Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press
Vol. X / No 4 / 2001
ŠTÚDIE, ANALÝZY - STUDIES, ANALYSIS
3 Oskar Krejčí
Prolegomena ke každé příští geopolitice
Prolegomena to Every Next Geopolitics
22 Matthias Stoermer
European Energy Security
Európska energetická bezpečnosť
43 Daniela Geisbacherová
Ako vníma USA formovanie európskej bezpečnostnej a obrannej politiky
The US Approach towards Creation of Common European Security and Defence Policy
56 Emil Souleimanov
Bitva o ropovody a kaspická politika
Struggle for Pipelines and Caspian Politics
80 Urban Rusnák
Premeny kaspickej geopolitiky
Changes in Caspian Geopolitics
91 Ladislav Středa – Miroslav Štangl
Opatření proti šíření zbraní hromadného ničení
Measures against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
ÚVAHY, ROZPRAVY, ROZHOVORY - REFLECTIONS, TRANSACTIONS, INTERVIEWS
119 Shavkat R. Arifkhanov
Central Asia – in the Geopolitically Changing World
Stredná Ázia – v geopoliticky meniacom sa svete
134 Peter Juza
Geopolitika (niektoré názory ruských geopolitikov – téma na diskusiu)
Geopolitics (some Opinions of Russian Geopoliticians – a Theme for Discussion)
140 Radomír Boháč
Geopolitické zmeny a Slovensko
Geopolitical Changes and Slovakia
155 Peter Juza
Orozbek Moldaliev: Súčasné výzvy bezpečnosti Kirgizska a Strednej Ázie
158 Daniela Nováčková
Mária Patakyová: Spoločnosť s ručením obmedzeným a jej konateľ
Central and Eastern Europe in an attempt to escape tenacles of communism created its shield of conception of the universe by uniting three different politics ontology ideas:
This conglomerate image is strongly influenced by the shake-up of the European post-socialistic world. In a new situation geopolitics created an important part of this shield against communism as intelligible certainties enlightening international relations. But geopolitics is not only a synonym to ”world politics” or ”international politics” but and mainly a distinctive theoretical school.
In all its current forms geopolitics brings a vision of a permanent conflict. It is a basic and axiomatic element for interstate relations. But shall geopolitics become a science it must explain existence of peace – an antithesis of war. Also geopolitical vision of war does not find all causes for fights. There could be other, more hidden impulses than geographic forces urging mankind to change differences in interests to conflicts and wars. Shall geopolitics become a science it must prove that there are mainly geographically determined political struggles. A state equally as a conflict is perceived as given without a proof. A state promoted to an organism is everlasting and conflictive. Shall geopolitics become a science it must refuse unjustified facts. Position and quality of each fact of a theory must be explained. Shall geopolitics become a science it must return to its own roots and explain by political philosophy its vision of an interstate conflict under conditions of globalisation in the beginning of the 21st century. Though geopolitics should include anthropological conception current statistics shows that only a minority of interstate borders are subject of disputes of conflicts and the cause is predominantly historical contradictions, ethnic feuds and raw materials. A geopolitical map is information about a balance of power, about lines of force connecting everlasting and antagonistic ambitions of states. But how should be the EU enlargement map read? How should be borders between the EU member states bind by the Schengen Agreement interpreted? It cannot be but change of character of power in the 20th and beginning of the 21st century. Shall geopolitics become a science it must using its own theoretical and methodological equipment explain why Germany and France (during centuries geopolitical enemies) are today a core of a successful European integration which was consciously built as an alternative to a war.
Geopolitics’ collaboration with Nazism is a big stain on its beauty. But it is true that geopolitics of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi geopolitics were not identical and it is incorrect to identify it with the German Nazism. The use of geopolitics by fascism was made feasible by the fact that geopolitics as a child of social sciences of the second half of the 19th century reflected inebriation by naturalism, which enabled birth even of racism. Conditions for fascism were created by simplified perception of social reality. And Nazis themselves developed geopolitics.
Geopolitics does not recognize small states; it is a theory of fight of powers. According to N. Spykman ”small states represent vacuum in a sphere of high political pressure, their life is not given by their power but by the fact that no one strives for their territory neither they are kept as a buffer zone nor a political weight”. Shall geopolitics become a science it must say whether small states and nations can survive.
There is no ethical ideal in geopolitics. It does not deal with law or justice. A war is self-justifiable because growth is a character of a healthy life and thus not legal but natural. But the second half of the 20th century narrowed legal right to wage a war to only self-defence and the UN Security Council decisions. These principles are accompanied by a code for a justified war. Under the given conditions a war rationalized only by geopolitical laws is an unjustified war. Existence of law proves that international politics is not fully exhausted by geopolitics. Space were law and moral are absent is in geopolitics filled by absolutized geographic determinism. Geopolitics was the first at the theoretical level to draw attention to global dimension of international politics. But it gained too strong absolutization. Absolutized space conflict of states is still a uniting point of different branches of geopolitics. And thus geopolitical disputes are changed into mathematic combination of powers of players.
But the power relations are not the only international relations and space is not its only characteristics. Another dimension to be studied is time. Plus importance of geography must be reconsidered. Potential nuclear missile conflict brought a question of possible cultivation of biological instincts of a human being, nations, states or possibility of a new form of their fulfilling. Space shall be one of factors of politics but variable.
Geopolitics understood as a theory of movement of a power in a space can include a big number of schools but only when differences in understanding of causes and characters of power are left aside. Geopolitical thinking regardless of nationality of their authors and advocates presupposes that power disputes will be in a first place solved by weighting or using power potential of superpowers that means with zero or minimal role of international law. Future of world political system is seen as a permanent conflict of big states. But if statesmen accept the idea of conflict of civilizations the conflict will become inevitable. In the beginning of the 21st century geopolitics can successfully explain a number of phenomena and dangerous tendencies. It is a useful analytical tool at searching some development conflict tendencies. But politics is not mechanically determined; it cannot be prognosticated without alternatives. Though idealistic vision of a world peace can be seen as a less probable result of statesmen activities, the world does not lead only to a war, but to securing peace as well – in three basic lines:
Shall geopolitics become a science it must perceive and respect other theoretical-methodological approaches. Shall geopolitics become a science it must be a modest part of a big number of theoretical schools.
Autor sa vo svojej stati venuje problematike energetiky a jej bezpečnostným súvislostiam. Zdôrazňuje, že ekonomická a v jej rámci energetická bezpečnosť sa stáva neoddeliteľnou súčasťou bezpečnosti a jej význam bude v rámci komplexného konceptu bezpečnosti v budúcnosti narastať. Energetická bezpečnosť sa stáva životne dôležitá pre každého jednotlivého Európana. Môže viesť energetická bezpečnosť k zblíženiu Európy a Ruska? Aké dôsledky to bude mať pre NATO? – to sú kľúčové otázky, ktoré si M. Stoermer kladie.
