Balkan developments

Turkey with 8th strongest army worldwide

Photo: EPA/BGNESAn article carried by the website claims that the Turkish army ranks 8th among the top 10 armies in the world. The ranking that compares armies of 113 countries based on 50 factors points out that Turkey has 41.6 million in potential human resources of whom 35 million are capable of military service. Currently Ankara’s regular army has 743,415 staff, the Air Force has 1018 fighter jets and 207 attack aircraft, the Navy has 161 frigates and 12 submarines, the land forces have 2445 tanks and 7550 armored vehicles, and the defense budget comes to 8.2 billion US dollars. The USA is the strongest country worldwide in terms of military power followed by Russia, China, India, France, the UK and Japan.

Greek metropolitan accuses political class of attempting to destroy Orthodox Christian faith

Photo: romfea.grThe Greek Metropolitan Nicholas of Fthiotida has accused the political class in Greece of trying to destroy Orthodox Christian faith. He has argued that the politicians prefer to make Greece a godless state and to leave to the Church a limited role of a cultural and historical factor. With a view to this goal the authorities are trying to subvert the spiritual foundations of society and transform eternal institutional values, he has contended. In the meantime, the metropolitan has also said, under the pretext of protecting sexual minority rights the state is trying to limit and weaken the Church. Back in 2015, Greece made same-sex marriages legal which prompted the indignation of Orthodox clerics.

In wake of diplomatic row, Skopje, Belgrade become sincere friends again

Photo: mkd.mkAt a meeting in Skopje, the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Serbia’s Ambassador to that country Dusanka Divjak-Tomic have agreed that there is sincere friendship between the two Balkan states as well as stable foundations for furtherance in their relations. Zoran Zaev has vowed that his government is determined to develop good neighbor relations. Dusanka Divjak-Tomic has hailed this constructive approach and both officials have stated that their countries will follow European trends in democratic and economic development. Last Sunday Serbia surprisingly withdrew the entire staff of its embassy in Skopje and after that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated “there was evidence of an intelligence offensive” against Serbia in Macedonia.

European Commission urges Kosovo to form government

Photo: rs.n1info.comEuropean Commission spokesperson Maja Kocijancic has urged all parties in Kosovo to act responsibly, constitute the parliament, elect its speaker and form a government as soon as possible. The new government should start work and carry out reforms in the judicial system and economy, introduce visa liberalization and engage constructively in dialogue with Belgrade, the spokesperson has said.

Three arrested in Serbia after incident with Vucic cortege

Photo: seebiz.euThe Serbian police have arrested three men after their car crashed into the official convoy of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the vicinity of Belgrade. All three arrested men have been guards in a popular night club in the Serbian capital and are known for their criminal past. Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has said there is no indication of an intentional attack. Close to a year ago Aleksandar Vucic, then prime minister, was put under strict guard after the police found weapons in a car of a man the premier was about to visit. There were speculations of possible preparation for his assassination but the hypothesis was not confirmed.

Romania, Black Sea become new main route for migrants to EU?

Photo: politiadefrontiera.roSources from the Romanian coastal guard have reported that a fishing trawler with 87 illegal migrants on board has been intercepted off the Romanian Black Sea coast. The vessel was found with the Integrated System for Observation, Surveillance and Control of the Traffic at the Black Sea (SCOMAR) before entering Romania’s territorial waters. During the first six months of the year, 1437 foreigners have been detained while attempting to enter Romania’s Black Sea waters. This is three times the number from the same period of 2016. Some analysts have claimed that Romania and the Black Sea might become the new main route of migrants heading to Europe.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

English Daniela Konstantinova

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