Not much attention for the ENP, warning of a new Cold War

The issue of restruc­tur­ing of the ENP after the Geor­gia-Rus­sia con­flict has not attract­ed much atten­tion from Croa­t­ian polit­i­cal elites, while the offi­cial gov­ern­men­tal reac­tions to the mil­i­tary con­flict were rather cau­tious and large­ly echo­ing major reac­tions com­ing from the EU and NATO.[1] Pres­i­dent Mesić in his state­ment has plead­ed for the imme­di­ate end­ing of all mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and sup­port­ed the agree­ment between Pres­i­dent Sarkozy and Medvedev on the cease­fire. He also men­tioned that a renew­al of the Cold War would be unac­cept­able and warned on cer­tain ten­den­cies which lead towards such divisions.[2] Some media reports have also par­tic­u­lar­ly stressed the role of the for­mer Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil Sarkozy in the res­o­lu­tion of the armed con­flict between Rus­sia and Geor­gia. Pres­i­dent Sarkozy was aware that this con­flict has much deep­er roots and is asso­ci­at­ed with the Russ­ian frus­tra­tion towards NATO east­ern enlarge­ment. That is why he has sug­gest­ed, togeth­er with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Medvedev, the cre­ation of some new pan-Euro­pean secu­ri­ty scheme. Fol­low­ing this idea, this con­cept is sup­posed to be pre­sent­ed at the OSCE Sum­mit in the sec­ond half of 2009.[3]

The press also brought some spec­u­la­tions that after the suc­cess in Geor­gia, Rus­sia will put for­ward the issue of Crimea, which is now a part of Ukraine.[4] In these terms the fact that Rus­sia has hand­ed over pass­ports to the Crimean pop­u­la­tion has been men­tioned as a very impor­tant indi­ca­tor. How­ev­er it is not expect­ed that this will have any impact on the fur­ther devel­op­ment of the ENP.[5]

For exam­ple, this can be evi­denced by the fact that nego­ti­a­tions on the abol­ish­ment of visa sys­tem between the EU and Ukraine have just start­ed. Accord­ing to Novi list it is a very impor­tant event that will like­ly last till the end of 2012.[6]

 

 

[1] See for instance the offi­cial state­ment no. 230/08 of Mr. Gor­dan Jan­droković, Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, avail­able at: http://www.mvpei.hr/MVP.asp?pcpid=1382&mjesec=8&Godina=2008 (last access: 30 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[2] Offi­cial state­ment of Pres­i­dent Mesić on events in Geor­gia on 21 August 2008, avail­able at: http://www.predsjednik.hr/default.asp?ru=375&gl=200808210000002&sid=&jezik=1 (last access: 29 Jan­u­ary 2009).
[3] Novi list, Jan­u­ary 2009
[4] Maro­je Mihovilovic: “Geor­gia: a Test for Ukraine Break- up”, Nacional, 2 Sep­tem­ber 2008.
[5] Vecern­ji list, Novem­ber 2008
[6] Novi list, Novem­ber 2008.