WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer will be in Sarajevo and meet with the Members of Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, Zelko Komsic, and Milorad Dodik,  today, according to Klix.
  • The Kosovo government opened its arms to the Iowa Sister States program to honor General Timothy Orr of the Iowa National Guard for his service. US Ambassador Richard Kosnett held a reception for the delegation.
  • Barbara Surk for NY Times:”Visit by Pope Francis Helps Put North Macedonia on the Map
  • Slovenia to hold war games with NATO allies and others until June 22.
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will open its conference in Sarajevo for 8-9 May. 
  • Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci will not take part in the European Bank for Reconstsruction and Development Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina this week. He says  “behaves in a totally anti-European manner and crueler than Serbia itself.” BiH does not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence and requires visas for Kosovars. Kosovo slapped a 100% import tariff on BiH for its nonrecognition.
  • But Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says he won’t recognize Kosovo within its current borders. 
  •  Meanwhile, Serbia’s Minister Ivicia Dacic continues to draw a hard line : “The delimitation idea​​ was presented to Putin in the presence of Nikolic and Vucic five years ago. It was not met with enthusiasm because it was scheduled without the European Union being informed about it, and the US and other EU countries were not invited“
  •  Long Read: BBC News remembers the NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the night of May 7,1999 by speaking with multiple people who were involved. Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic won’t recognize Kosovo’s current lines.
  •  The UN is investigating former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic after using phone privileges to take part in a public event in Montenegro.
  •  Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina  have received over $17,000 even though they haven’t held a session.
  • An ethnic Albanian baker has been targeted by nationalists in Serbia for an old photo. Last week, protesters marched in support of the baker and his rights to be in and operate a bakery in Serbia. See RFE/RL’s video on it here
  • Reuters: “ArcelorMittal to cut iron ore output, slash jobs in Bosnia“: “ArcelorMittal will reduce output and cut 300 out of 800 jobs at its iron ore mines in Bosnia, the world’s largest steelmaker said on Tuesday.” 
  •  Austria “hands over” a MiG jet plane as a symbol of the Croatian War of Independence. It will be displayed outside the Croatian Ministry of Defense.

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • New Report: National Endowment fo Democracy Forum by Kurt Bassuener: “Foreign Authoritarian Influenc in the Western Balkans”
  • Op-Ed in TransConflict by Mladen Mrdalj: “Weaponizing white terrorism – the boomerang effect on the Balkans“: “My shock following the first news of the New Zealand mosque massacre was disrupted upon learning that the white terrorist played a Serbian war song minutes before. I found myself wondering if how I was feeling at that moment was how Muslims feel following an Islamic terrorist act. And there it was. Subtle hints, less subtle hints and direct accusations that Serbian nationalism and Radovan Karadzic (the Bosnian Serb leader rightfully convicted of war crimes against Bosnian Muslims) inspired another white terrorist. This despite the terrorist himself identifying another white terrorist as his only true inspiration, and celebrating many non-Serb historical figures (in)famous for fighting Muslims. Yet, they were quoted, and tweeted, and retweeted, solidifying Balkans nationalist friction into a Manichean struggle of Good vs. Evil. Attempts by Balkan nationalists to weaponize links of international terrorism with the Bosnian war have had a boomerang effect. The simplifications are the boomerang; and here is why.”
  • Air Serbia was the only flight operator to bid on twelve subsidized flight lines from the Constantine the Great Airport in Nis. Air Serbia is 49% owned by UAE’s Etihad Airways.
  • New book by Slovene-American Andrew Anzur Clement, “War One: Tito’s Lost Children: A Tale of the Yugoslav Wars” is now available. Read his interview with Total-Slovenia-News here.
  • US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer will be in Sarajevo and meet with the Members of Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, Zelko Komsic, and Milorad Dodik,  today, according to Klix.
  • Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci will not take part in the European Bank for Reconstsruction and Development Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina this week. He says  “behaves in a totally anti-European manner and crueler than Serbia itself.” BiH does not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence and requires visas for Kosovars. Kosovo slapped a 100% import tariff on BiH for its nonrecognition.
  •  Meanwhile, Serbia’s Minister Ivicia Dacic continues to draw a hard line : “The delimitation idea​​ was presented to Putin in the presence of Nikolic and Vucic five years ago. It was not met with enthusiasm because it was scheduled without the European Union being informed about it, and the US and other EU countries were not invited“
  •  The UN is investigating former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic after using phone privileges to take part in a public event in Montenegro.
  •  Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina  have received over $17,000 even though they haven’t held a session.
  • An ethnic Albanian baker has been targeted by nationalists in Serbia for an old photo. Last week, protesters marched in support of the baker and his rights to be in and operate a bakery in Serbia. See RFE/RL’s video on it here

BEYOND THE POLITICS

  • Air Serbia was the only flight operator to bid on twelve subsidized flight lines from the Constantine the Great Airport in Nis. Air Serbia is 49% owned by UAE’s Etihad Airways.
  • Meanwhile, Eurowings opens up a base in Pristina, Kosovo and will increase the number of flights to multiple destinations in Germany to more than 60 a week.
  • New book by Slovene-American Andrew Anzur Clement, “War One: Tito’s Lost Children: A Tale of the Yugoslav Wars” is now available. Read his interview with Total-Slovenia-News here.