Balkan (Englisch)

EU: Political elites in the Balkans have ties with criminal structures

EU:  Political elites in the Balkans have ties with criminal structures

EU: Political elites in the Balkans have ties with criminal structures
In the most recent version of the Strategy for Balkans, in the chapter on the rule of law, the European Union has made it quite clear to the countries of the region that they can become members of the European Union, but not in the current state.This text says that the political elites in the countries of the region have ties with criminal structures.

“Today, the state in these countries has been captured and this includes ties with organized crime and corruption in all government levels”, says the most recent version of the strategy, underlining that all of this fuels the feeling of impunity and inequality. /balkaneu.com/

EU Reportedly Seeks to Expand Into Balkans to Counter Russian Influence

 Tourists reflected in a EU logo

© Sputnik/ Alexey Vitvitsky

The European Union reportedly intends to include six countries into its fold in a bid deal with several major issues the organization is currently facing.

Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the self-proclaimed Kosovo republic are about to be offered EU membership, according to the Financial Times.

According to the newspaper, Brussels intends to make this move because the Balkans serve as a gateway for thousands of migrants seeking to enter Europe

Also, the newspaper claims that EU strategists „fear that Russia is expanding influence in a region where it has traditional allies“ as „Moscow has started to play on growing cynicism over the EU’s membership promises by touting itself as an alternative partner.“

„A significant number of citizens of the region believe they will never join the EU,“ Florian Bieber, a south-east Europe specialist at the university of Graz, said.

The new EU enlargement plan is expected to be adopted by the European Commission on Tuesday, February 6.

Madrid however has already declared that Kosovo should be excluded from this plan, as Spain, along with Cyprus, Greece, Romania, and Slovakia, does not recognize it as a sovereign country.

Albania the only European country that cut more trees than it plants

Albania the only European country that cut more trees than it plants

8 hours ago

Albania the only European country that cut more trees than it plants

Two months ago, Exit reported that according to the most recent data (from 2010), Albania is the only European country which is cutting more trees than it is planting. The last year for which there are any official data, Albania cut 5.5 times more forest than that it planted.

Not only is Albania the only country with Netto deforestation, deforestation has also significantly increased.

The rest of Europe systematically remains under about 80%, which means that 20% more trees are planted than cut.

Also, Albania, through years the deforestation in Albania increase as follows: since 1990, from 2.3 times; 3 times in 2000 and 5.5 times in 2010.

In 2015, the Council of Ministers, in response to the deforestation, approved a 10-year moratorium, starting from February 2016. According to this moratorium, cutting, using, and trading forests is prohibited, except for providing citizens with firewood. The government is also supposed to start replanting the forests.

According to the moratorium document, the government should start taking actions to improve the situation in the country.

Neuer Zwischenfall mit dem Griechischen Verteidigungsminister: Panos Kammenos und rund um die Mini Inseln: Kammenos und Imia

Turkish coastguard blocks Defence Minister Kammenos at Imia (photos-video)

Greek Minister visited region to honour fallen Greek servicemen in 1996 Imia standoff with Turkey

Turkish media report that Turkish coast guard blocked Greece’s National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos from approaching the islets of Imia in the Aegean Sea on Sunday, January 28. Mr Kammenos visited the region accompanied by the Chief of General Staff of the Greek Air Force, Vice-Admiral Nikolaos Tsounis on board gunboat Nikiphoros performed a brief wreath throwing ceremony in memory of fallen Hellenic Navy Officers Panayiotis Vlachakos, Christodoulos Karathanassis, Hector Yalosopou who died on the night of the Imia showdown with Turkey in 1996.

 

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As Turkish media outlet Hurriyet reported: “Coastguard officers warned off Panos Kammenos, who was heading to the Kardak (Imia) islets in an assault boat to lay a wreath there.
Following the warning, the Greek boat left Turkey’s territorial waters without further incident, the ministry added.
In a statement, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the coast guard units “did what was necessary.”
The Turkish General Staff also said in a written statement that the Greek naval vessel Nikiforos and a Greek Coast Guard boat had been moving towards the islets at 11.30 a.m. local time.
Their approach was blocked by Turkish Naval Forces and Coast Guard units said the military.
It added that the Turkish Armed Forces continue to determinedly protect the nation’s rights and interests stemming from international law and agreements.”

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The photographs released by the Turkish side clearly show two Turkish vessels, a coastguard and an anti-submarine boat, much closer to Imia, than the Nikiphoros gunboat. In addition, Turkish helicopters were flying over the area.

