Saturday, May 14, 2005

Russian Allies

More and more often I hear, “Russia is loosing its allies among former Soviet now independent states”. Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova are gone. Only states with dictatorial regimes now stay with Russia but democratic countries want to be with America, EU and NATO. Really?
It was a surprise for Russians to discover that before multicolored revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine those countries were ‘pro-Russian’. Not even close to that. There is nothing new in Saakashvili’s rhetoric that wasn’t said by Shevarnadze before: Russian bases should be out quick, Russia should stop supporting Osetia and Abkhazia, Georgia wants to be in NATO and EU, American troops are welcomed. The main difference between him and Saakashvili is that Saakashvili is a hot head who loves to make pompous speeches before large crowds of people. Shavarnadze also tried a couple of times to take Osetia by military force but he didn’t make statements, “This is the war not with Osetia but with Russia” or “We will sink every ship with Russian tourists that will try to approach the coast of Abkhazia”. So the difference is simply in volume. Shavarnadze’s flattery towards the American president was also not so fulsome.
The same with Ukraine. If someone is interested in details of former Ukrainian president Kuchma “pro-Rusianness” should read his book “Ukraine Is Not Russia”. Yushchenko and Timoshenko seem to be more friendly towards Russia in comparison. Kuchma’s sudden and surprising “love” to Russia revealed itself only in 2004 when he realized that America and EU were playing against him.
The whole discussion on Russian allies sounds ludicrous. In its present poor state Russia simply cannot have allies in the geopolitical sense of this word. If one is given a choice between a Russian ruble and an American dollar one would choose rubles only when dollars are for some reasons unavailable. After the crush of the Soviet Union all it small former republics (with an exception of the Baltic republics, of course) plunged into such poverty that they instinctively clung to Russia. One today is worth two tomorrows. Fifteen years later most of them are doing much better. It’s quite natural for them today to think that two birds in the bush are better than one in the hand. Why is it so obligatory to be militant Russophobes in order to become allies to the US and NATO? That’s a different question.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Konstantin,

I truly appreciate all the good will and objective understanding you display in your analyses.

However, I am increasingly afraid that:

- the population of the "West",
- the population of the former Soviet Republics and
- the Russian population of living in Russia and abroad

are now just being prepared to the eventuality of an impending major armed attack against Russia.

This might sound naive at this point, but so many simultaneous enterprises against Russia cannot be just a coincidence.

Since the very end of WWI(1917) we have been witnessing a permanent state of cold-war against Russia, and in my eyes, the threat has never been so high as it is today, with Russia being weaker then ever since WWI.

Nowadays Russia seems to be the last missing piece of the Northern hemisphere not yet under the U.S. yoke. I would neither consider the EU nor China as a counter-power to the U.S.

I do not dare anymore to look at a world map, because I feel there is something big brewing out there.

I honestly hope that your reply will calm my misgivings, and that you will show me that I am wrong.

Lyndon said...

Konstantin,

You write: "Shavarnadze’s flattery towards the American president was also not so fulsome."

I have to disagree. I was present at a speech made by Shevardnadze in the US in 2000 or 2001, and he went on and on with obviously insincere and excessive praise of the US government.

There is a difference - Shevardnadze thought he could play the US and Russia off against each other by sucking up first to one, then to the other, whereas Saakashvili seems to have bet all his chips on siding with the US.

I would also note that of course any action against South Ossetia or Abkhazia is viewed by Georgia as an action against Russia, because that is how Russia views it as well.

As for the comments on this post by "Anonymous," it's hard to believe anyone actually holds this opinion. The US has neither the resources nor the desire to launch a "major armed attack against Russia."

Anonymous said...

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cheetah13 said...

Is the first time i hear about Russia is loosing allies, maybe thats the reason of why Russia make allies in other continents, in America make an alliance whit Venezuela, how make an alliance whit Iran, if you are right you know the reason of this alliances.

not forget that Iran and Venezuela are against usa

thanks for that information.

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