1- EU or USA integration?
One of the major events of this month was the official visit of Minister Ditmir Bushati in the United States, where in April 18 he opened the doors for the reconstruction of the Albanian Embassy in Washington, while on April 20 he signed a joint declaration of Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
The inauguration of the Embassy was considered by Minister Bushati as ‘’…a testimony to our concrete engagement towards our strategic ally’’.
Therefore, according to the Minister, the refurbishment of façades and internal spaces is a sign of loyalty.
Following this logic, Albanian Embassies left out of focus for years if not decades, are a sign of ‘’emnity’’ for said country.
During a joint declaration with the American Secretary of State, John Kerry, Minister Bushati used strong words to praise the United States when he said that ‘’The last crisis in Europe has demonstrated the geopolitical importance of the Western Balkans and our region is in peace today due to the constant engagement of the United States...’’. United States, not European Union.
Not due to the European Union that gives unconditional economic support and will offer budgetary support of 2 billion leke per year until 2018 and houses and employs hundreds of thousands of Albanians. Not to the EU that continues to keep peacekeeping troops in Bosnia and Kosovo and that started the Berlin process to get the Balkans closer together, not America, a country far away, even though an important ally, from which we have accumulated only debts, such as 1 billion USD that the previous government has taken through the IMF and WB, mainly with an American capital. Loans that deepen the economic crisis and lead Albanians towards exodus. But where? To the US or EU?
Earlier this month, the Minister organized two important visits in the Czech Republic and Spain, while on March 31, he was on a work visit in the Netherlands.
The rhetoric in these visits was the opposite of modesty and loyalty expressed to the ally on the other side of the Atlantic.
While we constantly remind Americans of the contribution given for our country and the region, to Europeans except in a decorative level, no special merit is acknowledged, to the contrary, the new approach of the Albanian diplomacy is in the limits of aggresiveness, which should be carefully analyzed if it is constructive or damaging to the European integration process of Albania.
In meetings with high political personalities in the Czech Republic and Spain, Minister Bushati, after discussing the undertaken reforms of the Albanian government, aksed for their support to open accession negotiations for EU membership. In which EU, the one that does not contribute to peace in the region?!
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rightfully takes advantage of official visits to advertise the country’s achievements to apply pressure in speeding up the integration process. But to display a declarative ‘’disaffection’’ towards the family you aim to join, with comments of our Prime Minister that take on reckless nuances, such as the declaration that Europe needs Albania as much we we need Europe. This is not diplomacy, this is arrogance.
What does the EU need from Albania, asylum seekers?
Granted, compared to a period when Albania had a humble and complete subordination approach towards the international factor, this pride is valuable to a certain extent, but should not exceed its limits, from total subordination to arrogance. The golden middle is always a valuable choice.
It is almost as if a young person, almost completely economically dependent on his family, which sends him to study until he/she proves his/her maturity, revolts against his family and expresses love for another family, just because the latter is stronger. Even though the other family is still a friendly one, its still far away and with a small contribution towards the direct upbringing of the person.
Call it lack of gratitude? Maybe.
Several media outlets tried to allude to a personal dispute between Minister Bushati and the new Ambassador of Brussels in Tirana, but we refuse to take for granted such claims.
Of course, a think tank or NGO should not claim to advise the declarative agenda of a government or Minister, however what stands out and embarrases one is the sudden awake of the Albanian pride with bragging tendencies.
In the Netherlands for instance, the official line of threatening with destabilization towards the European ‘’friends’’ continued with sentences such as ‘’If the Western Balkans is in peace now, this peace should not be taken for granted … destability risks in the Western Balkans are serious, for the region and Europe as well’’. – says Minister Bushati.
But who can destabilize the region at the moment? The EU of free rants and the Berlin process, or the Prime Minister’s consultants that call to overthrow the government in Macedonia? Or the ‘’national unification’’ voiced by the Prime Minister continuously?
It is the right of the government to use this tone towards the EU, however this language overcomes diplomacy.
When we notice this in Albania, of course these declarations will be noted among EU diplomats as well.
With what courage can we demand explanations to the Europeans and criticize them for their internal problems, as if they are trying to integrate, not vice versa, only the new diplomatic course of the government can explain.
2- What with the Russians?
‘’When everyone is picking on you, the others are not the problem, you are’’. this is what Rexhep Qosja would have said, a strong supporter of Prime Minister Rama, on the declarations of Sali Berisha regarding the allusion of Albanophobia.
Strangely, this has turned into a boomerang for Rama’s government. The repeated declarations for unification with Kosovo, despite the context, were repproached by the EU and other countries in the region alike as well as USA and Russia. Hence, from the whole international factor.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to demand explanations only from Russia, regarding the concerns voiced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow, calling the Russian Ambassador in Tirana for a meeting. This is what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pretends as the Russian diplomat has the oposite view. The declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has continued with the paternalist-nationalist tendency towards Kosovo, as if this country is not independent and does not have its won institutions to hold the respective stances.
British media reported that the US was concerned that Greece is deviating towards an alternative gas project with Russia. Maybe, the concern that such a deviation might affect Albania, by taking away two allies in the region, might have sent Minister Bushati in Washington.
But after the refusal to go to the military parade in Moscow and the demands for explanations regarding Kremlin declarations concerned over ‘’Greater Albania’’, it seems loyalty has been confirmed. Not forgetting the cementation of our Embassy in Washington.