This site has already discussed the influence of Russia on Latvia and its integration policy. The Russian language referendum, the success of the Harmony Center party and growing power of Russian media is clearly visible in Latvia. This site has stated that this the part of Russian long-standing policy to use Russian minorities in the Baltic states for its geopolitical goals. Russian minority in Latvia has been used as tool to affect Latvian politics and EU politics as whole. And this strategy has been successful. The roots of this strategy comes from 1992. when Russian foreign policy expert and Vladimir Putin’s adviser Sergey Karaganov published an article in journal “Diplomacy Herald”. The article published on 15, and 30, November Nr. 21-22, was latter nicknamed “Karaganov Doctrine”. Although it’s not an official document its is guideline for Russian foreign policy written by Vladimir Putin’s adviser and top 100 worlds most influential men named by journal Foreign Policy and The Prospect. Here is the translation of the famous publication in English. More about Mr. Karaganov on Karaganov.Ru.
The doctrine came out 20 years ago, when Russia was looking for new foreign policy. Many things were stated there were according to the strategical outlook of those times. However the general foreign policy of Russia has been very close to conception made by Karaganov. It’s recommended to read the whole text completely to understand how Russia has been trying to restore former glory of the Soviet Union by using Russian minorities as the “strings of influence”.
On Russia focused people interest defending issues in “close borderlands”
Sergey Karaganov, Europe institute deputy director. Diplomatičeskij Vestņik (Diplomacy Herald) Nr. 21-22. 15.-30. November, 1992.
This issue has not been fully worked out. Therefore I present you some thesis.
For start few a notes about, what A. V. Kortunov stated in his speech. First. We have entered a new age when new states forms or reintegrates. Historical this period in individual regions went for hundreds of years. We are in the beginning of this period. And when they say that we have pulled trough with fairly few conflicts, I remember famous British strategist Lawrence Fridman. He said when Tito was gone, all talked that Yugoslavia will collapse. After that we thought we were wrong. But it came out that it’s simply happened 10 years later.
It’s clearly seen that we have entered in such period of history, that our country and other countries gone trough in XVII Century, some in Middle ages. And in present moment the best instrument of social and political analysis are not the books of our writers but the research of history. Many interesting things can be found there. This argument needs to be considered the background for our analysis of the present.
With Russian speaking population connected policy problems (later I will linger for social and political arguments of this question) cannot be addressed without whole political context of Russia. Separate policy is not possible and thinking without united policy is useless. We must at once start to address important and not so favorable questions, that has been asked by speakers before me.
On what should Russia focus in relations with other members of the Commonwealth of the Independent States? In Caucasus there is unrest and will be unrest in future as long as general Yermolov will not get there. Soon the unrest will appear in Central Asia where all the borders has been drawn artificially, and where states as such may not survive. The question will Russia itself can survive, and will in the grounds of Russia a violence will occur (this also a historical regularity, although many say no, I think yes). And many other common questions.
What should we do? There is three versions of policy. First – radical democratic policy – the strengthening of the independent states and our full abandonment from them. That is not a bad solution, but it’s not real. The strengthening of such structure is not possible, for as the A. V. Kortunov rightfully indicated the majority of these states will not survive. Also the situation will constantly change and we have to work to hold them together. Our present policy that was focused on strengthening the statehood of our neighbors ( I treat all states as equal, Russia is in common situation), brought to situation that we started to give away our armed forces to anyone. From international legal and present day philosophy aspect we did it completely legally. I have no right and I cannot say any objection against our steps, except one morally political. We have entered a historical period where arms cannot be given to unstable countries or countries with inside conflicts. Thanks to arms gave away principle in Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan there is thousands of unwanted victims, and we await of burning of all their tanks. In some points not all them will be burned as they will shoot for long time ahead.
The second way – reintegration. It will be normal neo – imperial way. It’s a tough course, although in long perspective it will be at least less bloody and more effective. But, its not real. For this we lack resources and political will. We are tired. Also the world will not let us to do it. I am not talking the moral side of the use of force in reintegration.
Finally a third course – regulation, which goal is former USSR reintegration in more or less confederate frames. In every way we must understand one thing – Russia will had to play active post-imperial role. If we gave up it, than history itself will force it on us with crowds of refugees, the explosions of chemical factories and so on. I do not really agree with M. A. Hrustalov, I personally would not like meddle in Central Asia , although I treat the culture of Asian people with deepest respect. But going away from them, as we did a year ago will not succeed. A storm of events will bring us back if the Uzbekistan will start to collapse and disintegrate, also the Kazakhstan and others. If we in this region with help of Kazakhstan will not play active post-imperial role, preventing conflicts and protecting national minorities, than sooner or later it will bring us in and we will not escape from it. After 10 years it will be hell burning in there. The Islamic Fundamentalism is horrifying. But, it will be much worse when there will be zone of unstable states. I think we must understand one point: Russia must go back to its traditional role – buy up local leaders, send troops to rescue someone. This job is not thankful, but this what the history has brought us to and its partly our own fault.
