Moscow is concerned over contacts between officials of Ukraine and Croatia on “returning uncontrolled territories,” which run counter to the Minsk peace agreements, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. In late August, Kiev hosted contacts of Ukraine’s authorities with Croatia’s Former Justice Minister Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, Former Deputy Interior Minister Yoshko Moric and ex-chairman of the government’s committee for refugees and displaced persons Lovre Peykovich. “Judging on the current information from mass media, the meetings discussed issues of “returning uncontrolled territories” based on Croatia’s experience in the 1990s,” the ministry said. This was “negative experience” as Zagreb’s military operations in 1995 resulted in 250,000 Serbian refugees and numerous deaths, it noted. “Any mentioning of “military scenarios” towards Donbass looks especially flawed and immoral now, in the first days of the school ceasefire approved in the Normandy format”, the ministry said. Russia seeks to foster friendly ties with Croatia and calls on Zagreb to “use all possibilities to encourage Kiev to consistently and fully comply with the Minsk agreements for the soonest settlement of the domestic Ukrainian crisis by peaceful means and ensuring sustainable stabilization of situation in Ukraine’s southeast”.
The five parliamentary groups read out declarations at the opening of Parliament’s new session on Friday. GERB Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the new session is of key importance in view of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2018. The National Assembly will play a very important role as it will host six events. He stressed that it was on Bulgaria’s insistence that the Western Balkans became one of the priorities of the EU Presidency Trio of Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria. He stated that GERB will firmly counter any attempts to denigrate the state bodies for political purposes. “The opposition should realize that [spreading] fake news about the political opponent is not the way to win popular approval”, he said. BSP for Bulgaria Floor Leader Kornelia Ninova noted that the new session was opening on the eve of two important events: Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency and the drafting of the national budget for 2018. She pledged her group’s support for the policies of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency because this is in the national interest. BSP for Bulgaria will propose a new Bulgarian Development Bank Bill to refocus it to SMEs. Ninova also stressed that her group sets a high priority on anti-corruption legislation. Addressing the legislature on behalf of the United Patriots Parliamentary Group, its Floor Leader Volen Siderov cited the border fence against illegal migrants and the increase of the minimum pension as examples of constructive and effective thinking with a tangible result. Siderov insisted on acknowledgment of the coalition Government’s achievements, citing the easing of administrative burden for companies. “The Presidency of the EU Council requires a new vision and a new governance formula based on fundamental consensus”, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Floor Leader Mustafa Karadayi said, reading a declaration on behalf of his parliamentary group. According to the MRF leader, the new parliamentary session has a serious law-making agenda, and the last stage of preparations for the Presidency of the EU Council is forthcoming. Volya calls on Parliament to focus on two essential things during the present session: improving people’s living standards and curbing corruption, Plamen Hristov MP said in a statement on behalf of the Volya Parliamentary Group.
Ankara says it’s ready to make another operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ in order to put an end to the experiment of PKK in Syria. Erdogan complains about his own allies in the country.
Erdogan calls on the international community to look at what is happening in Myanmar and to intervene in order to stop this humanitarian crisis. He asks the UN to change its attitude towards Muslim countries.
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says the story about “the Greater Serbia aggression” on Croatia is a great lie. “None of you left from Serbia to do damage in Benkovac, Zagreb or other places. That is a big lie before which the international community should not close its eyes”, said Dacic.
He said that in the early 1990s more than half a million Serbs lived in Croatia, while now, 20 years later, there are only 180,000. “You have been expelled and driven out of your centuries-old homes, and before that, the international community must not close its eyes”, said Dacic.