Serbia as a Geopolitical Partner : In between East and West

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för globala politiska studier (GPS)

Author: Mikkel Severin Jensen; [2023]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The major changes in the global political sphere, where borders between East and West are being strongly defined, influences of course foreign policies, that are aimed to target such changes, however, it is not always clear how countries are able to choose a geopolitical side, and if neutral, to justify its engagement with both sides. Especially after the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine, have had implications on the cooperation between Russia and the EU. This thesis aimed at outlining the difficulties for a country, like Serbia, that promotes a nonalignment foreign strategy is being contested by its Western partners. Therefore, this thesis has employed the theoretical basis of the English School and qualitative content analysis, to understand how Serbia is balancing between geopolitics and prosperity. It has been shown that Serbia de-facto choses the EU as their main geopolitical partner, when looking at the substantial EU-based investments and development in the Serbian market. However, when it comes to the matter of Kosovo, Russia appears to become a central strategic partner to Serbia, through the guaranteed veto in the UNSC and to not recognize the independence of Kosovo. Furthermore, it strongly appears that Russia has a deep influence in the Serbian civil society and public narratives, that undermines any EU integration of the country. Therefore, the Serbian balance between geopolitics and prosperity can be argued to both include economic prosperity and the prosperity of Serbian culture and the protection of its national integrity of its sovereignty. Serbia have ensured to develop it economic foundation, meanwhile ensuring the Russian support to not recognize Kosovo, however, it also appears that since the invasion of Ukraine, Serbia’s position as in between, is perhaps limited. 

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