Yesterday at the Belgrade assembly an agreement was signed clearing the way for the construction of a cable car in Serbia’s capital worth EUR 15m. The cable car, which will connect Kalemegdan and Ušće park, is planned to be completed by the end of next year. For the project the Ministry of Tourism will allocate RSD 840m, while the city of Belgrade will provide RSD 600m. The length of the track will be one kilometer, while the cable car itself will have 25 cabins with led lights, air conditioning and wi-fi, with a capacity of 3,000 passengers per hour which will be transported at speeds of five to six meters per second.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. Vučić said this is one of the most important meetings he has had with Putin in recent years. “The situation in our region is very complex, it is necessary to caution every word and political move. At a time when we are economically progressing and we can be satisfied with economic progress, we have significant political problems in the region and there are a lot of issues with uncertain outcomes should any disturbance of stability and peace occur,” Vučić said in a statement to the Serbian media in Moscow on Monday. At the start of the meeting today, Putin praised economic relations between the two countries, saying “the investments of Russian companies in the Serbian economy are growing and they are currently at about USD 4bn”. For his part, Vučić thanked Putin for the invitation and emphasized the importance of their meeting for the entire Serbian nation. “I want to personally thank you for (good relations), as well as the protection of Serb interests at your insistance, which is of vital interest and importance to the Republic of Serbia.”
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanović warned that the outcome of the referendum in Macedonia must serve as a wake up call to Brussels and all the decision makers in the EU. He said the EU must “have a far more serious approach towards its expansion into the Western Balkans and adopt more decisive strategic moves”. In his presentation to the European Parliament today in Brussels, Djukanović assessed that the stability of the European continent is strengthened by having the integration strategy, not by delaying or suspending the EU integration process of the Western Balkan countries. He added that “it remains to be seen” whether the failure of the referendum in Macedonia “will not adversely affect the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, which, even without that, is very complicated, so additional efforts should be made, as long as there is enthusiasm for this in Priština and Belgrade “. He expressed hope that all involved in this process will consider the “traditionally shaky stability” in the Western Balkans, and strive to overcome the “historical burdensome divide between Belgrade and Priština”.
NATO has said Macedonia could become its next member in 2019 if it adopts the new name – the Republic of North Macedonia. Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General, said the Alliance closely followed the referendum on Sunday. “I welcome the “yes” vote in the referendum. It is up to Skopje to decide on the next steps. NATO is ready to welcome the country as our 30th member, but the only way is to implement the name agreement, there is no other way to NATO membership”, Stoltenberg added. Once the name change is adopted, the Alliance will be able to sign a protocol agreement with Macedonia and it could join NATO as early as January 2019, Stoltenberg said, urging Macedonians to “seize this opportunity”.