Ukrainian Role in the Transnistrian Conflict Settlement in the Framework of the OSCE Chairmanship*

Hanna Shelest

[tekst pierwotnie opublikowany w://text originally published in:
"Nowy Prometeusz" nr 4, październik 2013, ss. 57-63]

In 2013 Ukraine holds the chair at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is one of the highest profile roles in the international arena the country took since the declaration of its independence. Ukrainian Chairmanship of the OSCE can become an instrument and a chance for Ukraine to advance its international standings and to promote its status in international relations. However, OSCE Chairmanship is not only a great honor but a challenge too. For Ukraine one of such challenges is a settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, as it stays the key question for the regional security policy. As far as it has always been a part of the mediation and peacekeeping activities of Ukraine as Transnistrian region bordering only Ukraine and Moldova could not stay out of the Ukrainian concern, this very issue was announced as one of the priorities for the Ukrainian Chairmanship in January 2013.1

OSCE and the settlement of the Transnistrian Conflict
In 1993, the OSCE (then the CSCE) established a Mission in Moldova to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to this conflict. The main objectives of the Mission are to assist in negotiating a lasting political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, to consolidate the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova, and to reach an understanding on a special status for the Transnistrian region.2 OSCE is one of the official mediators in the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict. Mission in Moldova has constantly facilitated direct negotiations between Chisinau and Tiraspol and actively cooperated with all mediators and observers. This is the very organization which reached the biggest success in confi dence-building measures and agreements on basic principles of the relations between the two conflicting parties. Despite the interruption of the official talks in the “5+2” format in 2006, OSCE Mission directed its efforts on organization of the informal meetings, the goal of which were renewal of the official format. During 2008-2009 the process of informal negotiations was intensifed. Furthermore, confidence-building measures between two parties were expanded in 2008, when the experts meetings in the groups of common interests in social and economic spheres have been started.

OSCE actions in this direction have been intensified in 2011, among others, by organization of the conference under the auspices of the OSCE and support of the German government, which took place in September 2011 in Bad Reichenhall, and by the revival of the offi cial talks in the “5+2” format, which took place during another round of consultations in Moscow on the 22nd of September 2011. Last years this conflict got a new attention due to the increased interest to this question on the side of the international community, renewing regular negotiations in the “5+2” format, as well as the progress in resolution of some “technical” issues and confi dence-building measures.

In all conflicts at the post-soviet space the OSCE as a mediator tried to be a link between the conflicting parties, but also between the different mediation and peacekeeping efforts in the region. At the same time it is necessary to point out that OSCE actions in the peace process are concentrated in two tracks: confidence building measures, people to people contacts and political settlement. Problem of the Transnistrian conflict settlement is one of the key ones at every annual OSCE Ministerial Meeting, and with a certain periodicity the chairing state proposes a new initiative on peaceful settlement of this conflict. Stepping-up of the negotiating process due to the Lithuanian and Irish Chairmanships’ priorities set in this sphere is a good background for continuation of this trend from the Ukrainian side.

The role of Ukraine
Ukrainian Chairmanship in the OSCE in 2013 is not only an important basis to enhance Ukrainian role in the negotiating process, but also to achieve a progress in a resolution of this conflict. This possibility is due to the fact that Ukraine has a high level of awareness and understanding of reasons of the Transnistrian conflict, its course of events during all the time of the existence, as well as a new context which has appeared after the change of power in Moldova in 2009 and in Transnistria in December 2011.

Ukraine is perceived by the confl icting parties not only as a peaceful and impartial partner, who is interested in a regional stability, but also as an adequate interlocutor, who understands problems of the post-communist states. Moreover, it is perceived as the less interested in territorial claims and claims of other character to the parties to conflict. From the very beginning Kyiv has officially supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova and stand for conflict settlement by peaceful means only on the terms mutually acceptable for conflicting parties. It is important to emphasize that once Moldova and Transnistria advocated Ukrainian involvement in the peace process as a state, which for their opinion has not been biased and has not have geostrategic interests in the region. Ukraine always presents its territory for meetings and consultations between the representatives of Chisinau and Transnistria. Despite the fact that Ukraine has had an official status of mediator together with Russia and OSCE since 1994, and guarantor of peace (together with Russia) since 1997, for 10 years Ukraine has been not actively involved in the Transnistrian peace process, just joining the discussion of some narrow issues of the confidence-building. In April 2005 the situation has changed, as Ukrainian authorities proposed a comprehensive peace plan, presented at the GUAM summit in Chisinau, named after then President of Ukraine – The Yuschenko Plan. Not all points of that plan have been implemented, among others because of a low-intensity of the Ukrainian diplomats work in this direction. However it brought several serious shifts – the EU and the USA was invited to join the peace process, so the “5+2” format (Moldova, Transnistria, Russia, Ukraine, OSCE + the EU and the USA) has been created, which is still perceived as a main negotiating format. Even more, the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was created to facilitate border issues settlement. If at the beginning it was purely technical mission, right now the confidence-building and conflict-settlement elements has been incorporated. In 2013, Ukraine as a Chair, appears in a unique situation when it unites two “voices” (its own and OSCE) in the “5+2” format.

The settlement – risks & challenges
However, one cannot abstain from mentioning the risks that Ukraine faces as the OSCE Chair in the Transnistrian conflict settlement. First of all it’s a competition of some international mediators. Then, it is a desire to play leading role without accommodation of the positions with other involved parties resulting in inability to concentrate attention of the conflicting parties on the concrete plan of the peace settlement and reduction the weight and authority of the OSCE as a mediator.

As far as the role of the Russian Federation is very well-known, one should not ignore positions of other interested parties. For the opinion of Vladimir Yastrebchak (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Transnistrian) fragmentation and lack of coordination in the activities of Moscow and Kyiv to a great extent lead to the wheelspin of talks, low level of performance of the undertaken political-diplomatic efforts, impeding the potential, which both states have.3 Back in 2001, when Romania was chairing in the OSCE, it was not “allowed” to deal with the Transnistrian confl ict, perceived by many as a partial actor. Some Romanian experts even predicted that Ukraine would also be not allowed to be very active in this direction so not to overtake leading roles of others involved. However it hasn’t happened and Ukraine is still seen as a good broker to facilitate the process.

Yet on February 15, 2005 President of Romania T. Basescu during negotiations in Moscow raised a question of Bucharest involvement in the confl ict resolution process in Transnistria, underlining that if that problem was important for Ukrainian security, so in that sense it was also important for Romanian.4 Russian leadership has returned to this question in October 2010, when upon the results of the trilateral negotiations between leaders of France, Germany and Russia in Deauville (France), President D. Medvedev stated that success of the Moldovan-Transnistrian conflict settlement depended not only on Russia, Moldova, Transnistria and the European Union, but also on Romania. Active work of the Russian Federation on Romanian involvement can be seen as a desire to minimize the role of other mediators, including Ukraine. At the same time, for Romania, one of the main tasks is minimization the role of Russia in the region, especially in Moldova – so all this leads to a paradox. Within the years Romania has been balancing between desire to be an independent mediator and necessity to consider joint position of the EU. Despite some independent steps, in November 2010 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania T. Baconschi stated that Romania took part in the Moldovan-Transnistrian conflict settlement only as a member of the European Union.5 In some way it makes life of Ukraine easier as it takes away from the stage one of the competitors, but at the same time, Ukraine could have Romania as its ally contrary to the Russian position. Mutual interest in a quick settlement of the Transnistrian conflict makes these two states natural partners. Both countries can take responsibility for the security in the region, presenting additional arguments for Russian military withdrawal.

The second risk Ukraine might face as the OSCE Chair, is reluctance of the conflicting parties to revitalize the peace process and to compromise, what is backed by the unwillingness of the parties to accept Ukraine in particular, and the OSCE as a whole, as an influential mediator. Ukraine took a quick start in the negotiation process as the OSCE chair in January 2013 conducting first negotiations with the representatives of Moldovan and Transnistrian establishment during the visits of the Chair-in-office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Kozhara and the OSCE Chairperson’s Special Representative for conflicts Amb. A. Deshchytsia. It brought some expectations, which were broken by the further denial of the Transnistrian side Mr. Kozhara’s statement that they are ready to move to the political settlement issues6 and de-facto fail of the meeting in Lviv on the 19th of February 2013, when leaders of Transnistria rejected to participate. First round of negotiations in the “5+2” format, organized in 2013 under the Ukrainian Chairmanship “brought some disappointment for those, who believed in “magician” who united for the OSCE statuses of a mediator and a guarantor”.7 Other experts perceived Lviv meeting as a failure of Ukraine, as neither the place had been selected properly (Chernivtsy or Odessa looked more logical) nor the agenda had been prepared carefully, when Ukrainian interests were not taken into account as well as previous agreements were not considered.8 Ukrainian Minister was quick in announcing the breakthrough in the negotiations, which some perceived as wishful thinking and others as unwise haste that resulted in a sharp reaction of both Transnistria and the Russian Federation and influenced further low level of negotiations in Lviv. For Ukraine, who is not a freshman in these negotiations, such mistakes cannot be excused. As a result a new round of negotiations in May 2013 in Odessa has to be started with the lower level of political representation and issues to be agreed.

In opinion of Artem Fylypenko (Head of the Odessa Branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies) if the agreement on free movement of goods and people between Moldova and Transnistria has been signed in Lviv it would be perceived as a certain breakthrough and a success of the Ukrainian diplomacy. But this has not happened and it became clear that Tiraspol acts in the wake of Moscow policy, and the latter is not very interested in Ukraine getting certain benefits from the OSCE Chairmanship.9 For the next rounds of negotiations Ukraine should make additional efforts to ensure meetings of the leaders of Transnistria and Moldova to happen. However, an internal political crisis in Moldova and political instability in Transnistria can also disturb Ukrainian plans for dialogue’s intensification.

Peacekeeping format – is it time for changes?
One of the problems that still exist is a current peacekeeping format in the region, which does not correspond with a current state of affairs. De facto this mission should transform from military into police one, have a mandate to observe and control the border, renovate the rule of law and monitor human rights, etc. But now its extra militarization just provokes fear in the region, which has a negative psychological effect not reflecting the real situation.

Back to 2006, during the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship this question was raised for the first time. The Belgian proposal would place the reformed peacekeeping operation under the OSCE’s aegis. It would include troops from “many countries,” but Russia would alone provide 30% to 40% of the troops (this is formulated as: “no single country should provide more than 30% to 40%”). Structurally, 75% of the manpower would consist of military troops and 25% of police and civilian observers.10 However it has not happened. Yet in November 2010 President of Romania T. Basescu proposed to change Russian military to European one – this proposition has not been realized either.

There are statements of the EU member-states and the USA on necessity to withdraw Russian military (except peacekeepers) and the rest of ammunition according to the commitments which Russia took at the Istanbul Summit of the OSCE in 1999, which will be logically if Ukraine joins. Nowadays there is a possibility to present such a position from the Ukrainian side as a position of the chairing of the OSCE state, which should promote compliance with the decisions adopted under auspices of this organization.

In four main conflicts at the post-soviet space – Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria – Ukraine and OSCE are on the different levels of inclusion. Transnistria conflict demonstrates the highest level of involvement for both. Thus Ukraine should correlate its initiatives and adjust its ambitions to realities of the resolution process. One of the positive elements of Ukraine as a mediator is its readiness not to monopolize the peace process, but to attract other mediators, minimizes risks of accusation in partiality. So for Ukraine, the OSCE is one of the main platforms for reaching political agreement between the conflicting parties, as represents an established and credible format for negotiations.

As for now Ukraine is more striving to the demonstration of activity, not having real propositions, so it can lead to the practice of “initiatives for initiatives”. Therefore Ukraine needs to return to the practice of preliminary consultations that will lead to the successful dynamics of its OSCE Chairmanship.11 Moreover, as situation around Lviv meeting showed it is necessary to remain calm and silent about the preliminary agreements reached before their fi nal implementation.

