Saturday, June 24, 2017
Ιούνιος 24, 2017. 16:57
Η Βουλγαρία και η Ελλάδα έχουν αποδείξει ότι οι δύο χώρες και οι δύο λαοί μπορούν να βάλουν στην άκρη τα προβλήματα του παρελθόντος, να έχουν εποικοδομητικό παρόν και να προσβλέπουν στο μέλλον. Αυτό δήλωσε ο πρόεδρος Ρούμεν Ράντεφ σε Βούλγαρους δημοσιογράφους στην Αθήνα, όταν ζητήθηκε να σχολιάσει τα αποτελέσματα της πρώτης επίσκεψή του στη χώρα της Νοτιοανατολικής Ευρώπης.
Ο αρχηγός του βουλγαρικού κράτους, ότι οι καλές διμερείς σχέσεις Βουλγαρίας- Ελλάδας, δημιουργούν «όχι μόνο έναν άξονα σταθερότητας αλλά και τον άξονα προοπτικής για ολόκληρη την περιοχή», σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση του Γραφείου Τύπου της βουλγαρικής προεδρίας.
«Αυτή η σχέση δίνει ένα παράδειγμα και ελπίζω για όλες τις άλλες χώρες των Βαλκανίων, οι οποίες μπορούν να έχουν σχέσεις καλής γειτονίας, ειρήνης και πραγματικής οικοδομητικής συνεργασίας», είπε ο Ρούμεν Ράντεφ.
Κατά τη διάρκεια των συνομιλιών του στην Αθήνα ο πρόεδρος Ράντεφ, έχει λάβει διαβεβαιώσεις ότι θα επενδύσει ακόμη μεγαλύτερη προσπάθεια για να βελτιωθεί το καθεστώς της διέλευσης των συνόρων με την ανάπτυξη υποδομών, ανοίγματος νέας συνοριακής διέλευσης που να συνδέει τις δύο χώρες, ειδικά στο σημείο ελέγχου «Ρουντόζεμ-Ξάνθη».
«Έχω λάβει διαβεβαιώσεις ότι δεν θα υπάρξει καμία καθυστέρηση στην υλοποίηση της διασύνδεσης φυσικού αερίου μεταξύ της Βουλγαρίας και της Ελλάδας», δήλωσε ο αρχηγός του κράτους, Ρούμεν Ράντεφ και έκανε πάλι έκκληση για την ενίσχυση της συνεργασίας μεταξύ της Βουλγαρίας και της Ελλάδας για την καταστολή της παράνομης μετανάστευσης και την καταπολέμηση της τρομοκρατίας ως ένα πραγματικό βήμα για την ενίσχυση της ασφάλειας στην περιοχή μας.
Κατά την επίσκεψή του Προέδρου στην Αθήνα, τιμήθηκε από τον Έλληνα ομόλογό του, Προκόπη Παυλόπουλο, με την υψηλότερη κρατική τιμή της Δημοκρατίας της Ελλάδας τον «Μεγαλόσταυρο του Τάγματος του Σωτήρος».
Κατά τη δεύτερη ημέρα της επίσημης επίσκεψής του στην Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, ο πρόεδρος Ρούμεν Ράντεφ, θα επισκεφθεί την Ακρόπολη της Αθήνας και το Μουσείο της Ακρόπολης.
Rogozin (L) is seen with Vucic on Friday morning (Tanjug)
Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday in Belgrade that he expects Russian military equipment to be delivered to Serbia very soon.
SOURCE: B92, TANJUG FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017
Rogozin arrived here for the inauguration of President Aleksandar Vucic, and was the first to meet with him this morning, when he "proposed cooperation in aviation industry."
Vucic expressed his gratitude for "the good engagement in order to procure military equipment" that will allow the Serbian Army to carry out necessary modernization.
Media reports recently said that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Vucic the MiG-29s would be at the disposal of the Serbian military by mid-July at the latest, after a previous date of delivery was postponed.
After his meeting with Vucic today in Belgrade's Villa Mir, Rogozin announced on Twitter that Serbia and Russia would next year mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad - the ceremony will be held in Belgrade, with participation of top officials.
Sanctions and Stalingrad
Dimitry Rogozin said on Friday that in the end, Serbia, which did not "fall" for blackmail and threats, will turn out to have been right when it decided not to impose sanctions on Russia.
After his meeting with Vucic, Rogozin said that in Brussels and Washington are already concluding that their sanctions did not achieve any effect.
"We don't hold a grudge but we remember well. We highly value this strong position of Serbia, which is primarily guided by the will and desire of the Serbian people and the traditionally close relations between the two countries. We value this and bear it in mind as a basis for further development of close political and economic relations," Rogozin explained in a statement to TV Pink.
He stressed that President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin decided to send a delegation headed by him because he chairs the mixed commission on the Russian side.
Rogozin added that Russia should not have a lower level representative, especially considering the personal relationship between Putin and Vucic, as well as relations between the two countries.
