ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
International relations

EU battles to fend off China's 'mask diplomacy' in Balkans

Russia also seeks to expand influence amid slow pandemic aid

Chinese President Xi Jinping is depicted on a Belgrade billboard expressing appreciation for his country's assistance in combating the novel coronavirus. The text reads "Thanks, brother Xi."   © Reuters

BRUSSELS -- As the novel coronavirus spreads in the Balkans, the European Union finds itself in a fierce battle for influence around the region with China and Russia, which have been quicker to send medical staff and other support.

The EU promised financial and medical support Wednesday in an online summit with the leaders of six western Balkan nations: Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia. It also expressed support for those countries eventually joining the bloc.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more