On September 28, 2018, the Valdai Discussion Club hosted an expert discussion, titled "The Balkans Today: Challenges for Russia" with presentation of the report "Where Are the Balkans Heading? A New Cooperation Paradigm for Russia".
Despite the relatively peripheral situation and the abundance of internal problems, the Balkans remain a very dynamic region. The level of external influence on internal processes in the Balkans is much higher than in the times of the united Yugoslavia. The key aspects of the rivalry between external players - the EU, the US, Russia, China, Turkey and the Arab countries - are concentrated on the transit potential of the region, geographical location and influence on local political elites.
Today one of the main problems is the future of Macedonia, where on September 30 a fateful referendum on the country’s renaming took place. Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said that the country's entry into NATO and the EU remains the strategic goal for Skopje.
A new report of the Valdai Club presents an analysis of the internal and external political situation in the Balkan countries, motives of the main external players, as well as recommendations for the Russian policy in the region.
How will the prospects of Macedonia and other Balkan countries’ joining the EU and NATO affect Russian interests? What are the advantages of the Chinese policy in the Balkans? How are the relations between the Balkan states and the Arab countries? These and other questions were answered by participants in the expert discussion.
Ekaterina Entina, Associate Professor at the Higher School of Economics, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (author of the report);
Alexander Pivovarenko, Researcher at the Department of Contemporary History of Central and South-Eastern Europe, RAS Institute of Slavonic Studies (author of the report);
Dejan Novaković, Director of the Adriatic Council, former State Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia (co-author of the report, video message).
Working languages: Russian, English.