Diplomacy in the Former Soviet Republics

Diplomacy in the Former Soviet Republics

Diplomacy in the Former Soviet Republics

Diplomacy in the Former Soviet Republics

Synopsis

Soviet authorities in 1987-1991 tried to encourage the union republics to use their diplomatic apparatuses, created by Stalin in 1944, to solicit foreign economic trade and aid. In many cases, union republics were able to draw upon diplomatic precedents established during the early Soviet period, or when they were independent states in the period 1918-1921. The many international contacts and ties the former union republics had established abroad helped them to promptly gain diplomatic recognition and establish diplomatic relations with many foreign states, mitigating to some degree the shock to the world order caused by the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Excerpt

The "southern tier" former union republics of Transcaucasia and Central Asia are largely peopled by non-Slavic ethnic groups, several of which may point to distinguished and ancient cultural pedigrees. Islam plays a large cultural role in the southern tier lands. of the eight largest nationalities in terms of population size, six are Muslim (Azerbaijanis, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Turkmen, and Uzbeks), while two are Christian (Georgians and Armenians). Even Armenians and Georgians, however, have been heavily influenced by contact with Islam, through past conflict and assimilationist pressures. While the southern tier states all fell under Russian influence in the nineteenth century or before, some of the Central Asian peoples were conquered only in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Several of the southern tier peoples asserted independence after the collapse of Tsarist Russia and mounted futile resistance to the Red Army. the independent states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia were recognized by several countries and their diplomats repeatedly urged the League of Nations to recognize them and safeguard their independence. Under Soviet rule, the southern tier union republics were less economically developed than Russia and the western union republics. They served to buffer Russia from the Islamic countries and China, but were also used to some degree to foster contacts or gain influence, such as Soviet Muslim contacts with Middle Eastern Muslims. At the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the southern tier states were less prepared for independence in terms of economic and political capabilities than other former union republics. Armenia and Azerbaijan were already involved in conflict over the status of Azerbaijan's Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, Georgia was involved in both civil conflict over its leadership and regional conflict in South Ossetia (and, soon, in Abkhazia), and Tajikistan's communist . . .

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