The EU will “hold out the prospect of membership” to “six Western Balkan countries,” writes the Financial Times.

They are Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo.

According to the report, the Western Balkans “loomed ever larger for the EU” as one of the main route for migrants trying to reach the EU, while “EU strategists also fear that Russia is expanding influence in a region where it has traditional allies.”

“Moscow has started to play on growing cynicism over the EU’s membership promises by touting itself as an alternative partner,” the article, quoting Florian Bieber of the Graz University as saying that “a significant number of citizens of the region believe they will never join the EU.”

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