Realpolitik “ Flash” No. 6
17 – 31 MARCH 2021
EXCLUSIVELY at ARGUMENTUM, the renowned diplomat and analyst “dots the i’s and crosses the t’s” on 8 major events with only 1200 words!
DR. Jorgji KOTE
1.DASHI or DOSHI? This is “ the hamletian dilemma” ahead of 25th April. The US State Department, or DASH as its acronym in Albanian has repeatedly mentioned also through Ambassador Juri Kim in Tirana that Mr. Tom Doshi is not allowed to enter into the USA; therefore, there should be no room for him in the list of candidate MPs. While the Democratic Party and others have clearly expressed in favour of DASH, the leadership of the Socialist Party ( SP) and Prime Minister Edi Rama are seemingly trying to “ cross the river without being wet ” True, they have stated that Doshi is not part of the SP and without any chance to be in the government; yet, it is common knowledge that the Social-Democratic Party he leads was and remains SP ally. Therefore, the latter, instead of legal tricks should voice itself against Doshi! DASHI or DOSHI, this is the question!
2.Enigmatic Luncheon with regard to genuine lack of public information was the one that President Macron hosted for PM Rama in Elisée on 22 March. No word by the host, only a briefing from PM Rama considering it a luncheon after a long time, where they spoke on bilateral and regional affairs, French investments, the pandemic and others. Lacking enthusiasm and even diplomatic standard clichés as “ useful” or “ Macron, a good friend” However, to understand this enigma one may refer to the latest bilateral developments. Following the critical remarks that it does not give up an inch from its opposition to opening the negotiations, in January PM Rama attacked France that despite the overstock of vaccines, it does not deliver them to Albania. The French Embassy in Tirana responded as never before with a critical Note. Meanwhile, our asylum seekers who ignore even COVID – 19 remain a social “time bomb” especially for France. Surprisingly enough, no word was mentioned about the upcoming elections on 25 April, as the key to the resolution of hot files in Albania. Thus, one may imagine that “ the spicy menu” during that luncheon was softened with famous French culinary delicacies&wines adding relevant Host’s suggestions.
3.Missing the diplomatic ball! This is what happened to PM Rama on 23 March. He became nervous due to a virtual conference on the initiative of a renowned austrian university with the presence of various entities by a number of countries related to projects on the promotion of education and culture. The EU relevant Commissioner, Maryia Gabriel was also invited there. Part of that debate became also the leader of the opposition, Mr. Lulzim Basha. PM Rama whipped the EUI Commission with an undiplomatic language for “ poking the nose” into the internal affairs and the electoral process of a EU candidate state! Although it was much easier for him to phone the EU Commission, or contact it through its Delegation in Tirana or the Albanian Mission to the EU in Brussels, PM Rama preferred to “ kick the ball” to Brussels. The latter rejected categorically his irrelevant insinuations and thus Rama missed again the diplomatic ball; but, this time with its favourite ally, the EU Commission.
4.Biden&BE together! This was clearly seen during the official visit by the US Chief diplomat, Antony Blinken in Brussels from 22 – 25 March, where he took part in the ministerial Meeting and audiences with top EU/NATO leaders and all his counterparts. Meanwhile, President Biden greeted through a video-Conference the EU Summit on 25 March, emphazising the US comeback to rebuilding the transatlantic relations. Certainly, with the relevant reservations and discrepancies; but this time, they are going to be leveled ut not through ultimatums and “ exits” but with dialogue and talks through diplomatic channels. This is a good omen for promoting cooperation in meeting the common major challenges; after four years, the West is referring back to the principle “Unity brings power”
5.Deter &Dialogue with Russia and China was the major logo in the high level meetings of the EU/NATO in Brussels on 22 – 25 March, with the presence of the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Quite natural, albeit the well-known “thorny” problematics among them. USA, the EU and NATO have decided to maintain Dialogue concerning the shared geo-strategic interests coupling it with deterrence for Russia and China, when their basic values and principles are infringed, notably human rights and fundamental freedoms. Nevertheless, they will have to be cautious and moderate, favouring cooperation against confrontation of any sort. This is because, as the follow up video- Conference Merkel -Macron – Putin on 30 March showed, there are many major common areas, where it is extremely difficult not to say impossible to make ahead without Russia and China – pandemics, climate, environment, terrorism, military conflicts in Midle East and others. Accordingly, they will continue to play the political game of “ drawing the rope” but without cutting it through dialogue, détente and deterrence.
6.Political Fault was when President Biden named his Russian counterpart Putin as “ assassin” The latter did not respond in the same way; instead Putin hinted Biden’s “ projection”, he wished health, and even invited him for a public debate. Certainly, President Biden has his own right& might to criticise everyone for anything; yet, he can not go that far as to name someone, especially a president of a big power as “ assassin” After all, it is the prosecution that brings a charge which has to be validated by an impartial intenational court. But President Biden did the right thing a few days ago to accept Putin’s bid for a public debate and then invited him in the virtual Summit on Climate in April this year. Now, the question arises: is it ok when someone labels his counterpart “ assassin” and then invite him in a Summit? This is why it was a political fault in Biden’s court. Luckily, it is the only in his first here months and hopefully the last “fault”.
7.“ Own goal” in Istanbul was kicked by President Erdogan this week with his decree on leaving the Convention of the Council of Europe ( CiE) on the violence against women and girls. It is his “ own goal” becaue this Treaty was signed exactly 10 years ago in Istanbul, when Turkey/Erdogan held the CiE Presidency! The justifications that women in Turkey are protected by the Constitution and domestic laws are just “fig leaves” In fact, it is the pressure of the consevative cirles that forced the government to lift up an international protective shield in a state where over 400 women and girls are killed every year, besides violence in other forms and formats.
8.“Stick& Carrot” were offered by the EU for Turkey in its Summit on 25 March “ Stick” throuh severe sanctions if Turkey continues its oil&gas researches in Eastern Mediteranean; otherwise, “ carrot” through the updating Customs Union and extension of cooperation in other areas. Such EU attitude vis à vis Turkey is fully understandable; any haste and carelessness with Turkey as an allied “ heavy weight” would put even the EU in much trouble. As to how this stratey would work and its duration, these remain to be seen.