THE GUAM PHENOMENON: ITS EXPERIENCE AS A REGIONAL COOPERATION STRUCTURE AND ITS PROSPECTS AS AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
Sergey Tolstov, Chief researcher at the Institute of Global Economics and International Relations, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (Kiev, Ukraine)
The appearance of the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) cooperation group in the second half of the 1990s was motivated by the need to create a consultative mechanism within the framework of European international organizations in order to coordinate the positions of the member states and form regional cooperation structures. At the same time, definition of the role and clarification of the functions of GUAM at all stages of cooperation among the interested sides and development of this structure was in no way simple and unequivocal due to the changes in the transnational system and the special features of the processes occurring in the post-Soviet expanse. These circumstances demand a more in-depth assessment of the special roles played by the member states and of the regional processes that have been going on during the last 15 years.
The profound political differences among the post-Soviet states in foreign policy, security, and military partnership designated after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. as early as the first half of 1992 can be regarded as the trigger that launched the formation of GUAM as a separate structural component. After refusing to sign the Collective Security Treaty at the CIS Tashkent summit on 15 May, 1992, several countries, including Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, voiced their objection to Russia’s dominating status in the former Soviet expanse and proclaimed their own foreign policy in the European and Euro-Atlantic context.
As early as 1992-1993, political observers led everyone to believe that Kiev could become an alternative center of consolidation within the CIS. This development of events was considered a premise for the possible breakdown of the CIS into two zones, one of which would be more subject to Western influence, while the other would retain its primary orientation toward Moscow.
The CIS European countries took a long time to adapt to the reality of post-bipolar Europe, and………..