What are the myths about Balkan countries

Russian Balkan Policy - A Myth in Real Political Practice? T. I, 'Pan-Slavic' illusions and Balkan realities

Russian policy in the Balkans - a myth is put to the political test: part I, Panslavist illusions and Balkan realities
[Research paper]

Corporate editor
Federal Institute for Eastern and International Studies

Abstract

'Up until the start of the NATO mission in Kosovo (March 1999), many Western media were convinced that there was a special Russian-Serbian relationship. As evidence for this, it was mostly cited that Serbs and Russians have the same faith and the same script. That is precisely what is wrong: Orthodox churches are of course ... more

'Up until the start of the NATO mission in Kosovo (March 1999), many Western media were convinced that there was a special Russian-Serbian relationship. As evidence for this it was mostly cited that Serbs and Russians have the same faith and the same script. That is precisely what is wrong: Orthodox churches are national churches and therefore have little contact with one another. And the most 'national' Orthodox church in its entire theology is undoubtedly the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), whose teaching structure is based on the Svetosavlje, i.e. on the cult of Saint Sava (the church founder in the 13th century), on the others on the Krsna slava (Glory of the Cross, i.e. the horizontal connection among all Serbs and their vertical connection with God). And as far as alleged written similarities are concerned, a glance at the South Slavic state name is sufficient to recognize the graphic differences. Russia never had a special relationship with Serbia because it never had any relationship with the whole of the Balkans. In the late 18th century the Balkans may have played a certain role in the imperial plans of Catherine the Great as a 'deployment zone', after which it was no longer even part of the Russian planning mental games. This non-relationship continues to the present, as the recent Balkan crises up to the Kosovo conflict (1998/99) have demonstrated the Russian absence in the entire crisis management quite unreservedly. This situation has an abundance of historical, political, mental and other causes, which the present presentation examines in two parts. The first part introduces the overall problem and is then devoted to the history of Russian-Balkan and Russian-Serbian relationships. In a second part, Russia's position on the ex-Yugoslav wars and conflicts up to (possible) new approaches under President Putin is recognized. The work is based exclusively on generally accessible sources. ' (Excerpt) ... less


'Until the beginning of the NATO mission in Kosovo in March 1999, much of the Western media was convinced of a Russian-Serbian special relationship. This belief was based mainly on the idea that the Serbs and Russians shared a common faith and a common alphabet. But this is incorrect. Orthodox Churc ... more

'Until the beginning of the NATO mission in Kosovo in March 1999, much of the Western media was convinced of a Russian-Serbian special relationship. This belief was based mainly on the idea that the Serbs and Russians shared a common faith and a common alphabet. But this is incorrect. Orthodox Churches are national Churches and therefore have little contact with one another. In terms of its theology, the Serbian Orthodox Church is the most 'national' of all the Orthodox Churches. Its doctrine is based on the Svetosavlje - the cult of St. Sava, who founded the Church in the thirteenth century - and the Krsna slava - the glory of the cross, which unites all Serbs in its horizontal axis and joins man with God in its vertical axis. As for the alleged common alphabet, one only needs to look at the spelling of Yugoslavia in the two languages ​​to see that this is not accurate either. Russian has never had a special relationship with Serbia, since it never had a relationship as such with the Balkans at all. In the late eighteenth century, the Balkans may have played a role in the imperial plans of Catherine the Great as an area of ​​deployment , but after that the Balkans does not figure at all in Russian strategic considerations. This 'non-relationship' extends right up to the present day, for until the Kosovo conflict of 1998-99 the most recent Balkan crises were marked by Russia's conspicuous absence in efforts at crisis management. This situation has many causes, some of a historical or political nature, others of a psychological nature, which the following report examines in two parts. Part I provides a general introduction to the subject and then traces the history of Russian-Balkan or Russian-Serbian relations. Part II examines Russia's attitude to the wars and conflicts that have taken place in the former Yugoslavia and considers what new approach President Vladimir Putin may take to Balkan policy. The report is based entirely on generally accessible sources. ' (extract) ... less

Thesaurus keywords
historical development; Serbia; Russia; Yugoslavia; post-socialist country; USSR; bilateral relations; Southeast Europe; Developing country; Foreign policy; Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; International Relations; USSR successor state

classification
general story
international relations, development policy
Peace and conflict research, security policy

method
descriptive study; historical

Free keywords
Russian Federation; Regional foreign policy of individual states; Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1991 / 92-2003); Balkans; Bilateral international relations; Determinants of foreign policy; Ideological factors; Ethnic factors; Pan-slavism; Historical factors of foreign policy; Status and role in the international system

Language document
German

Year of publication
2000

Place of publication
Cologne

Page reference
35 pp.

Series of publications
Reports / BIOst, 19-2000

status
Release version; appraised

License
Deposit License - No Redistribution, No Processing