WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN THE BALKANS TODAY

  • The US Embassy in Sarajevo noted on the agreement between Bosnian leaders to create a government: “We welcome this and we will work with political parties and members of the Presidency to clarify the issue of how the next government will interpret this agreement, including in particular whether there is a clear consensus on the early submission of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Annual National Program (ANP) to NATO.
  • The United States remains committed to peace and security in BiH and a prosperous future for the citizens of this country, and we will be strong partners for a fully functional government committed to working on defense reform, advancing socio-economic reform, and strengthening of the rule of law.”.
  • Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak on the agreement in the government, but disagreement over NATO: “If this situation continues, it will show Bosnia and Herzegovina as unserious on the international scene, as even European officials are not sure what they expressed support for – will Bosnia and Herzegovina activate its MAP (Membership Action Plan) or was the MAP dismissed.”
  • European Commission President Ursala von der Leyen met with Slovenia’s candidate Janez Lazarevic. According to the permanent EU representative from Slovenia to the EU, “They discussed the many challenges awaiting the new European Commission and the importance of respecting the values ​​on which the European Union is based.”   
  • Courts in N. Macedonia rejected Serbia’s extradition request for former Kosovo Liberation Army member Tomor Morina who is accused of war crimes.
  • Serbia’s ruling party, the Serbian Progressive Party (SPS), announced that general elections will be held on March 19 or 22, 2020. 
  • Israeli Presiden Reuven Rivlin requested the Sarajevo Haggada while receiving credentials from the new Bosnian Ambassador to Israel Dusko Kovacevic. Rivlin noted, “Your attitude to the Jewish community is appreciated by the entire Jewish world” speaking about the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.
  • Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec will be on an official visit at the end of August to Serbia.
  • Kosovo’s Speaker of Parliament Kadri Veseli told RFE/RL, “I am for the Republic of Kosovo, I am for the flag of the state of Kosovo. By the end, I will defend the entire territory of Kosovo.
  • We spent a year on who divides and who defends Kosovo. Imagine, in 2019, twenty years since the war, there was talk of someone wanting to destroy him and someone to save him. Nobody can harm Kosovo, we will only do this to ourselves, “
  • After visiting the 3. May dock, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic received infomration that the management has things under control  for the future. He visited the site with Minister of Economy Darko Horvat.
  • Croatia will fund Radio Television of Herzeg Bosnia located in Bosnia in Herzegovina.
  • In an interview with Radio Free Europe, Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Edward Joseph signaled that “Serbia will continue to suffer from this policy of futile ambiguity” if it would continue to play both the West and Russia. Furthermore, he noted that Serb religious sites in Kosovo should be respected and spoke against a land swap.
  • Trouble at the Border: “Eighteen migrants from Pakistan and Iraq were injured while trying to cross the Bosnia-Herzegovina border into the territory of EU member Croatia, with Bosnian media alleging the men had been beaten by Croatian police. Bosnian authorities on August 7 said the men were taken to local hospitals for treatment, with at least six reported in serious condition.” (RFERL)
  • Crime: Serbia arrested a man who pretended to be a Russian spy and swindled people out of money.

BEYOND THE POLITICS