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Is Serbia stirring the Balkan cauldron?
At the start of November, Serbia, Russia and Belarus will hold a joint air force exercise termed "Slav Brotherhood 2016", while Serbia and Russia will hold a similar exercise shortly afterwards. Although such exercises are not particularly new, Serbia's aberrant role as a Russia-friendly state aspiring to become part of the European Union (EU), and possibly even NATO, has raised a lot of concern whether Serbia's government is stirring the Balkan cauldron, especially in light of the rising nationalism and pro-Russian sentiment in the region (Blank, 2016). The Serbian Progressive Party of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, now firmly in control of parliament with its coalition partner, the Socialist Party, is expected to continue to pursue a pro-EU foreign policy. However, many experts are concerned that Vucic's pursuit of EU accession is not based on "genuine respect for European values and the rule of law" but rather a reversion to an opportunistic and