Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kremlin’s ‘Turn to the East’ Limiting Options of Tatarstan and Other Non-Russian Republics Now and Possibly Moscow's in the Future

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 13 – Like the other federal subjects, Tatarstan since the start of Putin’s expanded war in Ukraine has lost numerous Western trading partners and forced to cooperate ever more closely with China, where the central issue is not economic advancement but security in the event of attacks Moscow can’t block, Ruslan Aysin says.

            Until Putin’s expanded invasion of Ukraine, the Turkey-based Tatar commentator says, Kazan hoped to use such ties with the West to boost the economy and to act more independently of Moscow (

            Other republics shared that vision albeit to a lesser extent; but now, they like Tatarstan have lost that option and are more at the mercy of the Kremlin or more precisely of the Kremlin’s ally China than ever before, a situation that has reduced them from aspiring applicants to join the modern world to subordinate figures in a world of the past, Aysin continues.

            Putin may be happy that his war against Ukraine has undermined the aspirations of the republics and their ability to pursue them, but he may be far less pleased if China succeeds in displacing Russia as the only serious trading partner they have and their only hope of providing genuine security.

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