SREMSKI KARLOVCI, Serbia, June 8 (Reuters) – Legend has it
that Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus never let his soldiers
sit idle, so in peacetime he put them to work planting vineyards
in the rolling hills of Alma Mons, present-day Fruska Gora in
Over the centuries, winemaking became a noble and lucrative
business across the western Balkans. Two world wars,
communist-era neglect and a decade of turbulence at the close of
the 20th century devastated the industry, but in Serbia there
are green shoots of revival.
BELGRADE, April 9 (Reuters) – Low inflation, a weak economy
and a rebounding dinar led Serbia’s central bank to cut its
benchmark for the second time in as many months on Thursday,
lowering the rate by 50 basis points to 7.0 percent.
Ten of 16 bankers and analysts polled by Reuters
this week and last had predicted the bank would cut the rate
, still the highest in the region. Six said it would
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia arrested seven men on Wednesday suspected of taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, the first such arrests in the ex-Yugoslav republic of accused gunmen in Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
The men, arrested in several locations across Serbia, stand accused of executing more than 1,000 Muslim Bosniaks at a warehouse just outside Srebrenica, some of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed in the area after it fell to Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995.
BELGRADE (Reuters) – Near-zero inflation, an economy in contraction and the safety net of an IMF loan deal may give Serbia’s central bank cause to cut interest rates for the first time since November when it meets on Thursday.
Seven of 14 bankers and analysts polled by Reuters this week and last predicted the bank would cut its benchmark rate, the highest in the region, by between 25 and 50 basis points, trying to ward off deflation and prop up an economy forecast to contract for a second year running.
DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – The leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were due to attend a peace summit on Wednesday, but Ukraine’s pro-Moscow separatists diminished the chance of a deal by launching some of the war’s worst fighting in an assault on a government garrison.
Kiev said 19 of its soldiers were killed in a day of pro-Russian separatist assaults at a single location near the railway hub of Debaltseve, some of the worst losses it has reported in nine months of war.
VUHLEHIRSK/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Rockets
killed civilians and soldiers deep in Ukrainian government-held
territory on Tuesday and rebels pushed on with an assault to cut
off an army-held rail junction, setbacks that showed Kiev’s
position worsening on the eve of peace talks.
Advances by pro-Russian rebels diminished hopes of a deal
when Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany hold a summit in Minsk
on Wednesday under a new Franco-German initiative to halt
fighting in a war that has killed more than 5,000 people.
VUHLEHIRSK/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Rebel fighters made a push on Tuesday to cut off a government-held road and rail junction in east Ukraine, vowing on the eve of peace talks that they would not cease fire until they had achieved their aim of taking more territory.
Some 30 km (50 miles) north of the front line, in government-held Kramatorsk, rockets slammed into the headquarters of Ukraine’s local military operation and a nearby district of residential apartment blocks. The rebels denied firing on the town.
DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko will not be present at a summit on east Ukraine this week but his actions will help determine the success or failure of any peace deal.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen in the West as holding the key to peace, Zakharchenko is regarded vital for ensuring Moscow’s decisions are implemented.
WASHINGTON/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama made clear he was some way from a decision on whether to arm Ukraine in its conflict against Russian-backed rebels, saying on Monday he still hoped for a diplomatic solution.
“The measure by which I make these decisions is: ‘Is it more likely to be effective than not?’,” Obama said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opposes providing Ukraine with weapons to fight separatists in its east.
WASHINGTON/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to argue against arming Ukraine in its conflict against Russian-backed rebels in Washington on Monday in the face of intense U.S. Congressional pressure.
Merkel’s message that sending Western weapons to Kiev risks escalating the conflict is likely to get a sympathetic hearing when she meets President Barack Obama later in the day.