Almost three decades after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo continues to be a source of local tension and an issue in international politics. The dispute stems from Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo as a country after Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. The failure to resolve the dispute between Kosovo and Serbia has prevented both countries from joining the European Union (EU).
Russia and Eastern Europe
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine have precipitated a dramatic fracture in relations between between Russia and the West. In response, a broad Western economic sanctions regime has bitten into the Russian economy, and the United States has sought to shore up support among Eastern European and Baltic states. The annexation and response represent a major test-case for international governance, principles of sovereignty and the reliability of the American security umbrella, particularly NATO.