When Geopolitics Confronts Law And Public Morality – OpEd


Rivalries between great powers, even for regions like the Illyrian Empire, go deep into the twilight of history. For a long time, the competition for dominance in this region was between the big ones such as the USA and the USSR; whereas today the USA, Russia, Turkey and China face each other. Whatever the constellation of these powers with the EU, the geopolitical realignment of our two republics is clear.

EU support, and above all American support for Belgrade, has more to do with geopolitical interests than with law and ethics in politics.

But, if the American support for Belgrade is related to the explicit American interests related to the war in Ukraine, the EU support is in function of the revision of the history of the end of the last century and the efforts to undo the Republic of Kosovo as a political entity.

The tolerance of Serbia in relation to the deviations, namely the mockery it is making with the Basic Agreement [Brussels, February 27, 2023 and its Annex, Ohrid, March 18, 2023] sheds light on the above thesis, namely the rapid approval of punitive measures against the Republic of Kosoëvs, talks about the disposition of a good neighborhood of the EU states against the Republic of Kosovo, completely in line with that of Serbia!

Serbia’s provocations with its army and terrorist units inside the territory of the Republic of Kosovo are simply a prelude to Serbia’s unjustified attack on Kosovo, which will have terrible consequences for the region. Unfortunately, both the EU and the US share the historical responsibility and guilt for allowing the course of events in this direction, as they continue to unconsciously ignore Pristina’s interests and warnings. Brussels, in the field of security, remains a “paper tiger”. Similar to the case of Ukraine, also in Kosovo, Washington should take the lead to impose peace in the region, of course without pretending to reward Serbia with the North of Kosovo or with the possible annexation of Republika Srpska and other additional concessions in Montenegro. .

The long-term interests of the USA are related to the establishment of the Albanian factor in Southeast Europe as a strategic partner of Washington and transatlantic relations. 

European strategic impotence

From the resumption of the war in Ukraine, just a few hours before February 24, Putin made public the decision to resume “a special military intervention” in the eastern Donbas of Ukraine, which marked the de facto beginning of the war for the occupation of Ukraine. Initially, the Russian army would simultaneously enter the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, which were under the control of the Kyiv administration, as well as the Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv regions through the Russian border and the Chernobyl region through Belarus.

Less than ten hours after the start of the war, Andriy Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, appeared in front of the German capital’s media cameras. Dressed in a dark suit and dark tie, elegant as ever, German analyst Silvia Stöber described him that same day. Ukraine’s ambassador talks about events in his homeland: Russia has launched a war of annihilation, tanks are rolling into Kiev from Belarus, and military aggression is on a scale not seen in any war since World War II.[1]

Three days later, in the Bundestag, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announces the U-turn in German foreign policy.

But there were voices inside the dome of power, especially war experts, calling for an end to the war an hour ago through the surrender of Ukraine!

Meanwhile, in Brussels and other European decision-making centers, in the first days of the war, voices were heard recalling the reports of various agencies, the so-called experts on Russia issues… and the media, since from this distance of time it is quite easy to deal with remember that they were financed by Moscow, who constantly repeated the opinion that there is a real possibility that Ukraine would fall in a few days.

Since the resumption of the war in Ukraine and especially after the titanic resistance witnessed by the Ukrainian people, experts in the field and experts in geopolitics knew clearly that Moscow would do its best to expand the war front. There were two possibilities for expanding this front: first, in the Baltic countries, where the Russian minority had a good reach in the three former Baltic republics that were part of the USSR – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia; the second, in the Illyrian Siujdhesa [Western Balkans], with an emphasis on Bosnia and Kosovo.

In December 2022, Serbia had made the first serious test for the explosion of the flames of war, installing barricades on the road and preparing the war tactics that were accompanied by the massive deployment of the Serbian army near the borders of Kosovo, regardless of the 48 military and police bases of permanent that has been installed all over the border with Kosovo for some time.

However, the blockade of the roads by the demonstrators would be followed by an exchange of fire between the parties. “Gunshots have erupted in the north of Kosovo. According to the local police, she was shot by at least three different groups near the Brënjak border crossing. [2]

Meanwhile, a hand grenade was thrown on a car of the EU mission in Kosovo – EULEX.

