Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns in Eastern and Southeastern Europe thrive on West's (i.e. EU and the US) unclear strategic objectives, on poorly designed plans and insufficient capacity to expose what is actually the profile of its geopolitical foe. I argue that there are reasons for optimism in dealing with the Russian information wars in Western Balkans and in the leading countries of the Eastern Partnership (Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia), provided that a swift change in the overall approach is embraced and more coordination within the West (even at a time of heightened transatlantic tensions) follows.Thus, I show that four broad tactics could decisively undermine the Russian narrative, seriously undermining the destructive potential of the Kremlin's engagement strategies in these countries. … [Read more...] about West vs Russia: winning hearts and minds in the Western Balkans and EAP Countries
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar President Hashim Thaci announced an agreement on Saturday to swap some territories and reach a permanent peace agreement. Part of the deal would involve unspecified “border corrections” or “territory swaps” between the two countries. It is believed that the proposal is that four municipalities in the north of Kosovo which host a majority Serbian population could be given to Serbia while Bujanovac and Presevo, municipalities in Serbia with mainly ethnic Albanian populations, might be divided and given to Kosovo. … [Read more...] about World View: Diplomats Fear Proposed Serbia-Kosovo Peace Deal Will Lead to Balkans War
Gerald Knaus: "Yes, and the IOM is returning people also from Greece and for everyone who wants to give up and who realises that perhaps the smugglers have been lying, this may be a good option. But as long as we have, as we saw in the first half of this year, more than 90,000 people arrive in Germany, successfully, there will be the news that it is still possible to get to Central Europe. And that means that people who've made a very difficult journey to reach Bosnia, who are very close to their final destination, most of them, are very unlikely to give up." … [Read more...] about The new West Balkans Route and the future of migration crisis
"As far as the situation in the Balkans is concerned, the policy of the United States and some other Western nations aimed at asserting their dominant role remains a serious destabilizing factor here," Putin said, adding that Serbia’s neighbor Montenegro had been “dragged” into NATO. The Kremlin later published the interview on its website. … [Read more...] about Russia’s Vladimir Putin Travels to the Balkans to Push Against NATO Membership, Slams U.S. Interference
"What we can expect is some tough talks between some of the senior officials from those countries and the EU," he said, referring to the frustrations of North Macedonia or Albania who feel they have done everything that was required from them and yet see no progress in their accession process. … [Read more...] about EU-Western Balkans summit: Is enlargement in sight?