MAS Special ReportWestern Balkans

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08 octombrie 2018 - Special reports - Western Balkans

WEST BALKANS - Special Report (18th of September- 2nd of October 2018)

Stelian Teodorescu

Sursă foto: Mediafax
  1. Russia’s increased interest for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the perspective of the electoral process on 07.10.2018
  2. The new Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Army’s priorities
  3. The consequences of the eventual canonic recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev’s Patriarchy
  4.  The referendum in Macedonia
  5. Fortifying the EU- West Balkans cooperation


I. Russia’s increased interest for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the perspective of the electoral process on 07.10.2018

On 21.09.2018, the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergei Lavrov, met in Banja Luka with the president of Republic of Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, with RS’s prime-minister, Zeljka Cvijanovic and with first deputy prime-minister of Serbia, Ivica Dacic.

According to RS Internal Affairs Minister’s statements, Dragan Lukac, for the visit of the Russian official were adopted security measures similar to the ones used during the visit of Pope John Paul II, in 1997. During the event, in East of Sarajevo and in Banja Luka the traffic was stopped on Russian delegation’s route not only for vehicles, but also for pedestrians and bicyclists, and some restaurant were closed too.

We must remark on this occasion that the Russian official denied those information and accusations according to which Moscow interferes with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s businesses. Lavrov said that Russia respects BiH’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will not interfere in the general elections for Tripartite Presidency and for Representatives’ Chamber, planned to be deployed on 07.10.2018.

 The Russian official underlined that “Moscow will always respect Bosnian people’s choice and will work with whoever is elected” and that “Russia never gives advices to other countries on how to vote”.

Lavrov met, in Sarajevo, also with the Bosnian Foreign Minister, Igor Crnadak, but also with the members of Bosnian Tripartite Presidency. On this occasion, the Russian official said that “Russia’s support for Dayton Treaty does not have another alternative” and that “Moscow supports the sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional competences of the two entities and the constitutionality of all BiH’s three nations.


Russia is more and more accused, at the international level, for interfering in Western Balkans’ entities’ internal businesses. Still, analyzing the positions adopted by the Russian leaders, but also by the actions deployed by some of these in Western Balkans’ region, we can say that Moscow tries to identify and use region’s opportunities in order to influence and block these countries’ integration process in European and Euro-Atlantic structures. An important argument for this situation can be that Russia, long ago, expressed its wish for the Office of the High Representative (OHR) from BiH to be closed and eliminated, Russian leaders considering that this international institution is one founded ad-hoc and responsible only for monitoring the application of Dayton Treaty’s provisions, which is useless at the moment.

According to the Russian Foreign Minister, ¨Russia supported the actual dialogues between Serbia and Kosovo, Russia and Bosnia did not want any confrontation in the Balkans and no ¨foreign player¨ should think that it can run all the processes from the Balkans and prohibit the access of others¨.

In these circumstances, we should not forget that the platform that Milorad Dodik is participating with at the elections for occupying one of the three positions of Bosnian tripartite Presidency, in Sarajevo, foresees increased autonomy for RS. Moreover, in analysis milieus was launched and speculated the idea that Lavrov’s visit was planed before the elections from 07.10.2018 to offer support to Dodik, considering also what was written in august by the Serbian magazine, Vecrnje Novosti, about Russia supporting Republic of Srpska’s independency request.

On the other hand, the prime-minister of the Serbian entity from BiH, Zeljka Cvijanovic underlined that the actual Serbian member of the tripartite presidency from BiH, Mladen Ivanic (an opposition politician in RS) “did not find it appropriate to say that foreigners interfere in BiH’s elections, but he warned Serbia again that it should not interfere in the electoral process”.  In the same circumstances, Zeljka Cvijanovic underlined that the Serbian president does not interfere in election’s process but, in return, Serbia’s institutions are trying to help (21 million of euros were invested in different important projects) specifically the local communities throughout the RS.

