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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

Originaly published by Balkan Insight

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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