As for now Ukraine should organize most of the next negotiations at its territory. Ukraine should facilitate continuation of negotiations between two sides simultaneously in two dimensions. On one side confidence-building measures should be discussed, which are connected with practical questions that can be resolved between the parties, as well as level of people to people contacts. On the other side, the political settlement and dialogue on the final resolution and status of Transnistria should take place. The initiative to launch a standing Civil Society Forum on Transnistrian confl ict resolution has been being discussed within the Ukrainian civil society which also tries to be actively involved in the peace process.

If this year efforts succeed, Ukraine will have a chance to propose a new plan for Moldova and Transnistrian Moldovan Republic coexistence. It can be based on an idea of the self-governed region with a delegation of authorities (e.g. as a Scottish devolution). However, taking into account concerns of Tiraspol and Moscow some guarantees should be presented. For example that Moldova will not join another state, will continue being neutral and a guarantee of linguistic and humanitarian rights of the ethnic minorities, which inhabit the territory of the self-proclaimed TMR. As for now, none of the mediators is ready to present a new peace plan for the Transnistrian settlement. Nevertheless the search for the new formats of coexistence should be continued, as with the Moldovan and Ukrainian ways towards European integration, Transnistria should make a choice of its future, which is now hampered by the fears of possible Romanization.

Hanna Shelest, PhD – Senior Researcher at Odessa Branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies. Specializes in conflict resolution and security in the Wider Black Sea and the Middle East regions.

* The following text has been submitted in Summer 2013 and therefore it analyses only the first half of the Ukrainian presidency in the OSCE.

1Protracted conflicts, human trafficking and media freedom amongst Ukraine’s OSCE 2013 priorities,, (Accessed 1 February 2013).

2OSCE Mission to Moldova,, (Accessed 15 March 2013).

3Владимир Ястребчак: Согласованные действия России, Украины и Приднестровья как средство от ≪заморозков≫,, (Accessed 20 March 2013).

4Мир в Приднестровье: Румыния хочет ≪приложить руку≫,, (Accessed 15 February 2013).

5Урегулирование приднестровского конфликта без Румынии,, (Accessed 25 December 2012).

6Глава МИД Приднестровья вслед за президентом опровергла ложь главы МИД Украины,, (Accessed 23 January 2013).

7Владимир Ястребчак: Согласованные действия России, Украины и Приднестровья как средство от ≪заморозков≫,, (Accessed 28 February 2013).

8Ю. Збитнев, Львовский провал Кожары, „Хвиля”,, (Accessed 21 February 2013).

9A. Филипенко, Приднестровье не торопится подыгрывать Украине ИА, „Тирас”, lipenko-pridnestrove-ne-toropitsya-podygryvat-ukraine.html, (Accessed 21 February 2013).

10V. Socor, OSCE’S Belgian Chair Proposes Reformed Peacekeeping In Moldova, „Eurasia Daily Monitor”, Volume 3, Issue 195,, (Accessed 21 February 2013).

11Владимир Ястребчак: Согласованные действия России, Украины и Приднестровья как средство от ≪заморозков≫,, (Accessed 28 February 2013).

Between East and West: Gaiaz Iskhaki and Gabdulkhai Kurbangaliev

Hiroaki Kuromiya and Andrzej Pepłoński

[tekst pierwotnie opublikowany w://text originally published in:
"Nowy Prometeusz nr 3, grudzień 2012 r., ss. 89-105]

The Muslim population in the Soviet Union was sizable. According to the 1937 census, the only Soviet census taken under Stalin that surveyed the faith of the Soviet population, there were more than eight million (to be exact 8,256,550) Muslims (Magometane). They accounted for approximately 8.4 percent of the surveyed population of 98.4 million adults, or the second largest religious group after Christians (of  all denominations), far larger than all other groups of believers (Jews, Buddhists, and others).1 Muslims resided all over the country, with concentrations in Central Asia, the Idel-Ural (Volga-Ural) region, and the Northern Caucasus. While the numbers in the 1937 census are difficult to verify with complete accuracy, the substantial Muslim population in the Soviet Union naturally attracted the attention of foreign strategists whose goal it was to dismember the multi-national Soviet Union and to let the national minorities achieve independence from Moscow.

In the West, the Polish-sponsored Promethean movement was the best known and the most important of such foreign conceptions. In the East, Japan had its own version of a Promethean movement, although it was inherently an imperialist scheme directed against the Soviet Union. In both movements, Muslims played a critically important, if not central, role. The anti-Moscow Muslim leaders were divided, however, with regard to where they would find the most reliable and the strongest support for their goals. The divisions reflected different views of their identity and of the future. In a rapidly modernizing world, were they to belong to the West (Europe or Occident) or to the East (Asia or Orient) or somewhere else altogether? What was the future for the Eurasian Muslims? The liberal course of the “nation” sponsored by Poland (behind which stood Britain and France) or the pan-Islamic or pan-Turkic movement supported by Japanese imperialism? What was to be done about the successor of the Ottoman Empire, Ataturkian Turkey, which, having distanced itself from pan-Islamism and pan-Turkism, followed a “Western” secular path while seeking a rapprochement with the atheist Soviet Union?

The present essay discusses the clash of these visions that played out in the mid-1930s in the Far East between two Muslim leaders: Mukhamed-Gaiaz Iskhaki (Iskhakov) (Gayaz Isxaqiy, Ayaz Ishaki, Gaiaz Iskhakyi, 1878–1954) and Mukhammed Gabdulkhai Kurbangaliev (Muhammed-Gabdulkhay Kurbangaliev, 1889–1972). It was a critical time for Muslims in Eurasia. In the West, Poland and the Soviet Union had concluded and ratifi ed a non-aggression pact, dashing the Muslim hope for Polish support for anti-Soviet movements. Although Hitler’s regime of explicitly anti-Soviet Nazism emerged in Germany in 1933, its racist ideology was inherently anti-Muslim (and anti-non Aryans). In the East, Japan invaded northeast China (Manchuria) in 1931 and the following year established a puppet government (Manchukuo) which appeared to some Muslims to foreshadow a future of Eurasian Muslims living under Soviet and Chinese imperialism. Yet Manchukuo was the product of Japanese imperialism. Ironically, the end result of the clash between the two Muslim leaders was political triumph for Moscow.

Mukhamed-Gaiaz Iskhaki

Iskhaki was not the most notable among the Muslim leaders in the Promethean movement. He contributed just a few essays to the journal Prométhée, the organ of the movement, as compared to Mustafa Chokaev (Chokai, Shokai, Chokai-ogly, 1890–1941), a Kazakh who wrote much more frequently for the journal. It was, however, Iskhaki, not Chokaev, who engaged the East more directly in the 1930s. As the biographer of Iskhaki, S.M. Iskhakov has noted, Iskhaki remains a somewhat mysterious figure: there are many puzzles and contradictions in his life. Iskhakov (who may be related to the subject of his work), attributes this to the lack of reliable information. Still he concludes that the often-accepted image of Iskhaki as an irreproachable ideological fighter as portrayed in today’s literature is not convincing.2 Who was he, then?

Iskhaki was born in 1878 into a mullah family in the village of Iaushirma (Kutlushkino) near Kazan. He studied in madrasahs and at a teacher’s college in Tatarstan. Exactly when he became politically active is difficult to pinpoint. Iskhaki began to publish early and already by 1899 he was famous, known as “the founder of Tatar literature,” and as a correspondent of Maksim Gor’kii.3 By 1901, when he was only 23, Iskhaki was already involved in illegal political circles. Seeking answers to the “backwardness of the Muslim world,” Iskhaki called on the Tatars to combine the “European path of development” with the spirit of Muslim “reformation.”4 He was sympathetic with the populist party of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, although in 1905 he supported only a cultural union of Muslim peoples and was against the creation of a Muslim political party. After arrest and exile, he fled to Istanbul. He returned to Russia in 1910, only to withdraw to Turkey quickly. He was disappointed, however, by the Young Turks movement, claiming that in Istanbul there was “no Muslim culture at all.” Iskhaki went back to Russia’s capital where he was arrested and sent back into exile. Amnestied on the occasion of the tercentenary (1913) of the Romanov dynasty, Iskhaki returned to St. Petersburg. While engaged in literary writing, he published newspapers and contributed to a journal by the liberal Russian Constitutional Democrats as well.

In 1917 Iskhaki took active part in political life. He spoke against the “national-territorial construction” of Russia and for “national-cultural autonomy.”5 Like many other leaders of the national movements (such as Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi who subsequently, in 1918, became the first president of the independent Ukrainian National Republic), Iskhaki was reluctant to support the outright independence of his homeland which he called “Idel-Ural.” He advocated instead an “autonomous state.” which, along with other similar states, would join a “Russian federal republic.” Iskhaki’s dream was frustrated, however, by another Muslim leader from Bashkortostan, Zeki Velidi (Akhmet-Zaki Akhmetshakhovich Validov, Zeki Velidi Togan, 1890–1970). Zeki declared his homeland Bashkortostan an autonomous republic independent from Idel-Ural. Velidi himself led a complex political life, at one point joining the Bolshevik party but eventually turning against it in the anti-Soviet Basmachi movement. He subsequently emigrated and led an academic life in Europe and Turkey.6

Velidi has left the following account of Iskhaki in 1917:
[Iskhaki] made fun of the issue of autonomy and even with Ukrainians, wrote: “They are intending to create an independent Xoxlandia. Since we are connected with the Russian people throughout history, we cannot enter into that path. As a delegation of four individuals (Sadri Maksudi, Islam Sahmemedov, Ayaz Ishaki and Sakir Muhammedyar) we went to the head of Government Kniaz L’vov and announced that we do not wish to separate like the Malorus (meaning Ukrainians) from you. We wish to be together with you.”7

This is no doubt a prejudiced account by one of Iskhaki’s old political rivals. However, Iskhaki’s position was not so different from many other national leaders in the former Russian Empire who imagined their nations within the framework of a reconstructed, federated, and democratic Russia.

After the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, Iskhaki chose to fight against the Bolsheviks and adhered to the ultimate goal of a democratic and federated Russia. He retreated to Ufa, Petropavlovsk (in Kazakhstan), and Harbin, China. Later he went to Tokyo in 1919 and then moved to Prague and Paris in 1920. In 1921 in Paris he engaged in relief work for the famine victims in Russia along with other émigrés such as Pavel Miliukov. In 1923 Iskhaki moved to Berlin to join his daughter who had managed to reach Berlin from the Soviet Union. In Berlin Iskhaki became part of the anti-Soviet “Turan” club created for the unity of Muslims from the former Russian Empire. Velidi and his supporters also gathered in Berlin. As a result, the club was paralyzed, according to one account.8 According to Velidi, the political views of Iskhaki in European exile had not changed much since 1917.9

At any rate, in 1925 Iskhaki moved to Turkey, from where he went to Finland, and then, in 1927, settled in Warsaw. In Warsaw he headed the “Central Committee of Independent Idel-Ural,” in whose name he joined the Promethean movement.10 It was then, in 1927, that the journal Prométhée began to add Turkestan to its name: “The Organ of the National Defense of the People of the Caucasus, Ukraine, and Turkestan.”11 He also lectured at the Oriental Institute in Warsaw, an institution that served the cause of the Promethean movement.12 Clearly, Iskhaki had abandoned his old political position and now subscribed to the independence of Idel-Ural. According to Velidi, this was an opportunistic move on the part of Iskhaki: “It was especially poignant that Ayaz Ishaki and his friend Omer Teregulov, by joining the Oriental Institute in Warsaw, were forced to show themselves in favor of independence. However, they chose to change the nature of the old ‘unitarism and federalism’ debate into [a] Tatar-Baskurt [Tatar-Bashkir] tribal fight.”13 At any rate, in 1929 Ishaki moved back to Berlin where his daughter was studying. Although in Berlin Iskhaki began to publish a new journal (Milli Yol or “National Road”), he continued to work for the Oriental Institute in Warsaw in the 1930s.14

Iskhaki’s work of this period on Idel-Ural suggests that he may indeed have tailored his view to please the Polish sponsors, as Velidi insinuated. In “An Outlineof the Struggle of the Idel-Ural Tatars for their Independence,” for instance, Iskhaki wrote about the Sultan-Galiev affair in 1929as if the Soviet account were true: Sultan Galiev and those arrested with him had organized a “secret Turkic-Tatar Communist organization” in order to take power in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the Crimea, and Central Asia. It sought to create a great Turkic-Tatar republic on the ruins of the Soviet Union, with the Crimea to become a separate independent republic. The conspirators entered into negotiations with Ukrainians, Georgians, Armenians, and Belarusians in order to form a united front against the Bolsheviks.15 It is possible that Iskhaki possessed privileged information through his clandestine contacts with his homeland. Yet in essence he merely and oddly repeated the Soviet propaganda on the clandestine political network in the country, which, although untrue, titillated the Poles. In another essay, “A Historico-Political Essay on the Idel-Ural Republic,” Iskhaki emphasized the central importance of Ukraine, whose victory over the Soviet Union would be the victory of “all nationalities,” a point of central importance to the Poles. Idel-Ural would become Ukraine’s ally.16 It seems as if he knew well exactly what his Polish sponsors wanted to hear from him.

