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Crimean Mat

Bad rules

“The return of the Crimea to the native Harbor” as they called the event, Vladimir Putin, has occurred not only because the Crimeans wanted to return to Russia, and Moscow heard them and just took advantage of an opportune moment. The Crimean incident has allowed the Kremlin to implement the most important foreign policy goal is to force the country’s collective of the West to revise its rules in their relations with Russia.

These rules, recall, called for the defeat of Russia in rights and refusal to consider her interests in global and regional policies (European, Caucasian, middle Eastern theaters). In 90-ies Russia this formula in General suit, as the Russian authorities then there was no desire to protect foreign rights and interests, nor (when this desire arose sporadically) opportunities to do so. Closer to date period, the Kremlin asked to respect his interests at least within its sphere of influence (primarily in the post-Soviet space), as well as to allow participation in systems of collective security and economic integration in Europe.


However, the proposal by Russia’s European partners ignored, and continued on the transformation of post-Soviet space to their advantage, through the planting there of the ideas of Euro-Atlantic integration. These were not just messages about democratization, economic liberalization, fighting corruption, upgrading, and creation of civil society in post-Soviet space. Europe and USA tied on the decision-making processes in Russia’s neighbour countries, and also encouraged or at least turned a blind eye to the coming to power not so much Pro-Western, anti-Russian forces much. We have transformed these territories into links in the strategic containment of Russia, and in the future, the springboard for the so-called color revolution – that is, the shift of national-oriented elites on the one that serves the interests of external customers – in Russia itself.


Set out the pieces

Moscow tried to snap in 2008, but, apparently, it was not enough. Russia still did not expect that it will consistently defend its interests and those she trusts, outside of its own borders. After blatant cheating and ungentlemanly conduct of the European partners during the Maidan, quite logical behavior in the framework of the current model then, where Russia has not recognized the right to a sphere of influence, Moscow had to destroy the existing system of relations. And to demonstrate that attempts to continue to ignore its interests are fraught with retaliatory action.

Of course, the Kremlin does not just “blown figures from the Board” – he offered the West to start a new round with new rules. And the USA with Europe predictably refused. Putin’s actions in Crimea not only nullified the Russian-Western party, and questioned the very right of the West to put figures on its exclusive discretion on those boards, where he leads the party. It is not surprising that the Western response to the Russian proposal was the exclusion of Moscow from the G8 and impose sanctions to force Putin to return to the previous rules of engagement.

On the other hand, sanctions are difficult and unpleasant – but they are not eternal. The experts repeatedly said that Moscow needs to wait till the moment when in Europe there will come a realization of impossibility to push Putin and force him to revert to the previous behavior. Then, in turn, will appear and understanding the uselessness or even the harmfulness of the sanctions approach. And, apparently, the time has come. Europe has already passed from the stage of anger and willingness to put a new batch on new terms (see five points Mogherini).

Analysts do not exclude that in the summer of “Donbass” the European sanctions against Russia is not renewed, then the sanctions war will be de facto finished (adopted in Crimea, the sanctions will remain in force, however, he has not had a serious impact on the Russian economy). At the exit, the Kremlin will receive the newest, that is normal, the rules of the game, which he achieved. Removing pieces from the Board, we then put them on the rules and put the opponent to the Mat.



Yes, Moscow will not receive the participation in systems of collective security and economic integration, which she wanted before, however, this level of strategic cooperation after the current conflict is simply physically impossible. The Kremlin offer to begin a real partnership small: generation of elementary rules of the game in the post-Soviet space, which will prevent new clashes between Russia and the West. And if the EU will agree to this option, it would trigger an automatic EU recognition of Russian interests in the region. In addition, Moscow managed to stop the expansion of Euro-Atlantic integration to East, particularly in Ukraine.

And it’s not even in the territorial conflict, which Kiev will not be allowed into NATO. Moscow has clearly stated their interest and readiness to defend them by any means, then the collective West has publicly rejected the idea of inclusion of Ukraine into its orbit. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Kiev can not see the EU and NATO for at least another 25 years, and Barack Obama acknowledged that the Ukrainian space is the “key Russian interest, not the us, so Russia will always have the opportunity to dominate Ukraine and even enhance this dominirovanie”. This is a serious blow for both position of the Ukrainian authorities (who Euro-Atlantic integration a key objective of its domestic and foreign policy), and “Atlantic” aspirations of other elites in the post-Soviet space. And, on the other hand, a serious bonus for Russia’s image, which managed to protect its interests in the region.

In addition, the elites of Europe and the United States recognized the need for cooperation with Moscow on the post-Soviet space, but also for addressing global challenges – Syria, immigration, Iranian problems. The peoples of Western countries that recognized the need six months ago, after Russia’s entry into the war against is forbidden in the Russian Federation the terrorist organization ISIS. By itself the Syrian operation played a large part of the Crimean losses. The inadequacy of Ukrainian elites, their public squabbles, corruption and inefficiency did the rest. And now the Western electorate does not understand why he should agree to sanctions against the country against international terrorism in order to support a failed state?


New world


Another bonus from the Crimean Mata was the stimulation of further transition of the world from a unipolar to a multipolar model. First, in two years, the Kremlin was able to demonstrate that the world’s superpower, and the U.S. has neither the power nor the means to force Russia to submit to American demands to the detriment of its own national interests. Russia has exposed the limits of American possibilities and the real degree of reliability of White house assurances to its allies (which offered protection from Russia in exchange for their anti-Russian escapades and action). Secondly, after the operation to return the Crimea on the basis of the Kosovo precedent, Russia has demonstrated to Americans the consequences of given them the transformation of international law in such aspects as the right to self-determination and state sovereignty. To be fair, will it just be a mirror of this situation. But if his claim to change the status of separate foreign territories will make China, Iran and other countries, America is unlikely to stop them other than by returning to the primacy of international law and to act through the UN security Council.

Finally, third, in favor of a multipolar world played and unilateral Western sanctions against Russia. Everyone saw that the US is using controlled institutions of global financial governance to political pressure, not on the country of a pariah (as it was before and what, in General, tolerated), and one of the leaders in the global community. As a result, developing countries began a serious inquiry into parallel institutions, and he was satisfied by the creation of a BRICS Bank, Asian infrastructure investment Bank and other organizations.


What Crimea is all right


Of course, the Crimean party is not over yet. And it’s not even that Moscow must comply with Crimean image daily to prove their leadership skills, demonstrate a balanced and moderate approach to international Affairs, with hard and proven protection of their interests (which must be kept clean from the husk in the form of emotions like “let’s discredit the USA in Syria”). But the fact that Russia is not yet fully implemented all the international opportunities that gave her the return of the Crimea.

Thus, Moscow needs to make more efforts to raise the standard of living on the Peninsula. And not only to improve the lives of Crimeans. Need to turn the Peninsula into a kind of showcase, a demonstration of the Ukrainian regions, all the advantages of joining the Russian Federation. Yes, partially (or even largely) this has not yet been achieved because of the Ukrainian policy of the blockade of water, food and energy. However, their contribution to image failure and made a clumsy Russian bureaucracy (which are only perturbations around the Ministry of the Crimea, which, according to Crimean journalists, tenders for projects in the Peninsula were detained for at least six months), corruption, serious staffing problems in the Crimea as well as scandals within local authorities (for example, the public conflict between Alexei Chaly and Sergei Menyailo, which the Kremlin is unable to repay in a very long time). Perhaps the Crimean showcase will be able to create after some time, however, given the problems of the people of the Ukraine, which is in the selection state, needed it yesterday

Gevorg Mirzayan “Expert Online”

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