More peackeeping, closer NATO ties
BELGRADE -- The Defense Ministry has sent a draft bill to government in a bid to boost Serbian participation in peacekeeping missions.
Šutanovac is interviewed by Tanjug news agency (Tanjug)
Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac said on Sunday that a draft law on the participation of the Serbian Army (VS) and other defense forces in multinational peacekeeping operations outside Serbia's borders had been presented to the Cvetković cabinet.
“The Serbian Army's participation in UN peacekeeping operations, which would be a lot bigger in scope than it has been so far, is not only in the interests of the defense system itself, but also the state as a whole, and it is aimed at strengthening our foreign political capacities,” Šutanovac said in an interview with Tanjug.
He said that necessary certificates had already been obtained for the peacekeeping operations for the members of the Military Medical Academy (VMA) medical team; part of the team has already attended a course in Norway.
Šutanovac said that members of the Serbian defense system “will be ready to participate in peacekeeping operations as early as this year, in keeping with the decisions of authorized organs.”
Turning to NATO's Partnership for Peace activities, Šutanovac said that Belgrade has still not opened an office with NATO to establish its mission. He expressed expectations that the mission would start work this year.
“That is not only the Defense Ministry’s problem, it's a shared problem between the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry,” said he.
The minister added that a security information agreement had been signed with NATO at the beginning of October last year, and that, after sorting technical problems, the process of opening the mission began.
According to him, Serbia’s wish, "like all those who have the mission and are not NATO members", is to represent Serbian state interests, the defense system, and to participate in numerous Alliance committees of experts.
On the matter of developing relations between NATO and Serbia, attacks on Serbia began in March ten years ago, Šutanovac said “that was a tragic day, when NATO did something for which absolutely no one in Serbia has understanding”.
“But, regardless of memories causes by reminders of that operation, we have to move forward. It’s unnatural that the United Kingdom and Germany developed relations with each other after World War II more quickly than we have managed to develop relations with NATO,” according to him.
Šutanovac also stated that it was clear “Serbia has some scruples in relation to NATO,” but he was still “deeply convinced that the majority opinion among members of the VS is that we have to move in the direction of integration”.
He said he was also convinced that the prevailing opinion among VS members was that “we have to exchange knowledge, experience and skills and exercise together with the Alliance—one of the biggest and strongest systems in the world”.
On Monday, Šutanovac stated that the security in the Ground Safety Zone (GSZ) along the administrative line with Kosovo "is at a satisfactory level, even though there still is a possibility of incidents".
"Certainly, the possibility of incidents still exists, particularly from the other side of the administrative line, but we do not have such information as yet, and we are monitoring the situation in the whole region," he told Tanjug.
The minister stated that three units of the Serbian Army (VS) are maintaining peace and stability in the zone "at a high level".
Šutanovac pointed out that the cooperation with KFOR members in Kosovo continues on a technical level and that regular meetings are held at a lower level of command, long with and simultaneous patrols in the GSZ.
He expressed his expectation that Cepotina military base, located about five kilometers from Bujanovac, will be completed soon, underscoring that this facility will be a very important center for security in southern Serbia and for the control of the area as a whole.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 18:29 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
NOVI SAD -- Vojvodina assembly speaker Šandor Egereši says that the opposition to the new Vojvodina statute primarily comes from anti-EU forces.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 16:46 | Source: Tanjug, LA Times | Comments: (19) | Send comment
THE HAGUE, BELGRADE -- Slobodan Milošević's head of intelligence service known as the DB, was in fact "a reliable CIA associate" for eight years, a report says.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 16:20 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The government recommended to public companies that they confirm the method for determining the maximum possible wages for management.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 15:28 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (28) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević says his office has so far likely identified ten possible perpetrators of crimes against the Kosovo Serbs.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 13:31 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (9) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Protesting Serb justice workers this morning blocked the courthouse in that town as EULEX was to start its first trial.
ponedeljak 2.03.2009 | 10:38 | Source: B92 | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Claims that someone from Belgrade ordered the issuance of travel documents to Miladin Kovačević are completely false, claims Borislav Stefanović.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 18:26 | Source: Beta | Comments: (14) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is currently on a ski vacation on Mt. Kopaonik, in southern Serbia.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 17:03 | Source: Blic | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The current Serbian government is large and spends more money that the previous one, writes daily Blic.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 15:13 | Source: B92, FoNet, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Early parliamentary elections in 2009 would represent a financial burden for the state and would cause new divisions, says Boris Tadić.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 12:34 | Source: Beta | Comments: (19) | Send comment
WASHINGTON -- The issue of Kosovo has not been closed yet, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 11:34 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (15) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu is in New York where he will be meeting with representatives of the countries that have not recognized Kosovo.
nedelja 1.03.2009 | 11:10 | Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (31) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- A cabinet minister from the ranks of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) on Saturday slammed the Hague verdict in the Kosovo Six case.
subota 28.02.2009 | 17:14 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac says Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković’s government has sufficient capacity to weather the effects of the global economic crisis.
subota 28.02.2009 | 12:46 | Source: Beta | Comments: (7) | Send comment
GRAČANICA -- Kosovo Minister Goran Bogdanović says that the (Serb) leadership of the Priština municipality are not behaving in line with the law.
subota 28.02.2009 | 10:47 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Human and Minority Rights Ministry wants the Obraz organization to be closed down and has submitted an initiative to look into the legality of its work.
