The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will play a key role in establishing economic connections between the Western Balkan countries and the United States of America.
These conclusions were conveyed by Euronews’ diplomatic sources in Washington, D.C., at the presentation of the draft Law on Democracy and Prosperity in the Western Balkans, which was jointly submitted by a group of senators.
The DFC opened its office in Belgrade two years ago, following an agreement signed in Washington by the then president of the USA, Donald Trump, and Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vučić, but its operations have never fully commenced, despite the announcements that the Agency would allocate close to 400 million dollars to Serbian businesses via grants.
As the US senators state, they are asking the White House to boost the role and presence of the DFC in Europe, primarily in the Western Balkans and other parts of Eastern Europe, and to open more regional offices which goal would be to facilitate the region’s economic development. Sources report that the White House was also told that, if it wants to economically boost this region, there must be DFC offices that would work at full capacity.
The law that was presented last week, which was jointly written by Republican and Democratic senators, provides for assistance to the Western Balkan countries in the fight against corruption. According to the senators’ opinion, the State Department should provide concrete, practical assistance to Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo, in order to fight corruption, achieve economic progress and move closer to EU membership. In order to ensure this, an anti-corruption unit should be formed that would closely cooperate with the authorities in the Balkans.
According to the senators, the authorities in Washington should pay more attention to Moscow’s influence on events in the region. According to the US Congress, Putin’s administration “is ready to cause chaos and instability in the Western Balkans in order to cover up the failures in Ukraine.” That is why the senators are asking the White House to help the region in order to resist Russia, whose goal, according to official Washington, is to prevent the Western Balkan countries from joining the EU and NATO.
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