“Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic has announced that he would visit Ankara in May. At the same time, he said that he expects China’s president Xi Jinping to visit Serbia again. Considering the recent turmoil in northern Kosovo, the president ironically said that Albanians are ‘powerful, great and strong” because they enjoy ‘the support of the public from the West.’ Earlier this week, Vucic had a phone conversation with the Russian president Vladimir Putin over events in Kosovo, as both his cabinet and the Kremlin confirmed.” (IBNA)

“Under the keen eye of President Aleksandar Vucic and foreign diplomats, Serbia’s military flexed its muscles on Thursday, firing live ordnance in a mock attack on insurgent positions at a training ground east of Belgrade.

The training drill, dubbed Synergy 2018, came three days after Kosovo police used force to scatter Serb protesters in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica in Kosovo’s restive North and briefly detained a Serbian government official.

The incident soured already tense ties between Serbia and Kosovo, its former southern province which declared independence in 2008 after a bloody war a decade earlier.

Army commander Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic said the exercise, involving more than 900 troops, was a part of training plans for 2018.

‘We have always had good soldiers, we want to have more of them … we want them to be even better trained,’ Vucic told reporters at the Pasuljanske Livade training range.

Serbia’s military budget in 2018 stood at 70.5 billion dinars (595 million euros), 23.6 percent more than last year.” (US News & World Report)

“The aim of the Serbian-American Congress is to improve the relations between Serbia and the United States through cooperation in all fields, says the Vice-President of the Serbian Parliament and one of the founders of the Serbian-American Congress, Vladimir Marinkovic, for “Politika.”

According to him, this will be achieved by working very actively on mutual acquaintance, through round tables, forums, and establishing links with US institutions.

He thinks that it is not easy to change this stance, but is convinced that valuable and persistent work can be done and announced the establishment of a Serbian-American business council.

‘The US Chamber is probably working hard to bring investors and create a good image of Serbia as a convenient destination, but its work has not resulted in an increase in our exports to the United States, and we want to open up space for our US businessmen,’ Marinković told SETimes.

Asked how to do it, Marinkovic explains that he will first establish good ties with the numerous Serbian diaspora in the United States, where, he says, there are individuals who are well-positioned both in business and state administration in various federal states, and above all in Washington and California.

Regarding unsuccessful attempts with the diaspora, Marinkovic says that the reason for the lack of a concept of Serbia’s cooperation with the diaspora and the Serbian church in America.” (translated from Vesti-Online)

“The West is fighting back against Russia in a battle for influence in the Balkans. But although the European Union has renewed its interest in the region, the latest charge is being led by Britain.Seven years after shutting down in Belgrade, the BBC on Monday reopened its Serbian language service, launching a website and unveiling partnerships with local media outlets.

The move is part of a broader soft-power struggle in the Balkans, particularly Serbia, where pro-Russian media have been pumping out fake news stories — such as a recent piece from Kremlin-backed Sputnik claiming that NATO was preparing to conduct military exercises in Bosnia and Herzegovina using depleted uranium.

The BBC will also be going up against national media outlets, many of which carry little or no critical reporting of President Aleksandar Vučić’s government.

;’The media market and the general situation has become a lot more difficult’ in Serbia, said Artyom Liss, the BBC World Service’s regional editor for Europe. ‘We think there is a demand for what the BBC offers everywhere else — accurate and balanced reporting.’” (Politico)