War in Ukraine and Russian Goals in the Western Balkans


Russia has always had a keen interest in the Western Balkans. It was historically realised in the context of geopolitical continuities of the expansion of its territory and influence. Russia has tried to gain influence in this region for political, economic, identity and strategic reasons. However, after the start of military aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Russia opted for a confrontation in the Western Balkans where it opposes the EU and NATO expansion policies and influence of the West in this region. Key Russian leverage for spreading its influence in the region is the Serbian geopolitical design of military neutrality and the convergence of strategic interests of the two countries. Russia wants to exert a strong influence on the Western Balkans, and thus on the security of the EU. On the other hand, Serbia wants to position itself as the main actor of power in the region with simultaneous support from both Russia and the West.

Leave a comment