Following the exclusive interview with Montenegro’s PM Dritan Abazovic for The Pavlovic Today, where he called on the United States to help the countries of the Western Balkans counter the Russian and Chinese influence, Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer asked Ned Price about the State Department’s assessment of those influences and concrete steps the US can take to counter them.

“It’s no questions that the Western Balkans is a dynamic region that is attractive to countries around the world. Of course, it’s attractive for different reasons to both the PRC and and Russia,” said Ned Price.

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“We believe and this is the point that we’ve made, both publicly and in our private engagements with countries in the Western Balkans, that our shared interests and our shared values form the predicate for a relationship that in many ways is unique and distinct from the visions of a relationship that Russia or the PRC would have for the region,” Ned Price told The Pavlovic Today.

US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price prepares to brief reporters at a department press briefing, [State Department photo by Freddie Everett/ Public Domain]

“So whether it is developments, whether it is security, whether it’s economics, whether it is a humanitarian assistance,” he added, “we have made very clear our desire to be a partner to the countries of the Western Balkans, and have both implicitly and in some cases explicitly also been very clear about what the partnership that we bring is distinct from the relationship that countries like the two you mentioned, would seem to happen in the region,” Price concluded.

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