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Balkan Developments

USA shows interest in energy projects in Serbia

During his visit to the USA to participate in the annual session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, met with the National Security Adviser at the White House, Jake Sullivan. Vucic said the meeting was very open and honest and lasted an hour longer than planned. Important political issues, the aspirations of Serbia and the problems in the region were discussed, as well as the possibilities of expanding economic relations between Serbia and the USA, Radio and Television Serbia (RTS) reported.

Vucic emphasized that energy projects were also discussed, including for renewable energy sources. According to him, two American companies showed interest in developing operations in Serbia.‎

Vlado Bučkovski explains who is behind the anti-Bulgarian protests in Skopje

Behind the anti-Bulgarian hysteria in North Macedonia - the protests and the proposal for a referendum to cancel the Treaty of Friendship with Bulgaria - is Russia, which has been working to destabilize the region for a long time. In the country, Russia bets on what can cause the highest level of emotions, namely Bulgarian-Macedonian relations. This is what the former Macedonian Prime Minister and former chief negotiator with Bulgaria from the Macedonian side,  Vlado Bučkovski, told BGNES agency. Commenting on the anti-European and anti-Bulgarian protests that are being organized in Skopje, he expressed confidence that there will be no turning back in bilateral relations, and Bulgaria and North Macedonia will fulfill the French proposal, and Skopje will fulfill its dream of membership in the EU.

Bučkovski is optimistic about the relations between the two neighbouring countries, and even believes that in the future the Joint Historical Commission will more easily find the common personalities that unite us. But the politician has warned that things cannot change overnight. ‎

New EU-Western Balkans summit will be held in December

Another summit of the leaders of the EU and the Western Balkans is to be held in December. For the first time, its host is expected to be one of the countries in the region - possibly North Macedonia or Albania, RTS reported, citing diplomatic sources from Brussels. According to European diplomatic circles, Serbia has no chance of hosting the meeting at the highest level, mainly due to Belgrade's non-compliance with the EU's foreign policy regarding the war in Ukraine. The meeting should signal the EU's commitment to the Western Balkans with a message to the countries of the region to make the most of the newly created political environment in Europe, to resolve conflicts among themselves and to advance the accession process.

In Brussels, they believe that the war in Ukraine has strengthened the awareness in the EU of the importance of enlargement for the stability of the continent. This is also evident from the demonstrated readiness for rapid progress in the negotiations with Ukraine and other countries, which until recently were not part of the process.‎

Revived Cyprus - Greece ferry connection is enjoying huge interest

With huge interest and twice as many passengers as expected, the first season of the Cyprus-Greece ferry line, restored after a 21-year break, ended. The inclusion of Israel in the new route is being considered for next year, which is expected to increase the viability of the project. Nearly 7,200 passengers, 2,250 cars and motorcycles and 200 pets were transported by ferry, BNR correspondent Branislava Bobanats reported from Cyprus.

The ferry was inaugurated on June 19, and trips were carried out between the Cypriot city of Limassol and the Greek port of Piraeus.

The ferry line will resume operation in May 2023 and will continue until October. The line is subsidized by the Cypriot government with 5.5 million euros per year.‎

47% of Romanians limit their spending because of high prices

Almost half of Romanians (47%) have reduced their spending in the last year due to price hikes. This is shown by the "Money Matters" survey conducted annually by Erste Group, Radio Romania International reports. From the aggregated data, it is also clear that 25% of Romanians set aside money in order to invest it in education and professional training.‎

Compiled by Miglena Ivanova

Photos: BuducnostSrbije/Instragram, BGNES, library

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