Last night, in Washington, a major conference of the Atlantic Council was held. There has been a well-prepared discussion about the Balkans, and it has been concluded that the Russian penetration and destabilization that is causing the southern subcontinent of the European continent must be abandoned by military, economic and political means. The military is keen on building a permanent base in Kosovo by expanding the "Bondsteel" aviation base, and economically on the construction of new gas pipeline transversal pipelines that will change the dynamics and the energy supply economy of the "Balkan route". Politics is at the center of the effort that Serbia definitely fights with the West and frees Russian influence.
The plan was very rational, it began to be carried out immediately with the increased activity of economic and political subjects focusing on the task by acting broadly, strongly, as it can only realize the real powers, but it soon proved that the circumstances do not really favor the action, though the reaction is not as strong as pure inertia ... And there is also a "subjective problem", Trump's presidency - the president dismissed the state secretary. State Secretary conducts foreign-policy activities of "deep state", unifying diplomacy and general, but as Rex Tillerson left a few days ago, a halt is inevitable, as well as a new cycle of questioning what and why should we take ... Brian Hoyt Yee, an executive diplomat at the State Department for Eastern Europe and Eurasia (which means the Russian environment, the Balkans and Central Asia) resigned in January, because it was clear to him in advance what direction they were doing.
In the brief term of Rex Tillerson, former Exxon Oli's General Director, 60% of the staffs went to the diplomatic service. Not because they could not handle his control, but because of President Trump himself. He spoke openly that he does not need all these counselors and bureaucrats, when he knows exactly what he wants and what he does not want, so everyone does not really need it ... Tweets and declarations are, however, difficult to rule on distant and less important destinations to which reaches American influence. So, as he notices the "New York" essay, he and his Chinese pandan, president Xi Jinping, are so well complemented: Trump does not want to be everywhere and Xi wants, so the result is "small America" and "big China". And what about Russia and Europe, whose influence is also intersecting in the Balkans? When taken into account, everything seems to be a three-dimensional chess game in the "Star Trek" movie, played on the deck of the "Millennium Falcon" ... It's easier to figure out a little, if viewed from the point of view of the "recipient" of that influence, the Balkan countries, the Yugoslav successor state, of which Europeanized Slovenia was lost, and the overwhelming Albania joined them.
In Slovenia, the Russian political influence is gently present - in Ljubljana, with barely abandoned traditions of peasant folk and communist panslavism, they are always ready to show that they will not be in the first ranks of European collective efforts, because much more than Ukraine are interested in Moscow's entrepreneurial adventures, which now significantly restricts the Western embargo. But Rusophilia is a Slovenian folklore, and an economy based on industrial exports to Western Europe. It is such a developed society that the fall of the government means nothing, just as in Slovakia, where it happened at the same time and made even more difficult the recognition of these two states - in Slovenia there is even a specialized government agency that deals exclusively with the redirection of the communications they have from the world they are wrong because no one can distinguish this Slov from something else ...
In Croatia, Russia has reached the deepest economic penetration. The country has become dependent on Russian gas and most important state-owned companies have long-term contracts with the distributor of "Gazprom" Energy. These companies bought a stake in Ploce port and built LNG installations for their tankers, and took over the domestic rail company, and their tanks realized a sixth of the total rail traffic. Gas supplies the state-owned power company HEP to launch its gas power plants, and it also dominates the deliveries of the state petrochemical mix of the PKK and the great Zagreb energy. Electricity has drastically increased, and Petrochemical has recorded huge losses of EUR 20 million a year. All this covers the state. The Russians have taken over road construction, bridging and construction of the power line, and are investing heavily in tourism in luxurious resorts. Their state-owned banks are the most trusted "Agrokor".
Much economic influence has resulted in indirect politics that can be distinguished in efforts to destabilize a government that forces the construction of a lavish LNG terminal on Krk, within the American concept of establishing a competitive gas supply network from Qatar.
