BELGRADE, June 7, 2005
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
DRASKOVIC MEETS WITH OFFICIALS IN UKRAINE
KIEV, June 6 (Beta) - SerbiaMontenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic has said that senior Ukrainian officials, with whom he met in Kiev on June 6, told him that their country supports the territorial integrity of Serbia in connection with the issue of the province of Kosovo and Metohija.
Draskovic had meetings with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, and Deputy Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinahk, as well as President Viktor Yushchenko.
Speaking to BETA by telephone after the one-day visit, Draskovic said he was satisfied with the talks, adding that both countries have pledged to improve overall ties to reflect their traditionally good relationship when it comes to the economy, culture, and other areas.
He added that boosting economic cooperation was one of the main topics they had discussed, and he went on to say that his hosts said they are willing to help end the current imbalance, which is hurting SerbiaMontenegro, through investment and purchasing companies undergoing privatization.
Draskovic also said that SerbiaMontenegro and Ukraine will soon sign a treaty on free trade and launch talks on easing visa requirements.
MINISTER: BELGRADE CANNOT AGREE TO EXTRADITING SUSPECTS TO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES
BELGRADE, June 6 (Beta) - A declaration on cooperation between judicial authorities in prosecuting war crimes suspects, which will debated by ministers from Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and SerbiaMontenegro on June 8, mentions that suspects could be transferred between these countries.
The document, which is likely to be accepted, binds the signatories to consider the possibility of transferring individuals, who are charged in another of those countries, if such a move is legally feasible.
In a statement to BETA, SerbiaMontenegro Human and Minority Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic confirmed this, adding that Belgrade cannot accept such an obligation.
"The Serbian constitution bars extradition and the wording [in the declaration] is unacceptable to us," Ljajic said, stressing that he will insist on changes to the document to make it acceptable to each of the countries. The OSCEbrokered ministerial conference on war crimes procedures will be held on the island of Brioni, Croatia, on June 8.
NATO MEMBERSHIP BRINGS MANY PRIVILEGES, DAVINIC
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Defence Minister Prvoslav Davinic said Monday that membership in the Partnership For Peace and NATO brings certain advantages to the states linked to the democratic society, market conduct and the respect of human rights.
"That is what we want to build in our state and it is completely logical to enter alliances and cooperate with countries which advocate the same principles," Davninc told the seminar dubbed Role of the Media and Reporting on the Reform of the Serbia-Montenegro Army.
Underscoring that membership in the Partnership For Peace and NATO requires the fulfillment of two-thirds of conditions necessary for joining the European Union, Davinic recalled that the majority of citizens back the inclusion of the country into the EU because of a number of concrete advantages.
Davinic stated that, after this country qualifies for the Partnership For Peace, it will have fulfilled two-thirds of conditions linked to EU membership. He added that this will be followed by certain advantages for a country with a high level security system, high degree of democracy and a civilian control of the armed forces.
Serbia-Montenegro Defense Minister Prvoslav Davinic said that the SCG Army's integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, the Partnership for Peace program and NATO, is not related to talks on the future status of Kosovo and Metohija.
Noting that the two issues are not related to each other, Davinic added that if Belgrade becomes a member of Euro-Atlantic structures, it will discuss the status of Kosovo and Metohija as the international community's ally, not only a friend.
Speaking at a seminar on the role of the media and reporting on the SCG army reform in the context of advancement to NATO, the defense minister said that the SCG Army has established top-level cooperation with KFOR, in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Davinic said that the SCG Army is exchanging intelligence with KFOR on possible threats to Serbs in the province and representatives of international forces, and added that the inking of a general agreement on establishing a line of communication is being negotiated with NATO officials.
The two-day seminar, organized by the Association of Journalists of Serbia, is held under the auspices of the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade. The participants are army representatives and the lecturers from the United States, Great Britain, Bulgaria, NATO, Italy and Norway.
DAVINIC CALLS FOR JOINT CONDEMNATION OF SREBRENICA CRIMES
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Defense Minister Prvoslav Davinic estimated on Monday that the local public should be united in the condemnation of the Srebrenica crimes, recorded to videotape.
