Dialogue in the Balkans is a way to solve geopolitical problems. Opinions and comments

22 June 2015

“Balkan Dialogue – 2015” finished its work in Serbia last week. This year the traditional scientific conference gathered together the highest number of participants – about a hundred. Representation of the countries was impressive – 15 countries sent their delegates to Belgrade and Novi Sad.


Many speakers noted that the “Balkan Dialogue” is an excellent opportunity to tell others about oneself and to learn an opinion of experts fr om other countries. It is very important to understand reasons of certain complicated situations, to realize why a wrong way was chosen and to move forward.


To share one’s position despite the size of a represented country is also important. Most of the speakers agreed with that. “Grandeur of the country is not defined by the size of its territory or its military power, but by the right of the nation to choose its own way”, believes Director of Belorussian information and educational center “Actual concept” Alexander Shpakovskiy.


Naturally, the Balkans in a geopolitical system of axes was in the limelight of the forum. Professor of MGIMO Elena Ponomareva called this complicated region an organic bridge between the West and the East, a key to stability of the whole Europe.


A well-known arena of geopolitical confrontation should think it over now – who should it be with in new Europe. It is not a secret that many experts when sharing their opinions imply that the East is the past and it is time to be with the West, which is the future. However, Eurasian integration provides a unique opportunity: one thing can be taken from Europe, the other can be borrowed from Russia. Countries of the region, for example Serbia or Turkey, can act as intermediaries in the dialogue between Moscow and the West.


Editor-in-chief of the magazine “New Serbian political thought” Djordje Vukadinovic characterized a current international political situation extremely openly: a cold war is going on. It is a political, economic, culturological, psychological and media fight. The Balkans is not the main stage in this war.


Deputy of the Parliament of Montenegro, Chairman of the Socialist People’s Party of Montenegro Srdan Milic supported the words of his colleague. “The Berlin Wall did not fall, but moved closer to the east. And wh ere is the eastern border of Europe? Does Europe exist without Russia or Russia without Europe?”, asks the parliamentarian.


Negative attitude to the North Atlantic Alliance is more notable in the Republic of Serbia. Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Banja Luka Vitomir Popovic underlined that 99.9% of citizens of the republic support the Russian Federation and speak against NATO. This being said, the most serious pressure is put on his country by the western centers of power, mentioned the expert.

The participants of the conference came to a conclusion that the recipe to overcome numerous difficult situations in the region is in expansion of horizontal cooperation and contacts through the civil society. According to senior research fellow of the Scientific Research Unit at the rectorate of the University Banja Luka Dusan Vrucinic, a more serious approach to cooperation and creation of youth dialogue platforms similar to the “Balkan Dialogue” are required. Projects in the field of science and culture need to be implemented.