Russia with proxy and hybrid tensions in the Balkans!

By Selim Ibraimi -The Center for Security Studies and Development-Macedonia

Gas transit lines, profiles of governments, and corridors that affect Macedonia and neighboring countries are hot spots of the race between the United States and Russia in the Balkans.

1. Ukraine and finally by all indicators including Macedonia, becomes the point of sourcing rivalry. The balance provided by the U.S. for more than two decades is being tested by local factors in Macedonia. A southern platform of the U.S. in the Balkans will require the direct involvement of U.S. forces to prevent a new destabilization. Alternatives will be difficult for the states.

Russia’s foreign policy headed by Putin and Medvedev has consisted of Russian interventions in ethnically mixed states.

The easiest way to counter Germany and the U.S., after the occupation of Ukraine, has been interference in the internal affairs of states of the Baltics and Balkans. Since 2009, the Russian influence in Macedonia has been growing, with a tendency to change the decisions of the government- political leaders, and parties.

Some reports indicate that the banking Empire of the Kremlin in Montenegro, Serbia, and Macedonia, through predatory methods, has been managed with the purpose to keep alive the local currencies, and banks and penetrate the businesses that were mainly directed by officials who were supported by Putin. It is not clear how deeply entered Russian policy into Macedonia and its political parties.

Inside the Western Balkan countries, because of Washington’s direct withdrawal from Europe, since 2001 were formed blocks and Alliances.

2. Russian troops, the Red Army arrived in Belgrade in 1944, and 70 years later, high Russian and Chinese officials visited Serbia, thus by making it a strong hub for investment and new geopolitics.

A wider axis in front of the EU and America possess another risk for pro-Euro-American governments. The same thing is going to repeat today, in Eastern Europe and the tendency for reduction of confrontations on the southern front becomes more real.