V prvej časti nazvanej Komplexná bezpečnosť a Charta európskej bezpečnosti OBSE poukazuje na prednosti komplexného bezpečnostného modelu, tak ako ho konštituovala Charta európskej bezpečnosti OBSE v Istanbule v novembri 1999. Podľa neho predstavuje moderný prístup k bezpečnosti, ktorý zahrnuje všetky aspekty ľudského života, a neobmedzuje sa len na vojenskú sféru. Charta hovorí o troch dimenziách komplexnej bezpečnosti – ekonomickej, ľudskej a politicko-vojenskej. Autor je presvedčený, že model komplexnej bezpečnosti vyjadruje situáciu súčasného sveta lepšie ako modely kolektívnej a kooperatívnej bezpečnosti. V protiklade k teóriám z čias studenej vojny, ktoré spájali bezpečnosť s nemennosťou a pokojom, a zmenu chápali ako niečo negatívne, tento model začleňuje faktor zmeny do svojej štruktúry – žijeme vo svete, ktorý sa neustále vyvíja. Preto aj teoretici v oblasti stratégie musia nahradiť myšlienku stability ideou zmeny a vývoja.
Ekonomická bezpečnosť je významnou zložkou bezpečnosti: dnešní ľudia sa oveľa viac zaujímajú o prosperitu národnej ekonomiky, o svoju prácu, zárobok či životný štandard než o zbrane. V tomto kontexte je ekonomická bezpečnosť oveľa dôležitejšia ako vojenská. Podľa autora istanbulská Charta poskytuje multidimenziálnu odpoveď na komplexné problémy dneška.
Druhú časť Ruské energetické zdroje a nová strategická situácia uvádza autor state konštatovaním, že bezpečnosť v širšom európskom priestore nemožno zabezpečiť bez účasti Ruska. Rusko síce prehralo studenú vojnu a stratilo svoje impérium, má však ohromné prírodné zdroje, má energiu. Európska závislosť od dovozu energie vzrastie na vyše 75 %, a tento fakt zblíži Európu a Rusko aj v bezpečnostnej oblasti. Existuje vzájomná závislosť od vývozu a dovozu energie (stať sa sústreďuje na plyn, dodávanie ktorého sa viaže na sieť plynovodu). Rusko potrebuje predávať energiu, aby získalo cudziu menu, a Európa potrebuje nakupovať plyn pomocou dlhodobých kontraktov, ktorými by si vyriešila svoj energetický problém na budúcich dvadsať rokov. Mohla by tak získať energiu za fixnú cenu a Rusko by si zabezpečilo na rovnaké obdobie fixný príjem. Dlhodobé kontrakty umožnia realizovať rozsiahle investície, a tie si vyžadujú ochranu a garanciu dodávok plynu. V tomto kontexte treba uvažovať aj o ochrane vojenskými prostriedkami.
Rusko má dostatok plynu a výhodnú geografickú polohu, aby projekty na plynovod zaujímali investorov. Európa nie je jediným záujemcom o dodávky energie. Rusko si môže vyberať medzi prosperujúcou európskou ekonomikou súčasnosti a prosperujúcou ázijskou ekonomikou budúcnosti, keď ázijský trh predstavuje tretinu svetovej populácie. Energia sa stáva novým strategickým nástrojom Ruska a činí z neho najvplyvnejšieho aktéra v Eurázii. Stačí mu len čakať, preň je to hra, ktorú môže iba vyhrať, v žiadnom prípade prehrať.
Časť Európa hľadá energetickú bezpečnosť poukazuje na väzby medzi národnou bezpečnosťou a energetickou bezpečnosťou. Logicky vyúsťuje do otázky, či energetická bezpečnosť môže viesť k zblíženiu Európy a Ruska, na ktorú odpovedá časť pod názvom Energia spája Európu s Ruskom. Uvádza dôvody strategického partnerstva medzi EÚ a Ruskom – energetické bezpečnostné dôvody. Závislosť Európy od dovozu energie, predovšetkým plynu, bude v budúcich dvadsiatich rokoch dramaticky vzrastať. A Rusko disponuje viac než tretinou svetových zásob, môže dokonca pôsobiť na akceleráciu strategického smerovania Európy smerom k nemu, pretože aj ázijské ekonomiky majú záujem o ruský plyn.
Treba uvažovať aj o tom, že európsky vojenský záujem by sa mal posunúť smerom na východ.
Strategické partnerstvo medzi EÚ a Ruskom priťahuje európskych investorov, aby investovali do projektov spoločnej energetickej infraštruktúry. Žiadajú však ochranu svojich investícií – a ochranu spoločných projektov môžu garantovať iba Európa a Rusko spoločne. V strategickej oblasti by to znamenalo totálny posun strategických záujmov – posun od Atlantiku k Západosibírskej nížine. Pokiaľ ide o vzájomnú energetickú závislosť, tak závislosť EÚ od dovozu plynu z Ruska bude predstavovať výšku okolo 80 %, ruská závislosť od exportu energie do EÚ už dnes dosahuje asi 60 %, ako to ukazujú tabuľky č. 1 a 2. Táto nová situácia by sa mala odzrkadliť aj v spoločnej európskej zahraničnej a bezpečnostnej politike EÚ.
Celkovú európsku bezpečnosť vrátane ekonomickej a v jej rámci energetickej by mal garantovať systém prepojených, ale flexibilných kontraktov v oblasti energie spolu s primeranou ochranou investícií. V tejto súvislosti treba uvažovať o zaručení bezpečnosti v geografickom trojuholníku Európa – Rusko – Kaukaz, podobne, ako je to v prípade USA a oblasti Perzského zálivu: to znamená v prípade potreby brániť ekonomický záujem vojenskými prostriedkami. EÚ by mala prevziať zodpovednosť za bezpečnosť európskej časti eurázijského kontinentu a zaručiť bezpečnosť v nových strategických oblastiach svojho energetického záujmu: v Európe, Rusku a na Kaukaze.
Energetická bezpečnosť je predpokladom ekonomickej prosperity. NATO je síce silnou vojenskou organizáciou, ale ekonomické otázky nerieši. Problém energie sa však v 21. storočí stane významnou bezpečnostnou otázkou a NATO ho bude musieť začleniť do svojej bezpečnostnej agendy (ak bude chcieť zostať najrozvinutejšou bezpečnostnou organizáciou). Týmto otázkam sa venuje časť NATO a energetická bezpečnosť. NATO musí v blízkej v budúcnosti prehodnotiť úlohu USA, EÚ, Ruska a svoju vlastnú. Je evidentné, že európsky pilier v rámci NATO silnie a môže sa dokonca vyvíjať mimo NATO. Už teraz sa hovorí o strategickom partnerstve medzi EÚ a Ruskom, čo môže viesť až k tomu, že Európa bude deklarovať strategický záujem v širšej východnej Európe až po Západosibírsku nížinu.
