BELGRADE, June 6, 2006
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SERBIA CONFIRMS SUCCESSION OF SERBIA MONTENEGRO
BELGRADE, June 5 (Beta)-At a June 5 session, Serbia's parliament recognized Serbia as the successor to the state union of Serbia Montenegro, its international status, and documents, including U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and Metohija.
A document adopted by lawmakers at a special session confirmed Serbia as the successor of the now former, common state.
It was supported by 126 MPs or the ruling coalition and the Socialist Party of Serbia, which is backing the minority cabinet.
MPs from the opposition Democratic Party and Serbian Radical Party were not present.
All Serbia Montenegro flags were lowered immediately after the session, leaving only the Serbian flag.
The decision requires the cabinet and other state institutions to complete preparations for the realisation of Serbia's international and legal subjectivity within the next 45 days.
Steps will be taken to establish a foreign ministry and defense ministry in the interim period, after which they will be regulated by special laws.
SERBIAN FLAG HOISTED OUTSIDE FEDERATION PALACE
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Outside Federation Palace at noon Tuesday was lowered the flag of the SCG state union and hoisted the flag of Serbia. Council of Ministers secretary general Igor Jovicic, who said the SCG flag would be handed over to the Museum of the History of Yugoslavia, conducted the flag-hoisting ceremony.
SERBIA'S FLAG HOISTED OUTSIDE DEFENCE MINISTRY
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Serbia's flag was hoisted on Tuesday, while the national anthem God of Justice was played, outside the Justice Ministry in Belgrade. The flag of Serbia and Montenegro was lowered beforehand, while the anthem Hey Slavs was played. The flag-hoisting ceremony was conducted by the guard brigade, in the presence of Defence Minister Zoran Stankovic and officials of the Defence Ministry.
NEW ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF
BELGRADE, June 5 (Beta)-Until final appointments are made in the army headquarters and the defense ministry, Major General Zdravko Ponos will perform the duties of Serbia Montenegro army chief of staff, while Col. Zdravko Jelisavcic will head the army intelligence service.
This choice was the decision of Defense Minister Zoran Stankovic, the ministry said in its news release of June 5 and added that there is no need for Montenegrin representatives in the defense ministry now, that Serbia Montenegro no longer exists.
The ministry also said that the Supreme Defense Council on June 2 had decided to withdraw the former army chief of staff, Ljubisa Jokic, of Montenegro, from his post and allow him to retire, at his personal request.
On June 3, Stankovic decided to appoint Zdravko Ponos as chief of staff. Apart from his regular duties as deputy chief of staff, Ponos will perform his new duties until final appointments are made in the defense ministry and the army general staff.
The ministry also said that the individuals, who had been appointed to posts in the defense ministry as Serbian representatives, would continue to perform their duties in accordance with the regulations of the Republic of Serbia.
DRASKOVIC SAYS HE IS NOW SERBIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER
BELGRADE, June 5 (Beta)-Serbian Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic has announced that although his term as Serbia Montenegro foreign minister expired with Montenegro's declaration of independence, he has gone on to become Serbia's foreign minister.
"I have been Serbia's foreign minister all along since the Foreign Ministry of Serbia Montenegro was that only in name and Montenegro already had its own foreign ministry," Draskovic said on TV B92.
He added that the arrest of Ratko Mladic was the biggest problem affecting Serbian foreign policy and affected a variety of matters, including the status of Kosovo.
According to Draskovic, the outcome of Montenegro's referendum is partially the result of its citizens' fears that Serbia could end up dragging Montenegro into isolation with it, all because of Mladic.
Commenting on the murder of two former gangsters, Zoran Vukojevic and Zoran Povic, on the weekend, Draskovic said that "it is almost certain" that former police special forces commander Milorad Ulemek and former secret police chief Radomir Markovic continue to orchestrate events from their prisons cells, adding that "death squads" are again being set up.
"Maybe these people would not have been murdered if the Supreme Court had not struck down the Ibarska Magistrala conviction," Draskovic said, alluding to an orchestrated car crash that led to the death of four senior officials of his party.
NO NEW CREDENTIALS NECESSARY FOR FOREIGN AMBASSADORS
BELGRADE, June 5 (Beta)-After Serbia takes over as successor to the state union, the ambassadors of Serbia Montenegro abroad will be reappointed as ambassadors of Serbia, while foreign diplomats accredited in Belgrade will become ambassadors to Serbia, BETA has been told in the foreign ministry.
The same procedure, which was employed when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was renamed as the state union of Serbia Montenegro, will be applied in this case, BETA learned in the ministry.
