UA_Analytica_22_2020

RUSSIA AND THE DILEMMA OF SEPARATIST TERRITORIES

An important part of Russia’s grand strategy since the 1990s has been the use of conflict zones across the post-Soviet space for geopolitical aims. Moscow’s battle with the West over the borderlands – i.e., the regions that adjoin Russia from the west and south – has involved keeping Moldova, Ukraine, and the South Caucasus through at times deliberate stoking of separatist conflicts. This policy has been successful so far, as the EU and NATO have refrained from extending membership to Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. However, over the past several years, Russia has started to face long-term problems: financing the entities; attaining a wider recognition for the separatist regions; inability to reverse the pro-Western course of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine; and the failure to produce a long-term political or economic development vision for the unrecognised territories.

An important part of Russia’s grand strategy since the 1990s has been the use of conflict zones across the post-Soviet space for geopolitical aims. Moscow’s battle with the West over the borderlands – i.e., the regions that adjoin Russia from the west and south – has involved keeping Moldova, Ukraine, and the South Caucasus through at times deliberate stoking of separatist conflicts. This policy has been successful so far, as the EU and NATO have refrained from extending membership to Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. However, over the past several years, Russia has started to face long-term problems: financing the entities; attaining a wider recognition for the separatist regions; inability to reverse the pro-Western course of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine; and the failure to produce a long-term political or economic development vision for the unrecognised territories.
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Emil Avdaliani

Emil Avdaliani, PhD, is a professor at European University (Tbilisi, Georgia) and a non-resident fellow at Geocase. He also teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University. Dr. Avdaliani has worked for different international consulting companies as a regional analyst covering Russia and its neighbours. He regularly publishes works at CEPA, Caucasuswatch.de, Intellinews.com, Georgia Today, etc. Dr. Avdaliani specialises in the former Soviet space and wider Eurasia with a particular focus on Russia’s internal and foreign policy, relations with Iran, China, the EU, and the US. Emil Avdaliani holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford and PhD from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU).


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