West Balkans Tensions: Serbia and Kosovo at it again?

Tensions in the West Balkans are rising. On 1 February, Kosovo banned the use of the Serbian Dinar in favour of the Euro. As such, Serbian minorities in the country launched protests in Mitrovica, claiming that the move instigated ethnic tensions. Serbia itself has been highly critical. Addressing the nation on 2 February, President Aleksander Vucic claimed Kosovo as instigating an ‘ethnic cleanse’ over the ban of the Dinar. Subsequently, neither nation has deescalated tensions, sparking concern in Europe. Evidently, given European and US attention to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the security situation in the region is at risk of escalating. 

Key Judgement 1. Ethnic tension between Kosovars and Serbians is likely to increase in Kosovo over the next 6 months as the government enforces its ban on the Dinar

Key Judgement 2. The standoff between Serbia and Kosovo will likely exacerbate regional tensions in the next 6 months as neighbouring countries align with one party or another.

Key Judgement 3. It is likely that the EU and US will intervene diplomatically over the next 6 months in an effort to stabilise the region over increased tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.

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