Trump’s election victory and implications for the Balkans

Foreign experts share their opinions about Donald Trump becoming the next U.S. president.

A Balkan expert from Great Britain, James Ker-Lindsay was convinced that Hillary Clinton would win and says that the new American President Donald Trump is “completely unprepared for that role”.

“In terms of wider implications, Hillary was a more stable option. She has a lot of experience. I understand that she is far more unpopular in Serbia than Trump, but I think that she would have been a safer option since he is completely unfit for that role. He has no political experience and his temperament is ill suited for such an important position”, says Ker-Lindsay, a London School of Economics professor.

He adds that Serbia and the entire Balkan region need stability.

“There has been so much friction in the entire Balkans recently. This is not good for the economic development and regional safety. The best bet is to have the strong and prosperous European Union that is working hard on having Serbia and the rest of the region become new members. All in all, I think that that is highly unlikely to happen during Trump’s term”, Ker-Lindsay explains.

Trump as Seselj

Journalist and another Balkan expert, Tim Judah compares Trump to Vojislav Seselj.

“It is very clear to see that Trump becoming new American president is bad for the United States and the rest of the world. If I had to compare it to the Balkans I would say that we have a situation similar to the 1990s when most people supported Seselj so it comes as no surprise that he now supports Trump. Both represent a type of destructive nationalism. Seselj wanted to make Serbia great (in both senses), and Trump wants to do the same, although it is not only a territorial aspiration. For Trump’s supporters Mexicans, Latin Americans and Muslims are similar to Ustasha in this part of the world, or Jihadists. Trump would gladly deport all of them which would be some form of ethnic cleansing of 11 million Mexicans” – Judah adds.

As for Trump’s attitude towards the Balkans, Judah thinks that Trump can’t even find it on the map.

“Even if he can point it on the map, it is only because his wife, who is from Slovenia, showed him. I think that there would have been less unpleasant surprises if Clinton won. Now, Trump will bring economic and political chaos. What is bad for the world is also bad for Serbia, and what is good for the world is good for Serbia too. Serb won’t be more free or wealthier or take control over Kosovo once Trump becomes president”, our interlocutor thinks.

Trump’s victory will further solidify Russian influence in Serbia

A professor from the Johns Hopkins University and an American political analyst, Daniel Serwer is a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton.

“Both Trump and Hillary don’t consider the Balkans as priority but Hillary is certainly more committed to stability and democracy in this part of the world, including the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo”, Professor Serwer says.

He adds that Trump’s win is good for Putin but bad for Serbia.

“With all due respect to Serbia, I think that recent events show that your country is facing a serious criminal and political threat to its democracy and stability which comes from Russia and the Serbian powers that are loyal to Russia. Trump and Putin’s romance could add fuel to the fire. The EU is the safest place for the Serbian democracy and not in between the EU and Moscow”, Professor Serwer concludes.

(Blic, 09.11.2016)

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