Realpolitik “ flash” No. 26
18 JANUARY – 1 FEBRUARY 2021
TODAY, “Real Politik” turns one year! With 25 issues exclusively for ARGUMENTUM on the major diplomatic events and developments at home and abroad. A synthesis of articles and opionions appearing in the domestic, and foreign media as well as in “Argumentum”. Realpolitik differs because it goes back and reflects on the events from a bi-monthly distance, offering a judgement, which is much closer to real life. It dots the “I’s” and crosses the “ t’s” directly, briefly, bluntly, in “ albanian” and only in 1000 words! These explain the success and the growing number of readers.
This reliability is also attributed to its author, Dr. Jorgji KOTE; thanks to his 20 years in the career diplomatic service, as Deputy Head of Embassy in Berlin and in Brussels for two terms, at the Foreign Ministry as Chief of Section, Member of the Council of Albanian Ambassadors, author of many books on diplomacy and over 400 articles in our daily press. Plus his doctorial degree, qualification and long experience in the area of international relations with ongoing contacts at European institutions in Brussels.
With many thanks to our readers and followers, we wish a long and good journey to Real Politik and invite you to read its 25th issue with three major diplomatic events.
- Biden has convinced the world during his first 10 days as US President. He is “undoing” his predecessor at home with acts, decrees and messages of reconciliation and unity in diversity, total mobilization against COVID – 19, as the greatest enemy and challenge. America is not going any more through the daily dramas at the White House, no more tweeting as before, no more insults against journalists or calling them “ people’s enemies”; fake news and alternative facts are being reviewed and so on. In the foreign policy, together with Blinken, the Secretary of State Department, former Assistant to the Secretary of State under Obama II Administration they have provided an inspiring working atmosphere for all. After 1000 diplomats have left the State Department since it was impossible for them to work with Trump and Pompeo and other concerns there, the US diplomacy is assuming its full working capacity. Biden has already signed the comeback to WHO, the Paris Climate Treaty, he agreed with President Putin to extend for five years the nuclear Treaty “ New Start” and has launched messages of dialogue and cooperation with China, Iran and other states. Most importantly, Biden has confirmed the strengthening of the alliance with the EU and NATO. “America first” is being replaced with Trans – Atlantic America, restoring its world leadership in resolving the serious current geopolitical challenges. “ America great again” now reads “ “America back again” True, this is only the beginning and there is a long way through; yet, as we say in Albania, “ a good beginning is half of the work done”
- Together in the Balkans: The White House is sending the same encouraging and sounding messages to Western Balkans and especially to Kosovo. In the talks with their European counterparts, both Biden and Blinken have highlighted the absolute priority of friendship and cooperation with the EU, NATO and other major actors, so that the Western Balkans is rapidly integrated to the Euro-Atlantic structures. For Kosovo, afer years of serious suspicions and ambiguities, Blinken has spoken in favour of the EU facilitating role and support the comprehensive agreement between Pristina and Belgrade, on the essential condition of Kosovo’s recognition by Serbia and other countries, their European accession, democracy and economic prosperity. There is also a clear – cut objection to any change of territories or to solutions mainly by economic bonuses and methods. It is very likely that they will also review the relevant document of the 4th of Deptember, which as we have mentioned before, it is neither “an agreement nor historic” Because it is just “beatin about the bush” on that issue without offering genuine and lasting solutions. Likewise, good news are expected in the relations with Albania, placing democracy on top.
- From “Ak Saray” or “Place Schuman”? Ak – Saray is the new Turkish presidential Palace in Ankara inaugurated in 2014, with over 1100 rooms and costing nearly 600 US Dollars. We saw some of its luxury there on the 6th of January, when Prime Minister Rama was received with all pump and glamour; both as a personal political friend of President Erdogan and as a rare visitor. Whereas “ Place Schuman” is the symbolic square in Brusels where are the seats of the 4 major EU institutions; it is they that decide on the European fuure for Albania and even for Turkey. To be fair, as allied and partners, one can expect only good things from close relations with Turkey. However, the concern here is the disproportional ratio between the glorification of Turkish role by overshadowing the EU; this cannot fail to catch the eye of anyone and of the Europen chancelleries, in particular. Just look, only flourishing compliments and gratitude for Turkey, for the houses and mosks they build in Albania, the hospital in Fier, for this and for that…
Meanwhile, as to EU and certain member states recently and surprisingly, we are hearing only ironical wits, banters, repartees and insults. Even worse, with a wording that has nothing in common with European ethic values. Times and again, Prime Minister Rama stigmatizes and even blames the EU, France and other states for the “ deficits” of his own government, for the negotiations they are not opening due to their own alleged “ domestic dynamics” for their “ insanity” in failing to liberalize visas for Kosovo” for not offering us the vaccines and a few days ago for not opening the meat markets!!! Hardly can one find these days a case when he has uttered kind words for EU, except “bolts and lightenings” Moreover, when only the EU Commission has decided to deliver to Albania 300 Million Euro for the Earthquake, for the Economic Pact in the region 9 Billion, for COVID – 19 3,3 Billion and quite recently for Albania an additional 70 Million Euro for the vaccine, more than any other state or organization! Although the EU finds itself is big trouble! Now, each one has the right to criticize whom ever. The problem is that indeed we are too small and “ not yet ripe”to do that, in political and democratic terms, besides being “first class beggars” After all, there are so many diplomatic channels to express and forward these and other concerns among partners.
This is why the question arises quite naturally: well, but does our historic journey to the EU passes through “Place Schuman” in Brussels or Ak – Saray, i.e. Ankara? True, one can also go to Europe through Ak Saray; yet, this track is too long, full of hurdles, ditches and rocks. Turkey itself has been travelling there for 50 years but it is still far away from the EU.