Avoiding new disorders in the Balkans

Selim Ibraimi- The NATO Summit in Washington on Tuesday will begin with new issues that Russia brought to Europe and international security. Also, China’s role and military spending will occupy a large place in the discussions of heads of state and officials. Surprisingly, the issues of North Macedonia with the neighboring countries without any framework will be the focus of the delegations. In this regard, Pentagon officials have raised concerns about new issues among NATO members, hoping that open problems will be left outside the Alliance. For Russia and Serbia, the current interstate issues in depth are part of the strategy of mixing the “hot pot” in the Balkans. Also, in recent months we have witnessed major changes in the EU, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. The changes after the spring elections in the EU show that the people of Europe that make -up the union are not satisfied with some policies that Brussels has been supporting for decades, especially regarding the expansion policies towards the Balkans and the efforts to join one day Ukraine in the union and the Alliance. Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Kyiv could join the Alliance in the next 10 years, sending a discouraging signal to Ukraine. Meanwhile, the billions of euros distributed in recent decades, especially after the Russian attack on Ukraine, also show that the EU- NATO and the rest of the states that aspire to become part of the union and Alliance are working in opposite directions. Despite the criticism, the EU has continuously allocated financial packages to the Balkan states, while NATO has served as a security umbrella. Ironically, some governments of the Balkan and Central European countries, even though they are members of the Alliance, are acting contrary to the principles of the Alliance and the EU. The recent visit of Hungarian President Viktor Orban to Moscow, despite the nature of the meeting, presents the EU and NATO as divided and uncertain. In such uncertainty, the decisions made in Bruskel are not respected by the member countries. Member states and those aspiring to membership, affected by a changing world due to the economy and growth of other nations, appear to be unprepared for the challenges of the century. In the Balkan region, governments, due to the lack of a clear vision of where they are going and what they should do, have stalled with reforms, and practically some governments, such as the Serbian and Macedonian ones, have turned to policies of repeating the history of the events of the 20th century. In reality, the officials know what they have to do, but the political leaders seek to put ideologies into operation, as we pointed out, activating concrete projects of arousing hatred or moving towards new blocs with different economic and political character. Here we can take North Macedonia as an example, where the current government led by Prime Minister Hristijan Mickoski lacks the vision to keep the idea of ​​neighborhood cooperation alive. As we have underlined in several recent articles, the reckless actions of the official Skopje do not bring anything new to the signed agreements. Operating in conditions of uncertainty and chaos has increased the likelihood that the mistakes of past governments will be repeated. The current views of the government of North Macedonia show that there will be unnecessary problems ahead, which originate mainly from politics and academic circles. Therefore, we should not be surprised if the prophecies of the past years come true, seeing new blocs against the West precisely from the countries that are members of the Alliance. And here in the Balkans, as you know, the blocs are part of the competition that has historically been built either by the Great Powers or by the Balkan states themselves. Actions in such an environment, especially for small states, have counter-effects. Therefore, the officials in Skopje still have time to think about whether acting in such an environment will benefit the Macedonians in particular. The summit in Washington can be a good lesson for all the member states of the Alliance that still have dilemmas about the security offered by NATO. If open issues are exploited by other actors, then chaos and uncertainty will increase, deeply affecting the Balkan states with different ethnic and religious compositions.

The article was written exclusively for Portalb.mk. The publication rights belong only to Portalb.mk and the author, according to their agreement.

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