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Russia will meddle in troubled Balkan waters

Monday, December 30, 2019

Significance

Disturbances in the newest NATO member state stems from religious and political affiliation rather than any doctrinal split, pitting pro-Western Montenegrin nationalists and minorities against self-identified Serbs loyal to Belgrade and Moscow. It is part of a broader Balkan split between pro-Western and pro-Russia orientations.

Impacts

  • The Western Balkans could become another contentious issue dividing Russia and Turkey, alongside Idlib and Libya.
  • Unlike the EU, NATO is still interested in expanding in the Balkans.
  • The West will push back against Beijing’s Balkan influence although its political profile is much lower than Moscow’s.
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