US-Serbian effort to augment Balkan security

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 18.4.2017 16:37

Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect Aleksandar Vučić announced on 10 April that Serbia and the United States agreed on counterterrorism cooperation in a bid to fortify Balkan security. At the press conference, US Republican Senator John McCain reiterated the region's importance in curbing terrorism and Russian influence, purportedly achieved by e.g., conducting joint military exercises and police drills. 

Belgrade remains inclined to maintain its neutrality, despite its collaboration with Russia and the Western bloc. In 2016, Serbia partook in 206 joint military activities with NATO and the United States, and 17 with Russia. Serbia will participate in an exercise in Kazakhstan in 2017, as part of the Russia-backed Collective Security Treaty Organisation. Serbia remains committed to neutrality; balancing between its relations with Russia and the West, despite Serbia’s history with Russia, which stretches back several centuries. Pro-EU and NATO-reluctant Belgrade is unlikely to commit to any significant changes, emphasising economic stability as a regional remedy to security-related concerns. The Western Balkans stands at the crossroads of tilting towards Brussels, Washington or Moscow.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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