"In recent years, the work of the Serbian government, under Vucic, has been focused on maximum improvement in relations with Russia, resulting in an increase in trade and exports of agricultural goods by 20 percent, as well as increases in tourism. This is all the merit of President Vucic," he underlined.
Rogozin pointed out that all issues between the two countries have been resolved within a special group dealing with strategic issues, while all topics have been covered.
He conveyed that he informed Vucic about the decisions made by Russia regarding military-technical cooperation, and that Russia was preparing to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. The Russian official said he hoped that Vucic would be able to visit Volgograd (former Stalingrad) next year.
"We have received the proposal of the Serbian leadership to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade together with President Putin, which speaks of the high level of relations between our countries, and that we never forget the feats of our ancestors. Serbs and Russians never wanted to surrender without a fight," Rogozin emphasized.
"We wish luck and success to the new president of Serbia in the difficult task of steering the Serbian ship through the stormy sea of Balkan and European politics. We highly appreciate Serbia's independence, as well as its balanced relations with the EU and Russia," Rogozin concluded.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
“Τσίπρας: Είμαστε έτοιμοι για στενή συνεργασία με τη νέα κυβέρνηση”
Ιούνιος 22, 2017. 21:53 Echedoros
Ο πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας, Αλέξης Τσίπρας, συνεχάρη, σήμερα, τον πρωθυπουργό των Σκοπίων, Ζόραν Ζάεφ, με την ευκαιρία της ανάληψης της πρωθυπουργίας.
«Με την ευκαιρία της ανάληψης των καθηκόντων σας ως πρωθυπουργού, εκφράζω τα συγχαρητήριά μου και τις καλύτερες ευχές για επιτυχία. Η Ελλάδα παραμένει προσηλωμένη στην προώθηση της σταθερότητας, της ασφάλειας και της συνεργασίας στη Νοτιοανατολική Ευρώπη. Με βάση αυτό, η κυβέρνησή μου είναι έτοιμη να συνεργασθεί στενά με τη δική σας για να ενισχυθούν οι διμερείς σχέσεις και η συνεργασία μας, μεταξύ άλλων, και μέσω των συνεχιζόμενων μέτρων οικοδόμησης εμπιστοσύνης», έγραψε στο σημείωμά του ο Τσίπρας.
Ο Έλληνας πρωθυπουργός πρόσθεσε ότι πιστεύει η κυβέρνηση Ζάεφ θα επιδείξει πολιτική βούληση να εργασθεί για να προωθηθεί η θετική ατζέντα στις διμερείς σχέσεις, αφήνοντας πίσω, τους αναχρονισμούς του παρελθόντος, έχοντας ως επίκεντρο το μέλλον των χωρών μας και της περιοχής.
«Ανυπομονώ να συνεργασθώ στενά μαζί σας, αγαπητέ συνάδελφε», αναφέρει χαρακτηριστικά το σημείωμα του Τσίπρα στον Ζάεφ.
© AFP 2017/ ARMEND NIMANI
MIDDLE EAST, Sputnik
Turkish President Erdogan's comments on "Greater Albania" reflect his fear that a redrawing of borders for Albanians in the Balkans would give encouragement to Kurds in the Middle East, experts told Sputnik.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Albania's Top Channel broadcaster that Ankara is opposed to the "Greater Albania" ideology, which seeks to unite ethnic Albanians living in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia into a single state.
Erdogan was asked for his view on comments by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who again raised the prospect of Albania's unification Kosovo in an interview with Politico last April.
"These are bad ideas. You see what is happening in the Middle East, Iraq and Syria. We don't want this kind of crisis to come to the Balkans. We are in favor of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Balkan countries," Erdogan said.
Erdogan's emphatic response comes in spite of his commitment to a Neo-Ottoman relationship with parts of the former Ottoman Empire.
In 2013, when he was Prime Minister, Erdogan visited the Kosovan city of Prizren and caused controversy by saying, "Kosovo is Turkey, and Turkey is Kosovo."
The statement was met with outrage in Serbia, where President Tomislav Nikolic said that "The ideas of [the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa] Kemal Ataturk are no longer the ideas of the Turkish leadership."
Erdogan is also keen to exert influence in Sarajevo, and paid tribute to Bosnia's wartime leader Alija Izetbegovic, who he claimed "left" Bosnia and Hercegovina to him when he died in 2003.
In 2012, Erdogan told Sarajevo's Oslobedjenje newspaper that when he visited the ailing former President in a Sarajevo hospital, he told him, "Bosnia is bequeathed to you. Don't leave this place."
According to a source in Belgrade's diplomatic circles, Erdogan's recent statement in favor territorial integrity in the Balkans is a result of fear of that Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq could unite into a single state of Kurdistan.
"Erdogan wants to draw a parallel with the Kurds. Perhaps, he has been scared by the idea of a 'Greater Kurdistan,' so he is against the idea of a 'Greater Albania.' Perhaps he has realized at last," the source said.
Slobodan Yankovic, an analyst at Belgrade's Center for Conservative Research, told Sputnik that it is too soon to draw conclusions from Erdogan's latest comments.