Now about the strategy regarding Russians. No strategy, no matter how much we speak about it, is not and will not be as long as we will not make a decision taking system in national security. Although I know that A.V. Kozirev (Russian Foreign Minster in those times) does not like to mention Gromyko (famous Soviet foreign minister) I would like that he will become him in not as foreign policy, but in such manner that whole national security strategy needs to put under control. If it will not be done we will achieve nothing. We are weak country, our possibilities are limited and we have no right wasting them.
And now about the protection of the Russian speakers. From political viewpoint the raising of this question is disputable, but from moral grounds its simply amoral. How can we defend Russian speakers, how can we determine them? Amoral for its smells like racism. But the main thing is not the amorality, but the simple impracticability. If we defend Russian speakers, than willingly or unwillingly we will allow the discrimination of other minorities. I heard that in Central Asia minorities closely watch each other and understands that if one minority gets discriminated, than others will follow. I think that the conception of Russia’s foreign policy on Russian speakers must be based on defending the human and minority rights in all parts of former USSR.
But before I start to discus this question I want to point out to something different. Russian speakers – its not only passive, but great active of Russia. First, everything must be done to keep Russian speakers in those regions where they live right now. Not only because we cannot afford to welcome a large crowds of refugees, but also because we must leave there a strings of influence with a further perspective. Dealing with economical advantage, Russia at once must start large expansion of investments, using the large debts that the republics are fed up with. We must by enterprises and take them under our control in such way establishing a powerful political enclave, that will be a foundation for our political influence including the protection of the Russian speakers.
The second task: the protection of the Russian language: support to schools, press, Russian speaking televisions and so on. We must do so in Russia that we will continue to teach the elites of the former republics of USSR, with thought that they will serve our interests. For the present time is otherwise: we close down the schools, limit the number of listeners, not forgetting to ask money, from already poor republics. In such way we risk loosing the whole generation that would accommodate us with good links the channels of influence. It easily understood that we must strengthen our cadres in the army and in higher Russian military schools we must educate the members of the military elites from the close foreign countries.
And now about the protection of the Russian speakers. I already said that slogan “the protection of the rights of the Russian speakers” is not determined from the political and moral side. Its needed to protect this contingent, but its must be done under the slogan of the defending the human and national minority rights. We must start with political strings, as it’s already been done in Estonia and Latvia. Its our mistake that missed those processes that already begun there (with that I mean the abuse of human rights). The precedent is made there, that if we bear with it and not suppress it at its seed will move to Russia. If we do not achieve any variant of compromise, then sooner or later, similar question will raise in other republics. I explain: if we allow everyone to break the “zero citizenship” giving law, then we will open the Pandoras Box that will revenge on us even after 20 years.
By the times regions and countries will change and every one of them basing on the precedent could not give citizen rights to the minorities.
The economical sanctions, that are accepted by international society are pretty effective, but its implication must be considered separately in every occurrence.
And lastly about the use of force. There is a thesis that use of force can’t achieve nothing. I as historian and the expert of international relations can say that you cannot achieve anything by force, but in this situation that we enter sadly many things will be decided by the use of force. I am not saying that we must fully support the use of force. I think that there is no greater nonsense than shouting about using bombs. Its makes no sense. But we must understand that if we want to keep stability we must relive the factor of disincentive use of force against the enemy. I have no doubts in that. Only the proper instruments must be found for it.
Really horrific episode occurred in Benderi, Ukraine. Not only because a thousand people were killed there, but also because the first time in the territory of the former USSR a crime against human rights was made. It will bite on us, that this crime went unpunished.
Now about the technique of using force. If we use the force with rights of the strongest it will be horrific. We need legitimacy. Not only because the whole world step against us, but also because we, if there will be no external control, will easily step over the verge of impunity. Right now the public opinion and the order of the international organization, must be focused on that so Russia and other subjects of CIS could have legal rights to use power in limited ways. Certainly we must consider about dividing the ESO in two zones. It would gave us chance of legitimacy. The West no longer will help us. They are moving away from us in fast temps and we can longer reckon with their peace protecting attempts. We must think about for ourselves. In one EDSO side there will be West, Central and Eastern Europe including Yugoslavia. There peace can be preserved by NATO and EU. NATO will take this offer with great pleasure! For we also could be involved there as observers. In other zone (Russia and the CIS) it must be achieved that such role would be given to Russia, but under international control, the international observers must be there, so that the use of army would be discussed if the armed force would exceed its powers, this fact would be internationally condemned. Unilateral actions that we are invited to, threatens to empower isolation.
There is not much solutions, but they must be used. In the end we are not such a tired nation.
Translation was made from Latvian translation from original language by Bruno Javoišs. From http://www.tautasforums.lv/?p=4497