At the Bucharest summit, celebrated in that disgusting monument of megalomania, which is the palace built by ten thousands of prisoners and soldiers to the glory of a tyrant, NATO has displayed a picture of division and dissent, which makes the desolate situation of the alliance more than obvious.
Two major messages came out from this summit. The first is that Russia can happily continue considering its sphere of influence as guaranteed. Notwithstanding the hurried and somewhat immature initiative of US president Bush, the Europeans, and there especially France and Germany, sent out all wrong signals. Pro-Russian forces in Ukraine and Georgia will be happy to know that they have nothing to fear in the mid-term. Not that this would come as news to them. But the blatant lack of political spine displayed by NATO today will not fail in producing results. Certainly not a contribution to the stabilisation of the Caucasus. Maybe it is a, – however unintended – contribution to the future of the European Union, though. The clear signal to Ukraine that it cannot count on the West beyond fluffy verbal commitments might help defining the Eastern borders of the Union.
It comes almost as a miracle that the Europeans managed to agree on the missile defence system. Comments suggest it was done in order to avoid a total defeat of Bush’s agenda. Face saving as strategic policy making. Bravo! Or may there have been a hardly secret wish that a possible Democrat president would scrap the whole plan?
As for the Balkans, a black day, for Macedonia’s public humiliation will have long-term repercussions. A Pyrrhic victory for a disastrous and destructive Greek foreign policy, for the results of which they will have to be held responsible. And lastly, a shameful picture of nonchalance and ignorance on the side of the members and the executive of the European Council.
The second message coming out from the NATO summit is that being constructive is not worth the effort. Greece played out the destructive card until the last moment, and with apparent success. And it may feel that it has won. Macedonia, which very much needed this signal for its internal stability, will shake. And Greece will not profit from this, on the contrary. The dream of a stabilisation of the Balkans has moved one step away today. All those forces, whose primary interest is the status-quo of the precarious situation in the entire region, have reason to fiest. And they are legion.
What is striking is the refusal of the Europeans to pressure Greece. Again and again. It produces a valuable blue-print for the future conflicts to be dealt with within the EU and in its immediate neighbourhood. It is interesting, how far the ignorance in the European Council can go. The same council, that invested substantial amounts of time, funds and energy into stabilising Macedonia a few years ago, is now ready to sacrifice exactly this stability on the altar of a meaningless European consensus.
May they be warned. There are currently two members of the European Union, who have a problem with parts of the Macedonian identity. Greece triumphed today. What makes us think that Bulgaria will hold back in the future? Denying Macedonia its European perspective by the same means that came to be used today would be playing with fire. Mind you, I am not talking about possible Kosovar or Albanian dreams, I am not talking about tribal reflexes, which persist in the region, on both sides of the EU border. I am talking about the security of the Union itself.
But back to NATO. Today’s picture of a weakened and weakening alliance, of an ailing supremacy of the one superpower left, of European disunity has gone out. And it has been understood, of that I am sure.
Vision? None whatsoever…