Balkans

China makes semi-secret delivery of missiles to Serbia

Russian ally Serbia took the delivery of a sophisticated Chinese anti-aircraft system in a veiled operation this weekend, amid Western concerns that an arms buildup in the Balkans at the time of the war in Ukraine could threaten the fragile peace in the region. Media and military experts said Sunday …

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Orban’s big win in Hungary bears lessons for Turkey’s staid opposition

What’s left of Turkey’s presidential system may be further eroded if Erdogan follows in Hungary’s “illiberal” footsteps. Diplomacy has been termed “the art of deceit,” but few doubt that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was anything but sincere when he phoned Hungary’s Viktor Orban today to congratulate him on his …

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US to send army contingent to Bulgaria as part of NATO battle group

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said the United States would send a contingent of troops to the country to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank amid the war in Ukraine. Petkov made the announcement after holding talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Sofia on Saturday. The US Stryker army contingent …

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Turkey, Greece agree to improve ties amid Ukraine conflict

Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed in talks on Sunday (13 March) to improve ties, despite the long-running disagreements between the two NATO members, Ankara said. The Turkish and Greek leaders met Sunday in Istanbul mindful that the burgeoning conflict in Ukraine looms larger than …

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Der Westen sollte nicht in die Falle Putins tappen

Der russische Präsident will seinen Überfall auf die Ukraine zu einem grösseren Kampf stilisieren. Umlackierte polnische Jets wären genau das, was Wladimir Putin sich wünscht. Es ist verständlich, dass der ukrainische Präsident Wolodimir Selenski alles versucht, um an Waffen zu kommen, mit denen sein Land sich gegen den russischen Überfall …

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Serb Volunteers Answer Call to Fight in Ukraine

Appeals for volunteers from Bosnia and Serbia to join pro-Russian forces in Ukraine are getting a strong response on social media – but how many are actually going is less clear.One day before Russia launched its attacks on Ukraine, on February 24, the self-styled Serbian Chetnik warlord Bratislav Zivkovic told …

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Support for Russia among Some Pro-Russian Bosnian Groups, but Not All

Some pro-Russian groups in Bosnia have expressed support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Others are still silent.Following a month of social media silence, in late February the ‘Night Wolves of Republika Srpska’ published a series of posts expressing support for Russia’s military assault on Ukraine. Goran Tadic, deputy leader of …

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How the ‘Kosovo Precedent’ Shaped Putin’s Plan to Invade Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has consistently used Kosovo’s Western-backed unilateral declaration of independence as legal justification for his military incursions into other former Soviet republics to support Russian-backed rebels, writes judge Dean B. Pineles.As an American judge, I have extensive rule-of-law experience in Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Kosovo. Looking at what has …

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Ukraine War May Change Balkan Calculations, for Greece Too

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, experts say the EU and US will want to shore up the stability and Euro-Atlantic orientation of the Western Balkans against any Russian meddling. So might Greece finally recognise Kosovo?Acall by Kosovo for accelerated accession to NATO reflects heightened concern over the stability of the …

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At Pro-Russian Balkan Rallies, a Who’s Who of the Far-Right

Far-right Serb organisations, some known to flirt with neo-Nazism, have rallied in support of the Kremlin’s vow to ‘denazify’ Ukraine, winning applause from like-minded groups in Russia. When Serb nationalists rallied in the Balkans this month in support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they repeated the Kremlin’s claims of “genocide” …

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