issues. 
  • Bosnian Chairman of the Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic announces that the Council of Ministers will meet next week.
  • In addition, BiH Minister of Security Dragan Mektic accused the SNSD and HDZ-BiH of  blocking state institutions work. 
  • Greek fighter jets flew over N. Macedonia on Tuesday in a NATO-linked test as a part of its NATO accession process.
  • Montenegro hosted the main planning conference for the NATO Cyber Coalition 2019 to plan for exercises to be held later in the year in Estonia. Over 100 cyber experts are in Montenegro for the planning.
  • UNESCO recommends that Ohrid, Macedonia should be added to the World Heritage List.
  • Serbia-Croatia relations are of the utmost importance. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met with Croatian Ambassador Gordon Bakot who agreed a visit by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic would send a positive signal for regional stability.
  • Russian Duma Chair of the International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky reaffirmed Moscow’s support over Kosovo in a message to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
  • Kosovo Minister of Economy Valdrin Lluka says that remittances from Switzerland “make people lazy” in Kosovo.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Kosovo 2.0: “A place to express, with Kissmet“: “The climate emergency and its global threat have been prominent topics pushed to the top of the political agenda by citizens and grassroots organizations in recent times. In Kosovo, the latest edition of Prishtina’s newest magazine, Kissmet, is also addressing the burning issue.”
  • The Red History Museum opened in Dubrovnik, Croatia which explores the good, bad, and ugly in Croatia’s socialist past.