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Geopolitical nightmares; both the USA and the EU were wrong with Vučić
By BERND POSSELT, President of German Paneuropa
It's a classic nightmare: fire blazes in every corner of the enormous building, but there aren't enough firemen to put out all the flames in time. Experts also disagree about where the fire is most dangerous and what needs to be urgently saved. The geopolitical situation is similar at the moment. However, there are always some conflicts, wars, civil conflicts, and disasters in the world; the central focus is on the Russian attack on Ukraine for more than a year and a half. In particular, American policy, together with us Europeans, once again set a focus that mainly affects our continent in a unity that Vladimir Putin did not expect. A delegation from Washington to Beijing recently clarified that this is not a given and maybe final. The US Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, bluntly told the Chinese that our two countries will determine the development of this century.
"President Xi Jinping made a similar statement: 'The relationship between China and the US is the most important bilateral relationship in the world.' At least on this point, the main rivals agree, and Europe does not play a role in this area. For now, we should be grateful that at least the "Biden" administration is on our side and committed to the two most dangerous European points: Ukraine and the Western Balkans. In the last case, big fluctuations started in the White House months ago. Joe Biden and his very European Foreign Minister, Antony Blinken, who grew up in France and I met at the "Munich Security Conference," were known as friends of the Albanian people and the new Republic of Kosovo. The fact that they began to distance themselves from this relationship at the beginning of the summer, albeit quietly and slowly, had tactical reasons: they hoped that by sending signals of detente to the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, they could avoid another front in the Balkans, except that of Ukraine. This is especially before the decisive presidential year of 2024 in the USA.
The opposite happened! Misclassified as a moderate by many Western politicians, Vucic, who began his political career as the propaganda minister for war criminal and mass murderer Slobodan Milosevic, though resourceful, is and remains a chess piece for Putin. The attempted invasion by Serbian nationalists in the north of Kosovo was undoubtedly a direct consequence of signals of weakness from Washington. She was stopped thanks to the courage and good training of the Kosovar police, but also the subsequent support from the USA and the EU. However, the danger to neighboring Kosovo, which is not recognized by Serbia, which claims it as part of its national territory in its constitution, still exists.
In the Preševo Valley in southern Serbia, which is also populated by an Albanian majority, more Serbian tanks have appeared than at any time since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic in the wake of NATO intervention in 1999. Another conflict, wrongly described as "frozen," has rapidly burst into flames. For decades, the conditions in the Caucasian region of Nagorno-Karabakh were considered completely blocked because Russia, the traditional protecting power of the Armenians, always firmly supported the members of the people living there. In contrast, Azerbaijan, to which the former autonomous region belongs according to international law, noted its respective legal positions, its more western orientation, and its gas wealth. Almost overnight, Putin withdrew his protection of the Armenians, in solidarity with his former adversary Erdogan, even though Turkey is still a pro forma NATO member, aligned himself with Azerbaijan in a swift U-turn; the Armenian ethnic group living in Nagorno-Karabakh was almost entirely displaced within weeks from their homeland.
It is shocking how ordinary people on both sides and not just their dubious rulers unanimously ensure that one cannot under any circumstances live together with the other, even though Armenians and Azeris have been able to do so quickly for centuries. Amidst the sadness and very weak outrage over this act of destruction, which the Kremlin instigated, the news of thousands of rockets, murderous attacks, and mass shootings of hostages against Israel in a single day by the terrorist Hamas. Another war broke out almost overnight, the consequences of which will continue to burden the coexistence of people in this already conflict-ridden region for decades to come.
Now, as I said, the world has never faced just one war or just one disaster. International multi crises may sometimes have fueled this impression because usually only the latest terrible news is covered, while the earlier ones are quickly forgotten, even if the problem persists. Today, however, people are frightened by an ever-accelerating maelstrom of frightening phenomena that can hardly be processed. On the one hand, this is undoubtedly related to the specific laws of various events. But you don't have to subscribe to world conspiracy fantasies to understand that all these fires are not only not being contained but are being actively fueled by Putin's propaganda and destructive Russian foreign policy.