The turmoil surrounding Macedonia
Posted by Fredsvenn den april 15, 2016
Youtube: Macedonia: Another Color Revolution
What we need to be aware of is the broader geopolitical context of what is going on in Macedonia. When we look at the map of the Balkans, Macedonia is right in the center of it, and recently there have been talks about the Chinese high-speed railway that should be constructed from Greece all the way to Warsaw; and also the Turkish Stream that was canceled for other reasons was about to pass the same territory.
So, for sure, the US is not happy about these projects because of all other major powers, first of all, Russia and China getting more stake in Balkans and in Europe as a whole.
The Republic of Macedonia fell victim to the US’ latest regime change destabilization against it, with “opposition protesters” rioting in the capital Wednesday night and even ransacking one of the President’s offices.
Around 3,000 protesters demonstrated against the decision of President Gjorge Ivanov that abolished the criminal investigations against the former Prime Minister and current party leader Nikola Gruevski and the members of his cabinet.
Both Ivanov and Gruevski are members of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), which has proclaimed itself as Christian democratic, but has been described as nationalist.
The party has been leading a pro-European and pro-NATO policy in recent years. Under the leadership of Georgievski in its beginning, the party supported Macedonian independence from Socialist Yugoslavia.
Ivanov took office on 12 May 2009, thereby succeeding Branko Crvenkovsk, a Macedonian politician Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2002 to 2004, then President of the Republic of Macedonia from 2004 to 2009. He was also leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM).
After taking the oath he held his inauguration speech in the Macedonian parliament and made public his priorities – EU and NATO membership, economic recovery, inner stability, interethnic relations and good relations with the neighboring countries, especially with Greece.
Crvenkovski was elected member of the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia at the first multi-party elections in Yugoslavia in 1990 after serving for several years as head of department at the Semos company in Skopje. A former communist, Crvenkovski has been at the head of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia since April 1991.
Protests have been organised by the opposition party SDSM after President Ivanov used his authority and placed abolition on a criminal investigation against the 56 persons, among which is former PM Gruevski, who was investigated for alleged corruption after opposition leaders released wiretapped material last year implicating him in illegal dealings.
SDSM is a social-democratic and main centre-left political party in Macedonia. The first president of the party was elected Branko Crvenkovski. The current party leader is the Western-funded opposition leader Zoran Zaev. The party is a member of the Progressive Alliance and an associate affiliate of the Party of European Socialists (PES).
Macedonia has been destabilized since May of last year when a group of armed terrorists entered from Serbia, actually from Kosovo, the Albanian terrorists who killed eight policemen and a number of them were killed as well. After that came June and the attempt of a colored revolution by Zaev and his supporters, which didn’t succeed.
Terrorists attacked the Macedonian city of Kumanovo on 9 May, but one wouldn’t know that by reading the Western media’s reaction to the tragedy, despite the fact that they typically mention that 8 police officers were killed and another 37 wounded during the firefight. The bodies of the dead terrorists who attacked Kumanovo were buried in Kosovo with heroic honors by people wearing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) uniforms.
Zaev promised that Albanian will be the second official language in Macedonia and will be taught from kindergarten on up. A day after the Kumanovo attacks, he was smiling while making selfies with part of the KLA supporters, standing on the place where the blood from the fallen Macedonian heroes still wasn’t drained.
Western media has become the vanguard of a unified information offensive against Macedonia, presenting the latest terrorist attack against it as either a potentially justified reaction or as some type of hoax by the government itself.
While Hybrid War tension has been building for some time already and was described by the author in numerous publications before, the spark that pushed them into acting was President Ivanov’s surprise declaration of amnesty for all the people under investigation as part of the “wiretapping scandal”, with the Macedonian leader remarking that this is a necessary step in order to move the country forward and out of the political quagmire.
The Color Revolution elements inside of the country exploded into fury at the announcement, enraged that their attempt to use the newly created and McCarty-esque “Special Prosecutor’s Office” as an anti-government witch hunting weapon had been dramatically foiled.
The mediators of the opposition and government negotiations is the US ambassador, the representative of EU and so on and so forth; and they’ve already in a number of times and in this case as well condemned the government for using force.
It seems that the state, the security forces, and the Macedonian people are constantly winning the battles, and slowly but surely, they are emerging as winners in the war against the imperialistic agenda, against fake democracy fighters, and against the millions of dollars poured into the domestic fifth column.
The strategy of Albania and Bulgaria is to divide Macedonia between Albania and Bulgaria, but the Russian MFA S. Lavrov shared information about the plan, which drew immediate attention to the actions of Albania and Bulgaria, thereby making it more difficult for them to pull off their plot.
Bulgaria makes no secret out of the fact that it’s the EU and NATO reference point for all things related to the Macedonian Crisis, so the scenario of Bulgaria being used as bait for bringing other countries into a wider military conflict is disturbingly real.
It must be underscored that Albania and Bulgaria, which is quite pro-American,
operate in a ‘good cop, bad cop’ tandem, with Albania and some of its national representatives being the openly aggressive party while Bulgaria behaves more indirectly and covertly.
Albania and its occupied Kosovo satellite may operate as the bases for any unconventional war launched by the KLA or some other affiliated terrorist organization, but Bulgaria is the rear base for engineering the Color Revolution attempt and has proven its influence over Zaev and his regime change movement.
Together, these two countries’ current governments operate as treacherous neighbors for Macedonia and must be treated with the utmost suspicion and caution owing to the dangerous contemporary circumstances of their joint partition plot.
