Realpolitik “ flash” No. 12
1 – 17 JUNE 2021
EXCLUSIVELY at ARGUMENTUM, the renowned diplomat& analyst, “ dots the i’s and crosses the t’s” on 6 major events in only 1000 words
Dr. JORGJI KOTE
1. Success&challenge is Albania’s election for the first time as Non Permanent Member of the UN Security Council 2022 – 2023. A noticeable success of our diplomacy, with a pozitive impact on the country’s image and enrichment of the experience in international relations. But that’s it! No need for euphoria and pump; besides, there is almost no other state that has not been there in the last 30 years. A few years ago, Northern Macedonia and Serbia have had their President of the UN General Assembly. Thus, this is more a domestic political challenge; because one cannot help and contribute abroad when his own house is not in order! Finally, unlike 20 – 30 years ago, acceeding and chairing international organizations has become a routine.
2.The great Euro-Atlantic Comeback! was the first official tour of the US President, Joe Biden in Cornwall, Brussels and Geneva from 11 – 16 June. This Comeback was full-fledged, comprehensive, multifaceted and in defining moments for the Western Alliance. To this end, President Biden offered everything – smiles, charm, hand shakes, promises, concern for the values, principles and interests. Thanks to the major “ thematic quartet” – health, climate; pandemics and the Russia/China defiance; through the 25 page Atlantic Charter, the NATO Declaration of 75 paragraphs on its strategy 2030, ending the trade fight between the giands“ Airbus dhe Boeing” and others. Certainly, this is only the start, there is still a long way to go, with plenty of obstacles and delays; nonetheless, this great comeback bodes well for the Euro-Atlantic community.
3.Dialogue & diplomacy!
This was the strategic binome in the above-mentioned events. Not only “ in spirits” but also in “ letters” With concrete funding, projects and programs. The highlight is the proposal for “ Build a better world” a gigandic infrastructural project amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, as an alternative to the Chinese “silk road”; then, 100 Billion Dollars for climate, granting until the end of 2002 2,3 billions of anti – COVID – 19 vaccines, management of similar pandemics in within 100 days and others.
Likewise, dialogue & deter, as they qualified China and Russia partners, competitors and rivals. Not enemy states, but powers that pose serious geopolitical risks and challenges that need be addressed and met together. And “ deter” through tougher sanctions, military assistance to partners and other punitive actions when they exceed the “ red lines” i.e. violate human rights, media and civil society, launch cyber attacks and interfere in electoral processes of other states and others. The major goal here is to set up the global democratic block against authoritarian regimes, by ensuring Stability and Foreseability in the relations with Russia and China. Well, dialogue&deter but avoid military confrontation, which could lead to blind alleys and points of no return! This is why the Biden – Putin Summit is encouraging; it reconfirms the necessity of dialogue and diplomacy, as irreplacable alternatives for their relations in “ undermined fields”
4.Summits like mushrooms! This is how they have become in Western Balkans. With ryclycling of glamorous news and pledges, with “ talk and eating” but with “ impasses” in practical terms. Only during this month 7 regional summits in – Brndo – Brijon, Brusels, Tiranë, Thesaloniki, Istanbul, the virtual Meeting of Foreign Ministers plus the upcoming summit in Berlin on 5 July. Apart from other informal summits on the sidelines of other international events. Albeit their importance, it is high time to reduce and replace them with practical steps and demarshes in orher formats. Otherwise, they would become a “routine and “ diplomatic courtesy” without any effect.
5.(No)Dialogue Kurti – Vuçiç was the one that took place in Brussels on 15 June. With lots of fuss, glamour, nervoussness by the Serbian side, 4 proposals by Mr. Kurti, two of them unnecessary and irrelevant, which could add troubles other delays. Or a “dialogue of deafs” where they agreed on nothing, except for the next meeting on 25 July. This is not surprising, because Serbia’s refractory attitudes but also the announced legal complaint accusing it of genocide are sufficient to “ poison” the tensed climate and atmosphere of this dialogue, leaving little place for optimism. This does also occur because the “ catalogue” of issues in Pristina is not examined by experts and is not consulted with the US and EU partners; it just “ shuttles” to Brussels mainly for a “ show dialogue” there; with each party claiming to be the winner although with empty pockets. On the other hand, despite the existing problems, this dialogue does not start from Zero level; it is a consistent follow up, observing the previous commitments and pledges. Despite Pristina faults, the greatest hindrance is certainly Serbia; which continues to “ graze not only in the US&EU but also in Russian and Chinese pastures”! And, without having any thorn on its feet! But the good news here is the growing involvement of USA/EU in this burning issue.
6.Without “Bibi” as the former Izraeli Prime Minister Beniamin Netinanahu is nicknamed, after 12 years in power, amidst political crises and turmoil, a new coalition government was in place on 14 June there. For the first time in the last 70 years, there is an 8 – party governmental coalition led by “Jamina” from the center right and of Naftali Bennett and the center left of Jair Lapid; both will alternatively be Prime Ministers with 2 years each. Likewise, for the first time there will be “ The United Arab List” “ in the government. This qualitative shift was a “Must” after the political instability there; after 4 general elections in two years with no clear winner! This was also due to the international political shiftws and twists by Netianahu. Although charged with corruption, he has defied justice and competed in the elections, producing big suspicion and problems for democracy, besides the concerns with Palestine. PM Naftali Bennett was also in the previous cabinet, without substantial differences with Netianahu. Actually, what brought the opposition together there was largely the intention to get rid of Netianahu, who has already started with his threats. However, fear and uncertainty for crisis recycling remain. Noone can ever say if this new and fragile governing coalition would be able to end its term.