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Balkan Countries Approach to Cooperation with Russia
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Balkan Countries Approach to Cooperation with Russia

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2022-3-69-75
© Pavel E. KANDEL, 2022
Received 25.06.2022.
Revised 11.07.2022.
Accepted 20.10.2022.
Pavel E. KANDEL (xpekan@yandex.ru), ORCID: 0000-0002-4333-4276,
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences, 11-3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation.
The article examines three parameters of the stated subject: policies of the state governments of South-Eastern Europe in the light of the new developments in Ukraine, widespread attitudes and the configuration of political forces in these countries which may provide a chance to pro-Russian circles. The analysis is based on both national and international opinion polls and the results of the latest elections. As is shown, the traditionally strong Russophile sentiments in many countries of the region have reverberated again and affected the perception of the conflict. It's only natural for Russia’s public opinion, focused on events in and around Ukraine, to look at everything through the lens of Russia opposing the collective West. However, in a region, where the European Union for every single state is a pole of centripetal tendencies and where a NATO membership is a much needed permit to that pole, people view things in a different way. Thus, projecting Russian worldview on local reality is methodologically flawed and it would lead to incorrect assessments and conclusions. Pro-Russian sympathies made themselves known in areas where there are such. However, the potential of the pro-Russian forces is insufficient for a fundamental change in policies although the ruling circles cannot completely ignore it. The article concludes that the status and prospects of Russian cooperation with the countries of the region will remain unfavorable until the end of military operation in Ukraine, although the EU and the USA are unlikely to succeed in achieving complete abandonment of Russian energy resources in a short time.

For citation:

Kandel P. Balkan Countries Approach to Cooperation with Russia. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2022, no 3, pp. 69-75. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2022-3-69-75

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