Turmoil in the Balkans

Slavisa Batko Milacic
Is a historian from Montenegro

Serbia is a country that is located in Balkan which has a geostrategic position that is very important. The Serbian people living not only in Serbia, but also in neighboring countries are an important political factor. The breaking of Serbia and its state sovereignty takes a long time, but now it is at the very end. At the same time, the American project of a Greater Albania, is coming closer to its realization.
These two facts are correlated: there is no Greater Albania without a small, mutilated and humiliated Serbia. The brother of the Albanian Prime Minister, has made this fall an unforgettable political provocation. He was at the football stadium of the Partizan team (14th October, 2014), during the match between Serbia-Albania, when he hung the flag of Great Albania on the small unmanned aircraft and thus interrupted match. This action has caused anger among the Serbian fans and the game was stopped. The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama arrived on 10th November in an official visit to Belgrade, which is the first visit of the Albanian statesmen after 68 years. Despite the wishes of the Serbian side that the meeting pass in the peaceful atmosphere, Albanian Prime Minister continued with provocations. His statement, to paraphrase, “you must recognize Kosovo’s independence soon before we will be able to progress”, has caused anger among the Serbs. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic immediately said that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo. But the Albanians were only performers of this provocation, the organizers were in US intelligence.
The reason was simple. In Belgrade on 16th October 2014, Russian president Vladimir Putin was scheduled to come. President Putin is the most popular politician in Serbia. According the program, President Putin was supposed to hold a meeting with the senior officials of Serbia and to attend a military parade of the Serbian army. Since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine, the US government is trying to show that Russia is isolated and how no one in Europe supports their politics. The fact that in the heart of Europe President Putin would be greeted by more than 100,000 people, is something that the US government wanted to avoid at all costs. The goal of the planned provocation which was to suspend the visit of the Russian delegation. But they failed, President Putin arrived, greeted by over 100,000 people, and everything went very well. But one very important contract was not signed, it is about the status of Serbian-Russian humanitarian center personnel which is located in city of Nis.
The Russian government was reportedly dissatisfied with the level of immunity, and the speculation is that the agreement was sabotaged by Angela Merkel. This story was published in German Der Spiegel, who announced that Merkel insisted that authorities in Serbia refuse the agreement, for fear that the Humanitarian Center grow into a spy center. According to unofficial information, the agreement is expected to further specify the status of the staff at the Center, because, in the document signed at the opening ceremony says that the Russians, to paraphrase, “enjoy legal status determined for the administrative and technical staff of the Embassy of Russia”, and that funds for the work of the Centre can not be subject to trial, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of administrative nor judicial action.
Western countries were suspicious of the character of the Centre are there since its foundation, and even then they said it’s a Russian military base, the counterpart of American base Bondsteel in Kosovo. In Berlin and Washington, there is a concern that the Centre in Nis could spy on the American anti-missileshield in Romania. Document what was to be signed with Moskow, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic compared with the status of Forces Agreement(SOFA) signed with the United States 2006, which regulates the rights and obligations of US soldiers during a temporary stay in Serbia. SOFA provides for customs and tax obligations of US personnel, their drivers license, and before which court will respond in the event of any legal violation. Their immunity is defined by the agreement. The immunity for US soldiers under the provisions of the SOFA agreement has often been the subject of controversy in international relations.
The Bush administration in 2008 signed such an agreement with the government of Iraq and then as a deadline for the withdrawal of US troops agreed to end by 2011. Washington expected that after the deadline, SOFA will be restored, but despite the readiness of the Iraqi Prime Minister to the United States, the Iraqi parliament was not willing to give effect to initiative. Serbia and NATO forces in Kosovo did not have an agreement on the status of forces, but Serbia signed 2005 an agreement with NATO that allows passage across the territory of Serbia. The signatories were the then Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Shefer. The provisions under which the NATO troops be able to use the roads, railways and airports, and which will, in relation to judicial and police authorities of Serbia have immunity, provoked public discontent in Serbia. We must bear in mind how much harm was done by the NATO aggression in 1999, in Serbia and Montenegro. Here then we can see all the hypocrisy of the Western politicians, while they are looking for specific privileges and ultimately get them, yet at the same time they strongly oppose some privileges that Russia has certainly earned, but does not have. Because without a doubt the humanitarian Center in Nis has already helped countless people of Serbia in various disasters. On the other hand, the violence in Kosovo has created an ideal opportunity.
