Balkan Developments

EU once again calls on Kosovo to abolish 100% customs duties on Serbian goods


One year after the introduction of 100% customs duties on Serbian goods by the Kosovo government, the EU has once again called for their immediate repeal. Head of the EU Delegation to Pristina, Natalia Apostolova, said this should be one of the first decisions of the new Kosovo government. Serbia lost 395.7m euros in one year because of the introduction of duties by Pristina, Minister of Trade Rasim Ljajic said. He added that countries in the region such as Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia have doubled their exports to Kosovo, while Northern Macedonia has increased its exports by 50 percent.

President of Romania Klaus Iohannis wins second term in office

Photo: BGNES

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has won the second round of the presidential elections with a clear lead over Social Democratic candidate Viorica Dancila. According to exit polls, National Liberal Party candidate Klaus Iohannis received 64.8% of the vote, while Viorica Dancila received 35.2%. This will be the second term of office for the 60-year-old Iohannis, who as an ethnic German from Transylvania started his political career as mayor of the city of Sibiu. After the elections, the head of state stated that with the help of citizens he had achieved the most decisive victory against the Social Democratic Party. Ioannis, a supporter of anti-corruption policies, has been steadfastly fighting the left-wing governments trying to thwart investigations against top politicians in Romania for the past 3 years.

Test deliveries on Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline start early December

The Greek section of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP) for the delivery of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Greece, Albania and Italy has already been completed and will begin test deliveries in early December. During the test phase, small quantities of natural gas will be transported through the pipeline to ensure that operation is safe.

The pipeline has already been tested for structural defects by water under pressure. Commercial operation will start in 2020. The total length of the pipeline from the Greek-Turkish border to Italy through Albania and the Adriatic Sea is 878 km.

Turkey continues drilling for natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean


Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources has announced that the country is conducting a fourth drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean and is determined to continue exploration. "We will continue to search until we find hydrocarbons," Fatih Donmez told the Parliament in Ankara. Turkey's natural gas exploration drills in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone continue, despite rejection and threats of sanctions announced by the EU and US.

Serbia takes measures against envoys of Austrian, German and Bulgarian services


I had only one question for Russian ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko - "Why"? This is what Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after a National Security Council meeting in Belgrade. It was called after video footage showed Russian diplomat and military intelligence officer, Georgy Kleban, giving money to a top Serbian official. Affected by the fact the scandal breaks out before his visit to Moscow, Vucic says that in the future, envoys of Austrian, German and Bulgarian services within their military diplomatic missions in Serbia will not have access to relevant information and events, including at the border with Kosovo and Montenegro.

150,000 citizens of North Macedonia have Bulgarian ID, media claim

Photo: BGNES

In his social profile, MEP from the EPP Andrei Kovachev said he once again asked the Bulgarian parliament and the government to publish the names of all North Macedonian politicians, journalists and professors who have Bulgarian passports and still participate in anti-Bulgarian propaganda. On this occasion, media in North Macedonia recall that 150,000 citizens of the country have Bulgarian documents or are in the process of acquiring Bulgarian personal documents. The procedure requires applicants to declare themselves to be ethnic Bulgarians and their ancestors must also be ethnic Bulgarians. Kovachev states that he had already sent the same request to the Parliament and the Ministry of Justice in Sofia in March, but did not receive a response.

Author: Ivo Ivanov

English: Alexander Markov

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