The construction of the Peljesac Bridge by the government has entrusted European money to a Chinese company, which was then interested in the mega-terminal in the new Zadar port and for some projects in BiH. Croatia so it did appear on the Chinese radar. But, the Chinese bridge will cause enormous problems in relations with Europe, with which it communicates exclusively across Brussels. Brussels is not Europe: Plenković's government failed to renew its relationship with Berlin, which was created by Sanader and destroyed Zoran Milanovic. In addition to LNG, the government is in conflict with America about blocking the expansion of the New York-based media corporation KKR, which has invested almost in the Balkans $ 2 billion, and hunting planes to carry out NATO missions, because it prefers buying from Israel, a country that is not in NATO. The Croatian government is in conflict with the Croatian presidency - while Plenkovic runs a hefty European policy, the president is trying to please everyone and ready It is all about building an image of its own political potential, which is fictitious, because it actually manipulates the various right-wing sects and the lobby. Of this Croatian three-dimensional chess, the head and champion of the "Millennium Falcon", the Wookiee Chewbacc, would be shaken.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina there is a low political intensity of the electoral law that supposedly would have to change before the upcoming elections, otherwise it would result in disruption of the institution's work ... What to say except that Mile Dodik will become the president of the BiH Presidency, so he does not know whether the longer it stays in Sarajevo or the paraplegic Bihovina without it?
Dodik is happy to open up Russian influence, which is more or less reduced to folklore like Slovenian (but with more sincere emotions), and similarity is also evidenced by the fact that the cryo-Balkan entertainer from Ljubljana, some Magnifico, in the former Yugoslavia, writing songs for an unforgettable Mr. Đirla, who successfully made Tea Čang Šlang, "the best-selling tea in the world".
Regardless of the Russian sentiment and paranoia caused by Bosniaks, there is no basis for realizing a strong economic, real impact. The ship's refinery was in fact a failure because in Croatia and Slovenia they did not buy a gas station network at a time, so what they did in Croatia failed to do oil with the gas in the region. Russian influence is not manifested in other federal and local units of BiH. The whole country is funded from Europe. Therefore, Russian pressure can be neglected as a serious component of regional policy in this part of the former.
In Serbia, there is a great struggle for the materialization of Russian political interests, but there is the greatest obstacle to the power of Aleksandar Vučić, who does not oppose power, but, as in a jabean, the attack compensates for the turn that the punch redirects so that it falls empty. Serbia operates economically thanks to European credit and monetary support of the West, and what is lacking in targeted, state-owned investments (not coming from America) is being replaced by Chinese. Vucic was the first to understand where the force was, and to hold it - that is Berlin, the government of Angela Merkel. Without this European support, it would not come to power and could not consolidate it until all the parties and the opposition were excluded. But there is going to be a certain delay - what Europe expects regarding the solution of the Kosovo Node can not be achieved while American power is in demise, because every such big deal needs an American umbrella and a demonstration of force. With personal risk it could have been carried out by Tadic, and Vučić can not and will not, until the relations are established.
As far as economics is concerned, "Gazprom" is in NIS, a national oil company, but is nowhere to be expanded, but is trying to undermine the construction of the Turkish course through the Bulgarian ports of Serbia and Hungary in Central and Western Europe. It is a former South Stream, an alternative to Alexandroupolis (in Thrace) - Bulgaria - Serbia - Romania, which can be circumvented by Serbia, but is offering bids to participate with 30% in this investment (because the transport of energy is fatly charged). The decision will be taken again in light of the general circumstances - the process of deconstruction in Vučić's brain is difficult to follow, as a ball-point trajectory.
From Montenegro, the Russians are 100% expelled, resulting in getting to NATO and turning Boke Kotorske into a world-famous destination with the highest concentration of investment in tourism in the world. National income significantly exceeded Serbian, so it is almost double in comparison with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There is uncertainty in Macedonia but there is a certain battle - there is no way for the Albanians to win the right after the leftist left-wing concessions without Albanian votes and their general political support, there can not be any government functioning because the society is divided (and only is a multiethnic policy). The Russian factor backed the resignation of his president, who was still obstructing the name change, which would lead to the Greek recognition of NATO entry and European integration. Macedonia is one step away from it, it can be postponed, but it can no longer be disabled. So in Macedonia, the Russians also have a strategic loss of influence.
In Albania and Kosovo, the Russians have never been able to achieve the presence and some influence, even though the Kosovo Foreign Minister has edited the Kremlin and overthrows about half a billion dollars. But, Begović Pacolli worked with Boris Jeljcina, not Putin. Albanians are bound to America, which, when full of political consciousness, because they do not master the tramping demons of the United States, as the most important national corps in the Balkans see the Serbs and Albanians, the two most populous nations, which together constitute about 70% of the total population.
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