CENTRAL EURASIA: ITS GEOPOLITICAL FUNCTION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Eldar M. ISMAILOV


Eldar Ismailov, Director, Institute of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus (Baku, Azerbaijan)


In Lieu of an Introduction: Transformation of the Eurasian Geopolitical Expanse

Today, when we are concentrating on the problems of regional studies and regional cooperation, it has become especially important to look at the processes going on within what was once a single military-political and socioeconomic expanse (the Council for Mutual Economic CooperationCOMECON and the Warsaw Treaty OrganizationWTO) formed by the Soviet Union and which fell apart late in the 20th century into:

The post-COMECON regions:

(1) Central (Eastern) Europe:

  • post-COMECON countries: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania, the GDR, and the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia;
  • post-Soviet countries: Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia;
  • (2) Central Caucasus (Trans-Caucasus):

  • post-Soviet countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia;
  • (3) Central Asian Region (known as Sredniaia Azia [Middle Asia] in Soviet times):

  • post-COMECON countries: Afghanistan, Mongolia;
  • post-Soviet countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
  • The U.S.S.R./COMECON Initiating Core:

    East European-North Asian Region:

  • post-Soviet country: Russia.
  • Evidently the interest in the three post-COMECON regions that detached themselves from the initiating core (Russia) can be explained by the special place they retained in the world political expanse. This becomes especially obvious when viewed as a single, independent, and


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