WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY
- Croatian Prime Minister and leader of the HDZ Andrej Plenkovic confirms that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will represent the party in the upcoming presidential elections. She is seeking her second five-year term.
- Although the three main Bosnian parties came together to sign a set of 12 principles for creating a central government after a ten month standoff, they remain distant on whether the deal includes NATO membership or not.
- Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said he would rally Serbs living in the US to vote for President Donald Trump in 2020. He also noted that Albanians have done this in the past and cited the influence of Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY16) on the Albanian diaspora.
- Two of Kosovo’s biggest parties, the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) and Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), have said they would not revoke the 100% tariffs on Serbian and Bosnian goods as their campaign kicks off for snap elections in the fall.
- “Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Economy Minister Darko Horvat, Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković and Maritme Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković visited the Treći Maj shipyard in Rijeka where they met with the ailling shipyard’s director Edi Kučan. The focus of their meeting was on finding a legal framework within which production at the shipyard can be continued.” (Voice of Croatia)
- Kosovo Ambassador to N. Macedonia Gjergj Dedaj told Macedonian media after meeting with former KLA member Tomor Morina that “They (Serbia) have no right to ask for extradition of Kosovar citizens.” He expects Morina to be released as soon as possible and returned to Kosovo.
- A close friend and former associate of assassinated Kosovar Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic, Silvana Arsovic, has been called in for the third time for questioning as a suspect in the murder.
- Locals in Prijedor marked the 27 year anniversary of the shutdown of the Omarska camp. It was one of the most notorious camps during the Balkan wars.
- The M.T. Abraham Foundation, led by Israeli businessman Amir Gross Kabiri, could be a potential buyer of Aluminij which is based in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Energy: “North Macedonia’s state-owned electricity transmission system operator (TSO) MEPSO has invited bids to build a 400 kV transmission line and a new 400/110 kV substation in the vicinity of Ohrid to provide North Macedonia with an electricity interconnection with Albania.” (Balkan Green Energy News)
- Meanwhile, Montenegro looks to reduce heating costs and significantly cut CO2 emissions at homes.
- Crime: Russia arrested a Serbian man on occupied-Crimea for murder charges in Sevastopol. He will be extradited to Serbia. Kosovo Police searched the property of Kosovo-Serb Ivan Ristic who is a Councilor in Ranilug. Ristic thinks the police were searching for weapons.
BEYOND THE POLITICS
- Report: “Kosovo 2019 early parliamentary election: A new chance for decriminalisation of Kosovo?” by the International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies
- Analysis: “Shocking reports by Serbian tabloids and dailies on Kosovo: Intensified images of war and crimes” by KosSev
- Human Interest: “The battle to secure adequate support for autistic children in Bosnia and Herzegovina” by Jack Parrock in Euronews