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The Balkans as a whole and Serbia in particular are quickly turning into a scene of confrontation between key global players, with China being especially active in recent years. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has said in an interview with The Foreign Policy magazine that his country's cooperation with Beijing has triggered more concern in the West than contacts between Moscow and Belgrade.
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 11-03-2020, 17:05
  • Views: 226
The precedence of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union naturally allows other European organizations and individual countries to contemplate the previously inconceivable exit option. While at the EU level there are no indications of any other member states planning to follow in London’s footsteps any time soon, in the Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which since the 1990s has been touted as a “window of international peacekeeping,” might by weighing a similar option.​
The leaders of Serbia and the Bosnian Republika Srpska have signaled their intention to maintain military neutrality and refrain from joining NATO. A statement to this effect was made amid the aggravation of the political crisis in Montenegro following the coming into force of the law on the freedom of religion, which provides for the possibility of reinstating the state ownership of church facilities which belonged to the state until 1918 (currently de facto administered by the Serbian Orthodox Church).
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 27-01-2020, 17:40
  • Views: 307
With the export leg of the Turkish Stream (TurkStream) gas pipeline, designed to bring Russian natural gas along the Balkan route further to Europe, slated to go fully on-stream in late 2020 - early 2021, all transit countries need to timely fulfill their obligations to get their national gas transportation infrastructure prepared for this. Thus far, Serbia has moved closest to achieving this target, while Bulgaria’s position on this issue is causing a growing sense of bewilderment in Russia, which might be forced to change the pipeline’s route and replace its Bulgarian section with a Romanian one as a transit option.​
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 13-12-2019, 12:59
  • Views: 633
After many years of not investing in the armed forces, Serbia began to invest more seriously in rebuilding its army. Serbia has spent close to € 830 million since December 2016 to acquire new war techniques and modernize its armed forces, including overhaul and maintenance of weapons and military equipment. This can be calculated from the final accounts of the budget for the period 2016 - 2018 and from the budget for this year.
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 25-11-2019, 12:02
  • Views: 941
At a recent UN Security Council meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina, another biased and false report by the UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, caused a negative response from Republika Srpska and Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya. We discussed this with Milorad Dodik, the leader of the Serbs in Bosnia and a Serbian member of the Presidium of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
From 24 to 29 October in Serbia was held joint tactical live-fire exercise with air defence missile units of the Serbian Air Defence units and the Russian Aerospace Forces dubbed “Slavic Shield 2019”. The aim of the exercise was to educate and use the joint group of the Serbian Air Defence and the Russian Aerospace Forces in the air defence of the territory and military forces against reconnaissance and enemy activities from airspace, as well as to training and practicing of commands and units for the preparation and execution of an air defence operation.
The European Union is going through a serious internal crisis over the prospects of its further expansion, with the main line of confrontation running between Paris and Berlin. On October 15, France, backed by Denmark and the Netherlands, blocked the EU's decision to start negotiations concerning the admission of Albania and Northern Macedonia. Germany and other EU members opposed the move as unfounded, citing previous decisions by the European Commission.​
The European Union is planning to hold an important summit on Kosovo in October this year with a view to get Belgrade and Pristina to normalize bilateral relations. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pose as guarantors of the deal. Reports say a senior US official may take part in the Paris summit as well. The participation of the American side was strongly advocated by the authorities in Kosovo, headed by President Hashim Thachi.​
Serbia is preparing for a “difficult autumn” as it tries to resolve the Kosovo problem, President Aleksandar Vucic said following a visit to the United States. He described the discussions he had had in Washington as “extremely important,” all the more so amid the continuing disagreements over the situation in Kosovo. “A difficult autumn awaits us, a difficult winter awaits us. First and foremost because of Kosovo,” Vucic said. Pledging continued fight for Serbia and the ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo, he still admitted that Serbia is too small to influence the policies of a “giant” like the United States.