Modern challenges and Azerbaijan2015 February 25 ( Saturday ) 18:41:12
Last year's events catalyzed and accelerated many processes that were practically frozen or moved very slowly on the post-Soviet space, including political and economic reforms and integration of the former Soviet republics into the global political and economic space.
The global crisis in Russia, the war in Ukraine, falling oil prices have become catalysts for pro-Western change for all post-Soviet countries, including Azerbaijan.
Establishment of a new world order after the collapse of the USSR
The collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 created a qualitatively new situation in the geopolitical field, and began the formation of a unipolar world with the center in the United States. From that moment the United States begin to reformat the situation in the regions and countries where Russia could not provide its presence at the expense of the material and financial capabilities.
Special direction of the approval and expansion of the US presence becomes a region of Eurasia including the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, and the Middle East. From the point of view of American foreign policy doctrine the control over Eurasia provides the implementation of US interests around the world. These interests include such components as the stability, labor division at the country, regional and global level, prosperity within the capabilities and abilities of each of the participants of this world order.
The key to this issue is the creation of a consumer society that is characterized by a wide range of the middle class and the balanced distribution of national wealth. Just such societies ensure the development of the sphere of production and services, both at the micro-level (local) and the transnational (multinational companies.) Developed, wealthy consumer society is a catalyst for the production of goods and services through the demand for them.
Such a society already exists in some regions of the world, and they are all characterized by a high level of democracy, transparency and parliamentary control systems. That is, such a system trinity virtually guarantees the stability, development and prosperity; an example is Scandinavia with not large area and population.
From the legislative and evaluative terms, under such world order stable and predictable relations are provided by the rule of international law and values (respect for the rights and freedoms of the individual.)
Ultimately, the development of such systems and the relationship leads to a reduction in military spending, and allows re-directing funds and resources to improve the welfare of all peoples and countries.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States managed to expand significantly the number of countries included in the system of world order (Eastern Europe.) A painful struggle for reforming the authoritarian regimes in different ways has been lasting for over 25 years - evolutionary (this includes countries of the former Soviet bloc) and military means (oppressive regimes in Asia and the Middle East.)
The United States will try to maximize by the 2020 a number of participants in this new world order, as well as provide a basis for the further integration of new countries, regardless of the financial, material, and, unfortunately, human losses. The fact is that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the global economy crept a prolonged economic crisis that requires revision of markets and their participants in the face of producers and consumers of goods and services. This crisis, according to various estimates and projects, primarily energy, will complete by 2018, which will result in an unforeseen long period of a new world economic growth. According to analysts, published in 2008, and confirmed by the Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum in 2012, the need of the world economy in 2020 will grow by about 40%, of which 90% will be in developing countries.
Of course, the United States would not like that problematic authoritarian regimes take the advantage of this new economic boom. New boom should become a catalyst for rapid change in the new EU democracy, accelerated the formation and strengthening a new world order. During the economic boom of the revolution and disasters it is not the best way of reformatting world order, moreover, they can be a real obstacle on the way.
Russia is a key component in the new policy for several reasons:
1. It is rich in mineral resources, and covers a huge area.
2. It impacts the countries of the former union, the republic and satellites
3. It has an impressive nuclear, chemical, biological, and other military capabilities.
Reformatting Russia in the legal, democratic state significantly accelerates the same process in its environment, allows access to the riches of multinational companies and markets, reducing the risk of nuclear and other war.
To achieve these objectives stability and reforms in Russia are important and a prior for the United States in the evolutionary reformatting the country. If to revise the recent history of Russia, it is possible to observe the following evolution. 1. The Yeltsin period of destabilization - the privatization of state property, the creation of a class of owners, covering all levels, creating a really functioning market securities and commodities, the influence of oligarchic groups formed on the policy of the country, and even on the state and the government, weakening the influence of the center on policy of regions, the centrifugal tendencies.
2. Putin period of stabilization - the weakening of the oligarchic and centrifugal tendencies, strengthening the role of the central government and the government generally, the strengthening of authoritarianism, and the role of Russia in the international arena, the growth of the patriotic spirit and identity of the nation, such as the return of the Soviet state attributes - a red flag in the army and the national anthem of the USSR. On the other hand, the Russian President Vladimir Putin has made concessions in important international issues such as the dismantling of authoritarian regimes - Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, the diversification of energy routes, giving up control over pipelines in the former socialist countries, admission of the leading oil companies to the resources of Siberia and the Arctic. Establishment of joint projects in the field of consumer goods, etc.
In this restructuring policy, Russia is experiencing a complex structural objective (the weakness of the state system, corruption, excessive underdeveloped non-oil sector) and subjective problems (slow reforms, caused by the fear of loss of sovereignty powers of action in the event of rapid and mass entry into the domestic market of foreign capital.)
