The editor of Vreme weekly, Filip Svarm says that, once the Kosovo problem is solved, the next issue for Serbia would be joining NATO.
“Serbia’s entry into NATO would be the absolute end of NATO, and Serbia joining NATO would be akin to a comedy show”, says sociologist and journalist Slobodan Reljić.
Speaking in the Kvaka series 23 of the FoNet News Agency, Svarm assessed that nobody should be alarmed by the fact that the tabloids close to the state authorities are reporting against NATO and constantly praise Russians. According to him, this can change, just as it did in relation to the time when the Serbian Progressive Party was formed when the government changed its stance on Kosovo and other topics.
The issue of eventual entry into NATO was further actualized by the visit of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and the emergency situations military drill, with almost 40 participating countries, which is the largest ever military drill held in Serbia under the auspices of the Alliance. While NATO tried so hard to repair its very bad image, Serbia, on the other hand, worked on its image of a militarily neutral state, equally sympathetic to the East and the West.
The guests of the journalists Tamara Skrozza, the host of the series, agree, however, that the concept of military neutrality is not realistic.
“If someone attacks you, you have to defend yourself, you cannot call on your military neutrality,” Reljić explains.
He thinks that a constant reference to neutrality is useful if we are talking about “political move” that postpones possible entry into NATO.
Svarm also underlines that Serbia’s military neutrality is a nice play of words in political statements, and adds that it is only “unilaterally declared neutrality”.
“The worst of all would be that Serbia becomes a platform for the games played by superpowers, just like Syria”, Svarm points out.
At the same time, there is the issue of the current situation in the Alliance, with the US President Donald Tramp causing problems, plus there is the growing influence of China and Russia. Stoltenberg promised NATO would protect Serbs in Kosovo. Although, Serbia is practically “surrounded” by member states, it is unclear how much power NATO actually has and whether it is the same alliance that once bombed Serbia.
“NATO is always the same. NATO was the same when it was established, NATO was the same in the Cold War, during the bombing of Serbia, even today,” Svarm argues, adding that NATO is a large military organization with extremely high political implications.
“NATO is changing as the world changes, but the very principles on which NATO established will never change, that is, will not change as long as the world is as it is today”, says Schwarz.
Reljić’s opinion is completely different because he believes that NATO is the only such organization that survived the Cold War. According to him, NATO is now experiencing the same situation that the Red Army or the Yugoslav People’s Army have already experienced.
“It is an organization which has accumulated a huge amount of iron, gunpowder, poisons, and resources that can destroy everything. However, the organization no longer has contact with the people they are supposed to defend,” Reljić concluded.
This post is also available in: Italiano