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The Greek Defence Ministry issues a bulletin saying the Minister had performed a wreath-throwing ceremony in the area of Imia in honour of the three Greek servicemen.
“We are here today to offer honours to the heroes of our Navy who fell for faith and homeland in 1996 in Imia. Panagiotis Vlahakos, Christodoulos Karathanassis and Hector Yalosops will remain in the pantheon of heroes”, the Mr Kammenos said in the statement realised by the Ministry. http://en.protothema.gr/turkish-coastguard-blocks-defence-minister-kammenos-at-imia-photos-video/

Gehören Imia – Kardak zu Griechenland?

4. Februar 2018 / Aufrufe: 3

Gehören die beiden Imia beziehungsweise Kardak genannten Eilande in der östlichen Ägäis zu Griechenlands Staatsgebiet?

Ende vergangener Woche wurde bei den Sicherheitsbehörden Griechenlands Alarm geschlagen und im letzten Moment der Versuch eines (im Außenministerium angestellten!) Mitglieds der rechtsextremistischen Organisation „Zurückeroberung“ vereitelt, nach Imia zu gelangen um sich … „heilige Erde“ zu holen – was bis hin zu einem „heißen Zwischenfall“ mit der Türkei nebst unvorhersehbaren Folgen hätte führen können. (Quelle: documentonews.gr)

Anlässlich der Enthüllung, dass nationalistische Kreise einen Besuch / eine Provokation auf den Imia-Inseln mit Ziel die Spannung in den Beziehungen zwischen Griechenland und der Türkei zu organisieren anstrebten, ergeben sich einige interessante Fragen und Rückschlüsse:

Ungeklärte Souveränität und territoriale Grauzonen

  • Waren die Imia-Inseln im Januar 1996 griechischer Boden, den die damalige Regierung Simitis zu verteidigen eilte, nachdem türkische Journalisten die von dem damaligen Bürgermeister von Kalymnos platzierte griechische Flagge niederholten (und eine türkische hissten)?
  • Lag damals im Jahr 1996 der Boden der Imia-Inseln innerhalb des griechischen Staatsgebiets oder weidete gar der als „Schäfer von Kalymnos“ bekannt gewordene und mittlerweile 90 Jahre alte Grieche Antonis Bezyropoulos seine Ziegen dort illegal?
  • Sind die Imia-Inseln heute griechischer Boden? Und wenn sie es sind, warum darf sich unabhängig von seiner politischen Positionierung kein Grieche dorthin begeben?

Die Antworten auf die obigen simplen Fragen führen auch zu simplen Schlussfolgerungen:

  1. Die Imia-Inseln waren im Januar 1996 griechischer Boden, und weil sie griechischer Boden waren, gab es auf den Inseln eine griechische Aktivität. Ein Schäfer hatte sie von der Gemeinde Kalymnos als Weidefläche gepachtet.
  2. Mit der von den Amerikanern durchgesetzten berühmt-berüchtigten „Loslösungseinigung“ (keine Ziegen, keine Fahnen, keine Streitkräfte) sind die Imia-Inseln seit dem 31 Januar 1996 kein griechischer Boden mehr. Hinsichtlich der Souveränität sind sie bestenfalls ein „graues Gebiet“. Und das trifft nicht nur auf Imia zu …

Es existiert noch eine Reihe weiterer Eilande und Inselfelsen in der Ägäis, wo jede Art von Aktivität und sogar auch ihr Besuch „verboten“ sind, da der türkischen Position stattgegeben worden ist, dass sie „ungeklärter Souveränität“ sind und ihr Status aus einem griechisch-türkischen Dialog heraus vereinbart werden muss. Das ist in der Essenz auch der Gegenstand des berüchtigten griechisch-türkischen Dialogs „über Themen hoher Politik“, der seit damals anhält, ohne offensichtlich irgendein Resultat gebracht zu haben.

Griechenlands Politiker verheimlichten die Wahrheit

Weil also „national die Wahrheit ist“, sollten wir in diesen schwierigen und gefährlichen Tagen wissen, was genau geschehen ist, und das politische System die Verantwortung und die Kosten der Entscheidungen tragen, die es in der Vergangenheit getroffen hat: im Januar 1996 endete die Imia-Krise mit einem Territorialverlust (ohne dass auch nur ein einziger Schuss fiel).

