: Russia seeks new allies in Balkan region

10:15 May. 10, 2016

Russia seeks new allies in Balkan region

Protest against NATO organized by opposition parties in Podgorica, capital city of Montenegro, on March 24, 2016. (GettyImages)

'Yedinaya Rossiya' ('United Russia') party signs a declaration with Montenegrin opposition

Russia appeals Balkan countries for establishing a union of neutral states. Political party 'Yedinaya Rossiya' ('United Russia') signed a declaration with two opposition parties of the Republic of Montenegro.

The document is set to create a union of central and southern European countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) along with recognizing Kosovo as a part of Serbia.

Watch also Kosovo accuses EU of fuelling extremism by denying visa-free travel to Kosovars

Russian officials claim it is a start for a new era in Russia-Balkan diplomatic relations. Independent experts in turn claim it is a Kremlin effort to prevent NATO enlargement, in particular, Montenegro accession.

The experts claim the recently signed declaration is likely to fail, since Russia has hardly any support in Montenegro. Oppositional Democratic People's Party is a marginal force having no more than three seats in the national parliament. Additionally the aforementioned party is famous for its severe critics on the current pro-European authorities calling for uprising in order to remove the government.

The Republic of Montenegro is set to become a full-fledged NATO member in 2017. Both Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina refused from North-Atlantic integration. Serbia, though declaring military neutrality, actively cooperates with Alliance.

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