Daily Survey

Belgrade, August 01, 2012


SERBIA

VUCIC: PRISTINA NOT ONLY BELGRADE TO MAKE COMPROMISE

BELGRADE, August 01 (Tanjug) - Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia's first deputy prime minister, said at a meeting with Special Envoy of the German Foreign Ministry for Southeastern Europe Nikolaus Graf Lambsdorff that the Serbian government will respect all Brussels agreements, but that it expects Berlin's support to the request that in the continuation of the talks compromise should not be made only by Belgrade, but also by Pristina.
Vucic expressed belief after a meeting with Lambsdorff that no one will do anything to reduce Serbia's chances of becoming an EU member, and that he does not expect the EU to table the issue of Kosovo's recognition.
The deputy prime minister underlined in the talks that he is aware that many decisions in the dialogue with Pristina will be difficult for Serbia, and that Belgrade will have to accept a compromise, but that a compromise must also be made by Pristina.
"It is in no one's interest to let time pass with no changes, this is not the wish of the Serbian citizens or anyone else in the world. Everyone wants the dialogue to continue. We will try to reach a national consensus on Kosovo in August or September," Vucic said.
Vucic said that besides Kosovo the talks with Lambsdorff also touched on the bilateral relations and the fight against corruption and crime.
Serbia, as Vucic underlined at the meeting, wants to be a part of the family of the European people, and have the best possible relations with Germany as the strongest EU country.
Vucic underlined in the talks that the Serbian government will be adamant in the fight against organized crime, and as the Serbian defence minister he expressed belief that the Serbian German cooperation in this area will progress in future.

VUCIC: SERBIA WILL NOT JOIN MILITARY ALLIANCES

BELGRADE, July 31 (Tanjug) - Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday that Serbia would not join any military alliances, but as a membership of the Partnership for Peace would continue to develop cooperation envisaged by this program.
"Our country's policy is completely clear and neither I nor anyone else has the right to change it. We have a Constitution and a parliamentary declaration. The Republic of Serbia is a member of the Partnership for Peace and our army and defense forces will continue cooperation under this program, but we will not join any military alliances," Vucic said while visiting the General Staff.
He said he had already met with representatives of the U.S. armed forces, would meet with Russian military representatives on Tuesday, and would soon sit down with representatives of all other countries with which Serbia had military cooperation.

WB: NO NEW INVESTMENTS WITHOUT SUPPRESSING CORRUPTION

BELGRADE, July 31 (Tanjug) - World Bank (WB) Regional Coordinator for South East Europe Jane Armitage warned Tuesday that new investors would not come to Serbia if the country had a high level of corruption and added that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic's message about his dedicatation to suppressing it was encouraging.
She said Serbia's main problem was high unemployment, which could be resolved by new investments, but this required actions to suppress corruption.
Armitage said investors would certainly not come to countries which have a high level of corruption, the president's press service said in a release.
In a meeting with the WB director, Nikolic noted that Serbia must become a country governed by law and justice and announced the state would declare war on crime and corruption.
The president said Serbia had a huge debt and numerous economic problems, but that the new government would endeavor to change this and get production going.
Nikolic told his guest he disagreed with the previous government's decision to stop cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, and that he welcomed announcements from the new government saying relations with the IMF would soon be normalized.
The president also asked the WB to support development projects in the sectors of agriculture and energy, as well as the state budget, so that the country would have time to improve the state of its economy.
Armitage welcomed the president's views and noted the WB was very interested in cooperating with Serbia on the realization of numerous projects of common interest.

WB: SERBIA TO GET LOAN WITH PRECONDITIONS

BELGRADE, August 01 (Tanjug) - World Bank (WB) Regional Coordinator for South East Europe Jane Armitage noted Wednesday that the WB is ready to approve Serbia EUR 400 million, but with certain preconditions relating to gradual reduction of deficit.
Armitage said for Radio and Television of Serbia that it is very important for Serbia to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but that it also needs to implement certain reforms in terms of public expenses and pension funds, and continue reforms in the state and entrepreneurial sector.
She said that Serbia, as all other western Balkan countries, is in a very difficult situation, and that it is under a strong, negative influence of the situation in the eurozone.
Most of Europe is in recession, and that has a negative impact on all surrounding countries, including Serbia. It is obvious that Serbia will have to adjust to the situation, she said. Armitage added that Serbia will manage to adapt to the situation, but that it will have to continue to take loans from the international markets.
The WB official underlined that she was assured by government officials that Serbia will remain committed to the reforms. Armitage said that she is certain that Minister of Finance and Economy Mladjan Dinkic has a clear plan for addressing the difficult situation in Serbia.
When asked to comment on the announcements of dismissal of National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Governor Dejan Soskic, Armitage said that at the meetings with government officials she noted that the principle of the independence of the national bank is very important.

SERBIA'S COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS COMMENDED

WASHINGTON, August 01 (Tanjug) - The Serbian government sustained its efforts to counter international terrorism and cooperated closely with the United States, according to the annual country report on terrorism issued by the U.S. State Department.
The U.S. administration particularly commended the work of the Ministry of Finance's Customs Administration, the Ministry of Interior's Directorate of Police, and the Security Information Agency, also noting that intragovernmental cooperation between these and other agencies improved. Serbian and U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies also had close counterterrorism collaboration, and Serbia participated in U.S. governmentfunded counterterrorism training, says the report.
The report also notes that Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country, and therefore had no direct cooperation with Kosovo on counterterrorism, but the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) played an intermediary role on some law enforcement cooperation matters.
The State Department notes that no terrorist attacks occurred in Serbia during 2011 but mentions Serbian national Mevlid Jasarevic who opened fire on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo in October 2011, after which Serbian police took into custody 17 people with suspected ties to Jasarevic in Sandzak, a Bosniakmajority region in southwest Serbia.
Serbia continued to participate actively in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Program and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents traveled to Serbia in November.
Agents from several U.S. services conducted nineteen border security exercises with Serbian government agencies, which focused on controlling the movement of suspected terrorists, risk analysis, and the control of terrorismrelated goods and materials.
In July, more than 80 counterterrorism specialists met in Belgrade for a twoday workshop organized by the UN CounterTerrorism Executive Directorate. The discussion focused on terrorist financing in southeastern Europe and the link between terrorist financing and organized crime.
In the section on Kosovo, the reports says the government of Kosovo cooperated with the United States on terrorismrelated issues and made progress in advancing counterterrorism legislation.
The report adds that the security and political situation in northern Kosovo limited the government's ability to exercise its authority in that area, where KFOR and EULEX bear responsibilities for contributing to a safe and secure environment and strengthening rule of law.
The Kosovo Assembly also moved forward on three laws that together will enable Kosovo authorities to better control the country's borders and deal with aliens who raise terrorist concerns.
The Kosovo Border Police actively cooperated with Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro to establish joint information centers and develop operational cooperation through joint patrols of the land borders between the countries, adds the report.