Chinese President Jiang Zemin has felicitated New Year to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Jiang said in his felicitation that President Milosevic's recent visit to China had opened a new page of the friendly cooperation between China and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Jiang also said he was convinced that a comprehensive development of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries would continue in 1998, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic received Wednesday Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic and Chief of Staff General Momcilo Perisic accompanied by ministry and army delegations. President Milosevic expressed satisfaction with the results achieved in army training, unity, morale, patriotism and sense of responsibility, troop combat preparedness and defense capabilities of Yugoslav Army. The President expressed his conviction that a successful implementation of the accelerated economic recovery program and the reforms underway would lay the conditions for the future development of Yugoslav Army. Expressing his best wishes for the New Year to all army members, President Milosevic said he hoped they would continue fulfilling their duties successfully.
The Montenegrin Parliament late Wednesday passed without debate a new law on public information, after the text of the law had been coordinated by a multi-party working group and an expert team in charge of preparing necessary legislation for holding early parliamentary elections, scheduled for the spring of 1998. Deputy Milan Gajovic gave a brief explanation of the new law, saying that its text included international media standards and democratic solutions applied in modern European countries. Montenegrin Information Secretary Bozidar Jaredic said that the law envisaged a new way of administering the media, which will be exercised by the individual republic's and municipality's bodies of power. The law gives high executive though not editorial power to public media boards of directors and supervisory boards. Editorial policy will be the job of editor-in-chief, who is appointed by a new body - board of programme directors.
Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic, RS member in the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Momcilo Krajisnik and RS outgoing Parliament Speaker Dragan Kalinic confirmed at a meeting held in Brcko Wednesday that the constituent session of RS parliament will be held in Bijeljina on December 27. "This was one of a number of working meetings to be held ahead of the session," Biljana Plavsic said and pointed out that the new parliament and new RS government "will work better than the previous ones." Krajisnik said the meeting was successful, that there will be more consultations about appointments to the highest offices, and that there were already "some candidates" proposed by the Serb Democratic Party and the Serb Radical Party.
President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic received Tuesday Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, who is paying an official visit to Yugoslavia at the invitation of his counterpart Milan Milutinovic. Yugoslavia and Portugal both wish to strengthen bilateral relations and elevate them to a higher level, especially through political dialogue, exchange of visits and political and economic contacts, it was underlined during the meeting. Yugoslavia's participation in the international Expo 98 in Lisbon should pave the way for improving business ties between the two countries, it was noted during the meeting. President Milosevic and Minister Gama exchanged views on current international issues, with a special emphasis on the situation in the region. They pointed to Yugoslavia's active role and contribution to the development of cooperation and the implementation of the policy of openness, equality, peace and stability. Yugoslavia and Portugal intend to give an impetus to overall bilateral relations through updating and extending several inter-state agreements. The meeting was attended also by Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic.
Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic received Tuesday Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama. It was mutually assessed, the Yugoslav Information Secretariat said, that conditions existed for the normalization of comprehensive relations between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Portugal.
Prime Minister Kontic said that for the development of bilateral cooperation is was necessary to update existing and sign new accords on Yugoslav-Portuguese cooperation in certain fields and establish tighter economic relations, for what possibilities existed, first and foremost, in the agro-industrial complex and in the chemical, pharmaceutical and textile industries. Kontic also said he expected that the participation of the FRY in the World Exhibition, Expo '98, in Lisbon will be useful in many ways for getting to know one another and for a speedier establishment of business links between the two countries. Prime Minister Kontic also said he believed that Portugal will actively support the inclusion on the equal footing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia into international political, trade and financial institutions, the European Union, OSCE and other regional organizations. Minister Jaime Gama expressed a readiness for restoring comprehensive Yugoslav-Portuguese relations and expectations that the FRY will normalize in the near future relations with world and regional international organizations. Kontic asked Gama to convey an invitation to Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres to visit the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1998.