Mukhammed Gabdulkhai Kurbangaliev

Kurbangaliev’s life turned out similarly to Iskhaki’s. Kurbangaliev, like Iskhaki, was born into an imam family in 1890 in the village of Mediak, in today’s Cheliabinsk oblast’. His father was an influential religious leader among the Bashkirs. He studied at a madrasah founded by his father in Mediak. After receiving a degree in “ethics of theology,” Kurbangaliev moved to St. Petersburg, where he became the head of the capital’s “Muslim Circle.” Like Iskhaki and Velidi, Kurbangaliev was caught in the revolutionary upheaval in 1917. He welcomed the February Revolution enthusiastically. Unlike Velidi, however, Kurbangaliev opposed Bashkortostan’s political autonomy (or independence) and supported cultural-spiritual national autonomy within the framework of a single undivided democratic Russia.17

Kurbangaliev’s opposition to the Soviet government led him to work with Admiral Kolchak, Lieutenant-General Vladmir Kappel’, Ataman Semenov, and other White military leaders and to create, with varying degrees of success, Bashkirian national military units within the White forces in the Urals and Siberia. In the Civil War, he lost his father and a brother who were executed by the Bolsheviks. Another brother was killed in a battle against the Bolsheviks. With the surrender of the Kolchak forces in 1920, Kurbangaliev called for his fellow Bashkir fighters to lay down their arms and moved further east, eventually reaching Tokyo in 1920 via Harbin. Kurbangaliev first met a Japanese military intelligence official in Omsk and Chita.18 Captain Jirō Hirasa of the Japanese Army was dispatched to Omsk as early as January 1918 where he appears to have met Kurbangaliev. In 1920 they met again in Chita. Obviously Japan eyed him as a figure for use in the future. With the support of the Japanese Consul in Harbin, he went to Tokyo in November 1920, returning there in February 1921 with ten Bashkir and Tatar officers (including Colonel Sultan-Girei Bikmeev). In Tokyo Kurbangaliev met important Japanese politicians and military leaders. His second trip was enabled by Masatane Kanda, a Soviet specialist who was to become Japan’s military attaché in Istanbul from 1931 to 1934.19

Thus began Kurbangaliev’s collaboration with Japan. In 1922 he was employed as a non-staff member of the Southern Manchurian Railway Company, Japan’s main tool to run Manchuria as its colony. Simultaneously he was in contact with Japan’s intelligence service in Harbin.20 Returning to Tokyo in 1924, he taught the Turkish language at the General Staff. The following year he organized the Muslim Society of Tokyo. In 1927 he founded the fi rst school for Muslims in Japan and in 1928 he created the All-Japan Society of Muslims. There were about 400 Tatars in Japan (about half of them in Tokyo, the remainder in Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, and elsewhere) at the time, working in various trades and in the sale of clothes in particular. In 1929 Kurbangaliev built the first printing house in Japan to publish in the Arabic script and began publishing a journal, Yani Yapon Mohbiri.21

Like Iskhaki in Europe, in Asia Kurbangaliev supported ideas that pleased his sponsors. In Japan, he promoted the idea of the “Ural-Altaic peoples” who would unite under the slogan of a “Great Asia” with Japan as its protagonist, an idea quite different from that he supported in 1917. He took the model from pan-Slavism and called for the revival of the Ural-Altaic peoples. This would require a Fourth International opposed to the Third International (Comintern). His view was strengthened by his meeting in Tokyo in 1922 with the Hungarian scholar Baráthosi Balogh Benedek (1870-1945) who proposed a theory of the Ural-Altaic peoples (among whom he counted Hungarians, Finns, Estonians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Uzbeks, Japanese, Koreans, Mongolians, and others in Eurasia).22 Kurbangaliev began to advocate an “eclectic combination of Pan-Turkism and Pan-Islamism that appealed to Pan-Asianists in Japan, assuring that the vast Turkish populations in the Euro-Asian and North African continents befriended by Japan will aid the achievement of a just future for the peoples of Asia under the leadership of Japan.”23 He thus promoted the slogan “From the Urals to Mt. Fuji.”

How firmly Kurbangaliev held this view of the future is not known. His “Ural-Altaic” vision went far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union. It was not compatible with Iskhaki’s Promethean vision focused on Idel-Ural within the borders of the Soviet Union. In any case, Kurbangaliev found sympathetic friends among Japanese political and military leaders, who in turn, used him for their own strategic purposes. The Japanese strategy was to link and unite Chinese Muslims (including those in Gansu, Shaanxi and Xinjiang) against the Communists of the Soviet Union through Kurbangaliev. With the support of Japan, he worked closely with some Chinese Muslim leaders as well.24

Confrontation in Tokyo

In October 1933 Iskhaki traveled to Japan from Berlin via Shanghai. He carried a Turkish passport (which Japanese authorities strongly suspected was a forgery). The aim of his trip was, according to Iskhaki, to observe how Muslims lived in the Far East. In Warsaw, Iskhaki had been in contact with Japanese intelligence officials (who, in turn, worked together with Polish Intelligence against the Soviet Union). In 1930 he met with Japan’s military attaché Hikosaburō Hata and asked his help in establishing contact with members of the Tatar community in Mukden, China.25 Hata met with many Muslim leaders in Warsaw in 1931–32 and carried out “significant work,” according to Soviet information.26 Iskhaki also appeared to have had contact with Hata’s successor Genzō Yanagita who was stationed in Warsaw from 1932 to 1934.27 It was in fact through Yanagita that Iskhaki received help from Hata back in Tokyo.28 Iskhaki cleared his plan (to unite émigré Muslims in the Far East “in order to overthrow the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union”) with Polish Intelligence.29 The Soviet secret police reported to Stalin that Iskhaki went to Japan with Yanagita’s support in order to sell to the Japanese General Staff a plan to create a Idel-Ural republic under Japanese protection.30

Clearly, Iskhaki’s visit to the Far East was prompted by the rapidly changing international scene both in the West and in the East. Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in September 1931, the foundation of a puppet government Manchukuo in March 1932, and Japan’s recognition of the new state in September 1932 generated a great deal of both anxiety and hope among the nations of Eurasia and beyond. These events prompted the masses of Tatar émigrés in Manchuria to recognize Japan’s political and military might.31 Poland, too, became active in the Far East. In 1932, taking advantage of Ukrainian activism, Władysław Pelc (1911–2002), member of the Ekspozytura II of the Dwójka working at the Polish consulate in Harbin, organized Ukrainians, Georgians and Tatars into a Promethean group in the Far East.32 In the West, in the course of 1932 Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and France concluded a non-aggression pact separately with the Soviet Union. This rapprochement with the Soviet Union disappointed many émigrés, who turned increasingly to Japan for support and inspiration. Ukrainians in Turkey, for instance, submitted to Masatane Kanda, Japanese military attaché in Istanbul, an action plan in the event of war between Japan and the Soviet Union. The plan, dated November 1934, included the creation of special Ukrainian military units in the Far East as well as assassinations of prominent Communists in Soviet Ukraine.33

The Polish government did not officially recognize Manchukuo in view of the strong reaction against it by Western democratic countries. In contrast to them and the League of Nations, the Promethean Club reacted very approvingly: “Dans cette période d’anxiété, de pessimisme, voire méme de découragement que nous traversons, la reconnaisance officielle de l’indépendance de la Mandchourie par le Japon est un événement qui retient l’attention et qui ne manquera pas de réjouir tous les amis de la liberté des peuples.” China, torn by internecine wars, was neither a state nor a nation. There was very little bond among its peoples in terms of race, language or religion. China was chaos and anarchy. Under these circumstances, the danger of Soviet Russia was all important. It had already conquered Outer Mongolia, and had Manchuria in its sight. The new state of Manchukuo, with a population of 30 million and supported morally and materially by a great power (Japan), was a “personalité internationale.” The most important issue was the “liberté du peuple mandchoului-même.”34

Iskhaki was even more enthusiastic about Manchukuo. In an essay published in Japan in 1934, he emphasized the historical struggle of Manchus and Mongols for liberation from Russia and China. He characterized Manchukuo as championing the culture of oriental peoples and Japan as providing spiritual and material support in order to ensure peace in the Far East. The peoples in Manchuria, according to Iskhaki, felt rejuvenated by the foundation of Manchukuo. Iskhaki added that there were approximately two million Muslims (and 10,000 Turco-Tatars) in the new state. His goal was to support the new country on all fronts and to become a happy witness to the “unification and fusion of our Islamic culture and Far Eastern culture.” At the same time Iskhaki promoted the idea of independence for Idel-Ural: just as it was logical for non-Han peoples to be liberated from the Chinese, so it was logical for non-Russian peoples to be freed from Russia, whose future would be a dissolution into republics of nations.35 It seems natural, then, for Japan to welcome Iskhaki’s visit and his support for Manchukuo, although Iskhaki’s plan was limited to Idel-Ural and much less grand than Kurbangaliev’s, which extended much farther to include the “Ural-Altaic peoples.” Therefore, according to Polish Intelligence, at that time Japan began to intensify its activity with the “Turan Society” in Europe.36

Shortly after he arrived in Japan, Iskhaki gave a talk in Tokyo in Turkish (which was translated into Japanese). He made it clear that the Russians were the enemies of the Turco-Tatar people: three-fifths of the estimated 50 to 60 million Turco-Tatars in the world lived under Russian yoke. Iskhaki emphasized that the most nationally conscious group among them was the people of Idel-Ural, whose sentiments were greatly stimulated by Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905. Iskhaki confessed that it was only after the foundation of Manchukuo that he came to understand that Japan actually promoted nationalism. Just as Manchukuo was not part of Han China, neither was Idel-Ural part of Russia. Iskhaki delighted many Japanese by stating that there were two great Asian nations, the Japanese in the east and the Turco-Tatars in the west, whose common enemy was Russia and that Japan’s rise meant the rebirth of Asia.37 Later in 1934, in Hailar, Manchukuo, Iskhaki “stressed the close ties of Tatars, Manchurians, Mongols, and Japanese with [sic] the Genghis Khan Turks, calling all of them ‘children of Genghis Khan’.”38

Yet it was Kurbangaliev, not Iskhaki and his supporters, who had long been established as the Muslim leader in the Far East. Kurbangaliev was the person many Japanese strategists knew well. After the foundation of Manchukuo, Japan began to take the Muslims (and spreading Japan’s influence throughout the Islamic world) much more seriously than before. Facing the Soviet Union along the Manchukuo borders stretching more than 3000 kilometers, Japan dreamed of using the Muslims to advance farther to the west in China towards Gansu, Shaanxi, and Xinjiang where Muslims were prominent or even predominant. Kurbangaliev welcomed the foundation of Manchukuo. In June 1932, Tokyo appears to have organized a secret conference in which Kurbangaliev, representatives of the White Russian émigrés, supporters of Siberian independence, and Japanese strategists took part. It discussed the issue of uniting the Muslims of Japan, Manchukuo, and China. To that end, it was decided to convene a congress in Tokyo, with Kurbangaliev in charge.39 This plan somehow became known to Iskhaki in Europe. It was this plan that appears to have prompted Iskhaki to visit the Far East. The Tokyo scheme entrusted to Kurbangaliev does not appear to have progressed very far or quickly, although Kurbangaliev did visit Manchukuo in late 1932 where he met Muslim leaders from all over Manchukuo. (It was said that measures had already been taken to make all of the 20 million “brethren” scattered along the Russian-Chinese borders into their adherents.)40

Kurbangaliev had every reason to resent the visit of the prominent Tatar from Kazan. Iskhaki was much better known in the Turco-Tatar community and in the world as a writer, intellectual, and politician. He knew both the Orient and the Occident, whereas Kurbangaliev knew only the Orient. Moreover, most of the Tokyo Muslim community were Tatars from the Kazan region, and not, like Kurbangaliev, Bashkirs. Their visions for the future were also different, as discussed earlier.

