GUAM AND THE REGIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE
Jannatkhan Eyvazov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Deputy Director, Institute of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus, Executive Secretary of the Central Asia and the Caucasus journal (Baku, Azerbaijan)
The Soviet Union left behind what is now called the post-Soviet space—a political picture that radically differs from the one of the previous period. Fifteen new independent states destroyed the rigidly hierarchical system dominated by one actor to introduce a regional anarchically-organized system. Although this structural change did indeed create a system that functioned as a regional complex of interdependent central security interests of the newly independent states, it nevertheless displayed certain specific features.
Its dimensions and structural-political specifics make the system different from what is regarded as the classical standard Regional Security Complex (RSC), in which the closely interconnected security interests of all states are based on their geographic proximity and where “the security dynamics of the region are not determined by the unipolar power at its center.” B. Buzan and O. Weaver have described the regional system of the post-Soviet space as a “centered great power regional security complex.”
At the same time, having detached themselves from the metropolitan country, the newly independent states formed local interstate systems—regional security sub-complexes. Such are the Baltic sub-complex, which includes Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the East European (Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova), the Central Caucasian (Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia), and the Central Asian (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). The newly formed sub-systems remain more or less autonomous, while Russia has preserved the function of the “center” that brings them together into a single “web” of interdependence of the post-Soviet security macro-complex (PSM).
Russia is the only geopolitical actor in this structure able to consistently spread its influence on a regional scale; by the same token, it is the key security factor for all the newly independent states in all the sub-systems described above. This means that the development of the local complexes, the dynamics of the security relations among all the states involved, and their ties with the outside centers of power are all products not only of endogenous factors, but also of their dependence on Russia’s geopolitical activity.
The very fact that four of the post-Soviet states (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) formed an alliance (GUAM) and it underwent subsequent development confirmed the specific features of the……………