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The Caucasus: here lived and should live as brothers. And it is not necessary to prevent this.

The North Caucasus was never a monolithic region and consequently is doomed to external management. Only Russia copes with this problem yet.
After the retirement of Lyzhkov, the analytics guessed in favor of two candidates on a post of the mayor of Moscow, namely Sobyanin and Khloponin. Khloponin has remained on the Caucasus that confirms his appointment wasn’t casual. The transfer of one of the most successful politicians in this region and the creation of the North Caucasian federal district for him were the signs of that the strategy of Moscow has changed in this region. Earlier the appointment of Yunusbek Evkurov to a post of the head of Ingushetia became the evidence of similar change. Today the contours of new strategy are outlined in formulations. In recent interview to "Kommersant", the ambassador plenipotentiary has declared that the dependant policy in relation to the federal center won't pass. It means that Moscow is ready to take the risk of the present unsteady stability for the sake of economic jerk and the cardinal social and economic alteration of the Caucasus firstly since the USSR. In other words, the military and political interests will gradually give the way to social and economic interests.
Having seized this tendency, the American political scientist, the expert in chief of Carnegie Center concerning the Caucasus, namely Thomas de Vaal writes in the magazine «Foreign Policy» (USA) that «today Russia on the Caucasus is only one of the several participants of the game and the value has an economic potential there instead of military one». The interest of the West was changed also to this region. According to Vaal’s opinion, the surge of interest in the Caucasus has inspired in the small Caucasian states (read as Georgia) a false hope to become the participants of "the big game» between Russia and the West but it has only came to the end with the senseless conflicts. Today «the strategic ambitions of the West, aimed at the creation of base in the region, have given way to more sound estimation of its importance from the point of view of energy and economic needs of Europe».
Probably the best metaphor of the Caucasus will be a multinational and multicultural New York. Tens nationalities and people, languages and cultures and at last the stories are concentrated on rather a small lot of a dry land here as well as in New York. As known scientist Alexander Kruber wrote: «Such variety speaks that the Caucasus lies on a way from Asia to Europe and in the course of many centuries is a refuge for the different tribes which were pushed aside here from the north and the south by new newcomers. These tribes didn't merge with each other, having being separated by high forbidding mountains and deep gorges». Only the languages here are more than 60.
Speaking about the Caucasus, some so-called "experts", whether through ignorance or deliberately, "forget" that the flat Caucasus differs from the mountain, the Northern differs from the Southern and the precaspian differs from the preblack one.


