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updated Wed. April 18, 2018

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The strikes on Saturday morning on suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities by the US, Britain and France attracted support from political leaders in Kosovo, Albania and staunch NATO member Romania. But in Serbia, the US-led attacks caused some to recall the NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia ...

Most of the Kremlin's influence operations in the Western Balkans feed off local corruption, one of the primary conduits through which Russia maintains relationships with friendly elites. Through bribery and shady business deals, Moscow can buy the political acquiescence of Balkan politicians and ...
Growth in the Western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia - declined in 2017, despite the creation of 190,000 new jobs in the first nine months of that year. According to the latest World Bank Regular Economic Report (RER) for the Western Balkans, Vulnerabilities ...
Freshly-made burek pastries in North York are a crunchy, salty, creamy journey to the Balkans ... Coming from the area of southeastern Europe cradled by the Balkan Mountains, from places like Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, people make the ...
Serbia's president called on western Balkan countries to settle their differences and create a common market to attract badly needed foreign investment. Armed conflict in the Balkans ended more than 18 years ago, but five of the states that emerged after the former Yugoslavia broke up - ...
Minefields dot Bosnia's Trebevic mountainsides. Large areas of Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina remain plagued by mines and other live bombs two decades after the Balkan wars of the 1990s. Mr. Rorandelli, a Rome-based photographer who specializes in global social and environmental issues ...
Rather, Russian leaders see the Balkans as critical piece in a new, broader 'Great Game'. In this game, Moscow, Brussels, Washington, and other national actors will seek to gain advantage and apply leverage in the region in the pursuit of wider goals that have little to do with Balkan politics. In the words of ...
Several EU member states are considering whether to attend the Western Balkan summit in May in Bulgaria at the highest level, as they object to the presence of Kosovo, one of the potential candidate countries for European accession. Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy has already signalled at the EU ...
Once again, the states in the Balkan region have ended up in a self-created trap. Outwardly strong supporters of the EU and of its common foreign and security policy, ... Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article. Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.
The EU is still failing to address the issue of state capture in the Balkans and, by choosing stability over democracy in the region, has been undermining its own credibility and values. But now it must take strong actions in view of the 2025 admission perspective, writes Shpend Ahmeti. Shpend Ahmeti is the ...
Spain, Romania and Cyprus have signaled their unwillingness to take part in the main discussion of the upcoming EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia due to Kosovo's participation. According to Serbian analysts, the firm stance of Madrid and some other European capitals shows that Belgrade must stand ...
Montenegro top security officials admit the situation in the country is worrying, after new bomb blasts and assassinations, having claimed the opposite for years. Dusica Tomovic. BIRN. Podgorica. A car bomb killed one in the capital Podgorica on March 28. Photo: BIRN. A car bomb exploded late on Sunday ...
In the capitals of the Western Balkan countries, as well as in the corridors of the European Union, Greece led the way in advocating enlargement. Nowhere was this clearer than at the successful Thessaloniki European Council, in 2003, which laid down an agenda for the countries of the Western Balkans to ...
(ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, MARCH 21 - Several Balkan regions remained on flood alert on Wednesday as river levels remained high due to recent heavy rainfall and snowmelt. The situation was most critical in the Bosnia's Republika Srpska, where media reported that the river Sava continued to rise.
Nearly two dozen members of the pro-Kremlin motorcycle group Night Wolves have visited Banja Luka, the administrative center of Bosnia's predominantly Serb entity, Republika Srpska, as part of what they are calling a "Russian Balkans" tour. Because of bad weather conditions, instead of riding in on ...

