Serious potential for instability in W. Balkans

by Cristian Florescu

There is “serious potential to create instability” in the Western Balkans because it is “a testing ground for geostrategic rivalries,” Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Thursday, writes Total Croatia News

Speaking to the press after talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Teodora Genchovska, he said they agreed that it was necessary to do everything so that the repercussions of the Russian aggression on Ukraine “don’t spill over to the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe.”

“There is still, unfortunately, in a certain sense, serious potential to create instability given that the Western Balkans is, in a certain sense, a testing ground for various geo-strategic rivalries,” said Grlić Radman.

Genchovska said the Bulgarian-Croatian cooperation within NATO was very good and that a more secure European southeast was conditioned by the cooperation between NATO member states.

The Three Seas Initiative is also important to Bulgaria due to energy autonomy, she said, adding that this initiative has become a lot more significant due to the war in Ukraine.

The two ministers said Bulgarian-Croatian relations were friendly, without outstanding issues, and that the two countries supported each other for Schengen and OECD membership.

Grlić Radman said it was important to Croatia that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law be changed because it “favours electoral engineering” and allowed Bosniaks to outvote Croats.

Genchovska said Bulgaria fully supported Croatia’s aspirations for the BiH crisis to be solved.

As for the North Macedonia-Bulgaria dispute over history and identity, Grlić Radman said he hoped the two countries “will find a mutually acceptable solution which will allow North Macedonia to continue its European journey.”

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