This test of Serbia set in motion the tired mechanism of EU diplomacy.

The EU presented a new proposal for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, thus dealing with the management of the crisis, but also taking a strong initiative to resolve the issue, which would mean the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by Serbia. The real obstacle in this plan, once again, turns out to be the disunity within the EU itself, namely the imposition of the position of the weight of the states that have not recognized the independence of Kosovo, 22 other EU countries that have recognized this will of the Albanian people .

The text of the new EU proposal, according to the head of the EU’s foreign policy, Josep Borrell, was submitted to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti shortly before the EU-Western Balkans summit in Albania, which took place his in December 2022. According to Borrel, the EU was now prepared for the start of serious discussions. The product of this new beginning of the discussion was the Franco-German project, which would ignore the resolution of the European Parliament adopted at the beginning of July 2022, which insisted on mutual recognition at the heart of the agreement and the letter of the president of the USA of January 2022, which also insisted on mutual recognition at the center.

However, EU diplomacy will manage to impose an agreement on February 27, 2023, which the Serbian side will also accept, despite the fact that it will not be worthy of signing; that agreement will be followed by a document that was described as an agreed annex, but only such was not [again unsigned due to lack of will by the Serbian side] on March 18 at the Ohrid meeting.

In the course of events, this agreement seems to have failed on purpose or simply because of the EU’s own strategic impotence.

The EU’s missing geopolitical agenda for the Western Balkans

The geopolitical agenda of the European Union (EU) for the Western Balkans should be focused on the integration of the countries of this region into European structures and the promotion of stability, economic development, democracy, and the rule of law. The EU has at the center of its policy towards the Western Balkans the prospect of EU membership for the countries of this region, in order to strengthen their ties with the European Union and promote peace, security and prosperity in the region.

In 2003, the EU created the Stabilization and Association Process (PSA) for the countries of the Western Balkans, starting with North Macedonia and Albania, and later adding Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia to this process. This strategy aims to help the countries of the region in the development of democratic institutions, the rule of law, the promotion of the market economy and respect for human rights, as well as to help resolve conflicts and normalize relations between them. All these steps are described in the political strategies as “soft intervention”, since there was no internal agreement for a strong [hardliner] political course.

The Berlin process is one of the instruments of the strategy that has been missing for years.

However, the EU’s missing geopolitical agenda for the Western Balkans should contain some key elements:

1. The enlargement process: the EU continues to support the perspective of the membership of the Western Balkan countries in the EU, in accordance with the membership criteria established by the European Commission and other decision-making bodies of the Union. This includes assistance in their institutional, legal and economic preparation to become EU members in the future. But it has constantly pushed this expansion to the Greek calendars!

2. Stability and security: The EU works to help the countries of the Western Balkans strengthen their security and promote stability in the region. This includes supporting the implementation of security reforms, strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption and organized crime, as well as building good relations with neighbors.

However, by treating Serbia quite differently from these objectives, by further tolerating it in its constitution to treat Kosovo as an integral part of the Serbian state, the EU de facto has delayed the solution of the Gordian knot in the Western Balkans: relations between Albanians and the Serbs, as two nations with a deep history of conflict and rivers of blood between them.

3. Economic development and investments: The EU encourages the economic development of the countries of the Western Balkans and the promotion of investments in the region. This includes supporting the growth of the internal market, increasing regional cooperation, improving infrastructure and promoting economic reforms.

By tolerating the experimentation of the Vučić-Rama duo through the Open Balkans, which was de facto a Russian-Serbian project to keep the Balkans away as a zone of Russian influence, for a long time, the EU seemed to testify again to the lack of a geopolitical agenda for the Western Balkans!

4. Dialogue and normalization of relations between the countries of the region: EU supports the dialogue and normalization of relations between the countries of the Western Balkans. This process aims to resolve conflicts and create stable and peaceful relations between them.

But, as such, this process has already turned into the tip of the Iceberg, which marks the march towards the possible, altogether undesirable failure of the EU in the region! Therefore, the intervention of the USA is inevitable, if we do not want this failure to be billed to the entire Euro-Atlantic community.

Through these strategies and policies, the EU aims to promote sustainable development, democracy and stability in the Western Balkans, so that the countries of this region can integrate into the European Union and benefit from the advantages of EU membership.

