Daily Survey

Belgrade, August 10, 2012

SERBIA

SERBIA SENDS FIREFIGHTING AID TO GREEK COLLEAGUES

GUCA, August 10 (Tanjug) –Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said Thursday that the Greek authorities accepted that the Serbian firefighting teams assist in extinguishing a fire on Mount Athos, peninsula in northern Greece, which has a special staus of "monastic republic" because of its many monasteries. We will immediately send our firefighters and fire engines, Dacic said. There is also the Russian helicopter, and our helicopters are ready for extinguishing the fire to prevent its further spreading, Dacic told reporters in Guca. He said he spoke Wednesday with his Greek colleagues and offered assistance, bearing in mind that there are Serbian monasteries on Mount Athos. We just got infomation that Greek colleagues accepted this assistance, Dacic said. The Serbian Ministry of the Interior stated Wednesday that the large fire in the pine forests and the undergrowth on Mount Athos in Greece poses a serious threat to the Serbian Chilandar monastery.

PAJEVIC NEW EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OFFICE DIRECTOR

BELGRADE, August 10 (Tanjug) –The Serbian government appointed at its Thursday session Milan Pajevic the new director of the Office for European Integration, the Office said in a statement.Former Director of the Office Milica Delevic previously resigned the post, the statement says.Milan Pajevic is one of the founders of the European Movement in Serbia and of the Center for International and Security Affairs Centre (ISAC).He is currently president of the International Advisory Board of ISAC Fund, the statement says.

PROMINENT SENATOR IN CONGRESSIONAL SERBIAN CAUCUS

WASHINGTON, August 10 (Tanjug) –Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs Jeanne Shaheen has joined the Congressional Serbian American Caucus, becoming the highest ranking official of the Senate to be able to influence the U.S. administration policy on Serbia, Tanjug learned.

SERBIA – REGION

"BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ILLUSION", DODIK TOLD AFTER MEETING WITH NIKOLIC

BELGRADE, August 10 (Tanjug) –Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said on Wednesday that creating a Bosnia-Herzegovina foreign policy while disregarding the principle that all foreign policy decisions must be made through a consensus was just another proof of that country's dysfunctionality."Bosnia-Herzegovina is in a state of permanent crisis, which proves its inability to survive. It exists only because the international community maintains an illusion of it functioning, otherwise it would not exist," Dodik told reporters in Belgrade after meeting with Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic.Commenting on the vote by the Bosnia-Herzegovina representative in the UN regarding the resolution on Syria, which was not coordinated with Banja Luka officials, Dodik pointed out that Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija had violated the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the inter-party agreement made when the Council of Ministers was formed.Dodik said he would use his party's parliamentary group in the Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament to request that Lagumdzija be discharged, stressing that no one could decide on behalf of Republika Srpska except its legitimately elected officials.When asked by a reporter what the answer for the latest political crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina was, Dodik said the answer was making itself obvious.

DODIK: IT IS TIME WE GOT TOGETHER

BELGRADE, August 10 (Tanjug) –Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik has said he told Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic during their first official meeting together that now was the moment to bring the people together around a joint goal, no matter how difficult it may be."We must go through this together. Now is the opportunity to correct all the mistakes of the past 20 years. The moment calls for a mobilization, rather than destruction. This also means that everyone should assume responsibilities. Getting together is the only economic program that we can offer. There will be no magic wand for Serbia to use to attract billions. Everybody should understand this," Dodik said for daily Vecernje Novosti "."We need to find joint answers to the problems burdening the Serbs - in Kosovo, Montenegro and Croatia. We now need a common Serb policy for the region. We have to see where we stand, what we are going through and what our interest is and to fight for the interest together," said Dodik."I want to raise the issue of protection of the Serbian people, wherever they may be, because I find it to be my obligation and believe it is an obligation of all of us in decision-making places," Dodik underlined.The RS president said he had received assurances that the policy towards Kosovo-Metohija would remain basically unchanged in its main aspects but would be more clearly defined in the coming days.Up to now, the international actors' policy has been to diminish the importance of Serbia, he observed."Part of the blame for that lies with Serbia, for allowing itself to be in such a status all too often, which is due to its passivity in relations with other countries. It was silent when it came to issues concerning both itself and RS and when the Dayton Accord was grossly violated on several occasions, always to the detriment of the Serbian people, Dodik said.He added that Serbia was the most powerful state in the Balkans and that it had to become aware of its role.

KOSOVO

DREWS: BARRICADE IN MITROVICA TO BE REMOVED ASAP

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, August 10 (Tanjug) –KFOR Commander Erhard Drews stated Thursday that the barricade, which Serbs put up on the main bridge on the Ibar River in Kosovska Mitrovica, is a shame which should be removed as soon as possible.I think that this barricade is a shame not only because it prevents the freedom of movement, but rather because it is a symbol of division of a city which is capable of and ready to exist as a unity, Drews said.The KFOR commander underlined that the key principle of the international community is freedom of movement, and added that such a blockage in the middle of a city is against all principles of free Europe.When asked whether KFOR will remove the barricade located on the northern part of the Ibar Bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica, Drews said that it is believed that it should be removed as soon as possible.Drews said that the barricade on the main bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica bears greatly important political symbolism, adding that the removal of firm political symbols by military means is not good.He explained that the beliefs of the people who set up this symbol (the barricade) cannot be changed in the manner, adding that they had many situations in the past when removal of political symbols by military means did not yield good results.Therefore, one should always reason what one gets or loses by such moves, said the KFOR commander, who met with Avni Kastrati, mayor of southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.Drews stated that besides the daily problems which the other cities in Kosovo are faced with, such as unemployment and economic development, Kosovska Mitrovica has more problems which are even more sensitive than those related to other cities.We agree that ordinary citizens in Mitrovica are not the reason for such a situation. It is our joint interest to normalize the daily life of the citizens, regardless of the side of the Ibar River that they live on, Drews said after a meeting with Kastrati.We all have it clear that the economic development of Kosovska Mitrovica will be possible only when this conflict ends, Drews added.The barricade on the main bridge on the Ibar River is one of those which were put up last summer after the crisis breakout in north Kosovo, and that have not been removed yet.This barricade made of stones, large concrete blocks and gravel was reinforced with concrete. In the close vicinity, local Serbs take turns in guarding the barricade.