Staunton, July 31 – Before the USSR disintegrated, many in the West opposed its collapse fearing that the result would be in James Baker’s immortal phrase, “a Yugoslavia with nukes.” Now, many in the West believe that if the Russian Federation comes apart, something similarly awful, a war of all against all, will emerge, Vadim Shtepa says.
But in fact, a post-Russia world in which its peoples and nations will have the right to run their own affairs will be far more peaceful than the post-Soviet one not only because these countries will be more interested in cooperation and because there won’t be a remnant of the USSR seeking to reimpose its will, the editor of the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal says.
Communicating that to the West is thus the primary challenge and responsibility of those now abroad who represent the peoples and regions within the borders of what is now the Russian Federation, Shtepa continues, a task that requires they recognize the importance of doing so and the difficulties some terminology they now use creates (region.expert/postrussia/).
After 1991, most people accepted the idea that the time had come to speak of “post-Soviet countries.” But today, the Russian regionalist says, it is time to anticipate the future and begin to speak about “post-Russian countries.” To that end, the Forum of Free Nations should e renamed the Forum of Post-Russia’s States to avoid any confusion.
Such a change is also required, he says, to avoid another confusion. In the West, nations are understood in the first instance as countries; but in Russia, still a prisoner of Soviet terminology, nations are only ethnic communities. A post-Russia Eurasia must reflect and appeal to ethnic Russians in various regions as well as non-Russians.
That too, Shtepa suggests, will underscore as well the reality that a post-Russia Eurasia will be a more peaceful place by definition than the post-Soviet Eurasia which now exists.