The Russian leaders are not only firmly refusing the accusations, but we can also see that in Western Balkans also, as well as in other regions of the world, they are trying intensely to consolidate the position that Russia is occupying along with other world’s important actors and the major role that it has in adopting decisions at a global level. Justifying for this is Lavrov’s statement, who underlined that “Russia, together with Europe and United States, co-authorized Dayton’s treaties… and Moscow does not see any reason why Russia would give up these problems and transform the Balkans in a conflict area”.

II. The new Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Army’s priorities

In 313th number of “Odbrana” magazine, edited by Republic of Serbia’s Defence Minister, appeared (21.09.2018) an exclusive interview of the new Chief of General Staff (SMG) of the Serbian Army (Vojska Srbje/VS), general lieutenant ( Milan Mojsilovic. In the interview it is presented his vision regarding VS’s priorities, general-lieutenant saying that it should no be repeated the mistakes which afflicted VS’s image, stability and even capacity to fight.

The priorities of the new SMG chief are the continuation of VS’ modernization and endowment processes, along with keeping VS’s personnel quality and its traditions. Personally, M. Mojsilovic supports the reinsertion of obligatory military service in R. Serbia and will act so that the leaders of the Serbian states will have all the information and the necessary parameters to take such a decision.


The cover of the magazine “Odbrana”, nr. 313/01.10.2018[1]

The military career of Belgrade’s new SMG chief is highlighted through a series of details, where what draw all the attention is the fact that he packed and went to fight only three hours after the ceremony for his accession as sub lieutenant rank of armored unities, on 20.07.1991.

This picture is consolidated by his withdrawal from Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 1992, as officer of the Yugoslav Popular Army (JNA), born on Republic of Serbia’s territory, after a decision of new state’s government, formed in April 1992, by R. Serbia and R. Montenegro. Also, M. Mojsilovic firmly affirms that his assignation as Chief of the Military Representation of the Serbian Mission to NATO (starting with January 2013) was received as an order, similar to the other orders received in his career, so this assignation was not wished or asked by him (contrary to some Serbian mass-media speculations).

At the same time, the new SMG chief affirmed that he will continue VS’s technique modernization and endowment processes, underlining that the Serbian army and state must establish some realistic objectives. In his opinion, the chances in the field are increased by the fact that the actual politic leadership in Belgrade understands defence system’s needs and supports its consolidation.

It is expect VS’s personnel to continue with the participation at peace operations (under UN and EU aegis), for fight trainings, according with the ex leadership strategy.

After the emphasis has been placed in the last years on equipping and training the personnel as well as providing the units of the Reaction Forces (through the "1,500" and "1,500+" projects), the following emphasis will be placed on the same priorities and training The new SMG chief is encouraged by how the technique modernization is developed in aviation field (by reparation/ modernization of fighter aircrafts and helicopters acquisition, from East and West), the fight capacity of land forces being about to be improved after the (Russian) donation of 30 T-72 modern tanks and 30 BRDM-2 fight modern armored vehicles. At defence system’s consolidation will significantly contribute also the Serbian defence industry.

In personnel’s management in the defence system, the politic-military leadership and the military one in Belgrade must consider a series of mistakes in the past (“en masse retirements”, at both staff and civilian employees), not to be repeated, as well as the tendencies from the Serbian society, with accent on economy and labor market.

Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, and the mother of hero Tibor Cerna, 14.06.2017, Debeljaca[2]

According the opinion of M. Mojsilovic, Belgrade’s leadership should not be ashamed of the military commanders from the last wars, as the projects whose objective is to publicize Serbian army’s fight traditions, including the ones from NATO’s “aggression”[3] period, are beneficiary and opportune.

The beginning in this field was made with uncovering a monument (in June 2017) in Debeljaca village, Kovacica municipality, Voievodina (North of Serbia), dedicated to the soldier Tibor Cerna (Hungarian ethnic), who died by casualty, during the fight in Kosare.

The monument was uncovered in the presence of the defence minister, SMG’s chief and many other veterans of KiM’s fights, in march-june 2009 period (one of them being retiring Vladimir Lazarevic, sentenced in Hague, 2009, to 14 years of prison for war crimes committed in 1999 in Kosovo and Metohija/KiM and freed in December 2015 after atoning two thirds of the sentence).


