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Latest Interviews from the Balkans

ratko-mladic-s-gifts-to-children-chocolate-and-lies-07-05-2017

Ratko Mladic’s Gifts to Children: Chocolate and Lies

Izudin Alic was eight when Bosnian Serb Army chief Ratko Mladic met him and other Bosniak children in Srebrenica in 1995, gave them chocolates, and falsely promised that everyone would be safe.

bosnian-serb-colonel-beara-chose-evil-says-author-07-03-2017

Bosnian Serb Colonel Beara ‘Chose Evil’, Says Author

Hatred, nationalism and loyalty to Ratko Mladic made Bosnian Serb Army colonel Ljubisa Beara a key organiser of the Srebrenica massacres, says journalist Ivica Djikic, the author of a novel about the recently-deceased convict.

wartime-sexual-crimes-a-challenge-for-balkan-prosecutors-06-22-2017

Wartime Sexual Crimes: A Challenge for Balkan Prosecutors

Prosecutors in the former Yugoslavia must develop comprehensive policies for dealing with sexual and gender-based crimes to ensure justice for vicims, Hague Tribunal deputy prosecutor Michelle Jarvis told BIRN.

mpe-call-out-kosovo-to-deliver-over-visa-liberalisation-06-16-2017

MEP Urges Kosovo To Work on Visa Liberalisation

In an interview with BIRN, MEP Tanjа Fajon urges Kosovo's politicians to take decisive action - if they want their citizens to eventually enjoy visa-free travel into the EU's passport-free Schengen area.

china-s-new-silk-road-poses-questions-for-balkans-06-16-2017

China’s ‘New Silk Road’ Poses Questions for Balkans

China's ambitious ‘Belt and Road’ initiative could deliver much-needed investments and infrastructure improvements to the Balkans, but it could also bring environmentally-harmful industrial projects, expert Guido Broekhoven told BIRN.

kosovo-is-still-controversial-theme-in-serbia-movie-author-06-13-2017

Kosovo Film Ignites Controversy in Serbia

After right-wingers protested against a documentary about Kosovo, director Aleksandar Reljic said it showed that it remains a controversial topic - even though his film aims to promote dialogue and undermine stereotypes.

belgrade-boy-ships-rakija-tradition-to-texas-02-21-2017-1

Belgrader Ships Rakija Tradition to Texas

Making fruity brandy in the backyard is common in the Balkans - but two enterprising young men, including one from Belgrade, have launched a successful ‘rakija’ business in the US.

montenegrin-fm-joining-nato-is-not-anti-russian-06-05-2017

Montenegrin FM: Joining NATO is Not Anti-Russian

Montenegro on Monday formally became the 29th NATO member, but Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic told BIRN that it should not be seen as a 'poke in the eye for Russia'.

bosnia-s-top-court-has-wasted-resources-kreho-says-06-02-2017

Bosnia’s Top Court Has ‘Wasted’ Resources, Kreho Says

The prosecution’s failure to make complex war-crime cases a priority has wasted the resources of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the president of its criminal department, Minka Kreho, says.

ziadin-sela-outlines-vision-for-a-new-macedonia-05-26-2017

Ziadin Sela Outlines Vision for a New Macedonia

Macedonian ethnic Albanian leader recalls the night he was almost killed in parliament – and says Albanians expect tangible results from their support for Zoran Zaev - starting with justice reform.

croatian-liberal-leader-rules-out-supporting-hdz-05-19-2017

Croatian Liberal Leader Rules out Supporting HDZ

Ivan Vrdoljak, head of the opposition Croatian People’s Party, told BIRN that his party has no intention of joining a coalition government under the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ.

us-expects-zaev-to-form-new-macedonian-government-05-17-2017

US Expects Zaev to Form New Macedonian Government

US State Department official Hoyt Yee, who is currently touring the Balkans, said that the Macedonian President understands that he is expected to give Zoran Zaev a chance to form a government.

comic-coup-only-helped-montenegro-pm-mandic-says-05-15-2017

‘Comic Coup’ Only Helped Montenegro PM, Mandic Says

One of the opposition leaders accused of being involved in last year’s alleged plot tells BIRN that the charges against him are politically motivated and casts doubts on the prosecution’s independence.

balkan-gunmen-refuse-to-quit-ukrainian-battlefield-05-03-2017

Balkan Gunmen Refuse to Quit Ukrainian Battlefield

Some Balkan volunteers are still fighting alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine despite new laws to prosecute them if they return home, a paramilitary from Serbia told BIRN in an interview.

bosnia-must-say-what-it-wants-from-nato-05-09-2017

Bosnia Must Say What it Wants from NATO

The Bosnian authorities need to explain what they want from their partnership with NATO, particularly on security issues and fighting violent extremism, the political adviser at the US Mission to NATO told BIRN.