Big Balkan game begins










Big Balkan game begins

On the Balkan Peninsula, the next stage of the confrontation between Russia and the West begins. This time, Macedonia became an apple of contention, which is preparing to hold a very important referendum, which may open the door for it to the European Union and NATO.

Very soon, a small Balkan country, known now and when it was part of Yugoslavia as Macedonia, is likely to become Northern Macedonia. A referendum on changing the name of the republic is scheduled for September 30. A number of parties, including the United Macedonia party, the only party, according to Politico, which openly supports Russia, have announced its boycott.

The authorities of the country attach great importance to the name change, because it will open the way to NATO and the European Union for it. Macedonia would have joined these organizations earlier if not for the opposition of Greece, which claims that the right to the name “Macedonia” belongs only to its northern province. The long and difficult negotiations between Athens and Skopje seem to have removed this obstacle, but only if the Macedonians on the last day of September vote to add the word “Northern” to the name.

The referendum is also very important for Brussels, which, according to European officials, wants to make Macedonia a “normal” country, and Moscow, which, after joining NATO in Montenegro last year, does not want the North Atlantic Alliance to receive another bridgehead on the peninsula.

In Brussels, as usual, Russia is accused of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and claim that the Russian embassy in Skopje, headed by Ambassador Oleg Scherbak, has five professional knights of a dagger cloak and conducts subversive activities in its staff.

The struggle between Russia and the West over the Balkans, which was usual for two decades and was stretching for two decades. However, one circumstance distinguishes it from the turbulent events of the nineties of the last century and its zero years - the participation of a third party, which is China.

There are quite a few politicians in Macedonia, Politico writes, who consider that Russia, although pursuing its own interests, of course, also helps China, whose interests at least do not contradict its interests, and even affect Chinese money. Beijing wants to build a road through the Balkan Peninsula between Central Europe and Greece, where the Chinese have the port of Piraeus, in the framework of the One Belt, One Road Project. According to supporters of the Chinese trail, the West "muddies the water" in Macedonia with the sole purpose of disrupting the plans of the Middle Kingdom and, of course, Russia. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Brussels and Washington will win, because there will be big obstacles on the path of the Chinese megaproject: if the opponents of the name change win in Macedonia, chaos will arise and an acute political crisis will begin, and in case of their defeat, she will join NATO, and Beijing too not satisfied. Two other routes of the road through the Balkans run through Bulgaria and Albania, which joined the alliance 14 and 9 years ago, respectively.

China is really cautious and slowly strengthens its economic influence in the Balkans in general and in Macedonia in particular. In Russia, Politico believes, the goal is different, political - not to let Macedonia go to the western camp, and if this does not work out, prevent it from succeeding on the path to integration into a united Europe. By the way, taking into account developments in other Balkan countries that have joined the EU, it will not be so difficult to do this. It is difficult to assume that the European Commission and the White House with the US State Department really care about the fate of the Macedonians. They are interested in them exactly as much as the fate of the Bulgarians, Romanians, Montenegrins, i.e. solely as a counterweight to the advance of Russia to the west of the Balkan Peninsula and its exit to the Adriatic Sea, and the economic offensive of the PRC.
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