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Bosnian precariat, militaristic world images and media cynicism

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] F [/yt_dropcap]ascism is in full sweep around us. Writing about the ruins that left behind it, is the task of our time. Maybe it is the most important task, because we must not remain silent! Disaster of (human) policy is in practice, but we are hardly surprised.

Every statement around us which denies the possibility of existence of Bosnia, is essentially fascist howling of a monster that is trying to be covered up by diplomatic phrases about democracy of our next-door neighbours from Belgrade and Zagreb. Politicians, their followers and spokesmen, media experts, semi-conscious girls in military uniforms with rifles in their hands, folk singers with microphones, masses captivated by politicians who encourage them to hatred, the poor in shelters of demolished cities, dead children on the streets, big and small dictators, Muslims who try to take off from their faces the terrorists label while they are bombarded by the aircrafts of civilized world – they all together tempt again the evil of fascist destruction of the world, only today at a higher technical level.

Media lead us directly to the streets of Syrian cities that were bombed and destroyed by the Western allies aviation, the Russian military and local forces. Not so long ago, almost yesterday, Serbian guns were destroyed Sarajevo, Konjic, Mostar, Bihac, Gorazde, Olovo, Srebrenica and killed civilians, innocent citizens. Serbian criminals turned the cities into military targets. The cities in which the Bosniaks were the majorities. In other cities they were exterminated and “humanely” moved out, for example, from Trebinje to Scandinavia. In the large crime of Serbian politics, which is developed by SANU (Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts) and supported by SPC (Serbian Orthodox Church), the cities in Bosnia became the target of Serbian criminals on the way of a large “Serbian state” building, where it is never existed. Serbian war strategy made the “legitimate targets” of the cities – because the Bosniaks live there! In that way, the half of Bosnia has been occupied. The cities have become battlefields. The urban culture and spirit have been destroyed. The destruction of urbanity is in practice. Media recorded the terrible images of death and human evil … Media recorded ..

In the European tradition, the man is meant in different ways. The man is being determined as a zoon logon echon, as animal rationale, it is like a living being who has language and mind, being who as a social being lives in the community with his equal. For centuries we believed that rational being respects speech and intelligence, all those things that philosophers from Plato’s State and Kratil to Wittgenstein’s theory of meaning and Sprachspiele talked about.

But people have the ability to abandon all considerations and allow themselves to be infected by ephemerality, nastiness, ideologies. The idea of greed that defines our age is defined by the conservative view of the world. It helps the dominance of consumerism. It rejected every possible sense of the idea of equality among people and recognition of human characteristics. The greed is preferred in it, without mercy and compassion towards each other. It has all kinds of fundamentalism and exclusivity. The capitalist greed for profit is in it. In it there is the power of insane generals and mighty armies that are driven by sick minds. The domination of the fascist forces has become normal in it. The hatred has become characteristic in it. From everywhere, they speak and order: “Stop thinking, stop thinking!” In all this the media has been involved…

Gone are the days when we have thought, deliberated. But, unfortunately, the time “when philosophers like Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault or Jean-François Lyotard said about contemporary events or suggestions that they would have done to improve things that were considered important – belongs to the past.

Nowadays, even those who imitate the behaviour of the philosopher, who have pushed out the philosophers in the 1970s, they have compensated themselves have by entertainers and models, football players and boxers. “(A. Badiou / S. Žižek, Philosophy in the Present)

It must be admitted that the models look better, and football players run ‘faster’ then philosophers! From those dangerous displaced philosophers.

We must not ignore it at all!? The media have hidden critical intellectuals from the scene, pushed them, darken them and offered us manipulators who explain that we need to be serfs of capital, banks, financial funds, elite, leaders, generals… The corrupt deceivers every night mislead us by false claims that we need to be nobody and nothing. The media help to maintain the state of captivity in the ghetto, in the “closed society”, in the cage. The media “help” us to forget Bosnia…

Hence, could we write about the ruins, about collapsed architecture of the world, refer to the right to think of our destiny while from all sides deny to us the sense of philosophical attitude in the present, manly courage in front of the world that the capitalists and fascists led before the abysses of the human. Alein Badiou is trying to write a manifesto for philosophy.

We are not aware that an attempt to kill Bosnia will define our life and thinking. Trying to delete Bosnia from the face of the world, is the question of sense of Europe. It has been clear long ago that this issue exceeds the Serbo-Croatian historiography performances, small rural constructions of frustrated tribes, their ridiculous myths, folk singing of mountain-dwellers, nebulous ideas about their own place in history… But they have not still confronted with their crimes as human beings. This confrontation is waiting for them till doomsday, to the their beliefs, at the beginning of each new day when should be built some new human form.

