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DAILY SURVEY 01.10.2018.
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SERBIA

VUCIC: PRISTINA'S MOVES THREATEN PEACE, VIOLATE MULTIPLE AGREEMENTS

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Pristina's moves on Sept. 29 and the entry of Kosovo's special units into the north of the territory threatened the peace. "An attempt was made to elicit a response from Serbia that they, together with part of the international community, could use to demonize our country," Vucic said to a reporter in Belgrade on Sept. 29. The president explained that the Albanian side broke several agreements, the Brussels agreement, the Agreement on Freedom of Movement, the U.N. Security Council Resolution and the Military-Technical Agreement. Vucic added that between 110 and 130 members of three different special police units of Kosovo went to Lake Gazivode, that all of them were Albanians, and that no one had contacted the regional commander for the North, a Serb. "They had nothing to do in the north of Kosovo armed with rifles," Vucic was said.

VUCIC: WHAT SHOULD WE REFRAIN FROM

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sept. 29 that he would rather not comment on the European Union's reaction to the events in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, and asked what exactly it was that the Serbian side should refrain from. "What do we need to refrain from? What have we done? I opened a factory in Nis. Was that a Serbian sin, too? What have we done to the Albanians, anywhere? What did we do to make them trample every agreement that we signed? What else should we refrain from? Or, perhaps, you should refrain from hypocrisy, if you can," Vucic said.

VUCIC SAYS HE WILL ASK PUTIN FOR SUPPORT IN INTERNATIONAL FORUMS

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sept. 29 that he would ask Russian President Vladimir Putin at an upcoming meeting on Oct. 2 for support in all international forums. He said Serbia had informed the ambassadors of Russia and the U.S. of the events in northern Kosovo on Sept. 29. "I am going to have a meeting with Putin and we will discuss every important issue, including, of course, Kosovo," Vucic told a news conference.

VUCIC SAYS HE DID NOT WANT TO GO TO U.N. BECAUSE HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO SAY

BELGRADE, 28 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sept. 28 that he had not gone to New York for the United Nations General Assembly because it would have meant having to talk to Albanian, European and international representatives, but that he did not know what to say. "I want fundamental progress. If you are ready, I will fly to Brussels, or to Greenland, right away," Vucic told a news conference in Nis, adding that he had no desire to listen to the same old stories. After meeting with representatives of southern Serbian districts, he told reporters that he was happy with the Serbian delegation's performance at the U.N. General Assembly, saying that they had done a good job. "I like it better in Nis than in New York. I will go to New York only if there is something I can solve, and I knew I could not. I had confidence in (Prime Minister) Ana Brnabic and in (Foreign Minister) Ivica (Dacic)," Vucic said. He added that a lot of people were critical of the government for not negotiating on the monasteries and churches of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, but that the Serbian delegation had submitted a concrete proposal for solving this matter.

BRNABIC AT U.N.: SERBIA COMMITTED TO PEACE, COMPROMISE

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said in New York that Serbia would remain committed to finding a compromise, "however difficult" and "sometimes hopeless" the dialog with Pristina may be, adding that support was needed from the international community to advance the dialog. In her speech in the General Debate of the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly early on Sept. 28 Central European Time, she said compromise was necessary to ensure peace and prosperity for all in the region, stressing that Serbia was committed to peace and "behaving as an adult." "Serbia will continue demonstrating readiness to compromise, which is far from easy; but in that we need a counterpart which is politically bold, responsible, committed and trustworthy, and that has not been the case thus far," the prime minister said, adding that what was needed was the unwavering support of the international community. According to her, Serbia will insist on the implementation of the Brussels Agreement and establishing the Community of Serb Municipalities, adding that the Balkan state would continue to be tolerant and patient. Brnabic said the nation's strategic goal was to join the European Union, and remarked that Serbia wanted to be a part of the EU because its fundamental value was peace. Brnabic went on to say that regional cooperation and stability were also of great importance. In a region known for "our excessive emotions, sacrifices," she said, Serbia strives to be more reasonable and pragmatic, and "proud of its victories and not of its losses."