According to the final results of the Serbian run-off presidential elections of December 21, joint candidate of the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Yugoslav Left and the New Democracy party Milan Milutinovic will become new Serbian President, the Serbian Electoral Commission told a news conference on Tuesday. Commission Secretary Nebojsa Rodic said that according to the official final results Milutinovic had won 59.23 percent of the vote (2,181,808 ballots). Serbian Radical Party candidate Vojislav Seselj won 37.57 percent of the vote (1,383,868 ballots). Milutinovic was elected for a five-year term of office.
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic said Tuesday that he held substantial talks with Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama about bilateral cooperation, about relations between Yugoslavia and the European Union. "I wish to express satisfaction with the visit of Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama to FR Yugoslavia and with the open, substantial talks we held. This is the first high-level visit from Portugal since 1985 and thus it has special significance", Milutinovic told reporters after talks with the Portuguese Foreign Minister. He said that the talks were held in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and that they confirmed the existence of a mutual interest and readiness for joint work on the further promotion of relations and cooperation between the two friendly countries. Milutinovic said that Portugal was one of those European countries which had a balanced position on the crisis in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and that it was among the first to support the constructive role of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the peace process and its contribution to the conclusion of the Dayton*Paris Peace Agreement. He also said that the Yugoslav side appreciates Portugal's engagement in the multinational peace-keeping forces in Bosnia (SFOR).
"All that represents a good basis for stepping up cooperation, which is still not at the level of our expectations," Milutinovic said and added that in the talks with Gama the greatest attention was devoted precisely to the issue of further development of bilateral cooperation.
"We have agreed to promote contacts and a dialogue between the two ministries of foreign affairs and other government bodies, and also to propose the exchange of parliamentary delegations and all kinds of contacts and cooperation which can help upgrade our relations," the Yugoslav Foreign Minister said. "We have agreed especially to support mutual efforts with a view to promoting economic cooperation, which is still modest, Milutinovic said, and added that the two sides think possibilities existed for good economic cooperation in a number of fields such as agro-industry, production of tractors, chemical industry, pharmaceutical and textile industries. As a beneficiary of a number of EU funds, Portugal is an interesting partner for our economy, especially in the field of agro- industry. There exist also possibilities for joint cooperation on the markets of third countries," he said. "I think it is very important that Yugoslavia has been invited to take part in the World Exhibition Expo '98 to be held by the middle of next year in Lisabon," Milutinovic said. He said it would be an important occasion for presenting Yugoslav economic possibilities at the highest international level, and for the establishment of better business contacts between the two countries. Milutinovic said he discussed with his Portuguese counterpart Yugoslav foreign and interior policy priorities and that he underlined the longstanding strategic orientation of our country for the development of comprehensive relations with the European Union. He pointed out that the Portuguese side had demonstrated a readiness to support that. "We have established that the Dayton*Paris Peace Agreement was being successfully implemented. I pointed to certain risks that could jeopardise the peace process, such as attempts to revise the Dayton Peace Agreement, the continued arming of one of the entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, unequal treatment in the implementation of the recovery and reconstruction program and the still unresolved issue of refugees and displaced persons," Milutinovic said. We have agreed, he said, it was indispensable that the international community remains engaged in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to secure lasting peace, protect the interests of both entities and all the three peoples. Milutinovic said in conclusion he believed Foreign Minister Gama's visit and the talks they held will open a new chapter in the relations between FR Yugoslavia and Portugal and give an impetus to the development of our relations and cooperation, in what both sides are essentially interested. The Portuguese Foreign Minister said that it was a great pleasure for him to be in Belgrade again after so many years. In that context he announced that next year Portugal will upgrade diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia to the ambassadorial level. Minister Gama added that some existing agreements between the two countries have been updated, and some signed, for example the agreement on maritime traffic. Portugal, Gama said, cooperates very closely with the FRY so that the European Union incorporates in the near future Yugoslavia in the trade facilities it has already extended to the countries of the region. Gama said that Portugal was also working on the return of Yugoslavia into the OSCE. "We want Yugoslavia to return to that international forum," the Portuguese Minister said and he hoped that the results of the presidential elections in Serbia and the victory of his respected counterpart Milutinovic will help that return. Gama said they wanted the FRY to be actively present on the international scene for the greater stability of the Balkans and Europe, and that was their primary goal.
