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M. LAZANSKI: Serbia, a flexible candidate

The states who are candidates for the European Union have understood that they must now align themselves with the EU in all cases, despite the fact that they have not participated in the development of its decisions. So Serbia – after having copied and pasted European sanctions against Iran – has just voted with the EU at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to condemn the Russian legal system in the Pussy Riots affair. The ex-tin soldiers of Sovietism have have found no difficulty in signing up for service in the cause of Europeanism.

The European Union is doing everything it can to sabotage relations between Serbia and Russia. Perhaps Serbia has already become a member of the EU, but most of us don’t yet know it. In fact, during the OSCE conference in Vienna at the beginning of September, a couple of days before the meeting in Sotchi between the Serbian and Russian presidents, Serbia and the members of the EU condemned Moscow for the Pussy Riot affair.

In Belgrade, the Russian embassy wondered what was going on – had Serbia secretly become a member of the EU? The Russian ambassador put this question to Serbian officials concerning the Vienna declaration, and the answer he received was that it was an « automatism ». According to this principle, Moscow could have cancelled the visit by Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic. It’s also reasonable to ask whether this Serbian or European response was really triggered by « automatism », or did someone believe that the girls from Pussy Riot were in fact intercontinental nuclear missiles? Russia noted this EU declaration as being « counterproductive ». But apparently, Serbia is one of the most ardent and flexible of all EU candidates – in fact, we are true believers, and nothing will make us stray from the road towards a better future. On this road, we have only one religion, that of the EU. And when we choose a religion, there’s no turning back, we must stay faithful until after the deluge. Before, our religion was communism, today it’s Europeanism. The same « -isms » are now defended with the same adoration, the same loyalty and the same unreserved submission by the same people or their descendants. I’m already scared that we will get dragged by « automatism » into a war fought by the EU. We are in fact already participating in EU military missions, such as the one in the Indian Ocean against pirates. An excellent training mission for our struggle against pirates on the Danube.

Could we really not have abstained from the EU declaration about Pussy Riot? Especially since we are hoping for a signature on the treaty of strategic partnership with Russia. And guess what? It’s only now that we learn that our economy did not treat Russian companies in the same way as Western companies. I thought that in Serbia, everyone was treated equally. Apparently, I was wrong.

The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mister Karel Schwarzenberg, recently made a declaration to one of our newspapers that « it would be better for Serbia to accept what it cannot change, since in any case, you have to meet the conditions required ». Mister Schwarzenberg then remembers Kosovo, and goes on « … Serbia lost the war, and territory is often lost in war, that’s the way it’s always been, and you always lose to someone ». I really had no idea that territory is sometimes lost in war, and I thank the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs for this astounding revelation, which should be written up in school books. As far as I know, Czechoslovakia lost Sudetenland without a war, without a shot being fired, but never got used to the idea. That was the reality of the time – the Wehrmacht in Sudetenland and later on, in Prague – so why didn’t the Czechs accept the reality of the moment? After all, that used to be the « New Europe ». No frontiers. Since Hitler had rather messed them up.

« The loser has to accept that he’s lost », says the Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, and thus directly contributes to the violation of international law. The NATO aggression of Yugoslavia in 1999 was carried out without the agreement of the UN Security Council, which is the only authority empowered to sanction the use of force. Anyone who accepts this new reality as the consequence of NATO aggression is offering his contribution to « the law of force, the law of empire ». Is Mister Schwarzenberg also intending to define the new standards of international law?

In this context, what does Europe mean? Government by law, morality, corruption, nationalism, racism, private interest, the political unity of continents, Brussels Eurocracy, arrogance? A German Europe or a Europe of little nations? One month ago, in a Belgrade bus, I was listening to a conversation between a young Englishman and an old man from Belgrade. The old man told the Englishman that he shouldn’t put his feet up on the seat, and asked him to remove them. The Englishman was direct – « I’m not going to, we beat you in 1999. »

Pete Kimberley

Politika (Serbie)


Miroslav LazanskiMiroslav Lazanski Born in 1950 in Karlovac, Croatia. Graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, where he began his career in journalism. After having worked for a number of newspapers and magazines, he began writing for the Serbian daily Politika in 1991, and still works there today. He has worked as a reporter in Syria, Afghanistan, Chechnya, the Congo, Irak, Iran, Lebanon, Yemen and Libya. He has interviewed personalities from NATO, Russia, about fifty Foreign Ministers, and top-level military officials from Russia, China and Japan. He is the only Yugoslavian journalist to have sailed on the atomic submarine USS Tautog, flown in an F-14, visited the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, and flown in a Mig-29. He has been invited to military academies in Russia, Japan, the United States, Australia, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Rumania, and others. He wrote columns for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the Japanese newspaper Securitarian, and The Diamond Weekly. He has written ten books.

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