Russia’s strategy regarding the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo is to maintain the status quo, and hinder Serbia’s relations with the US and EU, according to Damon Wilson.
Wilson is the Executive Vice President of Atlantic Council, a US think tank focused on international relations.
Wilson told the audience that the status quo undermines Serbia’s ability to enter into serious negotiations and improve relations with Kosovo, and Russia is probably waging a “hybrid war” to discourage Serbia from reaching an agreement with Kosovo. The lack of an agreement is at the detriment of both countries, which should be brave and take risks to reach a deal.
He said that Serbia is trying to build relations with the US, and it has “friends in Washington who understand what it is facing and who want to help it”.
But he advised Serbia against sending mixed signals when it comes to close relations with Russia, as it could confuse US politicians.
Serbia’s increasing closeness to Russia has raised concerns with some of the EU members and the US. Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, even called for sanctions on Serbia for purchasing Russian weaponry.