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Balkan Developments

Ana Brnabić: "Serbia has been waiting for EU membership for over 20 years and people are tired"

Serbia has been waiting over 20 years for EU membership and people are tired because whatever they are doing is not good enough. This was said by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, at the Strategic Forum in Bled, Slovenia, quoted by BTA.

Brnabić pointed out that Serbia has been conducting negotiations for joining the EU for 10 years now, but remains at the same stage. "The date for the start of negotiations means a lot for the Western Balkans, even if it means nothing for the EU. Give us a date,” urged Brnabić. She emphasized that none of the countries in the Western Balkans have any other option for development.

"Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said it well - it's not about enlargement, it's about complementing, we are surrounded by the EU. Our jobs come from companies in the EU, investment comes from the EU, we export (goods) either to the EU or to the region. It would be good for us, but also for the entire EU, to finally take this last step - for the Western Balkans to join," the Prime Minister of Serbia pointed out.

The Czech Republic supports North Macedonia for EU membership

The President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, discussed with the President and Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel and Petr Fiala, North Macedonia’s path to EU membership. He was invited on a three-day visit to Prague with the aim of bringing North Macedonia closer to the EU, Radio Prague reported.

The entry of the countries of the Western Balkans into the EU would help to reduce the tension caused by ethnic conflicts and the influence of China and Russia in the region, the Czech country believes.

Pendarovski emphasized the interest of the Republic of North Macedonia in deepening the cooperation between the two countries, especially in the spheres of energy and defense - the modernization of the Russian-made helicopters of North Macedonia, for example, is carried out by the Czech state enterprise LOM Praha, he pointed out to the media.

An F16 pilot training center will be opened in Romania

An agreement of intent for the establishment of an F16 pilot training center in Romania was signed this week between the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands and the Lockheed Martin company. The aim of the center is to increase the qualification of Romanian pilots for the execution of a wide range of strategic missions, Radio Romania reported.

For the implementation of the project, the Royal Netherlands Air Force will deploy several F16 aircraft in Romania, and the American company-manufacturer of the aircraft will provide their maintenance and the necessary engineering and technical personnel.

Bulgaria’s northern neighbour hopes that the new base will become an important regional centre, participate in the training of Ukrainian military pilots and receive European funding.

40 Greek islands replace fossil fuels with RES

Forty islands will be included in a national initiative of ‎Greece for the ecological transition of the islands. The goal of the program is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, BNR correspondent Katya Peeva reported from Greece, referring to the Greek Ministry of Energy.

The financing of the program comes from the strategic plan for regional development of Greece and from the Decarbonization Fund.

According to the program, hybrid power plants with a capacity of up to 120 MW will be built on Crete and three other islands. Photovoltaic plants and wind farms with a capacity of up to 50 MW will be built on other islands.

Electrification of road and sea transport on the islands is also starting, which will make them ecologically clean.

In July alone, Istanbul welcomed 1.87 million foreign tourists

In the first 7 months of 2023, Istanbul was visited by 9.8 million foreign tourists, according to data from the Istanbul District Directorate of Culture and Tourism, quoted by the Turkish Radio and Television.

In July alone, the city on the Bosphorus welcomed almost 1.9 million foreign guests from 196 countries. Among them, the most numerous are the Russians, followed by the Germans, the Saudis, the Americans, the Iranians, the French, the British, etc.

Compiled by Miglena Ivanova
Published by Rositsa Petkova

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