"The situation will be the same as it has been till now in international and diplomatic relations, only under a new name. This is merely technical procedure which follows automatically, considering that under the Constitutional Charter, Serbia is the successor state of the international legal continuity of Serbia Montenegro," BETA was told in the ministry.
According to BETA's sources, as there is no need for the international recognition of the state of Serbia, there is no need for issuing new credentials to foreign diplomats in Belgrade or to Serbia's diplomats abroad.
After the Serbian Legislature passes a decision on Serbia taking over the jurisdiction of the state union, foreign ministries abroad and diplomatic missions in Belgrade will be informed about the change of the country's name, according to BETA's sources.
Following the Serbian Legislature's decision, the state union foreign ministry will be called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia.
SERBIA ON INHERITING INTERNATIONAL SUBJECTIVITY
MOSCOW, June 6 (Tanjug) - The Serbian Embassy in Russia sent on Tuesday a note to the Russian Foreign Ministry it had received from the Serbian Foreign Ministry, informing it that Serbia had inherited the international and legal subjectivity of the state union of SCG. The note said that as of Monday, the SCG Embassy had become the Embassy of Serbia in Russia. A letter of similar content was also sent to the Foreign Ministries of the countries in which the Embassy in Moscow represents the interests of Serbia on residential grounds - Kazakhstan, Kirzigstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Gruzia.
POLT: U.S. WILL CONTINUE TO COOPERATE WITH SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 5 (Beta)-U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade Michael Polt said on June 5 that relations between the U.S. and Serbia have not been brought into question or jeopardized after the declaration of Montenegro's independence.
Polt told journalists at the Serbian government that the U.S. will continue to cooperate with Serbia.
"We will continue to help attract foreign investors coming from the U.S," said Polt and emphasized that the U.S. has to be practical and not dogmatic.
OSCE MISSION WELCOMES CALM ELECTIONS IN SOUTH SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) - The Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Monday that representatives of this Mission and other international factors visited polling stations in the course of yesterday's elections in three multi-ethnic municipalities in southern Serbia proper, and that "they reported being impressed by the generally calm and co-operative atmosphere in which the elections took place." "While some limited irregularities were noted, generally related to inaccuracies in voters' lists and inadequate training of polling board personnel, the elections reflected considerable progress over those held in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja in 2002," the OSCE Mission statement said. OSCE Mission head, Ambassador Hans Ola Urstad praised the thousands of voters who participated in the elections, and the hundreds of members of the polling boards. "They performed their functions conscientiously and in a transparent manner that should contribute to confidence in the electoral process as well as the value of interethnic multiparty co-operation," the ambassador was quoted as saying in the press statement.
ZASTAVA ARMS FACTORY OUTPUTS RECORD NUMBER OF RIFLES
KRAGUJEVAC, June 5 (Beta)-Weapons maker Zastava Oruzje of Kragujevac has manufactured a record 12,000 carbines for its U.S. partner, Remington Arms, company executives said at a June 5 news conference.
General Manager Dragoljub Grujovic stressed that Zastava has managed to complete its contract with Remington a month ahead of time, bringing in $1.6 million.
He added that "it is clear that the 12,000 carbines will be shipped," adding that another shipment of 3,000 weapons will be completed by the year's end, also ahead of schedule.
Rade Gromovic, the plant's marketing chief, said he hopes the second half of the year will bring a contract with the U.N.
DRASKOVIC: INDEPENDENT KOSOVO WOULD MEAN DIVISION OF SERBIA
BELGRADE, Jun 5 (Tanjug) - An independent Kosovo would mean a division of the state of Serbia, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic said in an interview with Tanjug, in which he spoke about his new book "Kosovo," which includes only short excerts from his statements on Kosovo and Metohija over the past two years. Draskovic believes that in regards to Kosovo the main "battle" will be fought over the status of state borders. Stating that the current status of Serbia's state borders with Albania and Macedonia is determined by the U.N. Security Council resolution 1244, which had practically been dictated by NATO as the winner of the 1999 war, Draskovic said that NATO had respected the U.N. Charter and did not proclaim a foreign state in the territory of Serbia nor it had changed the name of the state border between Serbia and Albania and Serbia and Macedonia. "I pose the following question to the International Contact Group members: Why do they say and write that the borders of Kosovo may not be changed. I have nothing against it, but in my contacts with foreign ministers of the Contact group countries I always insist that there is a sentence missing: 'and the state of Serbia'" said Draskovic. "I said in a number of international meetings that the theory according to which borders of a province, which is not a state, may not be changed, but that borders of a state which includes that province may is contrary not only to the U.N. Charter but is also against every logic," said Draskovic. Mentioning that an independent Kosovo would also mean a division of the state of Serbia, Draskovic concluded that forced proclamation of another Albanian state in the territory of Serbia would trigger a chain of turbulences, which would lead to an obscuration of European perspective in the Western Balkans as well as to disturbances across the world. "All separatist movement and all regions that dream of independence are waiting to see how the Kosovo knot would be untangled, would it happen according to the principle of the law of force or a force of law," said Draskovic. He underscored that a proclamation of Kosovo's independence would first cause an emotional shock and a feeling of humiliation among the Serb nation, and not only among the Serbs in Serbia, but among the Serbs in all parts of the world. "Kosovo is not only a territorial issue of our state, but an emotional and historic issue of the nation," underscored Draskovic, adding that without European Serbia there could not be European Kosovo or European Western Balkans.