The United States, in turn, provide Russia assistance, including financial, in ensuring stability provided promote reforms. This is especially noticeable during the cyclical crises of the Russian economy, when the military confrontation, crisis, the threat of Russian world presents the results of an external conspiracy. Here are some examples of the Putin era:
1. The financial and economic crisis of 1998-1999. Putin came to power. Start in 1999 the Second Chechen War.
2. Financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009. War with Georgia in August 2008.
3. Financial and economic crisis in 2014 and subsequent years. The outbreak of war in Ukraine.
In all three cases, war has become a lifeline for the Russian government, which is using the image of an external enemy not only as the object of attack, but the Western world, to distract the public from domestic problems and consolidate it around. Such wars have always increased Putin's ratings by 40% to over 80%, and prevented internal instability during the crisis.
In turn, the US has used crises and military action for rapid reorientation of societies subjected by Russian aggression to the West. Public polls show that just during these periods of military intervention and the information there is a sharp change in public sentiment, from disintegration with Russian to integration with the West, which acts as a savior and defender of the "victim" of aggression.
In this case, each of the parties - Russia, the US, the "victim" of attacks, reaches their goal. For Russia it is stability, for the US it is the expansion of a new world order, for the "victim" - a reorientation to the West.
What is striking and important, every time during such crises accelerates the process of reorientation to the West and former Soviet republics neighboring Russia. This is clear from the actions of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other countries dependent on Russia, and the countries which look for support in the West immediately after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.
At the same period the US is negotiating with Russia, with a "victim" on the necessary political and economic reforms, their financial and political support on its part. There are also talks with Russia on increasing access to resources and markets. Ultimately, Russia and the "victim" receive financial and other support (increase in energy prices, orders for military-industrial complex) for the reform.
This happened in the previous years, and the same happens now. Ukraine has already received all the necessary advice and financial support for agreed package of fundamental and rapid reforms by more than 40 billion.
It should be expected that after the beginning of the peace process of resolution the crisis in the East of Ukraine, will start negotiations with the United States and the European Community and Russia to support reforms, and provide new conditions for the penetration of foreign capital, as well as the integration of Russia into the Western space.
The Russian leadership is already working on a package of documents for the reform for 2015-2018, which would be supported by financial and other means of Western institutions.
Azerbaijan in the New World Order
After the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan, under all regimes tried to strengthen relations with the United States and Western Europe, referring to its historical past –Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. The country is limited only to the participation in the CIS, are not included in any military-political or economic union, and led by Russia. In 1994, Azerbaijan transferred control of energy resources and pipelines to western companies, became a member of NATO Program "Partnership for Peace" , in 1997 signed the integration agreement with the European Union, in 2000 joined the Council of Europe, in 2004 became a member of the EU Neighborhood Policy, in 2008 became a member of the "Eastern Partnership" of the EU, and this year is preparing to sign a special agreement "On the strategic modernization" with the EU actively participates in the energy security of Europe and the Transport Corridor Europe-Asia TRACECA.
Azerbaijan refuses sole mediation proposals of Russia on the Karabakh conflict settlement in 1994, and has delegated the OSCE the settlement of the conflict.
However, in domestic politics, especially since 2003, the regime has progressively destroyed the beginnings of democracy: freedom of speech, freedom of political and economic activity, civil society.
Coming of oil money has increased the fusion of political power and capital, began the concentration of capital in the hands of the bureaucratic elite. The rudiments of a free economy of 90s were destroyed. The share of the black market in the economy increased significantly, looting public funds. In relations with the world authorities carry out the policy of blocking any attempts of entering foreign capital the non-oil sectors.
Basically, the strategy of power is based on the idea of the maximum concentration of capital, total control over the economy in order to prevent the influence of domestic politics and foreign players, thus, ensuring stable and less risky management of the country off-line prior to the actual integration of the country into the Western community and taking place in the New World Order.
This policy was based on the erroneous forecast oil prices. Eight years ago, all oil-dependent countries were convinced that oil prices will no longer fall below $100 per barrel. And today reliance on oil revenues did not come true. The country is entering a protracted crisis, from which there is only one way, conceptual change of priorities, which should include:
1. Dialog of authorities and society with the aim of forming policy under new environment, and taking the country out of the crisis in a less painful format.
2. Creation of anti-crisis program with the participation of government, society and the international community.
3. Creation of conditions for political and economic pluralism.
4. Political and economic reforms.
6. Ensuring rule of law.
7. Liquidation monopolies and encourage competition in all areas.
8. Creation of favorable and transparent conditions for foreign investment.
9. Full legalization of the economy.
10. Stop of pressure on business.
11. Consistent policy on Azerbaijan's accession to the EU
12.Conducting in the country in 2018 free presidential elections, and the transition to a parliamentary form of government.
Some steps in this direction is already making mode, as evidenced by the opening of a dialogue with the political parties and the US. These steps demonstrate an adequate perception of the power of the emerging issues and threats. However, the public need to be consistent and determined to speed up the process and make irreversible process of reforms.