This confrontation cannot be avoided or substituted by some form of art, a novel, something like Andric’s novel Bridge over the Drina River, which can be used to escape into the false image of history in order to pushed aside the crimes against Bosniaks in World War II, ignored them and forgotten them. And also, that the history of Bosnia can be forged and focused people’s attention on the other side

Literary, novelistic fiction, the work of contemplation, it is offered as a historical truth! However, it is escapism. Therefore, the panel-warning on the Town hall has a moral sense because it tells us that the criminals from the Serbian people have burned the house of knowledge and killed citizens from the surrounding hills. This is the truth that liberates. So, we have to pass through the ruins. After that, nothing will be the same for us. Let’s make Bosnia free of primitive ethno-religious nationalism which the media serve to it…

After all, our confidence in mind has remained. We have fallen into the flow “from solid to liquid” (Z. Bauman) and lost orientation. Around us echoes the authoritarian cacophony – Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer – and we do not understand what this means! We disappear in fog.

Image for the public

The undertaking to “shape the world in the image for the public” (M. Heidegger) through the media, books, proceedings, conferences, political manifesto, the party’s programs, Nobel Prize winners literary works and then, this image becomes obliging for all others, leads us to almost hopeless position that shows us the forgery, simplifying, reducing and destruction of the contents of the world that we live in.

Afterwards, it is shown that we already have available finished images, constructed images of the world and experiences, simulations and bad copies, but not our own opinion about the world that opens up the world to another dimension, in addition to simple performance on us as subjects who have mastered the world as a subject that we must subordinate and exploit for its untamable needs. Modern Aged, Cartesian image of the world as an object which approaches the subject to it with its intellect and instruments, has suffered a dramatic criticism and transformations during the last hundred years, and it must continue to transform in the direction of love for the world in which we live. Adaequatio rei et intellectus goes with it, as well as the metaphysical realism of “appearance” of the spirit that we must overcome. The man is seen as a camera that “objectively” shoots the world… A man just constructs media image…

The media are emerging as a threat for our freedom. They dramatically wider cultural pessimism, xenophobia and policy of divergence. The fascist tendencies are pouring from them, ethno-foulism and impassioned sermons on life meaning. The boundaries between fiction and reality or fictional form and actuality disappear without explanation and leveled every form of rationality in the mud of fascism. It has been already seen by Adorno, Lowenthal, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Marcuse and others. We have splashed again by a wave of fascistoid infection, that monstrous that has appeared in the past that we have not overcome and ennobled as people (unbewältigte Vergangenheit / unmastered past), the past which we could not obey to the man and his values.

Unbeaten ghosts of the past are trying to push us into migration again, into the new emigration, the escape into a hidden corner of the world where the fascists cannot reach us. They are trying to prepare for us a new genocide, murder, dehumanization. But there is no more space for migration and running away – finally we have to face with the Serbian Nazis and fascists! The crisis of capitalism and liberal democracy always opens the space to small then to large fascists around us. Usually, most people are not aware and do not notice when the fascists grab them and harness to the crazy circle of crimes. The media have real criminal role in it…

Our media are provincial. The media are the culmination of an enlightened false consciousness. Sloterdijk denounces them with special pleasure. Guillotine has survived in them. Media lynch as a “proof” of guilt of the accused is the means of prosecutors and conspiracy groups that do not have public responsibility. That is the main method of political disqualification of opponents. Media campaigns are the “evidence” of guilt. Manipulation of public spirit is shown as irresponsibility, incompetence, ignorance and danger for the system.

They asked Umberto Eco: “Do the journalists have the role in stopping of conspiracy ?, and he said: – Journalists must help to prevent the rule of lies and manipulation. This should be one of their struggles, while preserving critical spirit alive, and avoiding standardization of thought “.

The journalists have been transformed into “soldiers” of organized interest groups in the social structure. They behave as the loyal soldiers of leaders and their clique that rotate. The media, unfortunately, do not work for citizens around the world. The media, the secret police or the prosecution services often work together under one political hat against citizens. They manipulate the citizens from the position of financial interest groups dealing with top-grade transactions and serve to a few in society. The poor pays everything eventually. In Bosnia, Syria, or who knows where tomorrow?

The media has taken in hands the role of creator of our reality. With its superficial power of judgment, they formed millions of forms and contents of the people’s minds who move into unconsciousness of their own existence, not knowing the meaning of their lives. They, almighty and all-shaping media, create confusion that cannot be treated or removed. They create terror more than it can be expressed by referencing to the word simulacrum and much more than that can be daily consumed. They can wage wars, rob the countries, exterminate the nations, they can make spectacle from crime, they can mislead as much as you please… And they think they are innocent!

