Presentation on theme: "Borders in Post-Socialist Eurasia: Problems and Perspectives Dmitry Zimin."— Presentation transcript:
Borders in Post-Socialist Eurasia: Problems and Perspectives Dmitry Zimin
Legal foundations: self-determination versus territorial integrity The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Helsinki, 1975. It declared “inviolability of frontiers in Europe” Referendum in the USSR on 17 March 1991: 76% voted to preserve the USSR as a renewed federation. (The Baltic states, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova did not vote.) “Belovezhie” Agreement on dissolution of the USSR, 8 December, 1991 Declarations of independence
Disintegration of the USSR: 15 Soviet Republics have become independent states; Russia has become the legal successor-state to the Soviet Union (to its obligations, debts and assets); Administrative boundaries have become state borders; New borders do not adequately reflect ethno- cultural and historical realities.
Main events to the West from the USSR: Re-unification of Germany, 1990; Break-up of Czechoslovakia, 1993; Break-up of Yugoslavia, 1990 EU enlargement: 1995-2004
Secondary break-ups: Transdnistria’s cessation from Moldova; Abkhasia’s and Ossetia’s cessation from Georgia; Montenegro’s and Kosovo’s cessation from Serbia; Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno- Karabakh; Attempts to gain independence in Chechnya.
Territorial disputes: Estonia - Russia: Ivangorod and Pechory district (there is still no border treaty); Latvia - Russia: Pytalovo district; China - Russia: islands on Amur river; Japan - Russia: South Kurile islands; Russia - Norway: fishing rights in Spitsbergen waters + a disputed area in the Barents Sea; Russia - Ukraine: Crimean peninsular.
Re-integrative initiatives: Union of Russia and Belarus; Eurasian Economic Community (EEC): Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan; Customs Union of EEC: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan + several countries applied; Free Trade Zone of the Commonwealth of Independent States: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan; Collective Security Treaty Organization (known as ODKB): Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia; Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Russia, China and four Central Asian states (excl. Turkmenistan).
Conclusions: Conflicting trends in Eurasia: further disintegration versus re-integration; Competition of key centers of geopolitical gravitation: EU, Russia, Turkey, China, “New Islamic Caliphate” + the United States; Instability of post-Soviet states; possibility of new break-ups; Alternative re-interpretations of history stimulate separatist movements and new alternative nation-building projects.