Daily Survey

Belgrade, May 28, 2012

SERBIA

PRESIDENT'S OATH, CONSTITUENT SESSION MAY 30 OR 31

BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Serbian parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic said Sunday that the constituent session of parliament, as well as the session at which the newly elected President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic will be sworn in, are likely to be held the same day, May 30 or 31.We have to have two sessions - one in which we will verify the mandates of deputies, which I will convene and which will be chaired by the oldest deputy - and then we will schedule a special session for the oath of Tomislav Nikolic, she said.Djukic-Dejanovic told reporters after the meeting of the Main Board of SPS, that she will meet Monday with Nikolic and propose to him that the session at which he will take his oath be held on Wednesday or Thursday.The new parliament will be constituted and Nikolic will be sworn in the same day, that is rational, Djukic Dejnaovic said.Asked whether she will talk with Nikolic about the future composition of the parliamentary majority and coalition government, Djukic Dejanovic said that she has no mandate to do so and that the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) leader Ivica Dacic is holding talks on the subject.

NIKOLIC & PUTIN: COOPERATION OF SERBIA, RUSSIA WILL BE "PROGRESSIVE"

MOSCOW, May 27 (Tanjug) - Newly elected Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic assured Russia's President Vladmir Putin Saturday that cooperation between the two countries would be "progressive".Putin said that the new Serbian president could count on Moscow's support in the implementation of his policy.The two officials met on the margins of the 13th United Russia Congress in Moscow on Saturday for about 15 minutes before the press, and then continued the conversation behind closed doors.Nikolic thanked Putin for Russia's support to Serbia on the international scene, especially when it comes to preservation of Kosovo within Serbia.I assure you that the cooperation between Serbia and Russia will be progressive. I assure you that Serbia is Russia's partner in the Balkans, he told the Russian president.Serbia is on the road toward the EU. It's a long and uncertain journey. We will organize the country in accordance with the EU rules, the newly elected Serbian president said and added that he so far had not heard that Serbia had to recognize Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.We cannot do it, even if it means we have to stop the negotiations that very moment, Nikolic stressed.He also pointed out that Serbia was committed to military neutrality according the resolution passed by the Serbian parliament.Serbia will not join NATO, he said, adding that he spoke openly about that to the citizens of Serbia in the election campaign, and won.Putin congratulated Nikolic on his victory in the presidential election and wished him to accomplish everything that he promised to the Serbian people.You can count on the help of Russia, Putin said. The position of Russia is known, said Putin. The Russian President then asked Nikolic to meet his, he said, an unusual request.I know that Boris Tadic was your opponent in the campaign. But since I worked with him in previous years, I am asking you, and it is unusual, to convey to him my greetings and my best wishes for his future work, Putin said.Putin and Nikolic then continued the conversation behind closed doors.Russia will provide a loan to the amount of 800 million U.S. dollars to Serbia, President Vladimir Putin said after a meeting with Serbian President-elect Tomislav Nicolic on Saturday.The loan will be provided for the development of the infrastructure.Russia is ready to implement projects in this field, the Russian president said.Putin noted that Russia waited for a concrete feasibility study from partners. He urged Nicolic to give a corresponding impetus to newly created executive structures.

NIKOLIC: GOVT TO BE CONSTITUTED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

