North Macedonia: Zaev and Mickoski decide to push back census to September
At the Parliamentary Group in Skopje, North Macedonian Prime Minister and SDSM President Zoran Zaev discussed with VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski the upcoming census, the work of the Assembly, the elections, the pandemic, the economy and European integration. The two men held an hours-long private meeting in the Parliamentary Group, which concluded with compromise statements and an agreement to postpone the census, which will take place in September. North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, in a statement to the media after his meeting with VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski, noted that the topics discussed at the meeting were the census, COVID-19 vaccination, the Electoral Code and promoting...
Latest publication by Slovenian IFIMES rekindles tensions between Bulgaria and North Macedonia
Five days after a scandal erupted following a publication by the Slovenian IFIMES institute which referred to Bulgaria and Germany as "mafia states interested in Nazism," late last night the government of North Macedonia issued a statement following the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' call on the Deputy Ambassador to provide explanations. In its response, the Government of North Macedonia notes that it considers it "inappropriate to summon our Deputy Ambassador to Sofia, Vladimir Krtsevski, for explanations to the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for views expressed by a third party, in an analysis that is in now way connected to the government and which...
Montenegro: Statement on Srebrenica genocide sparks international outcry
The Embassy of the United States in Montenegro, the European Union, British Ambassadors to Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with many other representatives of the international community expressed concern over the statements of Montenegrin Minister of Justice Vladimir Leposavić regarding the events in Srebrenica in July 1995. On Friday, Montenegro’s Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavić said he was prepared to recognize that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, “once this is proven unequivocally.” Despite being an accredited international law expert, he claims the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which in several verdicts ruled that a genocide did take place in Srebrenica, has “lost its...
Croatia: Milanović facing calls for his dismissal as quarrels with political figures continue
Following Croatian President Zoran Milanović’s numerous clashes with almost all political institutions in Croatia in the last couple of days, top-tier representative of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Vladimir Šeks hinted that it was time to consider the President's dismissal. On Friday, quoting the Italian film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, Milanović described Prime Minister Andrej Plenković as “ugly”, Independent Democratic Serb Party leader Milorad Pupovac as “dirty”, and parliamentary speaker Gordan Jandroković as “bad”. Pupovac said that Milanović had told him by telephone that the other parliamentary representatives of the ethnic minorities should vote for Zlata Đurđević, his candidate for Supreme Court...
Kosovo: The first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX program arrived on Sunday
AstraZeneca's first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Kosovo on Sunday afternoon and vaccination will begin in the coming days. Kosovo has received 24,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX program and authorities will initially start vaccinating health workers and the vulnerable population. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has said the arrival of the first batch of vaccines will save lives. "This is a small shipment, but it gives our country a lot of hope that we will be able to save lives, especially of medical staff and vulnerable people", Kurti told media at Pristina Airport where himself and Health Minister Arben Vitia...
Serbia: European Parliament adopts progress report
The European Parliament on Thursday approved a progress report on Serbia underlining that normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina and respect for the country's fundamental rights are crucial in setting the pace of accession negotiations. The report calls on Serbia to achieve concrete results in justice, media freedom and the fight against corruption, welcoming economic indicators and participation in regional co-operation. The report also acknowledged Serbia's progress in developing a functioning market economy, and encouraged the Serbian government to continue implementing structural reforms in this area, according to a statement posted on the European Parliament's website. In addition, the report welcomes the fact that...
Slovenia: Minister Logar meets with Romanian counterpart
At the invitation of the Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister Anže Logar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Bogdan Lucian Aurescu kicked off an official visit to Slovenia. The visit is intended to strengthen friendly relations between Slovenia and Romania and deepen cooperation between the two countries, both at regional and international level, as well as on all issues that are crucial for European citizens. Minister Logar and Minister Aurescu agreed that Slovenia and Romania are connected by good and friendly relations and regular and constructive cooperation within the European Union, NATO and regional and international fora. Like Slovenia, Romania is involved in the Three Seas...
BiH: OSCE closely examining risks of trafficking facing asylum-seekers and migrants
The current situation of 8,000 asylum seekers and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the focus of a series of virtual meetings, ahead of a field visit of Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Margareta Cederfelt, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President/Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, the OSCE Mission states in a press release. Richey and Cederfelt met with National anti-trafficking Co-ordinator Samir Rizvo, Chief Prosecutor Gordana Tadic, members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Human Rights, and representatives of international organizations and local NGOs. “Whenever vulnerable people are left in dangerous conditions, the risk of...
Cyprus: Ingrid Gjerde’s appointment as Head of UNFICYP raises eyebrows in Turkey
Lt. Gen. Ingrid Gjerde from Norway is the new Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Speaking at the regular update to the UN international media, UN Under-Secretary-General Farhan Haq said Antonio Guterres had announced the appointment of Lt. Gen. Ingrid Gjerde from Norway as the new UNFICY Commander. Haq said Lt. Gen. Gjerde had a long and distinguished career in the defense forces in Norway, and is currently Head of the Strategic Plans. She is a graduate of the Norwegian Military academy, as well as from the US Army command and staff college and from the US Army War College. Ingrid...
Greece: Foreign diplomatic missions staff to get vaccinated on Sunday
On Sunday, March 28, diplomats and officials of foreign diplomatic missions in Greece will be vaccinated by the Greek authorities, according to information by IBNA. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, informed the foreign diplomatic missions in Greece about the vaccination of their members, expecting reciprocity from the countries regarding the Greek diplomatic missions abroad. According to the information, the vaccine to be administered will be AstraZeneca. What is striking is that until today, Friday, no information has been sent to the diplomatic authorities abroad regarding the time of the vaccination. As for the Greek diplomatic missions abroad,...