Autor konštatuje, že zmena nie je silnou stránkou Aliancie. NATO síce urobilo isté úpravy, ale tie sú nedostatočné, pretože nešlo o zásadné zmeny, ktoré by z Aliancie spravili flexibilnú organizáciu. Dodnes sa uplatňujú staré modely kolektívnej obrany a kooperatívnej bezpečnosti z čias studenej vojny; atlantický priestor je stále v centre pozornosti Aliancie.
Zmena je pre Alianciu problémom, lebo nebola nikdy predurčená na zmeny: vznikla na to, aby zabránila ďalšej zmene západoeurópskeho svetového poriadku a mimoriadne sa jej to darilo až do pádu berlínskeho múru. Koniec studenej vojny mohol byť aj koncom NATO, pretože svoje pôvodné poslanie splnilo. Operáciami v Kosove sa síce rozšírila aliančná bezpečnostná agenda o humanitárne operácie, ale stačilo to na to, aby sa NATO vysporiadalo s výzvami 21. storočia?
Autor opätovne zdôrazňuje, že ekonomická bezpečnosť by sa mala dostať do centra záujmu Aliancie, a to čo najrýchlejšie, lebo času nie je nazvyš. To isté platí aj pre EÚ: z ekonomických aj z politických dôvodov treba rýchlo vyriešiť otázku, aká energia by najlepšie zabezpečila potreby európskej ekonomiky v 21. storočí. Investori nechcú čakať, až sa ukončia dlhé politické diskusie. Odporúčania európskych expertov v oblasti energie jednoznačne uprednostňujú ruský plyn, podmienkou je však, že investície sa zrealizujú rýchlo.
Európska komisia prisľúbila nájsť dobrých investorov. Zatiaľ čo energetické spoločnosti vítajú tento strategický posun, európski vojenskí experti sa energetickou bezpečnosťou ešte nezačali zaoberať.
V súčasnosti existuje paradoxná situácia, keď ľudia z oblasti energetiky upierajú svoj zrak smerom na východ, a ľudia z oblasti bezpečnosti na západ. Avšak v situácii, keď sa európske strategické ekonomické záujmy presúvajú na východ, zdá sa byť samozrejmé, že európske bezpečnostné záujmy by ich mali nasledovať. Prinajmenšom je správne žiadať ochranu ekonomických záujmov vojenskými prostriedkami.
Časť Vojenské dôsledky energetickej bezpečnosti ukazuje, ako energetická otázka ovplyvňuje usporiadanie sveta. Uvažuje sa o troch cestách plynovodu z Európy do Západosibírskej nížiny: severná vedie cez alebo okolo Baltického mora, stredná cez Bielorusko a južná cez alebo okolo Čierneho mora. Všetky tri cesty vedú oblasťami, ktoré zatiaľ nie sú v strede bezpečnostných záujmov Západu. Autor si kladie otázku, či by NATO nemalo byť natoľko flexibilné, aby rozšírilo svoje záujmy smerom k týmto oblastiam. Ak Aliancia chce udržať krok s vývojom v Eurázii, mala by sa týmito otázkami zaoberať. A mala by tak urobiť aj EÚ. Obe organizácie i vojenskí experti by mali byť pripravení, že tieto oblasti sa stávajú sférou ich bezpečnostnej agendy a uvedomiť si, že bezpečný Východ sa stáva novým strategickým záujmom. Je celkom logické, že Európa by mala byť zodpovedná za bezpečnosť importu plynu takým spôsobom, ako to zabezpečujú v Perzskom zálive USA.
The paper is focused on the development of the United States opinion about creation of Common European Security and Defence Policy (CESDP), emphasizing 1990s (G. Bush, B. Clinton and G. W. Bush administrations).
Even though the US has welcomed the potential of a stronger ”European pillar” in the Trans Atlantic Alliance, it has been wary of approaches that would divide the Alliance politically, take resources away from NATO military cooperation, and not yield additional military capabilities to produce more equitable burden-sharing. The US approach could be termed a ”yes, but” policy, supporting the European effort but warning of its potential negative consequences.
Official US policy will likely continue to put priority on ensuring NATO’s continued vitality. Support for developments on the European level will be conditioned by this reality. As long as the US has vital interests in Europe, and as long as NATO is the main US security connection to the Old Continent, US administrations and the Congress will also want to ensure that any changes in the Alliance protect US interests.
Many American observers, including Administration officials, influential non-governmental commentators and members and staff of Congress, support the European Union’s goal of developing CESDP, in the hope that such cooperation will relieve the US of security burdens.
But, under any circumstancy, the US policy towards CESDP remains conflicted. American concern about the negative consequences of CESDP (the US warning against ”three Ds”: duplication, decoupling, discrimination) will increase in direct proportion to the emphasis EU governments put on ”autonomy” in describing their CESDP goals. Although the word itself is neutral, it is read by some in the US as a direct challenge to US policy goals and leadership roles.
On the European side, NATO and government officials were annoyed at the impression left by the ”three Ds” that the US was putting too much emphasis on negatives. Europeans try to interpret the American concern in a way that would make the same points but in a fashion less disturbing to them: there are three key principles of CESDP – ”three Is”: improvement in European defence capabilities, inclusiveness and transparency for all Allies, and the indivisibility of transatlantic security, based on shared values.
Another important factor in the US attitude towards European defence cooperation will be a persistent suspicion of French motivations. Many American officials and experts still see France as intent on pushing the United States out of Europe, despite frequent and apparently sincere official French statements to the contrary.
The fact that the British government is taking a clear lead on CESDP is both reassuring and distressing to Americans. It is reassuring because they trust their British friends, whose instincts regarding Trans Atlantic relations they believe are almost always compatible with US interests. It is distressing because of the fear, that in order to score points in Europe, Prime Minister Blair may be willing to sacrifice fundamentals of the US-UK relationship.
One of the best ways for Europeans to make an impact on US thinking is to move from strategic irrelevance to a helpful partner. Europeans who clamour for more equality should realise that this requires Europe to raise its game in security policy – in particular by making greater efforts to match words with deeds (military capabilities and effective decision-making procedures). Only on this basis can a global partnership with the US come about. Conversely, the Europeans can and should stress that this partnership will only work if the Americans agree to genuine and early consultations, and if they pay greater attention to European views on how the international system should be structured.
Transport of Azerbaijan or Caspian oil was in a centre of attention of many companies trying to win gains from the Caspian Sea raw material resources and powers aiming to win influence over the South Caucasus and Central Asia region during the last decade. It is obvious that control over flow of Azerbaijan or Caspian oil will automatically give the transited country a significant material income as well as effective tools for influence on politics of the oil exporting country. Geographic position of Azerbaijan does not allow direct oil export to international markets. Caspian oil must overcome either territory of Iran or Russia or Georgia or Turkey to reach markets of a respective region.
