Russia’s influence in the Western Balkans is traditionally based on its soft power, the energy sector and its diplomatic support for Serbia’s position on Kosovo. The religious, cultural and historic relationship of Moscow with the Orthodox population in the region has been taken as a reason for Russia’s attractiveness. However, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences, the strength of Russian influence in the region is being questioned.
It is commonly said that the Russian aggression against Ukraine has further exposed the fault lines between Moscow and the West in the Western Balkans and that Russia’s aggressive posture in the region is only set to grow as a consequence of the war. Is this concern legitimate or is the Kremlin’s influence in the Western Balkans going to diminish as a consequence of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?
September 11, 2023 -