The Post-Soviet Reemergence of the Russian Empire

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The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union signified an end to Russia’s control over its Middle Eastern Empire. Many of its states seceded and founded new nations and Russia lost significant power over the region. The new Russian Federation, in an effort to reestablish Soviet supremacy, has launched a neo-imperialistic campaign to once again have political, economic and security control over the area today known as the Caucasus. Principally, Russia wants to have political control over the area consisting of the lands of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Chechnya as well as the Caspian Sea. Furthermore, it is an objective to reap profit from this resource-rich area to stabilize Russia’s economy. Additionally, Russia wants to…show more content…
Russia’s imperialistic actions over the Southern Tier nations have not just been a nostalgic attempt to salvage its old empire. The Caspian Sea, the world’s largest landlocked body of water bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran, may sit on as much as 200 billion barrels or oil which would be 16% of the Earth’s potential oil reserves. (Sciolino, 1998, pg. 16) A 1998 New York Times article estimated that at that time this amount of oil would add up to $3 trillion. (Sciolino, 1998, pg. 16) It is obvious that Russia would like to exploit a considerable share of this wealth. The exploitation of the Caspian Sea depends on pipeline transport of oil and Russia would like to see these pipelines run through their land on their way to international markets to harness some of the profit. (Akiner, 2000, pg. 146) This profit, as well as economic control over the Southern Tier region, is another important motive in Russia’s resurgent scheme.

Russia has used several mechanisms in its campaign to restore the soviet economic space. Primarily Russia has attempted to assert control over the Caspian Sea in order to gain a large share of its resources. When in 1994 Azerbaijan concluded what is called “the contract of the century” with an international oil consortium Russia called the whole thing illegal. (Hottelet, 1995, pg. 19) Russia argued that the Caspian was a lake in
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