As soon as Iskhaki arrived in Japan, his supporters and Kurbangaliev’s supporters attacked each other. The former sought to discredit Kurbangaliev by portraying him as a Soviet and American spy! A man with no citizenship could not be trusted. In any case, Iskhaki urged the Turco-Tatar community in Japan to acquire, like himself, Turkish citizenship, which would be very useful in the event of war between Japan and the Soviet Union. Moreover, Iskhaki emphasized, Kurbangaliev and his company maintained close relations with White Russians in Japan, but all Russians, Red or White, were enemies of the Turco-Tatars. In terms of religion, according to Iskhaki, Kurbangaliev and his company practiced “heresy” (the “evil course”) and his (Iskhaki’s) mission, was to lead the Turco-Tatars in the Far East to the “path of righteousness.” In any case, according to Iskhaki, Kurbangaliev was against the Turco-Tatar independence movement and in favor of an “undivided powerful Russia” (a position he apparently had taken in 1917). Because he lacked support among the Turco-Tatar community, he had had to turn to the Russians. Yet a “Russian is an eternal enemy of the Turco-Tatar.” Iskhaki stated in his letter dated 17 March 1934 and addressed it in English to Japan’s Foreign Minister (Kōki Hirota, a former Ambassador of Japan to the Soviet Union): “Idel-Oural will be born in the same way as Poland [and] Estonia were in 1918. Idel-Oural’s birth will be followed by the birth of Turkestan, Confederation of Caucasus, Ukraina [sic] and etc. The unity of Russia will come to the [sic] end. Japanese circles have to consider this situation seriously.”41

Kurbangaliev and his supporters, in turn, contended that it was Iskhaki and his company that served the Russian cause. Iskhaki was a socialist (Socialist-Revolutionary) who knew personally K.K. Iurenev, the current Soviet Ambassador to Japan, from the time of exile before the Revolution. It was Iurenev, via the Turkish Embassy in Tokyo, who supported Iskhaki’s activity.42 Kurbangailev’s anti-Iskhaki campaign was supported by the émigré Russians in Japan and elsewhere who circulated vicious rumors about Iskhaki’s alleged links to Moscow. Japan’s police and intelligence circles were concerned about Iskhaki as well. They possessed information that before he came to Japan, Iskhaki contacted a Communist (“Akhmetos”) in Shanghai and subsequently, when he went to Harbin after Japan, he met a man (“Gurov”) connected to the Soviet secret police. The Japanese police concluded that the sole aim of Iskhaki’s visit to the Far East was to “disturb and divide” the Muslim groups and prevent Japan and Muslim countries from drawing closer.43

In the end, Iskhaki triumphed. From the start, the sympathy of the Turco-Tatar community in the Far East, according to Japanese analysis, appeared to have been more with Iskhaki than with Kurbangaliev. Japan’s Muslim strategists and supporters were not united but divided and were unable to support Kurbangaliev unequivocally. Iskhaki’s insistence that he wanted to unite the Turco-Tatar community (there were some 27 different organizations of them) contrasted well with Kurbangaliev’s apparent enmity towards his rival. Nor did Kurbangaliev’s forceful personality and his supporters’ behavior help them. On 11 February 1934, for instance, when Iskhaki and his supporters had a preparatory meeting for creating the “Cultural Society of Idel-Ural Turco-Tatars” in Tokyo (to which Kurbangaliev was not invited), according to the Japanese police, Kurbangaliev, Colonel F.I. Porotikov (an émigré Russian supporter of Siberian independence) and several other “Russians” (“Drugov,” “Emel’ianov,” both “Russian Fascists,” as well as some Bashkirs) appeared at the meeting. Porotikov and his retinue struck Iskhaki in the head and stomach and choked him “half to death.” They treated some others present to similar violence.44

This incident became known all over Japan, Asia, and beyond, helping Iskhaki to extend and solidify his influence. Shortly after this incident, Iskhaki and his supporters succeeded in founding the “Cultural Society of Idel-Ural Turco-Tatars” in Tokyo. They also took legal action against Kurbangaliev and his supporters to take over their property. The creation of branches of the Idel-Ural Society followed in Kobe, Nagoya, and Kumamoto, Japan. In May 1934 Iskhaki managed to convene the First Kurultay of Japanese Turco-Tatars in Kobe, where his supporters overwhelmed those of Kurbangaliev.45 The Turco-Tatars in Manchukuo (Mukden [today’s Shengyang], Xinjing [today’s Changchun], Harbin, Hailar, and beyond) as well as Tianjin and Shanghai in China followed suit, creating branches of the Idel-Ural Society in their cities and provinces.

Then, in 1935, Iskhaki staged a coup. In February 1935, he and his supporters convened an All-Far East Turco-Tatar Kurultay in Mukden, China (Manchukuo) with forty-one delegates, about 90 (170 according to one report) invited guests, and some 30 journalists. 130 congratulatory telegrams were received by the meeting, including those from The Promethean Club in Warsaw, the Idel-Ural Committee in Berlin, and Ukrainian organizations in Manchukuo. The Kurultay, under Iskhaki’s chair, went so far as to express to the Japanese and the Manchukuo Emperors “Long Live! ” Attacking Kurbangaliev and his circles, Iskhaki called on the Turco-Tatars in the Far East to unite against Russia: unlike the “materialist” European Christian Russians, Turco-Tatars were Asian, “spiritual,” and Islamic. The Congress founded its religious-national center (merkez) in Mukden, elected Iskhaki as its President, and resolved to publish its own organ, Milli Bairaq (National Flag), in Tatar in Arabic script. The Kurultay went out of its way to emphasize its ties to Japan: “schools of Idel-Ural Turco-Tatars” should be organized where they do not exist already, and from the third year, the Japanese language should be taught, and from the fifth year, Japanese history.46

Some 400 issues of the Milli Bairaq were published from 1 November 1935 till 20 March 1945. Japan did not finance the newspaper but subjected it to censorship. The first anniversary issue (no. 51) of the newspaper published contributions by leaders of the Promethean movement (including Mustafa Chokai [Chokaev] and Mammad Amin Rasul-Zade).47

Iskhaki left for Europe via Shanghai in March 1936. When he left, his supporters summarized the significance of Iskhaki’s two-and-a-half-year work in the Far East: “We liquidated all enemies, all communities created on a rotten basis were destroyed and new ones were established. . . . . Our national interests and independence are linked tight[ly] with other nations; we have close relations and friendship with them. They are Georgians, Ukrainians, Caucasians, and Turkestanis, etc.”48 This was a victory declaration for the Promethean movement, a rival movement for Japan’s pan-Islamic movement. Understandably, the Japanese reports hardly ever mentioned Iskhaki’s link to the Promethean movement. In contrast, during his stay in the Far East Iskhaki explicitly noted his links to and support for the Promethean movement.49 At the Mukden Kurultay, for instance, Iskhaki was reported to have “called for friendship with Prometheus and Asian nations under the leadership of the Japanese.”50 After Iskhaki’s return to Europe, the journal Prométhée also published a triumphal essay about his long journey to the Far East.51

Thus, the net result of Iskhaki’s journey turned out to be the division of the Muslim organizations in the Far East in decisive favor of the Promethean movement. The Russian historian S.M. Iskhakov has recently also reached a similar conclusion: Iskhaki “objectively prevented the rapprochement of aggressive anti-Soviet Russian émigré circles and ‘White’ Tatars.”52 Kurbangaliev was not politically destroyed completely, because he still enjoyed some support in Japanese military circles. Yet his influence among the Turco-Tatar community declined sharply. Ultimately he was banished from Japan (with a generous financial gift) in 1938, just before the first mosque was opened in Tokyo. In the meantime, Japanese authorities found the Idel-Ural society untrustworthy politically. They found many “pro-Soviet” members there. Some were arrested in Tokyo as Soviet spies.53 In 1939, the newspaper Milli Bairaq was briefly suspended for publishing an article disagreeing with the idea of Japan’s “Great Prosperity Sphere.”54


Iskhaki was not the only Muslim leader who came to Japan in 1933. Abdrashid Ibragimov (Abdürreşid Ibrahim, 1857–1944), a Tatar from Western Siberia, Russia, had already visited Japan before the Russo-Japanese War. In the wake of Japan’s victory over Russia, Ibragimov wrote about Japan and Islam, predicting (more correctly, expressing his wishful thinking) that the Japanese nation might convert to Islam. In 1908–10 he visited Japan again, met many influential Japanese, and praised Japan as a force that could help the Muslim peoples to be liberated from the European yoke.55 Japan, in turn, found Ibragimov useful for future war against Russia and provided financial support to him.56 Ibragimov worked for the Ottomans during World War One. Sometime after the October Revolution in Russia, he returned to Russia and worked with the Soviet government. In 1923 he returned to Turkey, where he became politically suspect for his alleged pan-Turkism and anti-Kemalism. Yet sometime before 1933, Kanda, Japan’s military attaché in Istanbul, sought the old friend of Japan out. Kanda arranged for Ibragimov to return to Japan and help Japan’s strategy towards the Muslims. Ibragimov thus arrived almost simultaneously with Iskhaki, in October 1933.57

Even before he arrived Japan, Iskhaki had attacked Ibragimov as a Soviet agent, particularly for his alleged pro-Soviet propaganda.58 Iskhaki repeated his accusations in 1934 after both arrived in Japan.59 Iskhaki even insisted that Ibragimov came to Japan before the Russo-Japanese War as a Russian spy.60 Where Ibragimov’s loyalty actually resided is difficult to determine. Before he left Turkey for Japan, according to Kanda, Japan’s military attaché in Istanbul, President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself invited Ibragimov for a conversation. The President expressed his concern about the situation in Xinjiang, where Turkey was not in a position to do anything. In five years at the latest, Turkey would be able to work with Japan on “Asian questions.” Therefore he asked Ibragimov to establish an exchange of students with Japan. Kanda cautioned Tokyo of Turkey’s ulterior motives.61

It appears that Atatürk’s anxiety about Xinjiang (Chinese or Eastern Turkesta) was the key to the journey of Iskhaki and Ibragimov to Japan in 1933. Ankara was deeply disquieted by Japan’s Islamic policy in Asia, where Turkey felt overwhelmed by Japan’s influence. Most importantly, Turkey suspected that Japan, at least some powerful military and political circles, wanted to create a second, “Muslim Manchukuo” in China’s Muslim areas, in Xinjiang in particular. Moreover, like Japan and Manchukuo, the new “Muslim Manchukuo” would become a monarchy with a king from the old Imperial House of Osman, an explicitly anti-Kemalist move on the part of Japan.62 In May 1933, in the midst of Muslim rebellions in Xinjiang, an Ottoman prince, Sehzade Abdülkerim Efendi (1904–1935, grandson of the Pan-Islamic Sultan Abdülhamid II) arrived in Japan63 At the same time, Mehmed Rauf (Kırkanahtar), “an active member of the Turkish secret service of the Republic, also arrived in Tokyo in 1933 and started teaching Arabic and Turkish in Tokyo.”64 From July 1933 to the spring of 1934 Abdülkerim toured China along with Japanese sponsors. Even though he denied it repeatedly, the world, especially Ankara and Moscow, suspected that Abdülkerim was there to be installed as the king of an independent East Turkestan in the making.65

Moscow suspected, furthermore, that the Muslim rebellions taking place in Xinjiang since 1931 were instigated and supported by Japan.66 Moscow also reckoned correctly that both Kurbangaliev and Abdülkerim were helping Japan to extend its influence to Xinjiang and that Japan’s influence in Xinjiang would spill over into Soviet Central Asia (Soviet Turkestan).67 With Japan’s imperial ambitions in mind, Moscow made the decision, in opposition to the wishes of the Comintern, “not to help the rebels but instead to assist the Chinese government by providing weapons and even aircrafts.” In 1933 Stalin “went so far as to dispatch, clandestinely, special military forces to Xinjiang to crush the rebellions.”68 In the end, the rebellions failed, and the Han (Chinese) control of Xinjiang was restored with Moscow’s help. Efendi’s and Japan’s scheme did not succeed. Abdülkerim Efendi left the Far East after the Xinjiang rebellions were crushed, and died a mysterious death in New York City in 1935.69

As Japan’s imperial policy shifted without clear direction, Kurbangaliev was forced to move to Manchuria in 1938, and in 1945 he was arrested by the Soviet forces and died in the Soviet Union. Ibragimov never found a proper place among the Muslim community in Japan except as its symbolic figurehead. He died in Tokyo in 1944.

