DEPUTY Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was in Belgrade yesterday for talks with Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.
Medvedev is due to succeed Putin as President of Russia next Sunday.
He told his audience: ‘We proceed from the assumption that Serbia is a united country, whose jurisdiction covers the whole of its territory, and we shall stick to this principled stand.’
He added that ‘Kosovo’s declaration of independence is absolutely at variance with international law.’
Already the developing crisis between Serbia and the West has brought Russia much closer to the Serbian government.
Putin understands that the UK and US bourgeoisie are not limiting their actions to attempts to overthrow the pro-Soviet regime in Belarus and attempts to bring the Ukraine into NATO. They cannot wait for the day when they will be able to declare that the various resource rich regions of the Russian Federation also have the right to self-determination, and to self-determine their riches into the pockets of the Western Bourgeoisie.
However, first of all they have to secure their position in Kosovo and complete the destruction of Yugoslavia by forcing Serbia to surrender.
Therefore, from the point of view of the Russian leadership and also of the Russian workers, the longer the western Imperialists are kept busy trying to secure an independent Kosovo, and the longer that they are prevented from digesting that particular meal, the safer Russia will be.
From this perspective, of the legitimate needs of the defence of Russia, it is only natural that Russia should give support to Serbia.
After all the imperialists are seeking to complete the break up of Yugoslavia so that they can mobilise all of the anti-communist forces in eastern Europe for the coming attack on resource rich Russia.
Yesterday a deal between Gazprom and the Serbian state enterprise Serbiagas on a planned gas pipeline in Serbia was signed during Medvedev’s visit .
This will be followed up by an agreement over oil and could well be followed by a defence treaty with Russia that guarantees Serbia’s sovereignty and independence in the face of US-UK hostility through Russian troops having a presence in Serbia and turning the flank of US missile systems that are being constructed in the Czech Republic.
In fact the proclamation of independence of Kosovo has a logic of its own.
It is just a matter of time before the Serbs of Bosnia and Montenegro also seek the right to join Serbia and reconstitute Yugoslavia.
However, the workers of Serbia cannot put their trust in the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy. After all it was Yeltsin, Putin’s mentor, who refused to halt the NATO attack on Yugoslavia, and when the NATO forces were unable to enter Kosovo put massive pressure onto Milosevic to secure the retreat of the Yugoslav army from Kosovo, to let the NATO armies in.
The Stalinist bureaucracy is a flawed friend.
The real ally of the Serbian masses is the working class of Russia, and the workers of Greece, Western Europe and the US who are now in struggle with their own ruling classes who want to impose the whole burden of the growing capitalist crisis onto their backs.
The Russian workers – who ran Berezovskiy and the other robber capitalists that emerged out of the Yeltsin wing of the Communist Party out of the country – are feeling their strength and along with the workers of Belarus and the Ukraine will restore Soviet power through political revolutions to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy and the new bourgeoisie that it has spawned.
The workers of the metropolitan capitalist countries are fighting back against bosses that want to throw them back to the conditions of the 1930s.
Workers revolutions to smash capitalism and imperialism will be the decisive allies of the Serbian people. Central to their organisation is the building of the revolutionary leadership of the Fourth International. There is not a moment to lose.