Serbia and North Macedonia are battling the hypocrisy of the EU like Don Quixote with windmills

Beograd_240125_Željko Šajn 01
Source: Kosovo Online

Written for Kosovo Online by Zeljko Sajn

The historical Kosovo-Metohija saga is continuously supplemented by the narratives crafted by states possessing the power, will, and intellectual and moral strength to shape the entire international order according to their own value systems. Today, unfortunately, we remain far from achieving a new sustainable international order, bombarded with news of casualties in fragmented wars, and apprehensive that we will again experience the stench of war from the front lines.

The roots of the fruits we harvest today were planted when Metternich's Austria revived the so-called European concept, which Bismarck's Germany dismantled by turning European diplomacy into ruthless power politics, including the Balkans in its interests, especially the Albanian population. However, in the 20th century, the United States took on hegemonic primacy over global interests. No country has more vigorously insisted on the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of other states while passionately asserting that its own values are universally acceptable. This behavior also underpins the EU's policy, especially towards Serbia and North Macedonia, best described by one word: hypocrisy. Serbia and the Republic of North Macedonia battle this hypocrisy like Don Quixote with windmills.

After World War II, America's main enemy was communism. Immediately after the war ended, the Cold War front opened against allies developing communist ideology in socialist countries. Under the banner of democracy and human rights protection, the socialist system was dismantled, destroying all European countries developing Marxist-Leninist ideology. The gradual decline of this system began with the Cold War and continued after the fall of the Berlin Wall, leading to the formation of new states from the existing ones: the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and all Warsaw Pact members, as well as the SFR Yugoslavia, which did not belong to the pact but was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, balancing the Cold War, i.e., maintaining world peace.

However, the territory of the SFR Yugoslavia was fertile political ground for sowing the seeds of anti-communism through Kosovo, watered with provocations and all ideological "chemicals"—fascism, Nazism, racism, religious conflicts—so the West could dismantle communism, weaken the USSR, and access its abundant natural resources. Although Kosovo and Metohija seemed marginal for achieving such goals, Serbian leadership underestimated this, which the West exploited, promising the Albanian population on that territory an Albanian national state. Initially quietly, through the fight for human rights, and gradually achieving political rights for national minorities, primarily Albanians. Subtly but effectively, the U.S. harnessed the centuries-old desire of the Albanian people for their own state on Serbian territory, supporting them not just politically but also pragmatically to achieve this goal, aiding in the use of arms not only in Serbia but also in North Macedonia.

Serbia, as part of the FR Yugoslavia, was bombed in 1999 to grant Albanians Kosovo independence, leading to their control over a quasi-state. In gratitude, a monument to former U.S. President Bill Clinton was erected in Pristina. NATO was involved in this, dividing the permanent members of the UN Security Council—on one side, the U.S., the UK, and France, and on the other, the USSR (Russia) and China. Using a similar approach but without NATO, in 2001, Albanians achieved their political rights in the Republic of Macedonia through armed rebellion. Though it seemed unlikely, these events split the world.

All Albanian political parties in Kosovo and Metohija and North Macedonia enjoy strategic support primarily from the U.S. Western countries, NATO members, enable terrorist organizations to rebrand as legal political parties, achieving rights to state functions and representing Albanian interests, often sidelining state interests. Meanwhile, other national minorities become marginalized. Serbs gradually leave Kosovo and Metohija under unbearable living conditions, while in North Macedonia, leadership from Pristina enters legislative, executive, and judicial institutions haphazardly.

Afrim Gashi, the newly elected President of the North Macedonian Assembly, a member of the Vredi coalition, which openly collaborates with Albin Kurti and his deputies from the Kosovo parliament, recently stated on RTK in Pristina that Kosovo is his homeland. More concerning than this statement are the further, more significant steps by the Vredi coalition, now in power, along with Kurti, considering his ambitions and behavior on North Macedonian soil.

Conversely, the Albanian party DUI, in power in North Macedonia for twenty years, claims Hristijan Mickoski cannot form a government with the Vredi coalition because the European Front coalition is the winner among Albanian parties. However, North Macedonian President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova pointed out that the mandate holder has the right to form a government with whoever they deem fit for state interests.

Certainly, the new government in our neighboring state faces creating a strong strategy to control the increasingly powerful Albanian factor, preventing it from disrupting state interests. The previous government failed to do this, making numerous concessions to the coalition in power to achieve its and state interests. Recall, the DUI party received the strategic portfolio of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Bujar Osmani. This allowed DUI to advocate for Kosovo's independence and co-sponsor the UN General Assembly resolution on the Srebrenica genocide, damaging excellent neighborly relations with Serbia. Osmani also vocally supported abandoning the successful regional initiative "Open Balkan." Clearly, support came not only from his party.

Hopefully, the new Macedonian government will act more wisely, avoiding concessions to the Albanian factor for higher goals. Encouraging this hope is that the Vredi coalition secured six ministerial seats, not key ones, and the Assembly presidency. Though Albanian parties are divided between the European Front and Vredi coalitions, they unite on one issue: making Albanian a second official language across North Macedonia. While the Vredi coalition heeds Kurti's advice, whom they declared the president of all Albanians in Tetovo last year, DUI gathers around Albanian Prime Minister Rama, who politically diverges from Kurti, both share the great national interest of all Albanians in the Balkans.

The new government structure with VMRO-DPMNE will have a secure majority with Macedonian parties, avoiding various ultimatums the previous government faced. An improvement in relations with Serbia is expected, correcting the foreign policy path influenced by DUI.

In pursuing long-term solutions for strategic goals of parliamentary democracy and North Macedonia's development, the Turkish political subject should not be overlooked. Neglecting it could strengthen the Albanian political bloc, which, with Turkish coalition support, might secure nearly 40 deputies in the next elections. Such a parliamentary balance would favor Kurti's ambitions over the stability and territorial integrity of North Macedonia and the entire region. "The President of all Albanians" will seize every opportunity to realize the inherited Demaçi ideology and create a "Greater Albania."

Dialogue must urgently resume to lay the foundation for a new global security, political, and economic system, ensuring future order is based on principles of peace preservation without hegemonic ambitions.