The new SMG chief, M. Mojsilovic, seems to be the optimum choice. An argument is his communication strategy, materialized including for the interview for the magazine “Odbrana”, where he highlights his priorities in his new position. Including the Military Syndicate Serbia (VSS), a firm critic of the ex SMG chief (general Ljubisa Dikovic) and of the actual defence minister (Aleksandar Vulin), applauded the assignation and looks forward to see the concrete measures for consolidating country’s defence system and improving the work and living conditions of personnel in the Serbian defence minister and VS.

Listing some positions that M. Mojsilovic had in his career, featuring his participation at fight actions (in the ex-Yugoslav space and KiM) or anti-terrorists (on Security Terrestrial Area from Central Serbia’s administrative border with KiM) and the diplomatic and politic positions he had in the last period (chief of Serbian military representative at NATO and deputy of defence minister for defence policy) only want to consolidate his image as the proper person to be assigned as SMG chief. This image is fortified also by a series of biographic and cultural-social elements (he is young, he was born in KiM, he knew the soviet culture and the western one, he speaks Russian, English, he militates for country’s defence capacities consolidation, including by re-imposing the obligatory military service, meanwhile he is supporting Serbia’s military neutrality and the participation at collective security and preserving Serbian army’s glorious traditions, which “were never blemished”).

As deputy of defence minister for defence policy, M. Mojsilovic was part of the Serbian delegation (led by the defence minister) who visited China in July, and some analysts think that M. Mojsilovic had an important role, together with the effective deputy of the defence minister for material resources, Nenad Miloradovic, at the Serbian-Chinese discussions for drones’ acquisitions for VS and the technology transfer for assembling drone in R. Serbia.

In his new position, M. Mojsilovic will be confronting with a series of difficulties, some for objective reasons, and other for subjective ones.

 The objective causes refer to the limited human, material and financial resources of the Serbian state, which can damage the military neutrality option and the edification of a stable, strong defence system, capable to fight against the armed threats and challenges against its national security.

Belgrade’s decision to increase and renew the helicopters fleet (for the army and the police) is beneficiary for Serbian air forces’ fight and maneuver capacity, but also for the land forces and for terrorism combat. Still, a miscellaneous helicopters inventory, of eastern production (“Mi” type: Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-17V, Mi-35), as well as of western production (“Airbus”:H-145M) and under license (“Gazelle”, with three versions), could create, if not issues, at least challenges for Serbian army’s logistic assurance.

Being first of all a tankman, it is normal for the new SMG chief to be pleased by the “Russian armored donation”, but, like in the helicopters fleet situation, increasing the (T-72) tanks number and (BRDM-2) armored vehicles of VS is consolidating its fight capacity and the terrestrial maneuver capacity, but, at the same time, is creating a politic issue. We are talking about a sort of frustration of Belgrade’s western partners, firstly because these methods come from the Russian Federation, and secondly because it is not clear for the West who is going to be Belgrade’s target in using these new methods, considering that R. Serbia is exclusively surrounded by states which are partners in the “Partnership for Peace” or NATO members, and with “Kosovo” most of the member states of these two organizations have partnership relations.

Among the subjective causes are the probable critics, from that part of the society that has pro-west orientation, but also from the one with pro-russian orientation.

The pro-russians will criticize the continuation and development actions of the collaboration with partners from NATO and EU, using also the support offered by some NATO and EU member states to “R. Kosovo’s” independency consolidation (especially through the support for transforming Kosovo’s Security Forces in “R. Kosovo’s” armed forces), but also the times when M. Mojsilovic worked in Brussels[4]. Foreseeing these attacks, in the interview for Odbrana M. Mojsilovic says that he used his Brussels mandate to address Belgrade some warnings and recommendation in order to avoid an antagonist relation with NATO, studying and understanding the mentality and how the decisions are taken in the North-Atlantic Organization.