Calculations of profitability of individual regional markets gained a great importance. According to an analysis made in the beginning of 90s the most acceptable direction for Caspian oil export (both for economic and for political reasons) would be the region of Southern Europe and the Black Sea. Export of Caspian oil to Europe would be beneficial to regional balance stabilisation, would make oil prices more foreseeable and would decrease European countries and the US dependence on raw material supply from the Gulf countries. This is especially important if we take into consideration that by 2020 oil and oil products import to Europe is to reach 75 per cent of all energetic raw materials to Europe comparing to today’s 50 per cent.
But for directing Azerbaijan or Caspian oil towards West there must be installed or built pipelines going one or several directions. There are five most topical export routes present in international discussions about Caspian natural wealth export:
1. ”Peace Pipeline”
Transport by a pipeline through Armenia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, then by tankers to Southern Europe. Costs of the project are not known.
This route was actively pursued by the US State Department in 1994 shortly after Nagorny Karabakh peace agreement in May – June in that year. It was assumed that joint Azerbaijan-Armenian-Turkish pipeline would assist creation of stable peace and stability in the region. This would reduce Russian influence in Southern Caucasus. But expected negotiations about Nagorny Karabakh were for Azerbaijan government not possible in that time and it was also feared that oil transport through Armenia would remarkably strengthen Armenian positions (it would give a country occupying 20 per cent of Azerbaijan a good pressure lever and a regular income). Armenians felt strong after a recent victory and were not willing to pay a price of Karabakh autonomy within the Azerbaijan state – conceptual part of the American proposal – and did not want to exchange pipeline installation through their own territory for a betrayal of their most consistent ally – Russia. Refusal by both Baku and Yerevan made the US to withdraw the proposal.
2. ”Iranian Alternative”
Transport by a pipeline through Iran to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, then by tankers to the Southern Europe. Costs of the project are not known.
This project was actual in 1994 – 95, until Washington forced Baku to denounce a treaty of Iranian participation in Azerbaijan international oil consortium. Besides Azerbaijan feared that transit through Iran would give Teheran a tool for influence of Baku’s foreign policy decision making. And possibility of the Islamic regime to exert pressure in regulation of foreign firms participation in Azerbaijan oil consortium was not in the interest of western countries. Though in a beginning a number of entrepreneurs thought that from the economic point of view this route is the most acceptable one. Iran felt disturbed by a fact that building a pipeline through North West provinces of the country would be another impulse for Iranian Azeris in their effort to build closer relations with the Republic of Azerbaijan.
3. Baku – Supsa
Transport by a pipeline through Georgia to the Georgian Black Sea port of Supsa, Batumi or Poti and then by tankers through Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to the Mediterranean region. Lengths of the pipeline 515 miles, capacity 0.115 million barrels daily, costs ca. USD 600 million.
From pure economic reasons reconstruction of the already existing pipeline Baku – Supsa was one of the most acceptable variants. But realisation of the project was prevented by Ankara (in an attempt to stop Baku – Novorossiysk project) because it included further transport through the Turkish straits (on May 25, 1994 the International Maritime Organization acknowledged Turkish reasons and limited transit of oil tankers through the straits). Nevertheless routes Baku – Supsa and Baku – Novorossiysk and thus also transit through Turkish straits are still a part of the so-called ”compromise decision” of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), but only for a part, the co-called early oil (36 – 40 million barrels yearly).
4. Baku – Novorossiysk
Transport by a pipeline through Russia to the Russian port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, then by tankers through Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to the Mediterranean region. Lengths of the pipeline ca. 868 miles, capacity 0.1 million barrels daily – possible to increase to 0.3 million barrels daily.
Since the beginning of Azerbaijan oil transit talks Russia was not willing to accept any version not taking into consideration Russian interests and insisted on repair of former main Azerbaijan oil export pipeline Baku – Grozny – Novorossiysk what is objected by Ankara because of included transit through the Turkish straits. The situation changed after Russian invasion to Chechnya in December 1994. In October 1995 AIOC published a so--called decision concerning transport of the ”early” Azerbaijan oil by both routes. Russia realising it did not succeed in the Northern Caucasus started negotiation with the Chechnya leadership and offered it USD 1.65 per 1 tone of transited oil (ca. USD 10 million per year), but the proposal was refused. To lead the pipeline out of Chechnya in Dagestan was too dangerous. Uncertainties did not help involvement of Western companies in the Russian branch. In 1995 new alternative projects for Azerbaijan oil export called ”the Balkan Transit”. Costs of the plans are too high and ”Balkan” pipelines have too small capacity.
5. Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan
Transport by a pipeline through Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, then by tankers to the Southern Europe. Lengths of the pipeline 1073 miles, capacity ca. 1 million barrels daily, expected costs USD 2.4 – 3.7 billion.
The pipeline through friendly Turkey and partner Georgia was the most acceptable variant for Azerbaijan. There was a problem of required costs, so it was very much in hands of Western powers. Finally it was the US strategy thinking that decided to prefer this seemingly the most expensive branch (though discussion about support of this project still goes on in the US). Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan course was chosen as an optimal one for export of the ”main” Azerbaijan oil. Turkey vowed to finance building of the pipeline on its territory, Turkey and Ukraine expressed intention to buy Caspian oil and tankers going from the Ceyhan port avoid the Turkish straits and the overcrowded Aegean Sea. The Istanbul Agreement on transport of the Azerbaijan oil through Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan was signed on 18th November 1999 by presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Plus Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the Istanbul Declaration on transport of Kazakh and Turkmen oil on the Caspian Sea bed to Baku and then by Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan route. Changed political leadership in Moscow (early 2000) is still trying to prevent realisation of the Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan project.
The issue of transport of Azerbaijan or Caspian oil creates one of the most important levels of power competition in a ”Big Game” of Caspian Sea raw materials and political influence in a wide region of South Caucasus and Central Asia. Direction of Azerbaijan or Caspian oil is not only an issue of economic rationality but a complicated complex of often contradictory notions and interests of respective powers.
Geopolitical situation in Caspian region could not remain untouched by recent development of international relations at global and regional level. Terrorists during their attacks on the USA on 11 September 2001 choose targets, which symbolize state and economic power of America and western developed world. Only a strong and rich terrorist network such as Al-Qaeda actually is could afford such wide scale well organized attack. The response armed action undertaken by the USA, in early stages militarily supported by the UK only, is oriented towards following targets: destroying military infrastructure of Al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan, neutralization of suspect terrorist No.1 O. Bin Ladin and punishing governing Taliban movement for refusal of Bin Ladin extradition and its support of terrorism. If the military action takes extremely long time or causes high tool of civilian casualties, world anti-terrorist coalition would be eroded. On the other hand new successful terrorist attack on the civilian targets in an outside world would strengthen the coalition, because such attacks could undermine any government structure including rigid regimes in some Islamic countries. Recent developments will certainly influence positions and approaches of geopolitical subjects and objects in the Caspian region.
