Balkan

Bosnia FM for defusing arguments with Croatia

Croatia remains an important neighbour and unavoidable partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and all problems in the relations between the two states should be solved through dialogue at appropriate forums, BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said in Sarajevo on Thursday.

IIzetbegovic says Croatian president doesn't respect Bosnia

I hope that President Grabar-Kitarovic will in the future follow our example, namely take care of problems in her country and leave our problems to us, Izetbegovic said.

Serbian minister calls on EU to react to 'expansion of fascism' in Croatia

Serbian Labour and Social Welfare Minister Aleksandar Vulin on Sunday called on Europe to react to "the expansion of fascism" in Croatia, saying that putting up a plaque reading "For the Homeland, Ready!" in Jasenovac is no longer a Croatia-Serbia issue but an issue that demanded an international reaction.

Visegrad Group strongly in favour of EU enlargement to W. Balkans

The Visegrad Group (V4) , an alliance of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, on Tuesday strongly advocated the EU's fastest possible enlargement to Western Balkan countries, noting that enlargement was invaluable for the region's security, stability and progress.

Serbia-Croatia relations crucial for region - conference

Relations between Serbia and Croatia are crucial for relations in the Balkans and affect the whole of the region, the last foreign minister of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), Budimir Loncar, said at a conference in Belgrade on Friday, held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Serbia.

Montenegro wants to question two Russians over coup attempt

The Montenegrin Justice Ministry has sent to the Russian Justice Ministry a request to question two Russian citizens -- Eduard Vladimirovich Shirokov and Vladimir Nikolaievich Popov -- suspected of leading a criminal group that conspired to attack Montenegrin state institutions, assassinate Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and permanently destabilise the country.

Transparency International: Bosnia among countries with biggest corruption problems

Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to a group of countries with the biggest corruption problems and more than 80% of Bosnian citizens believe that the authorities are not doing anything to fight it, according to a research released by the Bosnian branch of Transparency International (TI) earlier this week.

Inzko says negative trend from RS threaten BiH

The survival and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina are threatened by negative trends that started in the Republika Srpska (RS) and now appear to have spilled over to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the international community's High Representative, Valentin Inzko, said on Sunday in a special statement on the 21st anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement

Croatian FM: Info on Bosnia indictments to be released soon

Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Davor Ivo Stier, said on Friday that the government council for cooperation with international criminal courts would soon release information on alleged charges against Croatian and Bosnian Croat generals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Izetbegovic doubts status of Bosnian Croats will improve any time soon

The Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, said in Brussels on Tuesday that he doubted that Bosnia and Herzegovina would change its legislation any time soon to improve the status of the Croats in the country and implement the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sejdic-Finci case, which allows members of ethnic minorities to run in elections for the highest offices in the country.

Austria, neighbours discuss action to be taken if EU-Turkey deal falls through

Austria met on Monday with its Balkan neighbours to discuss what action they might take if a deal with Turkey aimed at restricting the flow of illegal migrants into the European Union collapses, Reuters reported.

Prosecutor: Russians masterminds of attempted attack in Montenegro

Montenegro's special state prosecutor Milivoje Katnic said on Sunday that two Russian nationalists were masterminds of a recent "attempted terrorist attack" that should have happened during Montenegro's parliamentary election on 16 October.

Bosniak and Serb members of Bosnia's Presidency call for non-interference in judiciary's work

The Bosniak and Serb members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic and Mladen Ivanic respectively, on Thursday commented on strong negative reactions from Croatia following the arrest of ten Bosnian Croat veterans on suspicion that they had committed war crimes against Serbs in 1992, calling for non-interference in the work of the Bosnian judiciary.

FM: Croatia adamant about pursuing its policy towards Bosnia

This is Croatia's strategic interest and we are ready to respond effectively to all challenges as a responsible member of the European Union and NATO, the Croatian minister said, adding that Zagreb is in permanent touch with its allies in the EU and NATO and that it has informed them of its concerns following the arrest of the former HVO members.

Serbian PM believes it's time for better relations with Croatia

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday he hoped that Serbia and Croatia would have much better relations now that Andrej Plenkovic was Croatia's PM, but added that the atmosphere "isn't easy."

Albanian FM urges Bosnian authorities to recognise Kosovo travel documents

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati called on Bosnian authorities on Monday to finally recognise Kosovo travel documents and enable its citizens to freely travel like the citizens of all other countries in the region.  

Plenkovic will encourage Croatian investment in Bosnia

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Mostar on Friday that he would give his support to Bosnian Croat leaders for achieving equality with Bosniaks and Serbs, and announced that the Croatian government would encourage stronger investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Serbian president confident new Croatian gov't won't repeat past mistakes

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Friday he believed that Croatia's new government would build Belgrade-Zagreb relations with more understanding and that Serbs and Croats would build such relations that no one would suspect the possibility of new conflicts.