The Yugoslav Government held a session on Monday chaired by Prime Minister Radoje Kontic and endorsed the plans on restrictive monetary policy proposed by the National Bank for 1998, Yugoslav Information Secretariat said in a statement.
The basic goal of the 1998 monetary policy is to preserve the stability of the exchange rate and of prices, which is line with the fundamental goals of the Government's overall economic policy for 1998. The growth rate of money supply in 1998 should be lower than that of the GNP, in order to reduce pressure on foreign exchange reserves and ensure the stability of prices and of the exchange rate of the dinar.
In the first quarter of 1998, the money supply will be considerably reduced in order to stabilize the exchange rate and prices, the Government said.
In order to realize the planned production increase, all funds should be directed only to companies operating successfully, the Government said.
The Government also discussed and adopted several measures for ensuring the planned budgetary revenues, the statement says.
The Republika Srpska member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Momcilo Krajisnik described as useful the talks held with US President Bill Clinton on Monday in Sarajevo.
Krajisnik told the press in Pale that he had conveyed to President Clinton Srpska's firm commitment to the Dayton Agreement and its fears of attempts being made to modify it.
He also said he had thanked Clinton for the US and his own role in helping Bosnia's peoples and entities reach understanding.
President Clinton is aware of the specific aspirations of the three Bosnian parties - the Muslims wish to dominate, the Croats are not committed to Bosnia's development and the Serbs do not want a single Bosnia, Krajisnik said.
Krajisnik said he had agreed with Clinton's observations and explained that over 90 percent of the Serbs wish for a unification with Yugoslavia as they fear living in a single Bosnia.
Krajisnik added he had thanked Clinton for the US help in establishing peace in the region and had asked him to help preserve the principle of equality of the three peoples and two entities in Bosnia.
The Serb side will strive for the full implementation of the Dayton Agreement and will not work against Bosnia, but will defend the Republika Srpska sovereignty established in Dayton, Krajisnik said.
Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic said on Monday in Banja Luka that she had discussed the implementation of the Dayton Agreement with US President Bill Clinton in Sarajevo.
Plavsic said she had asked the US President to show understanding, as the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended only recently and the Peace Agreement cannot consequently be implemented fast, Srpska media report.
Plavsic underlined that she expected positive results from the Dayton Agreement but that all sides must be patient.
The meeting between Presidents Plavsic and Clinton in Sarajevo was attended also by the Co-Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers from Republika Srpska Boro Bosic, the Deputy Foreign Minister in the Bosnia- Herzegovina Council of Ministers Dragan Bozanic, and the Presidents of the Socialist Party of Republika Srpska Zivko Radisic and of the Party of Independent Social-Democrats of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik.
President of the Serb Democratic Party (SDS) Presidency Aleksa Buha and President of the Serb Radical Party of Republika Srpska (SRS-RS) Nikola Poplasen signed on Monday evening in Bijeljina an agreement on partnership in order to ensure a majority in the new Srpska Parliament.
It has been proposed that the constituent session of the new Parliament be held in Bijeljina on January 12.
In line with the agreement, the SDS will propose the candidates for Parliament Speaker and both parties will propose candidates for the two Deputy Speakers.
The SDS will also propose to President Biljana Plavsic a candidate for Prime Minister.
Buha said that the agreement was the result of several days of talks between representatives of the two parties and that the socialists had also been invited to join them but refused.
Poplasen expressed satisfaction with the agreement and said that other parliamentary parties were behaving in an unprincipled manner.
The SDS and SRS-RS together have 39 seats in the Srpska Parliament out of the total of 83.