Despite repeating themselves over and over again about recognizing independent Macedonia by its constitutional name, Bulgaria doesn’t behave as though it truly believes what its own words.
The first direct gas pipeline between Russia and Turkey was the Blue Stream, commissioned in 2005, with an expansion plan later replaced later by the South Stream, itself abandoned in 2014. In 2009, Putin proposed a line parallel to Blue Stream 1 under the Black Sea, from Samsun to Ceyhan, and further to Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Cyprus.
The South Stream project was seen as a rival to the Nabucco pipeline project. Some experts like Alan Riley from London City University were claiming that the South Stream pipeline is a political project to counter Nabucco and to expand Russian presence in the region.
Seen from the displaced perspective of Washington and Brussels, the final realization of the South Stream for them will present their capitulation in the Balkan, but that also means they won`t give up until the end.
The US wants to do anything it can to obstruct South Stream, be it in bringing about the project’s official cancelation, its covert sabotage (i.e. a secessionist terrorist war in Macedonia), or creating an indefinite delay.
The most cost-effective way in bringing this about is via Color Revolutions, and each of the countries along the pipeline’s path is vulnerable in their own way. We currently see this tactic being deployed in Macedonia, but Hungary and Serbia are also susceptible to this as well.
South Stream is an abandoned pipeline project to transport natural gas of the Russian Federation through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and through Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia further to Austria.
The project created controversy due to non-compliance with the European Union competition and energy legislation, such as the Third Energy Package, which stipulates the separation of companies’ generation and sale operations from their transmission networks. It was seen as rival to the Nabucco pipeline project.
Construction of the Russian onshore facilities for the pipeline started in December 2012. The project was cancelled by Russia in December 2014 following obstacles from Bulgaria and the EU, the 2014 Crimean crisis, and the imposition of European sanctions on Russia.
The project has been replaced by proposals of Turkish Stream, the working name of the proposed natural gas pipeline from the Russian Federation to Turkey across the Black Sea, and Tesla Pipeline.
The proposal was announced by Russian president Vladimir Putin on 1 December 2014, during his state visit to Turkey. The proposed pipeline was supposed to replace the earlier cancelled South Stream project. According to Gazprom, the project did not have an official name. In November 2015, Russia has suspended talks on the project. In December 2015, Turkey formally abandoned the Turkish Stream project.
In November 2015, after the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown, Russia’s Economic Development Minister stated that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project falls under the restrictive measures against Turkey.
On the 5th of December, 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan formally terminated the Turkish Stream project, although claiming the decision was because of Russian «non-compliance» with Turkish demands surrounding the project.
The preparations for the construction of a Chinese high-speed railway between the capital cities of Serbia and Hungary is underway and on schedule. The Chinese leader Xi Jinping presented the concept of the New Silk Road – a collection of land and maritime routes –in autumn 2013.
Initially, it envisaged the creation of a network of infrastructural connections, mainly transport corridors, between China and its most important economic partner—Europe. The concept grew in importance throughout 2014 to become the key instrument of China’s foreign policy, especially in the areas of public diplomacy and soft power. Towards the end of 2014, the Chinese government announced it would establish a Silk Road Fund worth US$40 billion.
The railway from Belgrade to Budapest would be a part of the line that directly links the port city of Piraeus in Greece with at least six to eight Central and Eastern European countries and other Central and Western European countries, as a part of the greater transport route Maritime Silk Road linking the European and Asian continents. The railway is strategically an important project of cooperation with China, and the first one that involves more than one country from the region of Central and Eastern Europe on a common project.
The project for the modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest railway was initially agreed on in 2013 at the China-Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries leaders’ meeting that took place in Bucharest. The cooperation plan for the construction of the railway was signed in the beginning of this year in Belgrade at the meeting of the Trilateral Group of China, Hungary and Serbia for Traffic and Infrastructure Cooperation, setting dates for certain phases of the project.
According to the plan, the construction of the railway should begin by the end of 2015, after the feasibility study and financial model are agreed upon, with the railway scheduled to be fully completed in 2017.
The 370 km section of the railway between Belgrade and Budapest will significantly improve the transport of passengers and goods between the two countries, as it will decrease the time of travelling of trains from eight to less than three hours. Once finished, the double track on the route between the Mediterranean and the Danube will enable trains to run as fast as 200 km per hour, and this enables China’s land-sea passage to become a new, convenient channel for trade.
One of the biggest expected impacts of the project is promoting the economic development of Hungary, Serbia, and other countries along the passage, as well as to deepen China’s cooperation with countries in the region, with the hope of creating new jobs and boosting development of industry and railways.
The New Silk Road idea is a flexible formula used by China in its dialogue with many other countries. Its inclusive nature helps contribute to diluting the negative impression caused by China’s rapid economic expansion and assertiveness in foreign policy, especially with regard to its neighbours.
The process of implementing the New Silk Road concept will allow China to expand its influence within its neighbourhood: in Central and South-Eastern Asia. The New Silk Road will be an alternative point of reference to the US dominance and Russian integration projects in these regions.
The concept will legitimise and facilitate the growth of China’s influence in the transit countries on the route to Western Europe, i.e. in the Middle East (Arab countries, Israel and Turkey, the Horn of Africa and Central Europe (the Balkans and the Visegrad Group countries).
This concept is also essential for China’s domestic policy. It has become one of Xi Jinping’s main political projects. It will boost the development of China’s central and western provinces. The fact that the concept is open and not fully defined means that it will be a success regardless of the extent to which it will be implemented in practice. Its flexible nature allows China to continue investments already initiated bilaterally and to present them as components of the New Silk Road concept.