SERBS IN NORTHERN KOSOVO SEVER TIES WITH PRISTINA
ZVECAN, June 5 (Beta)-The leaders of four Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo decided on June 5 to suspend all contacts with the international community and Kosovo institutions until the perpetrators of the latest attacks against the Serbs in Kosovo are found and until security is established in the province, said the participants at a rally in Zvecan.
Municipality president Dragisa Milovic said that the decision to sever contacts with Pristina was made because of an emergency situation that had arisen after the killing of Miljan Veskovic, last week.
The participants at the rally and representatives of the local municipalities of Zvecan, Leposavic, Zubin Potok and northern Kosovska Mitrovica demanded that Resolution 1244 be respected and that several hundred Serbian police be sent to northern Kosovo in accordance with this Resolution.
Serbs from northern Kosovo have formed a Committee for Taking Action in Emergency Situations, authorized to initiate measures of self organization because of the Kosovo police's inactivity, cover-ups and concealment of criminals.
The Zvecan municipality has expelled a Kosovo police regional and investigating unit from its territory and it has also demanded that Serbian police teams be included in investigating procedures, in future.
UNMIK Police Commissioner Kai Wittrup said on June 5 that the wounding of a Serb woman in the village of Priluzje on June 4 and the killing of a Serb youth, Miljan Veskovic from Zvecan, last week, are not ethnically motivated crimes.
Wittrup said that an investigation into the Priluzje case has shown that the victim, who was working in her garden, was hit by a stray bullet fired during a wedding party.
An investigation into the killing of Miljan Veskovic on June 1 has so far shown no elements of an ethnically motivated crime and the police are currently questioning two people, who are suspects in the case, said Wittrup.
ALEXEYEV SAYS SOLUTION MORE IMPORTANT THAN DEADLINES
BELGRADE, June 5 (Tanjug) - Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Alexeyev on Monday warned that it was more important to arrive, through direct dialogue, at a solution for Kosovo which would be in the function of security and stability in the province, but the region as well, than for the negotiations to fit at any cost into the set deadlines, by the end of 2006. Ambassador Alexeyev gave a lecture on the priorities of the Russian foreign policy in the Balkans at the Institute of International Politics and Economics in Belgrade. He pointed out that it will not be easy to find a solution for Kosovo and that this is why it is particularly necessary to exercise patience and skill in order to ensure security. It is neither the place nor the time to organize a race against the clock, he said. Efforts to persevere in securing an agreement which will be a result of direct dialogue and compromise will be directly conducive to security, because the consequences would otherwise be complex, the Russian ambassador said. Russia is the very country that has proposed that the final status of Kosovo must be embodied in a new resolution of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Alexeyev pointed out. However, it is not clear why there is insistence on this process being completed by the end of 2006, the ambassador said. What if it should be necessary to continue the talks until January or February 2007, he asked. No-one can explain what would happen in that event, and even those explanations that can be heard from some of diplomats are not credible," the Russian ambassador said.
The ambassador said he also considered as unacceptable certain new initiatives within the international community, such as the new element that the final solution must be found before the end of the negotiations. Alexeyev further warned that the solution for Kosovo could yet have the nature of a precedent. He pointed out Russia's stand in principle that the problem of Kosovo does not present an individual case for which a unique solution should be sought. This question must be resolved through direct dialogue and compromise, Ambassador Alexeyev said, underscoring that Russia advocates these stands both in bilateral relations and within the Contact Group. He said he was absolutely certain that an imposed solution in the case of Kosovo, which would not be in keeping with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, would be detrimental to the region and Europe in general. Alexeyev described as pure speculation comments that the Russian stand on the issue of Kosovo is changing and becoming more flexible, and also that Russia allegedly intends to leave the Balkans. Underscoring that the full efforts of Russia's diplomacy are aimed toward the stability of this region, Alexeyev said the guarantee for stability in the Balkans was primarily the acceptance of the European principles of political life. The ambassador especially singled out the acts adopted at the 1975 session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which stress the principle of the non-violability of borders, and pointed out the initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the holding of an international conference on the fixing of borders.