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DAILY SURVEY 23.06.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC: SERBIA WORKING ON CENTRAL EUROPEAN INFRASTRUCTURE GRID

Belgrade, 22 June 2017 (Beta) - Acting prime minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on June 22 that Serbia was working on "the widest infrastructure grid in Central Europe as possible" and that additional funds for concrete projects would be approved at the Western Balkans' July summit in Trieste. At a yearly meeting with the ministers of foreign affairs of the Central European Initiative in Minsk Dacic said that for sometime now, and especially in the past five years, "Serbia has made no difference between priority goals that pertain to internal reforms, European integration and regional cooperation." Serbia, he added, is working on the "broadest possible infrastructure networking" though various projects and connections to make the region competitive, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. "'The Connecting Agenda' that was set up in the format of the Western Balkan six within the Berlin Process has special importance to us. Our expectations of the upcoming Trieste Summit include authorization for additional funds for applying three specific projects worth over EUR60 million, which we presented to the European Commission as priorities," Dacic said. He said that Serbia was also partaking in the Trans-Balkan Corridor worth EUR162 million which would substantially fortify energy exchange and the region's security. Work on a gas interconnection between Serbia and Bulgaria is being done, a project in which Serbia has called for an urgent final decision on financing, Dacic said. "With all of these projects, Serbia has showed a readiness to connect to its neighbors, and the broader region, as well as the remainder of the European space," the Serbian foreign minister said.

DJORDJEVIC: PLATINUM WOLF 2017 EXERCISE SUCCESSFUL

Belgrade, 22 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic said on June 22 that a military exercise called Platinum Wolf 2017 in the South base near Bujanovac, where members of the armed forces of nine countries practiced procedures for participating in multinational peace operations had been successfully completed. Djordjevic told reporters at the Borovac training site that similar exercises would be organized in the coming period, which he said would be of a higher capacity than this year's. "The demonstrated knowledge of members of the armed forces of nine countries are the result of joint team work. This is not the end, the Borovac site will be given a more modern look and our army will continue to execute joint exercises with foreign armies in the period to come, which is an opportunity to strengthen friendship between our countries," the minister said. U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott voiced his satisfaction with "the high level of training" that the participants of the exercise had shown and the fact that Serbian and U.S. soldiers cooperated. "The U.S. has invested USD7 million in purchasing the latest equipment in the South base which enabled soldiers to train in the center for simulations without being in any real danger. This was a good opportunity for members of the National Guard of Ohio, but the Serbian army as well, to practice for participating in peace operations around the world," Scott said. Speaking about his impressions British Ambassador to Serbia Denis Keefe said that Platinum Wolf 2017 was the first exercise in the 21st century in which members of the Serbian armed forces trained side by side with soldiers from Britain. "This year is important because it marks 180 years since diplomatic ties were established between Serbia and Great Britain. We would like for cooperation with Serbia to develop equally as well in all other areas as during the holding of this exercise," the ambassador said. The Platinum Wolf 2017 exercise is taking place from June 12-23 and it involves 483 members of the armed forces of Serbia, the U.S., Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Slovenia and Montenegro.

KNEZEVIC, KOLTOVICH DISCUSS COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA, BELARUS

Belgrade, 22 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic met in Belgrade on June 22 with Belarus' minister of anti-monopoly regulations and trade, Vladimir Koltovich, to discuss the development of economic cooperation between the two countries. Knezevic said the good result Serbia had accomplished, which the most significant international institutions had recognized, was primarily the result of political stability, which was the key to any progress, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement. The two ministers, acting in the capacity of co-chairmen of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation, considered the plan of activities for improving the cooperation between Serbia and Belarus, and said that political relations between the two countries were excellent, and that their task was to turn them into even better economic relations and create as many possibilities for cooperation between companies as possible.

MISCEVIC: SERBIA HAS POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS FROM ESTONIA'S EU PRESIDENCY

Belgrade, 22 June 2017 (Beta) - The chief of the Serbian team for EU membership negotiations, Tanja Miscevic, said on June 22 that Serbia was "positively oriented regarding the role Estonia will have" in the next six months as the presiding country of the Union. Miscevic told reporters that Serbia had submitted two more negotiation positions, for Chapter 6, on company law, and Chapter 33, on financial and budgetary provisions. In her address of the media ahead of the panel discussion "From Malta to Estonia - What the new EU presidency will bring us" at the EU Info Center in Belgrade, she said that this Baltic country was very interested in the European integration of Serbia and indicated the importance of Malta's EU presidency for Serbia. "Before Malta took over the EU presidency, we were skeptical regarding their stand, because they are far away and do not know us like the neighboring countries do. However, four open chapters and one closed during Malta's presidency show how important every EU member is for Serbia," Miscevic said. She said that Serbia would present its plans for the period of Estonia's presidency at the start of July, at the meeting in Tallinn, where all EU members will participate. Estonia is to take over the EU presidency from Malta on July 1.

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