"Erdogan visited Albania, gave it political and economic support and expressed hope that the next elections will be result in a leader who will cooperate with Turkey. Erdogan's main message was: Albania should crack down on private schools and faculties that are part of the Fethullah Gulen network."
Erdogan's comments regarding Greater Albania are of less importance than his continued support for Kosovan independence, Yankovic said.
"Albanian politicians in Pristina have repeatedly spoken about Ankara's role in creating the 'state' of Kosovo. In addition, for the Turks, Albanians and Bosnians are a foothold in the Balkans. Nothing significant will change in Ankara's policy after this statement."
Yankovic also thinks Erdogan's statement regarding "Greater Albania" is a reflection of his fear of a "Greater Kurdistan," since there are approximately 15 million Kurds living in southeastern Turkey.
"Turkey, while recognizing the secession of Kosovo from Serbia, is afraid of a revision of the borders. He is also afraid of the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, which is slated to take place in autumn this year not only there but in several other important municipalities such as Sinjar," Yankovic said
Monday, June 19, 2017
© AFP 2017/ JOEL ROBINE
The recent snap parliamentary elections in Kosovo brought to power people who are wanted in Serbia on charges of committing war crimes during the 1990s Balkan wars, Serbian analysts told Sputnik, explaining the complicated political situation in the region.
A coalition led by the ruling center-right Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won the elections in Kosovo, with the radical opposition Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party coming second. The coalition will now have to find a partner to form a stable government.
The region’s ruling coalition is led by the President of Kosovo Hasim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj, candidate for Prime Minister and the leader of the Alliance for Future of Kosovo. Both used to be prominent members of the now defunct terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Albin Kurti, a member of the radical Self-Determination party, also remains prominent in Kosovo’s political life.
Milivoje Mihajlovic, a journalist and executive director of Radio Belgrade, said that President Thaci, Ramush Haradinaj and their coalition partner, former KLA commander Fatmir Limaj, ought to be brought before the Hague Tribunal for the crimes committed by that terrorist organization.
“These people committed crimes. During the conflict in Kosovo civilians, both Serbs and Albanians, living in the areas under their control were killed, raped and their homes burned down. They deserve the Hague. On the other hand, the Self-Determination party is notorious for its radical rhetoric. Its leader, Kurti, says that he is for ‘a greater Albania,’ that international missions in Kosovo should be kicked out,” Mihajlovic told Sputnik Serbia.
“I guess this is the right time for [a party like] Self-Determination,” he added.
Several prominent Serbian political analysts Interviewed by Sputnik said that the current political makeup doesn’t bode well for the Kosovo’s minority Serbs.
The success of Srpska Lista party with close links to Belgrade, that managed to win all 10 seats reserved for Serbs in the 120-seat Kosovo legislature, is not enough to protect the Serbs’ interests in the breakaway region.
Belgrade University political scientist Stefan Surlic said that the Serbian MPs have found themselves in a real fix as they will have to deal with people who are wanted in Serbia on charges of committing war crimes.
“If the Kosovo Serb representatives refuse to cooperate they will be accused of obstructing the country’s system of governance,” Surlic told Sputnik Serbia.
“We are in a situation where coalition promises are being broken all the time. In Kosovo we have two parallel worlds. In one of them, the Serbs are fighting to have at least a semblance of an institutionalized system. Foreign ambassadors, above all the American one, will be playing a very big role in coalition games. They see Thaci and Haradinaj as their humble allies and the coalition around former Prime Minister Isa Mustafa as a holdover of Communist era,” Zivojin Rakocevic continued.
In his turn, Mihajlovic pointed out that the Kosovo Serbs took part in the elections to ensure a better life for the region’s Serbian minority, not to promote the creation of “an independent Kosovo.”
“We are going to see a lot of political horse-trading by Albanian partiers. The Serbian parties lean on Belgrade, which is now winning back its friends, including Russia and other allies,” Mihajlovic noted.
US and EU
The experts said they were also alarmed by the fact that extremist threats to drive the Serbs out of the region were being ignored by the West.
Milivoje Mihajlovic pointed out that while Hashim Thaci claims that the main problem is the Russian-Serbian humanitarian center in Nis and Russian MiGs, in reality, the biggest problem is that Brussels and Washington agree with him.
“What we have in Nis is a humanitarian, trouble-shooting center. As for the planes, they haven’t arrived yet, but we already have problems about this,” Milivoje Mihajlovic said.
“We will defend ourselves and explain that such insinuations are playing right into the hands of Pristina, which is trying to put on hold the investigation of the crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army,” he emphasized.
On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the outcome of the June 11, 2017 elections in Kosovo reflects the “radicalization of the political leadership in Pristina with the connivance of the EU and the United States.”
"The results of the June 11 snap parliamentary elections in Kosovo evidence further radicalization of the Pristina authorities," the Ministry said in a statement, adding that this "was a result of a silent agreement of the United States and the European Union which do not have a due influence on the Kosovo Albanian leadership."
Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia and Russia do not recognize Kosovo’s independence.