Plenkovic: Croatia will intensify cooperation with Bosnia

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Sarajevo on Friday at the start of a two-day official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina that the two countries would try to resolve their remaining outstanding issues, reiterating that Bosnia and Herzegovina could count on Croatia's full support in the European integration process.

Croatian PM: Time is ripe for Dayton upgrade

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic says that the time is ripe to upgrade the Dayton peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including amending the country's constitution and electoral legislation on its path towards EU membership and to ensure that the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoy the same status as the other two constituent peoples in the country.

Croatian PM going to Bosnia with messages of support

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday he would give two key messages during his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) about Croatia's support to the country and to the Croats living there.

Russian Security Council chief on visit to Serbia

Serbia expelled several Russian nationals on suspicion of their involvement in preparing the alleged terrorist operations against Montenegro, the Belgrade media reported on Thursday, bringing into connection this scandal with the arrival of Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, who is expected to meet with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Plenkovic's visit to confirm Croatia-Bosnia partnership, says Zvizdic

 Croatia is a friend and important partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the visit which will be paid by the new Croatian premier to Sarajevo is expected to confirm the good bilateral relations, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said on Wednesday.

Serbia arrests people suspected of illegal activities against Montenegro

Vucic said that law enforcement authorities in Serbia had collected material evidence against the latest arrestees who had reportedly planned in Serbia "to conduct various illegal activities directed against the territory of Montenegro."

Serbia, Slovenia want stronger economic cooperation, PMs say

Slovenia and Serbia are satisfied with their political relations and it is the interest and will of both to advance economic relations and strengthen economic cooperation, it was said in Belgrade on Monday after a joint session of the two governments.

Slovenia erecting panel fence along Croatia border

Slovenia started putting up a metal panel fence at its biggest border crossing with Croatia, Bregana-Obrezje, on Thursday and at the Gruskovje-Macelj crossing on Friday, Slovenia's STA news agency said, citing the Interior Ministry.

Captain Dragan trial: Witness says lost hearing and kidney due to torture

The trial of Dragan Vasiljkovic, aka Captain Dragan, charged with war crimes against Croatian soldiers and civilians in the early 1990s, resumed before the Split County Court on Thursday with the testimonies of three reserve police officers from Glina who spoke about the atrocities they lived through as prisoners of war in Knin at the start of the Homeland Defence War.

Detention set for 14 Serbs over attempt to disrupt Montenegrin vote

Prosecutorial authorities in Montenegro on Monday reported that detention had been assigned to 14 out of 20 Serbian citizens arrested on Saturday night on suspicion of planning violent incidents in the capital of Podgorica and attacks on Prime Minister Mile Djukanovic and official institutions in order to disrupt Sunday's general election.

Djukanovic says Montenegro stable country, 20 terrorists from Serbia arrested

Montengrin police say they have arrested 20 Serbian nationals suspected of terrorist activities amid tense parliamentary elections that may end Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s 25 year-long reign.

Rama: Albania-Serbia relations at historic high

Relations between Albania and Serbia are now better than ever, I appreciate efforts made by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to remove the legacy of animosities, the visiting Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in Nis, Serbia, on Friday.

Montenegrin elections cast uncertainty on Djukanovic's 25-year reign

Milo Djukanovic has governed Montenegro since 1991, weathering Yugoslav wars, UN sanctions, and breaks with "sister" Serbia and "mother" Russia. But voters may on Sunday show that they have had enough of the suspicions of corruption always surrounding him.

Krmpotic gets 3yrs for arson during Medak Pocket operation

A former commander of the 9th Guard Brigade's reconnaissance platoon, Josip Krmpotic, was sentenced to three years in prison by the Zagreb County Court on Thursday for arson and destruction of homes in Serb villages during the 1993 Medak Pocket liberation operation.

Serbia asks EU for more help for migrant crisis

Serbia on Thursday asked the European Union for additional financial support to manage the migrant crisis and to resolve the problem of migrants on its territory, it was said in Belgrade.

Serbian, Albanian PMs talk European integration, relations in region

Prime Ministers Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Edi Rama of Albania said in Belgrade on Thursday that the countries in the region had a big common potential for cooperation in the future and that the European integration process was the path towards society's modernisation which would help Balkan states sever ties with the bad past.

Islamic index introduced by Sarajevo Stock Exchange

The Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE), in cooperation with Bosna Bank International, founded with capital from Islamic countries, has launched the SASE Islamic Index that will follow the trends in prices of shares of 25 companies operating on Bosnia and Herzegovina's market.

Suspects interviewed over unconstitutional Bosnian Serb entity referendum

Two members of a commission which carried out an unconstitutional referendum in the Bosnian Serb entity on September 25 were interviewed at the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office in Sarajevo on Monday, telling reporters afterwards that there had been nothing unlawful in the entire case.

