2022, year of geopolitical crises. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

“Or the recent political crises in the states of the so-called Eurasian Economic Union will find an echo in the Republic of Moldova too. The concept to destabilize the post-Soviet space was worked out for this purpose…
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Return to spheres of influence by chaos and destabilization...

In 2021, the post-Soviet space was shaken by a number of political, economic, pandemic, energy and other types of crises. 2022 is expected to be a year of much more dangerous provocations. By all appearances, this year will be the year of geopolitical crises that will deepen the effects of the crises of last year. The agenda for 2022 was prefigured back in November 2021 by ex-adviser to the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the inventor and promoter of the sovereign democracy concept Vladislav Surkov. The given ideologist titled his programmatic manifesto as   “Where Has the Chaos Gone? Unpacking Stability”, arguing that for the sake of political stability in Russia, the latter should destabilize the situation in the neighboring countries, exporting chaos to the former Soviet republics that are to be brought under the control of the former metropolis. This way, the restoration of the grandness of imperial Russia by extending control over the post-Soviet space should be the justification of the establishment of the authoritarian regime of the so-called sovereign democracy in a clear, unambiguous and understandable way.

The imperialist concept of Putin’s ideologist is somehow funny even if it is very dangerous. Using scientific terns, tit is extended the application of theoretical concepts, such as the appearance of order out of chaos, which were worked out to depict phenomena typical of inanimate matter, to sociopolitical phenomena. In a premeditated way, or possibly out of foolishness, it is ignored the fact that human societies are not mechanical ensembles of nonliving particles, but are hierarchized bodies consisting of human beings with emotions, interests and sensible aspirations that are different from those of Russia. The goal of such cheap manipulation is to persuade public opinion that the Russian imperialist reflexes are based on solid scientific substantiation. To justify his concept, the imperialist ideologist gives the following example: “Imperial technologies continue to be efficient now that the empires are renamed superpowers. The annexation of Crimea is a living example of the consolidation of society through chaos in the neighboring country”.

This way, we convince ourselves that using primitive procedures for throwing dust in the eyes through the agency of pseudo-scientific constructs, they justify the imperialist pretensions that are purportedly absolutely natural and impossible to be avoided. In this connection, at a distance of about a month from the launch of the concept to destabilize the ex-Soviet space, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, in an ultimatum-like way, made public the official claims on the post-Soviet space, insisting also on the Finlandization of Central and Eastern Europe. In this regard, Russia suggested to the U.S. and NATO to actually return to the spheres of influence by the model of Yalta and Potsdam. According to the aforementioned claims, the U.S. and NATO should offer Russia security guarantees and confortable conditions in the process of exporting the chaos to the post-Soviet republics so as to destabilize them and to later subjugate them to its interests. The ultimatum-like character of the Russian initiatives was confirmed by the threat to resort to military and technical-military measures if the U.S. and NATO do not satisfy the formulated demands.

The West’s response to imperialist pretensions

On January 10, 2022 already, the representatives of Russia and the U.S. held talks on the Russian proposals in Geneva. A very sober press release of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes it clear that Russia’s pretentions are not accepted by the U.S. administration: “The Russian side underlined the necessity of ensuring the legal character, which is mandatory from legal viewpoint, of the relevant guarantees, especially the inadmissibility of the extension of NATO”. But Russia at the talks could only reiterate its pretentions, refraining from blackmailing.    

On the other hand, the representative of the U.S. at the talks in Geneva explained in more details the U.S. authorities’ attitude to Russia’s ultimatum:

  • It is strange that Russia seeks security guarantees amid the deployment of overt 100,000 troops along the borders of Ukraine after invading this country in 2014 and continuing fuelling the war in Donbas where over 14,000 human lives were already claimed;
  • Namely Russia’s actions provoke a new crisis not only with regard to Ukraine, but also for the whole Europe. A country cannot change the borders of another country by force and cannot dictate the terms of the foreign policy of another country or ban another country from choosing the own alliances;
  • If Russia invades Ukraine, the costs will be significant and much larger than those incurred after 2014 etc.

Also, the representative of the U.S. noted that with regard to Russia’s pretensions, his country goes from the basic principles of the international system that Russia earlier supported for years.  However, despite the firm attitude, the U.S. wants eventual real progress through diplomacy, while the desired progress can be made only in a climate of relief, not of escalation, while Russia should seriously become involved in diplomatic talks centering on the easing of the situation that it deliberately made tense.

In such a context, more talks between the representatives of Russia and NATO are to be held, including on the OSCE platform. However, it is already clear that the position stated by the U.S. will be the basic one and this will be only detailed and adjusted at the talks. Under such circumstances, if Russia’s imperialist approaches are not a bane bluff, this year we should expect the threats to resort to military and technical-military measures for achieving the announced pretentions to destabilize the post-Soviet space to come true.

Conclusions

There is an axiom that the authoritarian and corrupt states have to make the relations with the neighbors tense. Such a kind of actions are needed for justifying the repressive measures against the own citizens. We now have the most eloquent examples in this regard. The regime of Lukashenko in Belarus recently resorted to very dangerous provocations at the borders with Poland and Lithuania, causing a humanitarian crisis by exploiting refugees from the Middle East. Currently, the authoritarian regime in Kazakhstan lies to the public when it says that an external terrorists attack is staged against this country as it wants to justify the Russian military intervention that was invited to save an oligarchic and corrupt regime. So, it is not surprising that the regime of President Putin, after annihilating any opposition in the own country, repressing cruelly the rights of citizens, is looking for legitimacy by invoking a so-called external danger on the part of Ukraine, NATO, the U.S. etc.

In the given circumstances, it is evident that the destabilization of the Republic of Moldova will be attempted by using the energy dependence on Russia and eventual provocations on the part of the separatist Transnistrian regime. The authorities of the Republic of Moldova and the political class should clearly formulate their attitudes to Russia’s pretensions to destabilize the situation in the region, taking all the necessary measures to resist. Or the recent political crises in the states of the so-called states of the Eurasian Economic Union will find an echo in the Republic of Moldova too. The concept to destabilize the post-Soviet space was worked out for this purpose.

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