Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 04.09.2018.
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BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says that considerable progress has been made over the 15 years since Serbia was admitted to the Council of Europe, and that Serbia has fulfilled nearly all the obligations it undertook. Those were Dacic's words during the Sept. 3 farewell visit of Head of the CoE Office in Belgrade, Tim Cartwright, whom he thanked for excellent cooperation, the Serbian foreign ministry reported in a press release. Dacic underlined the importance Serbia had attached to the adoption and implementation of the CoE standards and principles in the context of European integration, the ministry released. Cartwright is taking over the post of head of the CoE office in Tunisia.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and the Japanese ambassador to Serbia, Junichi Maruyama, planted a Japanese cherry tree, a sakura, outside the Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. The first of 30 tree saplings was planted on Sept. 3, and the others will be in October and November. The sponsors from the Association of Japanese Entrepreneurs for South Eastern Europe invited the Belgraders to visit the park next spring, to see the cherry trees in full bloom. Ambassador Maruyama said in Serbia the new school year starts on Sept. 1, whereas in Japan it begins during the cherry blossom season, in April. "This is why it's a very nice gesture. The sakura, which blossoms in April has been planted on the first day of the new school year," the ambassador said. Minister Dacic said a tree was always a powerful symbol, but that the new saplings were particularly important, as they had been planted in a very important year for the Serbian-Japanese relationship, which began with a visit to Serbia by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Serbian prime minister said that bilateral economic ties had grown stronger, and that Japanese companies were welcome in Serbia. "I hope these cherry trees will grow and branch out just like the Serbian-Japanese friendship," Dacic said. The minister also thanked the ambassador for his country's support to Serbia over the past 20 years.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister met on Sept. 3 with the president of the European Research Center (ERC), Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, to discuss opportunities for Serbian researchers to get access to larger-scale funding for their research. Brnabic said that her government's priorities were education, science and technology, underlining that a link between research and the economy was yet another government objective, the Serbian cabinet reported. The ERC budget is EUR13 billion, invested in different research projects, two of them in Serbia. The center is part of the Horizon 2020 innovation project, offering support to top-level research initiatives. Professor Bourguignon said that Serbia possessed great scientific potentials, and that a new era in funding research had emerged, resting on three pillars - excellence in research, leadership in industry and an area of social challenge, the cabinet quoted the ERC president as saying. The professor said that the focus had to be on areas with underdeveloped research infrastructure, allowing industries and the private sector to compete for ERC grants. He also supported the idea of opening a regional ERC office for donations, to help regional researchers in the application process.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia Arne Sannes Bjornstad on Sept. 3 thanked the Serbian government for its assistance in dealing with the migrant crisis, and particularly commended Labor, Employment and Veteran and Social Affairs Minister Zoran Djordjevic for excellent cooperation. Djordjevic and Ambassador Bjornstad visited the "Sremski Front" Elementary School in Molovin, near Sid, on the occasion of the new school year and the opening of a reconstructed school facility, according to a government statement. "I am very happy with how the school looks after the reconstruction works and I am glad that our children will have nicer and better conditions for education. I am particularly pleased that migrant children, who will be staying in the Sid municipality for a longer period, will attend classes here during this school year, because the Serbian government wants to ensure a carefree childhood for these children too," Djordjevic said. He wished all pupils a happy first day of school, telling them to enjoy the most beautiful and carefree part of their lives - childhood. Ambassador Bjornstad said that investments in schools represented investments in children, who were the future of the country. The "Sremski Front" Elementary School in Molovin is one of the educational institutions where reconstruction works have been completed under the project "Solidarity Network - second year." The works were financed by the Norwegian Embassy, and the execution was assisted by NGO Group 484.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Since the migrant crisis broke out, the Japanese government has donated over EUR7million to Serbia, to help the country overcome its consequences, said a state secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, Nenad Neric. "The best illustration of Japan's understanding of the gravity of the problem is a decision to donate EUR470,000 more to help the municipalities of Sid, Bujanovac, Presevo and Bosilegrad," Neric said. The four municipalities lie close to the border, and they need to cope with a stronger inflow of migrants. For instance, accommodation capacities in Bosilegrad are fully occupied, while the occupancy rate in Bujanovac is 90 percent.