According to the first, partial results, the repeated voting for the President of Serbia, held on December 21, has been successful with a turnout of 50.53 percent, it was stated on Monday evening at a press conference in the Serbian Election Commission.
Serbian Election Commission Secretary Nebojsa Rodic said that the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of Serbia, Yugoslav Left and New Democracy, Milan Milutinovic, had won 2,049,900 votes, or 58.66 percent of total votes.
The presidential candidate of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj has won 1,332,648 votes, or 38.14 percent of the total number of votes.
Announcing these partial results, Rodic said that till 15:10 (local time), the Serbian Institute for Statistics had processed reports from 9,231, out of 9,844 polling stations in Serbia.
Rodic also said that at polling stations whose reports have been processed, the number of voters was 3,494,549, or 50.53 percent of the electorate.
A total of 109,515 invalid ballots have been registered, or 3.14 percent of the total number of ballots. That is at the level of the usual percentage at elections for the President of the Republic, he said.
The data unequivocally confirms that the repeated voting for the President of the Republic has succeeded, which, after the processing of data from all the polling stations in Serbia, and in accordance with the law, will be announced at the next press conference, Nebojsa Rodic said, not specifying when that will be.
At the press conference held on Monday, Serbian Election Commission spokesman Zoran Djumic said that the elections for President of the Republic of Serbia were followed by 29 foreign observers - 13 from OSCE, eight from international nongovernmental organizations and eight from foreign diplomatic-consular representations.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama, who arrived on a two-day official visit to Yugoslavia at the invitation of his Yugoslav counterpart Milan Milutinovic on Monday, is to discuss with Yugoslav officials the promotion of cooperation and relations between the two countries and international issues of mutual interest.
Head of the Socialist Party of Serbia Electoral Staff Gorica Gajevic and Coordinator Milomir Minic gave a reception at Belgrade's Sava Centre on Monday to celebrate the victory of Milan Milutinovic in Serbia's presidential election, which was attended also by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and his wife Mira Markovic.
President Milosevic congratulated Milutinovic on his election as President of Serbia and wished him success.
"I also wish to congratulate all those in our alliance of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), the Yugoslav Left (JUL) and the New Democracy (ND), who have contributed to the success of this election in the interest of Serbia. I also wish to congratulate all the citizens who have given such a strong support to the policy and commitments voiced by our alliance and our presidential candidate, now already President of the Republic, Milan Milutinovic", Milosevic said.
Now that the election period is finally over, the time has come for everyone in Serbia to start working for economic recovery and devoting all their time and energy to ensuring better and more humane life in Serbia, in the same manner and with the same ardour they demonstrated while working towards the success of the election, he said.
The newly elected President of Serbia Milan Milutinovic said on Monday morning, after the presidential runoff results were announced at the SPS headquarters, that Serbia's concerns should now be work and development.
Milutinovic thanked citizens of Serbia, the SPS and its coalition partners, the Yugoslav Left and New Democracy, for their support.
"I wish especially to thank the SPS Main Committee and President Slobodan Milosevic, who put their trust in me and put up my candidacy," Milutinovic said.
Milan Milutinovic, who has been elected President of Serbia as the candidate of the left coalition SPS-JUL-ND, was born on Dec. 19, 1942 in Belgrade.
He graduated from the University of Belgrade Law School in 1965. After graduating, Milutinovic held many responsible political, social and public posts. He was a Deputy in the Assembly of Yugoslavia Social-Political Chamber, Serbian Secretary for Education and Science, member of the Serbian Government twice, and director of the National Library of Serbia.
He was Ambassador in the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry, head of a Foreign Ministry division, and Yugoslav Ambassador to Greece.
Milutinovic and wife Olga have a son, Veljko. Milutinovic speaks English and French.
Yugoslav Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications will head a delegation for talks with representatives of the Albanian Ministry of Industry, Traffic and Trade in Tirana, December 19-20 this year, the Yugoslav Information Secretariat said on Friday. All pend= ing issues will be reviewed on that occasion in connection with the renewal of traffic in the coming period between the two countries, particularly the possibility of restoring railway traffic between Podgorica and Skadar, the statement said.
