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Balkan developments

Turkey responds to US with increased military presence in Cyprus

Turkey will increase its military presence in Cyprus and supply the northern part of the island with the necessary weapons to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. This is what Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said to students from Pamukkale University, Anadolu Agency reported. "I suggested to Blinken, if he wished, to provide financial aid to the Greek Cypriots, but not to supply arms, openly asking: Against whom are you arming Nicosia?," the Turkish minister said of his conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This month, the US State Department announced that Blinken had lifted defence trade restrictions on Cyprus for the fiscal year 2023. “There is no explanation why the US lifted the arms embargo. This will lead to an arms race on the island," President Recep Erdogan also commented to CNN TÜRK.

The U.S. imposed the embargo in 1987 to promote the reunification of the island, after decades of unsuccessful negotiations. The restrictions were partially lifted in 2020, Dnevnik reminds.

Montenegro declares six Russian diplomats personae non-gratae

Montenegro has declared six Russian diplomats personae non-gratae, the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry announced on Twitter, quoted by BTA. The decision was made because of the actions of the diplomats, which contradict the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and the mutual respect between the two countries.

Earlier on Thursday, Montenegrin media reported on a large-scale network that worked for the benefit of the Russian intelligence. According to publications in the Montenegrin media, the objects of the operation were two Montenegrin citizens, six Russian diplomats and about thirty Russian citizens residing in Montenegro.

The US is Romania's most important trade partner outside the EU

The volume of trade between Romania and the US in 2021 has reached 5 billion and 400 million dollars, compared to 2 billion and 400 million dollars in 2011. This is indicated by a study by the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Romania, presented this week during the American-Romanian Economic Forum, Radio Romania International reported.

U.S. direct and indirect investment in Romania grew from $6.5 billion in 2019 to $7.5 billion in 2020. The USA is Romania's fifth largest trading partner and the country's most important non-EU partner. The largest US investments in Romania are in agriculture and health care. There are 900 companies with American capital in the country.

Serbia will not recognize the referendums in Ukraine

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selaković, stated that Belgrade cannot accept the results of the so-called referendums in the Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia, BTA reports. "This would be in complete contradiction to our state and national interests, in complete contradiction to our policy of preserving territorial integrity and sovereignty and commitment to the principle of the inviolability of borders," Selakovic said.

Greek citizens protest in solidarity with the women of Iran

Unknown persons threw a Molotov cocktail at Iran's diplomatic mission in Athens, no one was injured, BNR correspondent Katya Peeva reported from Greece, referring to a message from the Greek police. The incident was linked to a demonstration in support of women in Iran, which took place in the centre of the Greek capital. Demonstrators carried posters with Mahsa Amini's face, burned hijabs and demonstratively cut their hair. Hundreds of Greek women from women's support organizations took part in the demonstration in the central square of the Greek capital. Among the demonstrators were men from Iran who live and work in Greece.

Compiled by Miglena Ivanova

Photos: IHA, library, EPA/BGNES

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