Bosnian prosecution expanding probe into illegal Serb referendum

The Bosnian Serb broadcaster RTRS on Wednesday televised a copy of a subpoena sent to Petkovic to appear before the prosecution in Sarajevo on October 10.

Djakic: No talks with Serbian veterans until Serbia admits aggression

"Those veterans were members of the Serbian authorities at the time of paramilitary units and aggression on Croatia, together with incumbent President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. They are all Chetniks," said Djakic.

Serbia not redirecting migrants to Croatia, says commissioner

Most of some 300 migrants who on Tuesday headed out on foot from Belgrade to the border with Hungary, protesting against the EU's closed borders, returned to the Serbian capital during the night.

Dacic: Serbia will not allow to be the biggest victim of migrant crisis

Serbia will not allow to be the biggest victim of the migrant crisis, it must be in touch with the countries of what is called the Balkan migrant route and it is preparing measures to protect its national interests, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday.

Minister: About 100 people who fought in Syria have returned to Bosnia

About 100 nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina have returned to that country after fighting on the side of Islamist terrorist groups in Syria and they pose a real security threat, Dragan Lukac, Minister of the Interior of the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska, was quoted by the local media on Saturday.  

Balkan route countries call for tighter borders to halt migration

Europe's external borders must be protected even more tightly to stop the flow of migrants on the Balkan route for good, leaders from the region agreed at an informal summit in Vienna on Saturday.

Migrants using more diverse, "covert" routes to Europe, study finds

Hundreds of thousands of migrants are entering Europe via little-known "covert" routes increasingly used since some nations adopted stricter border controls, a think-tank said on Friday.

Prosecutors ask Appeals Chamber to find Seselj guilty, sentence him to 28 years in prison

The Trial Chamber's finding that there was no widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population in Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina is "stunning" considering that the massive crimes committed during the ethnic cleansing campaign were the reason for the ICTY's creation, says the prosecution.

Montenegro doesn't expect incidents ahead of Kosovo ratification of border deal

Montenegro and Kosovo signed the Border Agreement in August last year in Vienna, as a result of three-year-long negotiations.

Milanovic says will not respect Serbian war-mongers Nikolic and Vucic

Asked about relations between Croatia and Serbia and what his position would be like if he came to power, Milanovic said that he said that to "people who call themselves representatives of guard brigades, in the language which is the only language some of them understand."

Nikolic calls on Croatian officials to stop insulting Serbs

Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic on Thursday called on Croatian officials to stop the insults on account of Serbs, assessing that the statement by Croatia's former prime minister Zoran Milanovic that Serbs were a "handful of wretches" resembled what WWII Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic thought of and how he acted toward Serbs.

Serbian PM says probably won't attend Croatia Summit

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday he "probably won't participate" in Croatia Summit in Dubrovnik on August 25-26 and that he did not expect substantial achievements from the event.

Serbia, Russia to begin joint military exercises next month

The Serbian military plans to host two joint exercises with Russian forces starting next month and lasting to October, the Serbian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

US Vice President Biden pushes Serbia, Kosovo to normalize ties

US Vice President Joe Biden discussed problems from the Balkan's recent troubled past Tuesday in Belgrade, kicking off a short visit to Serbia and its former province of Kosovo.

Croatian Foreign Minister: Hatemongers in Serbia again active

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac on Monday dismissed the latest accusations from Serbian Labour Minister Aleksandar Vulin who compared the situation in Croatia with that in the World War II Nazi-styled Independent State of Croatia (NDH), saying that on-call hatemongers in Serbia were again active.

Serbian PM: Government cannot and will not recognise Kosovo

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in this southern Serbian province in 2008, an act that Belgrade considers a violation of its Constitution and its territorial integrity. 

U.S. Vice President Biden to visit Serbia, Kosovo next week

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Serbia and Kosovo next week, the White House said on Tuesday.

Indictment raised for murder of 27 ethnic Croats in Bosnia

Prosecutorial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have raised an indictment against a former Bosniak officer of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army, Enver Buza, for war crimes committed against ethnic Croats in the village of Uzdol.

Kovac: Serbia should rid itself of aggressive Greater Serbia virus

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac on Monday wrote on his Facebook account that the Serbian authorities had still not "rid themselves of the virus of the aggressive Greater Serbia policy and of the Yugoslav Communist system" and that Serbia would not be able to join the European Union until they did so.

Dacic: Serbia won't keep silent about rehabilitation of fascism in Croatia

Croatia has the right to choose its own path but it does not have the right to rehabilitate and justify the genocide against Serbs, Jews and Romany in the Ustasha-led Independent State of Croatia (NDH) nor will Serbia refrain from commenting on it, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Monday.

