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Balkan Developments

Greece and Albania take their maritime border dispute to ICJ

Greece and Albania have agreed to submit the delimitation of their maritime border, according maritime law, to the International Court of Justice in the Hague. This was announced by Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias after a meeting with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Tirana.

“I would like to thank the minister, that even though at times we have had tensions, Greece has never been an obstacle on our way to the EU,” Edi Rama said.

The website Albanian daily reports that protesters clashed with the police during demonstrations against the visit by Dendias to Tirana. Some of the protesters tried to break through the police cordon and were forcibly removed and taken to police stations.

New Serbian government will have limited term of office

The new Serbian government of Prime Minister Ana Brnabic will have a limited term of office. The early parliamentary elections will take place together with the presidential elections, no later than 3 April, 2022. The government, besides the Serbian Progressive Party, also includes the socialists and SPAS movement of New Belgrade municipality mayor Aleksandar Šapić. Surprisingly, former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, socialist Ivica Dačić became President of the National Assembly, the Skupština, Tanjug reports.

For a year and a half we shall have a reformist government in difficult times of crisis, and it is fair to tell the public this, President Aleksandar Vučić said. He stressed that the most severe consequences of the Covid crisis are to be endured in the coming months and that after that the opinion of the public must be sought.

Turkey-backed candidate wins election in Northern Cyprus

It is important that the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar accept the invitation of the UN Secretary-General for a meeting on the Cyprus issue. That was how official Nicosia commented on the election of Turkish-supported Ersin Tatar for president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is recognised only by Turkey. The election concerns the Turkish Cypriot community.

What matters is that we talk so as to reach a functioning, just and sustainable solution. It is up to Turkey to ultimately make some decisions on the Cyprus issue, said Kyriacos Koushos, spokesman for the Cyprus government, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports.  In his campaign Tatar rejected a federal solution to the Cyprus issue and stated the two communities must be split into two independent states.

PM and President of Croatia in face-off over Three Seas initiative

The Three Seas Initiative is unnecessary and potentially harmful for Croatia due to possibly running afoul of both Berlin and Moscow, President Zoran Milanović said. He stated he was against Croatia giving “even one cent” for the initiative, HINA news agency reports. Milanovic said Three Seas was an Obama administration initiative intended to force countries to participate more in the purchase of US liquefied gas and isolate Russia.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković took part in the Three Seas meeting in Tallinn virtually. He stated that Zagreb would invest 20 million euro in the initiative’s investment fund.

Athens seeks termination of EU-Turkey customs union

Greece wants the EU to terminate the 1995 Ankara customs union agreement with Turkey. Germany, Spain and Italy are called upon to terminate the export of military equipment, including submarines, aircraft, ships and armoured vehicles to Turkey over the latest provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean, ANA-MPA news agency reports. Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated in Nicosia that a third country, which is applying for EU membership, should not be exempt from customs duty, avail itself of all benefits of the single market and at the same time threaten the Eastern borders of the EU.

Compiled by Ivo Ivanov

Photos: AP/BTA

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