As countries in Europe struggle with shortages of COVID-19 vaccines, China has stepped up its efforts in the Western Balkans, supplying injections and collecting diplomatic wins in the region.
The comments of Kosovo election winner Albin Kurti to Euronews appear to have done little to improve relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
Serbia's US-educated prime minister was the first European leader to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The country's Russophile internal affairs minister rolled up his sleeve for an armful of Sputnik V. And the health minister happily posed for his injection with Sinopharm's coronavirus shot.
Dear citizens of Serbia,
Today I received the first dose of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac). I extend my sincere congratulations to all the competent authorities of the Republic of Serbia (RS) on the well-organized vaccination process, the e-Government portal for their efficient scheduling of vaccination appointments and registration for revaccination calls, and the kind medical workers and teams that perform other important tasks in this process. It is now, during the organization of the vaccination, that we have the opportunity to see how important and successfully implemented is our country’s strategic decision to start the digitalization process a few years ago was.
Author: Francis Fukuyama
The challenges from the left and the right.
Today, there is a broad consensus that democracy is under attack or in retreat in many parts of the world. It is being contested not just by authoritarian states like China and Russia, but by populists who have been elected in many democracies that seemed secure.