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Thursday, December 07, 2017

MONTENEGRIN (MINUS) - BULGARIAN (PLUS) SCENARIO ?


Is there a serious threat against the life of Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev?

by Sasha Uzunov

They say timing and coordination in politics is vital. Over the past few week or so Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has talked up a conspiracy theory - with Russia allegedly behind it -  involving his possible assassination for wanting Macedonia to join NATO, which is opposed by Russia.

But why this hysteria? The most obvious answer is by using the Russian bogeyman, Macedonia must join NATO at all cost to “save itself” from a (non) existent fear; in doing so giving up its name, identity, symbols, history to appease NATO allies Bulgaria and Greece.

To deliberately emphasise the dramatic nature of this “Russian threat” to scare Macedonians into committing national suicide in order to “save themselves,” Prime Minister Zaev appeared on Montenegrin television.

The objective, no doubt, was to infer or imply strongly of a Montenegro Scenario in Macedonia. So what is the Montenegrin Scenario?

MONTENEGRIN (MINUS) SCENARIO IN MACEDONIA? 

This from Radio Free Europe, a US government media agency: (link)

Aleksandar Sindjelic, a key witness in the trial of 14 people who allegedly plotted to topple Montenegro's pro-Western government, has implicated a purported Russian secret-service agent in organizing the coup attempt aimed at blocking the Balkan country's NATO accession.

Over two days of court testimony ending on October 27, Sindjelic identified Eduard Shishmakov as a key organizer and financier of the alleged plot to overthrow the government during parliamentary elections in October 2016.

"A lot of money was given by Moscow. They had weapons, people from inside, special teams,” Sindjelic testified, alleging that payments totaling some 200,000 euros ($235,000) were to be used to organize the plot and purchase weapons.

Prosecutors have argued during the trial that two Russian military intelligence operatives for the Kremlin, Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, organized and coordinated the coup attempt from neighboring Serbia. In addition to the charges handed down to the 14 defendants of creating a criminal organisation with the aim of undermining Montenegro's constitutional order, Shishmakov and Popov have also been charged with terrorism.

The two remain at large and are being tried in absentia.“Part of the plan was to eliminate [then-Prime Minister Milos] Djukanovic," Sindjelic testified during questioning by prosecutors.
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Russian intelligence has been very active in the Balkans for decades. Its usual modus operandi is to operate via Serbia and Serbian intelligence officers. In Macedonia, the local intelligence service is firmly in the US camp. So any kind of activity in Macedonia would have to involve Serbia. 

On April 27, 2017, the Macedonian Parliament came under attack by protestors refusing to accept Zoran Zaev forming a government, after a two year political crisis ostensibly about corruption but has turned out to be something different - changing Macedonia’s name and identity.

TEAM UZUNOV has covered this story in enormous detail - see the link here 

To recap: 

“The revelation that an intelligence officer, Goran Zivaljevic, from Serbia’s Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia was spotted inside that country’s parliament on 27 April during a physical confrontation which saw leader of the Social Democrats (SDSM) Zoran Zaev attacked and bloodied and his deputy Radmila Sekerinsa yanked violently by the hair has set off tongues wagging about Russian involvement in allegedly provoking the incident.”

UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR’S CLAIM: Russia using Serbia to destroy Europe” - 

Oleksandr Aleksandrovych - The Ukraine’s Ambassador to Serbia - made the following claim in Balkan Insight website: “Russia uses Serbian factor to destabilise Macedonia."

Yet in Macedonia not one protest has been held outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia by pro US supporters, including those who have staunchly toed the Washington line, leading Macedonian pundit of Serb background Borjan Jovanovski, who has issued contradictory statements on the issue and who has aggressively refused to protest. This inaction by him and others like him contradicts the Ukrainian Ambassador’s claim. Likewise there has been silence over the building of World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues in Macedonia by the Albanian political bloc. see link.

 In contrast Jovanovski has led the charge in protesting against Macedonian statues and alleged “Macedonian nationalism”

CHANGING NARRATIVE OVER RUSSIAN SCARE? Conflicting alibis? Caught in a lie? 

A pro US NGO or think tank, the Atlantic Council some days ago released a report full of nasty, racist references to Macedonians as “Slavs” who were being assisted by Russia to allegedly undermine the peace and stability of the Balkans. What was noticeable was the change in the narrative - what began as Russian interference via Serbia in Macedonia - became direct Russian “interference” in provoking the attack on the Macedonian Parliament. link to the report here 


The first US narrative of Russian "interference" via Serbia in Macedonia was unsustainable for the most obvious reason that some of the key supporters of the US and NATO in Macedonia are people of Serb background - Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska, pundit Borjan Jovanovski, Levica (the Left) movement Leader Branimir Jovanovic whose range of views align with those of Serb nationalists in Serbia (who are not necessarily in favour of NATO)...

