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On Bosnia, Inzko Pitches EU, Russia Abstains, Ukraine Tomorrow

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- The Bosnia and Herzegovina resolution put to the vote in the UN Security Council on November 11 drew a rare abstention, from Russia. After that, the speeches went on in their predicable way.

  High Representative for BiH Valentin Inzko said that “we expect the needs of citizens to be tackled head on and for the country to be put back on track for Euro-Atlantic integration.”

  Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, himself Russia's envoy to Bosnia at one point, said that the 5 plus 2 process in the country should not be “infused with new concepts such as the integration of the country into European Union and NATO.”

 Guess what was the elephant in the room, or chamber? On November 12 at 2:30 pm, there is now scheduled a briefing about Ukraine, by Oscar Fernandez Taranco's replacement Jens Toyberg-Frandzen of Denmark, who was until recently UNDP Resident Representative ad interim in Ukraine (July-September 2014) and back in 2003-2006,  Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Small world.

  Earlier this year at the International Monetary Fund's May 22 embargoed briefing, spokesperson Gerry Rice answered Inner City Press' question about the Balkan floods.

  From the IMF transcript released today, video here from Minute 26:

GERRY RICE: Let me go online for a minute, because I've got a couple of questions here from Matthew Russell Lee. He asked Mali... and about the serious flooding in the Balkans which we're all, of course, very concerned about that. He's asking about the impact on the countries of the Balkans, and Serbia, and Bosnia.

Serbia's, again, been significantly affected. We have great concern, also, about the human casualties and the wide-spread damage, but we do not yet know the full extent of that. As an EU pre-accession country Serbia will be eligible for aid from the EU's disaster Fund.

In the meantime, the IMF engaged with Serbia through our policy advice, as well as in our discussion with other international, financial organizations through our resident representative. On Bosnia, actually, we have a staff team on the ground right now.

  Inner City Press, beyond Mali (reported here), had also asked about Yemen, adding the response to that as an update and now here:

ICP Question: Yemen's Finance Minister said the country will reduce fuel subsidies to get a $500M IMF program, hoped to be concluded by end of May. What is the status, and what about fuel shortages and impacted Yemenis?

IMF Answer: A mission is discussing with the authorities their economic reform program and how the IMF can support them.

  Well, a similar reduction in subsidies by the government in 2005 led protests that left dozens killed and wounded. And now? Watch this site.


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