Archive for the ‘Balkans’ Category

WHO WILL WATCH THE WATCHMEN ON EUROPE’S BORDERS?

Saturday, October 17, 2020 Comments Off on WHO WILL WATCH THE WATCHMEN ON EUROPE’S BORDERS?

The European Commission is proposing, as part of its new migration pact, to create independent monitoring mechanisms to investigate allegations of migrant rights abuses. Central and Southeast European member states have reasons to resist this.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Growing consensus against Turkey’s threats to Greece

Saturday, October 17, 2020 Comments Off on Growing consensus against Turkey’s threats to Greece

The US State Department, in unusually tough language, slammed Turkey for creating another crisis off the coast of a small Greek island. Turkey has been using NAVTEX, a naval warning announcement, to force its navy into Greek waters or off the coast of Greek islands under the guise of “research.” It is a carefully orchestrated […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

US revises defense deal to blunt China’s influence in Greece

Thursday, October 8, 2020 Comments Off on US revises defense deal to blunt China’s influence in Greece

U.S. and Greek officials plan to launch a wave of investments in a bid to designed to stymie China’s bid for economic clout and political influence in Southern Europe.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

War inside NATO: Clashes over Cyprus gas cannot be avoided

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Comments Off on War inside NATO: Clashes over Cyprus gas cannot be avoided

In recent months, the conflict between Turkey and Greece has sharply escalated over the disputed gas fields on the Cyprus shelf, which are being developed by Ankara. Moreover, the conflict caused a split in the unity of the European Union, since Cyprus demanded tough measures against Turkey, threatening to block the introduction of sanctions against […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Greece prefers de-escalation over sanctions in Eastern Mediterranean

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Comments Off on Greece prefers de-escalation over sanctions in Eastern Mediterranean

Greece prefers the de-escalation of tension in the East Mediterranean rather than EU sanctions on Turkey, the spokesman of the Greek government has said.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient

Germany calls on Greece to demilitarise islands near Turkey

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Comments Off on Germany calls on Greece to demilitarise islands near Turkey

As Ankara and Athens prepare for talks, Germany has called on Greece to withdraw its army from Aegean Sea islands, near Turkey, Greek newspaper ESTIA reported on Friday.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Turkey

Bulgaria revealed Russian spies interested in army’s modernization and F-16s

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Comments Off on Bulgaria revealed Russian spies interested in army’s modernization and F-16s

The prosecutor’s office revealed yesterday that two Russian diplomats carried out intelligence activities on the territory of Bulgaria. According to Bulgarian news agency, it is about the deputy trade attachés at the Moscow representation in Sofia – Sergei Nikolashin and Vadim Bikov.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Albanian Leader in Montenegro Wants Minorities in Government

Saturday, September 26, 2020 Comments Off on Albanian Leader in Montenegro Wants Minorities in Government

Nik Gjeloshaj tells BIRN that Montenegro’s national minorities can fight for their goals better inside the government, signaling an end to years of cooperation with the once-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists

This was posted under category: Albania, Balkans, Eurasia, Montenegro

Ditching Dinars: Will the Balkans Take to Cryptocurrency?

Saturday, September 26, 2020 Comments Off on Ditching Dinars: Will the Balkans Take to Cryptocurrency?

The daring few involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain in the Balkans say the benefits could be big, if the regulatory framework is put in place. Cash may still be king in the Balkans, but growth in online payments – particularly in the era of COVID-19 – is fuelling optimism among those in the region pressing […]

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Serbia’s Blacklisting of Hezbollah ‘a Concession to Israel, US’

Saturday, September 26, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia’s Blacklisting of Hezbollah ‘a Concession to Israel, US’

Belgrade’s decision to declare Hezbollah in its entirety ‘a terrorist organisation’ is a purely diplomatic move – and does not reflect any previous security assessments, experts told BIRN.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient

Greece is preparing to acquire a squadron of 24 F-35 fighter jets

Saturday, September 26, 2020 Comments Off on Greece is preparing to acquire a squadron of 24 F-35 fighter jets

If Greece wants its Armed Forces to be combative, competitive and able to face the constant threat from the East, then they should proceed to the necessary reinforcement with new weapons systems and modernization of the old ones.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Serbia designates Hezbollah in its entirety as terror group

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia designates Hezbollah in its entirety as terror group

The United States applauded Serbia on Sunday for announcing that it will designate Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient

Greece to Buy Warplanes, Battleships to Boost Defenses against Turkey

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 Comments Off on Greece to Buy Warplanes, Battleships to Boost Defenses against Turkey

With tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey rising, Greece has announced plans to purchase a grab bag of new warplanes, frigates, helicopters and weapons systems. Greece’s defense shopping spree comes amid a new diplomatic scramble with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visiting Cyprus to ease an energy standoff in the eastern Mediterranean.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Turkey: War with Greece ‘just a matter of time’

Monday, September 14, 2020 Comments Off on Turkey: War with Greece ‘just a matter of time’

Head of Turkish National Movement Party Devlet Bahçeli has declared that war with Greece is “just a matter of time”, The New Khaleej reported on Friday.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia, Middle Orient, Turkey

Djukanovic Had to Fall Eventually

Saturday, September 12, 2020 Comments Off on Djukanovic Had to Fall Eventually

Governments in Montenegro have controlled elections for decades, so the fact that Milo Djukanovic still lost speaks of the enormous desire for change among the country’s citizens.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Serbia, Kosovo Must Commit to Credible Missing Persons Investigations

Saturday, September 12, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia, Kosovo Must Commit to Credible Missing Persons Investigations

The Belgrade-Pristina dialogue will have maximum effect if Serbia and Kosovo’s governments commit to credibly investigating the remaining cases of missing persons from the Kosovo conflict while building on existing processes for regional cooperation.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Trump’s Serbia-Kosovo Deal ‘Middle-Easternizes’ the Balkans

Saturday, September 12, 2020 Comments Off on Trump’s Serbia-Kosovo Deal ‘Middle-Easternizes’ the Balkans

Kosovo has paid a price for the agreement brokered by the US President in which it has been reclassified as a ‘Muslim state’.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Vucic’s Serbia is Waging Political War Against its Neighbours

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Comments Off on Vucic’s Serbia is Waging Political War Against its Neighbours

Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbia is a revanchist regime trying to remake the balance of power in the Western Balkans. And for the moment, Vucic has a free hand to do as he pleases.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Serbia-Kosovo Deals Require Joint International Monitoring

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia-Kosovo Deals Require Joint International Monitoring

The EU has brokered dozens of deals between Serbia and Kosovo, but implementation is missing. It’s time to create a monitoring mechanism.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Moscow Hopes to Avoid Having to Save Lukashenko’s Regime – and Especially Lukashenko

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Comments Off on Moscow Hopes to Avoid Having to Save Lukashenko’s Regime – and Especially Lukashenko

The options for Russian intervention seem unpalatable, but there are worrying signs that some in Putin’s circle feel it may be a regrettable necessity.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Kosovo Political Parties Shun Campaign to Abolish Hague War Court

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 Comments Off on Kosovo Political Parties Shun Campaign to Abolish Hague War Court

Kosovo Liberation Army veterans are calling for the abolition of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, a Hague-based war crimes court set up to try former guerrillas – but the country’s main political parties refuse to openly back the initiative.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Kosovo Divisions Risk Undermining EU Push for Deal with Serbia

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 Comments Off on Kosovo Divisions Risk Undermining EU Push for Deal with Serbia

A lack of political consensus in Kosovo on its talks with Serbia is hurting prospects of a deal being reached that would settle relations between the two.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Serbia’s Right-Wing Shift Risks Fuelling Extremism

