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

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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