A roundup of Yugoslavia-related news for the month of September 2020.

Serbia-Kosovo Agreement(ish)

“Toward Compromise between Kosovo and Serbia,” International Crisis Group, 9/30/2020

“Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to determine whether there is possibility to expressly focus on achieving a final agreement based on mutual recognition, help establish communication channels between the parties, and highlight that both Belgrade and Pristina should address pervasive misinformation about the dispute, and communicate with their respective peoples in a more concerted way.”

“Kosovo Opposition and EU Undermine Serbia-Kosovo Washington Deal,” Balkan Insight, 9/23/2020

“As opposition leaders voice scepticism about the Washington agreements between Serbia and Kosovo, the EU has claimed it is already dealing with some of the key topics that the US agreements address.”

“Kosovo and Serbia Sign ‘Historic’ Deal Under Trump’s Auspices,” Balkan Insight, 9/4/2020

Kosovo and Serbia signed an agreement on economic, energy and political issues at a ceremony observed by President Donald Trump in Washington on Friday. Although all the participants agreed the deal was mainly economic, it does contain some political points. Both sides agreed to continue work on earlier agreements on restoring air and rail links, signed at the start of the year, and to start building new connecting roads and highways.”

“Serbia and Kosovo sign breakthrough economic accord that is short of normal relations,” Washington Post, 9/4/2020

“The deal will encompass freer transit, including by rail and road, Grenell said, and clear away other barriers to commerce.”

“Serbia and Kosovo sign economic normalization agreement in Oval Office ceremony,” CNN, 9/4/2020

“Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to embark on a new chapter in their recently tumultuous relationship, establishing economic normalization in a signing ceremony at the White House Friday alongside President Donald Trump, who has been aggressively pursuing new foreign policy endeavors with the presidential election just under two months away.”

Fallout of Montenegro Elections

“Montenegro’s Ethnic Minority Parties Consider Joining New Govt,” Balkan Insight, 9/15/2020

“Ahead of the formation of a new government, ethnic minority parties in Montenegro have called for talks with leaders of the three opposition blocs that defeated the Democratic Party of Socialists at last month’s parliamentary polls.”

“Montenegro Coalition Leaders Agree on ‘Pro-European’ Course,” Balkan Insight, 9/9/2020

“Three main opposition blocs that won a slender victory in recent parliamentary elections in Montenegro on Wednesday pledged not to seek to withdraw recognition of Kosovo or change the country’s national symbols. The new ruling majority will also honor all current international commitments, such as membership of NATO.”

“Ethnic Tensions Rise, Muslims Targeted After Montenegro Elections,” Balkan Insight, 9/2/2020

“Attackers broke the windows of an Islamic community building in the town of Pljevlja, while Montenegrin Bosniaks complained of being targeted in the wake of elections won by opposition blocs that include pro-Serbian parties.”

“Djukanovic Forming Montenegrin Anti-fascist Bloc ‘To Keep Power’,” Balkan Insight, 9/2/2020

“President Djukanovic’s real motive in forming a so-called anti-fascist bloc on Montenegro is to preserve his own power after his party lost the elections, a political observer has claimed.”

“However, political analyst Sergej Sekulovic said Djukanovic’s real motive was to obstruct the formation of a new government and sow divisions between the three victorious blocs.”

Monuments and Their Discontents


“New Srebrenica Peace Monument Sparks Dispute in Bosnia,” Balkan Insight, 9/21/2020

“A new peace monument in Srebrenica has caused a row between local Serbs and Bosniaks, who are upset that it features no reference to the July 1995 genocide of thousands of men and boys from the town.”


“Red Star Monument in Rijeka Angers Croatian War Veterans,” Balkan Insight, 9/21/2020

“The giant red star artwork, entitled the Monument of Red Rijeka, was installed on a towerblock on Sunday, marking the decision in 1943 by the State Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia, the highest authority of Croatia’s WWII anti-fascist movement, to seize back the city from the Nazis after the capitulation of the Italian fascist forces who had controlled it.”

“Giant Red Star Art Installation Appears Over Rijeka Skyline,” Total Croatia News, 9/20/2020

“The giant red star art installation was today placed on a skyscraper, marking the day the Anti-fascist State Council for the National Liberation of Croatia returned Rijeka to its rightful place, as a city of Croatia.”

“The Monument of Red Rijeka – The Self-defensive Monument – Nemanja Cvijanović (HR),” Rijeka 2020

“Aware of the trend of the selective but systematic abandonment of historical monuments to oblivion and destruction, Rijeka artist Nemanja Cvijanovic erects a Red Rijeka Monument – a self-defence monument at the top of the Rijeka skyscraper. It is a sculpture-object made of reinforced concrete and iron construction in the form of the large, discarded and forgotten five-pointed partisan star. Glass shattered into 2,800 pieces immersed in the face of the five-pointed star prevents any anticipated vandalism in which the five-pointed star could potentially be damaged, while pointing to a structure that endures and the monument’s ability to defend itself against the danger of destruction or being abandoned to oblivion. In the artist’s words, the 2,800 shards of glass may also be reminiscent of the 2,800 fallen fighters in the Battle of Rijeka, though the primary symbolism of the monument is expressed precisely through the paradox of the now rejected but still dangerous anti-fascist, revolutionary legacy.”

Other Assorted News

“Hague Prosecutors Arrest First Kosovo War Crime Suspect,” Balkan Insight, 9/24/2020

“The Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office made its first arrest on Thursday, detaining former Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA officer Salih Mustafa in the Llap region of north-east Kosovo, the Hague-based prosecution announced.”

“World Grows Less Accepting of Migrants,” Gallup, 9/23/2020

Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and North Macedonia are in the bottom six countries on the pollster’s migrant acceptance index in a recent survey.

“Belgrade Sells Iconic ‘Beogradjanka’ Landmark for 16.5 million Euros,” Balkan Insight, 9/9/2020

“Once the highest building in the whole of former Yugoslavia, the iconic tower block in central Belgrade officially called the Palace Belgrade, but far better known as Beogradjanka, was sold on Wednesday for 16.5 million euros.”

“Serbian History Textbooks ‘Give One-Sided View’ of 1990s Wars,” Balkan Insight, 8/9/2020

“The textbooks present war crimes committed during the 1990s in a superficial and biased manner, with a selective choice of information used to portray the Serbian nation as the main victim of the armed conflicts. At the same time, the textbooks usually ignore the suffering of other ethnic groups or the responsibility of members of the Serbian forces for it.”