Violeta Rašković Talović – Professor, Doctor of Political Sciences, Dean of International Policy and Security Department at Union – Nikola Tesla University in Belgrade. Master of Political Science of Religion Talović defended her master’s thesis research called “Ideological aspect of Islamic fundamentalism in the North Caucasus.” Her PhD thesis covered “International and Political Aspects of the Conflict in Chechnya.”
EADaily’s correspondent asked her several questions on the sidelines of the 10th Convention of the Russian International Studies Association at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on December 8-9.
What do you think of the pro-European vector of Serbia’s foreign policy after NATO’s barbarian bombardments of the Serbian territory in the summer of 1999?
A big part of Serbian elite still thinks that in Serbia they can live the way those in the West do. This dream is not that harmful, however. It is much more harmful to think that it is achievable if Serbia protects political, economic and military interests of Western countries to the bitter end. Besides, the political elite in Serbia and perhaps in many other East-European countries does not respect scientific research results and does not comprehend the sense of global relations.
The political elite in Serbia, at least, does not understand that the international situation has changed. The world is no longer unipolar. The power of Western countries is weakening amid growing might of other countries. Russia, China, India, Iran have developed themselves enough to become not only economic, but also political and security rivals of the West. Luckily for it, Serbia looked for growing cooperation with these countries, Russia and China, first. This gives hopes to the Serbian people for enhanced cooperation in the field of economy, politics and security in the coming years too. Serbs hope the political elite will not manage to make Serbia act fully in the West’s interests.
Is the breakup between Serbia and Montenegro forever, despite the fact that in those countries (like in Bulgaria and Macedonia) live people of the same nation and they speak the same language and have the same religion?
Montenegro is an example of what the West wants to achieve in Serbia. I am speaking about the authorities that fulfill the West’s demands by 100%. The West cut off the centuries-long ties of Montenegro and Russia. Thus, part of the Montenegrin elite is trying to create artificial identity of the Montenegrin. Many analysts call it a hybrid identity based on denial of the true, Serbian identity of Montenegrins. Something of the kind is happening in Ukraine, where the authorities rely on criminals and the people are scared and are under pressure. In the meantime, the relations in the world have changed and the authorities in Ukraine will have less and less chances to retain their grip on power.
I am sure that the breakup between Montenegro (that has a legitimate right to choose its geopolitical orientation) and Serbia, like the breakup between Ukraine and Russia, cannot be forever.
How do you think the crisis in Ukraine will develop?
Analyzing the crisis in Ukraine that is developing under the bloody scenario written by some Big Powers, it is necessary to say that it has resulted not only in open confrontation with the authorities, but also in destabilization of the region. The civilizations paradox is evident: offering to “join the European family” the West and the U.S. first, have devastated that country just to implement their plan of subdual, global hegemony, under pretext of “the fight for European values.” Closely following the course of events, one can see Russia’s decisiveness here.
It uses all the legal means against the policy of blackmail and threat from other Big Powers. It protects the dignity, language traditions of its people and shows other peoples and states that freedom and dignity towards history and the future are invaluable. Russians no longer hesitate to use force to protect the interests of their people and motherland. A blow upon the state agencies of Ukraine that resulted in destabilization of that big country is a blow upon Russia too. As Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov says, “Washington manages the Ukrainian crisis.”
Ukraine’s people have been divided. U.S. is making the gap between them even wider and trying to use it in its favor. The crisis triggered a global response.
What do you think of the presidential elections in Bulgaria and Moldova and the parliamentary ones of December 11 in Macedonia?
Victory of General Rumen Radev in the presidential election in Bulgaria and victory of Igor Dodon in Moldova immediately after elections in the United States reflect global changes in the world. Although the president in Bulgaria has little powers, Radev’s victory may lead to gradual changes in the pro-Western policy of Sofia.
During those election, Bulgarians made their civilized choice, and demonstrated their unwillingness to subdue to Brussels sacrificing what has remained from their sovereignty. Bulgarians want to return to their tradition, protect their national interests and not being a part of the self-ruining West.
The situation in Macedonia is even more instable due to a possibility of big collision and conflict. Elections have not liquidated that possibility. Elite in Macedonia does not see that the world has changed. The citizens of Macedonia showed during elections that they have no idea of what is happening unlike the citizens of Bulgaria who have finally realized what role the EU is playing, in fact. Therefore, Bulgarians elected Radev, while Macedonians have been divided in anticipation of further interference by Brussels.
Could you, please, comment on Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s visit to Moscow that has just ended and Russia’s New Year gift for the Serbian army?
Modernization of the military and technical capacity of the Serbian army shows that the country does care for its future. Six MiG fighter jets to be supplied by Russia will ensure high security to the Serbian airspace and citizens. Serbia, as Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said, remains a militarily neutral country ready to cooperate with all friendly countries and peoples.
One of the strategically important actors in the region, Serbia, will further be a factor of geopolitical stability. And the new fighter jets will strengthen its defense capacities.
Interviewed by Georgy Kolarov for EADaily