Despite the European Union moderating bilateral talks, ethnically Albanian-dominated authorities in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, plan on September 1 to re-register vehicles featuring Serbian plates. But a poll shows the majority of Kosovo-based Serbs plan to continue using Serbian-issued license plates. This dispute comes amid Serbia’s refusal to recognize the 2008 secession of Kosovo. Nikola Mikovic reports from Kosovo.
Although the South Caucasus region has traditionally been in the Kremlin’s geopolitical orbit, it is the European Union that seems to be playing the major role in peace talks, border delimitation and the reopening of transportation links. During the past six months, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met three times through the mediation of European Council President Charles Michel, reports Nikola Mikovic.
On May 16, Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member countries held a summit in Moscow, marking the alliance's 30th anniversary. The CSTO could play a significant role if the situation in Central Asia deteriorates. Could the CSTO get involved in Ukraine, too? Nikola Mikovic reports.
Only a handful of European countries have refused to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation after the United States called for them once Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine began on February 24. Serbia is one such outlier. As a result, the West is pressuring the Balkan nation to change its foreign-policy vector and pick a side in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, reports Nikola Mikovic.
While the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine turns three weeks old today, Azerbaijan and Armenia are expected to preserve good relations with Moscow. The small countries hope the war in Ukraine will not spill over into the South Caucasus, an area the Kremlin sees at its “near abroad," writes Nikola Mikovic.
With Russia recognizing on February 21 two breakaway republics in Ukraine’s Donbass region, war between Russia and U.S.-backed Ukraine appears closer than ever. However, such an escalation means Europe is bound to face an energy crisis, as sources of oil and gas remain too small or unreliable to meet its needs, writes Nikola Mikovic.