Former Pentagon official and Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, Mr Michael Carpenter, believes the Western Balkans is suffering for the lack of interest of the powerful countries. In an interview for Pobjeda daily, he says he hopes the future U.S. administration will correct its policy towards the region and focus more on challenges and possibilities in the Balkans.
Mr Carpenter recently warned of possible Russia’s meddling into the 2020 parliamentary elections that will be held in Montenegro, saying that “the Kremlin must attack the West and its values in order to keep democracy as far away as possible from Moscow. When it comes to the forthcoming elections in Montenegro, it’s not easy to forecast which strategy the Kremlin plans to use in future, but I assume it will be the one already used before: funding the pro-Russian candidates, spreading misinformation in order to impact voters and increasing ethnic divisions and cyber-attacks in order to hack information and cause mayhem.”
On the possible impact of other countries in the region on the 2020 parliamentary elections in MNE, Mr Carpenter said: “The world is finally realizing that Russia is not the only country attacking the democratic institutions. We have to start thinking about China, Iran, North Korea and many other countries. I’m worried about the growing influence of China and Turkey in the Western Balkans, especially in the area of economy. Their influence is far more subtle than the one of Russia as they don’t stir coups, but the influence they have on the local politics is enormous.”