Balkans should be transformed from a powder keg to a secure region, says EC commissioner

"The European Union and other countries affected by the refugee issue have to be wary of possible new migrant routes and their movements and it is necessary to intensify the fight against people smuggling," Reiner stressed.

Croatia, Bulgaria support EU enlargement to include Western Balkans

Croatia and Bulgaria support EU enlargement to include all Western Balkan countries, but these countries must meet the necessary criteria, Croatian and Bulgarian Foreign Ministers Miro Kovac and Daniel Mitov said in Zagreb on Tuesday.

IPA Croatia-Serbia cross-border cooperation programme launched

The implementation of a EUR 40 million Interreg IPA cross-border cooperation programme between Croatia and Serbia for the 2014-20 period was launched in the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar on Wednesday.

Merkel against closure of Balkan route for migrants

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday criticised the closing of the Balkan route for migrants, saying the problem must be solved in agreement with every European Union member state.

Humanitarian crisis unfolding at Greek-Macedonian border, warns UN

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding among the refugees massed at Greece's border with Macedonia, warned a representative of the UN refugee agency Sunday, saying the situation there cannot persist for long.

Pressure grows in Greece's overcrowded Idomeni camp

In the Greek border camp of Idomeni, thousands of refugees have been waiting for days to continue to Macedonia on their trek north to the wealthier countries of Europe. As the crowds grow and supplies dwindle, the migrants are reaching their breaking point.

Tusk and Oreskovic insist on compliance with Schengen rules

There is no alternative to the Schengen regime in tackling the migrant crisis, European Council President Donald Tusk and Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic agreed at their meeting in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Oreskovic: Croatia has leader role in SE Europe

Croatia has a leader role in Southeast Europe and wants to help the countries in the region in speeding up the process of their integration into the European Union, Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said in an interview with the German broadcasting service Deutsche Welle.

Kurz: Countries must act till EU defines joint response

Countries must take their own measures until the European Union finds a common response to the migrant crisis, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Vienna on Wednesday, ahead of a ministerial conference on the migrant crisis which brought together interior and foreign ministers from ten countries along the Balkan route, including Croatia.

Balkan route countries meet to fine-tune controversial border regimes

Ministers from Austria and Western Balkan countries were set to meet in Vienna Wednesday to coordinate their increasingly restrictive immigration policies in the face of criticism from Brussels and Athens.

UN accuses Austria and Balkan countries of migrant "chaos"

The new restrictions on migrants along the Balkan route are "creating chaos at several border points," the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday expressing concern because of recent "restrictive practices" adopted by a number of European countries including Austria, Slovenia and Macedonia.

UNHCR rebukes Austria, Balkan states for causing migration "chaos"

New immigration restrictions along the Balkan route are "creating chaos at several border points," the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says.

Migrants mass in Greece as Balkan states tighten passage rules

Thousands of migrants, newly arrived in Greece from Turkey during the weekend, crowded the Athens port of Piraeus Monday, even as the Balkan countries they must traverse to reach wealthier parts of Europe pushed their gates further shut. 

Austria, Balkan states to coordinate migration at Wednesday meeting

Interior and foreign ministers from Western Balkan countries and Austria are set to gather Wednesday in Vienna to coordinate their increasingly restrictive border policies.

Croatian PM says control to be stepped up but borders won't be closed

Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Wednesday evening attended a working dinner in Brussels that revolved around the western Balkan migrant route and after that he said that the discussion about the topic was open.

Austrian minister: Influx of migrants to be slowed down gradually

"The domino effect along the Balkan route is developing according to plan," Mikl-Leitner was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

Central Europe looks to Macedonia to clamp down on Balkan migrants

Central European states meet in Prague Monday with controversial plans to assist Macedonia in patrolling its border with Greece, as some EU-members look outside the bloc for ways to clamp down on migration flows.

New FM says will mend relations with neighbours

The newly-appointed Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miro Kovac, said on Thursday that he would start mending relations with neighbouring countries, which have deteriorated because of the refugee crisis, and if Germany were to drastically restrict the influx of refugees, Croatia would do the same to protect its territory.

Pusic: Western Balkan countries important for European and global stability

Speaking to the press during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, Pusic said she disagreed with the assessment by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic that the Balkans was a "powder keg".

Ban on economic migrants to stay in force until EU takes clear position, says minister

The minister recalled that differentiating between refugees was due to a unilateral decision by Slovenian authorities and their request for the readmission to economic migrants by Croatia.

Protests in Pristina against agreement with Serbia, opposition leader arrested

Police raided the offices of the opposition movement Vetevendosje (Self-determination), whose deputies recently paralysed the work of parliament in protest against the normalisation agreement.

UN secretary-general condemns filtering of migrant flow on Balkan route

Profiling asylum seekers on the basis of their alleged nationality infringes the human right of all people to seek asylum, irrespective of their nationality ...