How would you redraw the Balkans?

Ethnic borders: Slovenian proposal disturbs the Balkans

The political "solutions" in the text read like instructions for the next wars in the Balkans. The Slovenian platform "Necenzurirano" leaked a non-paper on Wednesday, the content of which has been simmering the rumor mill in Southeast Europe for days. It is said to have been written by the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and sent to some European heads of government and Council President Charles Michel.

It proposes to destroy the entire post-war order in south-eastern Europe and to draw new borders according to ethnic criteria, i.e. to do exactly what led to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.

Earlier hints

A few days ago the Slovenian President Borut Pahor already mentioned that there would be such considerations. He had already spoken of this on a visit to North Macedonia in September of last year. Pahor may have wanted to warn of the ambitions of his own prime minister, Janša.

According to "Necenzurirano", part of the text is said to have been written in Budapest. It is interesting that Janša has close ties to the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, both politically, ideologically and economically. The spicy thing about the paper is that Slovenia will take over the EU Council Presidency in the summer and that ethnic nationalists in the Balkans are actually trying to draw borders based on ethnic criteria.

Amazement in Sarajevo

In particular in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a state that, according to the non-paper, is to be dismembered and destroyed - just as the warmongers tried to do in the 1990s - there was a strong reaction to the Slovenian paper, especially since Slovenia has always been closer Friend of Bosnia-Herzegovina was considered.

Željko Komšić, member of the Bosnian State Presidium, says: "This paper, this policy, everything that generates these ideas is unfortunately in power in some European countries today and is deeply motivated by hostility towards Muslims and anti-Semitism."

Komšić also thinks that the action was prepared with the non-paper. "Of course it is dangerous that the extreme fascism, nationalism and chauvinism that have taken power in some European countries now have institutions such as the diplomatic apparatus, the secret services and the entire state infrastructure at their disposal," said Komšić. "It seems that these European friends of ours very quickly forgot their historical experiences and Hitler," he reminds us of similar ethnic ideologies.

"Malicious Propaganda"

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry had no idea of ​​the existence of the non-paper allegedly from Janša. Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that Slovenia's strategy towards the Western Balkans has not changed. There is speculation in the media that beyond Orbán, the government in Belgrade could also have an interest in the dissemination of the non-paper. Because the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić had already advocated border changes based on ethnic criteria in the case of Kosovo and Serbia three years ago.

The Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turković said: "I am convinced that no serious person within the EU can support the idea of ​​threatening the integrity of a country, even if backward forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina try to see the idea of ​​partition as legitimate to represent. " She viewed the paper as an attempt by these forces to achieve the goals that they could not achieve in war. "As Bosnia-Herzegovina, we have been fighting against malicious propaganda for a long time," said Turković. Janša did not specifically deny the existence of the document.

Obsession with maps

The High Representative of the International Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, said that he had not seen the alleged Janša paper and did not know whether it really came from him. "But I know from personal experience that some politicians have an obsession with drawing borders or drawing maps." For example, the former Croatian President Franjo Tuđman drew possible new borders of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the back of a menu at a banquet in London on May 6, 1995 and gave them to the British politician Lord Paddy Ashdown.

"In 1996 I also received a well-designed map from the Bosnian-Serbian politician Momčilo Krajišnik, who wanted to move the Bosnian-Herzegovinian access to the sea to Neum to the south, to the Montenegrin border," Inzko recalls. Krajišnik wanted to create a sea access for the Bosnian part of Republika Srpska. "Shifting borders is playing with fire and can have unforeseen consequences," warns the High Representative. "That would open Pandora's box, and it is well known that Pandora's box contained all of the evils known in ancient Greece that would multiply and escape into the world as soon as you opened it."

Inzko clearly against it

That is why it is better to keep this diabolical box locked, says Inzko. "I am also on the side of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has spoken out clearly against an intended border shift between Kosovo and Serbia. As far as my area of ​​competence is concerned, it is very clear that the Dayton Treaty does not permit border shifts and I would never personally agree to something like that, "said Inzko about the STANDARD. (Adelheid Wölfl, April 16, 2021)