Balkan Developments

Bucharest wants NATO to provide security in Black Sea

Photo: BGNESThe Foreign Minister of Romania Teodor Melescanu declared at the 63rd session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Bucharest that the Alliance should participate more actively in guaranteeing the security of its Black Sea allies. Mr. Melescanu explained his demand with the ‘gathering of Russian armed forces’ in the region after Crimea’s annexation. The minister pointed out that ‘there used to be a balance there of the military presence of Russia, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine before, but the current events are hard to be understood’.

Vučić, Putin discuss bilateral relations in phone talk

Photos: BGNESPresidents of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and Vladimir Putin discussed over the phone major subjects of bilateral relations, the MiG-29s jet fighters gifted to Belgrade among them. President Putin commented that ‘due to the international situation Serbia’s position is not an easy one’, but added that the country would manage to overcome the difficulties after all, TASS reports.

Turkey still wants EU accession

Photo: BGNESTurkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated for the Der Spiegel Magazine that Ankara hasn’t changed its position regarding the EU accession process – it doesn’t intend to cease the negotiations and is ready to improve the relations with Germany. The continuing arrest of German citizens is the main reason for the arguments between Berlin and Ankara. The latter’s relations with the EU have quickly worsened after the 2016 coup attempt. The USA has also stopped these days the issuance of non-migrant visas across all of its diplomatic missions in Turkey, after the arrest of an US consulate employee last week. The man was accused of ‘violating the constitution’ and ‘an attempt for a coup against the government’.

Kosovo parties want parliament to join dialogue with Serbia

Photo: president-ksgov.netMPs from the major political parties in Kosovo wanted the Pristina parliament to join the dialogue with Serbia, currently led by the government. The Vetëvendosje /Self-determination/ radical nationalist party pointed at the lack of transparency in the Pristina – Belgrade negotiations, while the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo demanded a change in the dialogue’s format. The Democratic Party of Kosovo adds that the parliament should turn into a key reforming factor of the negotiation process. According to the Initiative for Kosovo, the current policy shouldn’t continue and decisions that lead the country into difficulties shouldn’t be taken – for instance, the case with the treaty for setting the border with Montenegro.

Edi Rama criticizes EU for negotiating with Belgrade and Podgorica, but not with Tirana

Photo: BGNESAlbanian PM Edi Rama stated that it wasn’t fair the EU to negotiate with Belgrade and Podgorica, but to omit Tirana. In his words ‘the expansion process is getting more and more unfair and unpredictable’, especially for Albania – the country that doesn’t negotiate with the EU, but outruns its neighbors. As far as Macedonia was concerned the premier stated that the so-called Albanian platform was not the reason for the collapse of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski and also that the fact of Tirana’s assistance to the Albanians in Macedonia didn’t mean interference into a neighboring country’s home affairs.

Ali Ahmeti upholds Good Neighbor Treaty between Macedonia and Bulgaria

Photo: BGNESLeader of the Democratic Union for Integration Ali Ahmeti said that the Good Neighbor Treaty between Bulgaria and Macedonia was ‘a good sign’. During a campaign meeting he declared that Macedonia was looking for cooperation with all its neighbors, including Albania and Kosovo. This policy opens the door to a NATO membership and means ‘stability not only for Macedonia, but also for the entire region, higher level of trust for investors, better development of the EU accession perspectives too’, the DUI leader further said. The party is a coalitional partner in the cabinet of Zoran Zaev.

Compiled by: Stoimen Pavlov

English version: Zhivko Stanchev

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