At some point the structure had to be tightened. The EU must not remain a paper castle, as is often said. The EU, as much as it is described as a construct of beautiful political agreements, without a solid foundation, in essence remains the most ambitious project that the states of our old continent have ever undertaken. This has never been more clear than it has been in recent months, as for the first time it was about showing strength together in global political and economic decisions.

The conflict between public morality and geopolitics

The conflict between public morality and geopolitics is a common aspect in politics and international relations. In most cases, countries and international actors will encounter moral dilemmas when trying to fulfill their geopolitical interests. The case of Serbia and Kosovo in relation to the West are currently exemplary examples of this discrepancy. Some reasons that explain this discrepancy are:

1. National interests and moral interests: A country has national interests, such as security, prosperity and economic stability. While these interests are legitimate, to realize them, they may require actions that may not fully conform to moral standards.

2. National priorities and international obligations: Often a country or international actor must put national interests before international obligations or moral standards. This can cause tensions between protecting national interests and respecting human rights, for example.

Precisely due to the inconsistency of the national priority and the geopolitical interests of its partners, Kosovo is meanwhile being subjected to the EU’s coercive measures, which return us to the tragicomic level of the moral of La Fontaine’s tale about the Lamb and the Wolf and the latter’s complaints to the first one for allegedly muddying the waters!

3. Realpolitik and political cynicism: In international politics, there is a tendency to use realpolitik, where the interests and strengthening of the position of a country often follow the great moral principles. This behavior may include the use of military force, the imposition of economic sanctions, or the support of questionable regimes, if they are deemed to serve geopolitical interests.

Efforts to detach Serbia from the orbit of Russian influence at any cost, even by supporting a criminal autocrat like Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, since the conclusions of a wing of Western diplomacy, however unconvincing, are that this support will produce positive effects in the geopolitical plane.

4. Moral relations and different standards: Moral standards vary around the world and are considered different from culture to culture. Thus, some actions that one country may consider right and necessary for its geopolitical interests may be seen as dishonest or unacceptable by other countries.

5. Pressure of public opinion and propaganda: In some cases, countries may be aware of the moral challenges of their actions, but in an effort to protect their geopolitical interests, they may try to influence public opinion through propaganda and information. selective.

This factor played a primary role in Western Europe to end the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the last decade of the last century. The military intervention in Bosnia and especially in Kosovo to prevent the Serbian genocide that was practiced in Bosnia from reappearing in Kosovo was also a product of the pressure exerted by opinion and propaganda based on morality and the right to life.

This mismatch between public morality and geopolitics often poses ethical dilemmas for countries and international actors. They have to face difficulties in making decisions, aiming to find a balance between national interests and respecting their moral values. This is why international politics is often complicated and difficult to manage and even more difficult to understand by the general public.


Since the last prologue of the Cold War [1990], conservative strategists in the Pentagon and in geopolitical think tanks throughout the West have propagated old geopolitical theories that add to those existing since the 1940s.

The war in Ukraine is a product of these theories as well, in addition to Putin’s dream of revising history. Meanwhile, Russia and China have openly committed to “shaping a world contrary to US interests and values”.[3] In this race, the EU seems to have come out of the game! It, that is, the EU, seems to lack a strategy for the long-term treatment of the Illyrian conflict.

In this vacuum, Serbia is acting to extend its influence again throughout the region – beyond its territory, respectively to realize its strategy, which is related to postmodern Serbian geopolitics, which is identified with the objective of raising the “Serbian World” to its feet. “. It has again increased its appetite to ensure access to the Adriatic, but also to bring back under its control the area of vital interest of the Republic of Kosovo, such as its north with its great mineral and water assets.

These are the real reasons why Belgrade mocks Western diplomacy and does not respect the Brussels agreement.

Therefore, the experts fear the opening of the second front of the war in Europe, as they assume that this way we can have a clash between the great powers. In the light of these geopolitical developments, the geopolitical realignment of our two republics is clear and has its real weight.

If we look at this discrepancy between geopolitics and public morals, respectively legitimate law, in the narrow regional plane related to the Western Balkans, the recipe for “democracy against dictatorship” would seem somewhat oversimplified. The USA and Europe in this case should not allow to lose the weight they have as defenders of democracy.

