Nuland Goes to Europe: End of Compromise Culture

Nuland Goes to Europe: End of Compromise Culture

Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, has just wound up its European trip which included US satellites in the eastern part of old continent: Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. Making speeches she sounded more like a British viceroy addressing the subjects in a colony than a middle-ranking official of another state located overseas which is supposed to treat US allies with due respect as sovereign nations. 

I purposefully use the term satellites, not allies, in case of Croatia and Ukraine (to a lesser extent Serbia and Macedonia). They are not exactly US allies. An ally is associated out of good will by mutual relationship. Being an ally presupposes readiness to support another country as a free choice of government corresponding to the general will of nation.

It has no whatsoever relation to Ukraine where the pro-US regime came to power as a result of «the most overt coup in history», according to George Friedman of Stratfor. The intensive rapprochement with the United States and European Union provoked the civil war raging inside the country. It’s particularly hard to call Serbia or Macedonia US allies. In 1999 Serbia was a target for US air strikes. Due to US pressure Macedonia had to reject the participation in the lucrative Turkish Stream project which envisioned Russian gas transit through its territory. The governments and people of all these countries were lectured by Mrs. Nuland. It may seem to be a strange thing but whatever she said became a reality pretty soon. Macedonia is the most recent example. Visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia, on July 10 Victoria Nuland said «Our message to Macedonia is equally tough: every opportunity for unity and prosperity awaits you; NATO and EU membership await you. But the major political forces must stop squabbling and get on the path to democratic reform sketched out by EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn with US support, and then move on to settle the name issue with Greece. Again, don’t squander the moment».

The words were spoken on July 10. All of a sudden the leaders of the four main parties and two groups representing Albanian minority of Macedonia reached an agreement on solving the political crisis. It became effective on July 15. They did it! What a lucky occurrence! Now who do you think acted as intermediaries? No one else but European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Johannes Hahn and United States Ambassador Jess Baily. The political crisis in the country had been raging for a few months. It was sparked by publishing taped conversations of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and other Macedonian leaders. Only special services of leading powers could do it. US and European media painted Gruevski as a corrupted pro-Russian politician using authoritarian methods to rule the country.

Zoran Zaev, the political leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the leader of opposition in the country, who combines his considerable personal fortune with allegiance to social democracy, organized «peaceful protests» in front of government building. It made remember the events in Ukraine. Zaev did his best to look like Poroshenko or Yatsenyuk. He probably would find this comparison flattering.

As soon as Mrs. Nuland delivered the speech, the protests subsided and the document appeared with the provision that opposition will be represented in the cabinet starting from October to be followed by new elections slated for April 2016 (100 days after the opposition enters the government). It was all done in strict accordance with what Victoria Nuland said in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Martin Sieff, former bureau chief of The Washington Times in Eastern Europe, said he couldn’t believe his eyes. Mrs. Nuland spoke like if she were Roman emperor Trajan introducing his provinces to new laws they will be governed by. The both speeches were pronounced in almost same geographic locations. Looks like everything the new Trajan said has been brought into life. Gruevski even agreed to let representatives of opposition join the government 100 days before the new election. He also refused to take part in the Turkish Stream till the European Union and Russia iron out the differences. The emperor’s speeches could lead to bad results. 

Look at the way the European Union treats Greece or the attitude adopted by US when it deals with Russia and Ukraine. The contemporary Western emperors know how to divide and want to rule but they have lost the ability to compromise - a much needed skill for those who want to govern.

The Greek Syriza tried to reach a compromise with the West (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund). Greece used democratic ways to tackle the problem (a referendum). It wanted to be met halfway (the Greece’s collapse will be a lose-lose situation for everybody). The first thing the European Union did was to threaten Greece and then offer it an austerity plan with even tougher conditions than before. 

This is a bad sign for those who always advocate the policy of compromise - the European Social Democrats. Greek expert Kostas Pliakos says it should not be forgotten that Syriza is the coalition of radical left Social Democrats. For more than a century the European Social Democrats have been looking for a compromise with capitalism (represented today by unified West). That’s what made them differ from Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union. It worked in the 1960s and 1970s. After the Second World War the West became reasonable, humane and flexible – it was scared by the Russian revolution and the response to it – German Nazism, which led to even more horrible terror.

It’s all changed now. The West does not seek compromises and the tried and true tactic of Social Democrats serves no purpose. There is only one way out of the situation. Greek and Macedonian opponents of EU policy should unite with such an ally as Russia, and, perhaps, with other countries of BRICS. Neither Greece nor Eastern Europe has been able to understand it as yet.