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Whitch interests does Russia have in the Caucasus : can these interests be the reason of the repeatedly occurring conflicts?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Whitch interests does Russia have in the Caucasus : can these interests be the reason of the repeatedly occurring conflicts?

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The Caucasus is a region with a turbulent history in which Russia has played an important role as occupier. During the 17th and 18th century Russia became a dominant force in the Caucasus. Near the end of the 19th century Russia was finally able to conquer the whole region. However, after many decades of Russian occupation the Caucasian countries declared to be independent in 1918; a couple of years before the Bolsheviks would annex the Caucasus. The Soviet domination lasted for nearly seventy years. In these years many Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians lost their lives due to
cruel Soviet policies. Nonetheless, in the early 1990's the Soviet Union dissolved and the Transcaucasian countries were independent once more.
Throughout centuries, the relationship the Caucasian countries hold with Russia has evolved in different manners. Armenia's relationship with Russia is the best, when compared to the relationships the other Transcaucasian countries have with Russia. The Armenia-Russia relation has been like this in the past and has continued to stay this way. The Azerbaijan-Russia relation, however, is not of the same quality as the Armenia-Russia relation. Although this relationship is improving at the moment, for centuries this relationship has been dreadful, which is mostly due to the attraction Azerbaijan feels towards Turkey and the support Russia gave Armenia in the war on Nagorno-Karabakh. Compared to the other Transcaucasian countries, the relationship Georgia has with Russia is of the poorest quality. Georgia has always been very rebellious toward all the Russian
occupations and since Russia supports the break-away regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the relation between the two countries has only deteriorated.
Although the Russia-Caucasus relation has not always been what it could have been, and at this moment still is not utilised to its full capacity, Russia holds important interests in this region. Russia's main interest in the Caucasus is expanding its geopolitical power through cooperation in the oil and gas industry which will eventually enlarge Russia's position of power in international politics. However, recently Russia has lost more influence than it had gained through economic cooperation.
Whether this Russian interest can form the explanation of the repeatedly occurring conflicts in the Caucasus is difficult to determine. Naturally, Russia is partially to blame for wars that occurred some centuries ago. Moreover, the more recent wars in Georgia can be somewhat explained by Russia's geopolitical interest, since Russia has had the opportunity to influence the two Georgian regions in this situation. The Nagorno-Karabakh war however, cannot be explained by Russia's geopolitical interest since this mainly has been a conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Although Russia kept Armenia close by supporting it during this war, this deteriorated the Russia-Azerbaijan relation.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Hogere Europeses Beroepen Opleiding
Jaar2009
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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