Ronald Grigor Suny – The Pawn of the Great Powers: The East-West Competition for Caucasia

Caucasia has become an area of contention, like much of post-Soviet Eurasia, between the East and West. The South Caucasus has provided the first opportunity for Russia to demonstrate its will to prevent the United States, NATO, and the European Community from penetrating the southern tier of the former USSR. Russia’s policy in Caucasia is not a program of imperial control, but rather a determined effort to contain or even roll back the influence of other powers, most importantly, the United States and NATO in the regions closest to Russia’s borders. Up until August 2008 it used primarily ‘‘soft power’’ vigorously to prevent other powers from increasing their influence in the region. In August it demonstrated it was prepared, when pushed, to use ‘‘hard power.’’ The Russo– Georgian War was a watershed in East–West relations with a more assertive Russia willing to take on its more powerful competitors.

Suny, R. G. (2010). The pawn of great powers: The East–West competition for Caucasia. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 1(1), 10-25.

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