Selim Ibraimi- Center for Security Studies and Development-Macedonia(CSSD)
Reflections on Geopolitics: The Balkans and Europe after the Crimean annexation and Russian intervention in Syria. Formation of the regional divisions in Balkans.
1.Due to the crisis in Crimea and Russian expansion in Europe, all Western Balkan States(WBS) may postpone reforms, EU integration and NATO membership.
2.I do not think, Russia is playing a new game out there when it comes to the new era of expansion or to geopolitical rivalries in Central Europe, Balkans, Asia and the Middle East.
I consider this, but this is an old game of Russia in the context of the geopolitical codes. The main theme of Russia is: to Increase fear for former Soviet Republics and put under ‘gas control’ all Central Europe and the Balkans. So Crimea is just the beginning of what we are going to see in Europe. Ukraine has no choice in this matter. Russia wants to create a geopolitical buffer and maintain a presence in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
3. Is the EU the worst strategic alliance for the Baltic States?
They need to secure its own borders and ask for a security umbrella under direct partnership with the U.S. Otherwise the EU decision making process could leave this part of Eurasia under the antagonistic policies of V.Putin. Sweden and Finland are good cases or examples for the region, in particular for Baltic States. Though this is a big dilemma for Moscow and other World Powers.
4. I think pretty soon we may witness a new post- Cold War Europe since the 1989. The U.S., Russia, Germany and Turkey are the biggest players in the region.
I don’t know how much the Balkans will change. But I believe that the political map of the Western Balkans will change in the future.
Russia has interests in the Balkans, primarily in energy and financial sectors of the region-investing in the old sea ports of Adriatic. So I think the intervention in Crimea is just the beginning of the old geopolitics in Europe and Central Asia.
Also the Balkans may face some rapid changes that could lead with formation of the regional divisions.
With the EU in the brink of collapse and U.S. ‘retreat’ from the region, old regional games may come back. Europe will face the biggest geopolitical ‘little war’ since 1945.
5. Is this a ‘dream’ or nightmare for Macedonia?! Everything seems goes wrong in Macedonia. How can we save this State from becoming a save havens or place for semi-authoritic politicians?!
Can the US or EU work little bit more with other progressive forces, so in later time, country to get a better government? Of course the new policy requires energy and the EU and the U.S. must take a different or strong position in Macedonia.
6. A long war and very costly. But the US and coalition forces must prevent the rise of IS… War that could change the international system, Europe and Middle East. Anyhow extremism and terrorism has no place and must be fought.
Photo Credit: GI
*UNIT OF GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE (UGI)–Within the Center for Security Studies and Development is also active the Unit of Geopolitical Intelligence where you can find the latest analyses on the Balkans and Eurasia.The Intelligence Unit covers a wide range of issues, ranging form geopolitics, security, energy and climate. Head of the Unit of Geopolitical Intelligence is the founder of CSSD, Selim Ibraimi. In addition the co-founder Blerim Abedini, head of the projects at the CSSD is engaged in issues of climate change and natural resources.