Columbia Visiting Scholar Vasili Rukhadze has done a fascinating blog post on Russia’s geopolitical ambitions in Central Asia, concentrating not on the threat to Western interests as so many think tanks have done, but rather focusing on the deleterious impact that Russia’s influence has on these nations’ sovereignty and prospects for democracy. Rukhadze concludes:
Today Russia represents the single biggest threat to the national sovereignty and security of post-Soviet states. Moscow’s goal is not a mere dominance in the region. Russian strategic planners and policy makers have made it amply clear that the Kremlin wants to bring the whole former Soviet landmass under the Russian dominated “Eurasian Union”. Moscow’s new KGB run regime has political will, determination and aggressiveness to do just that. As long as America continues to be bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and Europe shows timidity in confronting new Russian neo-imperialism, the Kremlin will find it less and less difficult to achieve its goals. Undoubtedly, there are very hard days ahead of those former Soviet countries which really care for their freedom and future.