In fact, the media are there to carry out the post-war rehabilitation of the area, subsidence of soil, levelling of horror, relativizing of evil, rehabilitation of war criminals… They are just the extended arm of the ruling policy. The media are there to deceive us and left dazed for the next day. The media give space to local fascists, neo-Nazis, nationalists, misanthropy, bums, primitives and similar creatures that infect the public. And that lasts for decades.

Media collaboration in spreading of hatred and evil among people, cannot be presented at all by rational means. Madmen present the criminal political programs, and the media follow and support them. They transmit their words, using them as exclusive news, scandalous insane appearances due to better viewers rating and profit. This is the simple essence of irresponsible media structures. The media teach us to “tuck tail under” and gather in our corner, to accept the “peremptory set” of systemic attitudes in which we are trapped. Media “teach” us that there is no rebellion…

Lies of the media (II)

Meaningless populist campaigns sputter around us. Politicians scream from all sides and promise “golden spoons for common people”. People have become phlegmatic, indifferent, tired from the promises. Citizens live passages as from Adorno’s book Minima moralia. Logic disappears in speech. People are talking nonsense. Babble. Trash. They are frustrated and outraged. Only some of them still considers the moral issues of human endeavour. There is no reference to the ethic of responsibility and moral attitude in human matters. On the scene are the “priests” and politicians who are not able to keep like male and knight in front of serious things of life, but they escape into the empty “height” or “bottom”, it does not matter.

Endlessly, the media provide the repetition of lies, they provide the duration of the controlled society and choking of critical consciousness. They have the truth that is transmitted by authorities. For decades, they hide questions and possible answers. They do not ask one of the most important questions initiated by Dervis Susic: “Do you know anything about yourself? Let’s say, who you are, i.e. we, Bosniaks? It must be known!” Do we know who is Avdo Međedović, at all -“A singer who talks”? What means to us “Bosniak’s Homer”? If Husein Basic is right, then Avdo is too big for us or for our powers of understanding? How did we reach this condition? Where did we get from our vocabulary of undefined beings? What are the curricula in the education system? Moreover, the media teach us the emptiness, the silence, the worthlessness of their own existence.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) warned at the end of 2016 that some species that were not on the list of endangered ones, have become the part of the list of endangered species. It happens noticeable reduction of giraffes and African gray parrots in the wilderness. Horrible, indeed? Also, it is endangered the leopard, they assume that only 7100 leopards have remained in wilderness. The animal protectors have slogans: I’d rather go naked than wear wool. Wear your own skin! Let animals keep theirs. Let’s protect animals if we cannot protect people. The slogans of fighters for animals protection peal everywhere, but in the same time, small people are eradicated because of their names, language or belief.

Where are Rohinja people who are Muslims? Does anybody think of them while the Nobel Peace Prize is given? Do entity “RS” on the ground of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a result of the crime of genocide? The “priests” of genocide and guards of its results are the ones who would continue the same “job”, wouldn’t they ? Can the media and media cynicism make of that crime the humanist fairytale about the man’s “will”? Immoral human figures tell us that the genocidal creation “RS” on the ground / territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina is “the result of the will of the Serbian people”. What a juristic formulation?! The media help the rising of this “truth”, especially media predators with their destructive content in which the public is experienced as an animal farm.

The media shamelessly deceive and contribute to decline of public morality into the mud of ethnic-nationalist images of the world which can be best understood as Kačavenda-shape idolatry in the heart of fascism. Media bravely return and lead us to the Middle Ages, in the empire of crusade, priests and local rulers, among dogmatized protocols of life and octroyed algorithms of truth, but we must not forget that they only serve to certain policies and have to implement it. Therefore, the media operation is turned into a mechanism that should be objectified the possibility of civilizations wars as a new spectacle – as if the army do not fight with political and economic interests behind them.

The media, unfortunately, are caught in the net of power and it is not hard to serve it, because they are the source of funds to maintain the system. In Bosnia, most of the media (public radio and television broadcasters) are paid by citizens – hence, citizens pay them to be oriented by the media. The media participate in the general moral degradation and education of the population, that shower them with their information and programs.

Such as the industry of beauty maniacally exploits the sense of human beauty, just as well the cynicism of legal system perverts the meaning of law and justice among people. Corrupt prosecutors, police officers, judges, businessmen, at every step destroy the system and order in society. Nowadays, primitive aesthetics and law are the only reflexes of one horrible process in which the human existence is systemic destroyed on all sides of mankind. It seems that the process is complementary in which modern technology destroys human life by shutting off a movement in it, action, thought, dynamics, resulting in autism, with processes ghettoisation and atomization that people for the purposes of capitalism and organized control. Burning Aleppo is in the media image, as if Sarajevo used to be, under the watchful eye of the UN and world forces. Graham Bamford shines in my Bosnian heart.

