Centre for International Relations Studies (CEFIR) of the University of Liege, Belgium.
Russia in the Balkans: Great Power Politics and Local Response
May 31, 2019
The present paper looks into the current policies of Russia in the Balkans. It argues that after a short period of withdrawal from the region, Moscow is currently making efforts to regain its position and, in some sense, it has been a quite successful come-back. Russia has enhanced its economic presence, political clout, and symbolic influence in some of the countries of the region. However, Russia’s present return to the Balkans is of a quite different nature than its past engagement there as Moscow has now moved to a more assertive foreign policy. The paper also looks at the response of the Balkans countries to Moscow’s policies. It argues that the Balkans countries have adopted a more pragmatic approach to relations with Russia and as a result, Russia and these countries are in the process of finding a new, workable modus operandi for their interaction.