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Fri, Dec 20, 2019

Russia’s strategic interests and tools of influence in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans are part and parcel of Russia’s strategy to establish itself as a first-rate player in European security affairs, along with other major states such as Germany, France, and the UK. Since the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, the region has been at the forefront of debates on critical issues such as transatlantic relations, the EU’s security and defense policy, and NATO/EU enlargement. Having a foothold in the Balkans means having a say on those strategic matters, which are of direct consequence to Russia.

New Atlanticist by Dimitar Bechev

Russia The Balkans

Fri, Nov 22, 2019

Evaluating Macron’s pitch for enlargement reform

French officials hope the proposal can open the door to a real debate over how the European Union adds new members, while also limiting the political blowback for the Western Balkan countries

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Democratic Transitions European Union

Thu, Sep 19, 2019

Bechev in Foreign Policy: Putin is trolling the United States in the Persian Gulf

In the wake of the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, the Russian president has positioned himself as a peacemaker. But continued conflict is his friend.

In the News by Dimitar Bechev

Conflict Russia

Dr. Dimitar Bechev is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He is also a research fellow at the Center of Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Dr. Bechev has published extensively, in both academic and policy format, on EU foreign relations, the politics of Turkey and the Balkans, Russian foreign policy, and energy security. His book Rival Power, published by Yale University Press in 2017, explores Russia’s role in Southeast Europe (Balkans, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey). He has held research and teaching positions at Oxford and Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo as well as visiting fellowships at Harvard and the London School of Economics. From 2010 to 2014, he was the head of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) office in Sofia.

Dr. Bechev is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera Online, Oxford Analytica, POLITICO, and EUObserver. His quotes have appeared in leading newspapers such as the Financial Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He holds a DPhil in international relations from the University of Oxford.