Monday, August 10, 2020 Comments Off on Serbia’s Right-Wing Shift Risks Fuelling Extremism

The absence of pro-EU opposition parties from the Serbian legislature for the first time in two decades testifies to long-term trends in the country that have worrying implications.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on A Land Swap Won’t Solve the Serbia-Kosovo Conundrum

The European Union is again taking the lead role in mediating between Serbia and Kosovo after a planned Washington meeting came to nothing – and that means the idea of resolving the problem with a land swap is unlikely to resurface soon.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Bulgaria’s New Protest Movement Must Avoid Old Mistakes

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Bulgaria’s New Protest Movement Must Avoid Old Mistakes

By bringing together opposition Socialists, environmentalists and the urban middle class, the protest wave in Bulgaria has real potential – if the lessons of past failures are learned.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Beyond Kosovo: How Protests Transformed Serbia’s Relations with Russia

Serbia’s authorities broke an old taboo when they blamed pro-Russian radicals for instigating some of the recent violence in the country, and Russia-Serbia relations may never be the same again.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Slovenia Seen Emulating Hungary, Poland with Media Reforms

Monday, July 27, 2020 Comments Off on Slovenia Seen Emulating Hungary, Poland with Media Reforms

Slovenia’s right-wing prime minister, Janez Jansa, is taking a leaf out of Viktor Orban’s book with changes to the way public service media are funded and run, watchdogs warn.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Were Prosecutors Right to Publicise Charges Against Kosovo’s Thaci?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on Were Prosecutors Right to Publicise Charges Against Kosovo’s Thaci?

The announcement that war crimes charges had been filed against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli caused a political storm, but questions persist about whether prosecutors in The Hague were justified in making the accusations public.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

The Netherlands Looks Again at its Controversial Role in Srebrenica

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on The Netherlands Looks Again at its Controversial Role in Srebrenica

Young Bosnian-Dutch activists are campaigning to raise the low level of public knowledge about the 1995 Srebrenica genocide and the Netherlands’ role in the UN peacekeeping mission that did not prevent the mass killings of Bosniaks.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Forget Expectations: German EU Presidency no Magic Wand for the Balkans

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 Comments Off on Forget Expectations: German EU Presidency no Magic Wand for the Balkans

It is foolhardy to think Germany’s presidency of the EU or the bloc’s revival of Belgrade-Pristina talks signal a radical shift in enthusiasm for enlargement to the Western Balkans. Balkan states themselves must make concrete plans if they are to deepen relations with the bloc.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

How a Syrian Bulgarian wrestler became a ‘terror’ suspect

Monday, July 20, 2020 Comments Off on How a Syrian Bulgarian wrestler became a ‘terror’ suspect

Bulgarian authorities accuse Mohammed Abdulqader of fighting in Syria based on photos. His family says he is innocent.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Conspiratorial Corona: Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories in the Balkans

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Conspiratorial Corona: Hoaxes and Conspiracy Theories in the Balkans

With the spread of conspiracy theories and hoaxes, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further undermine democracy in the Western Balkans.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

China Has Overtaken Russia as Serbia’s Great Ally

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on China Has Overtaken Russia as Serbia’s Great Ally

If Serbia now praises China to the heavens, it may be because Belgrade has judged that the West now takes China much more seriously than Russia.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Balkan States Find Prosecuting Terrorism a Challenge

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Balkan States Find Prosecuting Terrorism a Challenge

Evidence in terrorism cases is proving difficult to find, while experts warn that the reintegration and rehabilitation of foreign fighters is an even greater challenge.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia

Bulgarians Protest Against Over-Construction on Black Sea

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 Comments Off on Bulgarians Protest Against Over-Construction on Black Sea

Bulgarians took to the streets of towns and cities on Tuesday to express their frustration with the damage that seemingly unrestricted construction is doing to the Black Sea coastline.

This was posted under category: Balkans, Eurasia