Lithuania blocks chapter 31 due to Serbia’s ties with RussiaAdriatic Journal 31 July 2018
Lithuania continues to oppose the opening of chapter 31 on foreign, security and defence policy for Serbia in the accession negotiations with the EU. The reason is mainly due to Serbia’s relationship with Russia. Serbian Minister for European Affairs Jadranka Joksimović said the opening of this chapter is highly unlikely to happen this year. She said “the chapter 31 is not especially demanding, but the international relations have become complicated and the EU member states had to harmonise their policies to achieve a compromise. To a certain extent that led to a slightly changed position of some countries toward the candidate states.” Joksimović added “it needs to be understood that in assessing each issue of relevance to the foreign and security policy of a member, they proceed from their own national interests and raise it by consensus to the level of a common EU policy. The candidate country is expected to achieve alignment with the EU common foreign and security policy gradually.”
»Montenegro plays an important role in NATO and other global operations,« Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told the Pobjeda newspaper. The comments come after the recent statement by the US President Donald Trump, who said he did not know why the US should defend Montenegro in case of an attack. Pentagon stated the United States is very committed to working with Montenegro as a NATO ally. “The Pentagon regularly communicates with Montenegrin officials on defense issues. The United States and Montenegro are committed to NATO and cooperation as allies. Montenegro has an important contribution to security and plays an important role in NATO and other global operations. The fact that your country has deployed 20 members of the armed forces to Afghanistan is a great success for every country, including NATO members. This demonstrates Montenegro’s commitment to common security interests with the United States and NATO, and we look forward to continuing this relationship,” Pahon said.
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdić sent a letter to the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and called on him to halt the construction of the bridge in Pelješac until the issue of the border crossing between the two countries is resolved. Zvizdić wrote it is regrettable that Croatia did not show willingness to find suitable solutions for the sea borders, and that he views the beginning of the construction of the bridge as against the official positions of BiH authorities, international law and positive practices of good neighbourly relations.
Members of the ruling coalition today elected Ivan Vuković as the new mayor of Pogorica, Montenegro’s capital. Vuković will replace Slavoljub Stijepović, who will now serve as the Secretary General of the President of the Republic. Vuković recieved 35 out 36 votes, with one vote being invalid. Members of the opposition left the assembly before the vote.