The West, Russia, and the Balkans

Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Research in Business, Management and Economics

Year: 2019


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Concept of the City in Grigol Robakidze’s Art

Lili Metreveli



There is no question that one of the main features of today’s global geopolitics is the perplexing relationship between Russia and the West.Post-Soviet Russia never made Atlanticism and Europeanism its own causes, even though the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact generated hopes that the new Russia would embrace the liberal values of the world’s democracies. Quite the opposite, with its domestic and foreign policies, Moscow was oriented in a direction that, while approaching China and other authoritarian regimes (Iran, Syria, Egypt), it has been increasingly pulling away from the West.Being what it is and with the role it plays in the broader Euro-Asian space and the Middle East, Russia is a great dilemma for the United States, for Europe and generally, for the West. It causes frustration and uncertainty in Washington and Brussels, making it very difficult for them to devise common policies and conduct joint actions vis-à-vis Moscow, because Russia is not a country that can be ignored politically, economically, or diplomatically.Russia retains a strong interest in the Balkans too. In one way or another, Moscow is actively involved in every Balkan nation. Although Russia’s presence in the former Yugoslavia is growing, Moscow’s involvement in the region will remain constrained due to some reasons. Russia may have some compelling interests in the Balkans but this region is not only geographically far from Moscow’s orbit, but also politically, economically and militarily well under the protective umbrella of the West.However, Russia has certainly benefited from the slowdown in Europe’s integration efforts in the Balkans and from the funding slump that the European economic crisis created in the region. To lessen Russia’s craving for the Balkans, NATO and the EU should no longer deny or delay their admission into both.

Keyword: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Russia, the Balkans, the West.