“Russian influence is expanding and support for EU membership is in decline as UK’s influence fades after Brexit vote.

Progress towards full democracy and commitment to the rule of law in the western Balkans is either stagnating or going backwards as the UK’s influence in the region declines, a Lords committee has said.

Russian and extreme Islamic influence is expanding, state capture of civil institutions is growing and support for EU membership is in decline, the international relations committee says. Some nationalist leaders point to the UK’s planned departure from the EU as a sign that European values are no longer relevant, it adds in a report.

Since the UK voted to leave the EU, its longstanding advocacy of the Balkans countries’ EU membership is not just paradoxical but untenable in the eyes of many, the report says. The Brexit decision also deprives the Balkans of their chief advocates in Brussels.” (The Guardian) Full report available here.