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April 29, 2021

Western Balkans still matters: Understanding Russian involvement in the region

Although Moscow has sought to maintain traditionally strong ties with the region, Russia paradoxically does not have a long-term strategy for development of relations with the Western Balkans, but its advantages are seen in flexible actions and swift decisions.

by Vladimir Vučković

Stack of Newspapers

March 26, 2021

Big Brother: Serbia’s Media Are Creating Nation of China Lovers

The political elites in Belgrade have made good use of the politically controlled media to transform China’s image in the country.

by Stefan Vladisaljev

Originally published by the Balkan Insight

Computer Programming

February 9, 2021

Computational Propaganda is Swaying North Macedonia’s Politics

A study of Twitter activity in the run-up to North Macedonia’s 2020 election reveals how automated  accounts pushing a strong anti-Western message shape political discussion.

by Ognjan Denkovski

Originally published by the Balkan Insight


November 19, 2020

Thaçi’s gone. The thin line of Erdoğan’s brotherhood


President Hashim Thaçi resignation as Kosovo's president after the Hague Tribunal indicted him for war crimes and crimes against humanity and the nature of Hashim Thaçi's brotherhood with President Erdogan is explored.

by Gentiola Madhi

Originally published by the European Western Balkans

Doctors with Bacteriological Protection

August 5, 2020

China, Pandemic and the Western Balkans: Lessons for the EU

The article discusses Chinese efforts to expand its influence and footprint in the Western Balkans, including via COVID-19-related assistance. It addresses Beijing’s jockeying for position vis-à-vis other regional actors and outlines lessons for the EU.

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June 27, 2019

Russia Still Has Cards to Play in North Macedonia

Despite its failure to keep VMRO DPMNE in power – or obstruct NATO membership – the Kremlin remains a ‘player’ in North Macedonia thanks to its new role as patron of Macedonian ethnic nationalism.

by Ivan Nikolovski

Originally published by Balkan Insight


June 27, 2019

Bears around us

People of importance for the security impact of the Russian Federation in the Western Balkans -  who are Russian officials “on the spot” in the Balkans who do not make headlines nor appear in articles?

by Vanja Dolapčev

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June 14, 2019

Much-loved Soaps Polish Turkey’s Image in Balkans

Turkey’s ever-popular soap operas are helping to improve the country’s shaky image in the Balkan region – through some tap into a kind of Ottoman nostalgia that has concerning implications.

by Nicole Ely


May 29, 2019

Chinese Coal Investments Raise Concerns about EU Environmental Standards

Trillions of dollars from Beijing for updating coal facilities in Western Balkans put the EU in a difficult position in regard to enforcing environmental standards

by Nicole Ely

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May 16, 2019

Failed Privatisation is to Blame for Bosnians’ Exodus

If Bosnians are leaving the country in such large numbers, it is partly because of a mismanaged privatisation process, which from the start allowed foreign political and domestic ethnic interests to prevail.

by Stepan Santrucek

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April 16, 2019

Controversial Chinese motorway the largest Montenegrin project since independence

The film "Silk Road" by Montenegrin Centre for Investigative Journalism provides a critical analysis of Chinese loans to Montenegro and poses serious questions, most of which are avoided by local politicians.


December 13, 2018

Serbian Guns Have Consequences for Balkans and Beyond

Serbia’s military industry build-up brings money and has the potential to reshape the country´s strategic position in the Balkans  – although it also creates the danger of a regional arms race.

by Daniel Heler

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October 30, 2018

Russia uses the Serbia-Kosovo dispute to assert its influence in the WB

The WB have once again become the battlefield of the great powers since Russia has lately started using this region to position itself as a superpower more assertively.

by Adelina Hasani


September 7, 2018

The Reluctant West is Needed in the Balkans

With undemocratic powers hustling for influence in the Western Balkans, the region needs EU and US commitment – but Brussels and Washington seem reluctant to offer it wholeheartedly.

by Adnan Huskić


June 22, 2018

Name deal, EU, NATO, and Russian meddling: Will “North Macedonia” get past Russia?

Upholding the prefix “North” is dependent on the Macedonian citizens’ ability to shield themselves from Russia’s disinformation operations.


April 13, 2021

Intentionally or not, Turkey is a significant actor on the Sandžak political scene

Turkey is not only an active player in the socio-political map of Sandžak, but also a passive object whose position is (mis)used by local actors in their political sparring.

by Stefan Jojić

Originally published by the European Western Balkans


April 2, 2021

West’s Tension With China Presents Balkans With Tough Choices

Balkan countries don’t want to have to decide between warm economic ties to China and political and strategic commitments to the West – but they may have to.

by Anastas Vangeli

Originally published by the Balkan Insight


January 28, 2021

It’s Time to Act on Air Pollution in the Balkans


China is making a bad situation worse, but Serbia’s air pollution problems are self-inflicted.

by Tena Prelec and Barbora Chrzová

Originally published by the Balkan Insight

Chinese Collection

November 4, 2020

The power of China’s economic narrative as exploited in the Western Balkans

Balkan political elites are prone to make use of foreign investments to further a narrative of themselves as ‘saviours’ of the nation.

by Tena Prelec

Originally published by the Berlin Process

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June 30, 2019

China’s Serbian Proxy Highlights How Beijing Captures Elites

Beijing’s close cooperation with former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic is a textbook example of the way it uses non-Chinese actors and entities to advance its ambitious strategic goals.

by Filip Jirous

Originally published by Balkan Insight

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June 27, 2019

Balkans Should Beware of Putin’s Night-Time Bikers

The Night Wolves may call themselves a humanitarian and religious organization – but their mix of Orthodox Christianity and Slavic nationalism has the potential to cause trouble in a fragile, war-scarred region.

by Nicole Ely

Originally published by Balkan Insight

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June 21, 2019

Pro-Russian media in Montenegro after joining NATO

It seems that the number of pro-Russian media outlets has not increased after Montenegro’s entry into NATO, but the example of the coup shows that there are other ways to influence public opinion.

by Hana Semanić


June 14, 2019

Turkish Aid Pays Dividends for Erdogan in Bosnia

A strategy of strengthening political ties while using development aid to raise its visibility is bearing fruit for Ankara in Bosnia.

by Stepan Santrucek


May 24, 2019

How can the EU Offset increased Chinese Investment in Serbia?

