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Russia Stirs the Hornet's Nest

Mar 28, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
In January, conflict almost erupted in the Balkans after the Kosovar government dispatched special police forces to stop a Serbian train headed into Kosovo's majority-Serb northern territory, emblazoned with the slogan

In January, conflict almost erupted in the Balkans after the Kosovar government dispatched special police forces to stop a Serbian train headed into Kosovo's majority-Serb northern territory, emblazoned with the slogan "Kosovo is Serbia" in 21 languages.

(OLIVER BUNIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Today, as the European Union's divisions deepen and uncertainty prevails among NATO, Moscow has turned its focus to the Balkans once more. The region's stability has been such a hot topic in Russian President Vladimir Putin's meetings with the Kremlin Security Council this year that the council's chief even said it was a top priority for Moscow. Incidents of Russia's meddling in the Balkans have been on the rise, meanwhile, raising questions about whether it will the next theater in Moscow's struggle against Western power and unity. After all, stoking tensions in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia offers the Russian government a convenient means to increase its influence and further distract the West....

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