“Controlled chaos” in the Balkans

“Controlled chaos” in the Balkans

Belgrade, August 31, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Milos Mitrovic

Russia considers that “Serbian efforts in order for the situation in the region to be under control” are righteous and supports them, Russian ambassador in Belgrade Aleksandar Chepurin said Tuesday. Amidst tensions between Serbia and Croatia and over a possible referendum on national day in the Bosnian entity Republic of Srpska, Chepurin claimed that Belgrade wants “situation to be within the frames of normality”.

Earlier this week, Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic claimed that the peace in the Western Balkans was “seriously endangered”. Namely, Vucic commented Bosnian law authority’s decision to stop the investigation against the man who assaulted him during memorial in Srebrenica in 2015; he also referred to nationalist rhetoric in Croatia ahead of general elections.

In ambassador Chepurin’s words, “Balkans region” is faced with temptations and serious challenges in terms of stability and security, as he said in an interview to Sputnik.

“We can notice certain similarities with what was happening in other parts of the world – North Africa, Middle East and Ukraine – in the recent past”, Chepurin elaborated claiming that Balkans is in a state of “controlled chaos”.

“The consequences are the most terrifying. This is very dangerous, also for the Balkans”, he said.

The Russian diplomat suggested that “uncivilized” methods are being applied, but he did not specify who was behind them. “These methods include playing with nationalistic extremism, attempts to reaffirm criminals and Nazis which openly supported Hitler and committed horrific crimes”.

Chepurin obviously alluded to recent developments in Croatia such as the judicial rehabilitation of Cardinal Aloisius Stepinac and setting the Serbian flag on fire at the “Oluja” military action anniversary.

“Victory over fascism has paved the way for modern Europe and its prosperity”, Chepurin stressed.

Without mentioning any concrete cases, Chepurin said that he expects the “reaction of international organizations and structures”.  But this was at the trace of Serbia’s request to the EU to react on the incidents in Croatia. However, the subsequent EU reaction was highly restrained.

According to Croatian media, Serbia expected that the EU would “spectacularly condemn Croatia”.