BELGRADE, March 26, 2003
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
KOSOVO – METOHIJA
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
MICUNOVIC MEETS OSCE AMBASSADOR MASSARI
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - Serbia and Montenegro Parliament Speaker Dragoljub Micunovic on March 25 talked to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Ambassador Maurizio Massari on the manner of implementing state of emergency measures and the new union's parliament, the Parliament announced.
Micunovic and Massari agreed that actions taken during the state of emergency must be limited to determining individual not collective responsibility and that responsible individuals must be dealt with in a proper legal manner, the announcement said.
They also talked about "the need to implement the state of emergency measures in a highly balanced manner, in order to preserve all civic and human rights and freedoms."
Micunovic stressed that the state of emergency was expected to be lifted by the end of April at the latest.
SVILANOVIC SAYS SIX TO SEVEN NEW HAGUE INDICTMENTS
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - Federal Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic has said that there is a possibility that the Hague War Crimes Tribunal will bring six to seven new indictments against citizens of Serbia and Montenegro.
"Basically, the prosecution has practically completed most of its work," and we can expect six to seven more indictments against our citizens or a total of about 40 indictments that could be brought, Svilanovic told the March 26 issue of Blic.
He added that "the others (indictments) will be raised against citizens of neighboring states and members of other nations."
TRIBUNAL WILL NOT INFLUENCE ACCESSION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGRO INTO COUNCIL OF EUROPE, HELMANN
PODGORICA, March 25 (Tanjug) - Belgrade office information coordinator of the Tribunal in The Hague Matias Helmann dismissed on Tuesday the possibility that Serbia and Montenegro's failure to meet all obligations towards that court could influence the accession of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro into the Council of Europe.
The Tribunal in The Hague is not posing any conditions, Hellman told Radio Antena M, commenting on the possibility that the court will make conditional the entry of the state union into the Council of Europe on its cooperation with the court in The Hague.
Hellman recalled that the tribunal in The Hague was simply informing the UN Security Council, the international community in general and certain influential states about whether some state is fulfilling its obligations towards the tribunal or not.
DJUKANOVIC ANNOUNCES RATIONALIZATION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGRO DIPLOMACY
PODGORICA, March 25 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic has said it is necessary to carry out a rationalization of the Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Ministry, i.e. to reduce the number of embassies Serbia and Montenegro has abroad, since former Yugoslav diplomacy had a "megalomaniac character".
"What we need now is a rationalisation, so that the diplomatic interests of both Serbia and Montenegro could be fully represented," Djukanovic told the state television late on Tuesday.
The Montenegrin premier once again said the complete personnel that had been proposed by the Socialist People's Party (SNP) would be withdrawn from the Serbia-Montenegro embassies.
LJAJIC MEETS WITH SLOVAK AMBASSADOR
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - Human and Minority Rights Minister of Serbia and Montenegro Rasim Ljajic met on March 25 with the Slovak ambassador in Belgrade, Miroslav Lajcak, a release from Ljajic's office said.
The release says that ambassador Lajcak expressed great satisfaction with the position of Slovaks in Serbia and Montenegro and support for the forming of an ethnic Slovak National Council. Lajcek stressed that this move will contribute to Slovaks' even better and faster integration and create conditions for even more constructive cooperation between Belgrade and Bratislava.
MOMIR STOJANOVIC NEW HEAD OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO ARMY SECURITY
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - The Supreme Defense Council appointed on March 25 Col. Momir Stojanovic head of the security administration of the General Staff of the Army of Serbia and Montenegro, a release by the Supreme Defense Council said.
The release said that before this latest appointment, Stojanovic served as the head of the operations section of the Pristina corps headquarters.
The Supreme Defense Council decided on March 20 to retire Gen. Aca Tomic, head of the army security administration, from professional service.
TALKS ON RUSSIA'S CLEARING DEBT TO COUNTRIES OF FORMER YUGOSLAVIA TO END ON WEDNESDAY
BELGRADE, March 25 (Tanjug) - Countries which emerged from the former Yugoslavia and the Russian Federation held talks at the National Bank of Serbia on Tuesday aimed at defining the clearing account claims, which would be divided in the succession process, and the talks will end on Wednesday, it was said.
Authorized representative for the division of assets and liabilities Veroljub Dugalic will hold a news conference on this issue on Wednesday, with the attendance of representatives of the Russian Finance Ministry and countries of the former Yugoslavia, the statement said.
A protocol on debts between the former SFRY and Soviet Union (the latter's debts were taken over by the Russian Federation) was signed in Moscow in late January, estimating the total claims of the former Yugoslavia's successor-countries from the Russian Federation to about 1.3 billion clearing dollars.
