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Written by Elmas Bogdani 28 Janar 2023
Serbia is in a very difficult position. The US-EU could suspend the provision of financial aid, which would be the end of future and previous investments. And it could be much worse: the end of visa-free travel to the EU, which has been possible since 2009, and there could be a suspension of major EU pre-accession assistance from IPA funds, as well as the removal of candidate status. But what does the West want for Serbia? The EU and the US pursue four foreign policy goals in their relations with Serbia: Prevent the influence of Russia, prevent the influence of China, normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina, and protect the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As stated in the author's text published on the website of the European Council of Foreign Affairs, under the title "
Problems for Serbia
So far, Serbia has refused to join EU sanctions against Russia, and there are no signs that this will change. As a candidate country for membership in the Union, Serbia must respect the EU's foreign policy, and yet the compliance rate fell to only 45 percent, compared to 64 percent in 2020. China's influence in Serbia has grown significantly, bolstered by investment, Chinese presence in infrastructure projects, as well as political and cultural ties between the two countries. Belgrade also continues to support Milorad Dodik, the president of Republika Srpska, whose actions and rhetoric threaten to destroy the government at the level of all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As for the relations between Belgrade and Pristina, despite the attention that the Franco-German proposal is receiving, it seems that a permanent permanent solution is still a long way off. On January 23, Vucic gave a televised speech that lasted an hour and a half, during which he gave many reasons to doubt that he will participate in that process. The Serbian president has built an image of the West as an enemy and portrays himself as someone who fights heroically not to bow to Western pressure to respect EU sanctions against Russia and make concessions in negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, it said. in the text.
This narrative is reinforced by Russian TV stations operating in Serbia, such as Russia Today (banned in the EU), which began operating in Serbia in November 2022, while Sputnik has been present for longer. Shortly after Vucic's meeting last week with EU and US representatives regarding the Franco-German proposal, Sputnik broadcast Vucic's speech to the public, in which he stated that he was proud that Serbia resisted pressure to joined European sanctions against Russia. It is not clear whether Brussels and Washington are aware of all this, the author points out.
The role of the West
Investimet e BE-së nuk po zvogëlohen pavarësisht mospërputhjes së Serbisë me politikën e jashtme të Brukselit. Gjithashtu, qendrat e pushtetit si Uashingtoni dhe Berlini mund të reagojnë më ashpër ndaj propagandës së brendshme antiperëndimore të Vuçiqit. Për shembull, ata mund të ndalojnë takimin me të sa herë që vizitojnë rajonin, pasi burime të shumta pohojnë se lënia e Vuçiçit jashtë do të ndryshonte sjelljen e tij. Ajo që nevojitet gjithashtu është dobësimi i sistemit që lidh zyrtarët shtetërorë me rrjetet kriminale, qoftë në Serbi, qoftë në veri të Kosovës, në BeH apo Mal të Zi. Prishja e këtyre lidhjeve do të shkaktonte një "efekt domino" në rajon, ku lidhjet midis shtetit dhe krimit shpesh fshihen pas politikave destabilizuese nacionaliste. Perëndimi duhet të jenë të vetëdijshëm se një qeveri jotransparente ofron një mjedis ideal për Rusinë dhe Kinën për të përhapur më lehtë ndikimin e tyre. Kjo është arsyeja pse vendosja e shtetit ligjor në Serbi dhe në rajon është e një rëndësie kyçe për parandalimin e Moskës dhe Pekinit të "operojnë" në Ballkanin Perëndimor dhe për dobësimin e rrjeteve nacionaliste-kriminale të ndikimit në rajon.