Russian Geopolitical Power in the Black and Caspian Seas Region: Implications for Turkey and the World

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Series Details Vol.12, No.3, July 2010, p191-204
Publication Date July 2010
ISSN 1302-177X
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Exerting influence in the wider Black and Caspian Seas region is becoming a crucial element in Russia’s current geopolitical strategy. Energy and security are two of Moscow’s primary concerns relating to the region. Turkey, the EU, and the United States, as well as international energy companies will have to be aware of the operational instruments which Moscow has been deploying as part of its geopolitical strategy in the region, which include: 1) inserting itself into the domestic political affairs of its post-Soviet neighbors; 2) simultaneously acting as a crisis mediator/peacekeeper and fostering regional tension to provoke further crisis; 3) behaving as the regional “strong man” in the name of protecting Russian minorities; 4) strengthening energy ties with other former-Soviet Republics in the region; and 5) striking bilateral commercial deals with select Western corporate partners and governments. The deployment of such instruments will ensure that Moscow’s approach to regional geopolitics will remain purposefully unpredictable and full of intrigue, and will invariably continue to take other regional actors by surprise.

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