One can conclude that Iskhaki’s trip to the Far East turned out to have fulfilled the desires of both Ankara and Moscow. Such was not the direct aim of the Promethean movement. All the same, Iskhaki’s trip was a great success for the Promethean movement. (Japan did not attack the Promethean movement, which it still deemed useful in its strategy against the Soviet Union.) Many circles in Japan suspected that despite his pro-Japan and pro-Manchukuo rhetoric, Iskhaki in fact acted on behalf of the Soviet Union to divide the Turco-Tatar community in the Far East and frustrate Japan’s ambition in Xinjiang.70

Whatever the case, the success for the Promethean movement in the East was illusory. In August 1937, Pelc, now based in Paris, recognized a serious crisis in the Promethean movement in the West, which appeared to him to be eclipsed by national democrats such as Haidar Bammat (1890–1965) supported by Japan. Iskhaki even criticized the Georgians and Ukrainians in the promethean movement for their alleged lack of will to achieve the independence of their countries, whereas he and his comrades always stood for “integral nationalism” free of socialist influence.71 The Prometheans harshly criticized Japan as well. Iskhaki’s colleague, Chokai, for instance, sharply attacked Japan’s imperial ambitions that used Pan-Islamism. In 1937, when Xinjiang failed again to liberate itself from Chinese control, Chokai denounced Japan for empty propaganda which made it easy for Moscow to crush the rebels by providing military forces to the Chinese.72 In the following year, in a conversation with a Japanese diplomat in Geneva, Chokai again criticized Japan’s support of pan-Islamism as anachronistic: it used to be important when the majority of Islams lived under the yoke of imperial powers, but now it only aroused the suspicions of Britain, France, and “Russia” (the Soviet Union) and antagonized Turkey, Iran, and others on their way to establishing their nation states.73

Chokai’s criticism was well taken except that it was very odd for a Promethean to group the Soviet Union with Britain and France. This did not prevent Moscow from accusing Chokai of being an agent of Japanese imperialism!74 It is likely that Chokai was intimidated and deeply disturbed by Stalin’s terror directed against so many people inside the Soviet Union for their alleged links to Iskhaki, Chokai, Kurbangaliev, and other émigré fighters. (It is also likely that, even earlier, Iskhaki had similarly been broken into ideological capitulation by Stalin’s terror.) Surely Moscow, the foe of the Promethean movement, must have been delighted by the irony of being coupled with Britain and France, the supporters of the Promethean movement! It was this that signified the real crisis for the Promethean movement.

Meanwhile, Japan and Poland continued to work closely against the Soviet Union. After signing in 1932 a non-aggression pact with Moscow, Warsaw pursued “balanced diplomacy” by signing a similar treaty with Berlin in 1934. Whereas Japan did not officially join the Promethean movement, Poland strove to “disturb” Soviet-French and Soviet-British relations as much as possible, because although its goal was to isolate the Soviet Union, it was not strong enough to break the “Soviet-French alliance” (referring to the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance of 1935).75 It appears that Moscow proved adept at politically disrupting Poland in the West and Japan in the East, the most prominent supporters of émigré Muslim ambitions in the 1930s. The Muslim leaders found themselves caught in the intrigues of international politics.

Prof. Hiroaki Kuromiya – historian, professor at the Department of History, Indiana University Bloomington, he specializes in the history of the Soviet Union and Ukraine. He is an author of numerous works devoted to Stalinism as well as Japanese-Polish and Japanese-Caucasian anti-Soviet cooperation.

Prof. Andrzej Pepłoński – historian, head of the Department of National Security at the Pomeranian University in Słupsk. He specializes in Poland’s modern history, especially military and intelligence history.

1 Calculated from Vsesoiuznaia perepis’ naseleniia 1937 goda: kratkie itogi (Moscow: Institut istorii SSSR AN SSSR, 1991), pp. 106–115. Only individuals older than 16 years of age were counted.

2 S. M. Iskhakov, “Mukhamed-Gaiaz Iskhaki: iz politicheskoi biografii pisatelia,” Voprosy istorii, 2004, no. 8, pp. 11–12.

3 See Azat Akhunov, “Gaiaz Iskhaki ‘Kto on? Kto on, kto nashu natsiiu vzrastil? ” Tatarskii mir, 2004, no. 3 ( article=489&section=0&heading=0 [accessed 14 September 2012]).

4 Ibid., p. 3.

5 Before 1917, Iskhaki appears to have subscribed to the notion of “Turanianism.” See Larissa Usmanova, The Turk-Tatar Diaspora in Northeast Asia: Transformation of Consciousness. A Historical and Sociological Account between 1898 and the 1950s (Tokyo: Rakudasha, 2007), p. 29.

6 See S.M. Iskhakov, “Akhmed-Zakki Validov: noveishaia literatura i fakty ego politicheskoi biografii,” Voprosy istorii, 2003, no. 10.

7 Zeki Velidi Togan, Memoirs: National Existence and Cultural Struggles of Turkestan and Other Muslim Eastern Turks (North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2012), p. 135. See also p. 178.

8 Iskhakov, p. 8.

9 Velidi Togan, pp. 464–66.

10 Iskhakov, p. 9.

11 See Promethee, no. 8 (June-July 1927). Emphasis added.

12 For Iskhaki at the Oriental Institute, see Ireneusz Piotr Maj, Działalność Instytutu Wschodniego w Warszawie 1926–1939 (Warsaw: Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN-Oficyna Wydawnicza Rytm-Fundacja “Historia i Kultura,” 2007), p. 87.

13 Velidi Togan, p. 465.

14 Maj, pp. 74–76 and 262.

15 Ayaz Ishaki, “Apercu de la lutte de Tatars de l’Odel-Oural pour leur independance,” Promethee, no. 78 (May 1933), p. 26.

16 “Mukhamed-Gaiaz Iskhaki: iz politicheskoi biografii pisatelia,” Voprosy istorii, 2004, no. 9, p. 19.

17 Here and below we rely mainly on Katsunori Nishiyama, “Musl’mane v Iaponii,” Vatanadash, 1999, no. 10, pp. 188-94, and Aislu Iunusova, “ ‘Velikii imam Dal’nego Vostoka’: Mukhammed-Gabdulkhai Kurbangaliev,” Vestnik Evrazii, 2001, no. 4, pp. 83–116.

18 Katsunori Nishiyama, “Kurubangarī tsuijin: mō hitotsu no ‘jichi’ o motomete” [In Pursuit of Kurbangaliev: Yet Another “Autonomy”], Slavic Eurasian Studies: Occasional Papers, no. 3 (Asia in Russia/Russia in Asia [1]), 2004, pp. 43, 45, and 57.

19 Ibid., p. 57 and Nishiyama, “Musl’mane v Iaponii,” p. 191.

20 See Shiōden Nobutaka kaikoroku (Memoirs of Shiōden Nobutaka) (Tokyo: Misuzu shobō, 1964), p. 118.

21 Nishiyama, “Musl’mane v Iaponii,” p. 190 and Katsunori Nishiyama, “Kurubangarī tsuijin: kokusai jōsei ni taikishite (1)” ( In Pursuit of Kurbangaliev: The International Situation (1)), Kokusai kankei hikaku bunka kenkyū, 4:2 (2006), p. 85.

22 See Kurubangariev [Kurbangaliev], “Indo-yōroppa minzoku to uraru-arutai minzoku” [The Indor-European and the Ural-Altaic Races], Manmō, 1924, no. 8, pp. 29–40.

23 Selcuk Esenbel, “Japan and Islam Policy during the 1930s,” Bert Edstrom (ed.), Turning Points in Japanese History (Richmond: Japan Library, 2002), p. 183.

24 Note the fi rst-hand account: Shimano Saburō, Mantetsu soren jōhō katsudōka no shōgai [Saburō Shimane: The life of a Soviet Intelligence Man at the Southern Manchurian Railway Company] (Tokyo: Hara shobō, 1984), pp. 463–64.

25 Hiroaki Kuromiya and Andrzej Pepłoński, Między Warszawą a Tokio: Polsko-Japońska współpraca wywiadowcza 1904–1944 (Toruń: Adam Marszałek, 2009), p. 85.

26 Arekusei [Aleksei] Kirichenko , “Kominterun to Nihon, sono himitsu chōhōsen o abaku” [The Comintern and Japan: Revelations of the Secret Intelligence War], Seiron, 2006, no. 10, p. 109.

27 Usmanova, p. 28.

28 Hata soon left for Moscow to take the position of military attache and may not have been familiar with Iskhaki’s subsequent activity in Japan and China. After World War Two Hata was taken to the Soviet Union as a prisoner of war and was harshly interrogated about Iskhaki’s activity. See Hikosaburō Hata, Kunan ni taete [Enduring Hardships] (Tokyo: Nikkan rōdō tsūshin sha, 1958), p. 141.

29 Nishiyama, “Kurubangarī tsuijin: kokusai jōsei ni taikishite (1),” p. 90.

30 Lubianka. Stalin i VChK-GPU-OGPU-NKVD: ianvar’ 1922–dekabr’ 1936 (Moscow: MFD, 2003), p. 521.

31 An observation by a Japanese linguist in Manchuria: Shirō Hattori, Ichi gengogakusha no zuisō [A Linguist’s Essay] (Tokyo: Kyūko shoin, 1992), pp. 10–11.

32 Hiroaki Kuromiya, Paweł Libera, and Andrzej Pepłoński), “O współpracy polsko-japońskiej wobec ruchu Prometejskiego raz jeszcze,” Zeszyty historyczne, v. 170 (2009), p. 119.

33 Reproduced in Trudy Obshchsetva izucheniia istorii otechestvennykh spetssluzb, t. 2 (Moscow: Kuchkovo pole, 2006), pp. 122-126.

34 Editorial: “L’independance de la Mandchourie,” Promethee, no. 71 (October 1932), pp. 1–2.

35 Ayasu Isuhaki, “Toruko-tataru minzoku no tachiba kara Manshūkoku no dokuritsu o miru” [A look at the independence of Manchukuo from the point of view of the Turco-Tatar Race], Tōyō, 37:1 (1934), pp. 103–7. This essay appears to have been translated from his essay published in the journal he edited in Berlin.

36 Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi voennyi arkhiv (RGVA, Moscow), f. 308k, op. 19, d. 31, ll. 88-88ob (19 September 1933 report from Moscow to Warsaw). What exactly the “Turan Society” refers to is not clear. The Polish diplomat in Moscow presented it as similar to “nasz Prometeusz.” Obviously it refers to Japan’s association with Soviet minorities, especially Muslims.

37 Ayasu Isuhaki, “Rosiya ni okeru toruko-tataru minzoku no dokuritsu undō ni tsuite” [On the Turco-Tatar Independence Movement in Russia], Tōyō, 37:4 (1934), pp. 97–106.

38 Usmanova, pp. xxvii and 36.

39 Nishiyama, “Kurubangarī tsuijin: kokusai jōsei ni taikishite (1),” p. 89 (based on information of Soviet Intelligence).

40 The Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (National Archives of Japan; hereafter JACAR): (B04012533000), pp. 20–21.