Das politische System des Landes verheimlichte die Wahrheit und bot Mythen „über ein starkes Griechenland“, Euro, Olympische Spiele, bestialische Rüstungsprogramme, Schmiergelder, und all das auf Pump … . Nun ist also der Moment gekommen, wo die Rechnung zur Begleichung vorgelegt worden ist, und wir alle pfeifen gleichgültig vor uns hin …

PS: Der Umstand, dass die Faschisten sich über diese Sache „besorgt“ zeigen, bedeutet nicht, dass auch jeder andere, der sich Sorgen macht, ein Faschist ist. Das Faschistenpack nutzt einfach nur das Unvermögen / die Abgeneigtheit des politischen Systems aus, die Wahrheit zu sagen, sich seinen Verantwortungen zu stellen und – allem voran – sich auf einen Plan (Strategie) zur Bewältigung der gefährlichen Situationen zu einigen …

(Quelle: topontiki.gr, Autor: Dimitris Milakas)

http://www.griechenland-blog.gr/2018/02/gehoeren-imia-kardak-zu-griechenland/2141838/

Close Camp Bondsteel: America’s Military Base in Kosovo and Metohija

Close Camp Bondsteel: America’s Military Base in Kosovo and Metohija

Region:
In-depth Report:

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Rising tensions in the global relations and hot beds of old and new crisis call for unity and efforts of all peace forces for closing foreign military bases, particularly U.S. and NATO foreign military bases, around the globe. The peace forces are obligated to send clear message that U.S. and NATO foreign military bases represent the tools of hegemonism, aggression, occupation, and that as such must be closed.

Peace and inclusive development, elimination of hunger and misery require redistribution of spending for maintenance of military bases in favor of development needs, education and heath services. After the end of the Cold War the whole humanity expected stability, peace and justice in the world of equal states and nations. Such expectations, however, turned to be futile beliefs.

In the last two decades, instead of closing U.S. and NATO military bases in Europe, the continent has been surrounded by whole chain new U.S. military bases in Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Baltic states. As a consequence there are today more U.S. military bases in Europe than at the peak of the Cold War. Peace and security have become more fragile and quality of life jeopardized.

This dangerous development was triggered in 1999 by NATO-US led aggression against Serbia (FR Yugoslavia). At the end of the aggression US established military base in the occupied part of the Serbian territory Kosovo and   called Bondsteel, which is one of the most expensive and the largest USA military bases, established after the Vietnam War. It was not only illegal, but also a brutal act of disrespect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and other basic principles of international law. Now, there is a plan to expand the base Bondsteel transforming it into a permanent location of American troops and a hub of U.S. military presence in South East Europe for geostrategic purposes and confrontations.

We demand that the Bondsteel military base be closed as well as all other U.S. military bases in Europe and in the World. Preparations for furthering confrontation and new wars are a senseless waste of money, energy and development opportunities.

The Belgrade forum as an integral part of the world peace movement, stands firmly by the initiative to close all military bases in the world and redirect resources to rising development needs and people yearnings for better life.

No Foreign Bases: Challenging the Footprint of US Empire

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The United States cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world. The US undermines governments (including democracies), kills millions of people, causes mass migrations of people fleeing their homes, communities and countries and produces vast environmental damage.

A new coalition, The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, held its inaugural event January 12-14, 2018 at the University of Baltimore in Maryland. The meeting was framed by a Unity Statement that brought together numerous peace and justice organizations. The basis for unity was:

“U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable world.”

You can endorse the statement here.

US foreign military bases as of 2015. (Source BaseNation.us)

Responsibility to End Global Empire of Bases

Ajamu Baraka of the Black Alliance for Peace and the vice presidential candidate for the Green Party in 2016 opened the conference, describing the responsibility of the people of the United States (USians) to protect the world from US aggression. He argued:

“The only logical, principled and strategic response to this question is citizens of the empire must reject their imperial privileges and join in opposing ruling elites exploiting labor and plundering the Earth. To do that, however, requires breaking with the intoxicating allure of cross-class, bi-partisan ‘white identity politics.’”

This reality conflicts with one of the excuses the US uses to engage in war – so-called ‘humanitarian wars’, which are based on the dubious legal claim that the US has a “responsibility to protect.” The United States is viewed as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” by people around the world.  Thus, USians need to organize to protect the world from the United States.