Drawing in mind the bearded Caucasians-Muslims, supposedly flaring with the fierce hatred to Russia, they forget about the Christian Ossetia. Even Chechens are perceived as a separate nationality without taking into account that some Chechen tribes consist of the Jews and the Cossacks.
The Caucasus was never a monolithic region being one of the junctions of moving of the people. The Caucasus is the dream realization of interethnic tolerance as well as New York. Different nations, nationalities and ethnos were in the peculiar boiler throughout the millennia, therefore there were already put together the generated national communities by the end of the last century. We wouldn’t forget that they fixed the friendship not once, having battling against the general enemy nip and tuck and the last time was in the Great Patriotic War. There is no denying that almost all representatives of the Caucasian people peacefully coexist in Siberia and the conflicts between them here are extremely rare. And it testifies that the representatives of the nationalities occupying the former USSR are capable to coexist peacefully in the lack of extraneous intervention. Those, who doesn't understand this, doesn't understand the Caucasus or that is the most probably, pursues the selfish ends.
There is no ethnos which could become the main on the Caucasus. Therefore, the reasons of the Caucasian’s conflicts are usually not ethnic and not confessional but selfish.
And only Saakashvili continues to assert that «there is no either the Northern, nor the Southern Caucasus, there is only one Caucasus which belongs to Europe and which will join once the European family of the free people, following the way of Georgia». Following the next abortive project of the united Caucasus, the Georgian president has already signed the decree on which the citizens of Russia living in the North Caucasian republics would not required the visa to trips to Georgia, unlike their compatriots living in other regions of Russia. It is obvious that the Georgian president, carrying out such policy, wants to occupy a leading position among the Caucasian politicians … But whether the others will want to reconcile to the subordinated role is the big question: the most important thing is whether such actions of Mr. Saakashvili will lead to more escalation of intensity on the Caucasus? And not only in the cases with Abkhazia and the South Ossetia …
The western publicists are inclined to treat a policy of Russia on the Caucasus as a colonialist one, forgetting that there is none great power in the world, namely the colonizer. It is true both for the Ancient Greece and for the United States. The Caucasus was never a horn of plenty as Siberia or the Ural. Its geoeconomic meaning strongly yields to the geopolitical. To keep this important region is very expensive and not to keep is even more expensive. Russia has been doomed to inclusion of the Caucasian mountain ridge in its security arrangement. To accuse Russia of this is as absurdly as to accuse the person that he wants to live.
It is the historic fact that the history of harmonization of Russia with the Caucasus has begun on the initiative of the local people. Having seen a counterpoise to the oppression of Ottoman Empire in the strengthened Russian state, some Adygei tribes have directed the embassy with the application on protection and patronage to Ivan the Terrible. Later the alliance was fixed by the marriage of the Russian tsar with the Kabardian princess Kucheney. And such "convergences" were much on the initiative of the Caucasian princes. It is impossible to forget that the East Georgia has entered under the protectorate of Russia under the threat of an attack ofTurkey.
As writes Thomas dе to Vaal that «in 1820th years, during the wars of Russia with Ottoman Empire, the Armenians and the Azerbaijanians battled together in the ranks of tsar’s army». He makes this example as the proof that the contradictions of Azerbaijan and Armenia aren't predetermined by the past. But he confirms by any chance for himself that the unifying force for them was the Russian statehood.
It is impossible to forget that Russia accepted the Caucasus from the hands of the damped Ottoman Empire. Someone won in a changing situation, someone lost. The losing part maintained the resistance. And, strange as it may seem, this constant still war is "normal" for the Caucasus.
Russian Empire applied the unique technologies for the inclusion of disturbing region in its structure. Russia has worked the special invention on the Caucasian direction, namely the Cossacks. The Cossacks were born long before the Caucasian interests but have most brightly played their role in the near Caucasian regions, namely on Kuban, in Stavropol Territory and in the Caucasus. The peculiarity of the Cossacks is that they merged in a way of life with local population, carrying out the functions of holders of external borders of empire. Even the traditional Cossack clothes today are the Caucasian Circassian coat. The Cossacks spoke the languages of the local people as native if to trust Tolstoy who served on the Caucasus. The difference from the mountain dwellers is the oath to tsar and service to Russia. Though, probably, today the Cossacks play a smaller role as the tool of geopolitics. The fact of its existence gives hope that the Russian reality will give birth to one more humanitarian innovation for the Caucasus.
The other tool is the inclusion of local elite in the elites of empire. A symbol of resistance of mountain dwellers of Russia imam Shamil has ended the life in a rank of the Russian noble presented to him by Alexander the second. Today the considerable number of the Caucasians by origin is included in political, business, scientific, military elite of Russia including the show business. It is enough to remember the winner of "Eurovision" Dima Bilan who is of the native of Kabardino-Balkaria. It is not necessary to forget about the Caucasian Stalin. In spite of the fact that he came to the power on a revolutionary wave, he considered himself as the successor of the Russian statehood and even spoke: «I’m the Russian of the Georgian origin». And what about the prince Bagration who was the representative of one of the most notable Georgian surnames?
The peculiarity of the Russian colonization is that Russia itself was ready to "be colonized" by the Caucasus and to accept its inhabitants as the own citizens and even to recognize the other legal ways of life in the territory. As the Caucasian aksakal-miritel Maksharip Sultygov says that today there are three systems of the right on the Caucasus at once: adat (highland laws), sheria (Islamic laws) and the Russian legislation. It is a catastrophe from the point of view of the state and right theory. But it is acceptable from the point of view of interests of empire. The Caucasus is not a monolith, it demands a variety and flexibility and the main thing is the total absence of dogmatism.
The alternative projects of the Caucasus contain just the dogmatism. The project of the Caucasian emirate advanced by the Islamits almost turned to failure according to the experts. The project of monoethnic unitary Georgia has already turned back for Saakashvili by a loss of hopes of returning of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. I doubt whether the other projects of the monolithic Caucasus have the chances. All that the dogmatists-unitors could do in this region is to rouse the conflicts. And such conflicts only repeated a situation of old- time when the local people asked the protection from Russia as the Abkhazians and the Ossets have made not so long ago (and haven't lost).
In the beginning of November, the American expert on the post-Soviet space Ariel Cohen has confirmed that the USA simply aren't able to work with not monolithic regions. «Certainly, it is hard to please to everybody in the region with opposite interests at once — he speaks — Unfortunately, the American policy in the region which both parties built for last 20 years at the time of Clinton and Bush's administrations, is in deep crisis». Having finishing the thought, he concludes that already now both Turkey and Azerbaijan are more focused on partner relations with Russia because of the geographical location, growing trade and economic relations and the quiet relation of Moscow to features of political life of both countries.
Not without reason the outlined harmonization of Armenia and Azerbaijan is carried out today through intermediary of Russia. As the Ex-Minister of Defence of Armenia Vagarshak Arutyunyan has declared the other day: «The Karabakh question is insoluble without Russia. The cease-fire mode has been established through intermediary of Russia not only in Nagorno- Karabakh but also in Abkhazia and Ossetia. That is, the fighting has been stopped in the territory of the Caucasus through intermediary of Russia. There were the attempts to solve the Karabakh conflict, passing Russia, but all of them have come to grief».
Europe recognized the Caucasus as a zone of interests of Russia in part. As writes French «Fenкtre sur l'Europe», «the Russian-Georgian war has allowed Moscow to strengthen the positions on the Southern Caucasus and discredited the western diplomacy on the post-Soviet space in an essential measure ».
Only the time will show whether a new strategy of Moscow run smoothly on the Caucasus. But that doesn't raise the doubts is that this region remains within the limits of the Russian scenario. The reason is not only that the plans of Russia are constructive but also that while is the unique country which has proved the ability to be responsible for the Caucasian region in practice and to consider its variety.
Certainly, some foreign and the Caucasian politicians have a great pleasure to participate in rousing of conflict situations on the Caucasus. I think it is not necessary to explain to what extent it corresponds to the well-known Caucasian hospitality. It would be desirable to wish for such odious persons to deal more with own problems instead of to consider themselves as the great experts in the permission of somebody else’s problems …

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Author: Карновский Юрий Зиновьевич

Publication date : 25 December 2010 13:03

Source: The world and we

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