BELGRADE (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is guest of honor at a military parade in Belgrade on Thursday to mark 70 years since the city’s liberation by the Red Army, a visit loaded with symbolism as Serbia walks a tightrope between the Europe it wants to join and a big-power ally it cannot leave behind.
The United States and European Union are unlikely to welcome the sight of Putin taking the salute at a parade of more than 3,000 Serbian soldiers while NATO says Russian troops are fighting on the side of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.
BELGRADE, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Gay rights activists in Serbia
held their first Pride march in four years on Sunday, walking
through Belgrade streets emptied of traffic and pedestrians by a
massive security operation.
Thousands of riot police with armoured vehicles, water
cannon, horses and shields sealed off streets leading to the
site of the short march from the government headquarters to
parliament, to prevent a repeat of running battles with hardline
nationalists and football hooligans that took place in 2010.
NOVI SAD, Serbia, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Serbia’s chief gas
distributor said it hoped to reserve 200 million cubic metres
(mcm) of gas in neighbouring Hungary for the coming winter,
while its own inflows of Russian gas were down by 20 percent for
a third day on Friday.
Serbia, heading for the beginning of its winter heating
season next month, risks finding itself on the front line as
Russia reduces the supply of gas to Europe. The Balkan country’s
energy sector is already under strain since major flooding in
May inundated a coal mine supplying its biggest power plant.
BELGRADE, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Tsvetan Vassilev, the majority
owner of Bulgaria’s troubled Corporate Commercial Bank
(Corpbank), surrendered on Tuesday to police in Serbia on an
international arrest warrant for embezzlement, a senior source
at Serbia’s interior ministry said.
Corpbank has been at the centre of Bulgaria’s worst
banking crisis since the 1990s, after a run on deposits in June
prompted the central bank to seize the lender, the country’s
fourth biggest, and close its operations.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – One person died in Serbia and authorities scrambled to evacuate hundreds of others from villages threatened by rising rivers, officials said on Tuesday, in scenes recalling the devastating May flooding that killed dozens.
The Serbian government has declared a state of emergency in three eastern municipalities along the River Danube – Kladovo, Negotin and Majdanpek – after several days of heavy rainfall.
MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Kiev authorities in Mariupol, a frontline city in the conflict between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists, announced on Wednesday a night curfew and other restrictions for nearby towns and villages to help control rebel movements during a fragile ceasefire.
Some locals complained that the measures – which do not apply to the city of Mariupol itself – amounted to “undeclared martial law”; but others deemed them a necessary step enabling Ukrainian authorities to better monitor the shaky five-day ceasefire and prevent rebels exploiting it.
KIEV/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Four Ukrainian servicemen have been killed since the start of a ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russian separatists last Friday in eastern Ukraine, a defense ministry official was quoted on Tuesday as saying.
The ceasefire is part of a peace plan intended to end a five-month-old conflict the United Nations says has killed more than 3,000 people. It has also caused the sharpest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
MARIUPOL/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko visited the eastern port of Mariupol on Monday and promised to deal a “crushing defeat” to pro-Russian rebels massed on the edge of town if they tried to advance in violation of a ceasefire agreement.
“I have ordered (the military) to secure the defense of Mariupol with howitzers, multiple rocket launchers, tanks, anti-tank weapons and air cover,” Poroshenko told a crowd of steel workers in the port on the Sea of Azov near the Russian border.
MARIUPOL/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – A ceasefire struck between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists was largely holding on Monday in eastern Ukraine, although Kiev accused the rebels of sporadic violations overnight, especially near the port of Mariupol.
The ceasefire, which took effect on Friday evening, is part of a peace plan intended to end a five-month conflict the United Nations’ human rights envoy said on Monday had killed more than 3,000 people. It has also caused the sharpest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.
DONETSK/MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – A woman died and at least four people were wounded when fighting flared again in eastern Ukraine overnight into Sunday, jeopardizing a ceasefire struck less than two days earlier between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.
The accord, brokered by envoys from Ukraine, the separatist leadership, Russia and Europe’s OSCE security watchdog, is part of a peace plan intended to end a five-month conflict that has killed nearly 3,000 people and caused the sharpest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War.