BELGRADE, May 26 (Tanjug) - Newly-elected president of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic stated on Friday that he is not involved in the process of constitution of the new government coalition, and called on parties to form a government as soon as possible, adding that his task is to ensure that Serbia is a democratic country.I do not know who will form the government and it seems to me that the Democratic Party (DS), the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and parties from the previous government coalition will do this, Nikolic said and called on them to reach a decision on this matter as soon as possible so that he could initiate the constitution of the government promptly.In an interview published on the website of Radio and Television of Serbia which will be broadcast late on Friday, Nikolic said that he intends to be sworn in before the new parliament because the old parliament practically does not exist any more.Nikolic noted that he does not believe any of the parties would delay the formation of the government until the final deadline which expires in September, because everyone is aware of the difficulties this could entail for Serbia.He said that he has not been engaged in the formation of the government since he has not taken the oath of office yet, and added that he has the same information the public has on the agreement between the parties from the previous government coalition reached the election night.Nikolic once more voiced his call for the parties to constitute the government as soon as possible if such an agreement indeed exists, and reiterated that he does not see the government as an opposing partner.He said that he understands the dilemmas of DS leader Boris Tadic regarding the office of prime minister in the new government, and added that their relations have improved.Such relationships are necessary, if for no other reason because we need a consensus to resolve the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, Nikolic said. Nikolic said that if Tadic forms a government, that government should come out with a plan for Kosovo and Metohija, around which there would be agreement and that he, as president of the country, would support. He said he does not wish to negotiate on Kosovo, but to represent a united Serbia in the negotiations. It is true that the government is in charge of foreign and domestic policy, and the level of negotiations should immediately be raised to that of prime ministers or presidents, with the exception of Taci, with whom no one can negotiate as long as there is serious doubt that he carried out crimes against Serbs, Nikolic said. Nikolic said that if the government does not want to negotiate, he would ask for a mandate to negotiate himself. I do not want to hide behind a wall. But in order to negotiate, the prime minister or the president must have the support of all parties, Nikolic said. Speaking about the EU, he said that much depends on the EU and that he wants to see Serbia within the Union.For us, the European Union pathway is a matter of governing of the country, and we are due to honor the European values in accordance with the Serbian Constitution, he said.I want to be the one to clarify to the citizens the final EU preconditions in terms of Kosovo since that is something I was never told as a member of the opposition. I have to learn the requests of the countries which have recognized the independence of Kosovo, Nikolic said.All processes in the country need to speed up, Nikolic said, adding that the data he was presented with in the talks with NBS Governor Dejan Soskic are unfavorable, reiterating that therefore the government has to be formed as soon as possible due to severe financial problems which the country would not be able to resolve without the international help.My goal is to make Serbia a democratic country, and I will be the one to set the example. I believe that I made the first step towards this goal on Thursday, and I plan to establish a close cooperation with the next government so that the aims we presented in the election campaigns could be achieved, including fight against poverty, fight against corruption and crime, and fight for better living conditions, Nikolic underlined.

MIHAJLOVIC: NO MAJOR CHANGES IN POLICY TOWARDS KIM

CAGLAVICA, May 26 (Tanjug) - Serbian government spokesman Milivoje Mihajlovic said Friday he was confident there would be no major changes in Serbia's policy towards Kosovo and Metohija.The future lies in seeking pragmatic solutions for a better life of the people, Mihajlovic said, adding that no sudden changes in the country's policy should be expected, nor are they possible.Mihajlovic told KiM Radio that it was not by accident that the Kosovo-Metohija issue had been labeled as the greatest national and state interest, and the change of authority in Belgrade could not bring into question its resolution.Serbia proved that the policy of "both Kosovo and the EU" is viable and that it should continue to be pursued, he said.Serbia's goal is not just to become a member of the EU. The EU is also tools for resolving the problems in KiM, Mihajlovic added.He reiterated that Serbia would never recognise Kosovo's independence, pointing out that the independence did not depend on foreigners, Albanians or the political elite in Pristina, but rather on Belgrade's resoluteness and its political elite.He underlined that dialogue was the only way towards a just solution to the problems in Kosovo and Metohija, but also a path leading to the stabilisation of the region as a whole.Commenting on Pristina's plan for northern Kosovo, he said that their intention was to subdue that part of Kosovo, just like they had already done in the municipalities south of the Ibar River."Pristina will pay whatever it takes to make that happen and it will find support just like it did in the south," Mihajlovic said.

WARLICK: SERBIA SHOULD FORM GOVERNMENT QUICKLY

BOR, May 26 (Tanjug) - U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick said on Friday it was in the U.S. interest for Serbia to form a new government as soon as possible, and that the job should be done by the parties that had won the parliamentary election.Warlick told reporters in Bor, eastern Serbia, she did not wish to comment on Socialist Party of Serbia leader Ivica Dacic's statement that western countries were pushing for a government formed by the Democratic Party and Serbian Progressive Party.It is much more important to form the government as soon as possible, so it could focus on economic development, EU integration and new investments, she noted.Warlick stated she had informed Serbia's president elect Tomislav Nikolic about the U.S. view that it was in the interest of both the U.S. and Serbia that Serbia got a new government as soon as possible.According to the ambassador, Nikolic said he was committed to continuing Serbia's EU integration and improving relations with the U.S..She avoided answering whether Nikolic had told her the Serbian Progressive Party would not form a government with Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia and added that such a question should be directed at Nikolic and leaders of other parties.Commenting on whether the relations between the U.S. and Serbia would remain the same after Nikolic's election for president of Serbia, Warlick remarked there was no reason not to continue the good cooperation between the two nations.

