WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric George Nelson visited Srebrenica on Monday to pay respects to victims. 
  • He said, “I wanted to come here and personally visit the Memorial Centre in Potocari, meet with the Director of the Memorial Centre and talk to those who survived the genocide. The US will continue supporting all those who actively seek justice for those who lost their lives in the genocide, as well as all those who want to work on peace and reconciliation.”
  • Kosovo was discussed at the UN Security Council today. UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission in Kosovo Zahir Tanin lambasted Kosovo’s treatment of the Russian UN worker arrested.  Ambassador of Kosovo to the US Vlora Citaku defended Kosovo’s police action in the north and called for UNMIK to leave Kosovo. Meanwhile, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic warned of potential new bloodshed in Kosovo.  Watch the whole UNSC meeting here.
  • Deputy President High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ruzica Jukic has called on the BiH Presidency to react and inform the EU and UN that the international community and embassies are continually calling for measures to be taken against the President of the HJPC Milan Tegeltija
  • She wrote, “Nobody has the right, and especially not foreign embassies, to interfere in the work of judicial institutions in a way which produces pressure on what decision will be made in a judicial procedure, prosecutor’s investigation, disciplinary decision, decision of the Council regarding the naming of those who will serve judicial position and all other decisions which are defined in the law – how they are made and who makes them.”
  • He fired back: “It is indicative that the HJPC only now expresses concern about the concern for the constitutional order, but they failed to do so when the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina were questioned, when illegal referenda were conducted in contravention of the decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH, and when individuals incited the rebellion within the Armed Forces of BiH.”
  • Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warns that the Paris meeting with Kosovo may not occur if Pristina still has the 100% tariffs in place, but that Serbia would go if invited.
  • Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has called on the Vatican to recognize Kosovo after meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Kosovo.
  • Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov met with Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva at the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission. A major impasse is the assessment of Goce Delchev‘s work. 
  • Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic reaffirmed that his state is clearly committed to the highest European standards after a meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petric.
  • Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic condemned a hooligan attack in Supetar on the island of Brac. The hooligans were allegedly asking “Where are the Serbs?”
  • Plenkovic also sent condolences to the family of  the Vice President of the Council of the Serbian National Minority in Kastav Radoje Petkovic who tragically died.  was attacked on April 24 in Viskovo before falling into a coma.
  • Slovenia Times: “Ways of encouraging economic cooperation, especially trade and investment, were in the focus of Monday’s meeting in Ljubljana between Japan’s State Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshihiro Seki and Slovenia’s State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti.”
  • Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Edward Joseph on Kosovo-Serbia in an interview for Koha Dritore: “In order to fulfill the Albanian historical goal of Kosovo’s full and complete independence, Albanians must paradoxically accept the connection with the Serbs in Kosovo. It is up to Pristina to accept and to respect that Belgrade – despite the oppression – has legitimate claim and connection with Kosovo as a source of Serbian nationality. This is not easy, but Greece and North Macedonia demonstrate that it can be done.”
  • His SAIS colleague Daniel Serwer noted for Glas Amerike (Voice of America) that he doesn’t believe Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic “isn’t really looking for a solution with Kosovo right now” and doesn’t “think the leadership on either side (Kosovo and Serbia) has shown the kind of willingness to breakthrough on the issues.” You can read his full interview (printed in Serbo-Croatian) here.
  • Voice of Croatia: “At the Brodosplit shipyard this morning the keel of a new passenger polar cruiser was laid out that is being built for the American Quark Expedition Company.”
  • Pepsi Co. buys Serbian beverage firm Knjaz Milos in a joint venture with joint Karlovarské Minerální Vody 

BEYOND THE POLITICS