Geo-economy & Geopolitics Series Author: John Karkazis Issue G15, June 2012 russia’s strategic geopolitical pursuits

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Geo-economy & Geopolitics Series Author: John Karkazis Issue G15, June 2012



The strategic geopolitical pursuits of Moscow’s foreign policy (the outcome of the geopolitical visions of president Putin and his principal advisors and of the rapidly growing economic and military power of the country) are:

- The enhancement and deepening of the cooperation with China and the Central Asia ex-Soviet Republics in the context of the Shanghai Agreement and specifically the upgrading of the Sino-Russian military cooperation (in April 2012 major joint naval and air force exercises took place in the Yellow Sea).
- The enhancement and deepening of the Russo-European economic cooperation and specifically of the strategic partnership with Germany. Note that the Russo-German cooperation and the underneath hiding geopolitical understanding constitutes the principal strategic priority of Germany, the origins of which date back to Brandt’s ‘Ostpolitik’ (possibly even earlier). To further extent and enhance the geo-strategic footholds of Russia, Putin promoted the idea of a compact geo-economic space extending from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean. The idea was favorably accepted by leading political figures of Germany. As an indicative example of the emerging Russo-German geopolitical understanding and alignment is Putin’s unwillingness to offer a loan to Cyprus in order the latter to avoid the suffocating ‘Merkelean’ loans. By denying this loan Putin offered a great service to Germany by facilitating its economic and political ‘grasp’ on Cyprus, one of the hotspots of the ‘Mittlerer Osten Politik’ (alarmingly increasing the ‘anxiety’ of Britain).
- The strengthening of Russian footholds in the wider area of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East for the offensive containment of the American plans to establish a frontier ‘bridgehead’ in the Caucasus region (Georgia) and in the (under incubation) Great Kurdistan to check the westward advance of Russians and control the energy resources of the Region. Note that in some American maps of the Region the Great Kurdistan extends from northeastern Syria to northwestern Iran and up to northeastern parts of Turkey (Rizus province) the latter evidently planned to form a state ‘barrier’ against possible Russia’s designs. Also the further enhancement of diplomatic and economic relations with Cyprus and the continuous and decisive support of Tehran’s theocratic regime and Damascus’ reforming Allewite regime.
- The persistent and systematic (but still fruitless) efforts to upgrade Greco-Russian relations. Papandreou and Samaras governments showed minimal response (turned almost a ‘deaf ear’) to Moscow’s goodwill gestures as a result of their pro-American policies.
- The defense of its military footholds in Syria which supervise the geo-strategic spots of Syrian Gates and Cyprus. We strongly believe that this constitutes a ‘red line’ strategic priority for Moscow (evidently fully understood by U.S., Israel and Britain but not fully by Turkey) and they are going to defend them at any cost (land forces dispatch not excluded as a remote possibility). Indicative of the geo-strategic importance of Russian footholds in Syria is the denial of Russia (according to many newspaper reports) to discuss a proposal made by the government of Cyprus to offer Russia a naval base in the island as a strong incentive for a Russian loan. Note that Moscow does not possess adequate naval forces in the Mediterranean to defend such a foothold in Cyprus. In contrast with a naval base in Cyprus, in the context of a ‘worst case’ scenario (and under the ‘red line’ assumption) Moscow could easier defend its Syrian footholds by land and air forces. Furthermore, the establishment of a base in Cyprus would automatically weaken Moscow’s will to defend diplomatically or/and military its footholds in Syria.
- The status of Istanbul Straits. The Istanbul Straits are of outmost importance for Moscow.

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