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Balkan Legal News - 15 December 2023

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

The following media round-up on international, legal and foreign policy issues from around the Balkans for the period from 8 December 2023 to 14 December 2023.

Guernica 37 will provide weekly media updates with a focus on Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Should you wish to contribute or submit a media summary, opinion piece or blog, please send to Ned Vucijak at for consideration.

Greece - 14 December 2023

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have urged the Greek authorities to secure truth and justice for survivors and families of the victims of the Pylos shipwreck that killed some 600 people; see here.


Finland - 14 December 2023

Facing prison, deportation and even conscription into the Russian army, migrants from the Middle East and Africa currently stuck in Russia have been waiting anxiously for Finland’s partial reopening of its eastern border on Thursday; see here


Bosnia - 14 December 2023

Bosnia & Herzegovina is not expected to be approved to start EU accession talks this week, despite calls by MEPs on December 13 for the start of EU accession talks with Bosnia, Ukraine and Moldova in a resolution adopted on December 13; see here. 


Albania - 14 December 2023

The controversial deal, continuing its path towards its approval in Italy, had been expected to come before Albania’s parliament for approval this Thursday – but a Constitutional Court ruling has put the process on hold; see here.


Kosovo - 13 December 2023

Former Kosovo MP and KLA fighter Haxhi Shala did not enter a plea to charges of witness intimidation during his first appearance at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, saying he needs first to understand the charges better; see here


Bosnia - 13 December 2023

Police find one of Europe's most wanted drug smugglers, Mladen Samardzija, in a luxury pad with drugs, guns and the ex-wife of a top government aide in Bosnia. The arrest comes alongside a U.S. clampdown on corruption and gangsterism in the region; see here. 


Serbia - 13 December 2023

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on December 13 ruled out the extradition to Kosovo of Milan Radoicic, a Kosovar Serb politician who has claimed he is the sole mastermind of an armed attack on a monastery in Kosovo in September that left several people dead; see here.


Bulgaria - 13 December 2023

Bulgarian lawmakers on Wednesday took the first step toward ending a sanctions exemption that has raised millions of euros for Russia, bowing to growing calls for action. The move, while previously planned, came shortly after it was reported that Bulgaria had imported Russian oil above a G7 and EU price cap from August to October, netting €430 million in direct taxes to the Kremlin; see here.


Serbia - 11 December 2023

The legal representative of families of 20 non-Serbs abducted and killed in 1993 said the complete trial process, that led to the Belgrade Court of Appeal decision to start over a trial of four wartime Serb fighters for the crime is bitterly disappointing; see here


Kosovo - 8 December 2023

In the biggest war crimes indictment filed by the Kosovo prosecution so far, 53 ex-members of Serbia’s military and police forces have been charged with a 1999 massacre of more than 370 Albanian civilians; see here.


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