That the narrative has now changed to just Russian interference in Macedonia comes as no great surprise and indicates US manipulation.


One of the consultants to the report is Bulgarian academic Dr Dimitar Bechev, who some time ago compiled a tendentious “Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia” which strongly implied or inferred that Macedonians as a nationality were created by Yugoslav ruler Marshal Tito post 1944. Such a view is seen as insulting and ignored a large body of evidence which demonstrates a Macedonian consciousness way way before 1944.


BULGARIAN SCENARIO ?

Be that as it may, the Russian scare has served a purpose in ramming down the throats of Macedonians a so called good neighbourly relations agreement with Bulgaria, a NATO ally, to the detriment of Macedonian identity. Bulgaria’s World War II collaboration with Nazi Germany has now to be treated with kit gloves in case Sofia becomes offended and “breaches” some of the conditions of the agreement; there also can be no mention of ethnic Macedonians in Bulgaria. Whilst the Republic of Macedonia has submitted meekly to Bulgarian demands - read US strategic interests -- Bulgaria has been very aggressive in getting Albania to proclaim the existence of “ethnic Bulgarians” in that country with the intention of taking over or absorbing the existing and legally recognised ethnic Macedonian minority in Albania. Sofia has even tried to make inroads into Kosovo and claim the Gorani people - muslims who are also claimed by Macedonia and Serbia but who are not ethnic Albanians.

More on the Bulgarian agenda here - link & link & link 


CHURCH TAKEOVER?

The pressure has not stopped on this assault on Macedonian identity. The Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church has in a bizarre move asked the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to become its “Mother Church.

The Macedonian Orthodox Church broke away from the Serbian Church and declared its independence in 1967 but no fellow orthodox churches, purely for chauvinistic reasons, has recognised its status. In the late 18th century whilst under Ottoman Turkish rule, the Ohrid Archbishopric, the foundation stone of the Macedonian Christianity, was abolished and later the title given to the Serb church. 

To understand Balkan politics, you have to understand that the Church or religion is regarded as an unofficial column propping up national identity event though secularism is the order of the day in most Balkan states, perhaps with the exception of Greece, where it is part of the state.

So the strategy in having the Bulgarian Church as a “Mother Church” to allegedly assist the Macedonian Church in gaining recognition is not the real objective. But more say to undermine Macedonian identity even more. It is no secret that Prime Minister Zaev’s “father confessor” is influential Macedonian Bishop Nahum (Naum) who has pushed the link to the Bulgarian Church or more likely being used as a conduit by PM Zaev.

BILINGUALISM - backdoor to bi-national Macedonian state? Federalisation? Making Albanian the second official language of Macedonia.

As part of the Tirana Platform, an Albanian nationalist agenda in Macedonia coordinated by Albania, Kosovo and the Albanian Bloc in Macedonia, making Albanian the second official language in Macedonia is one of the demands, despite the Ohrid Framework Agreement more than satisfying Albanian rights in Macedonia. In order to come to power with the Albanian Bloc as his coalition partner, Prime Minister Zaev has agreed to making Albanian the second official language. Critics are warning that it is setting up the country for federalisation and eventual partition in doing so.

It is important to note that in 2007, (link here) the US Embassy in Macedonia warned against implementing a “Kosovo style” bilingualism which has Serbian on par with Albanian as a second official language. The US Embassy warned against comparing Macedonia with Kosovo.




Yet we have to ask, why has the US “acquiesed” to such a policy now if it is aware of the dire consequences of bilingualism in Macedonia? More on the Albanian agenda here link & link & link


Vietnamesque ring?
WE HAD TO DESTROY THE VILLAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE IT - We had to destroy the Macedonian state in order to save it? 

Team Uzunov can only speculate but a unitary Macedonian state appears to be a thorn in the side of US foreign policy in the Balkans, when in reality it shouldn’t be. It’s more a case of the least resistance: that is it is easier to bully or pressure Macedonians in giving up their name, identity, and their unitary nation state, than say trying to convince Bulgaria, where there are four US military bases, Greece, and the Albanian Bloc to give up their demands in relation to Macedonia.

So the name of the game -- and this is where the Russian fear comes in handy -- is to induce Macedonians to give up so  much in order to be safe from a non-existent fear.

















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