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Serbia Is The Most Russophile Country In Europe – OpEd

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Kosovo’s accession to NATO through accelerated procedures is one of the ways that can stop the Serbian military expansion and the annexation of Kosovo’s north. NATO will provide the approval of the creation of the Albanian Federation, thus returning Kosovo to its mainland, from where it was divided in 1912.

Serbian citizens are allegedly the most Russophile community in the world. This has been an overwhelming fact since the eighteenth century, when the concept of national consciousness in Serbia was shaped.  The Serbian Church is an extension of the Russian Orthodox Church. Consequently, culturally, Serbia is an extension of the Russian Federation in Southeast Europe. As such it remains even today. In fact, in the political field, Serbia has often tried to flirt with the West, as its President Aleksandar Vučić is doing to this day, but deep down it has remained pro-Western, both culturally and militarily. 

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Last week, Serbia voted in favor of a UN resolution condemning Russia’s act of aggression against Ukraine, but the idea of ​​imposing economic sanctions on Russia did not even cross the country’s mind. How to deal with it, when the Russian economy and army are completely interdependent on Russia?!

This ambiguity, a game built on the foundation of double morality that it has emerged more than two centuries ago, is the problem that Serbia currently faces, namely its authoritarian president Aleksandar Vučić. Now that the position of neutrality cannot be exercised even by Switzerland, which has a centuries-old tradition, Serbia cannot do it, since meanwhile the Russian invasion of Ukraine has promoted Russia’s de facto clash with the West. Aleksandar Vučić can no longer sit in two chairs simultaneously.

It is true that Serbia was brought to power by the West, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel treated its government as her personal pet, as long as she was in power. But, similarly, as the so-called “our” king (Ahmet Zogu) had done, despite the fact that Belgrade brought him to power, he soon surrendered to Mussolini’s Italy. Aleksandar Vučić was also brought to the helm of Serbia by the West, but faster than “our” Zog, he flew and fell on Putin’s lap. Aleksandar Vučić is now completely in Putin’s hands. Only Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko can exceed his level of loyalty to Putin.

The catapulting of Aleksandar Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party (2012) to power was the product of the split within the Radical Party, led by the well-known Chetnik leader Vojislav Šešelj, serving as his spokesman during the war in Bosnia. The West had invested in this area, of course with the idea of ​​pulling Serbia into its heart.  After a decade of experimenting with liberal democracy and quasi-efforts for Euro-Atlantic integration and liberal economic reforms, Serbia is fully returning to the traditional way of authoritarian governance, along with the idea of ​​a “Serbian World”.  This idea is de facto a complete copy of what Russian neo-fascist ideologues had promoted for the “Russian World”, which Putin is already implementing in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. 

Aleksandar Vučić and his current circle of collaborators, that the well-known historian and diplomat Milan St. Protić recently described them as “the most primitive, most retrograde network” [1] of Serbian leaders in its history, have always been and remain ardent admirers of the idea of ​​a Greater Serbia. This is officially evident even today. The interior minister, as well as the Serbian Speaker of Parliament, do not hide this at all. Aleksandar Vučić himself, as we stated above, was Vojislav Seselj’s right arm. Vučić is Vojislav Šešelj’s political student and undoubtedly one of the most successful products of the macabre school of Serbian political thought. 

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Let us recall the fact that the Radicals won the elections in the 2000s, but because of their uncompromising stance against the West, they could not form a government. In 2008, Vučić understood the message coming to him from the West. He had to make a formal concession – to form a new party and accept the European Union, thus removing the insurmountable obstacle that prevented him from coming to power. [2] The West, in essence, was not hindered by Serbian fascism, for that it was enough for Serbia to declare itself pro-Western and for the radicals to be converted into Western-type conservatives! 

Last summer, Aleksandar Vulin, among other things, stated: “The task of this generation of politicians is to create a Serbian world to protect Serbs. If we do not create it, I am afraid we will not welcome the next generation of Serbs…” [3]  For those who are well acquainted with the Serbian political scene, it is quite clear that behind all the phrase “Serbian world” stands Vučić, who is one of its main planners and ideologues.

The “Serbian world” is in fact a kind of sophisticated Greater Serbia, adapted to the modern circumstances of the early 21st century. Meanwhile, they have worked out this adaptation, temporarily overlapping with the idea of ​​an “Open Balkans”. The goal remains the same: maximize the expansion of Serbian influence and turn Serbia into an attractive engine of the region towards Russia. Initially this is claimed to be done through the creation of state ministries in the format of the Association of Municipalities wherever the Serb population lives in neighboring Republics. They claim to be imposed mainly through culture, art, sports, economics and politics. According to this project, Serbian communities in the surrounding countries should obediently follow Belgrade’s policy and become its instruments. The Serbian list created with the agreement of April 19, 2013, with the agreement of the then Prime Minister of Kosovo – Hashim Thaçi and supplemented with the agreement of July 2015, supported by the Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, is the model of excellence, which Belgrade claims to push further even with the support of his traditional friends within the EU.