VUCIC PUTS SERBIAN MILITARY ON HIGH ALERT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

BELGRADE, 30 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had ordered that the Serbian military be on high alert until further notice, explaining he would release a separate order to reverse the decision, the Ministry of Defense reported on Sept. 30. Earlier on Sept. 30 President Vucic had a meeting with the Serbian army chief-of-staff, Milan Mojsilovic, and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, and the defense ministry said the two briefed the president on the level of combat readiness and the status of his order. "The president was satisfied with the energy, effort and speed of all members of the Army of Serbia, but was deeply concerned over the events in Kosovo and Metohija," Vulin said. The Serbian president ordered on Sept. 29 that the Serbian army remain on high alert until further notice, and the Serbian interior minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic ordered the police director, Vladimir Rebic, to do the same with the special police. Kosovo's ROSU special units, armed and wearing masks, were deployed early on Sept. 29 very close to the Gazivode dam and artificial lake. The deployment was for the safety of Hashim Thaci during his visit to the Gazivode lake and Brnjak crossing.

LJAJIC: READMISSION DEAL WITH IRAN SOON

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - The foreign ministries of Serbia and Iran are adjusting the wording of a readmission deal, which creates the legal grounds to return anyone who abuses the visa-free relationship between the two countries, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic has said. Ljajic told the Sept. 29 issue of the Politika daily that finalizing this agreement would be good for Serbia, noting that he also expected a positive response from the European Union. "We do not want to and will not jeopardize our 'white Schengen' in any way. The visa-free regime with the EU is our absolute priority over all else," said Ljajic, who is also the minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications.
Serbian EU Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic told Politika that the matter of adjusting visa policy was not an individual state affair, but one of the entire Community. "This is about you, as a member, needing to introduce visas for all states whose citizens need a visa to the EU. And that makes sense when you are a member state, especially for security, but also socioeconomic reasons. What states those are is specified by special EU regulations," she said. She added that Serbian borders were safe for all, adding that this had been demonstrated during the migrant crisis, and that anyone from the EU could check for themselves and see that.

KOCIJANCIC: EU EXPECTS CALM, RESTRAINT FROM BELGRADE AND PRISTINA

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - A spokesperson for the EU High Representative, Maja Kocijancic, said the European Union (EU) expected all parties to demonstrate calm and restraint amidst the tensions that had risen over a visit by Hashim Thaci to the north of Kosovo on Sept. 29. When asked for a comment on Thaci's arrival in the north of Kosovo alongside a ROSU special police unit, and the reaction of the Serbian authorities, Kocijancic said to Beta that the EU took such situations very seriously and "is maintaining close contacts with all of the relevant actors, including KFOR." "As always, we expect all parties to react calmly, and with restraint," Federica Mogherini's spokesperson said.

ECONOMY

ZUMTOBEL OPENS LED LIGHTING FACTORY IN NIS

BELGRADE, 29 September 2018 (Beta) - Austria's Zumtobel opened a LED lighting factory in Nis on Sept. 28, with 300 workers, with another 800 waiting to be employed when the plant reaches its full capacity of 1,100 employees. Zumtobel invested EUR30.6 million in building the 40,000-square-meter factory, while the Serbian government's outlay was EUR8 million in subsidies. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic attended the opening ceremony at the factory, located in the Vinogradarski Institut industrial zone, near the Nis-Niska Banja road. He stressed that preparations for Zumtobel's arrival in Serbia had begun two and a half years ago. He said the Nis factory would have an annual turnover of EUR120 million, which would benefit the area and all of Serbia. Vucic said Serbia accounted for 55 percent of total investments in the region this year, noting that hard measures had to be taken to create a situation in which new factories will be opened almost daily in the country. "We are doing all this to ensure our children's future, and it is possible to open new factories because public finance is stable," he told the several thousand people assembled.

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