#VladimirPutin #Nato #ZapadniBalkan #DonaldTrump
The victory of the Republican candidate at the US presidential election Donald Trump was met with great satisfaction in the pro-Russian and anti-NATO circles in Montenegro and Serbia, which is not surprising after his statement that he would “relax relations with Russia” and that “NATO was obsolete”. Those who feared Trump’s victory now reasonably ask whether the incoming US administration will reduce military presence in Europe, give up NATO and left the Western Balkans at the mercy of Russian influence.
“There are reasons for concern after Trump’s victory”, said Jelena Milic, director of the Belgrade-based Centre for European Studies (CEAS).
She told CDM that America would change, but she hopes that the Republicans in Congress will be “more aware of the growing threat to the Balkans coming from Putin than it was the case with the Obama’s administration”.
Hope in the tradition of Republicans
“Republicans are seen as those who favour the US military presence in the world. It is good that before Trump’s victory the United States decided to increase the number of its troops in NATO and in Europe outside NATO. Hopefully this decision will not be revoked because when it decided to cut the number of troops a few years ago, Russia attacked Ukraine with weapons and directed other type of influence against the Balkans. Let us hope that those responsible Republicans will curb Tramp’s policy and inaccuracies regarding NATO, and that, in this respect, the process of ratification Montenegro-NATO accession protocol will not be stopped”, Milic said.
She is concerned about the statements coming from “alleged analysts” in Serbia according to which the US policy towards the region will not change.
“Unfortunately, diplomats also claim that, but it is simply not true. Of course, it is important to see who will be the Secretary of State and the Defence Secretary, so that anything concrete could be said about the Trump’s victory effects in the Balkans. It is not a matter of whether the US is focused on the Balkans or not – of course that China, South America, India, Iran and Russia will be in a greater focus. However, the United States is large enough so that everything is in its orbit, so its focus has effects regardless of how small it is”, said Milic.
US will not give up on the region
On the other hand, the director of the Alpha Centre Aleksandar Dedovic believes that US foreign policy will not change much.
He told CDM that it is well known that the US is the biggest NATO contributor and that it is interested in the countries of the region.
“The election of Donald Trump as the US president will not bring significant change in the US foreign policy. We have to remember that this is a country with a long tradition of democracy, which contains ‘antibodies’ that will prevent activities that are detrimental for the US and it is in their interest to support NATO”, said Dedovic.
Source: Cafe Del Montenegro