After Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, it is clear that Russia has lost its stabilizing role in the region. The different types of revolutions, whatever their names may be, are a diagnosis of Russia’s foreign policy. The changing situation in the periphery forces Moscow to bet on another CIS - Community of Independent States - (the union of non-recognized states, Abkhazia, North Osetia, Transnistria, Karabash). It shows Russia’s incapacity to maintain its satellites in its area of influence and makes it a destabilizing factor in the post-Soviet region. Moscow is not interested in getting involved in a series of local conflicts that would make it hostage of a third force, particularly of the United States. The strategy of US lightning revolutions is understandable. However, Washington does not want to show the Putin government that it is convenient for them. China is the main adversary of the United States in the region as it struggles to build a sort of Socialism with a “human face”. The Americans’ willingness to limit China’s access to the Russian resources and technologies should solve Russia’s domestic policy problems.

The main card of the revolution is Ukraine, due to its geopolitical, economic and demographic weight in Eastern Europe but also as a model of power transfer in revolutionary conditions. The orange revolution has become a standard for the opposition movements in CIS countries. The traditional willingness of that country to be Russia’s alternative leader is another factor. Ukraine is in fashion and its leaders are trying to have a more active foreign policy, reviving the GOUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldavia) which lost the O (in French) with Uzbekistan. This GUAM revives thanks to the Americans who try to defend their interests: it is not an energy criterion anymore but political and, above all, related to security.

According to Ukrainian political analysts, their country is currently to play three roles: regional leader, exporter of democracy and peace mediator in different regional conflicts. Such eclecticism is not good for the country. The Tbilisi-Kiev axis seriously opposes Russia since the Declaration of the Carpathians. The problem for the Russians comes from the fact that those countries are supported by the United States and if they were not, they would not pose any danger. With Kyrgyzstan, and potentially Kazakhstan and Belarus, these countries are long-lasting anchorage points for the United States in the “Heartland”. Counting on that support, Georgia and Ukraine feel safe from Russia. The other side of the coin is that the ideology and the moralism of Kiev’s and Tbilisi’s foreign policy contradict the pragmatic economic interests that would demand a rapprochement with Russia. A sort of schizophrenia stems from that. Yushchenko proves that he has reassessed his policy: he understood that it is not time for his country’s integration into the European Union and that there are problems that can not be solved without Russia’s assistance.

Gazeta SNG (Russia)
Gazeta SNG is an online news daily in Russian language.

Моралистичность Киева и Тбилиси приводит к внешнеполитической шизофрении ”, by Yuri Pomanenko, Gazeta SNG, May 18, 2005.