Russia uses Serbia to meddle in the Balkans, says Ukraine

  • Jonáš Vlk
  • 7.11.2017 18:06

On Monday 1 November, BalkanInsight informed that Ukraine's Ambassador to Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovych accused the Republic of Serbia of a lax approach towards Serbs fighting on the side of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, a problem about which Ukraine repeatedly warned Serbia without any results. The ambassador also indicated that Serbia is being used by Russia to meddle in the Balkans. 

According to Aleksandrovych, roughly 300 Serbs are currently fighting in eastern Ukraine, where most of them arrived through the part of the Russian-Ukrainian border not currently under Kiev’s control, which the UN peacekeepers can’t observe. Although Serbia prosecutes its citizens fighting abroad, punishments are very mild. Russia plays a major role in the departure of Serbs to eastern Ukraine due to the good relations traditionally maintained with Serbia, further supported by their joint attitude towards international recognition of Kosovo as well as economic aid or arms supplies. Russian secret services and media propaganda also probably play substantial roles. Despite the fact that Russia's economic involvement in the Balkans has fallen in recent years, the Kremlin still maintains strong influence on both Serbia and Serb minorities in neighbouring countries.

About author: Jonáš Vlk


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