"It is terrible, unacceptable and really brings shame to those members of our nation who committed the crimes," Davinic told a seminar on the role of the media and reporting on the SCG army reform in the context of advancement to NATO. He said that the media must now take a stance on the perpetrators' responsibility for what happened in Srebrenica.
AMBASSADOR ANICIC PRESENTS CREDENTIALS TO KING OF JORDAN
BELGRADE, June 7 (Tanjug) - Gordana Anicic has presented her credentials to King Abdullah II of Jordan as the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Serbia and Montenegro (CG), on a non-residential basis, to The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the SCG Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
Ambassador Anicic pointed out the readiness of the state union side to raise bilateral relations to a higher level, following a longer priod of stagnation, the Ministry said in a statement received by Tanjug. King Abdullah II underscored that Ambassador Anicic, as a person coming from a traditionally friendly country with which there is a long and rich history of bilateral relations, would have the full support of all institutions in Jordan in the realization of her mission, the statement said.
PODGORICA, BELGRADE REMARKS ON FEASIBILITY STUDY BEING CONSIDERED, SAYS EU SOURCE
BRUSSELS, June 6 (Beta) - The Podgorica authorities and certain Serbian ministries have submitted their remarks on the feasibility study for the state union's accession to the European Union, which are now being considered in the union, BETA learned from an EU source in Brussels on June 6.
According to the same source, the remarks primarily refer to expert and technical aspects and are necessary in order to have a better understanding of the course of further reforms on the state union's path towards the European structure. The source however said, that the feasibility study would not and could not be changed.
The source added that the European Commission had already requested all information pertaining to the progress achieved in the state union, which would help the commission compose a precise annual report about cooperation with SerbiaMontenegro, due this November.
The source described the report as being very important for the stabilization and association talks, which, it was said, may start this autumn. According to the source, it is also important that the European Commission will have "a clear picture of the progress achieved in SerbiaMontenegro," already by early September.
The report, as the source said, would be "a summary" of all the evaluations and findings regarding the progress of reform in the state union on its path to the EU.
SERBIAN PRESIDENT ATTENDS TAKEOVER FO "VLASINKA"
SURDULICA, June 6 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic attended on Monday the official takeover of the "Vlasinka" plant in Surdulica, southern Serbia, which as of recently is fully owned by the company Coca Cola System.
Coca Cola became on Monday a Serbian band and a Serbian company, just as 'Rosa' became an international brand," Tadic said talking to numerous guests after touring the production facilities in the plant in Topli Dol near Surdulica. "This is a guarantee for the development of our country, of production development, water production and, what is particularly important for me - the development of the entire region," Tadic emphasised and explained he was thinking of municipalities in southern Serbia without which there is no stability of Serbia and through which the country is linked to countries of Southern Europe and southern EU states.
Tadic assessed it was always a festivity for Serbia when major companies come to the country and pointed out that a guarantee of quality was ensured when such companies are present on the domestic market. The Serbian president thanked Coca Cola for taking over the "Vlasinka" plant and giving a new impetus to the development of the Serbian economy, stabilising jobs and announcing the opening of new jobs. From the talks with representatives of the Coca Cola system Tadic conveyed that by the end of the year would be opened another production line in the "Vlasinka" production, doubling daily capacities that are currently 150,000 bottles of "Rosa" water.
Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company based in Athens and the Coca Cola Company based in Atlanta, who make up the Coca Cola System, signed on February 18 this year with the former owner "Simpo" a contract on buying 100 pct of "Vlasinka" shares. The acquisition was concluded on April 14 this year, whereby "Vlasinka" officially became a part of the Coca Cola System, and for that the US buyer paid 22 million euros. "Vlasinka" from Topli Do near Surdulica is a major domestic producer of mineral water with its well-known brand "Rosa."
Besides Tadic, at the ceremony were the regional director of Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Rikard Denjeris, Director General of Coca Cola Serbia and Montenegro Stefanos Vasilis and Director of Strategic Marketing for Southeastern Europe of the Coca Cola Company Nashos Lezos.
SERBIAN PRESIDENT URGES SPEEDY DEVELOPMENT OF SOUTHERN SERBIA
VLASOTINCE, Jun 6 (Tanjug) - Serbia's south is strategically very important and its speedy development is essential, Serbian President Boris Tadic said Monday in Vlasotince.
