‘Quasi-state Kosovo West’s only ally in Balkans, SE Europe’
RT:What are the root causes of these riots in Macedonia in your opinion?
Sasha Knezev: It is very simple, they are economical. [Macedonian Prime Minister] Nikola Gruevski and his government have not imposed sanctions on Russia, just like Serbia. Serbia, just north, has not imposed any sanctions on Russia. And you have a dubious Serbian public that is very skeptical of the EU, as in Macedonia. If we look south to Greece - BRICS has just extended their hands to the Greek government. And we see Turkey actually being approached by Gazprom to construct the [Russian-Turkish pipeline project].
The only real ally that the West and the US have in the Southeast Europe and the Balkan area is the quasi-state of Kosovo which is in a sort of grey area of its de facto independence. We already know that the Western powers, the US set a precedent with the violation of the UN’s resolution 1244 in granting them independence. And we also know that the US has their largest military base in Europe in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel.
So it is very easily to ignite the Balkan powder keg by playing off these ancient ethnic discords that have gone on for centuries. I believe that this is an attempt by the United States government, and actually we have Macedonian intelligence implicating Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasia, in trying to do exactly what they did in Ukraine.
I think it is economic. Just north of Serbia we have Hungary that has been very stalwart and standing up to the IMF's structural reform. And if you have all those countries in Southeast Europe, than you are at the gateway of Central Europe going to the West. And it is purely economic, in my estimation.
RT:The US doubts the country’s commitment to democracy and Britain has said Macedonia should be looking at a transitional government. Do you think this is unnecessary interference?
SK: Absolutely. Look at the Middle East... How many governments have been overthrown on the US behalf and the West behalf?... We also know that the US itself is suffering tremendous economic crisis and it does all add up…
We also have to understand that Kosovo is used. I feel bad for the Albanian people because they are just a proxy for Western intervention in the Balkan area. And I do believe that this is just an attempt to further destabilize the area for political gains, for economics mostly. If Greece leaves the EU … and they start a sort of domino effect, this could really spell a catastrophe for not only for the US but the EU itself.
RT:With the pictures that we’re seeing in Macedonia, you can certainly entertain the idea that the people have a genuine discontent with the people that are governing their country, can’t you?
SK: Yes, absolutely. The Gruevski government has its share of problems, no doubt. There is structural corruption in several areas of the government. However, that being said we should be seeing this play out itself during so many so-called colored revolutions of George Soros and the West. We’ve seen that in Ukraine. We’ve seen that in the Balkans. We've seen that in Greece. So, it is really difficult to determine.
That is not to say that the people themselves don't have genuine discord in the general state of the economy and the standard of living in Macedonia which is bad, as is all of Southeast Europe, as is all of Europe in general. We see that reflection in the US as well. But that it is always used. It is very easy to … use different ethnic backgrounds in inner turmoil to balkanize nations and to provide sort of dialectic alternatives that ultimately end up benefiting other greater forces.
We had that in Baltimore, right here in the US, where the media attempts to place it black against white or between different ethnic backgrounds. But in actuality we have a systemic police corruption that is applicable to all America; they are violating all our rights. And collectively, we should address this issue- what they are doing to all of us. But instead the media tries to play it one against the other: gender, race, ethnic. This is an old tactic that unfortunately seems to work every time.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.