Realpolitik “ Flash” No. 5
3 – 16 MARCH 2021
EXCLUSIVELY at ARGUMENTUM, we dot the “Is” and cross the “ Ts’ with only 1000 words on the major 5 events by the renowned analyst and diplomat
DR. Jorgji KOTE
1.Ballots as conditions! This refers to the parliamentary elections on 25 April, which would define the further progress of democracy and the opening of the EU accession negotiations. True, we might have complied with the conditions; yet, we have an updated decisive condition – free and fair elections! This is also emphasized in the Conclusions of the Stabilization& Association Council in Brussels on 2 March and in the Draft Resolution of the Foreign Committee of the EU Parliament on 4 March.
Thus, even the fulfilled conditions would be nulified if electoral 25 April would not be recognized by the international community and would not produce a promising government. So, elections, then accession negociations !
2.Haste is delay! This wise saying fits to the current situation in Kosovo. But the haste with which the international community is urging Pristine to resume the dialogue with Belgrade is not productive. The incoming Prime Minister Kurti has correctly placed this dialogue after other vital priorities. This does not underestimate it, on the contrary. For any dialogue with Serbia cannot yield the proper political product without meeting first the serious domestic challenges. Therefore, it is better for Kosovo to focus on setting up a stable and functional government, to elect the new President, remedy the economy, to step up the fight against corruption and so on. Equally important is to ensure a cross – party consensus for all issues and the dialogue, starting with the negotiation team, its platform and others. This 10 year old dialogue has proved the saying that “ haste is delay” So, let us leave Mr. Kurti “calm and quiet” for some time and let others press on with Belgrade and not treat it as “ a pet boy” But, once the dialogue restarts, it should be carried out to the end, starting with the recognition of Kosovo, as the first indisputable point, instead of playing “ hide and seek”.
3.Pain & gain! This week Kosovo opened up its Embassy in Jerusalem after its recognition by Israel and pursuant to the Washington deal on 4 September 2020. Pristine is obliged to do the proper thing, since the USA is the sponsor of this initiative and its greatest strategic ally; whereas Israel is a country with a large impact; besides, Kosovo shows itself to be a serious and reliable partner, for “a deal is a deal” However, the problem lies in the political& diplomatic costs, or “ pains&gains” Moreover, given the different geopolitical and diplomatic concerns in this case. Thus, raising its flag in Jerusalem, Kosovo acts against the relevant UN Resolution 1980 and against the EU, a major strategic ally, with which Kosovo shares major and vital interests. Meanwhile, Kosovo’s flag there has also opened a “scar” with Turkey, among the first large states that has recognized Kosovo and with the Arab League; the latter have a substantial infuence in countries that have not yet recognized and even in those who may be thinking over their recognitions. Besides Palestine, this act runs also contrary to Albania that will continue to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv, creating in this way another undesired diplomatic division. It is also a “ thorn in the flesh” of the new government that has to come to terms with it.
True, on 4 September 2020 Kosovo was between “ two fires” Yet, such a situation could have been avoided with diplomatic elegance; simply through a clause like this “ as to the diplomatic seat in Israel, this would be decided on the basis of the bilateral political will and the internationally recognized documents” All those who have worked in this field know well that inserting clauses like this one is “ the bread& butter” of a serious diplomacy. Now, as they say, “what is done can’t be undone”; what it matters now is that Kosovo’s diplomacy should draw the proper lessons for the future, so that the gains for each step should overtake the pains, applying the Albanian saying “ roast the meat but don’t burn the spit”
4.That is good so! On 10 March, the Albanian Government decided to permit the usage of the Russian and Chinese vaccines. It is the correct, although somewhat a belated thing to do. Thus, it corrected the “ diplomatic contavention” as we have called it, when by the end of last December, our side “ welcomed with wet shoes” a proposal in principal by the Russian Embassy; with an uncommon sharp tongue going beyond any diplomatic courtesy. Nonetheless, it is important that this diplomatic error was repaired, with the understanding that health prevails over any geopolitics. Besides, there is no room for Cold War ideological attitudes. Yes, there many concerns among Russia, the USA and the EU, just as there are many sharing points, which “ condemn “ them to work together. However, there is no reason for us to be “ more catholic than the Pope” This is why we say “ Yes, that is good so!
5.Alarming Report: Early this week, the UN Economic Commission for Europe published the Report on Refugee flows 2020. It is an alarming bell for Albania, which ranks second worldwide with 550 refugees for 100.000 inhabitants. With only 100 refugees Turkey follows suit. What makes the report more concerning is that in 2015 Albania had only 350 refugees for 100.000 inhabitants. Secondly, the world average is only 3007/100.000 with a slight increase this year. Thirdly, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo have shown a declining trend.
This fact disqualifies the official opinion that the same is occurring elsewhere with asylum seeking. Finally, there is no more room for political alibia. To make the matters worse, in the face of such a worrying situation, the Government has surrendered and assumes no responsibility for this socio-political “time bomb”. Besides, it excludes any alternative by the opposition on this area. Hence, we expect to hear much higher figures, leading to a growing de-population, a new “ social pandemic” which is crying out for solution.