Balkan Developments

Jens Stoltenberg: Turkey cannot be suspended from NATO

Photo: REUTERSNATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rules out suspension of Turkey’s membership in NATO over its interference in North Syria. Stoltenberg noted that unlike the European Union, NATO has no mechanism allowing suspension or expulsion of a member state. Jens Stoltenberg called Turkey an important ally which has made important contributions in the fight against the Islamic State. No other NATO ally is hosting so many refugees (3.6 million), NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg further said.

Greece transfers migrants from overcrowded refugee camps on its islands to mainland facilities

Photo: EPA/BGNESGreece continues to transfer migrants from overcrowded refugee camps on its islands to mainland facilities. Last weekend Greek military ships brought 795 refugees to Athens from the overcrowded Moria camp on Lesbos Island. However, 10,000 people still remain at the migrant accommodation camp in Moria which has the capacity to shelter a maximum of 3,000 people only. In the next 2 weeks the Greek authorities are planning to transfer another 5,000 people. The preventive measures are taken due to the new migrant wave which is similar to the one in 2015. In October only, 6.868 people arrived on the Greek Islands.

USA warns Serbia not to buy Russian S-400 missile systems

Photo: EPA/BGNESThe US Special Envoy to the Western Balkans Mathew Palmer voiced concern that Serbia may acquire Russian weapons. Last week a Russian S-400 missile system was deployed to Serbia for the Slavic Shield 2019 defense exercise, Mathew Palmer noted. My country would like to acquire the weapons, but the only way would be if Russia left it with us, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said. We hope our Serbian partners will be careful and cautious about any such transactions, The US Special Envoy to the Western Balkans Mathew Palmer pointed out.

Romania remains in political crisis before Presidential elections

Photo: EPA/BGNESRomania’s Prime Minister-designate Ludovic Orban said he was expecting that apart from the 225 MPs from the parliamentary groups that support his candidature, 11 other MPs will be present at the National Assembly, when the voting of the new cabinet will take place. The Social Democratic Party and Pro- Romania party of former Premier Victor Ponta announced they would boycott the quorum during the election of the new cabinet. According to political observers, if Romania’s Parliament remains blocked, the new government will be appointed after the Presidential elections. The first round of the Presidential elections in Romania will be held on November 10 and the run-off elections are scheduled for November 24.

North Macedonia’s Premier Zoran Zaev: I will not allow any tension with Bulgaria

Photo: REUTERSThe Bulgaria-North Macedonia Commission on Historical and Educational Issues has the task to make our friendship stronger through historical facts, not to increase hostility, North Macedonia’s Premier Zoran Zaev said in response to a question asked at the National Assembly. Premier Zaev denied the allegations that he was putting pressure on the commission’s work. I would not allow tension that would block this country as it happened after 2009, Premier Zaev said and added that Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov and that country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva are among the main supporters of Skopje’s EU and NATO accession. They fight with arguments at the Council of Ministers and the European Council in support of the beginning of the accession talks between North Macedonia and the European Union, Premier Zaev added.

Compiled by: Ivo Ivanov

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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