Macedonia: The Ghost of a New Balkan War

Macedonia: The Ghost of a New Balkan War
Over 15 years since Greater Albania last destabilized the Balkans, a major terrorist attack on the quiet Macedonian town of Kumanovo raised fears of a revolt being masterminded from outside.

In an article entitled “Disturbing: SDSM and Terrorist Group Planned to Attack Macedonian Institutions on May 17th”, written by Marija Nikolovska and carried by the Macedonian International News Agency, the author writes:

“As Ministry of Interior officials are investigating the Kosovo terror group, it received knowledge that numerous civilian objects were targets for May 17th, the date they were tasked to begin their terror campaign. It is quite disturbing that SDSM leadership planned the same day, May 17th as the day to organize a violent protest against the Government tasking civilians to attack and takeover Government buildings as noted by an SDSM insider who became disturbed by the plan he was presented.”

Fyodor Voitolovsky, Deputy Director at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (studio guest), Borislav Korkodelovich, independent political analyst (Belgrade), Umberto Pascali, prominent Italian journalist who specializes in Balkan affairs commented on the issue.

So, what do you make out of all this mayhem in Macedonia? Where do you think is headed and what do you think is behind it?

Fyodor Voitolovsky: I think that the Balkans are still one of the most controversial regions of Europe and instability in the Balkans, like it used to be throughout European history, can also become a trigger for International Relations in this region for European and Euro Atlantic security, for Russian-American relations. And I know such factors in Kosovo, the special region, the special regime which is still a very disturbing point and disturbing source of some activities like we saw recently in Macedonia from Albanian radicals, is still destabilizing the whole region, and I think that the gas pipeline is not the only issue which is influencing the positions of local elites and relations between different clans in this country.

Can you tell us about the Serbian reaction to the events in Macedonia and what people in Belgrade are saying about the future of this crisis? Where is it heading?

Borislav Korkodelovic: You see that the situation in Macedonia is a worrying one, but actually politicians have a guarded stand regarding the situation there. They think that every effort should be made that the situation in Macedonia becomes much calmer. We hope that on the 17th when there will be a new big or protest by the opposition against the government of Mister Gruevski, that everything will be peaceful in Skopje. Basically, Serbia would like to see the calming of the situation. But definitely, the situation is becoming more and more complicated, in fact, in a very small geography, in the very small area of Macedonia, we have at least five main actors: the United States, EU – basically Germany – then there is Russia with its interests, Turkey and China, so five very big main players, some of them main players in International Relations in a very small area and normally, there will be in a prolonged period, more and more clashes of interests, regarding not only that Turkish Stream  that is going toward, or plans to go to the center of Europe, but also Chinese high-speed rail going from Piraeus in Greece to Budapest in Hungary and maybe further to the north. So a lot of important economic interests and geopolitical interests, and the situation will probably not become normal in the foreseeable future.

What does the anti-terror operation in Kumanovo tell us about the objective strength and subjective determination of Macedonia and its government?

Umberto Pascali: Well, first of all I would like to say that everybody should support Macedonia because the resistance of Macedonia can really change the strategic situation in Europe and more in general. The government and the security apparatus of Macedonia were extremely prepared, as any observer can tell you. The counterintelligence did a fantastic job: they had the precise information of what to do, and they executed it. It was a real battle, it was like a military battle and there were casualties. But now the details on the gang of terrorists are coming out. You can imagine one of the leaders that was killed during this operation was called Commander NATO, they were coming from Kosovo and they were – Kosovo controlled by the US and NATO – and they were supposed to launch terrorist attacks, killing thousands of thousands of people. Peace has been broken,  but Gruevski can resist  their hideous and complex game and defeat the biggest apparatus launched against this country and any other country – the apparatus of Soros, of Color revolution, and destabilization.

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