The Balkans

Global Europe 16-05-2022

Bosnia reacts after Albania fails to pass resolution on Srebrenica genocide

Bosnian MP Sabina Cudic addressed an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama, criticising his government’s refusal to vote on a resolution condemning the Srebrenica genocide and accusing him of tabling the resolution as a concession to Serbia. In 1995,...
Politics 16-05-2022

Kosovo calls Serbia’s claims of countries rolling back recognition untrue

Kosovo has not received information of any countries withdrawing their recognition of Kosovo following claims of this nature by Serbia, Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla has said. During a press conference on Friday (13 May) Gërvalla denied receiving information confirming these...
Politics 16-05-2022

‘Brace yourselves, winter is coming’, Vucic tells Serbs

Serbia fears food and energy shortages, and the coming winter will be “the most difficult in the last 70 years,” President Aleksandar Vučić said in a broadcast to the nation on Sunday, as reported by Croatian news website Index.hr. “We...
Politics 16-05-2022

Serbia still refuses to impose sanctions on Russia

Serbia will still not join international sanctions against Russia, President Aleksandar Vučić told TV network Prva TV on Sunday. Because it refuses to impose sanctions, Serbia currently has no access to the capital market. Loans are more expensive as they...
Politics 16-05-2022

Slovenian parliament sees record number of women MPs

Slovenia will have a more gender-balanced parliament than ever before as 36 of the 90 MPs who started their term on Friday, including the new speaker, are women. Urška Klakočar Zupančič, a former judge and a co-founder of the Freedom...
Politics 16-05-2022

Romania backs quick NATO accession process for Finland and Sweden

Romania is ”strongly” in favour of a ”rapid” accession process for both Finland and Sweden, as the membership of these two states will strengthen NATO, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Sunday. In a statement, he spoke of Romania’s strong...
Politics 16-05-2022

Sofia postpones negotiations as Skopje remains hopeful

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov will not visit Skopje soon as there is no document to work on regarding the Neighbourhood agreement, Lena Borislavova, the head of the prime minister’s office, told Bulgarian national television in an interview, while Skopje...
Politics 13-05-2022

Albanian parliament refuses to condemn Srebrenica Genocide

An opposition resolution condemning the Srebrenica Genocide committed by Serbian troops in 1995 was rejected by parliament on Thursday amid the ruling party’s growing friendship with Serbia. The opposition accused the majority led by Prime Minister Edi Rama of having...
Politics 13-05-2022

Albania increases imports from Ukraine, Russia

Imports to Albania from Ukraine and Russia have soared, both in terms of value and quantity, according to data from INSTAT for March. Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, and the ongoing war has triggered an energy, fuel and food...
Politics 13-05-2022

Serbian central bank still optimistic on economic growth

The Serbian central bank on Thursday raised the key interest rate by 50 bp to 2%, while the Executive Board decided to increase the deposit and lending facilities rates by 50 bp each, to 1% and 3%, respectively – showing...
Politics 13-05-2022

Slovenia’s outgoing government signs mega defence deal

Slovenia’s outgoing centre-right government has sealed an agreement to buy 45 eight-wheeled armoured personnel carriers from the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), a move that the new liberal government plans to challenge. The agreement worth nearly €400 million, covers...
Politics 13-05-2022

Croats protest after no-abortion scandal

Thousands of Croats marched in protest rallies in nine Croatian towns on Thursday, demanding “an end to the destruction of public health and the neglect of women’s health.” The protests, organised by several NGOs, were prompted by a scandal revealed last...

Bulgaria launches full investigation into Turkish Stream

Bulgaria will launch a full investigation into the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project that stretches through Bulgaria as it showcases how Russia uses corruption as a foreign policy tool, announced Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on Thursday. The section of the...
Politics 12-05-2022

Albanian government must prioritise vulnerable people amid price crunch

The government must provide financial support to society’s most vulnerable while scaling back on non-priority expenditures to help the country through this difficult period, according to the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko. On Wednesday (11 May), Sejko...
Politics 12-05-2022

Former Kosovo military leaders plead not guilty to charges in The Hague

Former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leaders pleaded not guilty to fresh charges brought against them by prosecutors on Tuesday and asked for their trials to be expedited as they have been in custody for 18 months at The Hague. Specialist...
Politics 12-05-2022

Poland receives 10 times more refugees than Serbia during 2015 crisis

Poland recorded ten times more Ukrainian refugees since the start of the war in Ukraine than the refugees Serbia received from the Middle East at the peak of the 2015 refugee crisis, a spokesman for the office of the UN...
Politics 12-05-2022

COVID-19 jabs still necessary, says Serbian epidemiologist

An increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases was not registered during the Labour Day and Easter holidays but everyone should be careful, and vaccinations are still necessary, said Serbian epidemiologist Predrag Kon on Tuesday. In a statement to...
Politics 12-05-2022

Incoming Slovenian government finalises coalition agreement, cabinet line-up

The incoming left-liberal government led by former energy executive Robert Golob has finalised the coalition agreement less than three weeks after Golob’s landmark election victory and unveiled most of the names in what will be the largest cabinet in Slovenia’s...

Croatia could become Central Europe’s energy hub, says PM

Croatia could become an “energy hub in the northern Adriatic” as Europe seeks to wean itself off Russian energy, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said during a visit to Cyprus on Wednesday. Croatia’s floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the...
Politics 12-05-2022

Romania wants to stop public bodies using Russian security software

Public institutions and authorities may no longer be allowed to use cyber security software and services made by Russian companies or controlled by firms or persons from Russia, according to a new government bill. According to the proposal, the presence...

Bulgaria to replace Russian gas supply with cheaper US LNG

Bulgaria will receive supplies of US liquefied natural gas (LNG) at prices lower than Gazprom’s starting in June, according to a deal struck between Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and US Vice President Kamala Harris, the government’s press service said on...
Politics 11-05-2022

Tirana’s property prices continue to soar, pricing out locals

The price of real estate in the Albanian capital of Tirana continued to rise during the first quarter of 2022, with the average price reaching €1,143 per square metre. Property prices have soared in recent years as developers swoop in...
Politics 11-05-2022

Kosovo NGOs ask Macron for visa liberalisation

Major NGOs in Kosovo have addressed a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron asking that the EU lift the visa regime for Kosovo citizens who remain Europe’s only people who cannot travel freely despite having met all visa liberalisation requirements....

Energy stability in Serbia must be defended, says minister

Serbia must defend its energy stability even if this would require a change in the ownership structure of the biggest oil company Naftna industrija Srbije (NIS), Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlović has said. Asked whether the government had the funds to...