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.