Efforts to counter disinformation in the Western Balkans: Insights from James Rubin

21 Qershor 2024, 10:18Kosovo & Region TEMA

Efforts to counter disinformation in the Western Balkans: Insights from James

June 21, 2024 — James Rubin, the Special Envoy and Coordinator of the State Department's Global Engagement Center, spoke to Voice of America regarding ongoing challenges in the Western Balkans, particularly concerning the spread of disinformation by Russia and China. Rubin emphasized the significant threat posed by disinformation in today's world, highlighting joint efforts with the European Union to combat Russian and Chinese propaganda in the region.

Rubin pointed out that Russia uses outlets like 'Sputnik Serbia' and 'RT Serbia' to disseminate misinformation, taking advantage of linguistic similarities among Balkan nations. He stressed the importance of assisting Balkan states aspiring to EU membership in developing frameworks to safeguard against foreign disinformation. Memoranda of cooperation have been signed with several Balkan countries to bolster their defenses against these threats.

Regarding Russia's broader disinformation tactics globally, Rubin stressed the need for collective defense against such operations. He acknowledged the complex dynamics in the Western Balkans, where historical tensions are exploited to perpetuate divisions and influence public opinion.

Reflecting on Kosovo's recent 25th anniversary of liberation, Rubin credited NATO's intervention in preventing potential genocide and stabilizing the region. He expressed concerns over the current diplomatic tensions between the United States and Kosovo due to Kosovo's failure to fulfill certain international requirements.

When asked about the future of Kosovo amidst global upheavals and democratic challenges, Rubin expressed optimism about Kosovo's progress since the war, noting significant efforts towards democratic governance and economic development.


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