USA: Crucial geopolitical interest of the USA in the region remains same as was defined by Z. Brzezinski in 1997 – to ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space. ”Before” – main reasons for cultivation of the US presence in a wider Caspian were basically oil and gas plus fulfilling weakened Russian geopolitical influence. ”After” – all other reasons are overshadowed by vital interest of ensuring national security. Deeper US involvement in the region required closer cooperation with regimes, which are not meeting western human rights standards like Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan or Pakistan. Trade-off package for deeper support of anti-terrorist/anti-taliban alliance by partners in the region would consist US economic and military support combined by softer assessment of human rights and freedoms violations. The first signal confirming this approach was an annual report on religious freedoms released by the US State Department on October 26 where neither Uzbekistan, nor Turkmenistan are mentioned among countries of ”particular concern”. Such US policy could freeze post-Soviet authoritarian regimes in Central Asia because there are no civil society or any alternative political opposition to radical Islamic movements.
Russia: Moscow’s support for anti-terrorist coalition was probably from geopolitical reasons more important for the USA, than NATO common action undertaken according under the Article 5 of the Washington treaty. What will be reward for Russia in global issues like ABMT or START 3 will be clear in coming months, but in the Caspian region they could took some advantages immediately. Within the global war against terror the final crackdown of the Chechen resistance would be more acceptable for international community. Expected withdrawal of some transnational oil and gas corporation from the Caspian region due to the unacceptable risk would open more place for Russian companies and ”Russian motherland” could emerge as a reliable substitute for new investments. Potential threat for Russia is possibility of loosing influence in Uzbekistan caused by long standing US military presence in this country. But due to I. Karimov’s internal politics and measures Uzbekistan hardly could be acceptable as a long-term strategic partner for the USA.
Iran: When immediately after attacks Iranian representatives strongly condemned terrorism there were expectations of sizable warming in relation between the islamic republic and the West on the ground of a common action against a hostile Taliban. Unfortunately this shift does not occurred and ideological barriers blocked any rapprochement. Situation in Afghanistan causes a great concern in neighboring Iran, which never recognized Taliban’s government. Participation in the UN lead 6+2 process was chosen by Teheran as a best option, because at least formally plays down the US primacy in a whole action. Different approaches of Russia and Iran to support of the anti-terrorist action, together with a naval Iran-Azeri incident in Caspian Sea in July this year put under a question mark a future deep cooperation between would-be-allies from North and South of the Caspian.
Turkey: the Turkish Republic is since the establishment a secular, later democratic state. Despite constitutional limits waves of political Islam periodically flows through establishment in Ankara. Actually after a short period in power in 1996-97 islamists in Turkey are in a deep regression. Turkish parliament approved use of military bases for strikes against terror and deployment of limited number of special troops in Afghanistan. Turkish commitments to fight international terror are deep and sincere after many years of calls for support of their own fight against leftist and Kurdish guerillas. Turkey coordinates activities in Afghan crises with Pakistan. Turkish political influence in Central Asia in case of quick victory in Afghanistan could rise providing a functioning model of a modern state with Islamic population. However economic influence within the region in light of expected support from the USA and EU could decrease.
Geopolitical Objects: Countries of wider Caspian region (Central Asia and Caucasus), with exception of Kazakhstan (in some aspects) are more objects then subjects of Geopolitics. Those countries would play their own game trying to maximalise own benefits from the situation. Besides of humanitarian assistance for expected Afghan refugees, more relaxed approaches in cases of violation of human rights, main hopes are on development support. Such assistance could be crucial in avoiding ”talibanisation” of impoverished marginalized population in almost all counties in region.
Cost of Failure: Despite general optimistic expectations about the outcome of war against the terror, in case of failure to topple Taliban in Kabul in a relatively short time the consequences could be severe. Waves of radicalization and talibanisation would run trough the region and in a fight against such trends regimes would use all sources. In such environment badly needed economic development assistance will be ineffective or even impossible. Russia’s reaction will be more cautious due to existing Afghan syndrome in the society. Following this scenario politologists have to come back to S. P. Huntington’s visions.
Weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are defined by the UN Commission for Conventional Armaments as nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons. During the Cold War, nuclear weapons dominated international relations and military strategies. Because of their pre-eminence and omnipresence, they became the symbol of an East-West confrontation.
Arms control is certainly a baby of the Cold War. Waking up to the coming nuclear parity between the United States and the Soviet Union, which would eliminate the US nuclear superiority as the basis of America’s security as well as that of its Allies, in the late 1950s and early 1960s defence intellectuals began developing arms control as the appropriate antidote. The risk, in the nuclear age, that the arms race might get out of control and lead inadvertently to a war, appeared to be just too great. Arms control did not necessarily aim at reducing, or even eliminating, nuclear weapons but at stabilising the postures on both sides so as to avoid a rush to a first strike.
While conceptually clear and distinct, arms control became quickly and inevitably blurred with an other concept – disarmament. The reduction and elimination of weapons was thus seen by the proponents of this view as a very important instrument for preventing deadly conflict. The central notion of arms control, its controlling objective was – stability. Stability in the strategic relationship between two nuclear-armed rivals is an essential condition for international security, relating to the security not only of the nuclear competitors, but at least to their wider neighbourhood and even, depending on the size of the arsenals, the type of weapons and the scope of their strategic competition, the whole world. Arms control is intended to give each side the confidence that no precipitate action will be needed, whatever the circumstances. The objective remains important even following the end of the US-Soviet strategic rivalry. It will be relevant as long as the relationship between nuclear-armed states has not reached the level of the highest degree of co-operation, friendship, compatibility of interest.
The fundamental purpose of the nuclear forces of the Allies is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war. They will continue to fulfil an essential role by ensuring uncertainty in the mind of any aggressor about the nature of the Allies’s response to a military aggression. They demonstrate that aggression of any kind is not a rational option. The supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies is provided by the strategic nuclear forces of the Alliance, particularly those of the United States; the independent nuclear forces of the United Kingdom and France, which have a deterrent role of their own, contribute to the overall deterrence and security of the Allies.
The two European nuclear weapons states, France and the United Kingdom, are presently less of a hindrance to further progress in a nuclear arms control and disarmament. Naturally, each is determined to stick to its nuclear weapons status, and this, in itself, is not helpful for the case of disarmament. Both France and Britain have impressively reduced their nuclear arsenals and their inherent operational flexibility, and have taken measures to scale down their nuclear weapon production complexes as well. Both have also implemented the principle of making disarmament steps irreversible.
The superpower build-down has no favourable impact on the status of threshold or opaque nuclear powers – Israel, India, Pakistan – nor on nuclear wannabes – Iran, Iraq, and possibly North Korea. This, of course is a powerful counter to the abolitionists. The Gulf War brought to centre stage the new threat of ethnic and regional conflicts, unfrozen by the end of the Cold War, being played out with WMD. Iraq, and then North Korea, dramatised the reality that small powers have the capacity to complicate, if not potentially deter, intervention by US forces and/or allies on distant battlefields with missiles and chemical or nuclear weapons. The ever-widening diffusion of technology, reflecting increasingly sophisticated industrial bases in non-Western countries, is an irreversible reality of the multipolar post-Cold War world.