subota 28.02.2009 | 10:04 | Source: B92 | Comments: (5) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The Kosovo Police Service has begun daily monitoring and policing of Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo.
subota 28.02.2009 | 09:45 | Source: Beta | Comments: (11) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- NATO is looking to start cutting its contingent in Kosovo over the next year, says KFOR Commander Giuseppe Emilio Gay.
subota 28.02.2009 | 09:21 | Source: B92 | Comments: (32) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The convictions of 5 former senior Serbian government officials are convictions of individuals, not of Serbia as a state, stresses Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.
petak 27.02.2009 | 21:45 | Source: B92 | Comments: (9) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Milan Milutinović returned to Serbia on Friday evening via a regular Jat Airways flight from the Netherlands.
petak 27.02.2009 | 15:01 | Source: Beta | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BIJELJINA -- Serb Democratic Party (SDS) leader Mladen Bosić says the selection of a new international high representative means Bosnia has not succeeded as a state project.
petak 27.02.2009 | 13:09 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (2) | Send comment
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serb justice workers protested this morning in front of the Kosovo Mitrovica courthouse, demanding to be allowed to return to their jobs.
petak 27.02.2009 | 11:11 | Source: Beta | Comments: (5) | Send comment
PANČEVO -- Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Vojislav Koštunica says that the government is inept and that it cannot protect the country’s territory.
petak 27.02.2009 | 10:54 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Parliament has held its first prime minister’s questions session, with Mirko Cvetković fielding MPs’ questions.
petak 27.02.2009 | 09:12 | Source: B92, VOA | Comments: (25) | Send comment
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has voiced support for Kosovo, promising Washington will continue to lobby for new recognition of its independence.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 17:54 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- A European Parliament’s committee supported a draft resolution calling on the EU Council to discuss extending the mandate of the Hague Tribunal until 2012.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 17:52 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (51) | Send comment
THE HAGUE -- The Hague Tribunal on Thursday acquitted former Serbian president Milan Milutiović of all charges brought against him in connection to the 1999 war in Kosovo.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 17:28 | Source: B92 | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Military Analyst Aleksandar Radić says both Serb and Bosnian Muslim sides bear responsibility for the 1992 killing of troops in Sarajevo's Dobrovoljačka St.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 15:06 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The defense ministers of Serbia and Greece, Dragan Šutanovac and Evangelos Meimarakis, met in Belgrade this Thursday.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 14:59 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- The opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo leader Ramush Haradinaj says the current government in Priština "has no plan".
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 10:20 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Mirko Cvetković is due to defend a package of economic measures meant to pull Serbia out of the economic crisis at a special session of parliament.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 10:05 | Source: B92 | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Ministers could be questioned in the Kovačević case, but are not obligated to give police any information, just like other citizens, according to legal experts.
četvrtak 26.02.2009 | 10:03 | Source: Večernje novosti | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Socialist Party (SPS) leader Ivica Dačić will be meeting with his coalition partner Dragan Marković to "resolve misunderstandings", a newspaper writes.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 19:33 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia's Public Prosecution office is intensively investigating the disclosure of classified government information in the Kovačević case.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 19:30 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The former consul general in the U.S. has called on FM Vuk Jeremić to publish phone records to determine who ordered a passport be issued to Miladin Kovačević.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 17:06 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (8) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Consultations on the implementation of the six-point UN plan and other technical issues are under way at all levels, writes Koha Ditore.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 16:38 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić stated on Wednesday that in 2009 parliament is to adopt "at least 155 laws".
sreda 25.02.2009 | 16:03 | Source: B92, FoNet, Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (14) | Send comment
BELGRADE, NIŠ -- Interior Minister Ivica Dačić said that the U.S. might back out of negotiations after the media speculation surrounding the case of Miladin Kovačević.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 13:19 | Source: B92, FoNet | Comments: (26) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić was given the “Best European” award for the field of politics by the First European House NGO in Belgrade last night.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 11:45 | Source: FoNet, Dnevnik | Comments: (1) | Send comment
NOVI SAD -- Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn said the EU will begin implementing the Interim Trade Agreement with Serbia in March.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 10:34 | Source: Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Cypriot President Demetris Christofias is pleased by cooperation with Serbia and says the two countries have helped each other during difficult times.
sreda 25.02.2009 | 09:34 | Source: B92 | Comments: (13) | Send comment
KLINA -- The realization of the first phase of a project for the return of Serbs to Kosovo was announced in Klina.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 16:18 | Source: Beta | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU Foreign and Security Policies Chief Javier Solana has named Peter Sorensen as his personal envoy to Belgrade.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 14:49 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (15) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said on Tuesday in Belgrade that his country "backs Serbia completely".
utorak 24.02.2009 | 12:34 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (31) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov says that the project of an independent Kosovo has failed.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 11:48 | Source: Večernje novosti, EuroNews | Comments: (13) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- In an interview with EuroNews, Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci said that, despite the difficult economic situation in Kosovo, he considers last year a historic success.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 10:32 | Source: Beta | Comments: (20) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Croatian President Stjepan Mesić believes that Serbo-Croatian relations will reach a high level despite the fact that Zagreb has recognized Kosovo independence.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 10:07 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (9) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The EU Council of Ministers has not reached a decision about whether to send a mission to Belgrade to confirm the level of Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague.
utorak 24.02.2009 | 09:45 | Source: Beta | Comments: (21) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Following Priština’s decision to deny him entry into Kosovo, Minister Goran Bogdanović says it will “only heighten intolerance between Serbs and Albanians.”