Balkan Developments

EC checks into Zagreb trade dispute with Western Balkans

All countries should keep their obligations under stabilization and association agreements between the European Union and the countries of the Western Balkans. This position has been voiced by the European Commission in connection with a trade dispute between Croatia and the western Balkan countries Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Monte Negro. The four countries have urged Croatia to withdraw discriminatory customs duties for third countries. Recently Zagreb extended the list of agrarian produce from countries outside EU subject to phytosanitary control and raised duties considerably. According to a diplomatic source in Brussels, the European Commission is in contact with the countries whose interests have been infringed and is currently checking into whether Croatia’s measures are in line with stabilization and association agreements.

Serbia denies reports of NATO drills in its territory

The Ministry of Defense of Serbia has denied reports in media about 2018 NATO drills in the territory of that country. „In connection with various interpretations related to holding REGEX-18 exercises in Serbia we emphasize that these are not NATO exercises but the result of continuing military cooperation with several countries within the framework of a regional initiative that started in 2013. Manoeuvers are organized with expert and in part financial support of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples and held under NATO standards accepted by all countries-members of the European Union. Costs for participation are covered by each country involved”, the Ministry said.

Earthquake upsets Turkish resort of Bodrum

Photo: BGNES
The tourist region in Southwestern Turkey has been upset by an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale, the US Geological Survey Institute reports. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the quake. The epicenter was 14 km away from Bodrum, one of the most popular resorts on the Turkish Aegean coast. Turkey sitson large seismic zones and has been affected by a few strong quakes since the beginning of the year.

Macedonia-Bulgaria friendship group welcomes Bulgarian Parliament President

Photo: BGNES
The President of the Bulgarian National Assembly Dimitar Glavchevwas in Ohrid during his two-day visit to Macedonia. As part of the program Glavchev had a meeting in the offices of the Macedonia-Bulgaria friendship group in that city. Representatives of the group spoke about the unique two-day festival of Bulgarian culture and folklore held a month ago in Ohrid. It was joined by more than 300 singers and dancers from across Bulgaria. The president of the Bulgarian parliament hailed their efforts to expand contacts between the citizens of the two countries.

Slovenian president begins walking tour

The President of Slovenia Borut Pahor has started a walking tour of Slovenia. Pahor and his small team began tour on Tuesday from Hodos, not far from the border with Hungary and plan to arrive in Piranon the Adriatic coast on Monday covering 40 km a day. The president is spending his annual leave amid Slovenia’s scenery and communicating with citizens on whose support he relies in the presidential elections. Pahor’s mandate expires at the end of this year and the precise date of the elections will be announced on Friday. For the time being Borut Pahor is the favorite for winning the race.

Compiled by Miglena Ivanova

English Daniela Konstantinova
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