After the War
Since the time when the Russian military bases were deployed in South Osse-tia and Abkhazia, the number of conflicts and cross-border skirmishes betweenGeorgia and the new states, which it refuses to recognize, has decreased, andtheir intensity has declined greatly.
Russia and the Neighborhood
Post-Soviet Nations in the Garden of Forking Paths
Until a method is found in Russia for generating a non-Soviet (different fromthe restoration of the pre-Soviet) central system of values, democratic institu-tions and practices will remain weak. Moreover, the vectors of movement for post-Soviet polities, which twenty years ago were labeled as a “democratictransition” in a burst of overly audacious hope, will remain forking paths.
Cooperation Instead of Containment
Russia could benefit greatly from Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO. The bene-fits would be felt on the bilateral, regional and global levels – in geostrategicand political terms, and in terms of international image. Unfortunately, today’sRussia cannot offer Ukraine anything of equal value for attaining the parity of mutual benefits.
Politics Ahead of the Economy
A collapse of the Customs Union project, which is not ruled out if the projectis poorly conceived, will mean Russia’s loss of the status of the main forcesteering integration processes in the post-Soviet space. This will push the CISinto the sphere of integration processes designed by external forces – the EU,China, etc.
Fostering a Culture of Harmony
Turkey’s foreign policy has three main characteristics: it is vision-oriented, notcrisis-oriented; it is proactive, not reactive; and it is integrated and systemic,operating across a 360-degree horizon. We pursue a policy of “zero problems”in our neighborhood. We believe that this is an achievable goal, if enough trustand confidence can be generated among the relevant parties.
Smaller nations have to avoid taking sides. But the maneuvering vector did notmake up all of their foreign policies. Regional states tend to be neutral. Theprinciple of potential or delayed neutrality has become a system-making ele-ment in international relations in Central Asia.
RUSSIA IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS VOL. 8 • No. 1 •JANUARY – MARCH • 2010