Of late the European Union and the United States have been trying to break the bond between Moscow and the Balkans by including the region in their sphere of influence.
Not surprisingly, they are not the ones spearheading the process now – Berlin is. "The European Commission does nothing in the Balkans now … 'without a green light from Germany,'" the Economist quoted an unnamed senior diplomat as saying.
Germany, often seen as the biggest advocate of the European integration, has been committed to integrating the Balkan nations into the union for some time. This became evident in July when Angela Merkel paid a visit to three countries in the region – Albania, Bosnia and Serbia.
There is an abundance of reasons for the US and EU's growing interest in the Balkans, but one in particular stands out.
"Sympathy for Russia is rising in some [Balkan] countries," the weekly newspaper asserted. For instance, Serbia is contemplating taking part in a joint military exercise scheduled to be held in Russia in September.
The West sees Russia's warm relations with the Balkans as a dangerous geopolitical development which must be undermined. And expanding the bloc seems to be the way to do it.