Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Kostas G. Messas | Go to book overview
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Greece's Policies in the Post-Cold War Balkans

Prodromos Yannas

The passage from the Cold War to the post Cold War period has had a profound impact on the conduct of foreign relations. The "rules of the game" have changed and the stability of the bipolar Cold War system has been succeeded by a fluid international environment. In this new setting, structures like the Warsaw Pact have disappeared, while others, like the NATO Alliance and the United Nations (UN), are searching for new roles; nationalist/populist and Western oriented modernization ideologies are trying to fill the gap left behind by the fading ideology of communism; and new states have been created out of the vestiges of the former Soviet and Yugoslav federations.

For Greece -- a small, Western democratic, status quo country, located in the troubled regions of the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean -- the post Cold War outlook offers new challenges and opportunities. The main concerns of Greek foreign policy can no longer focus exclusively on the ongoing differences with Turkey and the search for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus conflict. Greek foreign policy makers must now consider the "Macedonian Question" and the status of ethnic Greeks in Albania, both of which laid dormant throughout the Cold War period. Moreover, Greece is challenged to consider the conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina and the implications For the region's sovereignty. To navigate through these turbulent times, Athens must first and foremost rely on a robust economy at home as well as on the readiness of its armed forces. Greece must also accept that security begins at home and extends outward in a series of concentric circles that designate successively the country's membership and active participation in the European


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Crises in the Balkans: Views from the Participants


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