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Balkans News

Catalan referendum stirs up Balkan nationalists' hopes

Belgrade - Catalonia's drive to secede from Spain is rekindling dreams of independence in ethnic pockets across the Balkans, a potentially dangerous ambition in a region where nationalist violence claimed tens of thousands of lives in the 1990s.

Pence urges Balkans to turn west, away from Russian 'shadow'

Podgorica - US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday lambasted Russia for trying to "destabilise" the Western Balkans as he declared the region's future was "in the West".

Pence declares future of Western Balkans 'in the West'

Podgorica - US Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that the future of the Western Balkans lay "in the West", on the last leg of a tour aimed at reassuring Eastern European allies worried by Russia.

Italy laments migrant burden, despite French and German pledges

Trieste - Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni criticised fellow EU nations on Wednesday for leaving his country to grapple with the migrant crisis, despite pledges made by France and Germany.

Balkans summit aims to lock region into EU fold

Trieste - Seven EU and six Western Balkan nations hold an annual summit Wednesday in Trieste, with leaders hoping to bolster security in one of the continent's more vulnerable flanks and forge closer ties.

Common language spells divisions in the Balkans

Sarajevo - Nicotine addicts in Bosnia are warned three times on their cigarette packets that "Pusenje ubija" ("Smoking kills") -- but this isn't an attempt to hammer home the health message.

Common language spells divisions in the Balkans

Sarajevo - Nicotine addicts in Bosnia are warned three times on their cigarette packets that "Pusenje ubija" ("Smoking kills") -- but this isn't an attempt to hammer home the health message.

Common language spells divisions in the Balkans

Sarajevo - Nicotine addicts in Bosnia are warned three times on their cigarette packets that "Pusenje ubija" ("Smoking kills") -- but this isn't an attempt to hammer home the health message.

Stirring up another Brexit may cause Balkans 'war,' Juncker tells US

London - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has asked Donald Trump's administration not to encourage other EU-member countries to leave the bloc or "a new war" may break out in the Balkans.

Polluted air causing early deaths in fossil-fuelled Balkans

Tuzla - Stuck between a landfill and a coal-fired power plant, residents of the Bosnian village of Divkovici are dying of asphyxia, poisoned by some of the most polluted air in Europe.

Balkans becoming 'chessboard' for big powers: EU

Brussels - The EU warned Friday that the Western Balkans risk becoming a "chessboard" in a game between major powers, as Britain accused Russia of meddling in the region.

EU approves new military HQ

Brussels - The European Union on Monday approved plans for a military headquarters to coordinate overseas security operations, foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said.

Russia 'up to no good' with its meddling: UK's Johnson

Brussels - Russia must halt "unacceptable" meddling in other countries, especially the Balkans and Ukraine, for there to be any chance of a fresh start with the West, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said Monday.

'Disloyal' Polish rival to Tusk loses EU party job

Brussels - The EU Parliament's biggest party Monday stripped Poland's last-minute candidate to replace Donald Tusk of a senior post, saying it regretted his "disloyalty" for standing against the European Council head.

'Disloyal' Polish rival to Tusk loses EU party job

Brussels - The EU Parliament's biggest party Monday stripped Poland's last-minute candidate to replace Donald Tusk of a senior post, saying it regretted his "disloyalty" for standing against the European Council head.

Balkan war criminals welcomed back to public life

Belgrade - Jailed for committing atrocities in the conflict-riven 1990s, Balkan war criminals are being welcomed back to the limelight, resuming political posts, advising top officials and preaching in church.

Balkan countries illegally push back migrants: UNHCR

Belgrade - Illegal deportations of migrants seeking to reach western Europe along the so-called Balkans route have been on the rise, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) warned Monday.

Hungary urges EU to speed up Balkan accession talks

Varsovia - Hungary called on the European Union to speed up accession talks with the western Balkans on Tuesday, so as to "protect" the bloc from a future influx of migrants.

Balkan weapons trafficked west still a 'major problem'

Belgrade - A year after jihadists used weapons manufactured in Serbia to gun down victims in Paris, Balkan countries are struggling to end the scourge of illegal arms trafficking.

Serbian PM dreams of Balkan trade bloc

Belgrade - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Wednesday he feared for the stability of the Western Balkans, calling for a regional trade bloc as a way to overcome a painful past."I'm not afraid of our future economically speaking...

Nearly 11,000 still missing from Balkan wars: ICRC

Belgrade - Nearly 11,000 people are still missing from the 1990s Balkan wars, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday, expressing concern over the slow pace of establishing their fates.

Brexit will not hit Balkan EU aspirants: France, Germany

Paris - The French and German leaders on Monday said Britain's shock decision to exit the EU would not impact on Western Balkan nations aspiring to join the bloc.Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia want to join the European Union.

'Please don't go': Balkan EU hopefuls fret over Brexit

Belgrade - When Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote to the London Times about the risk of Brexit, his message was clear -- and echoed other Balkan nations desperate to join the European Union."Please don't go," Rama pleaded.

Kayakers protest Balkans 'dam tsunami' in lake paddle

Ljubljana - More than 60 kayakers took to Slovenia's Lake Bohinj Saturday to kick off a 35-day environmental protest over plans to build dams on rivers in six Balkan countries.

Politics and war crimes: key figures in Balkan wars

Belgrade - Radical Serb leader Vojislav Seselj was acquitted Thursday on all charges arising from the 1990s Balkan conflicts in the latest verdict handed down by the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

EU 'concerned' about possible humanitarian crisis on Balkan migrant route

Brussels - The EU said on Tuesday it was concerned about the situation on the route migrants are taking through the west Balkans and is making plans to deal with a possible humanitarian crisis.

Biden calls for greater cooperation at Europe's borders

Zagreb - US Vice President Joe Biden called at a Western Balkans summit Wednesday for greater cooperation at European borders to deal with the flow of migrants and to fight terrorist threats.

Germany to send 'tens of thousands' of migrants back to Balkans

Berlin - Germany will send thousands of rejected asylum applicants back to the Balkans in the coming months, the interior minister said Wednesday, as Berlin toughens its stance on economic migrants in the face of a refugee crisis.

EU shuts the door on Kosovans dreaming of a new life

Pristina - They don't come from a war zone, they're not fleeing persecution, and the EU doesn't want them. But for thousands of Kosovans fleeing unemployment and poverty, northern Europe is the only place to go.

Germany wants tougher EU asylum rules for west Balkans nationals

Berlin - Germany is calling on the European Union to tighten asylum rules for western Balkans nationals by designating the states of the region "safe countries of origin", a government spokesman said Friday.
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Children in Tirana  Albania fearing blood feuds.
Children in Tirana, Albania fearing blood feuds.
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