Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chepurin: There is still danger of conflicts in Balkans

11/12/2013 1:18:00 PM

BELGRADE - Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin said on Tuesday that the Balkans is not the most stable region in Europe, noting there is still a danger of potential conflicts. There is still a very contradictory tendency of further developments here, with the potential for conflicts still developing, Chepurin said, opening an international conference titled "The Balkan Wars in the Light of 21st Century Geopolitics" in Belgrade's Hotel Hyatt. Such a situation requires a very cautious approach, he said. Drawing attention to the tumultuous history of the Balkans in the 20th century, Chepurin said that history lasts even today, adding that is closely connected with the current strengthening of Russian -Serbian relations.

 There are numerous opportunities for cooperation in the interest of both sides, the Russian ambassador said, adding that the history of Russia and Serbia constitutes a basis and gives faith in the future cooperation. In the recent period, there have been those who doubt that the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) were liberation ones, marking the end of the centuries-long Ottoman domination in southern Europe, he noted. The borders of the so-called Balkan countries are actively being considered even today, Chepurin said. After the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from the Balkans, big states engaged in the fight for their own influence in the region, Chepurin said. 

 The Russian ambassador noted that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic recently underscored that the catastrophe of World War I was preceded by an attempt of certain political figures to overpower other peoples. The Balkans was drawn into the fight of mayor power for a redistribution of borders, Chepurin said, underlining that Russia and Serbia got closer again at that time and became the most important allies in the Balkans. Serbia and Russia were allies in both world wars and all major cataclysms, he noted. In the First and Second World Wars, Serbia made the right choice and was always on the side of the winners, the Russian ambassador underscored. This international conference is being organized by the Center for Development of International Cooperation and the Russian Embassy in Belgrade. Photo Tanjug, R. Prelic (archive)

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