Serbia between East and West

Official America (the mouths of Hoyt Brian Yi) clearly, loudly and unequivocally informed Serbia that will never stop protecting its state interests, which involve a comprehensive presence in the Western Balkans. If you read the statement of the Deputy assistant Secretary of state for European Affairs and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee between the lines, it is clear that we are talking about political, military and economic presence of the United States in a given region.

Brian Yi openly stated that many of the actions of the Russian Federation in relations with the Balkan countries is wrong, and stressed that these actions are contrary to the interests of those countries in the region who want to join the European Union and NATO. With regard to the alleged interests of these States, including Serbia, according to Brian Yi, they do not need to take a neutral position in any field, unless it meets the interests of the United States. In other words, while Yi this is not directly stated that if Serbia expects to join the EU and then into NATO, it should, want-not want, to abandon its current military neutrality. And this inevitably entails the abandonment of the remnants of independence.

Despite the fact that Serbia is constantly under pressure (mainly from the West), it still successfully reflects the increasing frequency of attacks of those who believes that the country must finally choose their own path — to the West or to the East. However, joining the EU will inevitably raise the question of recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, which, of course, the Serbian leadership could not do in any case. While Serbia led by former Prime Minister, became President of the Republic, successfully copes with the pressure and influence which constantly proceeds from the so-called international community, especially from Washington and Brussels. However, we should not forget about the signals that come from the Russian Federation.

Given the current political and economic processes, Serbia finds itself in a situation when the choice of one of the proposed ways is inevitable. Time to solve is not enough, especially if to take into account the growing pressure from both sides of the light and the mood of the citizens, from which also depends largely on the future of the country. In contrast, those countries whose citizens are not allowed to Express their opinion on NATO membership in a referendum, the current leadership of Serbia, apparently, will give people the opportunity. Recently this was confirmed by Alexander Vucic, which, in particular, said that more than two thirds of Serbian citizens oppose the country’s entry into NATO. A similar opinion from the citizens regarding the European Union, which well confirms the growing scepticism towards Europe.

The answer to the question, where will Serbia: the EU and NATO or to the East into the arms of Russia, remains unknown, since current government policy, especially that part of it which is focused on the EU, and the mood of the citizens is very much different from each other. In this case we can say that we are dealing with divergent aspirations of public figures and ordinary citizens, who, in spite of conflicting opinions, continue to support the current President of Serbia Alexander Vucic. And although he candidly admits that the country is enhanced by “euroscepticism” and that in the event of a referendum there is no chance to join NATO, the official Serbian policy is still strongly promoting closer ties with the EU. And joining the European Union, as noted by many domestic and foreign political and economic analysts, it is almost impossible without the status of candidate for membership in NATO and, again, without necessarily the recognition of the phantom state of Kosovo. And this, it seems, is the reason that the majority of citizens support the political, economic, and military orientation to the East.

Many in the country accuse Serbia that it is sitting on two chairs — West and East. But this, apparently, unsustainable policy, and pretty soon the Serbian political leadership will be forced to abandon one of the chairs. However, the President of Serbia Alexander Vucic doesn’t think so. Immediately after taking the oath, he made a statement addressed to all Serbian and foreign public, saying in particular that will continue the policy of military neutrality and to cooperate with all who this status is not for everyone. Vucic also gave a response to those who claim that Serbia cannot keep the friendship with Russia. The President said that Serbia “even in the most difficult circumstances managed to handle the pressure and stubbornly maintains and builds relations with the Russian people.”

Thus, with the choice of Serbia to its direction of motion associated with many wishes, dreams and assumptions. Therefore, to make any predictions about the solution to this problem is a thankless task. Let’s hope that the interchange will not have to wait long, and that, whatever it was, it will happen in a peaceful environment and, as the President says Vucic, will preserve the integrity of Serbia, peace and economic prosperity.