Meeting businessmen in this under-developed municipality, Tadic said that economy is Serbia's key problem and that he welcomes the opening of new enterprises and creating conditions for employing young people. Serbia needs fresh energy, as it is facing the greatest reforms in its history. Problems can be overcome by securing good prospects for young generations, Tadic said. Tadic is also due to visit Vranje Monday, and Prokuplje, Leskovac and Vucje Tuesday.
SERBIAN PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT ITALY TUESDAY
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica travels on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Italy, where he will hold talks with President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other senior officials.
Kostunica will on Tuesday confer with Ciampi, and then with Senate President Marcello Pera and Berlusconi. On Wednesday are scheduled meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and with Chamber of Deputies President Pier Ferdinando Casini. In the Serbian government delegation will be Economy Minister Predrag Bubalo, International Economic Relations Minister Milan Parivodic and Capital Investment Minister Velimir Ilic. They will hold talks on Tuesday with State Undersecretary, Senator Roberto Antonioni, the government public relations office said.
INVESTORS DO NOT SEE DEBTORS CRISIS IN SERBIA, LABUS
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Investors do not believe that any kind of debtors' crisis will occur in Serbia between 2007 - 2009, as some economists have been announcing, and those who think otherwise should invest money and make a big profit, if they are right, Serbian Deputy Premier Miroljub Labus said on Monday.
Speaking to the press during a break of an international conference on the future of capital markets in the Balkans, Labus said he believes that the parliament would up its efficiency on the previous months and that it would adopt the majority of laws referring to the capital markets by the end of July.
According to Labus, investors risk the most in the ownership sphere, as it is uncertain who owns which securities, while risks linked to share trading in euros and to interest rates are practically nil, because yields are almost identical to the interest rates.
STOJKOVIC: POLICE AND PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE WORKING ON SCORPIONS CASE
BELGRADE, June 6 (Beta) - Serbian Justice Minister Zoran Stojkovic said on June 6 that the police and the prosecutor's office were working on the case of the Scorpions paramilitary units and that all their findings would "be processed soon."
In his statement to the press at the Serbian Legislature, Stojkovic reiterated that procedure had been launched against seven persons suspected of participating in killing Srebrenica Bosniaks, that four of them had been taken into custody and that a search was on for the other three.
The justice minister confirmed that one more person, suspected of being connected to the crimes committed by the Scorpions, had been arrested in Bosnia Herzegovina on June 3, but that this person had been released due to lack of evidence.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
KOSOVO TO BECOME INDEPENDENT IN JULY 2006, KOSUMI
ZAGREB, June 6 (Tanjug) - Talks on Kosovo's final status will be launched in September and will last less than a year, with Kosovo becoming independent in July 2006, Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi has told the Zagreb daily Vijesnik.
He said that he cannot jump to conclusions about the UN Security Council's decision on Kosovo's status, adding, however, that the people of Kosovo, who wish an independent and sovereign Kosovo, will be the one to decide. Kosumi expressed his expectation that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's envoy Kai Eide will give a positive report on the Kosovo democratic standards implementation.
The undefined status of Kosovo is facilitating the work of opponents to progress and changes, it stimulates enemies and hinders economic development, because no one wants to credit and invest in Kosovo in insecure economic circumstances, Kosumi said, adding that the EU and the US support the process of advancement in seeking a solution.
MY MISSION IN KOSOVO TO BE INDEPENDENT, I WILL CARRY OUT COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF SITUATION: SAYS EIDE
LONDON, June 7 (Tanjug) - Special envoy of the UN secretary general Kai Eide, who is in charge of appraising the realisation of democratic standards in Kosovo-Metohija, has said that his mission will be an independent one and that he will carry out a comprehensive review of the situation, as well as that he will try to make a realistic and authentic report in scope of the efforts in resolving the province's status.
In an interview, which the British BBC Radio broadcasted late on Monday, Eide underscored that his intention was to begin working as soon as possible - maybe next week. I will have to spend a lot of time on the terrains of Kosovo, engage in a number of visits and talks, particularly in Belgrade, in the countries of the Contact Group and neighboring countries, Eide said. His mission, as he put it, will represent a comprehensive review of the situation, and there is still no clear notion as to how long it will last.