The "Gosa" holding corporation, based in the Serbian town of Smederevska Palanka, has signed a contract to produce and assemble parts for a hydro- electrical power plant in Ethiopia. The deal was signed with mediation from the Belgrade "Energoproject" company, and the value of the works is about two million U.S. dollars. The "Gosa" industry is due to meet the terms of the contract in less than two years, which would pave the way for work on three more hydro-power plants in Ethiopia. "Gosa" carried off the deal amid strong international competition, in which about 60 companies contested for the job.
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers Dragan Bozanic said Sunday in Pale that the visit of US President Bill Clinton to Bosnia-Herzegovina Monday was very important and that much was expected from it. This will be one more incentive to the consolidation of peace and to the implementation of the Dayton Agreement, Bozanic said and added he expected the Americans to pursue their constructive endeavors for the full implementation of the Agreement. Clinton is coming to Bosnia to pay a Christmas visit to the US troops within SFOR, but his visit will also be important for the establishment of good relations within Bosnia- Herzegovina, Bozanic said. Bozanic said he did not share the view prevailing in the Muslim-Croat Federation that the implementation of the Dayton Agreement had come to a standstill. The Peace Agreement continues to be implemented and progress is being made after the Peace Implementation Council conference in Bonn, Bozanic said and expressed hope that activities to this end would be pursued next year.
President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic has addressed a New Year's message of best wishes for prosperity and cooperation to the President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin and to the Chinese people. The message was presented Saturday in Beijing to the Chinese Foreign Minister Zhang Deguang by Yugoslav Deputy Foreign Minister Radoslav Bulajic, the Yugoslav Embassy in Beijing told the press. Zhang thanked Bulajic for the message and pointed to the great importance of the recent visit of Yugoslav President Milosevic to China which had opened a new stage in the traditionally good and friendly bilateral relations. China is ready to continue developing overall relations and economic cooperation with Yugoslavia, Zhang said, and welcomed the establishment of direct Belgrade-Bejing flights by the Yugoslav airline JAT. Zhang and Bulatovic exchanged views on the overall bilateral relations and Bulatovic thanked the Chinese leadership for the help in opening the flight service. The meeting also focused on international and regional issues of mutual concern.
The Mixed Working Group, formed by the Joint Diplomatic-Expert Commission for determining the state border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia, held a meeting in Belgrade, December 17-18, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said Friday. The task of the Mixed Working Group is to examine important documents for determining the state border between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Macedonia, which are at the disposal of both sides. Promemoria about the documents were exchanged by the two sides in Skoplje, on October 20 this year. The conclusions and proposals of the Mixed Working Group will be reviewed by the Joint Diplomatic-Expert commission at its next session due to be held soon in Belgrade, the statement said.
Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama is due on a two-day official visit to Yugoslavia on Monday, the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said Sunday. Minister Gama is expected to discuss with his Yugoslav hosts all aspects of the bilateral cooperation, especially, economic, in whose promotion both sides are interested. The talks are also to cover major international topics of joint interest, especially the further development of relations between Yugoslavia and the European Union.
Spokesman for the Socialist Party of Serbia Ivica Dacic said early on Tuesday that 90 percent of the ballots counted so far put left bloc candidate Milan Milutinovic in the lead. Milutinovic has won 1,954,923 votes (57.51 percent), and radical candidate Vojislav Seselj 1,333,273, votes (39.23 percent). Dacic said the second round of the elections for the president of Serbia had been successful, as the turnout was over 50 percent. Head of the campaign staff of the Serbian Radical Party Dragan Todorovic has said that left bloc candidate Milan Milutinovic was ahead of their own candidate in the second round of presidential elections. The party has counted 92.77 percent of polling precincts, and recorded a turnout of 49.96 percent. Milutinovic has won 1,944,396 votes (57.63 percent), and Vojislav Seselj 1,314,104 (38.95 percent).
