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Thursday, 27 October 2016


Caucasian Response to Eurasian Union

2011-11-23 11:58

Caucasian Response to Eurasian Union. 24784.jpeg

The initiative by Russian PM Vladimir Putin to set up Eurasian Union as a form of economic consolidation of the post-Soviet space and reinforcement of Russia's political influence scares the West to death. After all, not only Belarus and Kazakhstan will follow Moscow. Caucasian republics too are likely to support the idea. Firuz Kyazymzade, a professor with Yale University is sure that the problem lies inside nations living in Caucasus. Overly passionate relationships and never-ending conflicts make countries of the unquiet region still weaker.

As a response to the Eurasian Union and Moscow's strengthening in Euro-Atlantic space, the Western community starts lobbying the idea of the so-called "Caucasian Home". The issue was once raised at the time of the Crimean war with British politicians advocating Russia's weakening by narrowing its spheres of influence. To do that, serious troubles were stirred making Russia fix things for decades. The instrument traditionally used for these purposes is costly but efficient - ethnic conflicts.

Turkey that tried to unite the Muslim world under its protectorate was the first to help French and British diplomats in their difficult case. Western Armenia as well as Transcaucasian Armenians with their Orthodox faith was an obstacle. The religious war against them was to herald the Ottoman Empire's victory in the region with Armenia having no allies or defenders at that time. Yet, only Russia could stop policies pursued by official Istanbul. In that case, Russia would have automatically become a mother country for Transcaucasia, Asia Minor and Anatolia.

Dreams of Austria-Hungary, Germany and Turkey to squeeze Russia out of big politics could come true if not for Serbian separatists who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in their struggle for unification between Southern Slavic nations into one state. The Ottoman Empire had similar aspirations to turn Turkish nations into one ethnic and linguistic conglomerate. It was the beginning of the fight for the Caucasian Confederation. Apparently, for some this fight is still on - this is where Mikheil Saakashvili takes inspiration from.

However, the first world war not only destroyed German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires. As a result, it led to a territorial chaos with borders repeatedly moved by this or that rival. Even now it is difficult to know the truth. Due to Turkey that announced Karabakh and Nahichevan as Azerbaijani territories and citizens of these territories as Mladoturks and Musavatists, Armenia was taken hostage by three Caucasian republics against its will.

"Thinking about the region's distant future, these conflict issues should be resolved, probably there should emerge a sort of union - economic at first - in Caucasus that will grow into political unification. Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are closely connected by culture, geography and have nowhere to go without each other. That is why we must find ways to settle existing problems. This may last for decades, but in the end these questions should be resolved, - Firuz Kyazymzade, professor of Yale University states.

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