PACE: ELECTIONS IN KEEPING WITH CE STANDARDS

BELGRADE, May 26 (Tanjug) - The Standing Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted a report of the Ad hoc Committee for observing the elections in Serbia, which says that the parliamentary and presidential elections in the country were held in line with the CE standards, the Serbian parliament released in a statement.The observers visited 182 polling stations in Serbia and concluded that the voting was held properly and that the counting of votes was carried out in a professional manner, the statement reads.In the report, the PACE committee gave recommendations for a better equipping of polling stations and easier access for disabled persons, issuing of electoral rolls in both Cyrillic and Latin scripts in areas with a mixed population, and better training of polling station staff in rural areas.

KACIN: DEFAMATION OF NIKOLIC IS UNDEMOCRATIC

BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Head of the European Parliament delegation for Southeastern Europe Jelko Kacin said on Monday Serbia needed a stable government that would start the accession talks with the EU as soon as possible.The Serbian people made a choice in the elections and it is now up to the political elite to form a stable and strong government, he told reporters at the Belgrade Chamber of Commerce.The defamation of president elect Tomislav Nikolic is non-European and undemocratic, he noted, stressing that Brussels had recognized the results of the election and that the remaining political elite should do so as well and show they were pro-European in their actions.The fact that the far right parties failed to win seats in the parliament indicates that the new parliament is going to be pro-European, which is a good basis for Serbia and its government, as it has to fight to get the start date for the accession talks, Kacin remarked.

SERBIA – REGION

DODIK READY TO COOPERATE WITH NIKOLIC

BANJA LUKA/BELGRADE, May 26 (Tanjug) - President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik stated in Belgrade on Friday that he is ready to cooperate with Serbia's newly elected president, Tomislav Nikolic, on stabilization of Serbs in the region within his constitutional powers and in keeping with the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between Serbia and Republika Srpska.Dodik said that he respects the election will of the Serbian citizens, but that he regrets that Boris Tadic lost the elections, adding that considering the constellation of political forces in Serbia, this elections outcome brings uncertainly. The position of president in all parts of the region can be problematic if there is no efficient government which he could correspond with in terms of political values, he said.It is crucial for the countries like Serbia to have united political powers, but if this unity fails, Serbia and its citizens will pay a high price, Dodik said according to Banja Luka-based media. Dodik took part in a constitutive session of the organization committee for marking the 70th anniversary of the Kozara Battle, one of the major battles in Yugoslavia during World War II.

PUSIC: WE ARE READY TO COOPERATE WITH NIKOLIC

SARAJEVO, May 27 (Tanjug) - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Vesna Pusic said that her country is ready to cooperate with the newly elected President of Serbia Nikolic. She admitted that she expected a different result in the second round of Serbian presidential election, but added that whoever comes to power in Serbia must take into account the possibilities of cooperation with neighboring countries if they want to achieve something. Croatia is ready to cooperate, but it takes two, Pusic said. Forming the government of Serbia is now in the forefront, she noted.We shall see what that government will be like. After that, as far as Croatia is concerned, the agenda is more or less the same as before, Pusic said.In what way the Serbian government will set its policy I cannot predict, because we have not begun to seriously discuss anything Pusic told Turkey's Anatolia agency in Serbian language.

JOSIPOVIC FOR POLICY OF RECONCILIATION WITH SERBIA

ZAGREB, May 26 (Tanjug) - Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has stated that, after Tomislav Nikolic's victory in presidential election in Serbia, he would like for the policy of reconciliation with Serbia to continue.Relations between Croatia and Serbia will largely depend on whether Nikolic is ready to take up new, revised positions, Josipovic said, adding that it is not unusual that politicians and policies evolve."Regardless of his closeness to the Chetnik movement and (leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav) Seselj, I would like the policy of reconciliation to continue," the Croatian president told daily Jutarnji list.