Spectacolul ideilor pe hartă

31/mai/2010 Politica externă a Rusiei în epoca postsovietică (2/4)

Russian foreign policy within post- soviet era

 Irina Gucianu

(1/4); (2/4)

The geopolitics of the frozen conflicts

Although it would gain the status of partner of the western world, Russia would clearly define its own interests, especially in terms of the area of the former USSR, which now became generically ‘the close neighborhood’. This area of great interest for the Russia was about to gain a status that was consecrated by means of an authentic military doctrine in November 1993. It was in these spaces from the former perimeter of the USSR that were about to emerge the so-called ‘frozen conflicts’. One thing that we have to notice is the fact that the republics with the greatest problems into the post – soviet era were precisely those that did not prove to be receptive at the proposals launched by the leaders of Kremlin – that is to collaborate on different levels (economic, military, etc). The initiative of Mikhail Gorbachev (who was still de jure leader of the Soviet Union) to sign an economic union treaty with the USSR on the 18 October 1991 (one step towards the foundation of their new control) failed to be successful, except amongst eight republics out of twelve of the USSR. As for the others, i.e. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Republic of Moldova, they would be witnessing a decade of violent civil turbulence, in which Moscow would be omnipresent, under various shapes. Additionaly, the fourth ’rebel’ republic, Ukraine, would be the target of constant disruptions. The borders of these former union republics, which were settled from the earlier times during Stalin era, had been drawn so that they include at least one minority within and so that they constitute a permanent ‘apple of discord’ even within the borders of USSR – in this way being easier to control them from the ‘headquarters’. The old roman principle ‘Divide et impera’ could thus be materialized as useful as possible into the vision of the soviet and contemporary Russian leaders.  

Integration or association?

During Yeltsin era, the states from the Western Europe and also the USA believed that the Russian integration into the democratic world could be possible. Obviously, this process would not be completed overnight and would involve certain sacrifices on Russia’s behalf. Such western aspirations were not random, they were based upon the statements from Moscow, according to which this country was about to follow the path that would transform it into a ‘normal country’.[1] These are the suppositions according to which Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book called ‘The great dilemma: To dominate or to lead’, will refer at a specific time, considering the 90s, to the collaboration that Russia could prove into the Caucasian problem within the context of its interest of being integrated in NATO.[2] Even the office of president Putin would be perceived during the first years as proving such type of tendencies. At the meeting of USA Senate, which was held on 16 May 2002, within a debate regarding the Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, in the context of enlarging NATO, the senator Joe Biden delivered a speech that shortly synthetized one the USA Congress visions at that time: ’We have a leader in Russia now, who, for his own reasons–and I am not offering him as a Jeffersonian Democrat–is leading his nation to an open democracy. I suggest that not since Peter the Great has any Russian leader looked as far west as this man has and cast his lot with the West as much as he has.’[3]

Referring nowadays to this space, we cannot conceive in any way that Russia would have such aspirations. This is the reason why the current relations are of association (with NATO, with the European Union) and not of integration. Nevertheless, even due to of such collaboration, the relations were marked by skepticism and disagreement at times, such as the case of Serbia being bombed in 1999 (against Russia’s will, which voted negatively in UNSC regarding the resolution of using force against this state) and especially the successive enlargement of NATO towards the East, also involving states that belonged to the perimeter of the former USSR. (to be continued)

[1] Cioroianu, Adrian Geopolitica Matrioskai, ed. Curtea Veche, Bucuresti, 2009, p.149

[2] Brzezinski, Zbigniew Marea Dilema: A domina sau a conduce, ed. Scripta, Bucuresti, 2005, p. 98

[3] GERALD B.H. SOLOMON FREEDOM CONSOLIDATION ACT OF 2001 – (Senate – May 16, 2002), http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r107:2:./temp/~r107zUjbWJ:e3854:

31 mai 2010 - Posted by | Geopolitica, Intelo, Istorie | , , , ,

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