Serbia and Montenegro are entitled to 38 percent of this amount.
HUNGARY TO INTRODUCE VISAS FOR CITIZENS OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO ON NOV. 1
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - The Hungarian ambassador in Belgrade, Jozef Pandur, said on March 25 that Hungary is obliged to introduce a visa regime for citizens of Serbia and Montenegro by Nov. 1 at the latest, but added that the procedure will be considerably simplified.
The final date of the introduction of visas and the list of benefits will be known after the end of the talks with the Foreign Ministry of Serbia and Montenegro and after consultations with the European Union, Pandur said, stressing that the visas will be valid for entry into Hungary but not into countries signatories of the Schengen agreement.
Pandur said the Hungarian draft of the agreement with Serbia and Montenegro on the new border crossing regime provides for moderate visa taxes, exemption for persons with official and diplomatic passports, and the issuing of visas with maximum validity, the length of which has yet to be determined.
The Hungarian authorities are also offering a simplified application form, benefits for young tourists and student exchange programs, for business trips and trips whose aim is to keep families and friends in touch, he said.
POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED ASSASSIN IN DJINDJIC MURDER
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - Police have arrested Zvezdan Jovanovic, assistant commander of the police special operations unit, under the suspicion that he shot Serbian premier Zoran Djindjic from a sniper rifle on March 12, Zoran Zivkovic, the new Serbian premier, told a March 25 news conference.
Zvezdan "Zveki" Jovanovic, born in Pec in 1965, was arrested on March 24. He is being held in custody for questioning.
Police also arrested Sasa "Pele" Pejakovic, a member of the same unit, for his role in planning the murder together with Jovanovic and the other members of the Zemun gang, Zivkovic said.
Pejakovic was born in Subotica in 1971.
Zivkovic said that investigators dug up a Heckler and Koch G3 sniper rifle in New Belgrade on March 25, and that it was believed to be the murder weapon.
Dusan "Gumar" Maricic has been dismissed as commander of the special operations unit and is also being detained for further questioning, Zivkovic said.
The premier expressed content with the investigation, stressing that all of the culprits in the murder would be brought to justice as soon as the investigation ended.
EXPERT EXAMINATION OF RIFLE CONFIRMS IDENTITY OF DJINDJIC'S ASSASSIN
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - The results of the examination of the HecklerKoch G3 sniper rifle made by ballistics experts "have proved unequivocally" that Zvezdan Jovanovic shot at and killed Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic on March 12 with this rifle, the Serbian Interior Ministry said late on March 25.
The Ministry said that "the sniper rifle was found today among stones in New Belgrade, where it was hidden after the assassination of Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic."
GOVERNMENT DISBANDS POLICE SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - The Serbian government has disbanded the police special operations unit known as the Red Berets, after the latest breakthroughs in the investigation into the murder of Serbian premier Zoran Djindjic, the government said late on March 25.
Members of the unit have been ordered to hand in their weapons, equipment, uniforms, official identification, a government statement said.
The government added that the unit's base in Kula, Vojvodina, including all of its weaponry and equipment had been taken over by the Gendarmerie.
"The Ministry of the Interior will take all necessary measures and harmonize all acts, pertaining to the special operations unit, with this decision in 30 days from its adoption. This decision is declared in effect," the statement said.
SITUATION REGULAR IN RED BERETS' CAMP FOLLOWING DECISION TO DISBAND UNIT
KULA, March 25 (Beta) - The situation in the camp of the Serbian Interior Ministry's Special Operations Units in Kula is regular following the Serbian government's decision to disband the unit, and no signs of any extraordinary activity can be detected.
An hour before the media broadcast the government decision, three BMW cars, two jeeps and two Black Marias entered the camp.
The vehicles are still inside the camp, and, according to BETA's sources close to the Serbian government, they were driven by members of the gendarmerie.
The Serbian government decided to disband the Special Operations Unit after the latest breakthrough in the investigation into the assassination of Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic, an announcement issued after an extraordinary Cabinet session late on March 25 said.
NUMEROUS NGOs SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT'S CRACKDOWN ON CRIMINALS AND EXTREMISTS
BELGRADE, March 25 (Beta) - A group of 29 nongovernment organizations in Serbia expressed on March 25 their support for the Serbian government's efforts to bring to justice members of criminal gangs, the police, the army and the parties that "had a hand in the planning and execution of Slobodan Milosevic's criminal policies."
