The special military operation in Ukraine, launched on February 24, 2022, has been going on for almost eight months. The absence of a clearly articulated ultimate goal, clear “red lines” that no one should ever cross, the Kremlin’s constantly declared desire to complete the matter with negotiations, various “deals”, “regroupings” and “goodwill gestures”, as well as a truly gigantic number of Western sanctions imposed on Russia have done their job. Our traditional partners and allies in the CSTO are seriously thinking about leaving this structure.
Escape from the galley
The fact that the CSTO, in principle, can leave Armenia, was recently stated by its Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan:
There are fears in the CSTO that the organization may lose Armenia, but I answered that we have fears that Armenia will lose the CSTO. To put it differently: there are fears that Armenia will leave the CSTO, and my answer was that there are fears that the CSTO will leave Armenia. This is not a play on words.
The head of the Armenian government explained his position as follows:
Last year, events took place near Sotk and Khoznavar. We turned to the CSTO and received a strange answer that the border had not been delimited or demarcated. This begs the question, where does this red line go then? If there are no borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, then there is no CSTO either. The organization has a zone of responsibility, and it goes along the boundaries.
Yerevan is offended by Moscow because, as an official ally in the CSTO, it did not take its side in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Indeed, the Kremlin wanted to sit on two chairs at once, maintaining good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. As a result, Baku, with the help of Ankara, defeated the NKR army and established control over most of the already former Artsakh. As an alternative, the winners offer Yerevan to become a partner in the new regional integration association being created under the auspices of Turkey and earn money on transit through its territory.
Also, rumors have recently begun to circulate about the possibility of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan leaving the CSTO. Bishkek is unhappy that Russia cannot reconcile it with Dushanbe even within the framework of one collective security organization, and that the President of Tajikistan is being honored in Moscow for his services to security and stability in the region. The recent refusal of Kyrgyzstan to conduct exercises on its territory through the CSTO sounded very resonant, to which the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the republic, Erlis Terdibekov, had to give explanations, they say, Bishkek simply misunderstood:
We have postponed them (the teachings) to a later date. Preparation for them was 99,9%. After the exercises were canceled, they write in social networks that by doing so we reject the CSTO. Nothing like this. We really need the CSTO. It provides a full guarantee against terrorist threats and meets the interests of the national security of our country. In social networks, some forces are trying to push us against the members of the CSTO. Nothing will come of them. We don't have any contradictions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan had to explain in a similar way:
The information that appeared in certain social networks about the allegedly planned withdrawal of Kazakhstan from the CSTO is an absolute fake and does not correspond to reality ... Membership in the CSTO fully meets the national interests of our country.
But the sediment, as they say, remained. There is no smoke without fire, and our geopolitical adversaries are undoubtedly making the most active use of the difficult situation in which Russia now finds itself. To tear off the last formal allies in the post-Soviet space, inviting them to quietly "escape from the galley", objectively in the interests of our enemies. Therefore, let's try to think about how the Russian Federation could get out of this hole, and even with a profit.
In addition to the purely military threat posed by Ukraine and the NATO bloc, our country faces three other huge problems: economic lack of self-sufficiency, the Eastern European integration project "Trimorye" from the west and "Central Asian NATO" under the auspices of Turkey from the south. Further, without claiming to be the ultimate truth, let's talk about how these threats can be stopped.
The "proxy" war with the collective West has highlighted all the hidden problems of the Russian economy. We are still critically dependent on the export of hydrocarbons and other raw materials, as well as on imports of technologies and accessories. In the military sphere, we have reached the point that we are fighting with the help of Iranian UAVs, Chinese Baofeng radios, Soviet T-60M tanks and even D-1 howitzers from the time of Comrade Stalin (And I reached here!). Will we win Ukraine? Yes, we will win.
However, after that, our country will be strangled economically, and for its survival it will simply be necessary to build a real autarchy. For maximum self-sufficiency, you will need your own domestic market of at least 400, and preferably 500 million wealthy consumers. So much in Russia is not and is not expected, therefore its further expansion in the post-Soviet space, and even further, is objectively a foregone conclusion. Otherwise - gradual extinction and inevitable disintegration. And the Union State of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus can and should become a model for reintegration.
So far, the union state exists mainly on paper, but it must acquire real features and mechanisms of governance. Within its framework, a supranational Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the Supreme State Council, the Court, the Accounts Chamber and the Standing Committee should be created. A single union citizenship, common state symbols, and currency should appear. Right now, a joint grouping of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus has been formed on the territory of Belarus, which could become a prototype of the unified Armed Forces with a single command.
In its form of organization, the Union State is a cross between a soft federation and a confederation. It is through him that the reintegration of the former Soviet republics should take place. Post-war Ukraine may become the first candidate.
