Independent topical source of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

Balkan Countries: Expansion Strategy and European Union

balkan countries: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is embarking on a seven-nation Balkans tour Sunday to promote the EU's new eastward expansion strategy, according to CTV. Russia mainly wants to discourage the Western Balkan countries -- Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia -- from joining NATO. But Moscow also is trying to deter them from joining the EU. The EU sees the prospect of membership as an incentive for reform in the volatile Balkans region, which was torn apart by war in the 1990s. The European Union finally is pushing back. Its expansion strategy puts Serbia and Montenegro in position to join should the bloc open its doors to more members, tentatively by 2025. Their bonds also have experienced lows and highs, especially since the former Yugoslavia refused to join the Soviet bloc in 1948. Serbia is a major target of Moscow's anti-Western activities in Europe because the two Slavic and predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christian nations share deep cultural and historical ties. ( As reported in the news.