Geopolitics of Eurasia: Understanding the Eurasian turmoil

News: Protests in Kazakhstan and other areas like Belarus, Ukraine, Caucasus have the potential to reshape the geopolitics of Eurasia.  Russia, with its geographic spread across Eurasia, is at the very centre of this restructuring.

What are the parameters involved in the geopolitics of Eurasia?

The internal political evolution of Eurasian state: post-Communist states have not been settled on a sustainable political path. In Central Europe and the Baltic States, the transition to liberal democracy appeared to be quick. While many other former Soviet republics drifted into the rule of strong men. Both models are under stress as democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland challenges the norms of the European Union.

Read here: Instability in Kazakhstan will resonate in regional geopolitics

The weaknesses of economic globalisation: Despite being resource-rich and embracing economic globalisation, the leaders of Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan have ensured an inequitable society.

The limitations of regional institutions: The hope that regional institutes contributing to the stability of post-communist states have not been met. Even after joining the EU, the eastern and western halves of Europe are vastly different. Several issues related to the Rule of Law, migration, energy and geopolitics act as dividing factors. There is also resentment in the eastern half about the domination of the western half on EU policymaking.

Russia has launched the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation to re-establish its primacy in Eurasia, but not been successful yet. Russia joined SCO with China, to bring stability in the Central Asian region.

The constraints on powers to shape the post-Russian space: To lessen their dependency on Russia, many former members of the Soviet Union are engaging with all major powers to strengthen their strategic autonomy, which Nazarbayev called “multi-vector diplomacy”. But still, countries like Kazakhstan are dependent on Russia, when any crisis arises.

In Ukraine Conflict, Russia prefers to negotiate with the USA rather than the EU. In Kazakhstan, Russia has shown it remains the main security provider despite the considerable economic salience of China. Hence, major economic power such as the EU and China have been unable to shape the political and security dynamic in Eurasia.

Read here: Why the Russia-West equation matters to India

Russia is the strong actor in the region, it still needs to accommodate European security with the west including areas such as independence and neutrality and de-escalation of little confrontation in heart of Europe.

Source: This post is based on the article “Understanding the Eurasian turmoil” published in the Indian Express on 11th January 2022.

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