Lies in media reports

The media in the hands of corporate capitalism pelt us by messages, information, products, offers. We are choking and losing support in everyday life. “Children of the rich cannot play rock and roll” – the warning of officers’ sons of failed army! We need to start thinking about a new definition of a man and the key terms of human life. The great transformation is in progress, an epochal turn of all that we have conceived as a people.

Eva Bartlett, an independent Canadian journalist and human rights fighter, all around the world, warned in her speech at the UN that the sources from the ground mislead mainstream media, i.e. these sources are compromised and are not credible at all. The image that comes through their reports to the public all around the world is a false image and not corresponds to the state of things on the ground. Corporate media fabricate the reality, deceive the public, adapt their reports to the interests of the big players, fabricate “fake news / story”, recycle the testimony, so that everything you read is the opposite to the reality. Bartlett warns that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is located in Coventry led by the authority of one man who “receives” information from so-called White helmets. Image from Syria, therefore, was under the control of corporate and compromised media.

We are led by financial institutions through debt for borrowed money. The rulers of the 21st century will be the semi-educated and uncultivated, barbarians without shame who are pride of their vulgar manners and ignorance, self-satisfied demimonde. They control the money flows and subordinate the debtors. And media serve to it… We will know all about this today when this is important to no one, when we wouldn’t remember criminals and politicians from Belgrade no more, from that dark city. The media will insidiously level Serbian chauvinists crimes and patriotic struggle of the Bosnian people for their survival. As if we are stupid, they still sell us the Yugoslavianism, the old Serbian hegemony and narration, those old and empty speakers of existence without identity… Anti-Bosnian forces are strategically put people on positions in the system and they deliberately disintegrate the state. They attack all the points of the Bosnian state, which make them the resistance – or bribe them with money and escort-ladies or set them the “dance”. They have at the disposal the means and resources. They do it by means of the police and secret police services, the judiciary and prosecution, paid media and corrupt journalists, ministries of this and that, embassies and no one is trying to stop them.

Numerous media are in the service of destruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Genocidal creation on the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the work of the Milosevic’s regime which is on the ruins of Yugoslavia tried to create a Greater Serbia. The identical plan had Tudjman’s regime, but handle with velvet gloves. The evidence of it is in the top analysis by Cyril Ribičić about the project HZHB. The complicity of the media in the profanation of our social life is boundless, shameful and invaluable. The media, of course, will never take this responsibility because they remind us to the children who go round like sparrows that tweet from the rooftops, but they are not able to learn the lessons given and do not like the lecture. They never feel the guilt and do not take responsibility.

Media show us that they are the heart of the simulacrum and ideological one-sidedness of the society with no choice. They are callously involved in people liquidation who were aimed from the political opponents. The ignorance and indifference come out of them. Journalists repeat ideological matrix, they do not differentiate the meanings, they do not know the old definitions and do not want to learn the new ones, they speak language that conceals rather than reveals social processes, irresponsibly refer to the words, do not have time for language consolidation and clarification of terms, because they are connected to police, secret services, companies, party’s secretaries and leaders. They must fulfil their requirements. They have to satisfy divergent interests and that it all seems “logical” – and that certainly cannot be logical. But citizens? (Nota bene. The growing children need to know that the Army of the Republic in Bosnia Herzegovina was not “so-called” – it was legendary and the only legal military force of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina that got up to save the state of a double aggression of Milosevic and Tudjman’s regime. The media in B&H today transfer the deceits from Belgrade media-propaganda and intelligence circles that someone who is legally defended their country “so-called.” Such morbidity comes from the heart of fascism. The truth is not proved by means of reveal a lie of fascism or it is not true to prove a lie of fascism.) Citizens should be protected from forgery!

The right-wing hook has raised against Bosnia as a unique state and began peddled morbid attitudes on “three of Bosnia”, certainly ethnic-religious fragmented. This is just a continuation of anti-Bosnian hegemonic criminal ideas that cause war and suffering. Still the media are at the service of the fascist attitude towards Bosnia of Great Croatian and the Great Serbian discriminatory arrangement. Thereby, the media openly advocate the right-wing hatred, exclusion, xenophobia, ethno-foulism, they are silent on the constitutional discrimination, support the society of ignoramus, they create the fake image. The media deceive us and lead to the situation to leave rational behaviour and accept something that we have not yet understood, but the next moment we can see that it is disastrous for us. Meanwhile, the media have earned billions of dollars and their owners are rubbing their hands without thinking whether it is dangerous or good for people that have supported a sick fascist to come to power. Therefore, there is not intellectuality in the media, the understanding or superior thinking, because their goal is the manipulation of mediocrity that dominates on the historical scene. Media deception is only the consequence of the old ideological deception of Bosnia that began at the end of the 19th century and continued until our time in many false narratives.

