Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey, and Iran

By Alvin Z. Rubinstein; Oles M. Smolansky | Go to book overview

10
The Asian Interior The Geopolitical Pull on Russia

Alvin Z. Rubinstein

Professor Firuz Kazemzadeh of Yale University has cautioned against expecting Central Asian states to develop into democracies in the near term:

Democracy is a tender plant that has existed for only very short periods of time among very limited numbers of people even in the West. At present, Central Asian republics are governed essentially by the same men who ran them on behalf of Moscow. Whereas a particular leader may be overthrown or voted out, the old ruling apparat is in place and will remain in place for the foreseeable future. There is even less of an alternative to the old communist cadres in Central Asia than there is in Russia.1

This observation may well prove accurate with regard to the domestic politics of the five Central Asian republics--Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan--which are now independent after more than a century of tsarist and Soviet imperial rule. Geopolitically, however, their independence, international recognition as nation-states, and membership in the United Nations have far-reaching consequences for the region and for the great powers. To grasp the importance of the Central Asian republics, it is necessary to place their emergence on the international stage in a broader perspective.

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union profoundly affected the international configuration of power. The bipolar era that dominated the international system from 1945 to 1991 is now history.

-252-

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Regional Power Rivalries in the New Eurasia: Russia, Turkey, and Iran
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About the Editors And Contributors vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note xii
  • Part I- Old Rivals, New Relationships 1
  • 1: The Russian Federation and Turkey 3
  • 2: Moscow and Tehran The Wary Accommodation 26
  • Part II- Cis and Iran 63
  • 3: Ukraine and Iran 65
  • 4: Azerbaijan and Iran 93
  • 5: Iran and Tajikistan 112
  • Part III- The Turkish Factor 145
  • 6: Iran and Turkey Confrontation Across An Ideological Divide 147
  • 7: Turkey and Central Asia Reality Comes Calling 169
  • Part IV A Russian "Monroe Doctrine" In the Making? 199
  • 8: Russia and Transcaucasia The Case of Nagorno-Karabakh 201
  • 9: Russia and Tajikistan 231
  • 10: The Asian Interior The Geopolitical Pull on Russia 252
  • Conclusion 271
  • Index 279
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