REALPOLITIK FLASH NO. 51
1 – 16 AUGUST 2023
Grand Master Dr. Jorgji KOTE « dots the « I’s» and crosses the “t’s » on 5 major diplomatic events in only 1000 words
1.Peace as wishful thinking ! On 5 August, senior officials from 40 states met in Jedah of Saudi Arabia to talk on a peace plan between Ukraine and Russia, where the latter was not present. They discussed on the basis of projects tabled by China, Brasil, seven african states and President Zelensky. However, they agreed only on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Everything else was left for the next meeting. Actually, genuine peace between Russia and Ukraine is only wishful thinking. It can be achieved only when Russia withdraws from occupied territories in Ukraine, pledges not to repeat such attacks with practical and legal safeguards. But, as the odds are, this cannot happen in a foreseeable future. Therefore, every proposal for ceasefire without changing the current status quo would not be peace but occupation for Ukraine. But the the question arises, why then western and other leaders spend time and energy on such a peace? In fact, this is part of the “ political game”, somewhere for domestic and international political and diplomatic consumption, elsewhere for electoral gains and even for geopolitical protagonism as Brasil and China, whereas all others as we say in Albanian “ just to set Kola at work!”
2.Change the course! This was the message given to Biden’s Administration and to the EU foreign policy by the Letter of 4th August by 10 presidents of Foreign Committees of EU parliaments, the US Senate and 56 MPs from different large EU states. They demand shortly and bluntly that the West should not give any more “carrots but stick/whip” to Belgrade, not pursue the appeasement but coertive diplomacy, not to treat it like “ mother’s son” and Pristina “like step mother’s son”. And they should pursue the opposite policy vis à vis Kosovo as an allied and partner country. ARGUMENTUM in this rubrique and in other articles has reflected and voiced in favour of these lines of thought and action. It is indeed high time that the USA and the EU put an end to their political naiveness on Belgrade hoping that with such old fashioned policies will keep it away from Moscow. The opposite is true, Belgrade is playing with the Western generosity and kindness; meanwhile, it does not hesitate to show his muscles and to openly defy the USA and the EU. Le us hope that finally the US and the EU will react before it is too late.
3.Brussels bells toll for Tirana! This suits pefectly to the findings and critical remarks in the latest EU Commission Report on Albania made public on 7 August on the performance in the framework of the so-called “screening process”, one year after the opening of negotiations. Besides some positive elements, the Report higlights the well-known problems and wounds widely spread in each cell in our country, including the EU funds in agriculture – corruption, organized crime, illicit drug, grey economy, frequent change of laws, deteriorated business climate, press and media freedom, politicisation of public administration, specific challenges with the judicial reform and many others. In many areas it is emphasized that Albania ranks below the average required for the start of negotiations. Par consequence, if these problems won’t be fixed within the few coming months, which as the odds seem is very unlikely, then the true opening of negotiations even in January 2024 is seriously at stake. Because now there is no more talk on general principles, statements or homework but on technical and legal details. But as they say “ the devil hides in details””
4. Beleri between Tirana, Brussels and Athens! What was mentioned above becomes even more true when one looks the escalation with the issue “ Beleri”, the newly elected Mayor of Himara who is being kept in pre-detention in the last three months. The Greek politics and diplomacy are raising the tones in this polemic. On 14 August the Mayors of Athens and Thessaloniki attended a rally protest in Himara. Just like the MP Syrigas on 10 August, they warned a “ storm” in the relations between the two countries and the EU course for Albania. Suffice to see the new EU Enlargement Strategy and one can see the immediate effects of the issue “ Beleri” as the provisional freeze of negotiations and the pre-accession funding. If our policy goes on with the same tune according to Albanian aphorism that “ the gun bam but Muço forges forward” the situation will become worse and then we would be happy to chant “ Long live sovranism”! In fact, the Greek side is right for the fact that out of 31 cases of electoral fraud, only Mr. Beleri was arrested and only two days ahead of elections there; most importantly, by violating the “presumption of innocence”, since he could be interrogated in free condition for he is not a criminal and should have been permitted to swear as Mayor, as it occurs all over Europe and then of course leave the justice to do its own! Therefore, a rapid action is required before the political and legal tensions with Greece go from bad to worse.
5.To compare the incomparables! We mean the meme by PM Rama on 9 August where he compares the large-scale exodus of Albanians to Italy 32 years ago and the « tourist exodus » of thousands of italians in Albania this year! Certainly such comparison of incomparables would produce debates and controveries in Italy and in Albania. First, its not up to a PM to draw such impossible comparisons; secondly, when he refers to the 9 August 1991 he should render homage and respect for those thousands of Albanians, but at the same time he should remind of the fact that only in the last 10 years hundreds of thousands have fled Albania. Therefore, to refer to 9 August 1991 is the same as to mention “the rope in the house of the hanged man” Thirdly, in 1991 Albanians left the country for ever only due to distress, for a better dignified life, whereas Italians now are coming to Albania for fun and tourism and for a few days only“ Hence, to compare these two dates is like in a comical piece 50 years ago when a soldier in arithmetics added “ military camions to battalions”!
© 2023 Argumentum