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The 30th Anniversary of the Visegrád Group: The Voice of Central Europe

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The Visegrád group or V4 is a cultural and political union created in 1991, during a conference in the city of Visegrád in Hungary. V4 has been a symbol of Central Europe’s international activity and a new way of coordinating regional cooperation. Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia’s location in the Central European region provides shared cultural and intellectual roots, which they wish to, preserve and further strengthen.

The aim has been clear since the beginning of the cooperation: to eliminate the remnants of the Communist bloc in Central Europe and to accomplish the necessary transformation to further European integration. V4 accessed the EU membership together on May the 1st 2004. Once the goal – EU and NATO membership – had been reached, the Visegrád group did not disappear, as it was and still is also a way for those 4 countries to have a bigger voice by cumulating their strengths. However, some uneasiness and gloom can now be felt in this axis connecting the Baltic, the Adriatic, and the Black Sea.

Relationship with the EU

The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is being opposed by several central and eastern Europeans as well as the United States, is a contentious subject for the V4. Its completion would bypass the V4 region, causing economic and geopolitical harm. It’s not only about falling income from gas transit fees to Western Europe; it’s also about the overall “geopolitical rent” for the Central European area, which would dwindle correspondingly as the present gas pipelines’ relevance decreases.

In Brussels, “Europe” usually means Western Europe. Yet V4countries are, in terms of national progress, becoming the equals of, and even superior to, France and Germany—two EU founders and its two largest, wealthiest members. Recent statistical measures of economic growth, employment, and terrorism all show that four ex-Soviet satellites on the EU’s eastern frontier demonstrate better performance than France or Germany in almost every benchmark metric.


The gross domestic product (GDP) of the V4 grew an average of 4.3 percent in 2018, compared to 1.6 for France and Germany. In both Hungary and Poland, the growth of GDP was 5.1 percent, more than three times the average rate for France and Germany. The worst growth rate among the V4—Czechia’s 3.0 percent—was still double Germany’s growth rate. Given Germany’s stellar reputation as Europe’s economic powerhouse, this is significant. Yet inflation remained mild across all four Visegrád countries, ranging from 1.7 percent in Poland to 2.9 percent in Hungary.


Western Europe still sports larger economies, higher incomes, and longer life expectancies, but these represent a fading legacy of decades of prosperity and peace that was denied to the EU’s eastern members. The indicators, in which some CEE states still lag, like corruption or pollution, are similarly an inheritance of ex-communist rule. Pre-pandemic economic and social progress looked very good for Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, and troubling for Germany and France. If these trends resume—and there is no reason to think they won’t—the East will soon outshine the West.

Despite the fact that Germany is the largest net contributor of EU funds, its economy has benefited the most under the euro, gaining €1.9 trillion from 1999 and 2007, or about €23,000 per German. Berlin’s economy benefits from the EU’s euro zone in many ways, according to Bertelsmann Stiftung, a respected German think-tank. By 2025, the benefits could amount to €170 billion more for Germany. Observers often refer to the V4 as “two plus two,” because of their differing attitudes to European integration. Czechia and Slovakia are more Europe-friendly than Poland and Hungary, which are far more eurosceptic.

Conclusion

The V4 do not share the post-World War II view of the EU embraced by dominant decision-makers in Western Europe, such as France, and Germany. Hungary and Poland’s authorities have generated front-page headlines in recent months for disregarding EU regulations. Their vision for Europe is for a robust and strong nation-state. The V4 has emerged as a non-institutional organization but is increasingly present as a separate agent in European and global politics. The upcoming year, with all its challenges, will certainly reveal more about this partnership. Central Europe needs to be strong within the European Union, and this requires a functioning Visegrád, and the willingness to find common results.

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EU: The stalemate in negotiations brings Serbia ever closer to Russia and China

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Serbia has been waiting since 2012 for the European Union to respond to its application to become a full member of the EU.

In spite of exhausting negotiations, this response is slow in coming and the main cause of the stalemate has a clear name: Kosovo. Before accepting Serbia’s application for membership, the EU requires a definitive solution to the relations between Serbia and that region that broke away from it after the 1999 conflict – when NATO came to the aid of the Kosovo Albanians – and proclaimed its independence in February 2008.

Serbia has never recognised the birth of the Kosovo Republic, just as many other important countries have not: out of 193 UN members, only 110 have formally accepted the birth of the new republic, while the rest, including Russia, China, Spain, Greece and Romania – to name just the most important ones – refuse to recognise the independence of the Albanians of what was once a region of Serbia.

The European Union cannot accept that one of its members is in fact unable to guarantee control over its borders, as would be the case for Serbia if its membership were accepted.

