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Abkhazia, Transnistria, South Ossetia and Karabakh: Russia raises anchors and comes into motion

The so-called “unrecognized” states emerged at the height of the big Soviet country’s collapse. Those countries have formed a kind of curve from Transnistria up to the Transcaucasia and like anchors have suspended further dissolution of Russia for as many as two decades. Russia needed that time to restructure and realign its forces.

Regaining consciousness after the shock of 90s, Russia started comprehending and restoring the sovereignty over its territories.  In late 2000s, all the experiments in Russia’s domestic policy were over and a strategy towards expansion of the economic area was adopted.  Russia started successfully implementing integration projects of military-political and economic nature in the post-Soviet area. Eventually, a Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (Armenia joined it later) and a new economic union that has a potential to go beyond the post-Soviet area – Eurasian Economic Union - was established.  These dynamic improvements of the last two years made the United States and the U.S.-controlled allied-forces in Europe launch a hasty and risky undertaking in Ukraine. A state coup and then a civil war that was unleashed in the southeast of Ukraine resulted in loss of territories. The overwhelming majority of voters in the Crimean referendum voted for independence from Ukraine and for joining the Russian Federation.

It is noteworthy that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was one of the geopolitical anchors in the post-Soviet area. Earlier in 2008, Georgia plunged into adventure with the same overseas provocateurs and attempted to return South Ossetia by force. As a result, it lost both South Ossetia and Abkhazia forever.  Russia did not let them exterminate the Ossetians. It recognized the statehood of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and raised those anchors in the Transcaucasia. Actually, taking under patronage these small Transcaucasian countries, Moscow has expanded its official military presence.

An important point for establishment of the new Eurasian Economic Union was Armenia’s accession to it in that process. A de-facto outpost in the Transcaucasia (South Caucasus) and access to the River of Aras on the border with Turkey and Iran enable Russia to restore the status quo on the military-political and economic map of the region. Another geopolitical anchor is the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic that has withstood a 20-year-long permanent military confrontation with Azerbaijan and with its existence ensured for Russia’s access to the ancient borders.  It is time to raise that anchor too. Given the general format of the EEU, recognition of the Karabakh Republic could be soft and, as the saying goes, even “ex-post”, because in the new conditions of development, Azerbaijan is a potential member of the Eurasian Economic Union. The logic of development and historical justice pushes Baku for such decision.  Georgia’s alignment is predetermined by geography. Incidentally, geography is an exact science!  

What about Transnistria?

Today, amid the ongoing civil war in Ukraine and permanent adversary relationships with Chisinau, the Transnistrian Republic is facing isolation.  Tiraspol’s strong policy towards maintenance of Russia’s military presence in Transnistria and for independence with prospect of joining Russia were reaffirmed with two decades of state building and 6 referendums.  Over 200,000 citizens of Russia permanently live in the territory of the TMR (Transnistrian Moldovan Republic), which is nearly half of the population.

The November 30 parliamentary elections in neighboring Moldova drew the line at the issue of independence and self-determination of the Transnistrian republic. At any day now, the authorities in Chisinau will announce that Moldova refuses from the non-aligned status. At present, the political line in Moldavia simulates the very technologies that were used to organize the state coup in Ukraine. Moldova’s accession to NATO is the condition and goal of those efforts. In such case, in conformity with Russia’s political formula that was made public by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia will immediately launch a procedure of recognizing the TMR. One more anchor will be raised.

By raising the anchors, Russia is coming into motion. It advances steadily and becomes one of the poles in the new multi-polar world.  However hard the U.S. tries to freeze this movement of Russia and the whole world towards paradigm of the international law and multi-polarity as well as the refusal from the global right and political globalization, it cannot do it.  These efforts will burn away the last virtual ‘guarantee’ resources of the United States. That country has all chances to turn from an emerging global pole into a regional continental power in the short-run.

Alexei Martynov, political analyst

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31.05.2018

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