Matthew Palmer says Russia wants Balkans with the element of chaos in it

Matthew Palmer says Russia wants Balkans with the element of chaos in it
 Mathew Palmer
 US Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, said Russia wants this region to be "divided, against itself and with an element of chaos in it".

In an interview in Sofia with Radio Free Europe, Palmer said the US is concerned about Russia's intentions and activities in the Western Balkans.

"If I identify some, I would single out Russia's efforts to reduce support for the Prespa Agreement between Skopje and Athens. These are an example of the malicious activity of the Russian state,” Palmer said.

According to him, the Russians want the Western Balkans to be an area where they "can bring down and up the level of tension".

With the Prespa Agreement, Skopje has agreed to change the name of the state - from Macedonia to North Macedonia - which has paved the way for its progress on the path to NATO and European Union integration.

However, last year, the European Council failed to declare to North Macedonia and Albania the date of EU membership negotiations.

While Palmer said he was hopeful the issue would be resolved in March and that the answer would be "yes".

"We think both countries deserve credit," he said. "

"We think it is an important signal that should be sent to the region. We think it is essential that Northern Macedonia and Albania have a clear European path and a European perspective,” Palmer said.

He said the US has a vision for the Western Balkans and that it is a positive vision.

“A vision for a region at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbors, sustainable, prosperous and integrated into the European family of nations. This is not Russia's vision,” Palmer said.

Russia has also been blamed for backing a coup attempt in Montenegro in 2016.

Russia militarily backs Serbia and has close ties to its president, Aleksandar Vucic, the US Department of Defense said in a report released by Radio Free Europe in November last year.

Palmer was the Special Representative by the US State Department for the Western Balkans in August last year.

A few months later, US President Donald Trump elected the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, as his administration's representative to the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Grenell has made several visits to Kosovo and Serbia, in an effort to push the parties towards normalizing relations.

Palmer, in an interview with a Serbian television in December, said that the US wants to see full normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, which would mean mutual recognition.
Matthew Palmer says Russia wants Balkans with the element of chaos in it Matthew Palmer says Russia wants Balkans with the element of chaos in it Tuesday, February 11, 2020 Rating: 5
Loading...
Powered by Blogger.