"We are encouraging the government to take all the measures necessary to eliminate from the legislature and government services all those who by action or non-action protected war criminals and other criminals, turning Serbia into a shelter for wrongdoers," says the statement issued by 29 NGOs, including the Belgrade Circle and the Helsinki Human Rights Committee.
The NGOs say that "one of the greatest protectors of false heroes is the last president of Yugoslavia, Vojislav Kostunica" because he "protected the former head of the state security service, Radomir Markovic, and Milosevic's generals" and "called on Serbia to sympathize with war crimes indictees."
The statement also says that the NGOs support the government in its efforts "to cleanse Serbia of war and other criminals, to establish good cooperation with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal and the Council of Europe," as well as to ensure citizens' safety and enforce the rule of law in the country.
SERBIAN FINANCE MINISTER ANNOUNCES REGULATIONS AIMED AT PROMOTING CAPITAL MARKET
BELGRADE, March 25 (Tanjug) - Serbia's capital market is not a serious factor for the development of the economy and that's why the government will try to speed up the adoption of necessary regulations aimed at promoting this market, Serbian Minister of Finance and Economy Bozidar Djelic said on Tuesday. By the end of the year, the government will adopt at least three laws - on enterprises, investment and pension funds - in order to strengthen the capital market, Djelic announced at a round table on the capital market and increase of its efficiency, held at the Belgrade Stock Exchange.
In order to protect small investors, the Serbian government will prepare a replacement of state-issued old hard currency savings bonds by other securities that would be tradable on the international capital market, he said.
Djelic said that at its Wednesday's session, the government would adopt a decision on the issue of short-term state securities and that a decision on long-term securities would be adopted later on.
The initial issue of these securities should start in May, the minister said and added that citizens would be able to buy them too.
SERBIAN FINANCE MINISTER ANNOUNCES NEW INFORMATION ABOUT MONEY LAUNDERING
BELGRADE, March 25 (Tanjug) - Serbian Finance Minister Bozidar Djelic on Tuesday announced that the Serbian government would soon disclose some information about the involvement of organized crime in money laundering through trade in state-issued old hard currency savings bonds.
"One should not let groups of criminals trade in state bonds," Djelic said at a round table on the capital market at the Belgrade Stock Market.
"Serbia must not be a magnet for the laundering of dirty capital," Djelic said. Minister of Economy and Privatization Aleksandar Vlahovic said that the commission's job was to prevent such forms of trade especially at public auctions in the privatization process.
According to information available to the Ministry of Economy and Privatization, not a single money laundering transaction has been registered in privatization, Vlahovic said and added that, if this happened, such an auction would be annulled and 70 percent of capital of such an enterprise would be taken by the Auction Fund and would undergo the sale process again.
"Presently, we have no knowledge of any involvement of persons from the search warrant (those involved in the murder of premier Zoran Djindjic) in money laundering through the auction privatization," Vlahovic said.
DESK REGGIO EMILIA BEGINS WORK
KRAGUJEVAC, March 25 (Tanjug) - A project for the cooperation of businessmen from central Serbia and the Italian Reggio Emilia region, dubbed Desk Reggio Emilia, started functioning in Kragujevac on Tuesday.
The project, initiated by the Agency for the Development of Smallscale and Medium Companies from the Sumadija and Morava River Basin regions, with the financial assistance of UNOPS, will last one year.
MILOSAVLJEVIC AT STABILITY PACT MEETING
BELGRADE, March 25 (Tanjug) - Serbian Health Minister prof dr Tomica Milosavljevic presented at a ministerial meeting of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe plans for reducing the influence of violence on the health of the population, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
The meeting, which was held in Zagreb on March 23 and 24, was devoted to analyzing reports of the World Health Organization on violence and health.
Also attending was WHO regional director for Europe, and the health ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, the statement said.
KOSOVO – METOHIJA
BELGRADE REQUESTS HALTING OF TRANSFER OF POWERS TO KOSOVO INSTITUTIONS
BELGRADE, Mar 25 (Tanjug) - Serbian Deputy Premier and President of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic urged Tuesday evening UNMIK chief Michael Steiner to freeze the transfer of powers from the international administration to Kosovo interim institutions and the start of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue for a period of 60 t0 90 days.
If UNMIK refuses, it will bear the responsibility for possible consequences, Covic told Serbian TV following the announcement that Steiner will appoint Wednesday a council for transferring additional powers to Kosovo interim institutions. Any hasty moves or lack of understanding for what is happening in central Serbia and Belgrade will lead to a conflict, Covic warned.