41 See JACAR, B04012533000 p. 25, 53-55, and B04012533100, pp. 247–53, and passim.

42 Usmanova, p. 101.

43 JACAR, B0401253300, passim, especially pp. 28–30. For Iskhaki’s visit to Shanghai, see Usmanova, pp. 155–56.

44 JACAR, B0401253300, pp. 110–11, 117–21.

45 For Iskhaki’s activity in Japan and China, see Usmanova, chs. 3 and 4, and Akira Matsunaga, “Ayazu Ishakī to kyokutō no tatārujin komyunitī” [Gaiaz Iskhaki and the Tatar Community in the Far East] in Masaru Ikei and Tsutomu Sakamoto (eds), Kindai nihon to Toruko sekai [Modern Japan and the Turkic World] (Tokyo: Keisō shobō, 1999), ch. 7. For an English summary of Matsunaga’s work, see idem, “Ayaz Ishaki and Turco-Tatars in the Far East,” in Selcuk Esenbel and Inaba Chiharu (eds), The Rising Sun and the Turkish Crescent: New Perspectives on the History of Japanese Turkish Relations (Istanbul: Bogăzic University Press, 2003), pp. 197–215.

46 See JACAR, B04013197200, and Usmanova, pp. 39–46.

47 Usmanova, pp. 68–69. The secret police in Kazan wrongly claimed that Iskhaki’s Idel-Ural Society was financed by Japan. See Neizvestnyi Sultan-Galiev: rassekrechennye dokumenty i materialy (Kazan’: Tatarskoe kn. izdanie, 2002), p. 401.

48 Quoted in Usmanova, pp. 163–64.

49 See JACAR, B04013197200.

50 Usmanova, pp. 43-44.

51 “Ayas Ishaki en Europe,” Promethee, no. 114 (May 1936), pp. 19–20.

52 Iskhakov, p. 16. Iskhakov states that Iskhaki did not call on his co-religionists to overthrow the Soviet government (p. 16).

53 See, for example, Gokuhi: Gaiji keisatsu gaikyō [Top Secret: Police Summaries of Foreign Affairs], vol. 2 (1936), pp. 134–37.

54 Usmanova, p. 70.

55 See Abdurrechid Ibrahim Un Tatar au Japan – voyage en Asie (1908–1910), tr. and ed. Francois Georgeon (Arles: Actes Sud, 2004).

56 See the diary entries of the Chief of Japan’s Military Intelligence in 1909 to 1912 discussing Ibragimov: Nihon rikugun to Ajia seisaku: rikugun taishō Utsunomiya Tarō nikki [The Asian Policy of the Japanese Army: The Diary of Army General Tarō Utsunomiya], vol. 1 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2007), pp. 235–36, 243, 321 and vol. 2 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2007), p. 248.

57 See Tsutomu Sakamoto, “Abudyurureshito Iburahimu no sairainichi to mō kyō seikenka no isrāmu seisaku” [The Return of Abdurreşid Ibrahim to Japan and the Islamic Policy of the Manchu-Mongol government], Tsutomu Sakamoto (ed.), Nitchū sensō to isrāmu: manmō, ajia chiiki ni okeru tōchi kaijū seisaku [The Sino-Japanese War and Islam: Japan’s Policy of Governance and Conciliation in Manchuria, Mongolia and Asia] (Tokyo: Keiō University Press, 2008), p. 32.

58 Ayas Ishaky, “Pelerins rouge ou la duplicite des bolcheviks,” Promethee, no. 52 (March 1931), pp. 21–24.

59 Iskhakov, p. 12.

60 JACAR, B04012533000, p. 54.

61 JACAR, B02031844200 (26 July 1933 telegram from Kanda).

62 See JACAR, B04012533000, p. 57, 59–61, B04012533100, pp. 197–8.

63 See Merutohan Djundaru (Merthan Dundar), “Osuman kōzoku Abdjurukerimu no rainichi” [The Visit to Japan by Osman Prince Abdulkerim], in Sakamoto (ed.), Nitchū sensō to isrāmu, p. 157.

64 Esenbel, “Japan and Islam Policy during the 1930s,” p. 201 and idem, “Japan’s Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam: Transnational Nationalism and World Power, 1900–1945,” The American Historical Review, 109:4 (2004), p. 1160.

65 In addition, Tewfi k Pasha of Saudi Arabia, who had been fighting in Xinjiang, also arrived in Japan in 1933. See Fujio Komura, Nihon isrāmu shi [History of Islam in Japan] (Tokyo: Nihon isrāmu yūkō renmei, 1988), p. 81.

66 Whether Japan materially assisted the Xinjiang Muslims cannot be confirmed.

67 Soviet intelligence officers sent voluminous reports on Japan’s suspected moves in Xinjiang. See, for example, RGVA, f. 33879, op. 1, d. 510 and d. 879. See also Lubianka, p. 521 and Kuromiya and Pepłoński, pp. 312–13.

68 See Hiroaki Kuromiya, “The Soviet Famine of 1932–33 Reconsidered,” Europe-Asia Studies, 60:4 (June 2008), pp. 670–71.

69 See Djundaru, pp. 161–62.

70 JACAR, B04012533100, pp. 317–18 and Matsunaga, “Ayazu Ishakī,” pp. 243–44.

71 See Georges Mamoulia, Les combats independandistes des Caucasiens entre URSS et puissances occidentales: Le cas de la Georgie (1921–1945) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2009), p. 179.

72 Mustafa Chokai’s bitter denunciation of Japan: Centralne Archiwum Wojskowe (Warsaw), I.303.4.5500 (5 November 1937). In February 1936, when Iskhaki was stranded in the Far East owing to suspicions about his passport, Chokai intervened on his behalf with the Japanese Embassy in Paris. See JACAR, B04012533100, pp. 319–20.

73 JACAR, B02031852300 (1 June 1938 from Geneva to Tokyo). This conversation is not examined by extant works on Chokaev. See, for example, Bakhyt Sadykova, Mustafa Tchokay dans le mouvement prometheen (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2007).

74 See Bakhyt I. Sadykova, “Politicheskoe znachenie idei Mustafa Chokaia dlia konsolidatsii turkestanskogo obshchestva (stran Tsentral’noi Azii),” Dokt. diss. (Almaty, 2009), pp. 129, 177, and 178.

75 This extraordinarily candid account of Polish politics was revealed in a conversation between Polish Promethean leaders and a Japanese diplomat in Warsaw in 1938. See Gaimushō gaikō shiryō kan (Tokyo), B.1.0.0.Po/R (11 May 1938 secret telegram from Warsaw to Tokyo in four parts). See also Hiroaki Kuromiya and Paweł Libera, “Notatka Włodzimierza Bączkowskiego na temat współpracy polsko-japońskiej wobec ruchu prometejskiego (1938),” Zeszyty historyczne, v. 169 (2009), p. 128.


Polityka energetyczna oraz możliwości rozwoju współpracy wielostronnej w basenie Morza Czarnego


[niniejszy tekst pierowtnie opublikowany został w:
"Nowy Prometeusz" nr 2, lipiec 2012, ss. 15-29]

Ион Мунтян

Республика Молдова (РМ) является членом Организации Черноморского Экономического Сотрудничества (ОЧЭС) с момента своего основания, 25 июня 1992 года. Даже если не был разработан документ о намерениях РМ по вопросам энергетической политики в Черном Море, в настоящее время Молдова участвует в разработке и реализации совместных проектов в рамках ОЧЭС, два из которых находятся на стадии инициирования Межсоединение Электрических Сетей и проект под названием PETrA или Панъевропейская Транспортная Зона Черного Моря.

Молдова являясь зависимой от импорта природного газа из России, в пропорции около 60% из общего энергетического баланса страны, появляется настоятельная необходимость диверсификации источников поставок газа.

Сжиженный природный газ (СПГ) является решением для диверсификации поставок природного газа в Молдове, которое обсуждается уже несколько лет. В последние годы многие европейские страны переориентировали свои усилия на развитие рынка сжиженного природного газа (рис.) с использованием в качестве основных средств для транспортировки газа морские пути, а не наземные сети. Этот вид транспортировки значительно дешевле и более доступный, что доказано и тенденциями к увеличению объемов потребления сжиженного природного газа европейскими странами (рис.), но он включает в себя другие важные расходы, такие как строительство станций по сжижению и разжижению газа. Экономическое и географическое положение Республики Молдова затрудняет самостоятельное инициирование такого проекта поставок газа. Эта возможность может быть успешно использована Молдовой в партнерстве с одной из соседних стран, Украиной или Румынией, которые также выразили заинтересованность в развитии проектов по диверсификации импорта газа посредством СПГ терминалов. В случае Румынии, таким инициативам может способствовать проект по реверсивному соединению газопроводной системы Молдовы и Румынии, которая планируется стать функциональной в 2014 году. Этот проект позволит Молдове присоединиться к проекту по импорту природного газа из Азербайджана через Грузию и Черное Море в РумыниюAGRI (AzerbaijanGeorgiaRomania Interconnector), или любому другому проекту по разжижению газа в портах Черного Моря.

Учитывая вышеизложенное, Молдова должна спешить с составлением плана действий для участия в проектах по импорту СПГ который обеспечивал бы гибкость в выборе поставщиков газа. Более того, темпы развития международных рынков сжиженного газа, в среднем периоде времени показывает тенденции роста спроса и снижения цен на газ.

Интерес и важность ОЧЭС постоянно растет, являясь крупнейшей зонойрегионального сотрудничества в мире. Регион Черного Моря, в целом, были будет предметом интереса долгосрочных приоритетов внешней политики Молдовы, в качестве платформы для диалога и сотрудничества.

Основными направлениями заинтересованности Молдовы в рамках ОЧЭС, являются:

Участие в многосторонних проектах сотрудничества;

Экспорт товаров на рынки странчленов;

Импорт сырья и энергии, которыми Молдова не владеет или имеет в недостаточном количестве;

привлечение иностранных капиталовложений в экономику Молдовы.

Исходя из этих приоритетов, для эффективного сотрудничества должны быть активизировать усилия странчленов, которые имеют одинаковые приоритеты или встречают общие проблемы, такие как энергетика. Так как решение энергетических проблем предполагает большие расходы, необходимо создавать длительные и устойчивые партнерские отношения с взаимовыгодными вкладами и пользами.

Ион Мунтян –является экспертом по энергетической безопасности. С 2010 года по настоящее время эксперт по энергоэффективности в Сети Ассоциаций Местных Властей ЮгоВосточной Европы (NALAS).

Sinan Ogan

It can be said, that at the moment, the global and regional role of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) seems quite limited. To begin with, the selection process for membership seems erroneous, as many countries that are members in this organization do not even have a Black Sea coastline (this would seem logical). A smaller and more motivated organization would be more effective in this region.

Also, there are several problems within its member states and some serious conflicts between them, like the Nagorno-Karabakh issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia. In addition to that, for regional powers like Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, it is difficult to make policies independent of the global powers such as United States, Russia and European Union in this region. This situation also decreases the effectiveness and activity of BSEC.

Without transforming BSEC into a more organized and more motivated organization, it is impossible to increase the efficiency of it.

BSEC attaches importance to opposing such threats to regional security as organized crime, narcotics trafficking, smuggling, terrorism and ecological issues, which are also important to Turkey. Due to its geographical position, Turkey is like a bridge for human and drug smuggling. But we see the same passivity at work in this area of the world. It would be especially beneficial for Turkey to cooperate with its Black Sea neighbors for combating terrorism.

Turkey agreed to sign an agreement on South Stream with Russia. This agreement increased Europes dependency on Russian gas. Additionally, the Russians wanted to bypass Ukraine with this pipeline project. I believe that Turkeys approval of South Stream may have the effect of decreasing the influence of Turkey in Central Asia.

At this point, it must be mentioned that in the Putin era, Russia started to use gas as a foreign policy instrument. Moreover, with this development, Russia has become a gas supplier without any alternate provider in the region.

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey declared that the positive contributions to Nabucco would continue, but this project does not yet seem ready to provide the necessary results in the near future.