US empire is not only a threat to world peace and stability but also a threat to the United States. Chalmers Johnson, who wrote a series of books on empire, warned in his 2004 book, “The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic,” that there were four “sorrows” the United States would suffer. In the 14 years since they have all come true:

“If present trends continue, four sorrows, it seems to me, are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative impact guarantees that the United States will cease to bear any resemblance to the country once outlined in our Constitution. First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a growing reliance on weapons of mass destruction among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second, there will be a loss of democracy and constitutional rights as the presidency fully eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from an ‘executive branch’ of government into something more like a Pentagonized presidency. Third, an already well-shredded principle of truthfulness will increasingly be replaced by a system of propaganda, disinformation, and glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there will be bankruptcy, as we pour our economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchange the education, health, and safety of our fellow citizens.”

The footprint of US empire are what Chalmers Johnson called an “empire of bases.” David Vine, the author of  Base Nation, put US empire in context by describing 800 US bases in 80 countries and US military personnel in more than 170 countries. Bases range from so-called Lily Pad Bases of hundreds of troops to town-sized bases of tens of thousands of troops and their families. He noted many bases have schools and they do not need to worry about heating or air conditioning, unlike schools in Baltimore where parents bought space heaters to keep children warm and where schools were closed due to lack of heat.

The contrast between Baltimore schools and military base schools is one example of many of the heavy price USians pay for the military. Vine reported that $150 billion is spent annually to keep US troops on bases abroad and that even a Lily Pad base could cost $1 billion. More is spent on foreign military bases than on any agency of the federal government, other than the Pentagon and Veterans Administration.

The Pentagon is not transparent about the number of US foreign bases it manages or their cost. They usually publish a Base Structure Report but have not done so in several years. The Pentagon only reports 701 bases, but researchers have found many, even significant bases, not included in their list of bases.

According to the No Foreign Bases Coalition:

“95% of all foreign military bases in the world are US bases. In addition, [there are] 19 Naval air carriers (and 15 more planned), each as part of a Carrier Strike Group, composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft — each of which can be considered a floating military base.”

The military footprint of the United States shows it is the largest empire in world history. In our interview with historian Alfred McCoy, author of “In The Shadows of the American Century,” he describes how some of the key characteristics of US empire are secrecy and covert actions. This are some of the reasons why it is rare to ever hear US empire discussed in the corporate media or by politicians. McCoy told us this was true for some other empires too, and that it is often not until the empire begins to falter that their existence becomes part of the political dialogue.

Strategies for Closing US Foreign Military Bases

David Vine described an unprecedented opportunity to close bases abroad, to do so we need to build a bigger movement. We also need to elevate the national dialogue about US Empire and develop a national consensus to end it.

Vine pointed to Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about pulling back from US involvement abroad and focusing on the necessities at home as indicative of the mood of the country. In fact, a recent survey found that “78 percent of Democrats, 64.5 percent of Republicans, and 68.8 percent of independents supported restraining military action overseas.”

McCoy argued that after the globalization of President Barack Obama, which included the Asian Pivot and  efforts to pass major trade agreements, in particular the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), created a backlash desire to focus on “America First.” Both trade agreements, the TPP and TTIP, failed as a result of a political shift in the country, in part created by grassroots movements.

McCoy describes Obama as one of three “Grandmasters of the Great Game” (the other two being Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, and Elihu Root, former Secretary of War and Secretary of State at the beginning of the 20th Century) who excelled in being strategic on behalf of US empire. In addition to trade agreements and the Asian Pivot, Obama built on the intelligence apparatus of the George W. Bush era. Even though Obama was a “grandmaster,” he did not slow the weakening of US empire. McCoy sees the inability to account for the unpredictable complexities of US and global political developments as a common weakness of empire strategists.

The conference was divided into regions of the world (with the exception of one session on the impact of  military bases on the environment and health). There will be reports and videos published on each section of the conference on the No Foreign Bases webpage. One common denominator around the world is opposition to US military bases. According to the Unity Statement of the coalition:

Albania Ruling Party Moves to Toughen MPs‘ Immunity

 

 

19 Jan 18

Albania Ruling Party Moves to Toughen MPs‘ Immunity

Albania’s ruling Socialist Party is being criticised for its attempts to make issuing arrest warrants for MPs facing criminal charges much harder.

Gjergj Erebara
BIRN

Tirana

Saimir Tahiri during the hearing at the Parliamentary Council of Immunities and Mandates on 20 October 2017. Photo: Gent Shkullaku/LSA

Albania’s ruling Socialist Party has been criticised over a proposal that would oblige the prosecution to submit incriminating evidence to parliament before an MP can be stripped of immunity and arrested.

