IBNA Op-Ed/In the near future, when European credits drain out, seduction and Russian gas can play a key role in the decisions of authorities in Skopje. With the current political fluctuation, this progress which can cause an Ukrainian like crisis at the moment when economic crisis may be reduced with European debts. A distant scenario, but all the components are there, especially when we see the zeal of pro government media when reporting on the events of Kiev
By Gjakush Kabashi
The decision of the EU not to start negotiations with FYR Macedonia is the only news from Brussels which doesn’t come as a surprise. European foreign ministers adjusted the repeated mistake of the European Commission, which due to unknown reasons, have conceals some of the failures of Skopje.
For FYR Macedonia, the latest recommendations are worse than those issued up until now. Getting out of this situation needs a lot of time and a lot of diplomatic skills, for which we are not renowned. In his declaration, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fule doesn’t even mention the issue of the name, which is exploited by Skopje’s officials as an alibi to hide the serious institutional and democratic deficit. Thus, the author of the senior level dialogue-which changed nothing on field-had few options, or he could accept the failure of the innovation where he had invested unfounded hopes.
With the failure of FYR Macedonia to become a permanent candidate, “European kites” are shown by both leaders of the state and the European counterparts. Without putting aside democratic deterioration under the current government, the wrong policy followed by Brussels in concealing problems has restricted the ability to act.
As if this was not enough, last week there was another threat for the lifting of visas. The salvation of the people from misery is a problem, like the threat for Balkan countries is hypocrisy, while EU is negotiating fur such aid package for Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. The absurdity consists on the fact that Brussels promises liberalization for 50 million eastern Europeans, but at the same time, it deprives the only tangible benefit that citizens of Western Balkan (apart from Kosovo) have.
Such acrobatics, combined with myopic policies of Skopje will further pale the European perspective of the country and the region. In spite of the postcards from Brussels, the cemeteries which have been opened are a memory of the fact that the relations between Serbia and Kosovo are far from a final solution, which can only be achieved when the Republic of Kosovo is known by EU and UNO. Brussels’ commitment and power is testified in this case-everything else without a long term solution will further undo the seductive power of EU.
Based on this regional picture, it’s worthwhile looking at the case of Ukraine and the reasons that led it to the current situation, strongly dictated by the corrupted leadership. Besides the geo-strategic, Ukranian decision very much depended on the next loan, which was offered by Moscow to avoid Brussels criteria. In other words, Ukraine’s orientation was conditioned by the European crisis which demands fresh billions and was affected by many economic and political links between Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs. Above all, Russian gas prices aim to guarantee social stability and stability for the Ukrainian exhausted economy.
Let us go back to FYR Macedonia, where dependency on loans and lack of democratic government offer the Ukrainian scenario. To better understand this, one must see the latest declarations of the government on EU accession when Brussels is ready and the perseverance for the agreement with Russian Gazprom. The nuances become clearer if alternatives are searched in Russia, China or India. In the near future, when European credits drain out, seduction and Russian gas can play a key role in the decisions of authorities in Skopje. With the current political fluctuation, this progress which can cause an Ukrainian like crisis at the moment when economic crisis may be reduced with European debts. A distant scenario, but all the components are there, especially when we see the zeal of pro government media when reporting on the events of Kiev.
How can this complication be resolved? No way with government populism. Little less with the tourist diplomatic circus of BDI and unfounded declarations, which have made it an accomplice of the failure of the European project. Without a true European government and a powerful media, Skopje is more likely to turn into a Kiev, more than a Zagreb. With EU unfocused and Balkan in chaos, the game can only be changed with a growing influence from Washington. Not with the rhetoric which has existed up until today, but through concrete actions and return to past positions which calmed down the bloody region. At the end of the day, peace in the Balkan is attributed to the Americans-without strong presence and differentiation of partners from hyenas, It’s only a matter of time for problems to reemerge. Like it was seen in the ‘90s, the lack of timely reaction always ends with a bigger price and extra complications.
“The author is an analyst and expert for relations and international security in Skopje, who has a master in International Relations and Security from the University of Westminster; advisor at the EU office in Skopje and political advisor at the Dutch embassy in Skopje