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Duterte not going to Brussels

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Prime ministre R. Duterte said that he is not keen on attending the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting on Oct. 18 and 19 in Brussels, Belgium. Duterte  adamant in turning  down 6.1 million euros (about P382 million) in trade-related assistance from the European Union (EU) because he don’t like eurepean values neither the fact that they continued to be imperialists by imposing their values on Filipinos.  It was happened for examble about Duterte’s drug war.

EU Enlargement strategy urgently calls for a complete normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia


According to Gazeta Express, Serbian newspaper Vecernje Novosti said that there is a current version of the EU enlargement strategy, which urgently calls for a complete normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, in the form of a legally binding agreement. The article claims that an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is considered to be of fundamental importance for the European perspective both of Kosovo and of Serbia as well as for the entire region. To this end, the High Representative of the EU is expected to intensify his efforts to facilitate the negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade in order to achieve the normalization of relations. It is reported also that the strategy includes an “indicative illustration” of the measures necessary to complete the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU by 2025. Therefore, by the end of 2019 at the latest, Belgrade should meet the transition criteria set out in Chapter 35, concerning Kosovo. This means that in less than two years, Belgrade and Pristina should close all the controversial issues, which seems rather ambitious, given the slow pace of the previous dialogue, the newspaper reported.

Turkey, Austria normalizing the ties


Turkey and Austria are trying to normalize relations after months of tension between Ankara and Vienna, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said. The two ministers discussed how they can start a new page on bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that Turkey has made efforts to improve relations with Europe and the rest of the world and has no hostility towards any nation. The ties between the two countries were tightened in 2016 when the Austrian authorities imposed restrictions on Turkish politicians who wanted to campaign in the country before a key referendum in Turkey. Kneissl said that he had also discussed Turkey’s offer to join the EU. “We know that Austria has a different position on the issue, which is not a secret, we have a lot of problems to discuss besides this” she said. Austria is one of Turkey’s main opponents of the country’s application for EU membership.

EU enlargement strategy


EU will present the “Credible Enlargement Perspective for the Western Balkans” on February 6th. The document will concern guidelines to boost the process of integration of Western Balkans countries, and in particular of Montenegro and Serbia. 2019 will be a crucial year for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, according to this paper, and for the negotiations of the chapters 23 and 24 for Serbia in the EU path.

Bulgaria: Interior Minister visits Greece


Interior Minister Valentin Radev visited Athens, Greece, on Friday, and met with Greek Minister for Immigration Mouzalas and EU Commissioner for Migration Avramopoulos. He congratulated with the efforts achieved by Greece, and added that “in the field of home affairs, the Bulgarian EU Presidency aims to achieve more efficient management of migration and asylum processes and a balance between responsibility and solidarity”.

Agreement on remaining questions for EU questionnaire has been reached


On January 16th, an agreement on the answers to the seven remaining questions from the European Commission Questionnaire was reached. The questionnaire will be ready to be sent to Brussels in the next few days. Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denis Zvizdić, considers this cooperation as a positive signal to the European Union especially in the light of the new strategy for the Western Balkans that the EU is preparing

Serbia: UK and the future of the Western Balkans


A report called “UK and the future of the Western Balkans” was published by the upper house of the British Parliament, warning about the democratic instability in the Western Balkans. About Serbia, it says that state media companies had been privatized, but on the other hand they had been bought by people close to the ruling party. The report expresses concern about the lack of support from EU towards the region. “Statements by senior figures in the EU such as the president of the Commission postponing accession to some distant date in the future are not helpful”. It also mentions the perception that NATO has among Serbs: according to the paper, the organization is “still perceived to be the villain among the ethnic Serb population”.

Maybe Russia will completely change in 2018 (Op-ed)


How will historians look back on the final years of this decade in Russia? They might do well to look at the closing years of earlier decades to guide their way. The ‘20s: The final curtailing of economic freedoms and political factionalism, a “great turning point” towards totalitarianism and the absolute authority of the Leader. The ‘30s: A time of political terror and preparations for war. The ‘40s: The height of the Cold War, nuclear blackmail, the fight against cosmopolitanism, the growth of nationalistic and anti-Semitic propaganda. The ‘50s: An ideological “thaw” and the flowering of culture, breakthroughs in science and technology. The ‘60s: A post-thaw “tightening of the screws,” the fight against dissidents, the establishment of what would later be called a regime of stagnation. The ‘70s: The agonies of stagnation, the downward slide into a bloody war in Afghanistan, an economic crisis and empty stores. The ‘80s: Large-scale political and economic reforms known as “perestroika,” the rapid democratization of society. The ‘90s: A national hangover following a binge of democracy, a deepening war in Chechnya, a financial crisis and a loss of confidence in the authorities. The 2000s: Oil and gas wealth, increased corruption, peace and friendship with the West despite the first symptoms of superpower aggression in Georgia.

Federal Security Service: Millions of cyber attacks against Russian government foiled annually


Tens of millions of cyber attacks against Russian government websites are foiled annually nationwide, Federal Security Service (FSB) Chief Alexander Bortnikov told Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Tuesday. “As a whole, tens of millions of deliberate attacks on official websites and IT systems of state bodies, including the official website of the Russian president, are thwarted annually. A total of 358 individuals have been convicted since 2012 for crimes committed using computer technologies”, the FSB chief said. Over the past few years, Russia has raised its information security to a qualitatively new level, Bortnikov said. “Since 2013, the state system of exposing, preventing and eliminating the consequences of computer attacks on Russia’s information resources (abbreviated as GosSOPKA) has been consistently building up its potential with the FSB’s leading role”, he said.

“Forum of Actions”: Putin says that Russia must become leader in knowledge, intellect, and culture


Vladimir Putin has told a forum of his supporters that he sees the main objectives of his new presidential program as maintaining Russia’s freedom, social stability and leading place among world nations. Speaking at the Tuesday session of the “Forum of Actions” organized by the All-Russian Popular Front movement incumbent president Vladimir Putin said that Russia had to fulfill the principal historical tasks of the moment, such as population growth, the creation of a new economy and development of its the Arctic and the Far East regions. Putin also emphasized the importance of keeping up with the ongoing revolution in production technologies, healthcare, and education. “Shielding ourselves from these international tendencies or trying to keep up with someone is definitely not our choice, it cannot be our choice”, he said, adding that Russia had all opportunities to restore the spheres of an economy where it used to be a world leader.

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