A win against Russia – outside Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been clarifying for Europe about its values – democratic values that helped restrain the ethnic nationalism of its own past wars and now drives Moscow’s aggression. The latest example is an agreement brokered by the European Union to normalize ties between Serbia and Kosovo, nearly a quarter century after a war between them left thousands killed.

The two states in the Balkans, both remnants of the former Yugoslavia, accepted an 11-point plan on Feb. 27 to improve ties, respect each other’s borders, and deal with the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo, a nation of mainly ethnic Albanians. If implemented, the plan would deal a blow to Russia’s attempts to control states in Europe with Slavic or Orthodox Christian populations such as Serbia.

The invasion forced Serbia to take steps to partially distance itself from Moscow, such as seeking alternatives to Russian gas and oil. Serbia also voted for a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion and refusing to recognize Russia’s annexations of eastern Ukraine.

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