EU, Western Balkans leaders to discuss integration and migration
European Union and Western Balkans leaders will meet in the Albanian capital Tirana on Tuesday for a summit meant to reassure the region of a future in the EU amid fears of rising Russian and Chinese influence.
They also aiming to plug migration loopholes into the EU.
Triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the EU has for months focused more energy on bringing Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania closer to their stated goal of joining the bloc.
The aim is to give greater stability to a region that emerged from the break-up of Yugoslavia and the ethnic wars of the 1990s but is still racked by tensions.
But moves towards closer integration are also designed to deny Moscow a gateway for causing trouble at what is seen as a soft spot on the 27-nation EU's southeastern flank.
Serbia in particular, which was bombed by NATO two decades ago, has long struggled to balance historically close ties with Russia against aspirations for