A Yugoslav delegation headed by Minister of Transport Dejan Drobnjakovic has visited Montreal at the invitation of Assad Cotaita, President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council, to discuss air traffic issues at ICAO headquarters. The talks focused on selecting flight routes and safety measures. The Yugoslav delegation emphasised the principle of territory protection and flight safety, and its views were fully endorsed by ICAO Council President and by its Secretary-General Costa Perreira, as confirmed by a protocol signed during the talks. The ICAO agreed to fulfil its commitments in this regard as soon as possible and promised it would strive to have Yugoslavia readmitted is its member. The ICAO is a UN agency. The issue of a Yugoslav Airlines (JAT) Boeing B737-300 still grounded in Istanbul by the Bosphorus company despite a ruling of Turkey's Supreme Court, ICAO endeavors and bilateral diplomatic activities, was also discussed. The Yugoslav delegation presented a complete file of evidence regarding this problem, and this was accepted by the ICAO representatives. The ICAO officials pointed to the high degree of safety of flights in Yugoslavia's air space and in JAT aircraft. A protocol on the future intensification of bilateral cooperation was signed by Minister Drobnjakovic and ICAO Council President.
Serbian Commissioner for Refugees Bratislava Morina said on Saturday that the results of the several-day meeting in Geneva on the situation of refugees and humanitarian aid would alleviate the concern of refugees as regards the funding of aid in 1998. Morina told Radio Belgrade on her return from Geneva that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had appealed for maintaining the same level of aid in 1998 as in 1997. Representatives of the international community were told that Yugoslavia remained firmly in favour of the implementation of the Dayton Agreement and was exerting utmost efforts to take care of nearly 700,000 refugees. The most important results of the Geneva meeting were the agreements to provide equal aid to both Bosnian entities (Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation) and to initiate the voluntary repatriation of refugees, Morina said. Describing the Geneva meeting as characterized by a similarity of stances of all delegations, Morina said that the proposal of the Serbian delegation on hosting the next regional meeting on refugees and humanitarian aid was accepted by the participants and should be held soon after the New Year.
Higher production and a reduced participation of public spending in the social product will be the chief features of Yugoslavia's economic and development policies in 1998, Yugoslav Minister of Development, Science and Ecology Jagos Zelenovic has said. Zelenovic said in an interview published in the Pristina daily "Jedinstvo" that the available potentials were a guarantee that the planned development would be achieved. He urged that internal differences over economic issues be resolved, as he said they could pose an obstacle to the planned development. Asked how the extended "outer wall" of sanctions against Yugoslavia would reflect on the country's development, Minister Zelenovic said that capital had its own logic which was often not in line with the actual policy and that logic had already opened many possibilities for exchange with foreign partners. "There is room for Yugoslav economy in the world. Yugoslavia is present on the world market and has numerous bilateral economic arrangements. Yugoslav enterprises record significant trade results and foreign firms are interested in investing in our economy", Minister Zelenovic underscored. He reiterated that inflation must be maintained at the zero level and in that context singled out the need for securing the Yugoslav economy's competitiveness on foreign markets.
A protocol on trade and economic cooperation between Serbia and Belarus was signed in Belgrade on Friday, a Government statement said. The protocol provides for the expansion of trade and economic cooperation between Serbia and Belarus, which currently lags behind the actual possibilities. The value of the bilateral trade for 1998 is expected to exceed 100 million dollars. The protocol was signed by Serbian Minister without Portfolio Andrej Milosavljevic and Division Head in the Belarus Government Viktor Demianovic.
Yugoslav Ambassador to China Slobodan Unkovic said Saturday that a Yugoslav consulate would be opened early next year in Shanghai. Unkovic told the press that China was one of Yugoslavia's key trade partners and underlined that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's recent visit to China had contributed to the promotion and strengthening of all-round bilateral ties, especially in the economy. An inter-state agreement on cooperation in tourism is expected to be concluded in a near future, Unkovic said.