The US ambassador in Pristina has for several months been participating in obstructing the formation of a government. The parliament of the self-proclaimed state Kosovo cannot be formed, new elections are difficult to maintain because there are competing clans determined to go all the way, at the cost of major conflict. The solution to get out of this crisis in Albanian eyes is an attack on the remaining Serbs in Kosovo and its ethnic cleansing as was the case in 2004. In Macedonia, is formed Albanian paramilitary army that wants to patrol the streets of cities in Macedonia, where Albanians live. On the building of Macedonian government at 29th October were fired two missiles. Albanians are openly seeking partition of Macedonia and annexation to Albania. Serbia has military superiority in the region, but the Albanians have strong support from US and Kosovo has a strong US army military base Bondsteel. Albanians are not strong enough to lead a direct confrontation with the Serbian army and they know it. Because of that they specialize guerilla warfare, which is aimed to “bleed Serbia”.
The main problem for Serbia, which has the strongest army in the region of west Balkan, is in the fact that it has been implementing “reforms” on the advice of generals from the NATO alliance. It is thanks to these “reforms” that Serbian army, a once powerful army, which had resisted NATO aggression against Serbia and Montenegro, is now thrown on knees. In May, Serbia was afflicted with terrible floods, to the dismay of Serbian people the Army has been unable to respond because of disorganization and lack of equipment. Despite the fact that Albanians in Montenegro have all the rights, they constantly complain that they are threatened. What is consistently true here for the Albanians is that everything they do is on the orders of the Americans. The plan is simple, it is necessary to feign vulnerability and provoke incidents, in order to build more support from the international community, by which is meant ‘the West’. Given that the Albanians are under full Western control the result would be clear, the decision would be in Albanian interests, namely the US interests.
But times have changed, after many years of passive Russian policy in the Balkans, Russia is showing signs of change for the better. In the first half of November was held joint anti-terrorist tactical exercise of the Serbian Army and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, entitled “Srem 2014”. The Russian attended by members of infantry landing parachute regiment based in Tula, which is a part of the elite 106th Guards’ air Airborne division. This was the first joint exercises of Serbian and Russian army in the last 30 years. The exercises went excellently, with great synergy of Russian and Serbian special forces. But the exercise has sparked anger at Western embassies in Serbia. For them it was unacceptable that while they impose sanctions on Russia, at the same time Russia maintains military exercise in the heart of Europe. The status of Bosnia & Herzegovina is an ongoing crisis for Serbia since the peace agreement in Dayton 1995.
In the agreement Bosnia is divided into Republica Srpska and Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina. In Republica Srpska (Serbian Republic) absolute majority of the population are Serbs while in the federation it is dominated is by Bosniaks and Croats. Bosnia & Herzegovina is an artificial creation, and as a result the conflict between these two entities is constant. Serbs from Serbian Republic want independence, but the Bosniaks and Croats do not allow it. They are strongly advised by the West to seek unitary state and abolition of the Serbian Republic. But the relations between Bosniaks and Croats are not good, frictions are constantly present. Croats want a third entity, which is unacceptable for the Bosniaks. Due to the fact that Croatia has entered the European Union, and that all Croats in Bosnia have a Croatian passport, now there is a large emigration of Croats from Bosnia to countries of the European Union. So now the Croatian position in Bosnia is significantly weakened.
The US government holds a double standard, while they say that Serbia must accept the reality on the ground, which is that the Albanians are majority in Kosovo and that they want independent Kosovo, being what the West with the United States enabled. At the same time the west led by the US government strongly prohibits the independence of Serbian Republic, telling them that they will never get independence. It should be noted that the Serbs in World War II suffered a genocide by the Croats and Bosniaks, in which about one million Serbs were killed. It is clear to notice that the policy of West for over two decades, has only damaged the Balkan region. Therefore, it is necessary that Russia strengthens its position and stop the destructive American policies in the Balkans.

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