Pro-westerns will criticize the common exercises execution with the Russian and Byelorussian armed forces, as well as the politic closeness to Collective Security Treaty Organization of the member states of Independent States’ Community, along with the significant orientation to the Russian Federation for VS’s technique modernization.

The new SMG chief will confront with a series of challenges coming from the divergences of civil society’s insides, regarding the place and the role of the military organism in R. Serbia. Meanwhile there are circles that would disestablish the army and would reallocate its resources towards other fields seen as uppermost (education, health, economy), other circles consider that defence has extremely reduced resources, so that Serbia’s defence system is not enough credible to discourage a foreign military intervention or to forcibly impose Belgrade’s sovereignty over KiM.

It will not be easy to actually apply M. Mojsilovic’s vision to cultivate the traditions and the respect for the ex-yugoslav militaries commanders, considering that many of them were sentenced for war crimes by the International Penal Court for the Ex-Yugoslavia, from Hague.

III. The consequences of the eventual canonical recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev’s Patriarchy

At the moment, there are three orthodox churches in Ukraine, wherefrom only one canonic that has metropolitan rank and is subordinated to Moscow’s Patriarchy. The other two orthodox churches are autocephalous, but are not canonically recognized by the other local orthodox churches. 

On 07.09.2018, The Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchy from Constantinople named the archbishop of Pamphylia (US), Daniel[5], and the archbishop of Edmonton (Canada), Ilarion[6], as exarchs to Kiev, a first step in the procedure of offering the decree[7] for Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s autocephaly- Kiev’s Patriarchy. The decision of the ecumenical patriarch Bartolomeu I was immediately followed by Russian Orthodox Church’s (OCRu) firm denounce, saying that is “an invasion of the canonical territory of another local church”, respectively, of Kiev’s Metropolitan Church and the Entire Ukraine, which is in canonical communion with OCRu.  

On September 14, 2018, the high hierarchs of Russian Orthodox Church’s (OCRu)  decided to move to the first step of the interruption of the liturgical communion with the Patriarchy of Constantinople, by ceasing participation in its meetings and by ending the remembrance of Patriarch Bartholomew at the liturgies in the OCRu churches .


The decision of patriarch Bartolomeu raises concerns for the entire orthodox world, regarding the possibility of a schism and a huge canonical conflict (already high representatives of the orthodox church are accusing the ecumenical patriarch for imposing his supremacy in the entire orthodox world, aiming to become an “orthodox pope”). The concerns of the russian experts in religion come from the “historical experience”, as at least three times Constantinople Patriarchy interfered in OCRu’s canonical territory and would have administrated dioceses, metropolitan churches from today’s Ukrainian and Byelorussian territories (centuries XV-XVII) or Poland’s) at the beginning of XX century). Practically, the “model” seems to be the one used for the (re)conferment, in 1996, of the decree for the recognition of Estonian autonomous orthodox church across the Constantinople Patriarchy (Estonian Orthodox Church- Constantinople Patriarchy).

We expect OCRu to firmly oppose autocephaly recognition and conferment for Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev’s Patriarchy and so to begin the “fight” for bringing onto its side many local orthodox churches. The “fight” will afflict world’s orthodoxy image, especially considering the closeness efforts of Orthodoxism to Catholicism. The main arguments for this are the support of the Ukrainian laic authorities for Ukrainian church’s autocephaly and its egress from Moscow’s protection in this field also, but also that the actual “patriarch” of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev’s Patriarchy, Filaret (Denisenko), was until 1992 a metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow’s Patriarchy, when he was anathematized.