The article discusses the overall Chinese influence in the Western Balkans, its relationship with Serbia, and possible ways in which the EU can keep Serbia firmly in its camp.

by Ryan Day

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May 13, 2019

EU Accession Will Challenge North Macedonia’s China Deals

As Skopje moves closer to opening membership negotiations with the European Union, the trade deals it has struck with Beijing are likely to come under heavy scrutiny.

by Ivan Nikolovski


February 4, 2019

TurkStream Tightens Kremlin’s Grip Over Balkan Energy

The new natural gas pipeline running from the Black Sea to Turkey forms part of a ring of Russian-centred power networks that will leave European states ever more dependent on Russia for energy.

by Daniel Heler


November 12, 2018

Russia, North Kosovo and Kosovo Serbs: What are the connections?

Kosovo represents an experimental site of international politics. Thus, it is not surprising that Russia has been presented there factually and even more in symbolical terms.

by Daniel Heler


October 29, 2018

Sand Heavier than Soil: UAE Venture on Agricultural Land in Serbia

Starting from 2012, one of the important foreign partners of Serbia have become the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with its ruling dynasty, Al Nahyan.

by Vanja Dolapčev


July 23, 2018

Kosovo Has Forgiven Turkey’s Interference Too Easily

Kosovo may rely in part on Turkish goodwill – but it should not have forgotten so rapidly the recent, secretive and highly controversial deportation of six Turks from the country.

by Nektar Zogjani


April 13, 2021

China Will Loom Large in Balkans Once Pandemic is Over

Despite the West’s growing suspicions about China, its role in the Western Balkans is likely to become even more central in the post-COVID-19 era.

by Anastas Vangeli

Originally published by the Balkan Insight

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March 11, 2021

Stakes Could Not be Higher in Bosnian Electoral Reform Bid


Momentum is growing for a crunch reform of Bosnia’s broken electoral system, but how and at what cost?

by Srećko Latal

Originally published by the Balkan Insight

US government building

January 22, 2021

US Push for Decentralisation May not Solve Bosnia’s Problems

A potential Biden administration initiative to centralise power at state level in Bosnia – while decentralising it at local level – will not necessarily bring any more stability and inclusion to the country.

by Petr Čermák

Originally published by the Balkan Insight


September 3, 2020

Latest US-EU Discord Bodes Ill for Balkan Stability

US-EU differences over Belgrade-Pristina talks are adding fresh fuel to regional tensions in the Western Balkans – and opening up more space for other foreign influences.

by Srećko Latal

Originally published by Balkan Insight


June 27, 2019

China in the Balkans: Neutral business partner or a foreign power?

China’s engagement in international politics has intensified in recent years, especially since Xi Jinping became the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. The Western Balkans are no exception.

by Filip Jirous

Originally published by European Western Balkans

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June 27, 2019

China Shopping Spree Belgrade Way

In almost every quarter of Belgrade and even in most of the small Serbian towns you can find at least one “Kineska robna kuća” – Chinese store, an institution providing locals with all necessary goods ranging from fashion to brooms.

by Daniel Heler


June 21, 2019

Brussels’ Balkan Policy Resembles Bad Version of Eurovision

The EU’s relationship to would-be members in the region is worryingly like the famous song contest – in which the award of points often has no clear connection to singers’ performances.

by Ivan Nikolovski


May 31, 2019

Europe Must Speak with One Voice on North Macedonia

Europe’s mixed signals on North Macedonia’s future EU membership risk reversing the progress that has been made. The lack of harmony between strategies may also weaken the EU’s credibility among the generally pro-EU citizens.

by Ivan Nikolovski


May 16, 2019

BiH: Foreign investors came with political goals

What is the role if foreign investors in the failed Bosnian privatization? The text elaborates on the previous article by exploring negative and positive aspects of foreign investments.

by Stepan Santrucek

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May 10, 2019

Strains Emerge in North Macedonia’s Alliance With Turkey

Closer ties to Greece and the EU – and disputes over the activities of so-called Gulenists – are putting Skopje’s old friendship with Ankara to the test.

by Ivan Nikolovski

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December 24, 2018

The Bear never sleeps: The Position of the Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Centre in Niš

Although operating for more than six years already, the status and the activities of the Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Centre remain under the veil of mystery and doubted by many.

by Vanja Dolapčev


November 9, 2018

Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and the Russian Factor: Opportunity for Cheap Points

The negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina sponsored by the Brussels have been recently turning from a dialogue into rather two monologues.

by Daniel Heler


September 20, 2018

Lavrov Visit Adds to Tensions in Bosnia’s Elections

The visit by Russia’s top diplomat may have a major impact on Bosnia’s political scene, coming amidst an especially heated pre-election campaign.


July 12, 2018

Summit Season Brings Cold Shower for Balkan EU Hopes

Europe and America say they are increasingly concerned over the role of outside powers in the Balkans. But it is their actions – or inaction - that is pushing the region away from Euro-Atlantic integration and into the arms of others.

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