Millions of Russian euros against Kosovo statehood?

Millions of Russian euros against Kosovo statehood?
 Flags of Kosovo and Russia

 Russia has an agenda, through which tends to extend its influence to Kosovo, as well as across the Balkans region and invests in demolishing the image of the country, officials of the Kosovo Government said.

Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said on Thursday that there is a Russian agenda and trends for Kosovo's involvement in processes that would, as he said, "outbound" the country.

Haradinaj said that in indirect form, Russia invests money in the idea of ​​presenting Kosovo "in a regressive status quo".

Halil Matoshi, adviser to Prime Minister Haradinaj, speaking on Radio Free Europe, points out that, according to various data and analyzes, it emerges that Russia's policy continues to try to undermine the integration processes of the region's countries in NATO and the EU , through presence in these countries, including the Office of Russia in Kosovo.

"According to many different data and analyzes, it turns out that in Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, but also the Russian Office in Kosovo, are committed to extending this influence through creating obstacles to these NATO-related states, respectively, with the European Union. For this, there is a humanitarian base, which according to the US State Department is not a humanitarian center in Nis (Serbia), but is a center for Russian espionage, Matoshaj said.

He adds that there are data that Russian embassies spend 10 million euros a year and according to him, they are spending these amount to exert influence on the politics and media of the region.

Matoshi emphasizes that Kosovo, being an organic part of the Western Balkans, is not immune to these Russian tendencies. According to him, Serbia is taking unreserved support from Russia to deny Kosovo's independence and destabilize the region.

Matoshi elaborates what Prime Minister Haradinaj has said but does not, however, give much concrete details regarding the Russian influence in Kosovo.

"We see moves and ideas that unfold in a part of the media, I would consider not credible, where the army, or Russian doctrine, is respected, and we see intentions of creating conditions for the destabilization in the region. We had the last case in Montenegro, where people from Serbia who were under Russian influence wanted to assassinate President Djukanovic and then to pursue political and military coup in this country. These make us think that Kosovo can not make an exception to this tendency of influence," Matoshi said.

Meanwhile, Lisen Bashkurti, former Albanian representative at the United Nations and currently president of the Albanian Diplomatic Academy, in a conversation with Radio Free Europe, says the presence and influence of Russia in the countries of the region, including Kosovo, should be seen in three levels.

According to him, Russian presence and influence has been, and will remain, an important element of Russian geopolitics, which is linked to the strategy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has returned to the old Russian geopolitical doctrine but as he says, in many respects, of Stalin's.

Moreover, as Bashkurti says, the characteristics of the Western Balkan region, its transition phase, the apparent elements of the mismanagement of many countries in the region, and the cyclical crisis that are repeated, the phenomenon such as: high level corruption, organized crime, money laundering and other phenomena that provoke instability are all elements that open the door to opportunities to increase the presence and influence of Russia in the region.

The third level, according to him, relates specifically to Kosovo and its relations with Serbia. According to Bashkurti, it should be noted that Serbia continues to have two vectors on its forighn policy, namely the Euro-Russian.

"As long as Serbia will continue to be a prolonged hand of the Russian geopolitics, two-way Euro-Russian policy of political, diplomatic and strategic cooperation with Russia, and given that the presence and influence of Serbia in Kosovo continues to be visible and dangerous, I think that even if Russian presence and influence are not direct in Kosovo, will definitely affect indirectly through the Serbian presence and influence," Bashkurti says.

He adds that in the field of ideas, is evident the presence of Russian policies, strategies and tactics.

"For example, the thesis on restoring Kosovo's status in international discussion, the thesis to review borders through changes, corrections, displacements, is also a renowned Russian thesis. Tactics to create frozen areas or crises in delicate regions, such as Central Asia, or such as the western part of Russia or Western Balkans, is also evidence of abusing with the ethnic minorities, such as a valve to the provoke neighboring countries and keep them under constant pressure, is also of Russian origin. So many elements related to Russia's foreign policy strategy, as well as the practices it uses to implement this strategy, are noticed in Kosovo's political reality," says Bashkurti.

Russia's efforts to extend its impact inKosovo albeit to a small extent in comparison to the powerful Western countries, are also in the field of economy. According to the Kosovo authorities, the extent of Russian influence in this regard comes mainly through Serbia.

Although data at the Central Bank of Kosovo have not been updated, according to figures for 2016, Russian investments in Kosovo have been around 2 million euros. Meanwhile, the import value of Russian products in Kosovo for the previous year, according to official data, was about 7 million euros, with 15 million kilograms of products.
Millions of Russian euros against Kosovo statehood? Millions of Russian euros against Kosovo statehood? Saturday, April 13, 2019 Rating: 5
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