In fact, since the end of the war between Kosovo and Serbia, there is no clear and controlled border between the two countries. In order to avoid continuous clashes, Kosovo and Serbia have actually left the border open, turning a blind eye to the ‘smuggling economy’ that thrives on both sides of the border.

In this situation, if Serbia were to become a full member of the European Union, it would create a gap in the borders of the entire Schengen area, as anyone passing through Kosovo could then move into all EU countries.This is not the only obstacle to Serbia’s accession to the European

Union: many European chancelleries are wary of Serbian foreign policy which, since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation, has maintained a privileged relationship with Russia, refusing to adhere to the sanctions decided by Europe against Russia after the annexation of Crimea to the detriment of Ukraine.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Serbia even agreed to produce the Russian vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ directly in its own laboratories, blatantly snubbing EU’s vaccine offer.

For the United States and some important European countries, Serbia’s formal accession to the European Union could shift the centre of gravity of Europe’s geopolitics towards the East, opening a preferential channel for dialogue between Russia and the European Union through Serbia.

This possibility, however, is not viewed unfavourably by Germany which, in the intentions of the CDU President, Armin Laschet, the next candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as Chancellor, has recently declared he is in favour of a foreign policy that “develops in multiple directions”, warning his Western partners of the danger resulting from “the interruption of the dialogue with Russia and China”. In this regard, Laschet has publicly stated that ‘foreign policy must always focus on finding ways to interact, including cooperation with countries that have different social models from ours, such as Russia, China and the nations of the Arab world’.

Today we do not know whether in autumn Laschet will take over the leadership of the most powerful country in the European Union, but what is certain is that Serbia’s possible formal membership of the European Union could force Europe to revise some of its foreign policy stances, under the pressure of a new Serbian-German axis.

Currently, however, Serbia’s membership of the European Union still seems a long way off, precisely because of the stalemate in the Serbia-Kosovo negotiations.

In 2013 Kosovo and Serbia signed the so-called ‘Brussels Pact’, an agreement optimistically considered by European diplomats to be capable of rapidly normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo, in view of mutual political and diplomatic recognition.

An integral part of the agreement was, on the one hand, the commitment of Kosovo’s authorities to recognise a high degree of administrative autonomy to the Kosovo municipalities inhabited by a Serb majority and, on the other hand, the collaboration of the Serbs in the search for the remains of the thousands of Kosovar Albanians presumably eliminated by Milosevic’s troops during the repression that preceded the 1999 war.

Neither of the two commitments has so far been fulfilled and, during the meeting held in Brussels on July 21 between Serbian President Alexander Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, harsh words and reciprocal accusations were reportedly exchanged concerning the failure to implement the ‘Pact’, to the extent that the Head of European foreign policy, Josep Borrel, publicly asked the two parties to ‘close the chapter of a painful past through a legally binding agreement on the normalisation of mutual relations, with a view to building a European future for its citizens’. This future seems nebulous, to say the least, if we consider that Serbia, in fact, refuses to recognise the legal value of degrees and diplomas awarded by the Kosovo academic authorities also to members of the Kosovo Serb minority.

Currently, however, both contenders are securing support and alliances in Europe and overseas.

Serbia is viewed favourably by the current President of the European Union, Slovenian Janez Jansa, who is a supporter of its membership because “this would definitively mark the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation”. The vast majority of European right-wing parties, ranging from the French ‘Rassemblement National’ to the Hungarian ‘Fydesz’, also approve of Serbia’s membership application and openly court the Serbian minorities living in their respective countries while, after the years of US disengagement from the Balkans under Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, the Biden administration has decided to put the region back on the list of priority foreign policy commitments, entrusting the ‘Serbia dossier’ to the undersecretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer, an authoritative and experienced diplomat.

With a view to supporting its application for European membership, Serbia has also deployed official lobbyists.

Last June, Natasha Dragojilovic Ciric’s lobbying firm ND Consulting officially registered in the so-called EU ‘transparency register’ to promote support for Serbia’s membership. ND is financed by a group of international donors and is advised by Igor Bandovic, former researcher at the American Gallup and Head of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, by lawyer Katarina Golubovic of the ‘Committee of Human Rights Lawyers’ and Jovana Spremo, former OSCE consultant.

These are the legal experts deployed by Serbia in Brussels to support its application for formal European integration, but in the meantime Serbia is not neglecting its “eastern” alliances.

Earlier this month, the Head of the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, paid an official visit to Belgrade, a few weeks after the conclusion of a joint military exercise between Russian special forces (the “Spetznaz”) and Serbian special forces.

In the Serbian capital, Naryshkin not only met his Serbian counterpart Bratislav Gasic, Head of the ‘Bezbednosno Informativna Agencija’, the small but powerful Serbian secret service, but was also received by the President of the Republic Alexander Vucic with the aim of publicising the closeness between Serbia and Russia.

