The dynamics of geopolitical processes is rapidly developing on a global scale. There are serous problems that give rise to concern. Outlook for cooperation between the European Union and the young nations, which gained their independence, becomes topical in this context. It is worth pondering over the fate of relations between Azerbaijan and this organization. The processes show that Baku is persistent in developing equal partnership relations with the EU. Preparation of the new cooperation program arouses interest in this regard. We may think over changes the development of Azerbaijan-EU relations will bring about in the South Caucasus.
New trends: dynamics of modern geopolitics
Emerging new trends in the world geopolitics change the whole landscape. Great powers try to apply new game rules. The competition for global dominance is becoming increasingly harsh and ruthless. The European Union (EU) needs to modify its foreign policy under these circumstances because it is not a secret that this organization set itself a goal of becoming one of the major geopolitical centers.
In this context, Caucasus is one of the regions, which is of serious importance to Europe. There are some reasons for that. The South Caucasus is first of all rich in energy resources. On the other hand, it is a bridge to Russia, Turkey, Iran and neighboring Central Asia. The South Caucasus connects the Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins. For this reason, many seek to gain geopolitical influence in the South Caucasus.
However, it is necessary to take account of the global geopolitical trends. We need to pay a special attention to the factors directly affecting the region. The Ukraine developments come first among them. These developments were sparked by Ukraine`s intention to sign an association agreement with the EU (see: 1). This Kyiv`s step “dashed hopes in Europe, made Russia glad and confused the third parties” (see: 1, p.3).
In reality, it is about serious geopolitical changes. Even, some analysts from the West and Russia put a question in the following way: ”What will be the fate of the European security system in the light of the Ukraine crisis?” (see: 2). Those who share this stance believe that somebody wants to foist a new “cold war” on Europe even though it has not get out of the old “cold war” completely.
Western analysts and political scientists dramatize the situation even more. They are afraid and openly declare that the Ukraine events can lead to the new world war. For example, Allison says, ”… What began in Ukraine will not be limited to Ukraine only” (see: 3).
Famous political analyst George Friedman raises virtually similar questions. He introduces the term “borderland”, which includes the countries located between Russia and Europe. Friedman believes that a “new strategic landscape” is being formed in this area (see: 4). The Stratfor founder comes up with interesting ideas by comparing the mentioned changes with the situation, which formed between the two world wars. ”The process is in its early stages and few are yet locked into a course as Germany was in 1914. The forces are beginning to gather, and if they do, they will not be controlled by good will” (see: 4).
World War: parallels between the past and present conditions?
Let us confess that it is a pretty much serious argument. It is about radical changes in the world geopolitics. Although the Ukraine issue looks like that in 1914 and 1940, that is, there is likelihood of the world war III. Do global forces already cross the ”red line” when sorting out their relationships? If so, why don’t international organizations take concrete steps? Indeed, passiveness and indifference of such organizations as UN makes us become thoughtful. This fact also shows that great geopolitical forces have not yet found perfect mechanisms of solving emerging problems within the framework of international law.
The abovementioned ideas of Russian and Western analysts clearly indicate that the parties incline towards harsh fighting methods. Both parties mention the threat of the new large-scale war. Does it really become a major trend of the global geopolitics? In our opinion, such a threat already exists.
What is behind this situation? Many believe in the West that “revisionists” who appear in the rapidly developing states strike back (see: for instance 5). It results in the “return of geopolitics”. The main hallmark, according to him, is ”involvement of international relations into competition, use of military power, beginning of the cruel competition (see: 5). Eventually, it fogs the future of the world geopolitical order (Walter Russell Mead).
By mentioning “revisionists”, Mead mainly means Russia, China and Iran. Of course, the list can be continued. The main point is the approach. The point is that Mead understands revanchism as revisiting “cold war” geopolitical struggle methods. It coincides with the assessment of other analysts. Specifically, it means confrontation, use of harsh means and military force return on the agenda of the global geopolitics. This is a dangerous side of the process.
The point is that not all agree with this approach to emergence of geopolitical difficulties on a global scale. According to some experts, because of the West`s pursuing the expansionist policy, the main problem is that the USA does not give up its world domination ambitions. Some experts justify the Washington`s ambitions. This position is shared by Brzezinski, Kissinger and Friedman. The difference in their approaches lies in the search for the optimal model of the USA`s global leadership. It is noteworthy that USA, by all accounts, is not capable of coping with this task yet. But there are many who claim that the world leadership virtually split the humanity into ”two legal worlds”. According to them, the geopolitics is now pursued under the cover of “lawfulness and moral” (see, for instance: 6). As a matter of fact, Mullerson approaches to the present situation in the aspect of geopolitical ambitions of western politicians. ”Accusing Vladimir Putin of taking unreal position, western politicians, media and experts come under influence of the brain wash system that they created themselves” (see: 6). More specifically, such analysts as Mullerson do not blame “revionists” of Russell Mead only for uncertainty observed in the global geopolitics. They underline the leading role of geopolitical ambitions of the US-led West.
The dynamics of global geopolitical processes is rapidly changing. Serous problems emerge, thus, giving rise to concern. In this vein, outlook of the EU`s relations with the young independent states becomes topical. In particular, it is worth thinking over the fate of the EU`s ties with Azerbaijan. The developments show that Baku intends to cultivate relations with the EU as an equal partner. Development of a new cooperation program arouses great interest in this respect. What interesting is the change the development of EU-Azerbaijan relations may lead to in the South Caucasus.
- Habibe Özdal. “AB ve Rusya Arasında Ukrayna: Hayaller ve Gerçekler” / Uluslararası Stratejik Araştırmalar Kurumu (USAK) Analiz № 26, November, 2013.
- Сергей Караганов. Европа и Россия: не допустить новой “холодной войны” / “Россия в глобальной политике”, vol12, № 2, March/April 2014, pp. 8-17.
- Graham T. Allison. “Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?” / The National Interest, 6 May 2014.
- George Friedman. “Borderlands: The New Strategic Landscape” / Stratfor, “Geopolitical Weekly”, 6 May 2014.
- Walter Russell Mead. “The Return of Geopolitics: The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers” / Foreign Affairs, May/June 2014, vol 93, № 3.
- Рейн Мюллерсон. Два мира – два права? Геополитика под прикрытием законности и морали / “Россия в глобальной политике”, vol. 12, № 2, March/April 2014, pp. 86-95.
- Novruz Məmmədov. “Xarici siyasət: reallıqlar və gələcəyə baxış”. Baku, 2013, p. 264.
- Elmar Məmmədyarov. “Uğurlu xarici siyasət strategiyasının Azərbaycan modeli: nailiyyətlər və perspektivlər” / “Azərbaycan” qəzeti, 10 September 2013.
- Hicran Hüseynova. “Avropaya inteqrasiya və regional təhlükəsizlik”. Baku, 2003.
- Şəmsəddin Hacıyev. “İlham Əliyevin çoxvektorlu geoiqtisadi siyasətinin növbəti uğurları” / “Azərbaycan” qəzeti, 27.04.2014, 30.04.2014 və 01.05.2014 issues.