The concerns of former Soviet states

From Ukraine to Central Asia, the shock waves from Russia’s intervention in the war in Georgia, and its subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are still being felt. Russia’s actions signalled to its neighbours that it was ready to defend its interests – by military means if necessary. Moscow increasingly sees NATO enlargement and Western military presence in the region as ‘red lines’ and is ready to respond assertively. Regional states, particularly those most vulnerable to Russian pressure, are reviewing the assumptions behind their relations with both Russia and the West. The largely rhetorical Western response to Russia’s use of force has undermined hopes that partnership with the United States, NATO and the European Union could help post-Soviet states to maintain their territorial integrity. This article discusses the implications for Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Central Asian states.

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