Sovereignty, Security and Intervention in Central Asia

  • Charles E. Ziegler


Russia’s dispute with Ukraine in 2013–2014 signalled a new approach toward the former Soviet republics and, more importantly, a fundamentally different position on international norms. Russian military intervention in Ukraine’s south-eastern region and the annexation of Crimea violated solemn pledges to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and economic independence (in the 1994 Budapest accords and the 1999 OSCE Charter for European Security), and called into question Moscow’s professed respect for sovereignty and repeated condemnation of interventions in other state’s internal affairs. Russia’s use of force and intimidation against Ukraine has heightened a sense of vulnerability and insecurity among its neighbours, especially those having large ethnic Russian minorities. Moscow’s neo-imperial references to ‘greater Russia’ and Putin’s pledge to defend Russians outside the homeland, in a unique interpretation of the ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine, mark the abandonment of international legal norms in favour of great power politics. These developments have created a new and unsettling dynamic in the Eurasian space.


Foreign Policy Security Council Humanitarian Intervention Territorial Integrity State Sovereignty 
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© Charles E. Ziegler 2015

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  • Charles E. Ziegler

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