Written by Viktor Stoilov exclusively for SouthFront
Without most people’s realization, the Balkans, yet again, have become one of the most interesting and dangerous geopolitical territories. While the MSM around the world are focused on the U.S. presidential elections and on Syria, the situation on the Balkans is becoming more and more tense. Historically, the region has always been a target for the great powers and it seems like it will always remain this way. For the experts, the clashes of interests are more than obvious. With the artificially-created migrant flow, the Balkans became a hot point for trafficking and the main route to Germany and Sweden (the migrant’s “paradise”). However, this “paradise” can no longer cope with the flow and the recent talks and negotiations between the EU members indicates that Germany and France will try to get rid of a big portion of the migrants or at least keep the next waves away from them. A logical question arises – could the Balkans be turned into a giant migrant camp, literally?
To answer this question we first have to look at the Balkan countries themselves and especially the ones which board Turkey – Bulgaria and Greece. Having in mind the Bulgarian political elite and their willingness to sell everything possible for the sake of monetary dividends, it wouldn’t be so hard to convince them, for the right amount of money, to open huge refugee camps. In fact, in the past few weeks, there have been talks that in order to fight their demographic problem, the Bulgarian government could integrate migrants to the poor regions of the country. The vast majority of the Bulgarian population is completely against this idea and is frightened by the rumored figures of about 300 thousand possible migrants who should be “integrated” to the society. However, nobody will ask the ordinary Bulgarians about their opinion and a possible flow of migrants to the country could lead to a big clash between the migrants and Bulgarians.
Greece, which was the main transit country for the migrant flow to Western Europe, is also facing a huge problem. After the failed attempt to fight and defend their sovereignty when Varoufakis was the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was thought to be leading an anti-austerity policy, Greece is now in the hands of the IMF, World Bank, transnational corporations and of course Germany. As usual the winners dictate the rules and the losers should pay for what they’ve done, and in such case, the future of Greece doesn’t seem bright. The country will have to pay dearly for their actions in the past which means that Greece might share Bulgaria’s future of a possible giant refugee camp.
Here, we should also include Macedonia. The little former Yugoslavian republic is facing not only a danger from the possible migrant flow but from a civil war or a full-scale war. Their western neighbor Albania is well-known for being the big puppet and cannon fodder of the US on the Balkans. Also, the country has the largest groups with affiliation to Al Qaeda and ISIS. Having in mind that the western region of Macedonia is full of Albanians and knowing how Kosovo was taken away from Serbia, a single order from the US could spark a major conflict there.
While Montenegro is falling in the hands of the US with the almost for sure joining of NATO, Serbia is between the influence and alliance with Russia and the economic privileges of the West. The US and the EU are desperately trying to get Serbia out of the zone of influence of Russia. Each year, the EU, through their educational programs, is making the young Serbian generation quickly forget about the recent history of US bombings and make them pro-European, pro-US and, of course, anti-Russian.
This fight for the opinion of the people is easy to explain. Russia, the United States and Turkey have major interests on the Balkans. Russia, on one hand, wants to get its lost influence over the region. The US, on the other side have no intentions to let go for now. The key factor here would be November 8th when the new president of the United States will be elected. The third big player Turkey is not hiding its plans at all. Sticking to the Neo-Ottomanism doctrine, in a recent speech President Erdogan stated that they could not make a difference between Edirne (border city of Turkey) and Kardzhali (southern city of Bulgaria), indicating that the ruling Turkish elite hasn’t forgotten about its neo-Ottomanism ambitions. This direct threat to the national security of Bulgaria was blatantly omitted by the Bulgarian government which didn’t respond with an official statement against Erdogan’s words.
Those three major powers, and especially Turkey, know very well that the Bulgarian territory is the key to holding the Balkans. The Ottomans knew it back in the 14th century and that’s how they conquered the Balkans in no time and marched all the way to Vienna. Whichever country’s army is stationed in Bulgaria, that’s the one which will have the most influence on the peninsula. It’s not by chance that the Bulgarian army was almost completely destroyed because that would have meant that Bulgaria could have been an almost sovereign player, but now as the US army is standing and controlling this territory, their influence is the one spreading around the Balkans the most.
Having everything said in mind, the possibility of civil, ethnic or even major war is not just a conspiracy, it’s a logical conclusion from the clash of interests for this geo-strategic region.