Trotsky, once a close friend of Lenin, is believed to have said: “You may not be interested in the war, but the war is interested in you.”
This is the situation in South-Eastern Europe which the West had neglected for a long time, tolerating Serbia to weave illusions about the possibilities to restore the position it once had within the former Yugoslavia, becoming in one way or another a guardian of the Balkans’ once again, in this region.
Trotsky’s sentence applies today above all to the leaders of the EU and their policy towards Serbia and Russia for a long time. We are now facing a danger that will challenge the EU, but first Serbia itself.
The beginning of the war, as well as its end depends on the assumed costs for its initiation and continuation, on the assessment of the balance of power, the reliability of its victory… Its beginning is also affected by the ideas about its end, respectively by the ideas on the opposing party and its motives and powers for opposing the aggressor.
But, as long as the illusions about the return of Serbia to Kosovo continue to be nourished by the Serbian leadership, for as long the illusions about its results are also nourished. Therefore, the Serbian propaganda today about the return of the army to Kosovo is public, since this is the beginning of the justification of the war, the opposite would be treason.
An intermediate step could be to find an alibi for the invasion of NATO and the transfer of the power of the fascist Vucic to the hands of a temporary international administration, a type of provisional international guardianship.
Brussels had invested a long time in the comprehensive strategy of the countries of Southeast Europe in the EU. Meanwhile, with the integration of Central and Eastern Europe into NATO, including in this framework also Romania and Bulgaria, it was considered that a “democratic encirclement” of Serbia was being carried out, which would make it impossible for Russia to engage to the extent that it would endanger security in the region. Others judged that, especially with the arrival at the helm of the White House of President Joe Biden, thanks to his experience and knowledge also in relation to Russia and Serbia, we could have a more accelerated positive change, paving the way for narrowing of the perimeter of the “democratic encirclement” of Serbia, even with the acceptance of Kosovo in accelerated procedures in NATO, as was being done with Finland and Sweden.
Now, instead of having prosperity in this plan, the opposite happens. Russia, through Serbia, penetrates deeper into Montenegro, transforming it de facto into a Serbian Republic of the Adriatic, meanwhile it also warns of a military return to Kosovo and quite openly talks about the expected “Anschluss” of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia.
On November 24, 2023, the Minister of Defense of Bosnia-Herzegovina and its Deputy Prime Minister, Zukan Helez, announced that Russia has set up military camps in the territory of the “Serbska Republika”, where local (Serbian) and Russian special forces are trained. After the warning of the Ukrainian president, this statement of the Bosnian minister seemed to verify the thesis that Serbia has already become not only Russia’s vassal, but its real hostage.
Some observers speak of an additional clash between the West and Russia on this new front, after that of Ukraine. Could Trotsky be right? The imposition of the Franco-German Plan, as an intermediary stage towards mutual recognition, which de facto turns out to be the most pronounced insistence of France to avoid this possible collision, has a real possibility of failing miserably or ending in a “frozen conflict” as a good part of Serbian strategists would also like.
If there are foreign diplomats who still believe that Putin was not and is not interested in territorial expansion [eurasiareview.com: 30112023 ], but rather remains focused on securing the national security perimeter, that is, preventing Ukraine’s accession to NATO, Vuçic does not hide his claim for the annexation of Kosovo or at least its north, declaring that he does not recognize the territorial integrity of Kosovo, even after the aggression he carried out on September 24 in Banjckë in Albanian [Leposaviqi].
Then what is the meaning of the first four points of the Franco-German Basic Agreement?! Where does Vučić’s courage come from to continue mocking Brussels like this?!
Both Russia and Serbia are not afraid of EU expansion; on the contrary, they prefer it, even encourage such expansion. But when it comes to the expansion of NATO, or the conclusion of this process with the three states of the region [Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia], things change.
After the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, there was a lot of talk, even about Russia’s own accession to NATO, passing through a new filter that was about to be implemented. It was a political filter — the “European House,” as Gorbachev had called it. This bait for Germany and France was used with the idea that, through a “Union of Russia with Europe”, the weight of the “European House” within NATO would increase, making it a dysfunctional, polycentric structure, somewhat similar to the OSCE.
In order to secure the southeastern flanks of Europe, during these two decades that we were left behind, especially after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, NATO certainly did not have an immediate need to deploy the missiles it deployed in Poland and elsewhere in Southeast Europe. However, with the accession of Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Croatia, NATO would gain its specific weight, increasing full control of the region.
If in Eastern Europe, NATO acted tactically well, replacing long-range interceptor missiles with medium ones, in the Balkans it was delayed by investing excessively in Serbia.
The elections of December 17, see for this, will be treated as a referendum of its own kind. The victory of the Russian side, forcing Vučić to remove the coat of the pro-Western leader that he had worn for a long time, returns Serbia not to Russia’s vassals, but to its real hostage. Serbia will no longer have the political power to even oppose the orders that will come from the Kremlin.
