Albania amidst the External Actors’ Influence. The Open Balkan initiative: A Russian Trojan Horse or a faster approach to Regional Cooperation?

Klodiana Beshku / 19 Jun 2023

Albania has found itself in the middle of the political “chessboard” created by the most influential external actors after the EU and the USA, namely, Russia, China, Türkiye, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The study explores Albania’s multifaceted attitudes within the context of the dynamics in the Western Balkans and sheds light on how the Open Balkan (OB) initiative has shaped relations among the Western Balkan countries.

The study also focuses on Albania’s attempt to become a crucial actor at the regional level concerning its European integration path through the Berlin Process and, lately, through the Open Balkan initiative. Finally, the last part links the external actors – mainly Russia – to infiltrations through the Open Balkan initiative, interference, and the pursuit of specific interests within the country.


The analytical study was written as a part of PSSI's Western Balkans Project.