The concern is bigger for the Serbian Orthodox Church (OCSrb, because it is afraid of direct influences in a series of territories outside Serbia, which are under its canonical jurisdiction. Politic and religious analysts consider that the “model” applied by Constantinople Patriarchy about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev’s Patriarchy could be quickly used for Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid’s Archiepiscopate (OCMac), which got the autonomy in 1959, but then got out unilaterally from SPC’s protection (Serbian Orthodox Church- Српска Православна Црква) in 1967 and since then it was not identified a solution, and OCMac is not canonically recognized by none of the local orthodox churches[8].  The concerns are increased by the fact that, in 2017, OCMac recognized as the „mother church” the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and committed to intermediate for OCMac to become autocephaly church. Also, along with the diplomatic efforts to solve the disagreement regarding the constitutional name of the macedonian state, in May 2018, OCMac addressed Constantinople’s Patriarchy, asking it the recognition as autocephaly church, under a new name (not to contain the term „macedonian”): Ohrid Archiepiscopate and Iustiniana Prima. Constantinople’s Patriarchy did not take yet a decision, but proceed with the investigation of the historical dates related to OCMac founding and functioning. This church’s case is yet significantly different comparing it to the one of Kiev’s church, because with the recognition of OCMac autocephaly, the patriarch from Constantinople would afflict some helenian interests.

Depending on the evolutions regarding OCMac, there is the posibility for a similar treatement bo te asked by the Montenegrian Orthodox Church (OCMun), although it has at the moment contacts with a few local orthodox churches. But in this case there are contacts between OCMun and the Ukrainian Orthodoc Church- Kiev’ Patriarchy[9].

We expect OCRu to firmly oppose OCMun’s autocephaly recognition and conferment. Probably, Moscow’s Patriarchy will have the same approach for OCMac’s autocephaly too, if there will be no other compromise solution between this and OCSrb (the approach in this last case is different because in the last years it was noticed Moscow’s will to mediated the conflict between Belgrade and Skopje, but then started Macedonian intervention alongside OCBg).

The analysts are warning also regarding two other potential effects: the (re)activation of the Croatian Orthodox Church and the foundation of “Kosovo’s” Orthodox Church[10].

If a schism will happen in the orthodox world, at a first sight, OCS’s position seems simple, as it should support Moscow’s Patriarchy. OCS’s situation is complex, as inside of it, many times before now, there are two “directions”, one favoring Moscow and the other one Constantinople.

At the pan-orthodox reunion from Crete, in 2016, developed at the initiative and under Constantinople’s Patriarchy “patronage”, but boycotted by OCRu, OCSrb participated, but it had a reserved position against the concerns that OCRu was not covering. Probably, also for the recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Kiev’s Patriarchy’s autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchy, at least in a first phase, OCSrb would try to adopt a medial position, because it has strong interests tied with OCRu, but also with Constantinople’s Patriarchy and with Greece’s Orthodox Church. Canonically, yet, OCSrb’s interests are closer to OCRu’S interests.

IV. The referendum in Macedonia

After counting the votes up from more than 97% from the polling station, the official results showed that 91,3% from the Macedonian voters approved the treaty with Greece to change the name of the country in Republic of North Macedonia. The participation at this poll was only 36,8% from Macedonia’s 1,8 million eligible voters, this percentage being smaller than 50%, the minimum necessary for the decision to became obligatory for the parliament and, consequently, insufficient for referendum’s validation and far afield from government’s expectations leaded by the prime-minister, Zoran Zaev.


Macedonia’s voters refuse to participate at the referendum organized the Macedonian authorities to approve the modification of their country name seem, at a first sight, a matter of purely local interest. Referendum’s result from 30.09.2018, from Macedonia, could be seen from a larger context as Russia’s significant victory in Western Balkans and, implicitly, as blocking Macedonia’s integration access in European and euroatlantic structures.

Increasing the instability in the region will question also the integration processes of the other entities in Western Balkans, but especially solving the Kosovo file which, anyway, is in full reactivation process of the latent nationalist-populist tensions. Macedonia’s referendum failure, very likely happened because of the disinformation campaigns, fake news and actions from the cyber space, all developed by Russia. It is important to remark here that Russia’s entire campaign, as in other parts of Europe, gained advantage from a favorable environment, characterized by the nationalist-populist nations based on radical promotion of identity, race and threatening notions coming from the European and euroatlantic structures, the paradox being actually that the majority of the Macedonians are supporting their country’s accession to EU and NATO.

