Stabilizing the Western Balkans Requires Economic Solutions, Not Just Political Ones

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic inspects the Guard of Honor during an inauguration ceremony, Belgrade, May 31, 2017 (AP photo by Marko Drobnjakovic).
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic inspects the Guard of Honor during an inauguration ceremony, Belgrade, May 31, 2017 (AP photo by Marko Drobnjakovic).
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In late April and into May, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, Hoyt Yee, made several visits and high-level phone calls to the countries of the Western Balkans. These states have been wracked by corruption scandals and governing standoffs that have raised questions about the effectiveness of American assistance. Yee’s efforts have yielded some positive outcomes. But they also made clear that American diplomacy alone cannot provide the longer-term solutions to the region’s nagging political and economic problems. After Yee’s visit to Skopje on April 29, Gjorge Ivanov, Macedonia’s president, finally gave the opposition party […]

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