Friday, May 27, 2016


News and Features on the Balkans

EU Urges Bosnia To Publish Census Figures To Gain Membership

The European Union is urging Bosnia to publish the results of a disputed national census, stressing that it is needed to move towards EU integration.
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IMF Mission Backs $613 Million Loan For Sarajevo To Bolster Reforms

The International Monetary Fund’s mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina says it has approved a new $613 million loan to the country aimed at helping it carry out economic reforms that are sought by the European Union.
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Serbian Film Star Zivojinovic Dead At 82

Velimir Bata Zivojinovic, former Yugoslavia's best known film star, has died at the age of 82, state media reported on May 23.
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Kosovo Imam, Six Others Convicted In Pristina For Aiding Islamic State Militants

A Kosovo court announced on May 20 that it has sentenced seven men to prison terms of up to 10 years after finding them guilty of being part of the so-called Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
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Olympic Hopes Dashed For Former Russian Swimmer Vyatchanin

Two-time Olympic medalist Arkady Vyatchanin has given up on his bid to swim at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after the world governing body for swimming, FINA, denied his request to represent Serbia.
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Montenegro To Sign NATO Accession Deal

Montenegro and NATO have signed a protocol on the country's accession to the alliance, paving the way for the Balkan country to become the 29th member of the military alliance.
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Five Macedonians Jailed For Joining Islamic State

A Macedonian court has sentenced five militants to up to 4 1/2 years in prison for joining the Islamic State extremist group and recruiting fighters for the group.
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Macedonia Cancels Early Elections

Macedonia's parliament has voted to cancel early parliamentary elections that had been scheduled for June 5. They did not schedule a new date.
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WHO Warns Of Zika Risk For South Europe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which causes severe birth defects, is likely to spread to parts of Europe, including the Balkans and parts of the Black Sea coast.
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Macedonian Court Halts Preparations For Snap Elections

Macedonia's constitutional court has temporarily halted all activities for next month’s early elections pending a decision on whether the dissolution of parliament was in line with the constitution.
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Reporters From Bosnia, Mexico Win International Journalism Prize

Investigative reporters from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Mexico have won the 2016 Knight International Journalism Award for exposing financial crimes and misconduct at the highest levels.
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UN Envoy Calls For End To Political Infighting Over Kosovo

The United Nations' envoy for Kosovo said on May 16 that the election of a new Kosovo president and the return to power of Serbia’s government provided "an excellent opportunity" to end political infighting and to, instead, focus on challenges that face the Balkans – like unemployment and inequality.
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Macedonia Election Campaign Begins

Macedonia has officially launched the start of the campaign period for elections that are scheduled for June 5.
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EU Leader Says Serbia Won't Be Allowed In EU Until It Recognizes Kosovo

European Parliament Vice President Ulrike Lunacek said she is certain that Serbia will not join the European Union until it first recognizes Kosovo.
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Kosovo Joins FIFA For 2018 World Cup

Kosovo and Gibraltar have become new members of world soccer's governing body, FIFA.
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Montenegro Opposition Deputies Interrupt PM's Speech, Shout Insults

Opposition lawmakers in the Montenegrin parliament shouted insults at Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic as he was to address parliament on May 13.
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Macedonian Parties Join Vote Boycott

Two more political parties in Macedonia have said they will join a boycott of parliamentary elections on June 5, throwing into question the viability of the polls.
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Vucic Urges Bosnian Serbs To Avoid Violence

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has urged Serbian political leaders in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina to prevent street protests scheduled for May 14 from turning violent.
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U.S. TV Producer Apologizes For Srebrenica Quip

A producer for a U.S. television sitcom that appears to make light of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre has apologized, saying the show was unaware of the reference.
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RFE/RL's Balkan Service promotes the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in a region where genuine media freedom remains elusive and where many media outlets remain divided along ethnic lines.