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The Guardian view on problems in the western Balkans: Europe should do more | Editorial

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As tensions grow between Serbia and Kosovo, Russia must not be left to advance its divisive agenda in the region

In early December, European Union officials headed to Albania to make a symbolic point. The latest EU-Western Balkans summit, held in Tirana, was the first to be actually held in a region whose populations mostly long to belong to the Brussels club, but have begun to doubt they ever will.

The gesture – along with concrete measures such as inclusion in the EU’s Erasmus programme – went down well. “Things are changing,” Albania’s prime minister, Edi Rama, observed at the summit’s conclusion, as other leaders hailed “a new mindset”. A couple of weeks later, Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted the status of candidate country to join the EU.

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