In these circumstances, it is important to highlight that the Macedonian prime-minister promised that he will continue to apply the plans to change the name of the country, despite the fact that he did not made it to get the necessary participation for the developed referendum. Zoran Zaev said that the vote transmitted a “clear message”, that Macedonia’s population supported the proposal, whose objective it to end Macedonia’s ten years old dispute with Greece and the opening of the process for Macedonian state’s integration in Europe.

V. Fortifying the EU- West Balkans cooperation

Between 04-05 October 2018, in Tirana (Albania) will take place EU-Western Balkans annual ministerial Forum regarding internal businesses and justice. This event is part a Western Balkans support strategy across the integration process of the entities from this region to EU and allows a change of opinions, point of views and expertise at ministerial level, on current themes in justice and internal businesses field. The reunions will be governed by Austria (a state which has EU’s Council presidency).

Before the EU-Western Balkans reunion, between 01-03 October 2018, also in Tirana, the albanian presidency of the Albanian Chairmanship-in-Office of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) and PCC SEE’s Secretariat will organize the reunion of the criminal police chiefs, under the name “Challenges regarding security related to migratory flux increase, organized crime and contribution at the action Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG)”.

In the same context, another important event will be the one happening between 23-25 October 2018, when Criminal Police’s Directorate of Slovenia’s Police and the Integrative Internal Security Governance IISG (hosted by the Center for security, development and the rule of law/DCAF, Ljubljana), will organize, in Portoroz (Slovenia), the “Initiative’s Network Reunion of Terrorism Combat: The reunion is supported by Western Balkans Combat Terrorism Initiative- WBCTi (a multi-party system action at EU/IPAII2016/ level “Support for preventing and combating violent extremism in Western Balkans”) and by Slovenia’s Internal Affairs Ministry.


The last meeting of the EU-Western Balkans annual ministerial forum was in Sofia, between 26-27 October 2017, where justice’s ministers and internal affairs ones from Estonia, Bulgaria and Sofia, representing EU’s Council Trio Presidencies, along with EU’s Commission representatives, the European commissary for justice, consumers and sex equality and the European commissary for migration, internal affairs businesses and citizenship, met with their homologues from the 6 partner entities from Western Balkans.

The member states that have EU’s Council presidency are working together in groups of three, named the “trios”. This system was introduced with the Treaty from Lisbon, in 2009. The trio establishes long term objectives and prepares a common agenda, establishing the major aspects and subjects that will be approached by EU’s Council on a period of 18 months. With this program, each of the three countries prepares its own program, more detailed, for 6 months. The actual trio is composed of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria and, in the following period, Romania will be one of the European states of this trios.

With the last meeting from Sofia, it was underlined the importance of justice systems’ efficiency, quality and independency, as base of a peaceful and democratic society, whose objective is the economic growth. It was established the consensus according to which the qualitative justice systems are essential for mutual trust’s development, necessary for judicial cooperation and mutual recognition instruments’ application.

Moreover, there were applauded the efforts brought by Western Balkans’ partner entities in justice’s reform field and it was underlined that the efforts in applying the judicial reforms should be intensified, as it directly benefits the citizens, and that it is also a fundamental element for EU’s accession.

To fortify the fight against transnational organized crimes, EU’s Commission representatives and ministers agreed over its importance for Western Balkans entities, which did not do yet anything to sign cooperation treaties with EUROJUST. Western Balkans’ justice ministers committed to continue the process and take the necessary measures, especially regarding the legislation in protecting the personal dates. It was reminded the importance of applying European Council’s instruments, regarding the judicial cooperation, but also the penal right matter, as these are the fundamental judicial base for a harmonious cooperation between EU practitioners and Western Balkans ones.

The ministers agreed that ensuring an efficient management of borders, migration combat and illegal human traffic remained EU’s and Western Balkans’ most important priorities. Ministers recognized the important role of European Center for illegal migrants’ traffic and of Common Operational Office against illegal traffic networks with migrants in combating this phenomenon, but also of the related officer of European Border and Coast Guard Agency, dislocated in Belgrade, with mandate to improve the cooperation in border management field at Western Balkans’ region level.