The current circumstances, which according to Belgrade represent the most favorable geopolitical conditions, of course in case Russia manages to control Ukraine quickly, then having the support of Russia and China, judged by the Russian ideologues who impose everything on Vučić, the possibility of turning Serbia, the most powerful country in the Western Balkans, is already ideal and viable. This expected conclusion, inevitably leads, according to this political logic, to the change of borders in favor of Serbia or to the creation of new Serbian entities.  Vulin during this intermediate period brought the idea of ​​the Serbian world, promoting it in various European circles, as useful in three essential areas:

1. As a final solution to the Serbian national question;

2. As a prevention of the creation of a greater Albania; and 

3. As a prevention of new genocides against Serbs.

The latter thesis was applied to the Russian military march against Ukraine as one of the “reasons” presented by Putin for undertaking aggression against Ukraine.

The second thesis, which has to do with the alleged impossibility of creating a “Greater Albania”, is a slander of its own kind by the propaganda of the Serbian cleric-fascists, since no Albanian political force has on its platform the idea of ​​a greater Albania. Of course, the rapprochement and cooperation between the two Albanian republics (political Albania and the Republic of Kosovo), even with the creation of the Albanian Federation, does not affect the internationally recognized borders of Serbia at all.

In the long run, the policy of Greater Serbia in relation to Kosovo, viewed in the light of current developments in the geopolitical field, has suffered an irreparable fiasco. Meanwhile, the threats of the Serbian Interior Minister, Aleksandar Vulin, Brussels and Washington should have read them well; and taken immediate actions.  “Kosovo’s forcible entry into the NATO pact is not only a violation of NATO membership procedures and a violation of Resolution 1244, but also an open threat to Serbia and another form of pressure on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, and they know this; even the countries that defend Pristina’s membership in NATO,” Vulin warned, openly threatening the expected consequences.

The statement of this clumsy Serbian politician, unfortunately with a lot of power, comes at a time when the global paradigm is changing concepts pertaining to the international order. This discourse must not be ignored, although such a self-hypnotic action of the Chetnik Vulin may remind us of the anecdote of the frog and the blacksmith.  The anecdote teaches us how the frog had asked the metalsmith to run away from the horse’s horseshoes, without the poor man realizing that her leg was so small and could not stand the nail!

Brussels and Washington, meanwhile, as the war in Ukraine continues, clearly understand that geopolitics is imposing rapid change around Southeast Europe as well. Consequently, the bilateral interactions of Brussels, whether at the headquarters of the EU, but above all the headquarters of NATO, must be in line with the urgency imposed by this political momentum.

After the meeting of the Kurti Government, in which the inter-institutional group for Kosovo’s integration into NATO was formed, the chief diplomat said that the accession deadline does not depend only on Kosovo. Kosovo took the first important step with today’s government decision (March 9, 2022) to form an inter-institutional group for Kosovo’s integration into NATO.

“We are aiming to enter an existing mechanism and it should be known that the existing mechanism has its own rules, its own deadlines, we will work to achieve as soon as possible, but I do not believe that we will have deadlines from Kosovo institutions, because it also depends on the other side “, [4] said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gërvalla, in the press conference that followed the meeting of the government.  Brussels and Washington must now realize that Serbia could easily replay the chaos of the 1990s in this part of Southeast Europe. That is why Serbia must be stopped now. If Belgrade does not stop, the West will be responsible.

Kosovo’s accession to NATO through accelerated procedures is one of the ways that can stop the Serbian revanche. The other venue remains the accelerated adoption of the act for the creation of the Albanian Federation, thus returning Kosovo to the heartland, from where it was divided in 1912, in which case it would automatically be part of NATO, similar to what happened with the German Democratic Republic (DDR) after its reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany – BRD (1989).

Brussels and Washington must now be clear that there can be no normal procedure for Kosovo’s accession to NATO, as the circumstances are extraordinary. The Western Balkans, not unfairly, is being considered by experts as the second step of Russian aggressive action to the detriment of Western geopolitics, which Moscow claims to retain and secure through Serbia, the most Russophile country in Europe.

*About the author: Dr Sadri Ramabaja [Iliria University, Prishtina]

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-56CloYfUc 

2. Matija Šerić:
https://www.geopolitika.news/analize/m-seric-projekt-srpski-svijet-zasto-je-vucic-opasniji-od-milosevica/   

3. https://www.danas.rs/vesti/politika/vulin-srpski-svet-bi-trebalo-da-bude-jedan-politicki-prostor-jedna-drzava/ 

4. https://www.koha.net/lajmet-e-mbremjes-ktv/314893/rruga-e-kosoves-drejt-nato-s/ 

3 thoughts on “Serbia Is The Most Russophile Country In Europe – OpEd

  • March 14, 2022 at 5:28 am
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    Articles full of heathered like this one should not be published. They just further divide people. It is not worth commenting, so I’ll just say one thing Open Balkan is as bad for countries in it as it is EU for EU members. The fact that Kosovo does not want to be part of it just tells how backward it is.

    Reply
  • March 14, 2022 at 3:23 pm
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    First of all, Kosovo is forcefully and illegally taken from Serbia. End of story.

    Reply
  • March 15, 2022 at 5:34 pm
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    How can this diatribe be published on your website? The author rehashes a bunch of news stories and then provides asinine analysis which, to be honest, I wouldn’t have expected to see on this website.

    Reply

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