BRUSSELS, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said on Sept. 3 that there is a realistic chance of reaching a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia in the coming months. "I believe there is a realistic chance that Presidents (Aleksandar) Vucic and (Hashim) Thaci could reach an agreement on all open issues between Belgrade and Pristina, a comprehensive, legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations between the two sides, an agreement in full compliance with international law, which can contribute to the stabilization of the entire region," Mogherini said in a speech to EU ambassadors in Brussels. The EU high represenative said the EU had to "continue its work in the Balkans and with the Balkans, with determination, persistence and stubbornness," adding that "the last year was incredibly intensive," and that the "coming months will be even more decisive." "Let me play with the dates, as next year, in 2019, it will be 20 years since the war in Kosovo. I believe it's time to end the conflict. I believe that we need to do everything we can with partners in Europe, the region and on the international scene, starting with the U.N. Security Council, to support the talks through dialogue, and within the international community," Mogherini said. The EU high representative recalled that Athens and Skopje had reached an agreement before summer, and that a referendum on the agreement would take place in a few weeks, adding that the next year will be a dynamic year for the preparations for the opening of accession talks for Macedonia and Albania. "These opportunities have to be used now - this year is the year. It's not about a concession, it is in the interest of all European citizens, both within the EU and outside the EU. It is very clear in the Balkans today that the EU is the reference point. Allow me to say to everyone fearing that other forces are becoming increasingly present in the region - whenever we are present, there is no room for others," Mogherini added.



BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Zorana Mihajlovic on Sept. 3 met with Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia Attila Pinter to discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of infrastructure and transportation, including the Belgrade-Budapest railway modernization project. "Serbia has launched works on two railway sections and has signed a commercial agreement for a third stretch and we would like to see the project making progress also on the Hungarian side, considering that it is a Chinese-Serbian-Hungarian project, which would not only link Serbia and Hungary, but also this entire part of Europe," Mihajlovic said. Pinter informed Mihajlovic about the project-related activities in Hungary, where reconstruction works were expected to be launched by the end of the year, according to a release from the ministry. Also discussed at the meeting was the implementation of a framework agreement on economic and technical cooperation on infrastructure projects, signed between the two governments at their joint session in February, and the construction of the so-called Fruska Gora corridor, that is, an expressway linking Novi Sad and Ruma. Mihajlovic and Ambassador Pinter also talked about bilateral cooperation in the fields of water and road transportation, focusing on long border waiting times.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2018 (Beta) - Minister without portfolio responsible for innovation and technological development Nenad Popovic said on Sept. 3 that cooperation between Serbian scientific and research organizations with Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (ROSATOM) was a huge opportunity for knowledge transfer. Speaking at a seminar at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Popovic said that ROSATOM, as a global leader in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful uses, operated 330 branch offices with a staff of 250,000. "ROSATOM is a powerful system, providing technical and technological solutions for peaceful purposes, and operates 16 overseas offices in European countries. Today, they are starting cooperation with scientific and research organizations in Serbia," he said. Popovic further said that ROSATOM real life examples could help in resolving a number of issues related to the health care system, efficiency in agriculture and modernization of energy systems. Serbia and ROSATOM signed a cooperation agreement in Sochi in May this year. The seminar at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, organized by ROSATOM, was attended by some 100 Serbian firms and scientific institutions. Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Serbia Andrei Khripunov said that relations between Serbia and Russia "continue to develop dynamically." According to him, bilateral trade has been reporting an upward trend in the energy sector, metallurgy and other domains, noting that " there are opportunities for cooperation in science, innovations and technological development in the future." ROSATOM International Cooperation Department Head Boris Arseyev said that the company had been developing modern and environmentally sound projects. ROSATOM Vice President Vadim Titov said that the company had 8,500 scientists dealing with innovations, noting that 443 patents were registered last year.


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