Staunton, July 9 – For more than a century, some in the countries in between Russia and Germany have talked about the formation of an alliance from the Baltic Sea in the North to the Black Sea in the south, an idea that has been christened Intermarium by both its proponents and opponents.
(For background on this idea and efforts to promote it, see the magisterial study by Marek Chodakiewicz, Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas (Transaction Publishers, 2012). See also windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/07/intermarium-idea-whose-time-is-coming.html.)
Most of its advocates and nearly all of its opponents have seen this as a kind of defense alliance to prevent the expansion of Russian influence and power to the West, as an adjunct to NATO and the European Union consisting of countries which have experienced Moscow’s occupation and thus are even more committed to that than their Western partners.
But now Prague analyst Kharun Sidorov is arguing that the Intermarium both as an idea and a potential alliance may play a key role in the demise of the Russian Federation by offering to the peoples within the Russian Federation, including portions of the Russian nation, an alternative model of development (idelreal.org/a/31964967.html).
He says that “the emerging Intermarium can be viewed not only as an ally of the anti-imperial forces in Russia today but also as a center of attraction for some of its peoples given the failure of the Russian imperial center,” most obviously in its war in Ukraine and repression of non-Russian nationalities and Russians at odds with Moscow.
This possibility is “obvious” in the case of the Finno-Ugric peoples inside the Russian Federation. They can look to Finland and Estonia, just as the Estonians and other peoples under Soviet occupation first looked to Western Europe and then after 1989 to Eastern Europe as models for the recovery of their statehood and development of their nationhood.
But “it is possible,” Sidorov argues, that even those “who today consider themselves ethnic Russians” may look to the Intermarium as an alternative to Moscow and begin to promote regional agendas at odds with the Russian Center. One may even begin to speak about pan-Slavism in reverse, not emanating from Moscow but from the West.
He admits that this may remain only a vision or fantasy, but he insists that the tectonic changes that Intermarium reflects show that “the new ethno-regional projects and forces of Northern Eurasia no longer need Moscow as the center of gravity and platform for interaction, the clear sign of the decline of Moscow-centric Eurasianism.”