Since the Russian occupation of Ukraine, the West, clearly positioning itself in favor of the Freedom of Ukraine, seems to have “revived itself as a community of moral values and a powerful political player”. [4] In Europe, this narrative currently seems convincing and entirely reasonable. But if Putin’s neo-imperial aggression for the realization of the “Russian World” is clearly understood to extend beyond Ukraine, for Serbia’s neo-hegemonic aggression in relation to Kosovo, Bosnia and Montenegro, which has as its objective the realization of the “Serbian World”, as if there is some kind of “understanding”! In the first case, the security of Europe is guaranteed by the potential of the US nuclear threat, which should guarantee the security of the Western Balkans, if not with a clear warning from Serbia about the consequences that would occur in the event of the outbreak of war in Kosovo?! Only if the West acts together, new Serbian aggression against Kosovo can be prevented in the long term.


1. https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/botschafter-ukraine-deutschland-101.html

2.  https://www.watson.ch/international/Kosova/759091323-die-aktuellsten-entwicklungen-zwischen-Kosova-und-serbien

3.  https://www.planet-wissen.de/gesellschaft/politik/geopolitik/index.html

4. https://taz.de/US–und-EU–Geopolitik/!5929888/

Dr. Sadri Ramabaja

Dr. Sadri Ramabaja was born on October 4th, 1961 in the Village of Gollak, in the town of Dardania, Republic of Kosovo. Dr. Ramabaja has been an active member of the National Albanian Union Party for over fifteen years (1990-2005) until this political party ceased to exist and later on actively participated in the Social Democratic Party of Kosovo. Since 2010 has emerged as one of the leaders of the Self Determination Movement while promoting the main principles of this alliance and is a member of the National Assembly of Prishtina for two terms. In 1983 he was arrested by the Serbian Secret Service for his active role in Kosovo’s quest for independence. Thereafter Dr. Ramabaja was jailed as a political disident for three years in the penitentiary of Vraja. During his residence in Switzerland (1987-2002) he continued his University studies in Tirana, and his postgraduate studies in the University of Basel, in the European Studies Institute. For three years in a row (1987-1990) Dr. Ramabaja was the editor of VOICE OF KOSOVO, a newspaper published in Switezerland. During the years 2001-2004 he was the professional collaborator for Communications Media at the OST Institute-West in Bern, Switzerland. In 2002 returned to Kosovo and continued with his post-graduate studies at the College of Law and International Relations, where he graduated with a Masters Degree in International Law Sciences. In 2004-2006 Dr. Ramabaja served as a Senior Political Adviser in the Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo. In November 2008 was a PHD Student of Political Sciences and International Relations, in the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) at the Peace University of the United Nations. In 2012 was transferred at the Graduate School of the European University of Tirana, to continue with his postgraduate degree defended through the presentation of his dissertation: “Albanian Federation-Cohesion of a Nation-State and the European Union” Dr. Ramabaja, has been published abroad in many renowned newspapers and magazines; has published eleven scientific and research papers in the field of international affairs and geopolitical studies. He is a Fellow of the International Political Studies Institute of Skopie, Macedonia. Dr. Ramabaja is the author of four Books in Albanian Language: “Realizmi politik dhe çështja kombëtare” (Tiranë, 1998); “UE-ja shpresë apo ringjallje utopish” (Prishtinë, 2003); “Gazetaria” (one of four co-authors of this university text book- Tiranë,2002); “Feniksit ia gjeta çerdhen”(Poetry - Tiranë, 1993); “Federata Shqiptare – Kohezioni i shteti-komb në BE”(Ph.D. Dissertation).

One thought on “When Geopolitics Confronts Law And Public Morality – OpEd

  • July 28, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    Kosovo is the soul and heartland of Serbia, filled with Serbian medieval monasteries and the remnants of historic battles. Even the word ”Kosovo” comes from the Serbian language. Albanians have no legal claim to Kosovo which they stole with the help of Nato during the 1990s. By illegally immigrating there and forcing local Serbs out, Albanians are living on stolen lands and thus represent a pseudo ”majority” that is in no way legal, moral or justifiable. Dr. Sadri Ramabaja is promoting the territorial expansion of Albania and his claims have nothing to do with morality or peace.


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