Decisions by the two South Asian rivals, India and Pakistan, have not made the world any easier for nuclear arms control and disarmament. Both countries appear to be poised to engage in a nuclear arms race. India is addressing three targets at the same time: to gain acceptance as a global power, to acquire a deterrent vis-ŕ-vis China and to stay ahead of smaller, but troublesome, Pakistan. While Pakistan has little chance of matching any Indian posture on its own because of a lack of resources, given the general assumption that nuclear weapons are an ”equaliser” a nuclear stalemate may be of comfort to Pakistani military planners rather than worry to them. So long as the basic antagonism between Islamabad and Delhi exists, Pakistan is unlikely to reconsider its nuclear option.
Israel, among all de jure and de facto nuclear weapons states, is the one likely to be least inclined to move in any way towards arms control for the time being, and the one whose posture is having the worse effect – in terms of proliferation – on its environment. Israel has at least signed, though not yet ratified, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is unrealistic to expect Israel to relinquish its ultimate insurance policy until there is a full-blown peace in the region accompanied by disarmament of WMD by potential adversaries in the region. This reality is reflected in Israel’s position of supporting a zone free of WMD. In the interim, the dangers of conflict escalating to the nuclear level cannot be dismissed.
Fears of Iraq and Iran attaining nuclear weapons capability have been an animating force in US foreign and security policy. The second half of the nuclear century is characterised by the increasing diffusion of weapons of mass destruction and the arc of potential conflicts in the generation ahead stretching from the Persian Gulf to North-East Asia, a veritable unbroken chain of proliferation. The spread of ballistic missiles potentially tipped with chemical and biological weapons has generated ideas of new purposes for nuclear weapons in the cottage industry of ”counter-proliferation” at the same time as the moral authority of the nuclear weapons states has eroded and a revaluation of nuclear weapons appears to be unfolding.
In South Asia, the Middle East and North-East Asia, nuclear weapons are viewed as a deterrent or a means of coercion based on the regional security dynamic. Iraq’s and North Korea’s nuclear subterfuge sparked (admittedly limited) efforts to bolster non-proliferation mechanisms, including the role of the UN Security Council.
China is clearly the wild card that looms largest in a dynamic strategic landscape that will impact the direction of US policy. It is modernising its nuclear arsenal both qualitatively and quantitatively. China has viewed its nuclear capability defensively, as a deterrent, though there are some indications, that it may be altering its view and adopting a limited deterrence posture. Because it is a smaller nuclear power, it has so far not been in the arms control equation, and its position has varied over the past decade. But China’s status as a rising great power only partly integrated in the current international order suggest that its nuclear behaviour may be the single most important variable affecting the nuclear status quo in the early twenty-first century.
The Americans might be able to look at China as a potential replacement ”big power” threat, but the Europeans tended to see China as following a cautious path and, equally important, far away and not threatening any of their vital interests.
The Russian problem shifted within a few years from one of excessive strength to one of excessive weakness. Nuclear weapons are considered to be both the key status symbol and the principal argument of the supporters of great-power ideology. Nuclear weapons, a great equaliser, should thus compensate Russia for its glaring deficiencies in other dimensions of national power, in such fields as economics, finance, or information technology, where Russia’s power is currently neglible. There were real concerns about nuclear systems being imperfectly maintained and guarded, raising a variety of spectres: unauthorised missile launches, terrorists or local warlords seizing weapons, the spread of radiation as a result of accidents, including nuclear materials or even know-how being secreted abroad to work for ”rogue states”. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and their means of delivery may develop into a real threat to security. The risk that nuclear material, equipment, or knowledge could travel from the area of the former Soviet Union to undesirable destinations requires particular attention, and indeed engagement. A demand for the control of tactical nuclear weapons is very important. A demand for the control of tactical nuclear weapons is very important. The large number still possessed by the Russian Federation, the emphasis of such weapons in Russia’s new security doctrine, and the lack of any binding rules covering them is a reason for concern.
There is a serious risk of the use of biological and chemical weapons. Their production is easier and cheaper than other forms of potential terrorist weapons. Chemical agents of warfare-chemical substances, whether gaseous, liquid or solid, refer to the military use of chemical agents for hostile purposes; biological warfare refers to the use of living organisms, whatever their nature, usually micro-organisms, for such purposes. The utility of these agents as weapons depends upon their toxicity, pathogenicity or deteriorating abilities. Chemical and biological agents can be directed against enemy personnel, against their livestock or crops, as well as against their natural ecosystem.
Chemical weapons were not employed on a grand scale until the World War I, when large quantities of chemical agents of wide diversity were employed by the several belligerents. During the World War II, the development of chemical weapons accelerated quickly, but they were not used massively until the Second Indochina War. Iran-Iraq war is also an example of chemical weapons using.
Fortunately, there has so far been no large-scale use of biological weapons. Various factors influence the military usefulness of chemical and biological weapons. The production of at least some of the agents is inexpensive in comparison with alternative weapons of comparable impact. Chemical and biological a munitions also weight less than their conventional counterparts, a factor of some logistical importance. For at least some of the agents, the extent of their production and stockpiling and even of their testing can be kept secret with relative ease.
Among the possible chemical and biological agents there are some for which neither an effective warning system nor an effective system of defence seems feasible. Thus, in addition to their physiological impact, these agents could instill terror in an enemy. Still another attribute to consider is that the action of a number of agents is delayed for hours or even days. Finally, the effectiveness of their delivery and of their potency depends in some instances rather heavily on the prevailing meteorological conditions.
A number of the agents are relatively inexpensive and easy to manufacture, lend themselves to a variety of overt and covert means of delivery and are military effective in the sense that they directly or indirectly render an enemy.
Mainly during 1970s and 1980s some nations considered chemical or biological weapons their substitute for nuclear weaponry, perhaps as weapons of aggression, perhaps only for use in extreme situations, when the nation’s very existence is at stake. It seems likely that such weapons could find a place in future terrorist attacks.
To all arguments against the deployment of chemical or biological weapons must be added the potential long-range effects on man and nature of a massive chemical or microbiological intrusion. Neither the magnitude of the immediate effects nor the severity of the ultimate consequences of chemical or biological warfare can be predicted with any measure of confidence. Chemical or biological agents could be considered a weapon of choice by some belligerents for selected strategic or tactical purposes, either singly, in combinations amongst themselves, or in conjunction with other types of weapon.
Biological and chemical weapons proliferation must be counted as an obstacle to nuclear arms control and disarmaments. Some nuclear weapons states explicitly or implicitly wish to preserve the nuclear option as a deterrent and a possible means of retaliation against attack with such weapons. At least this argument has been put forward to justify a reluctance to proceed rapidly with disarmament measures, pronounce a no-first-use doctrine or give unconditional negative security assurance to non-nuclear weapons state.
Nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction are today available to numerous nations. The variety and sophistication of these gruesome weapons and their delivery system continue to increase as do the number of nations to whom they are available.
