NATO on the Caspian

No NATO on the Caspian

Just in case there was any doubt, that the Ukraine conflict was about NATO’s eastward expansion.


The presidents of the litorial states of the Caspian
From left to right: Ilham Aliyev(Azerbaijan), Hassan Rouhani(Iran), Vladimir Putin(Russia), Nursultan Nazarbayev(Kazakhstan), Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow(Turkmenistan)

This article in The Diplomat, a Japan based journal focusing on business, politics and other matters from an Asian perspective, leaves very little doubt (if in fact there was any) that the Ukraine conflict has not occurred in a geo-political vacuum. Far from being merely a citizens’ revolt for more political representation and self-determination, leading the ousting of an oligarch, civil war, and the attempted (re-)incorporation of the eastern Ukraine into the Russia Federation, tensions between the West and Moscow over the Ukraine are part of a NATO attempt to increase its influence in the former Soviet republics that have remained more or less in the Russian sphere of influence since the end of the Soviet era. This has sent Moscow scurrying to activate some sort of line of defense against what it sees as an attempt to swing the balance of power in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The rivalry between the West and Russia over influence in the region is as old as the Great Game, and is sure to be keenly watched by strategists in East Asia as well, as it has been the direct or indirect cause of enormous upheavals in Asia since the Opium Wars.

* Dettoni, Jacopo: “Russia and Iran Lock NATO Out of Caspian Sea”. In: The Diplomat (Features, Diplomacy, Cenral Asia). Published: 01 Oct 2014. Last viewed: 02 Oct 2014.