Albania asks for EU membership for Balkan countries to protect themselves from Russia

The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, fears that Russia and Islamic terrorists may try to increase their influence in the Balkan countries if the Balkans is not included in the European Union (EU).

Rama also stated, in his interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, that it is in the interest of Brussels to take the Balkans under its wing.

“If we want a safe and stable European Union, and a safe Europe, we shouldn’t have any gaps. In addition, we should never forget that there are third parties who play their own game and if the EU leaves a vacuum in the Balkans, it will play into their hands,” Reuters quoted Rama as saying.

Rama explained that this refers to both Russia and radical Islamic militants.

The Balkan countries are trapped between the EU member states of Greece and Hungary.

Croatia and Slovenia have already become the members of the EU and NATO. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania hope to only join the Alliance.

The accession process of Balkan countries to the EU is proceeding at different stages. Serbia intends to complete negotiations on the EU accession by 2019. However, the admission of new members is not currently a priority for the authorities of a united Europe.

“The question isn’t how much time we need, but how the EU will continue to develop. Currently, we are in a good shape in political sense, but the EU isn’t in a good shape,” Rama concluded.

  Albania, EU, Russia