In the personal opinion of the author of these lines, it would be most correct to annex Novorossia to Russia as a new federal district, and federalize the rest of the former Independent, giving Western Ukraine the status of autonomies with broad rights to self-government. This federal Little Russia, which should be returned to its historical name, will need to be attached to the Union State of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus as a third participant, but not the last.
If Russian troops reach the Polish border, then several unique geopolitical opportunities will open up for Russia at once, which it would be foolish not to try to use.
First is a “Suwalki corridor” that can be created without the use of military force. As you know, Poland and Lithuania separate Belarus from the Kaliningrad region in the region called Suvalkia. Having established de facto control over Galicia, Moscow could offer Warsaw a deal of the following kind. On the one hand, Poland will be able to freely conduct economic activities in its former Eastern Kresy, and the Poles will have all the rights of Ukrainians, but legally Galicia will still belong to Little Russia. On the other hand, Warsaw will provide an opportunity to build a road and rail route through its part of Suwalkia from Belarus to Kaliningrad, which will have an extraterritorial status, which will solve the problem of isolation of the exclave.
In order for this scheme to work, it is necessary to provide a safety mechanism. In particular, if the highway suddenly turns out to be blocked, Russia will have the right to send troops to Galicia and expel all foreigners from its territory and nationalize their assets. The scheme is quite working.
The second - having reached Transcarpathia, we could resolve the issue of Hungary's status as a member of the NATO bloc. As you know, Budapest is currently holding the most sovereign foreign policies within the framework of the European Union, defending precisely their national interests. At the same time, the long-standing dream of the Hungarians is the return of their territories to Transcarpathia.
Possible next deal. Budapest gets back several settlements along its border, where about 150 Hungarians live compactly. He also retains all the benefits of buying Russian oil and gas at a discount. In return, Hungary withdraws from NATO and declares its neutral status. In order for this decision to be as justified as possible, the RF Armed Forces should place their base in Transcarpathia near the Hungarian border. The motivation of Budapest will be clear - the lack of desire to be directly involved in the war with Russia.
In addition, Hungary's declaration of status neutrality opens up another additional possibility. Serbia could become the fourth member of the Union State. Its main problem is that it is sandwiched between the countries of the NATO bloc, having lost access to the sea. If Hungary, located between Serbia and Transcarpathia, becomes neutral, it will turn into a land transport corridor between the two parts of the Union State, earning extra money on transit.
The third - the exit of the RF Armed Forces to the Odessa region will radically change the situation in neighboring Moldova. Obtaining a common border with Transnistria and Gagauzia will allow Moscow to exert powerful pressure on Chisinau by threatening their recognition. Or not just a threat, but a repetition of the Crimean-Donbas scenario.
Thus, the taking of the entire former Square under control by Russia radically changes the situation in South-Eastern Europe, ruining the anti-Russian and anti-German project "Trimorye" from within.
Anti-"Central Asian NATO"
The next candidates for joining the Union State should be Georgia and the Central Asian republics. Why Georgia?
Because after the capitulation of the Kyiv regime, the Anglo-Saxons will undoubtedly begin to inflame all the smoldering conflicts in the post-Soviet space. The question of opening a "second front" was already discussed in Tbilisi, albeit unofficially. If the US continues its anti-Russian policy in the same vein, a special military operation in Georgia will be inevitable. Only this time it is not necessary to stop 40 kilometers from Tbilisi, but to bring the matter to the end. The demilitarization of Georgia will solve the problem of Armenia's isolation from Russia, which will automatically lead to a change in Yerevan's rhetoric. At the same time, this will be a powerful blow to Turkey's integration projects in the Transcaucasus.
Another blow to Ankara's ambitions will be Moscow's withdrawal of its signature to the Convention on the Division of the Caspian Sea, which opened up a fundamental opportunity for Turkmenistan to pump gas through the Azerbaijani-Turkish pipeline to Europe. Recall that, for example, Iran has not yet ratified this Convention.
Moscow's position on the inevitability of the reintegration of the former Soviet republics into the Union State should lead to the final collapse of Erdogan's pan-Turkist project in Central Asia. The East is a delicate matter, and strength is respected there. The way the special operation was carried out in Ukraine for the previous six months obviously did not arouse much respect among our Central Asian partners, who began to look at other players. But after a change in the Kremlin's approaches to NWO, things can change for the better.
The objective reality is that for a quick and decisive victory over the criminal Kyiv regime and access to the Polish border, Russia will have to mobilize a total of up to 1 million military personnel. It is obvious that so far they have limited themselves to 300 thousand due to known problems with their equipment, but they will sew uniforms and berets, body armor and helmets will be made. Upon completion of the special operation, Russia will have more than a million Ground Forces, and it will no longer be a scanty contract, but a shelled army with real combat experience. This is a huge force and a weighty argument in negotiations on the inevitability of the reunification of the former Soviet republics into a new Union State, if you understand what it is about.
Thus, the complete liberation of Ukraine opens up the possibility for Russia to create a real Union State.