Thursday, June 04, 2015

PUTIN CARD - played in Macedonia?

by Sasha Uzunov
Did the spectre of Russia or the Putin card save the Gruevski government in Macedonia from falling ?
British writer Aldous Huxley wrote "There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception."
In politics and world diplomacy there are perceptions of reality in which the people or masses believe something to be true and therefore it is, even though it may be actually and physically true or not.
Regardless if you believe the Russian line that the West was going to take down the Gruevski government or divide Macedonia, the important thing is that Russian President Vladimir Putin ably supported by his wily Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked up a confrontation with the West and used the media effectively to do so.
Those perceptions, regardless if they were true or not, would have factored into the European Union's calculations in trying to diffuse the crisis in Macedonia.
If Gruevski had fallen, and the EU's deal on ending the crisis involves early elections in Macedonia is yet to be finalised, it would have given Moscow the "Ukraine template" it needed to hit Washington over the head with.
PM Gruevski has reiterated that he supports EU and NATO membership for Macedonia. The valuable lesson for any future Macedonian government is not to be naive and follow every single directive from Brussels nor to blindly accept what the Russians say.
Mature and responsble adults always retain a small sense of healthy scepticism towards their own government (either VMRO-DPMNE or SDSM) or a Super Power.
Sometimes your country's national interest coincides with either of the Super Powers: Russia and the US, sometimes it doesn't.
For all we know Moscow may have been 100% right about the West's intention for Macedonia or simply wrong.

See previous story for background to the Macedonian crisis - link 

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