SEE and Russia energy interest Exclusive report: EU to connected Balkan states into economic alliance and limit Russia influence increase

25. September 2013. / SEE Energy News

The EU wants to neutralize the Russia efforts to take completely control of the energy market in this part of Europe by forming G6 in the Balkans

The initiative to form the Western Balkan Six (G6), which includes institutionalized cooperation between BiH, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania in the context of European integration, so far has attracted the attention of Slovenia and Croatia, even though they are already members of the EU.

Future Balkan alliance which has already got support from Brussels and Washington means common parliament and police (BALPOL), a common labor market, education and health protection.

The story of the new Balkan alliance officially began in mid-June, when the Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration submitted to the BiH MFA proposal of a new concept of regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, which is called the Western Six (G6). In the future regional alliance Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia are connected.

The initiative is a result of the agreement of the ministers of foreign affairs of the region countries with high EU High Commissioner Stefan Fule, and the General Secretary of the Regional Cooperation Council Goran Svilanovic. The initiative goal is, as says its founder, Montenegro Minister of Foreign Affairs, Igor Luksic, that the Western Balkans region, through mutual cooperation, be fully integrated into the EU.

It was agreed that Montenegro, as currently the only country in the region which has negotiations on EU membership, prepared the basic idea of further promotion of the regional cooperation in order to strengthen the European perspective.

In the document of BiH MFA from 20 June this year, which explains the Montenegrin initiative, stated that the proposed participation of Kosovo is in accordance with the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina from 2012. The text signed by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mitar Kujundzic said that such a model is acceptable for the Bosnia position to Kosovo, unless the Agreement application be called into question. In this case, BiH could seek clarification from the involved parties (EU, Serbia and Kosovo).

Without much media attention, in Przno near Budva in mid-July, was held a consultative meeting of political directors of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia on the new concept of regional cooperation under the name Western Six +1 with the participation of the Head of EU Delegation in Montenegro, Ambassador Mitja Drobnic and General Secretary of the Regional Cooperation, Goran Svilanovic.

Although it is already the EU member, Croatia joined the initiative, and to the meeting also assisted the representative of Slovenia as an observer.

Participants confirmed their readiness to cooperate in the proposed format of the regional cooperation, with respecting the evaluation progress principles of each country individually in the European integration process, the so-called regatta approach.

Considering that the new initiative does not provide the creation of new regional structures, Svilanovic offered the Secretariat to become the executive arm of the Initiative, thus providing the necessary institutional capacities to further idea operationalization.

It is interesting that in our public was spoken a little about this initiative. At a meeting of diplomacy chiefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, held in Sarajevo at the end of August, Zlatko Lagumdzija and Igor Luksic spoke about the efforts intensification within the new concept of regional cooperation called the WB6 +2. It was agreed that by the next ministerial meeting planned on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, in collaboration with other members of the initiative, the concrete projects of mutual interest be formulated.

By the formation of G6 in the Balkans, the West wants to neutralize the Russia efforts to take completely control of the energy market in this part of Europe. In fact, in the global impact division already has been traced line Baltic-Adriatic as a sphere of Russian economic and thus political influence. By taking two refineries (Pancevo and Brod) Russia become a leader in the oil and oil products sale, and with the arrival of South gas line will only confirm that role. Only remains a struggle for the electro energetic sector, where the Russians count on the gas and thermal power plants and for the future it is considered the construction of hydro power plants that would come as a logical consequence.

Since this is opposite to the plans on the EU energy network in Southeast Europe, it is not surprising that by the G6formation which is under the West control, it is tried to stop the Russians further penetration into this market.

It is interesting that the American-British initiative coincides with Turkey’s plans in the region, which seek to establish closer economic and political ties between the Balkan countries with a Muslim majority. Green Route and the Turkish influence strengthening in the Balkans are part of the EU and USA compromise, in terms of resolving relations in the Balkans in the context of Euro-Atlantic integration.

Source; Serbia Energy/Kurir daily/MNE Pobjeda

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