Russia continues to destabilize the Balkan countries and one of the concrete moves is the visit of the Russian ambassador in Serbia, Aleksandar Bocan-Kharchenko, right on the border with Kosovo in end of September, at the time of high tensions due to the decision on reciprocity measures on the care plates imposed by Kosovo Government, and opposed by Kosovo Serbs.
The message given during the visit is confusing, as are the statements of Russian officials at a sensitive moment between Kosovo and Serbia. The very act of the visit of Kharchenko and Major General Alexander Zinchenko, just a few kilometres from the border, together with Serbian Defense Minister, Nebojsa Stefanovic and Serbian Army Chief of Staff, Milan Mojsilovic on September 26, for the Serbian army, which was on high alert near the Jarinje border crossing, is a provocation by Russian authorities to prove that Russia is always by Serbia’s side on the issue of Kosovo.
There is no doubt that Russia has given instructions to the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vuicic on how to act on the issue of the Serbian army, but also the planes that flew over the border for several days causing fear, danger and insecurity.
The President of the Atlantic Alliance in Montenegro, Savo Kentera, told The Geopost that Russia is using every opportunity, not only in Kosovo, but also in the region, to show that it is really interested in this region and that does not want to leave this region to the West. He assessed that the visit of the Russian ambassador to the border crossing in Jarinje was without dilemma, just one of the manifestations of the continuation of this policy.
“Anyone who thinks that Russia would or will give up this region, is in a big mistake”, said Kentera, commenting on the Russian ambassador’s visit.
Rumena Filipova, president and co-founder of the Institute for Global Analytics in Bulgaria, told The Geopost that Russia has a wide political, economic, cultural and media influence in the Balkans, while Serbia is the center of Russian action of malicious influence in the Balkans. Commenting on tensions between the Kosovo-Serbia border, she said the incident should be investigated on long-running efforts of Russia to sow discord within the Balkans, particularly between the two countries.
“Since the Kremlin can not promote its initiatives in Kosovo (because the citizens of Kosovo look at Russia on a bad perspective), it has directed its offensive against the Serb population in northern Kosovo”, said Rumenova.
Regarding the visit of Russian Ambassador Kharchenko to the Serbian army, who were located near the Jarinje border crossing point, she says that it is not surprising, given that Russia has maintained a wide influence in diplomatic affairs, intelligence services and operations in the Balkans, and especially, as she stressed, continuing the close partnership with Serbia.