Probably, for anybody not a particularly surprising and inexplicable by the fact that Russia is positioning itself as a major player in the former Soviet Union. For this role she has everything: a truly continental scale of the country, population, abundance of natural resources, a strong army and a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons. After the collapse of the Union all will not go away. They guarantee today special role of Moscow in the region, and not only in one.
Politicians as gay — not the focus
These considerations almost every day in every way are discussed by many people, from famous politicians to Housewives across the post-Soviet space. And because most countries in this space are divided into Pro-Western, Pro-Russian, and those who try wherever possible to take into account the interests of both parties. Nothing can be done — it so happened…
Of course, it’s too formulaic, and the situation is not so straightforward. One can cite many examples where States, conventionally considered Pro-Russian, conflict with Moscow, thereby causing her serious trouble. Do the same thing sometimes so-called independent country (they are independent!) Pro-Western, like, orientation — and then fight and make peace with their partners.
But with Moscow — is another matter — it is better possible to refrain from unnecessary contact with the Kremlin, occasionally letting go at the Northern neighbor compliments. You know — politics!
However, the topic of foreign policy orientation in the post-Soviet space remains debatable — probably due to the fact that all of us remain somewhere in some post. Remember the days when things were simpler and we weren’t “post” but just the Soviet, as one keenly interested in international events which we did not touch any side.
Remember the program “international panorama”, which was once a week, on Saturdays, in the evening hours? Rarely any program in the world dealing with foreign policy, was as popular as this…
Now interest in foreign Affairs has increased dramatically and the reason for that — the same independence. With her relations of the republics of the former USSR with the outer world largely depends on the country’s life.
Anyway, and without Moscow — neither the amplitude nor syudy
Anyway, all the options revolve around Russia, with the result that, in fact, was born the increasingly popular so-called “multi-vector policy”. Despite the odd name, its essence is simple as a boyish game of “cops and robbers”. It can be expressed in two words: “Friends with everyone”… Its logical continuation is from time to time pop up on the surface the policy of neutrality, how important it is now called the political inaction by some politicians.
They both sound very nice and attractive — and really — who doesn’t love the idea of not have external enemies? Or to live a neutral, under the protection of the army, which will always be another, stronger army, and international law?
In fact, in reality, both of these options is almost impossible and multi — vector policy sooner or later will require you to choose a particular vector in the issues where vague answers are accepted. As for neutrality need not only the desire of the country itself, but also the consent of all interested States.
Against multi-vector policy and neutrality in our region is a major world player — her Majesty the Geography. A suddenly forgotten the simple fact, known from a school bench: the South Caucasus is on the crossroads of continents, and serves as one link between Asia and Europe.
“We will take into account the interests of all stakeholders,” say the South Caucasian politics, and probably I want to — at least no one has an irresistible desire to get involved in the major conflicts of the superpowers.
Sometimes, where there is enough declarations, it is quite feasible. For example, the most important theme for Moscow, is NATO. Promises never, not for anything in the world not to join the North Atlantic Alliance is one of the keys to improving relations with Moscow.
To resolve this issue simple. There is nothing difficult to say “We will not join NATO!” And then let them check, we are talking sincere or disingenuous are Caucasian. Moreover, the NATO today is not very willing to open doors to new members, and if someone does refuse, in Brussels will be happy. As the saying goes: a woman with a cart, Mare easier.
You can also take a huge number of steps that have ritual and symbolic meaning in the international arena and inside the country — for example, to intensify cultural contacts, to invite the Russian poets, strengthen teaching of the Russian language in schools, etc. In General, small but nice things which are perceived by Moscow as “taking into account its interests”.
The beauty of these steps is that they by and large don’t matter, their implementation does not require any effort, and most importantly, puts the country’s authorities faced with a choice.
“Maybe visit us in the CSTO?”
But we all know that symbolism in the arts and in politics — he always is just a signal of readiness to take steps real.
