Russia in the Balkans

Russia in Review is a weekly intelligence summary (INTSUM) produced by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). This ISW INTSUM series sheds light on key trends and developments related to the Russian government’s objectives and its efforts to secure them. Receive future Russia in Review INTSUM products via-email by signing up for the ISW Mailing List.

Publication Date: May 9, 2019

Authors: Michaela Walker, Andrea Snyder, Darina Regio, and Nataliya Bugayova

Key Takeaway: Russia has sustained its campaigns to prevent the expansion of NATO and the EU in the Balkans. The Kremlin is expanding its outreach in Serbia even as EU-mediated negotiations fail to restart talks between Serbia and Kosovo. The Kremlin is also leveraging favorable political actors to block the integration of Bosnia-Herzegovina with NATO and the EU. The Kremlin has supported secessionist powerbrokers and militarization programs that could reignite ethnic tensions in Bosnia with repercussions for the fragile stability of the wider Balkans. The Kremlin could attempt to connect its military and energy projects in Serbia and Bosnia to gain greater influence in the Balkans.