The timing of the visit coincides with the resumption of talks in Brussels on Serbia’s accession to the European Union and can clearly be considered as instrumental in exerting subtle diplomatic pressure aimed at convincing the European Union of the possibility that, in the event of a refusal, Serbia may decide to definitely turn its back on the West and ally with an East that is evidently more willing to treat the Serbs with the dignity and attention that a proud and tenacious people believes it deserves.

A piece of news confirming that Serbia is ready to turn its back on the West, should Europe continue to postpone the decision on its accession to the European Union is the fact that China has recently signed a partnership agreement with Serbia in the field of pharmaceutical research, an agreement that makes Serbia one of China’s current largest commercial partners on the European continent.

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NATO’s Cypriot Trick

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UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact died, there was much speculation that NATO would consider itself redundant and either disappear or at least transmogrify into a less aggressive body.

Failing that, Moscow at least felt assured that NATO would not include Germany, let alone expand eastwards. Even the NATO Review, NATO’s PR organ, wrote self-apologetically twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin wall: “Thus, the debate about the enlargement of NATO evolved solely in the context of German reunification. In these negotiations Bonn and Washington managed to allay Soviet reservations about a reunited Germany remaining in NATO. This was achieved by generous financial aid, and by the ‘2+4 Treaty’ ruling out the stationing of foreign NATO forces on the territory of the former East Germany. However, it was also achieved through countless personal conversations in which Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders were assured that the West would not take advantage of the Soviet Union’s weakness and willingness to withdraw militarily from Central and Eastern Europe.”

Whatever the polemics about Russia’s claim that NATO broke its promises, the facts of what happened following the fall of the Berlin wall and the negotiations about German re-unification strongly demonstrate that Moscow felt cheated and that the NATO business and military machine, driven by a jingoistic Cold War Britain, a selfish U.S. military-industrial-congressional complex and an atavistic Russia-hating Poland, saw an opportunity to become a world policeman.

This helps to explain why, in contrast to Berlin, NATO decided to keep Nicosia as the world’s last divided city. For Cyprus is in fact NATO’s southernmost point, de facto. And to have resolved Cyprus’ problem by heeding UN resolutions and getting rid of all foreign forces and re-unifying the country would have meant that NATO would have ‘lost’ Cyprus: hardly helpful to the idea of making NATO the world policeman. Let us look a little more closely at the history behind this.

Following the Suez debacle in 1956, Britain had already moved its Middle East Headquarters from Aden to Cyprus, while the U.S. was taking over from the UK and France in the Middle East. Although, to some extent under U.S. pressure, Britain was forced to bring Makarios out of exile and begin negotiating with Greece and Turkey to give up its colony, the U.S. opted for a NATO solution. It would not do to have a truly sovereign Cyprus, but only one which accepted the existence of the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) as part and parcel of any settlement; and so it has remained, whatever the sophistic semantics about a bizonal settlement and a double-headed government. The set of twisted and oft-contradictory treaties that have bedevilled the island since 1960 are still afflicting the part-occupied island which has been a de facto NATO base since 1949. Let us look at some more history.

When Cyprus obtained its qualified independence in 1960, Greece and Turkey had already signed, on 11 February 1959, a so called ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’, agreeing that they would support Cyprus’ entry into NATO.1 This was, however, mere posture diplomacy, since Britain—and the U.S. for that matter—did not trust Cyprus, given the strength of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) and the latter’s links to Moscow. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) wrote: ‘Membership of NATO might make it easier for the Republic of Cyprus and possibly for the Greeks and Turks to cause political embarrassment should the United Kingdom wish to use the bases […] for national ends outside Cyprus […] The access of the Cypriot Government to NATO plans and documents would present a serious security risk, particularly in view of the strength of the Cypriot Communist Party. […] The Chiefs of Staff, therefore, feel most strongly that, from the military point of view, it would be a grave disadvantage to admit Cyprus to NATO.’2 In short, Cyprus was considered unreliable.

As is well known, the unworkable constitution (described as such by the Foreign Office and even by David Hannay, the Annan reunification plan’s PR man), resulted in chaos and civil strife: in January 1964, during the chaos caused by the Foreign Office’s help and encouragement to President Makarios to introduce a ‘thirteen point plan’ to solve Cyprus’ problems, British Prime Minister Douglas-Home told the Cabinet: ‘If the Turks invade or if we are seriously prevented from fulfilling our political role, we have made it quite clear that we will retire into base.’3 Put more simply, Britain had never had any intention of upholding the Treaty of Guarantee.