KOSOVO POLICE TAKES CONTROL OF BRIDGE IN MITROVICA
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, June 6 (Beta) - The International Forces in Kosovo (KFOR) on June 6, handed over control of the main bridge across the Ibar river in Kosovska Mitrovica to members of the Kosovo police, the spokesman of the U.N. Police in Kosovo, Larry Miller, confirmed to BETA.
A BETA correspondent from the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica reported that only members of the police were currently on the bridge.
The U.N. Police spokesman said that mobile KFOR patrols would be near the bridge, which has divided Kosovska Mitrovica since 1999 into the northern part, mostly populated by the Serbs, and the southern part of the town settled only by Albanians.
In the past six years, the bridge has often been the scene of fighting between Serbs and Albanians, during which a number of civilians were killed. The worst clashes occurred in March 2004, when almost the whole of Kosovo was caught up in two days of violence by Albanian extremists.
Subsequently, KFOR soldiers took control of the bridge and, since then, till June 6, control of the bridge, which divides the town of Mitrovica into the Albanian and Serbian parts, has gradually been handed over to the police.
KNAUSS SAYS MOST DIPLOMATS BELIEVE KOSOVO WILL BE INDEPENDENT
PRAGUE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Most western diplomats believe Kosovo and Metohija will get some form of limited independence, and the proposal launched by Belgrade - presented in a nutshell as 'more than autonomy, less than independence' should also be considered in that sense, NGO European Stability Initiative (ESI) Director Gerald Knauss has told United States-run Radio Free Europe.
The United States recently presented three principles on which a solution for Kosovo would be based - no divisions, no unifications with neighboring countries, and no return to the status quo, Knauss specified. These three principles are a specific indication of the future status of this province, he said.
It is interesting within this context to consider the proposal of the Serbian government, inherent in the formula 'more than autonomy, less than independence,' Knauss said, pointing out that it should be seen how this idea could be implemented in practice.
Most diplomats in Belgrade, Pristina, Brussels, and Washington believe direct dialogue between the Serbian and Kosovo Albanian side will not yield many results, he said. He explained that he based this view on the fact that the two sides maintain diametrically opposite positions and that it would be illusory to expect that one of them will give in on the key issue - whether the province will be independent. The international community should simply draft a proposal on the future status of Kosovo and forward it to Belgrade and to Pristina for adoption, Knauss said.
SUPPORT TO CREATION OF REGIONAL CAPITAL MARKET
BELGRADE, June 6 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Finance Minister Igor Luksic said on Monday that investments in Montenegro's stock exchange are very attractive, adding that the securities law has created the basic legal framework for the capital market.
Speaking at an international conference on the future of the Balkans capital markets at the Hyatt hotel, Luksic said that the adoption of laws on joint-stock companies and investment funds have helped the good functioning of Montenegro's capital market, noting that bills on voluntary pension funds and the takeover of joint-stock companies are being drafted. Foreign and local investors have an equal treatment in Montenegro, Luksic said, adding that the financial market reported 70 million euros in capital inflow last year.
REFERENDUM CAUSES INSTABILITY, DOES NOT RESOLVE PROBLEMS - EU INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS
PODGORICA, June 6 (Tanjug) - The Montenegrin referendum on the state status will not resolve any of the real problems in Montenegro and the state union, but could, quite unnecessarily cause a series of problems which could attain concerning proportions in time, the International Group of Experts of the European Union has said. A referendum is unnecessary because divisions and tensions within Montenegro are already huge in the pre-referendum period, and they could well increase, the Group said in recommendations sent to the director of the EU Western Balkans Directorate, Reinhard Priebe.
This document, carried by Podgorica daily Dan on Monday, concluded, "it is realistic to expect international tensions to also increase, since the referendum threatens to turn into a battle between the winners and the losers." The Montenegrin referendum will affect the destabilization of Montenegro, Serbia and the entire region, the document said adding that the achieved degree of development of the democratic society is not such as to guarantee that the referendum decision will be generally accepted.