The Architecture of Security in the Eurasian Region: Is Russia still a Guarantor of Regional Security?

Gaziza Shakhanova


Various attempts of Russian political leaders to keep their formerly subordinated nations under a strong influence of regional military-political and economic coalitions headed by Moscow are treated differently by the West, by Russia itself, and by the post-Soviet states. On the one hand, despite the withdrawal of the Warsaw Treaty and the Soviet Union in 1991, and the end of the Cold War between two blocks, the West still depicts Russia as an unfriendly state ready to attack Europe at any time, and calls the allies to more careful watchfulness over the “Russian bear”. On the other hand, Russia itself is more preoccupied with NATO’s enlargement towards the East, the import of “hybrid” wars and “colour” revolutions, and the stirring up of terrorism and religious extremism stemming from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. While the post-Soviet states, which are geopolitically located under Moscow’s umbrella, demonstrate loyalty and form alliances with Russia for their own sake, Russia could guarantee the preservation of the existing regimes and their states’ sovereignty and give them political freedom to realise a “multi-factor” foreign policy by balancing the strongest powers in the region. However, Moscow is trying to avoid the role of the “watchdog” of the region, looks for stronger allies to strengthen its global positions, and has already prioritised the global Shanghai Cooperation Organization over the regional one. The article gives a picture of the existing security system in the post-Soviet space in the military-political and economic aspects, and provides tentative suggestions on the main trends and problems in the system.

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