Russia in the Balkans: How should the EU respond?

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Series Details 12.10.15
Publication Date 12/10/2015
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On 3 September 2015, Russia's 7th Guards Airborne-Assault (Mountain) Division kicked off an exercise near the Black Sea city of Novorossiysk, some 150km southeast of the annexed Crimean peninsula. The timing was chosen carefully. 'Swift Response', a large-scale drill run by NATO alongside the coastline of Romania and Bulgaria, along with other European locations, had concluded several days earlier. Codenamed 'Slavic Brotherhood', the war games at Novorossiysk involved Belarusian Special Forces and, strikingly, paratroopers from Serbia. Here was a country negotiating its accession to the EU and a recent signatory of a cooperation deal with NATO that was siding with the self-declared competitor of the West.

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