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Global Energy Advisory – 2nd October 2015

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

This week we’re looking at the Balkans and Eastern Europe, where—among other things—a migrant border-crossing storm is reviving old hatreds, Shell is pulling out of Bosnia and tensions in Montenegro heat up amid cries for the removal of one of the country’s longest-running politicians, Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

First, trouble has been brewing on the Serbian-Hungarian and Serbian-Croatian borders, spurred by the engineered flow of refugees from the Middle East. Hungary has kept its Serbian border crossing at Horgos-Roszke closed to migrants from the Middle East, and Serbia has responded by redirecting across the Croatian border. In turn, Croatia moved first to block Serbian freight traffic from crossing the border, and then blocked all vehicles with Serbian plates. Serbia responded tit-for-tat, banning the entry of all Croatian cargo. Croatia has made it clear that, as long as Hungary keeps its Serbian border crossing closed to migrants, Croatia will keeps its crossing closed to Serbian traffic. The feud intensified on 15 September when Hungary enforced stricter border laws to keep refugees from coming in from Serbia, and set up a border fence. Most of the refugees are ultimately en route to Germany, but the Hungarian fence is forcing them to reroute through Croatia, which says it cannot cope with the high numbers. The EU has now stepped in and convinced Serbia and Croatia to lift their blockades—but…

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