Critics say the change would undermine the rule of law and endow parliament with powers that should rest with only with the courts.

Ruling party MPs who propose the change say parliamentary procedures in such cases should be clarified, and that prosecutors should provide „proof“ alongside requests for arresting an MP.

„The proposed changes aim to significantly improve the regulations … especially the clauses dealing with the limitations to parliamentary immunity,“ the note accompanying the proposal said.

Current regulations do not mention any need for the prosecution to provide „proof“ in support of its case.

Lulzim Basha, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, called it an attempt to degrade the Special Prosecutor’s power and bring it down to the level of a non-governmental organization.

Prime Minister Edi Rama’s party had „proposed a special law to protect the big fish,“ Basha said on Thursday. „This law proposes that prosecutors should send their proof not to the courts but to parliament, where the judge is Edi Rama,“ Basha added.

The Special Prosecutor Service is a new institution created under Albania’s flagship justice reforms, approved in 2016, which the country is slowly implementing. This office, tasked with prosecuting high-level corruption and organized crime, is not yet fully opperational.

Defending his proposal, Taulant Balla, head of the Socialist Party parliamentary group, insisted that his aim was only to „regulate non-functioning holes in the parliamentary regulations“.

Last October, the General Prosecutor, acting on a drug-smuggling investigation, sent to parliament the first-ever request to arrest an MP from the ruling party.

Saimir Tahiri is accused of drug smuggling.

However, Socialist MPs denied the request, claiming that prosecutors did not have proof, and that they had a „political agenda“.

Previously there have been arrests of other MPs, as part of wider police busts.

A political debate has followed on how MPs should deal with such issues and what their competences are.

Afrim Krasqini, a political scientist from the Albanian Institute for Political Studies, a think tank in Tirana, said the current proposal reflects the „usual malaise” of politicians who spend their second mandate in power.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/albania-moves-to-fortify-mps-immunity-01-18-2018

Bildungs Mafia des Hashim Thaci: mit dem Ex-Rektor der Uni Phristina: Enver Hasani, AIIS Chef: Albert Rakipi

Italian refugee centre allegedly run by mafia

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

Serbia: (Ab)using of state flats and villas

(Ab)using of state flats and villas

After almost 15 years, the re-trial is beginning in the process against the former officials of the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Yugoslav Left who are accused for the illegal distribution and taking possession of state-owned flats during the 1990s. At the same time, this is the only case under way in Serbia against the former president of the Yugoslav Left, Mirjana Marković. Among the flats that were given away illegally were those managed by the company DIPOS.

DIPOS is the company in charge of managing, renting and repairing of flats and villas owned by the state. However, according to research performed by Insajder.net, much of its work is classified as secret.

DIPOS was always a company entrusted with the real-estate in exclusive locations in Belgrade, for renting to diplomatic and consular users.

At the first glance, it appears that the operations of the DIPOS company are connected with the renting of real-estate, and no political establishment wanted to give up on that company.

Sole process against Mirjana Marković

Despite having been brought in connection with numerous scandals, the trial for the illegal distributing of state-owned flats is the sole case against the former president of the Yugoslav Left. Even this case has become uncertain because of constant delays.

Mirjana Marković was initially charged with the instigation of abuse of official position but, since that case was getting close to expiring, the prosecution has re-qualified the indictment and she is now charged with abuse of official position.

Through various decisions of the government, this company has been enabled to work with selected firms, without adequate control of spending of money, so its work is specific in many ways.

Through insight into the published statutes of DIPOS, Insajder.net has established an absurd fact – that this company „has complete authority in legal operations with third parties and acts on its own behalf and for its own account,“ so a question arises as to how a state-owned company can work for its own account and not that of the citizens of Serbia.

On the basis of the statute defined in that way, this state-owned company operates in every aspect as a private company, without any links to the state.

This is made possible because of, among other things, the contract with the Republic Directorate for Property from 2009, which the government gave the green light for, according to which DIPOS rents properties and spends the money it collects in this way on salaries of its employees and on „investments into real-estate“. It pays into the budget only what is left after all of its expenses are covered.

More illogical things were found in statute that predates 2009, when the company, the purpose of which is to rent, repair and maintain the state-owned real-estate, registered for a series of activities that have nothing to do with its main activity, such as: catering, transportation of passengers or beauty treatments.

A retrial after 15 years

15 years after the raising of the indictment, the trial for the illegal giving away of state-owned flats during the 1990s, including those controlled by DIPOS, is starting from the beginning, with the initial hearing.

