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January 23, 2019

INTERESTING TAKE ON RUSSIAN RELATIONS WITH SERBIA: The czars and commissars both made pan-Slavism a big time foreign policy play. Putin has as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Belgrade — his first in more than four years — was eagerly anticipated by Serbian politicians. Despite the visit being described there as monumental, no agreement that could be described as monumental came out of it. In reality, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has little choice but to praise his Russian benefactor in public, while trying to convince the Kremlin behind closed doors to give Belgrade at least a little wiggle room on the most important Serbian foreign policy issue: recognition of Kosovo.

The Kosovo conflict seemed endless, but many events of the past eighteen months have made its resolution more possible than even the bravest optimists dared to dream just a short time ago. First, Brussels finally named a possible date for Serbia to join the European Union: 2025, signaling that the country’s accession is quite realistic, provided Belgrade complies with certain conditions, the main one of which is resolving the Kosovo conflict.

The essay argues that Serbia is attempting to “rid itself” of Russian support, at least on the issue of Kosovo. It’s worth a read.

VERY RELATED: Chapter 4 of Cocktails from Hell: 21st Century Russian Imperial Warfare. The chapter’s first sentence: “According to the Kremlin, the Kosovo precedent justifies the Crimean precedent.” Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.