The behavior of a neighborhood of Western diplomats with Vučić is somewhat similar to what they had done with real Westerners in Ukraine. This behavior, only pro forma of Vucic as a proprietor, had ended with the toleration of the fascist militants around him, like the work of Vulin, Dacic, Radojcic, etc. that would be crowned with the pre-election coalition precisely with his ideological father, the criminal Vojislav Sheshel.
Is it likely that in the meantime, in the coming weeks, the Soviet Union will do the right thing and repair the damage through a harsh intervention, proving on the ground that Trotsky was wrong? Judging by the current policies — further through its spokesperson, the European Commission suggests to Kosovo that it enables the Kosovo Serbs to participate in the elections of Serbia! — I have a legitimate right to doubt the will of this group of diplomats, who currently exercise such great influence within the EU structures. This fact, together with the persistent effort to restore the issue of the Union of Municipalities with a Serbian majority as priority no. 1 of the relations between Kosovo and Serbia, violently justify the so-called “right” of Serbia over Kosovo!
Therefore, Serbia is likely to take another step towards something worse and more comprehensive. See for this, the Serbian aggression against Kosovo on September 24, which remained unpunished even after almost three months, brings back to my attention “the first shot of the Great War”, as the famous historian A.J.P Taylor described it in his book ” The First World War: An Illustrated History” (1963), the assassination by one of the members of the Serbian terrorist organization “Black Hand”, Gavrilo Princip, in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
The “first victims” of those shootings were Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, while on September 24, 2023, the first victim was the sergeant of the Kosovo Police, Afrim Bunjaku. Today he is the hero of the Republic. Heroes in the Balkans, in most cases, are the ones who give history more than diplomats.
Serbia knows this logic of the course of history well. Therefore, it is once again becoming the weaver of the big trap for the Western nations, not excluding the possibility that the first will fall into this trap itself.
On November 28, at the two-day meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the NATO countries in Brussels, the situation in the Balkans had a central place. The message was clear: NATO will do everything to prevent the outbreak of a new war in Southeast Europe, which would therefore be a direct security threat to Europe. The measures to prevent the slide towards a new war in Europe remain of urgent need and dimensions.
After the meeting, the Secretary General of NATO promised that the Western military alliance will do everything to maintain peace in the Western Balkans region. But his message, however, did not go beyond the typical symmetry of EU diplomats!
“Be sure that NATO will do everything necessary to support and ensure stability in the region, because this is important not only for the Western Balkans, but also for all of Europe and NATO,” Secretary Stoltenberg emphasized.
“We invite Belgrade and Prishtina to engage in dialogue, supported by the EU, in good faith, and we also believe that the new proposal for the Association of Serb-majority municipalities can be an important step for dialogue and that this process be more constructive”, he emphasized using the language of diplomacy.
With this style and this language, the issue of Kosovo continues to be seen as a humanitarian issue, completely stripped of what it was – as an Albanian and historical issue, but also its right to self-determination and union with its trunk – Albania.
The functional Republic of Kosovo with a prosperous democracy and a developed economy, in any case strongly connected with the history of the Nation to which it belongs, will be further and further away from aggressive Serbian appetites.
Kosovo will soon be a part of the Albanian Federation, maintaining a kind of internal sovereignty like the German Lands, of course only by treating it and the EU as it is – part of the Albanian Nation.
Stano’s statement about the Serbian elections in Kosovo seems to feed the illusion that by rewarding the Series, as was done in Dayton with the establishment of a Serbian state within the Bosnian state [Republika Srpska], the possibility of Serbia’s gradual separation from Russian influence. Vučić’s promise for the participation of the Serbian army with NATO troops in joint exercises is just another test to feed illusions of this nature, despite the fact that the day after, his defense minister himself met with the Russian ambassador to report and receive proper instructions!
Meanwhile, the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in Brussels has stated that at the meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers, it was also discussed how to help the Western Balkans for a Euro-Atlantic future.
“We talked about many topics on the ground during the meeting of foreign ministers — from our expectations at the Washington Summit next year, to ways we can deepen our partnership with Ukraine, to how we can help support the Euro-Atlantic future of the Western Balkans”, wrote Blinken on the X platform.
We should also emphasize the fact that before Secretary Blinken’s trip to Brussels, the US Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O’Brien, warned Serbia that “causing unrest in the north of Kosovo means confrontation with NATO”.
This commitment of Western diplomacy proves that they already clearly know that in the Balkans “peace often hangs in the balance”, as the German diplomat Annalena Bearbock asserted. See for this, breaking away from the pre-World War II “Munich logic” is sine qua non for the time we are living through.
However, it is important to note that these political goals precede possible changes depending on the time circumstances and current developments. The period until the election, see for this, can be described as the calm before the new storm. It does not represent anything extraordinary, if we consider the cyclical nature of Serbian hegemony.
It is now clear to everyone: the “hegemonic madness” of Serbia must be opposed unequivocally.