In July of the same year, the Foreign Office wrote: ‘The Americans have made it quite clear that there would be no question of using the 6th Fleet to prevent any possible Turkish invasion […] We have all along made it clear to the United Nations that we could not agree to UNFICYP’s being used for the purpose of repelling external intervention, and the standing orders to our troops outside UNFYCYP are to withdraw to the sovereign base areas immediately any such intervention takes place.’4

It was mainly thanks to Moscow and President Makarios that in 1964 a Turkish invasion and/or the island being divided between Greece and Turkey was prevented. Such a solution would have strengthened NATO, since Cyprus would no longer exist other than as a part of NATO members Greece and Turkey. Moscow had issued the following statement: ‘The Soviet Government hereby states that if there is an armed foreign invasion of Cypriot territory, the Soviet Union will help the Republic of Cyprus to defend its freedom and independence against foreign intervention.’5

Privately, Britain, realising the unworkability of the 1960 treaties, was embarrassed, and wished to relieve itself of the whole problem. The following gives us the backstage truth: ‘The bases and retained sites, and their usefulness to us, depend in large measure on Greek Cypriot co-operation and at least acquiescence. A ‘Guantanamo’6 position is out of the question. Their future therefore must depend on the extent to which we can retain Greek and/or Cypriot goodwill and counter USSR and UAR pressures. There seems little doubt, however, that in the long term, our sovereign rights in the SBA’s will be considered increasingly irksome by the Greek Cypriots and will be regarded as increasingly anachronistic by world public opinion.7

Following the Turkish invasion ten years later, Britain tried to give up its bases: ‘British strategic interests in Cyprus are now minimal. Cyprus has never figured in NATO strategy and our bases there have no direct NATO role. The strategic value of Cyprus to us has declined sharply since our virtual withdrawal from east of Suez. This will remain the case when the Suez Canal has reopened.8

A Cabinet paper concluded: ‘Our policy should continue to be one of complete withdrawal of our military presence on Cyprus as soon as feasible. […] In the circumstances I think that we should make the Americans aware of our growing difficulty in continuing to provide a military presence in Cyprus while sustaining our main contribution to NATO. […]9

Britain kept trying to give up the bases, but the enabler of the Turkish invasion, Henry Kissinger, did not allow Britain to give up its bases and listening posts, since that would have weakened NATO, and since Kissinger needed the bases because of the Arab-Israel dispute.10

Thus, by the end of 1980, in a private about-turn, Britain had completely succumbed to American pressure: ‘The benefits which we derive from the SBAs are of major significance and virtually irreplaceable. They are an essential contribution to the Anglo-American relationship. The Department have regularly considered with those concerned which circumstances in Cyprus are most conducive to our retaining unfettered use of our SBA facilities. On balance, the conclusion is that an early ‘solution’ might not help (since pressures against the SBAs might then build up), just as breakdown and return to strife would not, and that our interests are best served by continuing movement towards a solution – without the early prospect of arrival [author’s italics]11.

And so it is today: Cyprus is a de facto NATO territory. A truly independent, sovereign and united Cyprus is an anathema to the U.S. and Britain, since such a scenario would afford Russia the hypothetical opportunity to increase its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

From our partner RIAC

[1] Ministry of Defence paper JP (59) 163, I January 1960, BNA DEFE 13/99/MO/5/1/5, in Mallinson, William, Cyprus, a Modern History, I.B. Tauris (now Bloomsbury), London and New York, 2005, 2009, 2012, p.49.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Memorandum by Prime Minister, 2 January 1964, BNA CAB/129/116, in ibid, Mallinson, William, p.37.

[4] British Embassy, Washington, to Foreign Office, 7 July 1964, telegram 8541, BNA FO 371/174766, file C1205/2/G, in ibid.’, Mallinson, William, p. 37.

[5] Joseph, Joseph S., Cyprus, Ethnic Conflict and International Politics, St Martin’s Press, London and New York, 1997, p. 66.

[6] In 1964, Cuba cut off supplies to the American base at Guantanamo Bay, since the US refused to return it to Cuba, as a result of which the US took measures to make it self-sufficient.

[7] Briefing paper, 18 June 1964, BNA-DO/220/170, file MED 193/105/2, part A. Mallinson,William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus, p. 127.

[8] ‘British Interests in the Eastern Mediterranean’, draft paper, 11 April 1975, BNA-FCO 46/1248, file DPI/515/1.

[9] Cabinet paper, 29 September 1976, in op. cit. Mallinson, William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus, p.134.

[10] Mallinson, William, Britain and Cyprus: Key Themes and Documents, I.B. Tauris, London and New York, 2011, and Bloomsbury, London and New York, 2020, pp. 87-121.

[11] Fergusson to Foreign Minister’s Private Secretary, minute, 8 December 1980, BNA-FCO 9/2949, file WSC/023/1, part C.

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