Like in Serbia, Russia's influence is quite big in Bulgaria. The other Balkan states are less dependent on Moscow. As discontent with activity of European officials grows in Sofia, many experts say EU tries to freeze the situation in Bulgaria to keep its assets there and not to lose control over Sofia to Moscow.
Promised Chinese investments flowing into the region threatens to overshadow the EU's own investments in the Balkans, which have proved slow and burdened by complex procedures. “China will vigorously foster an external environment of opening-up for common development,” Chinese President Xi ...
Pro-Russian politicians from the Balkans have congratulated Vladimir Putin after he won more than 74 per cent of the vote in Sunday's presidential elections – while leaders of some other Balkan countries more closely aligned with NATO remained silent. The fiercely pro-Russian President of Bosnia's ...
Here's a paradox from Brexit Britain. This summer, at a summit meeting in London organised by the UK's Foreign Office, a hard Brexiteer – the foreign secretary Boris Johnson – will be the designated advocate of EU membership for the Western Balkan states. A country preparing to leave the EU will preach ...
In fact, Scaparrotti spoke briefly about Serbia in the context of Russian influence in the Balkans. “There is obviously a historical connection and affiliation but there is also because of that a better opportunity for Russian influence and [the Russians] take advantage of that in terms of disinformation, influence ...
“It's a place where everyone can come and they are welcome …believe me, there are not very many places like this in the Balkans.” The contemporary music scene in Bosnia is dominated by turbo-folk, a blend of regional folk music and electronic pop that originated in Serbia in the 1990s. It often features ...
It was not that long ago, well into the late 2000s in fact, that the complex network of internationally brokered peace agreements that pacified the Western Balkans in the wake of the 1991-2001 Yugoslav wars were held up as hallmarks of post-Cold War diplomacy. Bosnia and Herzegovina's Dayton peace ...
Balkan countries fare badly in this year's UN World Happiness Report, prompting a rather memorable headline in the regional press: “Balkans Not Very Joyful, says the UN”. The two worst Balkan offenders were Bosnia and Herzegovina in 93rd position, ranking well below Libya and dictatorships such as ...
A senior U.S. official has offered U.S. help to solve problems in the troubled Balkan region where Russia also has sought to increase its influence. ... BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A senior U.S. official said Wednesday that the United States wants to help solve problems in Western Balkans, a troubled ...
A senior U.S. official has warned of what he called Moscow's "increasingly destructive role" in the Balkans, saying that Russia is undermining democracy in ... In February, the European Union unveiled its new strategy to integrate the six Balkan countries that remain outside the European Union -- Albania, ...
Around two dozen members of the biker group, which is under U.S. sanctions for its role in a Russia-backed separatist war in Ukraine, will tour the Balkan countries to “research on the cultural influence of the Russian Empire in the Balkans,” the group said in an Internet post. The announced tour was ...
It is true that, once they are in power, Balkan political elites tend to remain there indefinitely. But this political phenomenon was not invented in the Balkans. It is not our original “trade-mark”. Just to recall, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, served as the 23rd Prime Minister of ...
A senior US official on Monday accused Russia of spreading disinformation and undermining democracy in the Balkans, warning that Moscow was playing an ... Moscow does not officially oppose Balkan countries' bidding to join the European Union but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently ...
Russia's most recent and public intervention in the region came two years ago as Montenegro, a Balkan nation on the Adriatic Sea, was moving toward NATO membership. Moscow, following its seizure of Crimea in 2014, the backing of separatists in Ukraine and deteriorating relations with the European ...
The Balkan states were hit particularly badly by snow only a week before the thaw. In fact, throughout the last month, it has either snowed - or more recently, rained - virtually every day in Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria and neighbouring countries. Now the sun has returned, with early spring warmth, ...
The possible exchange of territories in Kosovo between Serbs and Albanians could push other countries in the region towards the same actions. Therefore, this option for resolving the Kosovo issue concerns not only Belgrade and Pristina. This was announced on March 3 by the commander of KFOR ...
In almost all of his stops in the Balkans, Lavrov also invariably cited the shared historical-cultural-religious background of Russians and the Serbs and other Balkan peoples (Mid.ru, February 19, 22). To be sure, there is considerable affinity in these spheres among many (not all) Balkan states and Russia.
At one level, the narrative illustrates how the Western Balkans is today's ground zero in Russia's effort to halt the westward drift of nations where its geopolitical interests and cultural ties run deep. Russian efforts to subvert Balkan governments are well established. So, too, Russia actively foments ethnic ...
The newspaper further writes that this "bothers Russia above all" - and adds that "a response of its own kind" to Juncker's visit was presented by Lavrov in his interview with the Bulgarian edition of International Relations, when he said that Moscow "does not see a problem in the intention of Balkan states to ...
There are even clear deadlines for the completion of the negotiations which are the forthcoming NATO summit in July 11 and 12 preceded by an EU summit in Sofia in May 17 devoted to the enlargement of the EU in the Western Balkans. What is your assessment of NATO's enlargement, which the Greek ...
NATO wishes to continue its expansion into the Balkan region and is “obsessed with the idea of acquiring” it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Bulgarian magazine “Foreign Affairs.” The diplomat also stressed that the alliance is going to turn the Balkans into a new “front of ...
There's a common misconception that Balkan cuisine is all meat and potatoes, but the food of Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and their neighbouring countries often stars fresh vegetables, homemade relishes, and light salads. These are the kinds of qualities and dishes you'll find at 21 Grams ...
The Maine Balkan Choir specializes in the traditional open throated singing style of the Balkan countries. The songs, with their unusually close harmonies, modal melodies and complex mixed meter rhythms are full of heart and directness and the messages that they express are universal. The choir was ...
A snowstorm brought more than a foot of snow to parts of the Balkan Peninsula from Sunday into Monday, while rare snowfall blanketed Rome. Cold air racing from Siberia all the way through much of Europe set the stage for this uncommon snowfall. Schools were closed and public transportation was ...
The Chinese hope the western Balkans will eventually be integrated into the European single market, though China is in no hurry for its infrastructure projects to abide by EU rules. This raises many questions. Should the EU start pushing western Balkan countries to adopt its procurement rules now, or later ...
No one wants to repeat the bloody Balkan wars of the 1990s or the migration crisis of the last two years. That means giving serious consideration to the western Balkans nations eventually joining the EU. The EU strategy identifies specific initiatives 'to support the transformation of the Western Balkans'.
"The area I am concerned about today is the Balkans actually," he said. "Russia is at work in the Balkans and we have kind of taken our eye off the area." "That is an area we could have problems with in the future," he added. The Balkan nation of Montenegro became the 29th member of NATO last year, ...
Hostility between Balkan nations has led to several deadly wars—including World War I—genocide and the destabilization of Europe. Now, that enmity is causing... electric clocks across Europe to run six minutes slow. As the Guardian reports, the time discrepancy comes because the nations of Kosovo and ...
Even under the rule of strongman Slobodan Milošević during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, some fiercely independent media outlets thrived. Radio station B92 broadcast on FM across Belgrade and news agency Beta and television station Studio B also managed to keep their distance from the regime.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Western Balkan countries on Sunday (25 February) to bear in mind 2025 as the date when any of ... On 6 February the Commission launched its long-awaited Western Balkans strategy, aiming to inject new momentum into EU integration and speed up ...
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, is embarking on a seven-nation Balkans tour on Sunday to promote the EU's new eastward expansion strategy. Russia mainly wants to discourage the Western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia ...
SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Cradle of the First World War, the Balkans have been a flashpoint, a place where empires, ethnicities and religions .... that the Defense Department provide "an assessment of security cooperation between each Western Balkan country and the Russian Federation.". Cold War


 

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