German media: “Belgrade is unlikely to impose sanctions on Moscow”

Official Moscow is reportedly actively escalating tensions in the Western Balkans and the German government would like to oppose it more vigorously – says the German press, adding that Serbia plays a key role in the region.

The Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, i.e. its journalists Paul-Anton Kruger and Tobias Zick, talk about the more active Germany’s foreign policy in the Balkans. The focus of this activity, as the article states, is Serbia. The two journalists write that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought the Western Balkan region back to the centre of German foreign policy and that the focus of the German diplomacy is now on Serbia, which, “because of its proximity to Moscow, plays a key role.”

The journalists also recall that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia have had quite a few high-ranking German politicians visiting their countries, as German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited the three countries in March, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has just returned from her visit to the Balkans, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced his upcoming visit.

During Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s recent visit to Berlin, German Chancellor Scholz explicitly underlined the European future of the Western Balkan countries.

“Serbia plays a key role in this, not only because it is the largest and economically strongest country with a population of 8 million, but also because the newly elected president Vučić has pursued the goal of his country’s accession to the European Union, while simultaneously nurturing his relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin,” Scholz was quoted as saying.

Another renowned German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that the support for the EU accession in Serbia is at an all-time low, although the country’s tabloids are taking a somewhat critical stance toward Moscow. It also estimates that Belgrade is unlikely to impose sanctions on Moscow as Berlin has demanded, despite the fact that Serbia adhered to the UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It is a delicate balance for Serbia – the country is essentially dependent on Russian gas, and Russia is vocal about its international support of Serbia in relation to the Kosovo issue,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports

Another German medium, BildPlus, brings an article titled “Is Putin opening old wounds in the Balkans?” written by Zan Blagojevic. The journalist reminds that the wounds from the 1990s wars are still not healed and that the war in Ukraine is reopening them. After listing some known facts, the journalist writes about Serbia: “In principle, Serbs and Russians are allies, both as nations and as states. Politicians still speak of the two nations having brotherly relations. They share a long history together (dating back to the 19th century) which is steeped in Slavic and Orthodox traditions.”

Blagojevic also says that the United States’ foreign policy has been present in the Western Balkans for so long and that Berlin is now trying to continue it. German Chancellor Scholz said that all Western Balkan countries have a place in the EU, but that this also requires boosting media freedom, the crackdown on corruption and justice reform.

(Deutsche Welle, 09.05.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top