MacShane: Will Serbia use Mladic detention to end Kosovo impasse and join EU?

MacShaneLONDON / PRISTINA  — The British MP and former UK Europe Minister Denis MacShane recently posted an opinion piece, stating that "the capture of Ratko Mladic is not just an opportunity for justice, but a chance for diplomacy …". MP MacShane wonders if Belgrade can "use this achievement to face down its nationalist past and finally bring closure on the Kosovo question which blocks Serbia’s EU future?" Critically he remarks that "Like some wretched SS general hiding away after 1945, Mladic had a network of supporters … Too many Serbs have been in denial about his role, too ready to forgive"   Read the rest of this entry »

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Kosovo reacts on Serbia’s and Bosnia’s refusal to implement CEFTA agreement

Kursari-Lila2PRISTINA / BRUSSELS — Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry Mimoza Kusari-Lila announced in Brussels, that Kosovo soon will implement reciprocal measures addressing Serbia’s and Bosnia’s unwillingness to fulfill contractual duties in terms of the Central European Free Trade Agreement – CEFTA. Both the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina refuse Kosovar products to be sold on their local markets. In addition both countries blockade the transit of products from Kosovo through their territories. Likewise Serbia and Bosnia, Kosovo is a CEFTA member country.

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Kosovo freedom of press limited

Edward.P.JosephPRISTINA, Kosovo — The freedom of press and media in Kosovo remains limited. This is the outcome of the yearly Freedom House evaluation. The independent organization Freedom House observes and "identifies the greatest threats to independent media in 196 countries and territories." In order to compare the state of media freedom, the organization developed a scale from 0-100: countries within 0-30 points are considered as providing a free press environment. Grades of 31-60 indicate a limited or partly free press, whereas a range of 61-100 shows countries without free media (so less points means more freedom). For Kosovo the results are alarming:

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Kosovo War Crimes Institute established

KuciPRISTINA, Kosovo — The Government of Kosovo decided to establish  an institute for the investigation of war crimes. The war crimes institute will have the status of a public agency, which will work under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kosovo. Its main focus will be to keep evidence of crimes and damages committed by Serbia in Kosovo during the time period 1990-1999. According to  Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hajredin Kuçi, the institute "… will collect, process, classify and store cases of war crimes, crimes against humanity and values, ​​protected by international law."

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Kosovo claims ownership of properties in former Yugoslavia republics

Artan.BehramiPRISTINA, Kosovo — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo aims at regaining Kosovo owned property throughout the republics of the former Yugoslavia. To achieve progress on this issue the Ministry has formed a joined commission with the Kosovo Privatization Agency (KPA). Reportedly 172 properties are in focus, which belonged to Kosovar "socially owned enterprises". The properties con-sist of factories, shops and land. Most of these are located in Serbia, which still doesn’t recognize the Republic of Kosovo. …

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