Western Balkans in Russia’s Crosshairs

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As NATO prepares to add another small Balkan country to its ranks – Montenegro is expected to join on June 5 – the region that has long been torn between the East and the West, and plagued with internal ethnic, socioeconomic, and political tensions is once again showing signs of increased instability.

“The Western Balkans is in the crosshairs of Russian influence operations right now … Across the whole region, Russia is meddling and trying to subvert some of the governments and sow chaos and instability,” Michael Carpenter, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, told a Senate Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) hearing last week.

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