Weapons of mass destruction are especially pernicious because their impact simply cannot be confined either to the target area or to the time of attack. In addition to this inability to contain these means of war to either the spatial or temporal boundaries of attack, they are further repulsive because of their partially unpredictable ramifications and because their impact as a rule does not discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Therefore we need a system of multilateral treaties that include the measures against the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction.
Arms control also has a role to play in regional stability: at this level, such agreements can help ensure reliable balances of forces which give reassurances to regional powers that their survival is now at stake, and that they must not fear a surprise aggression by any neighbour. With a growing number of interrelated agreements regional security may improve to a point where confidence among regional powers replaces distrust and confrontation as the dominant mode in interstate relations.
Globally, non-proliferation or prohibition agreements, particularly those relating to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), are a precondition for banning existential dangers for global stability, ecological safety, and in extremis, even the survival of the human race. Arms control can create sufficient security and stability to motivate countries to commit themselves to co-operation in other sectors where it is mutually profitable and indeed indispensable for solving problems for society and economy in the age of globalisation.
Such agreements also impact heavily on regional balances and help, if successful, to prevent the greatest dangers of escalation of existing regional conflicts. Successful arms control agreements build shared security interests among erstwhile rivals and enemies. Hence, they even help to de-escalate the general level of regional conflict.
The integration into the world economic relations is naturally specific for the independent states of Central Asia, which should be integrated in the new world order and at the same time conduct the course of the domestic reforms. Marking the 10th anniversary of independence, the republics of Central Asia conceive the way that has been passed and develop the strategy of further development in the XXI century. And this is under conditions, when in the world there are taking place important geopolitical changes and when the world becomes unstable and at the same time more democratic with the tendency to formation of multipolarity. Geopolitical estrangement of world centers of powers from Central Asian states stipulates their quite clear balanced approach to the given region. The balance of powers develops under the influence of the geopolitical ”game” around Caspian petroleum, energy resources of Central Asia and their future routes of transportation as well as a number of other factors. The important strategic task of the Central Asian states is the choice of the leading, and to some extent, alternative partners in international relations, capable of influencing the security in the region: USA or Russia, China or Japan, Iran or Turkey, Pakistan or India – this is the list of probable variants, including Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the countries of the European Union (EU). The states of Central Asia adhere to the strategy of equal rapprochement with the priority partners, with each of whom they find common interests and include them in the system balance of their foreign policy orientation.
Obviously, the development of cooperation of Central Asian newly independent states with the leading World Powers will form the basis for a mutual political and economic dialogue and can become a guarantee of maintaining the regional security. All the countries of Central Asia nowadays live in an intense rhythm of market transformations and democratic reforms, during which there are the problems and complexities, including ones in the development of the international relations. Today the interests of external ”players” are outside Central Asia, while here the main accent is made by them on imposing a western type democracy sometimes without taking into account that these are Eastern countries. It is necessary to remember, that the transfer of a western model democracy onto the countries with the different conditions and mentality can not be a success, that nowadays the situation in the republics of Central Asia significantly differs from that, under which the leading capitalist powers began their own mounting. Apparently, Central Asian states never will be adherent to the beforehand given ideas to the extent that would put damage to the economic reforms and sociopolitical stability. At least, it is possible to point out 5 basic problems, on the solution of which stability and security in this region mostly depend:
Cooperation – consent – justice
These very components can become a basis of ensuring the regional security. A question arises: What to do with such component as ”power”, the choice of which today has the overweight in the policy of USA (NATO) and Russia? We consciously exclude implementation of force, as we base on the theory of ”non-violence” which once has been put forward by the outstanding state figure of India M. Gandhi. Besides how not to recollect here the statement of our great ancestor Amir Temur: ”Power is in justice”.
In other words, ”It is not the conflicts and hostility that move ahead history, but cooperation and trust among the peoples”. The problem of today is in narrowing horizons of implementation of force in this or that region, as these ”centers” of intensity contain seeds of the conflicts, which can develop into global ones and blow up the world. And only in exclusive cases the implementation of force and the collective security forces should be justified, namely:
The safety on the planet depends on localization of the centers of intensity in a region of the conflict through cooperation, consent and justice. If not to conduct this policy, an alternative can become the amplification of polarization, instability not only in separate regions, but also in the relations among the world centers of powers, groups of the countries, including those within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). For 10 years of its existence CIS has played a certain role in modeling of integration processes, coordination of measures on joint counteraction to new calls and threats to national and regional security, and also has shown necessity of preservation of this or that economic and political connection among the state-participants.
Now inside CIS there is a clear appearance of 2 systems or ”blocs” as it is attempted to be defined in the West: EurAsEC (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova). However one cannot be opposed against the other. At the recent summit of the Commonwealth in Sochi Russian President Vladimir Putin has emphasized, that the existing regional structures can become ”laboratory rolling of variants within the framework of interactions of the whole CIS”. Undoubtedly, in the epoch of globalization when the powerful tendency to democracy is witnessed in Eurasia, the cooperation will strengthen before the serious rivalry reaches a dangerous level. As international practice shows, integration processes have the law and stages: the way lies through consecutive scaling of a zone of free trade to a customs union, then to a uniform market and only then to a high-grade economic and, probably, currency union. Experience of the regional integration of the group of the countries of the EU shows that till now it is the only one to have really passed all these stages.
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov repeatedly emphasized, that the cooperation within the framework of CIS should be carried out first of all in the economic sphere on the basis of the bilateral and multilateral relations and creation of a free trade zone. Cooperation with Russia occupies a priority place in the system of international relations of the republics of Central Asia. Successful summits (including informal – ”without ties”) of the leaders of Russia and Central Asian states have given a new pulse to the development of bilateral relations. Rapprochement of positions on many issues in economic and other areas is observed. The priority directions of development of the interstate relations are basing on the primary problems in trade-economic links, definition of an export strategy and policy of import substitution. The monitoring of usual economic relations shows that between Central Asia and Russia all kinds of transport-communication infrastructures are well organized and remain mutually advantageous. The national interests of the countries claim that, alongside the usual trade, production-cooperation relations get broad development on the basis of creation of financial-industrial groups, joint ventures, concerns, international consortia and other forms of cooperation in the economic, military-technical, education and information spheres. Gradual, oriented on the pragmatic decisions, working out the new forms of cooperation, strengthening cooperative links as well as forming (possible under the participation of Russia) a regional market would have huge meaning for future economies of our states. This is moreover that China can in the long run become a serious force in the global market of consumption of energy resources, including petroleum and gas from Central Asia. An effective tool for the solution of urgent problems of regional and global development is the signed on June 15, 2001 by the highest leaderships of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – Declaration on creating ”Shanghai Organization of Cooperation” (ShOC). ShOC is considered to be a mechanism of coordination of the actions directed on strengthening peace and trust, constructive partnership and multilateral cooperation in ensuring regional stability and security as well as strengthening the interactions among the Central Asian states themselves. In this respect further deepening of versatile cooperation of the states of Central Asia is necessary. From this point of view the formation of the Economic Forum within the framework of Central Asian Economic Community (CAEC) will to a large extent meet the essential interests of all the peoples of the region.
