The presence of the European Union should be more visible in the Western Balkans in order to resist Russia's attempts to destabilize the region, said David McAllister, one of the leading members of the European Parliament. This is reported by The Guardian.
"We see the growing influence of Russia, we see the growing influence of Turkey, the United States is a player, the European Union is a player, so different interests are at stake. Geopolitics has returned to the Balkans," said David McAllister, the German deputy of the European Parliament and the chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament .
He called the role of Russia negative, referring to the alleged involvement of the Kremlin in the failed coup in Montenegro and Moscow's support for tough nationalist leaders in the region. According to McAllister, Russia also influenced political debates by organizing anti-Western and anti-European propaganda, especially in the Serbian language media.
EU leaders will discuss the growing tensions in the Balkans at a summit in Brussels on Thursday. Member states did not agree on whether the summit communiqué should name "external forces" having a more important role in the region. Russia is of particular concern, but officials are also worried about Turkey's growing role.