This event is online only.
Please join the Harriman Institute for the annual Balkan Roundtable. Moderated by Tanya Domi.
No one has been surprised by the recent escalation of tensions between Serbia and Kosovo that nearly erupted into war late last weekend when about 7,000 Serbian soldiers were deployed to the Kosovo Border, following two weekends of violence, including the killing of Kosovar police and three other people that occurred when Serbian gunmen battled police during a monastery siege on Sept. 24th. Last week, the United States issued a stern warning to Serbia to pull back their forces deployed at the border. These tensions spiked after the April election of Albanian ethnic mayors in Mitrovica when Kosovo Prime Minister Kurti ordered Kosovo police escorts to their offices. Serbian residents had boycotted the elections. Clashes in May injured dozens of protesters and NATO alliance peacekeepers. The EU dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo has has sputtered to a standoff, yielding no agreement – both EU and US diplomats are scrambling to move the tense situation to calmer waters. The genesis of this situation actually began in 2022 during a border crossing license plate dispute between the two countries that eventually led to President Vucic scrambling MIG fight jets over the border with Kosovo igniting tensions that have remained high since. Evidence has emerged revealing Serbian planning had been underway to mount this attack on Kosovo. The EU has issued demands that Serbia and Kosovo to reengage in the dialogue. But Alexander Vucic has made clear when he said that Serbia would never recognize Kosovo, which is a key element and stated clear goal of the European Union dialogue process. This Balkan Roundtable will focus on this ongoing crisis in the Western Balkans.
Milka Tadić Mijović, Montenegrin journalist, media executive and international human rights activist
Ivana Stradner, Advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Barish Center for Media Integrity
Bodo Weber, Senior Associate of the Democratization Policy Council (DPC)
Reuf Bajrović, Vice President at the US-Europe Alliance in Washington, DC; Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Daniel Serwer, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Agon Maliqi, political analyst and activist from Kosovo; creator and co-founder of Sbunker
Una Hajdari, independent reporter based in Rome and focused on Central, Eastern Europe and the Balkans
Alice Taylor, editor and journalist
Marija Šajkaš, media and communication specialist
Milka Tadić Mijović is a Montenegrin journalist, media executive and international human rights activist. She is one of the co-founders of the weekly Monitor, the first Montenegrin private and independent weekly magazine (September 1990). During the ‘90s, she was actively engaged in the anti-war movement. She was the first journalist dismissed from job in Montenegro for articles critical of President Slobodan Milosevic’s nationalistic policies. Her wartime reports, analytical columns and radio and TV interviews, as well as investigative articles on organised crime and corruption in Montenegro and the region have been translated and published or quoted by leading international media. She has received both numerous threats and journalistic excellence awards for articles exposing corruption and other government wrongdoings.
Ivana Stradner serves as an advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Barish Center for Media Integrity, where her research focuses on Russia’s information operations and cybersecurity, particularly Russia’s use of advanced forms of hybrid warfare and the threat they pose to the West. Ivana studies Russia’s security strategies and military doctrines to understand how Russia uses information operations for strategic communication. Given the divergence between the American and Russian militaries’ understandings of cybersecurity, her work examines both the psychological and technical aspects of Russian information security. Ivana also analyzes Russian influence in international organizations; she is currently focusing on UN efforts to regulate information security and the UN Cybercrime Treaty. In her writings, videos, and interviews, Ivana consistently champions a robust use of the international rule of law against revisionist powers (such as China and Russia). Because of her work to better understand Russian hybrid warfare in Eastern Europe, Ivana was asked to testify before the EU Parliament and brief various government officials. Before joining FDD, Ivana worked as a visiting scholar at Harvard University and a lecturer for a variety of universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
Bodo Weber is a Senior Associate of the Democratization Policy Council (DPC), a transatlantic policy analysis and advocacy group promoting accountability in Western democracy promotion. Mr. Weber is one of the leading Western experts on the Western Balkans. He is a longtime analyst of international policy, Western Balkans policy and society and German foreign policy. He also works as a political consultant for political foundations and international organizations in Germany and the Balkans. In the 1990s, he worked as an editor with Perspektiven (Frankfurt/Main), a journal, and served as a board member of the Bosnien-Büro Frankfurt. He has published numerous articles and analytical papers on politics and societies in the Balkans, on post-conflict peacebuilding, democratization and German foreign policy. He has published articles and OpEds in various journals and papers such as Die Zeit,Internationale Politik, EUObserver et. al. and regularly appears as a commentator in Southeast European media. Weber has an MA in political science and Eastern European history from the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main. He lives in Berlin.