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
Former Balkan diplomats say that land swap proposal ignores 1,000 years of bloodshed There are certainly plenty of historical examples to show that setting borders to separate different ethnic groups does not always work and may never work. An example that comes to mind is the 1947 agreement to partition the Indian subcontinent, supposedly putting all the Hindus into India and all the Muslims into Pakistan. The result was the Partition War, one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century, when Muslims in India traveled to Pakistan, and Hindus in Pakistan traveled to India, with any property disputes settled by murder. That war has not been settled to this day, with the threat of a new war in Kashmir and Jammu. … [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
“Dodik is extremely keen for Russian patronage, because he believes it is his best long-term chance at political survival. It's why—since 2016 especially, but going back to at least 2014—his regime has so aggressively and flagrantly gone about creating parallel security structures in Bosnia: recruiting Russian-trained paramilitaries, signing a co-operation agreements with the breakaway government in Russian-occupied South Ossetia, and likewise inviting Russian security services to train the RS police,” Mujanovic continued. … [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?