A number of US organizations of Albanian, Bosniak and Montenegrin diasporas have warned the U.S. administration and President Joe Biden over the threat posed to the Western Balkans’s security by the “growing militancy” of Serbia under President Aleksandar Vučić against its neighbors.
In an open letter, they call on the US “to immediately initiate steps to rebuff the attempts by the government of Serbia to unravel the region’s peace and security.”
They draw attention to recent attempt by Serbia – also supported by Russia – to undermine security in Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro. Namely, the deployment of military power close to the border with Kosovo, ethnic tensions spurred in Montenegro by the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as the Serbian-Russian backed coup attempt aimed to assassinate Montenegrin political leaders on the eve of the country’s NATO accession, and finally repeated calls by the Serb leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina to dissolve the country.
“A strong signal must be sent to Belgrade that the use of force will never again be allowed to dictate the nature and direction of Western Balkan politics,” they urged in their open letter to the Biden administration.
The representatives of the diaspora highlighted the danger posed to the Western Balkans and to the US interests through the Serbian government’s policy of “the Serbian World” which aims at bringing all ethnic Serbs in the region under one country.
“This is no more than a reboot of the Milosevic-era ‘Greater Serbia’ project which led to the worst violence and the worst atrocities in Europe since the Second World War,” they stressed.
“The situation in Kosovo is Vučić’s most dangerous gambit to date. It represents a definitive turn from even the pretense of dialogue and negotiation and demonstrates that Serbia now seeks to use force, or at least the threat of force, to create new facts on the ground. This is a categorical threat not only to the security and sovereignty of Kosovo but, in fact, the entire Western Balkans and therefore represents a significant risk to U.S. and NATO economic and security interests in southeast Europe.”
The joint appeal of the three communities follows similar concerns expressed by the presidents of the three Western Balkan countries during the recent crisis at the border between Kosovo and Serbia.