But it is harder. Abandon NATO, where we, Georgians, for example, and so did not take it easily. But if you over a glass of brandy going to whisper “And it would be nice if you joined the CSTO” is an entirely different song, and conversations of the type “Discuss, consider, think” — there is not enough… Sooner or later they will have to give a specific, clear answer — Yes or no…
But if it goes further, and over a glass of brandy you whisper in my ear “why don’t you join the Union?”. This is the topic of a completely different scale, as membership in such exclusively political Alliance means a complete reformatting of the state.
All that you have done before, all that you build, all your institutions, control system — all turns out to be superfluous and unnecessary. Membership in the Eurasian Union is not only a complete change of customs regime, import priorities, not implementing the industrial, commercial and other standards adopted in the European Union, but also to a large extent the formation of new rules of the game.
Even the theoretical possibilities of obtaining duty-free access to the European market are closed for ever, accordingly, does not make sense to think about the development of production, increase of quality of goods, and just enough to drive in Russia that is being chased right now — mainly if we are talking about the South Caucasian countries — mandarins, grapes, tomatoes…
And you can be sure after all this, you will surely whisper in his ear “you do Not need to help Europe to Caspian gas bypassing Russia.” Or other, more detailed advice: “do Not you beyond measure trying to poach on their routes of Chinese goods, again bypassing Russia”…
And here already the choice is just in the forehead — no evasive answers can not be — either with us or against us… This situation is no compromise does not provide for — or-or. Or do you continue to participate in major infrastructure projects, which Moscow perceives as an attack on its sphere of influence, or you finally have to admit to themselves and the world that “the interests of the parties” has its limits.
And sooner or later will have to stand before a choice — whose interests to consider — yours or others.
Of course, the policy of balance can be very long. Can many years to do what is beneficial to the country, and it is polite to hold a potential enemy at a distance.
In the case of Russia, it is even easier — first, because of the importance for Moscow of ritual actions and words, and secondly, due to the fact that contemporary Russian foreign policy typically focuses on one specific purpose. For example, now the main priority is the Ukraine, began to be other neighbouring countries — in the background. Now all organizational information and financial power of a hybrid war aimed at Ukraine, and the rest can relax.
However, interests are interests, and who can take the position of “priority enemy” after it will lose Ukraine — no one knows. The presence of the issues on which it is impossible to agree, always leaves the question open.
We have on the South Caucasus of their Tito
For this reason, it is impossible to remain neutral in the South Caucasus. First, it is too important geographically, and it faces very much the polar opposite of interests — in contrast to Switzerland, which did not have access to the sea.
Second, it is not enough to say “All, we are a neutral country”… you can Say anything, but the above questions — except the military unit in the face of the CSTO — not going anywhere, and to answer them it will be necessary — with or without neutrality.
Switzerland is not neutral because it has a strong army and everyone is afraid to climb. Switzerland is neutral because being in the center of Europe, it nevertheless is a vital transport artery, because it has neither natural resources nor land.
Because the most important thing: Europe is covered in those centuries the universal war of all against all need one place where there is no war where you can always come to relax, to hold separate negotiations with the enemy, to hide the stolen money.
In your opinion, how do the Swiss do this superreplica financial system? Yes, because who but it didn’t hide the money got by looting and robbery…
Sometimes could not help thinking: would we, post-Soviet, Josip Broz Tito, but still bargain of Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru, who agreed in 1961 to create the non-aligned movement. Yes, look around, no one person — not one of the real factors for the movement of non-aligned South Caucasus countries in our region. Therefore, us is very limited — neutrality is impossible, and “the interests of all sides” is possible only at the level of questions are of fundamental importance..
Of course, things could have been different, if Russian policy would be different if Moscow did not take any step on the part of neighbors, as an attempt to humiliate Russia, to take away from her natural wealth and to put her on her knees.
But that — a theory. Practice dictates another. Do not try to “consider the interests”, as a result, you will require to consider something impossible, and after the failure, everything will start from scratch.
It turns out almost like a young Lenin: you just have to go on his way without looking back and without asking permission.