When we examine the relationship with Russia and Turkey, recently with the revolts in Syria and the Arab Spring, it can be easily seen that Turkey and Russia have placed themselves in opposing blocs ideologically. However, Turkey has also signed a very important international agreement with Russia. Thus, in the context of energy, there doesnt seem to be any problem between them.

Sinan Ogan, PhD expert on international relations and political science, founder and President of the Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis

Reconciliatory Steps for Cooperation

Tengiz Pkhaladze

The 21st century has made certain allowances in world geopolitics, especially in the Black Sea region. Enlargement of the EU and NATO eastwards has created new realities and perspectives for further development of the region. As early as at the Istanbul OSCE Summit in 1999, an absolutely new geopolitical picture of the Black Sea region was outlined. According to the Outcome Documents (Charter for European Security and Agreement on the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty) the Russian Federation undertook obligations to withdraw its armed forces from the territories of Georgia and Moldova. This decision began the demilitarization of the region and contributed to the settlement of existing conflicts that in turn were meant to promote regional cooperation. The existing projects for partnership and cooperation BSEC, TRACECA were supplemented with new ones, which further developed into Black Sea Synergy, Eastern Partnership and other initiatives. At the same time, the countries of the region began easier cooperation with the EU and NATO, giving voice to their wish of integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures. All this has factually created prerequisites for regional stability and cooperation development.

After the 1999 OSCE Summit, Boris Yeltsin retired and Vladimir Putin became Russian President. He claimed that the disintegration of the USSR was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century and set the goal of step-by-step restoration of the glory and strength of the Soviet empire. Beginning from that period the geopolitical sextants, which bring a part of the Black Sea region within Russias priority interest area, have become more numerous and clearer. Russian foreign policy has been totally reoriented towards these geopolitical sextants and has applied all available resources to the restoration and reinforcement of its influence on neighboring countries. Today, 12 years later, with Putin having returned to power, Russia still does not recognize the freedom of choice of so-called near-foreign countries. Mr. Putin not only regrets the collapse of the USSR, but wants to come to grips with the revival of the empire, creating another EU the Eurasian Union.

Therefore, the Black Sea region, instead of becoming an area of cooperation, has been turned into the scene of geopolitical confrontation. Russias military aggression towards Georgia in August 2008 is a point in case. The latest statement from the Russian MFA, that Washington has not learned the proper lessons from the events in the Caucasus in August 2008,1 demonstrates the true nature and goals of Moscows neighboring policy.

The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation and its National Security Strategy unequivocally points to those regions from which Moscow anticipates possible threats and where it deems it admissible to use military force. In addition, if we take into consideration the current situation in the Russian Federation armed forces, we will obviously see that they are mainly concentrated, not beyond the Urals but, in the westward and southwestward regions of Russia. After the military aggression and occupation of Georgian territory in 2008, Russia stepped up its own military presence in the Black Sea region even more: 1) it signed a treaty with Ukraine, prolonging the stationing of the Russian Black Sea naval force in Crimea until 2042 2) similar agreement on prolonging the stationing of Russian troops in Gumri (Armenia) until 2044 is in the process of being confirmed 3) in the occupied territories of Georgia (Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia) an accelerated reconstruction of existing military bases and the construction of new ones is taking place 4) also along this perimeter, Smerch and S-300 type missiles have been deployed.

Large-scaled Russian military exercises, taking place under the title ‚Caucasus-2012’ scheduled for September, threaten not only Georgia, but the whole region. Moscow stresses that these military exercises are meant to prepare Russia for a possible attack on Iran by Israel and the US. This is a very obscure warning, as in the case of such an attack, Russian could not possibly be on the ground in Iran ready to oppose such an invasion! Russia will hardly seek armed confrontation with the West. Its arsenal is required for pacifying disobedient neighbors and does not exclude so-called surgical strikes and initiating military clashes similar to those in August 2008, on the territories of neighboring countries, but surely not in Iran.

All of the above leads us to the conclusion that breakthroughs in crisis spots around the Black Sea region (the occupied territories of Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria) are seen by Russia as an opportunity to put pressure on regional countries.

Conflict resolution is significant for regional stability, security and cooperation. Therefore it is very important to support initiatives and steps towards peace building and the engagement of occupied territory populations. On 11 July 2011, the Parliament of Georgia approved a legislative package relating to Status Neutral Documents, which implies the issue of Neutral Identity Cards and Neutral Travel Documents on a voluntary basis to persons living legitimately in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, having no Georgian citizenship. Persons living legitimately are people who lived in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region until 31 December 1992, along with their descendants (not including Soviet/Russian military personnel and others who live in these areas in violation of Georgian law).

Neutral documents would give the population of the occupied territories the opportunity to travel abroad and enjoy social services in Georgia and would not mean obtaining Georgian citizenship. Such a package of changes, with respect to the occupied regions, is part of the state strategy and action plan of Georgia. Moreover, we can say that it is the central pillar of it, since the main idea of the strategy – ≪Engagement through Cooperation≫, and the success of policy implementation oriented on de-isolation of the occupied territory communities, according to the official Tbilisi line, considerably depends on the effective date of such neutral documents.

At present, the population of the occupied territories holds Russian passports. There are also so-called ≪Abkhazian≫ and ≪Ossetian≫ passports, but no one recognizes them, with the exception of a few countries (Russia, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Nauru, Nicaragua), which recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The issue of Russian international passports in the occupied territories began in the 1990s. Since 2001, the process has taken on a massive nature and is being carried out in violation of any applicable law, including Russian law. The serial numbers of passports are recorded and thus, granting foreign visas almost never takes place, or takes place only in rare cases.

The majority of the population of the occupied territories is also wary of accepting Georgian passports. This is a matter of political prestige for them. In addition, the Georgian passport holders often become targets of intimidation and violence by the de facto governments of the occupied territories.

So, in fact, the population of the occupied territories is denied freedom of movement, except in the Russian Federation and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) area. Therefore, the neutral status documents are one real way to engage the problem of deisolation. There are two types of neutral documents: the Status Neutral Identification Card (SNID), printed in Abkhazian/Georgian and Ossetian/Georgian; and the Neutral Travel Document, printed in English.

Neutral document holders enjoy the same rights and opportunities as the citizens of Georgia do. Documents allow them to receive general, vocational and higher education, to receive various types of grants, engage in industrial and commercial activities, participate in public health insurance programs implying a wide range of curative and preventive measures and enjoying all the privileges that regular citizens of Georgia do.

In addition, Neutral Travel Document holders are allowed to travel abroad legally. The Georgian Ministry of Justice has already agreed the issue of Neutral Travel Documents with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). A sample of Neutral Travel Documents has been already sent to the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia and to a number of states.

The most important thing is that the documents with neutral status (Status Neutral Identification Card and Status Neutral Travel Document) are as neutral as possible, with respect to citizenship. They do not specify the symbols of the State or the Government of Georgia and citizenship is not indicated as well.

In addition, more important is the fact that Georgia bears full responsibility for the presence of Status Neutral Travel Document holders abroad and also takes full responsibility for their re-admission.

The issue of Status Neutral Travel Documents is in full compliance with international law, which often refers to such documents as papiers laissez-passer. Neutral documents are fully people-oriented and provide an opportunity to exercise the right to free movement and acceptance of social benefits. Such documents are of a humanitarian nature and are designed to facilitate the lives of persons living in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

There is a precedent for non-citizen passports in the international reality and within the European Union, itself. For example, Latvian and Estonian law provides for the existence of citizens and non-citizens passports, so this would not be something totally new for western countries. In addition, Georgia issues high-quality travel documents that fully comply with European standards. Thus, even in practical terms, it is better for an EU state to issue a visa for this kind of document where the re-admission agreement guarantees the obligation of fulfillment by the state of Georgia.

Neutral documents have been issued since October 2011. The procedure is as free from bureaucratic difficulties as possible. Applicants can fi ll in applications and follow up all the procedures online. An individual also chooses the most convenient way of receiving a neutral document. He/she can pick up the document personally at the CRA Service Office (for example, in Gori or in Zugdidi), through a trustee or through an international organization operating in Georgia, to which he/she expresses confidence and consent with regard to the delivery of a Neutral Identity Card.

Currently, the Neutral Travel Document is recognized by Japan, Lithuania, Latvia and the Czech Republic. Negotiations are also currently underway with other states. On June 5, 2012 Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, declared that: Soon, U.S. Embassies and consulates around the world will accept the status neutral travel document for any resident from these regions who chooses to use them for travel or study in the United States,≫ Clinton said. ≪This would be a strong step toward reconciliation that supports a peaceful and just resolution of the conflict.≫

Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it. Wide introduction of such documents is one of the most important tools for de-isolation of the populations living in the occupied territories and the invalidation of mistrust/stereotypes prevailing among them. Finally, it could lead us to the settlement of these problems and this is the only way to reduce confrontation and development cooperation. Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. (John F. Kennedy, Address to the American University, Washington D.C., June 10, 1963)

Tengiz Pkhaladze – Chairman of the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies, expert on geopolitics and international studies, specializes in Black Sea cooperation and Georgian-Russian relations.

Сергей Толстов

На фоне доминирования российских поставок в энергетическом балансе Украины в последнее время роль Черноморского региона существенно возросла. Именно здесь возможна реальная альтернатива российскому газу, особенно с учетом рекордного подорожания его поставок для Украины в конце 2011 –начале 2012 гг.

В сложившейся ситуации любые решения не обеспечивают быстрого эффекта. Самым реальным путем диверсификации энергоснабжения Украины является увеличение собственной добычи газа на морском шельфе. В этом направлении уже сделаны первые шаги. В Украину доставлена первая буровая установка, которая вскоре начнет добычу на новых шельфовых месторождениях. Предполагается доставка второй установки. Добычу будет вести государственная компания (ГАОЧерноморнефтегаз≫).

Кроме этого, украинским правительством были проведены предметные переговоры с Азербайджаном, Грузией и Турцией относительно поставок газа. Рассматривалось несколько вариантов возможных поставок.

Первый вариант, о котором шла речь –поставки азербайджанского сжиженного газа на проектируемый терминал в районе Одессы.

Условия реализации проекта предполагают реконструкцию газопровода из Азербайджана в один из грузинских портов, строительство LNGтерминала в Грузии и принимающего терминала в Одесской области, фрахт судов, способных обеспечить доставку.

Трудности и препятствия заключаются в конкуренции различных энерготранзитных проектов в регионе, к которым относятся Трансанатолийский трубопровод (TANAP), проект Nabucco и его последняя версия Nabucco West, проект ЮгоВосточного европейского газопровода (SEEP), а также грузинскорумынская инициатива AGRI. Кроме конкуренции за физические объемы азербайджанского газа, наблюдаются серьезные противоречия между крупными европейскими энергетическими компаниями, которые имеют разные предпочтения и планы в отношении адресатов поставок достаточно ограниченных объемов азербайджанскогогаза.

Второй вариант возможных поставок каспийского газа касается виртуальной возможности подключения Украины к одному из проектируемых региональных трубопроводных маршрутов Nabucco или SEEP. Однако для того, чтобы такие поставки стали реальностью, нужно как минимум заручиться поддержкой основных акционеров этих проектов, договориться об объемах будущих поставок и обеспечить инфраструктуру для прокачки газа по газопроводам Болгарии, Румынии и Молдовы2. Втиснуться в эту схему сложно, даже с учетом интенсивных связей с Азербайджаном и лояльного отношения со стороны Турции.

Третий вариант связан с поставками сжиженного газа из Катара или Алжира. В этом случае также необходимо строительство LNGтерминала и согласие Турции пропустить танкеры через Босфор.

Разумеется, снизить зависимость Украины от российского газа и обеспечить диверсификацию энергоснабжения альтернативные поставки смогут лишь в том случае, если иx объем составит не менее 10 млрд. кубометров. Многое будет зависеть от исхода соперничества между основными конкурентными проектами, включая TANAP, Nabucco, SEEP и российскийЮжный поток≫. С точки зрения Киева более выгодными кажутся TANAP, если он сохранится как самостоятельный проект и не станет вспомогательным компонентом Nabucco, или AGRI, если украинской стороне удастся получить в нем квоту.

