Latest News from Croatia Ambassador Luminita Odobescu: Romania, determined to contribute to enhancing European project

Romania and its citizens are strongly determined to contribute to the enhancement of the European project, based on the observance of the EU fundamental values and principles, during the period of exercising the Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union, the permanent representative of Romania to the European Union, Ambassador Luminita Odobescu says in an interview with AGERPRES. Cretu is glad to see that cohesion policy is a priority for Romanian Presidency of EU Council

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu welcomed on Tuesday the fact that the cohesion policy represents a priority for the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, adding that this thing "proves the clear impact that this policy of solidarity had over the past years in Romania, contributing essentially to improving the Romanians' lives."

Serbia 56th in Forbes Best Countries for Business list

Slovenia (31) is the top-ranked former Yugoslav state, followed by Croatia (52), with Macedonia (68), Montenegro (72) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (98) ranked behind Serbia.

As for other countries in the region, Albania is in the 74th place, while Hungary ranks 40th, followed by Romania (41), Greece (42) and Bulgaria (46).

Merkel and Macron "demand release" of Ukrainian sailors

We demand safe, free and unimpeded transit for all ships through the Kerch Strait and the immediate and unconditional release of all illegally detained Ukrainian seafarers, Merkel and Macron said in a joint statement quoted by Reuters.

Russia last month seized the vessels and their crew, stressing that they had violated the country's territorial waters, which Ukraine denies.

Another protest announced for Saturday in Belgrade

The protest organizers announced this on Friday.

They said that the participants would walk from this location via Makedonska, Svetogorska, Takovska, and Kralja Milana streets to Slavija Square.

US blocks Israel's attempt to sell warplanes to Croatia?

Croatian website Index is reporting this, citing Barak Ravid's article published by Axios, who said this "practically killed" the USD 500 million arms deal.

Ravid - who was the first to report several weeks ago that US-Israeli talks on this issue had stalled - is now citing a high ranking Israeli official involved in the negotiations.

Prime minister receives media strategy draft

Brnabic also received the text of the document.

According to the government, she "expressed gratitude to all members of the group who took part in drafting the document and pointed out to the importance of transparency and inclusiveness of process of media strategy development."

She also thanked international institutions that were involved.

"Putin to honor Serb victims of Croatia's Operation Storm"

It is then that the detailed plan of Putin's visit, scheduled for January 17, will be known, the report added.

Citing "unofficial diplomatic sources," the newspaper states that representatives of the Russian president's protocol, media relations, as well as members of his security, will arrive here on January 12.

"I, Milorad Dodik, will personally physically defend police"

"I said nothing because I was informed that, on the order of the Prosecution, Mister (Davor) Dragicevic was to be brought in. I don't think that I, as a politician, should react," the chairman of the BiH Presidency said.

He added that what happened in Banja Luka's central square on Tuesday was not an arrest, but detention.

"Albanian mafia laundered 1.5 billion euros in Serbia"

The tabloid's interlocutors assessed that the Albanian mafia in this way "became perhaps the biggest player in an elaborate scheme of laundering money gained through crime - mostly drugs and arms trafficking."

Political Overview

Cerar discusses US-Slovenia ties, Western Balkans in Washington

Greece to receive extra migrant assistance funding

Greece will receive the lion's share of the additional 305 million euros in emergency assistance granted by the European Commission to deal with the migration crisis.

According to the Commission, Greece will receive 289 million euros, while Italy, Cyprus and Croatia will get 5.3, 3.1 and 6.8 million euros respectively.

Dancila: Austrian Chancellor's visit, important moment, marking EU Council Presidency handover from Austria to Romania

The Austrian Chancellor's visit to Romania is an important moment, symbolically marking the handover of the Presidency of the EU Council from the Austrian Government to the Government of Romania and the transition from a protected Europe - the motto of the Austrian Presidency - to a Europe in which cohesion is seen as a common value, said Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.