The entire procedure should be halted now as it is very dangerous, otherwise a conflict should not come as a surprise, Covic said. It is obvious that the Serb community will not allow Kosovo-Metohija to slide into independence completely, Covic underlined.
In line with the Resolution 1244, the transfer of powers does not mean independence but a high degree of autonomy, Covic noted, adding that the Serbian government will continue implementing its strategy on Kosovo initiated by the late Premier Zoran Djindjic.
Covic described as too hasty the requests for replacing Steiner made by the Serb National Council and the advisor to the Serbian premier for Kosovo Branko Radujko, and noted that regardless of the Serb community's dissatisfaction with Steiner, his replacement is solely under the jurisdiction of the UN Security Council.
Covic and Steiner are due to confer next week in Pristina.
STEINER'S MOVE FAVORS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT KOSOVO, TRAJKOVIC
BELGRADE, March 25 (Tanjug) - The decision of UNMIK chief to transfer his competencies to Albanian institutions is in the service of the creation of an independent Kosovo and Metohija and is directly distancing Belgrade from talks on a final solution for Kosovo, which under Resolution 1244 is a part of the state of Serbia and Montenegro, assessed on Tuesday Serbian Resistance Movement (SPOT) president and president of the Movement for Kosovo and Metohija Momcilo Trajkovic.
"Steiner's attempt to transfer competencies to the institutions of the Albanian society, which indicates his evident immaturity and unreadiness to take into consideration the Serbian community, is directly in the service of the building of an independent Kosovo and Metohija," Trajkovic said at a press conference, on the occasion of the setting up of the Regional Council of the Movement for Kosovo and Metohija in Belgrade.
NATO OFFICIAL SAYS NO DIVISION OF KOSOVO
PRISTINA, March 25 (Beta) - NATO information chief Jamie Shea said in Pristina on March 25 that NATO would neither allow the return of Serb forces to Kosovo, nor a division of the province.
Shea told students of the Pristina University that NATO wished to build a lasting peace in Kosovo. The former NATO spokesman assured his audience that the international armed forces would not withdraw from Kosovo until there was absolute peace in the area.
Shea, who came to Pristina on the occasion of the fourth anniversary since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, said that the situation in Kosovo was now much better, but added there was still room for improvement.
"One of the factors for the admittance of Kosovo to the EU is the will of the people, but also their ability which they will prove to govern their country and thus become a stabilizing factor for the entire region," Shea said.
When the government proves it is European in nature, capable of running the economy, fighting organized crime, and keeping all citizens safe, then a debate might begin on the final status of Kosovo, Shea stressed.
MONTENEGRIN GOVERNMENT SUBMITS TO PARLIAMENT BILL ON ACCEPTANCE OF CE STATUTE
PODGORICA, Mar 25 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin government submitted Tuesday to the parliament a proposal to give in emergency procedure to the Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) parliament its approval for passing a law on acceptance of the Council of Europe Statute.
The government approved this proposal keeping in mind that acceptance of the Statute is a pre-condition for SCG membership in the CE, expected soon, a statement issued after the session says.
The commitment to CE membership is an important element of Montenegro's strategic commitment to becoming a member of the European family of democratic nations and to its active integration in European and Euro-Atlantic organizations, the statement says.
MONTENEGRIN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO ENSURE THAT CITIZENS TRAVEL TO EU WITHOUT VISAS
PODGORICA, March 25 (Tanjug) - The Montenegrin government's final goal in the field of visa regime is the abolishment of visas for Montenegrin citizens who plan to travel to EU countries, Montenegrin Foreign Ministry Consular Sector head Dragan Sekulovic said on Tuesday.
He said that the Foreign Ministry of Serbia and Montenegro was also taking some steps to that end. "We believe that in the process of visa regime harmonization, Serbia would understand Montenegro's needs and observe the fact that since 2000 Montenegro has had its autonomous visa regime that differs from Serbia's visa regime because it is much more liberal and observes the needs of Montenegro as a tourist destination."
Sekulovic said that Montenegro also observed the needs and demands of tighter measures in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. Sekulovic said that under the Montenegrin visa regime, citizens of 48 countries could enter and stay in Montenegro for up to 30 days without visas and that citizens of the countries which emerged from the former Yugoslavia could enter Montenegro only with personal identity cards.
"With the aim of further liberalization of the visa regime, the current activities of the Montenegrin Foreign Ministry are aimed at creating better conditions and improving the technical equipment at our border crossings, which would make us candidates for the alteration of visa regime towards our citizens by the European Union, i.e. Schengen countries," Sekulovic said.