Regarding radicalism and terrorism, ministers have confirmed that they confronted with similar challenges regarding the answer at threats against security, generated by violent extremism and agreed to collaborate in order to approach its causes and to build flexible and cohesive societies. It was underlined, also, that the politic dialogues with Western Balkans’ countries regarding terrorism combat/ violent extremism combat are useful to identify the priorities and conceive the concrete necessary actions to be developed.

As for the reunion organized by the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe, must be underlined the role of Integrative Internal Security Governance, which coordinated a three-pillar structure:

  • The Western Balkans Combat Terrorism Initiative (WBCTi) supported by EU to answer the evolution related to terrorism phenomenon, violent extremism and Western Balkans’ radicalization by increasing regional cooperation’s policy potential and by combining all actors’ efforts from security domain in this policies development domain, efficiently and durable;
  • The Western Balkans Counter Serious Crime Initiative (WBCSCi), answers to threats regarding organized crimes from Western Balkans area by combining all relevant actors’ efforts in security domain, EU’s donators and international donators of foreign assistance in this field;
  • Western Balkan Border Security Initiative (WBBSi) answers to threats against Western Balkans region border integrity by combining all relevant actors’ efforts in security domain, EU’s donators and international donators of foreign assistance in this field;

 In this general fight against organized crime, terrorism and illegal human traffic context, it is important to remark that Portoroz’s reunion (Slovenia) will be based on experience and information exchange at a strategic level, regarding prevention cases and violent extremism combat and also regarding the experience, challenges and instruments to improve the common operational answer. The debates will be, also, dedicated to ensuring the financial support for operational activities and operational reunions. Therewith, the reunion will offer the proper opportunity to revise the implementation of Western Balkan Counter-Terrorism initiative. Integrative Plan of Action 2018-2020 and to get familiarized with future relevant actions, under the aegis of the anterior mentioned plan.



[3] In January 2018, the Serbian defence minister and the national Serbian radio-television, RTS, announced the creation of a documentary about the fights from Kosare and Pastrik (09.04-14.06.2018), by which Belgrade says that it stopped a terrestrial offensive of some albanian mixed forces (groups from R. Albania’s regulated army and groups of the Liberation Army of Kosovo/UCK), supported by NATO, which wanted R.F.Yugoslavia’s invasion, through KiM, on the frontier guard picket “Kosare” direction and then on Mt. Pastrik direction)

[4] These critics also say that he did not act enough/efficiently to avoid “Kosovo’s” participation at Center’s activities for Security domain’s Cooperation, from Zagreb (RACVIAC).

[5] Danilo Zelinski, native to West of Ukraine (Ivano-Frankovsk). He became a monk across the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from US, under the jurisdiction of Constantinople’s Patriarchy. In 2016, The Ukrainian Orthodox Church from US proposed him for the position of archbishop, a decision confirmed later by Patriarchy’s Synod from Constantinople.

[6] Roman Nikolaevici Rudnik, born in Lvov, educated at Kiev and Salonic. He was assigned as bishop in Canada, 2008. He participated at discussions between the patriarch Bartolomeu and the Ukrainian president Viktor Iuscenko, in 2005, regarding the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church.

[7] Decree issued by a superior religious entity which admits the autocephaly. There are appreciations, including across the Romanian Orthodox Church, that it can be issued also a sequel of a Synod’s decision.

[8] The local orthodox church recognized on the actual R. Macedonia’s territory is the Ohrid Orthodox Archeparchy (POA), an autonomous church across the Serbian Orthodox Church. 

[9] “The Ukrainian patriarch” Filaret (Denisenko) was also in Montenegro in 2010, and the “Montenegrin metropolitan” Mihailo (Miras Dedeic) made many visits in Kiev, the two serving together at liturgies. 

[10] Many officials from Pristina (the foreign minister Behgjet Pacolli) affirmed that the orthodox high places from “R. Kosovo” are not only serbians’, because at its foundation participated also albanian ethnics.