Wednesday, 21 November 2018 | News today: 0

The world fears of a clash between Russia and the West

Although Yalta Conference, held in Yalta resort on the Black Sea in February 1945, is controversial for many historians, along with the conferences in Tehran in 1943 and in Potsdam in July 1945, it coined the framework according to which the world, or the superpowers, have actually been functioning for decades

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Columnist:
Goran Momiroski

The fifteen-minute conversation by the end of the anniversary celebration of D-Day in Normandy between Russian President Vladimir Putin and American President Barak Obama, away from world media cameras, cannot replace a seriously organized meeting during which they would agree on how their countries would react on the situation in Ukraine and similar future situations. Without an agreement between the superpowers and their allies on what is allowed, and what isn’t in global politics and diplomacy, Ukraine will not be the last huge incident the world will witness in the following years and decades. North Korea, Syria and Iran are just a part of the locations where Kremlin and Washington could soon measure their muscles, while innocent men, women and children will be dying in endless, meaningless conflicts.

The absence of Ukraine on world televisions does not mean people do not die there every day, some of them – armed separatists, some – innocent civilians, but most of them even unaware they are victims of high politics, which will some day reach an agreement on all open matters, while thumbs of those who died will witness on the worth of the life of an ordinary citizens in times when influence spheres are being negotiated between the superpowers. Numerous historians believe if Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill had met and agreed on influence division during 1944, millions of lives could have been saved by the end of World War II.

Similar to what is happening now – hundreds of thousands of people are in danger up until Obama and Putin do not agree on the current developments in Ukraine and Syria, maybe even the Balkans again tomorrow. According to war analysts’ assessments, if the clash in Eastern Ukraine escalates and Moscow’s involvement in it becomes more direct, tens of thousands of people could die in this country in just a month, while over a million Ukrainians and Russians could be displaced. These are the numbers in case of a medium-black scenario; extreme conflict with utilization of atomic weapons could result in millions of victims.

The world changes rapidly

According to the research of the American Prevention Center (Global Conflict Tracker), which used positions and points of view of 1.200 experts, professors and Washington administration representatives, as well as social media information in January 2014, Ukraine has not been pointed out as “explosive” location on the world map.

First group of threats to the USA are Syria, cyber attack to the USA, Iranian nuclear crisis, mass terrorists’ attacks on American soil, instability in Pakistan and violence in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda also made it in this most dangerous group this year by its increased presence on the Arabian Peninsula due to the instability in Yemen, military provocations in North Korea, civil war in Iraq between the Sunnis and Shiites and elevated instability in Jordan due to Syria war effects.

The second group of flammable conflicts are the China-Japan issue on Senkaku islands the disputable sea area in the South Chinese Sea, the possible violence in Central African Republic and the continuous conflict in Somalia.

The next group is comprised of the clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, violence acts in Bangladesh, China-India border incidents and the deepening crisis in Venezuela. Conflict threats in 2014 are not considered to be the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, nor possible military confrontation between the USA and Pakistan, although they were on last year’s lost of possible threats.

Small counties are up the creek

What mostly concerns us is how small countries, or Macedonia, should react in such situation. The country must worry about its top priorities – NATO and EU integration – it must insist on the international law which is a weapon at its disposal, while not making Russia angry, which is a Security Council member that recognizes Macedonia under its constitutional name and has major influence over a dozen of countries which followed her move.

The best option for Macedonia currently is to sit tight, keep silent and wait for the outcome, while following its interests without provoking any of the two parties. However, the only way it can happen is if Putin and Obama have a realistic plan for settling of the situation. If both parties enter another circle of diplomatic violence and the situation escalates, there is a possibility Macedonia would have to openly choose a side, which evidently won’t be Russia. The vote on Ukraine’s territorial integrity preservation resolution was principal stance of Macedonia and Moscow will not be angry over it. But, who could guarantee that Putin will not blacklist Macedonia if Brussels and Washington ask for it to impose sanctions for Russia, despite the fact that Skopje has no option to chose.

What would Macedonia’s position actually be in case relations between the West and Russia heat up, is best shown through the “energy war” between Brussels and Moscow for the South Stream pipeline. In the thick of the conflict between EU and Bulgaria, which was forced to cease the project which places Russia one up the EU member states, a conference on energy corridors was organized in Skopje, focusing on Russian gas supply to Europe. Macedonia, naturally, avoided publicly stating its position, which actually works for both parties involved since it causes no damages. The question is: what would have happened if the Ukrainian conflict rose after the pipeline was constructed, and Macedonia has based most of its energy supply on Russian gas, which actually could have been the case in two-three years.

Three scenarios for Ukraine

According to the worst-case scenario, after Russian Army forces and NATO get involved, the West and Russia could clash, which might lead to use of nuclear weapons. The probability for such scenario mostly depends on the skills of the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who would have to play a double game with both Moscow and Washington in an effort to stop the division of the country. The lack of success of the previous president Viktor Yanukovych to repeat the game of Tito with Yugoslavia has already brought the country on the verge of a civil war. Ukraine’s position of a borderline between NATO and Russia is simultaneously a threat and a possibility to be a remedy for possible West-Moscow incident and enhanced economic cooperation. That, in fact, is the best option possible, Western media comment. This scenario, understandably, would be impossible without the consult of China and India, which might get scared of a partnership among the USA, EU and Russia. Anyways, a lack of a quick agreement between the superpowers would only increase tensions on other locations superpowers have interests for, while the Ukrainian disaster where innocent people die will continue to last. According to Analyst Seth Baum, which case-scenario will be selected depends on Russia and its genuine interests for peace. However, military manufacturing capacities in Eastern Ukraine cannot be neglected, since most of the Russian Army potential rests on it. None of the scenarios so far gives an answer on how could Ukraine remain whole and become NATO member, while Moscow would still have a control over war installations on Ukrainian territory.

Macedonia has already chosen a side 

Although history shows interest spheres division at Yalta Conference caused a great tragedy to Macedonian people in Greece, who, unlike Macedonians in Vardar Macedonia, stayed in control of West Macedonia, a quick agreement between Putin and Obama could be the answer. If this does not happen, Macedonia, along with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, could once again be used even the pray in some future division of influence spheres. The more frequent Europe and Balkans map redefining scenarios, cooked in both Russian and Western geo-strategic kitchens, indicate that Dayton Agreement principle for borders steadiness becomes loose. therefore, the best scenario for Macedonia is the one with clear game rules where respect to international law is obliging for all parties involved. Every other option is a great risk to the stability in the country, as well as to the territorial integrity and sovereignty, as the Constitution stipulates.