The loud reaction of the Serbian authorities to the letter of the seven congressmen only proves the guilt. “If they were not corrupt and if there was media freedom, there would be no such extreme reaction,” said Daniel Server, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.
Respectively, Raja Krishnamoorti, Richie Torres, David N. Sisilin, Jen Shakovski, James P. McGovern, Mike Quigley and Jim Costa, who are also members of the Albanian and Bosnian Congretional caucuses, urged Biden to consider imposing sanctions on those destabilize the Western Balkans, stating that they are concerned about the impact of the political situation in Serbia, in the region and Europe.
They also called on the administration to continue engaging and talking to the Serbian government in order to eradicate corruption in Serbia and stop attacks on the media.
In an interview for the Voice of America, Server explained that the letter was nothing more than an attempt to highlight the issues that members of Congress consider very important, including the fight against corruption and freedom of media in Serbia.
“Of course their number represents a very small percentage of the Congress membership, but on the other hand their commitment still requires effort. There is no doubt that they feel a strong commitment to the topics that they mentioned – given that they have put their signature on the paper, so it cannot be said that addressing them is irrelevant.
American policy is partly lead by issues important to Congress, although the attitude of this institution to foreign policy is quite remote, because the direction of foreign policy belongs to the domain of executive power. But if the executive gets some information from Congress, especially something they can agree on – it happens that they start dealing with this issue”, Serwer said.
He points out that the document and even the direction of the American president may not have much power, but they do have some impact. Serwer says he is confident that the signatories of the letter asked their staff in Congress to inform administration officials and ask what can be done about the issues they’ve noted.
“All American diplomats, including the Secretary of State, are encouraged to meet with representatives of the opposition, NGOs and the wider community – especially in countries that consider themselves democratic, because after all, opposition forces may one day come in power. You want to know them and what they think. “Escobar knows a lot of people from Belgrade – he probably won’t shut the door to someone he knows,” concludes Johns Hopkins University’s professor, Daniel Server.