“Russia is waging a campaign to increase its influence and limit the growth of NATO and the EU in the Balkans. The Kremlin is establishing proxies and training local separatist forces from the Balkans in Russia. Russia is also actively attempting to sow internal discord within the Balkans in an effort to stall or block further expansion by NATO and the EU. Russia intends to use the Balkan Peninsula as a critical geographic foothold in Europe from which it can launch subversive operations meant to fracture the long-term unity of the West. Its activities could encourage a renewal of the ethnic violence of the 1990s and create fertile conditions for the expansion of Salafi-Jihadism among Muslims in the Balkans.” (ISW)