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Military style CIS - nightmare for Georgia01.02.2013 | 14:33
Formation of Muslim and Christian military blocs in the Caucasus and Central Asia is unlikely in the near future. Union of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan is rather a PR campaign, and military cooperation between Russia, Armenia, and Georgia is ruled out today. This is the conclusion reached by the experts, commenting on the version of the possible split of the Caucasus and Central Asia into two military blocs, united by religious lines.
Commenting to the "Big Caucasus" the formation of so-called Armed Forces of Turkic-speaking countries, the head of the Caucasus department of the CIS Institute, Mikhail Alexandrov expressed doubts about the seriousness of the new structure. "Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan pledged to join the bloc later. - Ed.) are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization", the expert recalls. "How can they join another organization while having obligations to the CSTO? To join something, they first have to get out of the bloc, otherwise there can arise contradiction with the essence of the Collective Security Treaty. So, I guess no one has signed anything.
They stood on the parade ground, made some statements and that's all. This is rather a PR campaign required by Turkey. The Kirghiz and Kazakhs have no reason not to respect Turkey. Azerbaijan also wants to once again "show fist" to Armenia. Although everyone knows that they are Turkey's ally".
Alexandrov says that the threat of war in the Eurasian space does exist, but it is associated with events around Syria and Iran. "We can imagine such a scenario: Turkey invades Syria with the support of the West, Iran attacks Turkey, the West attacks Iran - and then Russia has to determine who to support. Development of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East, which will involve Russia, cannot be excluded. Therefore, the statement by the head of the Russian General Staff on the Army's readiness to a large-scale war, in my opinion, is justified", indicates the scientist.
Turning to the possible consolidation of Russia, Georgia and Armenia, Alexandrov says that indeed, some analysts consider the establishment of Armenian-Georgian confederation almost the only option for Georgia, or, from their point of view, there is a risk that the country will be absorbed by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Political scientist sees no point in Georgia's joining to the CSTO, since "Georgia has never been a serious military force", though, our source notes, "this is an important territory in the strategic terms". Alexandrov adds that if the Georgians themselves want to cooperate, "no one would push them away". "But it's not a matter of the nearest future. Georgia must define its foreign-political orientation, to understand at a basic, value level, where the country should move. And this will take time", sums up the expert.
At the same time, the Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of Georgia Soso Tsintsadze in an interview to the "Big Caucasus" called unrealistic the prospect of Georgia's joining a military bloc with Russia. Moreover, he said, Georgia will soon officially take over the obligation not to enter any association "in the style of the CIS" in the foreseeable future. "I can say that today the Parliament is working on the appropriate document. While this is only a draft, but it has already been decided to fix this principle in law", says the Georgian political scientist.
"What's next, after 10-20 years, we'll see. But today, on the basis of the developments and the position of the Georgian public, such cooperation is impossible. As long as Russian troops are in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, any speculation about the military alliance between Russia and Georgia is fantastic", emphasizes Tsintsadze.
"The same applies to the bloc between Georgia and Armenia", the professor continues. "Georgia is not interested in taking any side in the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. The aim of Georgian foreign policy is to maintain good neighborly relations with all our neighbors, including Russia, and even more - with Armenia and Azerbaijan. Thus it is impossible to speak about the military version of the Armenian-Georgian cooperation even in theory".