BELGRADE – Amidst rising concerns over both military and security needs within the context of an alleged health pandemic, the Serbian government’s cabinet of ministers resolved on March 26th to request help from Moscow earlier today.
Bear in mind that in the drill ‘Event 201’ references to a pandemic with the ability to destabilize governments was made – in fact, a direct reference to the Arab Spring was made in materials produced for the public by the drill planners in their simulation news reels.
The US State Department has been seeking to overthrow the Serbian government, despite its policy of appeasement with NATO. Nevertheless, Serbia has ‘red lines’ it cannot cross, such as allowing NATO bases in the country, or recognizing the break-away ‘republic’ of Kosovo. Belgrade constitutionally considers Pristina to be an illegal entity made possible by the NATO/KFOR base at Camp Bondsteel, despite a pragmatic approach which encourages what can only be called ‘bi-lateral’ talks. The existence of the base is all which guarantees the nominal independence of ‘Kosovo’ as a NATO vassal and base of military operations.
The US State Department openly backed the neoliberal opposition candidate Jeremic in the last major election, and formed an astro-turf protest movement involving compromised ultra-nationalists and neoliberals in a coalition to unseat the government through both parliamentary and extra-legal mechanisms.
The show of Russian support then would be both important for humanitarian but also political purposes. Unlike in Ukraine, much of the US-backed Serbian opposition’s ultra-nationalist wing is officially pro-Russian in its rhetoric.
This comes as the EU has failed to deliver on humanitarian needs for EU states. Serbia – among the last non-EU states in Europe, has seen a drastic shift over the past decade away from support for EU membership.
Given the position of the Serbian government in recent weeks over the Coronavirus pandemic, it seems assured that Serbia will never have the appetite for EU membership. This brings Serbia not only militarily, but also economically into the Eurasian camp.
Previously, Serbian president Vucic had lambasted the EU’s lackluster response to the crisis. Seeing how even severely struck member states like Italy were rebuffed, the Serbian government made a decisive action to move quickly to request Chinese experts. China dispatched a team of experts which arrived within 48 hours, fully prepared.
The example set by Italy in inviting the Russian military-medics to come into the country was profound. It set a precedent of uniformed Russian military personnel on the territory of Italy outside of the realm of diplomacy or training. It was an active Russian military mission in a NATO member country which created tremendous optics and had an impact on the social-psychology in Italy and beyond.
Meanwhile, Serbia and Russia have always enjoyed strong ties, spanning beyond several centuries. With Italy moving out of the present EU, it will create positive pressure on Brussels to be forced with the question of entirely restructuring the EU. Serbia’s moves yesterday to involve Russian military-medics will no doubt increase the profile of the country and its government, and will be viewed as a popular and confidence-building action by the vast majority of Serbians.
Serbia has ordered mandatory self-quarantine for all non-essential services, and has done so by instituting a 12 hour daily curfew – from 5pm to 5am. Most stores are closed, with grocery and pharmacies open limited hours in the daytime.
The economic devastation brought to Serbia seems likely to far outweigh the impact on the health and critical services of the country. Again, it appears inevitable that the EU will fail to deliver at all for this potential member-state – a decision on the part of Brussels eurocrats which Serbs, with their notoriously long memories, will not soon forget. This will open up the reality that the influence of Russia and China upon the country will grow tremendously, as Serbia increasingly joins the list of sovereign states that are participating in the development of the Belt and Road initiative of China, also called OBOR and Silk Road.
The same time, the ‘government’ of Kosovo collapsed yesterday as a result of their inability to respond to long-standing corruption and illegitimacy issues.
The BBC wrote yesterday:
The government of Kosovo has collapsed after a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Albin Kurti was backed by a majority of MPs.
The vote was brought by a junior coalition partner, on the pretext that Mr Kurti had broken an agreement by sacking the interior minister without consultation.
It comes only two months after the government was sworn in.
Mr Kurti’s supporters have condemned the move as a bid to subvert democracy.
Who will govern Kosovo now?
It is not clear how the political impasse will be resolved, as elections cannot be held because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors have warned that without clear direction, the disease could overwhelm Kosovo’s underfunded health system.
The Balkan country has at least 70 confirmed cases and one death from Covid-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Correspondents say the political crisis has frustrated citizens who want the country’s leaders to focus on measures combating the spread of the virus.