The forum should become the new form of a collective search of the theoretical and practical solutions, which would follow the interests of all the states of CAEC. It will be held once a year serially in each of the state-participants. Although after having acquired the independence the republics of Central Asia have taken a number of particular steps towards deepening the integration, the alerted relation of certain state leaders to probable strengthening of the ”over-national” bodies results in retarding this process. Much will depend on how reasonable the strategic and local aims are and how well counted or designed the consequences of making this or that decision in the field of the interstate mutual relations are.
Central Asia, as it has already been pointed out, is in the zone of interests of global centers of powers, aspiring to dominate here. This can be consciously used for destabilizing the Central Asian states and turning the region into an arena of confrontation for coalitions of different countries. This interest is diversified depending on the geostrategic situation and economic potential of the newly independent states, participation in the development of oil and gas pipelines through the territory of Central Asia. The situation is aggravated by the presence of the issue of difference on distribution and use of water and energy resources, the questions of delimitation of state borders between republics, which leads to weakening of mutual trust.
Whereas in all countries of the given region there is a strong president’s authority, interaction and the real political will of the leaders of the Central Asian states is of the important meaning. On the one hand, it allows simplifying the mechanisms of making decisions; on the other hand, personal viewpoints and positions of the leaders on some issues cause a disintegrating influence on the interstate relations. The creation of various sorts of regional structures reflects a position and reaction of separate countries of Central Asia, especially invisibly struggling for leadership and appearing both simultaneously inside CAEC and ShOC, and in different associations – EurAsEC and GUUAM.
Thus the cooperation of the new sovereign states – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan is carried out through inconsistent interaction of a number of factors: geopolitical, economic, military-strategic, ethno-religious, historic-cultural, information and other. Countries of the Central Asian region have common interests in the sphere of forming the uniform economic space, creation of a zone – free from the nuclear weapons, maintenance of civil peace and inter-national consent, preservation of territorial integrity, law order, as well as in neutralization of the reasons and conditions that promote occurrence of the social and inter-national conflicts. Besides common interests, there are the equally vulnerable threats, prevention of which requires joint actions on creation of the regional system of security. Among these threats the most dangerous, along with the spreading of religious extremism and separatism, narcotraffic and terrorism, there also remain the intensification of political, ethnic, ecological and economic crises; a possibility of humanitarian catastrophe (refugees and etc.), distribution of drugs and weapons; the region’s remaining in a role of a raw-material supplier and a market for sales of non-competitive products and other.
Today these dangerous phenomena represent the serious destabilizing factors for security of both the newly independent states and the region as a whole. Interweaving of the problems of geopolitics, geo-economics and security create the complexity of the present situation in Central Asia, which has few chances to be resolved without the participation of the regional leaders and external sponsors – the great powers as well as the international organizations. Great importance is paid to the initiatives of the states of the region themselves. They are the ones who predetermine the necessity to develop a joint strategy of cooperation, which will promote not only the economic progress, but also a revival of the civilized grounds of the national culture, restoration of the traditional relations of Eastern and Western civilizations. Probably, basic dominating grounds of Central Asian integration are in three interconnected elements of coordination and cooperation:
The experience of the state-participants in formation of a uniform economic space has shown that the approach to this problem needs to be stage by stage, taking into account the joining of efforts and readiness of the participants to take certain obligations based on internal opportunities and mutual interests. The future of Central Asia is in hands of each of the countries, in strengthening interaction, trust among one another, confidence that the decisions made are acceptable and reasonable.
Geopolitics has become one of the most topical themes of authors who study international relations. Geopolitics as a subject is, however, folded in uncertainty in most of the works published in the post-Soviet region.
When looking at the present Russian geopolitical school, it is evident that the authors feel the necessity to determine at what state geopolitics is and whether it is possible at all to speak about geopolitics as a scientific field after all its historical hardships and excesses.
The author states that the post-Soviet geopolitics – in spite of its weaknesses, offers its vision of the 3rd millennium, while strongly reflecting his memories and creating thus a big space for an erudite discussion.
Geopolitics as a scientific field and geopolitical thinking, irrespective of the country of origin of its defenders or adversaries, assumes that disputes between powers will primarily be solved by the use of the super-powers’ power potential, at the minimum role of the international law – as perceived in the 20th century.
In the framework of geopolitics, the irresponsible tendency to connect the future of the world only with the hegemonistic position of a new empire remains controversial. Geopolitics can thus return to what it had been in the beginning.
Global changes in the real geopolitical framework determined in many ways political and economic position of every and each country – including Slovakia, in today’s changing world. Those changes create completely new quality of international order in every possible aspect. One of the main geopolitical events was definitely the end of the Cold-War Era. The former bipolar world based on the balance of terror, in fact has been replaced by a heavily unbalanced and contradictory arrangement.
The international scenario have passed into a new stage with following main factors: end of the Cold War, globalization, decisive role is played by one global superpower – the United States, Russia is trying to find its new political, economic and international identity, EU is changing radically from a trade organisation to a global player, practically decisive role of economy in today’s international relations, global international and economic leaders are the U. S., Japan, EU, China, the terrorist attacks on the USA and following military response dramatically changed the picture of international politics, security system, economy etc.
All those changes influenced also the capabilities and behaviour of the Slovak Republic. Slovakia is elaborating its own approach to the new situation – reflecting its special features, geopolitical position (small country, export oriented economy, very limited natural resources etc.), regional and global situation, historical background etc.
Therefore the Slovak Republic is aware that as a result of the changing world order (shift from the Cold War to the global age) should put impetus on national priorities – secure its independence, territorial integrity, security and economic development by entering EU and NATO.
An enlarged NATO and an enlarged European Union will be driving forces towards an undivided, secure, and democratic Europe. As a member of EU and NATO Slovakia could better and more effectively defend its national interests and also to participate on the decision making process regarding plenty of international issues. Slovakia should also take into consideration the fact, that a 27 or 25-member EU will be a very different entity from the today’s 15-member organisation – with much greater diversity in the links among the members. In practice it means to define our potential allies – most probably small states: Austria, Ireland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Netherlands, Hungary, and Finland etc.
The vital region for Slovakia is Central Europe, and in particular relations with neighbouring countries Czech Republic, Poland (as strategic partners), Austria, Hungary (possibility to create prosperous business triangle Bratislava-Vienna-Budapest). Slovakia is supporting politically and economically stable Ukraine. In case of Russia we need a pragmatic, well balanced approach. A new impetus should be given to the relations with potential and much needed protectors – the United States, France and Germany. The level of direct foreign investments from Germany and partially from the United States and France is already helping to create natural (political and economic) interest of those countries in Slovakia.
Slovakia is well aware that the aims and success of its foreign policy are based not only on the right analysis of recent global changes but mainly on absolute unity of internal political scene regarding the decisive aspects, goals and methods of the foreign policy.
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