The accused for illegal mediation in this crime are Mirjana Marković, the widow of the former president of Serbia and FR Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milošević, who is being tried in absentia since she is living in Russia where she has been granted asylum.

Also among the accused is the former secretary of the Serbian government, Živka Cica Knežević, the former chief of the State Security, Jovica Stanišić, and the former director of the Customs Authority, Mihalj Kertes.

One of the mechanisms for giving state-owned flats away went via this very company. According to the indictment, the former director, Miloš Lončar, abused authority in October 1998 by illegally giving a flat to the former head of the federal government Nikola Šainović, who is an official of the Socialist Party of Serbia and is also indicted by the Hague tribunal. In this case alone, DIPOS sustained damage worth RSD 3,943,900.

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https://insajder.net/en/site/DIPOS/732/(Ab)using-of-state-flats-and-villas.htm

KOTOR Mafia: “ Skaljari clan“ – „e „Kavac“ crime gang“: Montenegrin Gangs Blamed for Killing in Serbia

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03 Jan 18

Montenegrin Gangs Blamed for Killing in Serbia

The killing of a reported member of a Montenegrin organised crime gang in Belgrade shows that Serbia is allowing its capital to become a ’safe house‘ for warring clans, one analyst says.

Filip Rudic
BIRN

Belgrade

Illustration. Photo: mup.rs

The conflict between Montenegrin criminal gangs will continue to endanger the population of neighbouring Serbia until their suspected members are denied entrance into the country, says a former Serbian deputy minister of police and lawyer, Bozo Prelevic.

„It is interesting that the [Serbian] authorities have allowed Belgrade to become a safe house for these [criminal] clans, and I fear the situation will escalate,“ Prelevic told BIRN on Wednesday.

Serbian authorities have said the Montenegrin citizen who was shot dead in his car in Belgrade on January 1 was „previously known to Serbian and Montenegrin police“.

„Everything suggests that this is a clash between rival gangs,“ Serbia’s director of police, Vladimir Rebic, said on Tuesday. No arrests have yet been made.

According to both Montenegrin and Serbian media, the victim was a member of the „Kavac“ crime gang from the coastal resort town of Kotor.

The group has reportedly been fighting to control the drug trade with the rival Skaljari clan from the same town.

Several Montenegrin towns have been hit by a series of murders and bomb blasts in this ongoing conflict – but police have caught few perpetrators so far.

The situation is worst in Kotor, where 30 people have been reported killed since late 2013, apparently in clashes between the Skaljari and Kavac clans, named after neighbourhoods in Kotor.

However, their conflict has also spilled over into Serbia, where the Skaljari clan was reportedly behind two murders in Belgrade.

Prelevic says that it is not uncommon for members of these gangs to hold Serbian citizenship, which suggests they have received some support from persons working within Serbian state institutions.

He said that Serbia’s Security and Information Agency conducts security checks of applicants, but gang members from Montenegro seem able to obtain Serbian citizenship.

“Our problem is not with the Skaljari and Kavac clans but with our people giving them logistical [support], and that will spill over into the streets of Belgrade,” Prelevic warned.

Turkey Buys 4 Russian S-400 Systems, Russian Loans to Cover 55% of Costs

Turkey Buys 4 Russian S-400 Systems, Russian Loans to Cover 55% of Costs

 Russia's S-400 air defense system

© Sputnik/ Sergey Malgavko

MILITARY & INTELLIGENCE

05:01 27.12.2017

The Russian Rostec Corporation said that the deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey will start in March 2020, with 45 percent of the contracted sum to be paid in advance by Ankara.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkey purchased four Russian S-400 air defense systems worth $2.5 billion with 55 percent of the sum under the contract being covered by Russian loans, CEO of Russia’s Rostec Corporation Sergey Chemezov told the Kommersant newspaper in an interview issued on Wednesday.

He confirmed that Ankara had bought four S-400 systems. „Yes, [they bought four S-400 systems] worth $2.5 billion,“ Chemezov said.

He also pointed out that the Russian and Turkish Finance Ministries had already completed talks on Moscow’s loans for Ankara.
„They should finalize financial papers now. I can say, they [Turkey] will pay 45 percent of the whole some in advance, 55 percent [of the sum] is  being funded by Russian loans. We are going to start deliveries in March 2020,“ Chemezov added.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the documents Russian S-400 had been signed and that Ankara wanted to take steps to implement the agreement as soon as possible.