New Tendencies and the South Caucasus

    • Comments - 15 July 2016, 23:49
In what is happening in the Black Sea and Caucasian region, the most substantial and important thing is Turkey’s quest for its new place in the international community.

Turkey’s ongoing problems were not immediately perceived in the world as something significant and important because both economic and political crises occurred often in this country. This is a complicated issue which has not only political importance but also that of civilization.

One can feel obvious reluctance in many groups of the global analytical community to recognize this but they will have to do. In the 90s, mostly under the influence of the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which thwarted Turkey’s expansion in Eurasia and limited Turkey’s aspiration to form new relations in the Balkans and the Near East.

The “transition” period of this process of distancing has passed, which became fully clear after the United States limited their efforts to push Turkey into the European Union. It became clear that the U.S. policy is the main obstacle to the successful economic development of Turkey, especially after the peak of the economic crisis that began at the end of the 90s, as well as in achieving national security (especially in the aspect of regional security).

A period of confrontation between the United States and Turkey in which the leading countries are interested, as well as the Balkan states of the European Union has started.

In connection with the existing situation Turkey and Russia are trying to set up new conditions in the Black Sea – Caucasian region, achieve new agreements, despite a number of problems which exist in the relations between the two powers.

This still virtual alliance is quite vulnerable and not only in regard to existing mutual problems as neither Turkey, nor Russia will go for a compromise with each other on most important issues but also due to the goal itself, i.e. the reflection of the U.S. expansion in the region.

In the modern world, these goals did not become self-sufficient and cannot ensure long-term development of strategic relations. Turkey and Russia will be interested in stable and non-confrontational relations with the United States, and everyone will constantly look back to these possibilities.

Over the 90s and in the following years one could watch Turkey’s and Russia’s attempts to conduct a multi-faceted foreign policy which sometimes was successful but more frequently was limited to semi-decisions and doubtful results. While dealing with American experts who play an important role in forming opinions and positions in Washington one often heard exaggerations of Turkey’s role in the U.S. foreign policy.

One could spend a week in the Security Council or the State Department, consulting the administration and not hear anything about Turkey, one of the leading figures in the American political science and a leading expert on the Near East says. One could quote another thought that hardly fits the rules of respectable political science that the United States and Turkey are trying to normalize their relations, coming up with proposals on the development of strategic partnership but nothing comes out of this.

All this is rather strange but only against clichés. In reality, a new geopolitical perspective is occurring.

The Europeans were able to take what was useful for them from the escalation in the Caucasus in these weeks. The Europeans hope for weakening of the U.S. position, strengthening of Russia’s dependence on the EU. The Europeans need stability and security in the Caucasus in any political regime and foreign patronages.

Besides, the Europeans need to wrap up their plans to expand NATO’s presence in the Black Sea, distance from possible participation in military operations. On the whole, the EU is in search of ways of “closing the case”, actually recognizing the facts, not allowing accusations of Georgia’s participation in triggering a conflict.

NATO is disoriented to a known extent by politicians of the member states of the bloc, and apparently the NATO circles are viewing Turkey as somehow separated from the bloc. On the whole, the Western community does not have due opportunities and arguments to keep Turkey on its orbit.

Moreover, the European countries and the EU perceive with relief Turkey’s diminishing willingness to join the European Union and European bias. The Europeans do not want to be accused by the United States of encouraging Turkey and its anti-American actions.

Control over Turkey is not a priority goal for the European Union. Now the European Union is looking for new ways of controlling Turkey. The United States has already resolved this issue but not fully. The Turkish-American relations remain uncertain.

What is more substantial in the new tendencies relating to the Caucasus? Of course, the Western community is trying to resolve the issue of separating the Caucasus from Russia once and for all. In addition, Georgia is viewed as a resolved issue.

Azerbaijan is a Central Asian country and no other option is yet considered. However, the big prize for the West is Armenia. Separating Armenia from Russia would be the main and substantial outcome of the new policy in the Black Sea-Caucasian region.

In regard to the implementation of this policy some regional intentions have been included in the global plans.