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

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

Conclusion

Alvin Z. Rubinsteinand Oles M. Smolansky

Eurasia is in flux, and the region's "Great Game" involving Russia, Turkey, and Iran as the main protagonists (with China looming in the future as an important player in Central Asia) has begun anew. The collapse of the Soviet empire brought about major political upheavals in the area; first and foremost, the emergence of the new nation states in Transcaucasia and Central Asia. The ethnolinguistic particularism of these and other diverse peoples survived the prolonged period of czarist and Communist rule and provides an essential unifying geographic, psychosocial, and cultural core of beliefs and remembered history--a common heritage. Though weak and vulnerable, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan find their independence, their very ability to survive as nation-states, enhanced by virtue of international recognition and membership in the United Nations. This status requires the regional powers ( Russia, Turkey, and Iran) to proceed cautiously and pursue a differentiated policy toward these states--a tactic that in turn affords additional flexibility to the newly independent republics of the former USSR. Nevertheless, ethnic diversity and military power give Russia opportunities in the region that are not available to its rivals.

Transcaucasia and Central Asia constitute a vast borderland over which the Russian, Ottoman, Persian, and Chinese empires vied for position and dominance from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Ultimately, it was Russian military superiority that prevailed, so that Russia's advances in the nineteenth century established the contours of the czarist and then the suc-

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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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