Наиболее вероятным исходом затяжной конкуренции вЮжном энергетическом коридореможет стать одновременное сооружение российского (если уГазпромахватит газа) и турецкоазербайджанского газопроводов. Причем последний может попасть в зависимость от крупных энергетических компаний, связанных с группойШахДенизили, что менее вероятно, с консорциумом Nabucco.

В этом случае Киев, вероятно, сможет рассчитывать лишь на невостребованные излишки газа, как, впрочем, и в том случае, если удастся организовать поставки газа со стороны других, главным образом немецких компаний, через резервные газопроводы, связывающие Закарпатскую область и Словакию. Поставки сжиженного газа требуют существенных вложений в инфраструктуру и зависят от политической стабильности, но выглядят более надежными, чем получение излишков по балканским трубопроводам.

Что касается уже существующего нефтепровода ОдессаБроды, главным препятствием для расширения его мощности и достройки в сторону Балтики остается дефицит необходимых для его заполнения объемов нефти, которые контролируют каспийские и западные нефтяными компании.

В начале 1990-х гг. региональная ситуация существенно отличалась от нынешней. Причерноморские государства были остро заинтересованы в создании институциональных форм многостороннего сотрудничества и поиске способов урегулирования многочисленных локальных кризисов и конфликтов.

С начала 2000-х гг. страны Черного моря оказались в зоне действия различных интеграционных факторов. Особенно сильное влияние на региональные процессы оказало расширение НАТО и ЕС, которое, похоже, достигло своих ситуативных возможностей и пределов. Развитие российского интеграционного проекта стало в определенной мере альтернативой расширению западных союзов. Продолжает усиливаться влияние Турции, которая все больше демонстрирует амбиции регионального центра силы.

Потенциально роль ОЧЕС заключалась в создании многостороннего форума, призванного обеспечить более интенсивное экономическое взаимодействие и активизировать политические контакты между странами субрегиона. В целом ОЧЕС эту роль выполнила, хотя ее возможности были реализованы далеко не в полной мере. Относительно менее успешным было влияние ОЧЕС на локализацию конфликтов и определение региональных мер и инициатив, призванных обеспечить доверие в политической и военной сферах.

На определенном этапе ОЧЕС могла взять на себя ряд функций, относящихся к компетенции ОБСЕ, выключая гармонизацию интересов государств субрегиона, согласование принципов многостороннего диалога, содействие региональным энергетическим проектам и сдерживание соперничества с учетом взаимного признания интересов государствучастников. Из всего этого комплекса возможностей наиболее успешной оказалась турецкая инициатива о создании на постоянной основе военноморской группы оперативного взаимодействияБлэксифор≫ (Blackseafor).

Ситуация в Причерноморье не характеризуется устойчивым перевесом влияния какойлибо организации или международного актера, включая НАТО, ЕС, Турцию и Россию. Поэтому роль ОЧЕС как многостороннего форума, не имеющего самостоятельной интеграционной перспективы, как правило, сводится к формализации баланса между различными, часто конкурирующими планами и стратегиями. В этом смысле характерным примером может служить соперничество проектов Nabucco, ≪Южного потокаи нескольких других инициатив. Следует отметить, что возможности большинства причерноморских государств (членов ЕС Румынии и Болгарии, стран Южного Кавказа, Турции, Украины) находить автономные взаимовыгодные решения сдерживаются нехваткой капиталов и ресурсов, а также зависимостью от предпочтений крупных корпораций и внерегиональных центров принятия финансовых и политических решений.

Сергей Толстов –Кaндидaт иcтopичecкиx нayк, Директор нeзавиcимoй экcпepтнoaнaлитичecкoй opгaнизaции Института политического анализа и международных исследований в Киеве.

Григорий Трофимчук

Россия стремится к тому, чтобы процессы по транспортировке энергоносителей по Чёрному морю получили более организованные, надёжные и перспективные формы. В этом объективно заинтересованы и все другие страны, лежащие в береговой полосе. Однако существенная разница в стратегических целях и задачах этих стран ведёт не к развитию, а к дестабилизации региона. Благодаря сотрудничеству отдельных черноморских столиц с внерегиональными силами (с Западом, а не с Европой), в черноморскомднебудут пробиты щели, которые нарушат все балансы и противовесы. Кстати, то же самое ожидается и на Каспии, если на юге каспийской акватории возникнетновый Иран≫. Ни страны Кавказа, ни сам ЕС пока не могут удержать завтрашнее доминирование Запада на двух кавказских морях.

Интересно, что на проблеме Чёрного моря начинают напрямую пересекаться даже не интересы России и Евросоюза, а интересыстаройи новойЕвропы, ЕС и США.

Россия не раз заявляла о том, что её газопроводЮжный поток≫, являющийся основой региональной энергетической расплётки, лежит в русле диверсификации доставки сырья зарубежным потребителям. Москва не скрывает, что это проект по окончательному отсечению Украины от всех транзитных функций. В случае прокладки этой по сути экстерриториальной трубы неизбежно возникнут проблемы и с Турцией, которая, в ответ, активизируетНабукко≫.

Удивительно, но Москва идёт в этом вопросе по чисто рыночным рельсам, своими собственными руками ломая российскоукраинское будущее, кто бы не обвинял её в обратном. Черноморская энергетическая политика России разведёт двух славянских сестёр ещё дальше друг от друга. Таким образом, планируемыйЮжный потоквыгоден Европе со всех сторон.

Если говорить об энергетической политике в черноморском регионе в целом, она прочно увязана с политикой в сфере Каспия. Внутри черноморскокаспийской дуги идут активные процессы по откачке местного сырья за рубеж, что превратит в итоге эту цветущую перемычку между двумя морями в сухую и никому не нужную пустыню, в новыйАрал– безлюдную площадку между Западом и Востоком, между США и Китаем. Насколько такая перспектива выгодна черноморским странам, решать им самим. Пока они ещё могут влиять на процессы.

Черноморское экономическое сотрудничество –детский акварельный рисунок, который на практике нереален. После развала СССР на Чёрном море сменились и смешались все силовые полюса. Если раньше здесь, как и на Каспии, по большому счёту было всего два хозяина, то сейчас их слишком много. При этом ведущим черноморским фигурантом по факту (по длине прибрежной линии и т.д.) становится Турция. Единственным фактором, способным нивелировать растущее турецкое влияние, станут США. Когда США усилят свой военноморской тоннаж в черноморской акватории, то Турции, по старой привычке считающей море своимвнутренним озером≫, это явно не понравится, однако в тот момент она уже не сможет противостоять этому тренду, потеряв не толькоозеро≫, но и свои драгоценные стратегические проливы. Поэтому свою основную активность ей останется перенести в Крым, что в свою очередь сблизит Украину с Россией на новом историческом витке.

Сохраняющаяся на данном этапе стабильность Крыма может быть нарушена, в случае дальнейшего усиления давления на русских, проживающих на полуострове. Если это произойдёт, то влиять на ситуацию здесь будет не Киев, а Анкара, с которой Киеву будет явно сложнее, чем сегодня с Москвой. Крым является сердцем Чёрного моря, однако это сердце работает с аритмией, никто не может запустить крымские экономические проекты, которые оживили бы не только саму автономную республику, но и черноморский бассейн в целом. Даже в вопросах туризма и массового отдыха здесь нет никаких перспектив.

Нельзя забывать и о том, что в регионе возникла новаяморская держава≫, Абxазия. Как бы кто не относился к статусу данной республики, она лежит на черноморском берегу, что в будущем раскладе может иметь уже не тактическое, а стратегическое значение. Не исключено, что Турция, со временем, может и здесь усилить своё влияние, ослабленное в других углах бассейна.

В черноморской зоне есть и другие факторы, которые пока не проявляются, но в будущем могут получить определённое значение. К примеру, Молдавия фактически находится в региональных рамках, но не имеет широкого и свободного доступа к морской акватории, и даже ГУАМ не смог помочь ей в этом вопросе.

Экономическая кооперация на Чёрном море намертво связана с военнополитической. Поэтому здесь не может быть партнёрства всех со всеми. Уже в ближайшее время могут сложиться противостоящие друг другу блоки со своими глобальными интересами. Если Грузия и США будут и дальше демонстрировать свои особые отношения, Россия может на порядок усилить кооперацию с Румынией, Болгарией и Грецией, окончательно потерявших веру в Евросоюз. При этом если Москва не будеткормитьльготным сырьём Киев, то Украина будет всё больше сближаться с соседней Молдавией, на которую сегодня почемуто почти не смотрит.

Григорий Трофимчук – первый вицепрезидент Центра моделирования стратегического развития, участник Экспертноаналитической лигиРесурсные стратегииМГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова

1 Comments of Official Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia A. K. Lukashevich on statements of U.S. Secretary of State H. Clinton, 1120-06-06-2012, 06 Jun 2012 ;

2 На поставки газа с каспийских месторождений претендуют европейские проекты Nabucco, ITGI, TAP, AGRI и SEEP. Суммарный спрос оценивается в 50-60 млрд кубометров (к 2020 г.), что превышает реальные возможности добычи газа в Азербайджане.

Polska Pomoc Rozwojowa – próba oceny dotychczasowego działania i rekomendacje


[niniejszy tekst pierwotnie opublikowany został w:
"Nowy Prometeusz" nr 1, październik 2011, ss. 61-71]

Polska Pomoc Rozwojowa – ocena efektywności/rekomendacje

Paweł Kazanecki

Stoję na stanowisku, że na dzień dzisiejszy Polska Pomoc ma dosyć niską efektywność. W mojej opinii jest to wina głownie procedur i braku strategii. Po pierwsze, wszystkie projekty, które są realizowane w ramach Polskiej Pomocy, są projektami krótkoterminowymi, czyli są to projekty, które maksymalnie mogą trwać 8., czasem 10. miesięcy. Jednocześnie organizacja, która zaczyna jakąś działalność, nie ma żadnej gwarancji co do tego, że pomoc ta będzie miała jakąkolwiek kontynuację, ponieważ w następnym roku priorytety konkursu mogą być zupełnie inne.

Drugi słaby punkt to procedury finansowe, które w żaden sposób nie odpowiadają realiom funkcjonowania organizacji pozarządowych zagranicą. Pracujemy w tak trudnych państwach, jak Białoruś, czy kraje kaukaskie, nie mówiąc już o Tunezji, gdzie dzisiaj polskie organizacje mają zamiar rozpoczynać projekty, czy o Afryce i Sudanie, gdzie też projekty są prowadzone, chociażby przez Polską Akcję Humanitarną. Zdobycie tam rachunków odpowiadających standardom wymaganym przez polską księgowość, właściwie graniczy z niemożliwością. Problem polega na tym, że każda polska organizacja, jak i sam MSZ, ponosi za te pieniądze odpowiedzialność i może być skontrolowana przez Naczelną Izbę Kontroli, co oznacza, że tak naprawdę my, jako organizacje polskie, dopuszczamy się po prostu przestępstwa. To znaczy decydujemy się na dysponowanie pieniędzmi, które oczywiście w naszym mniemaniu są dobrze wydawane na konkretne cele, ale nie mogą być sprawozdane według księgowości polskiej, a tym bardziej według zasad rozliczania pieniędzy publicznych według dzisiejszych przepisów. To chyba jest największa słabość, która ogranicza jakiekolwiek działania, a tym bardziej próby wpływania chociażby na Partnerstwo Wschodnie. Pomoc amerykańska jest pomocą dużo bardziej skuteczną niż pomoc europejska, ponieważ Amerykanie dawno wypracowali swoje wewnętrzne procedury, umożliwiające im działania w „krajach trudnych”. W Polsce takich procedur nie ma i na dzień dzisiejszy nie zanosi się, aby były wprowadzone w perspektywie najbliższych kilku lat.

Trzecia sprawa to brak jakiejkolwiek koncepcji Pomocy Rozwojowej. Ta koncepcja zmienia się z roku na rok w zależności od tego, jaka ekipa kieruje Ministerstwem Spraw Zagranicznych lub w zależności od tego jaka jest wizja pomocy aktualnego dyrektora odpowiedniego departamentu. Niema natomiast długoterminowej strategii. Warto zauważyć, że prace nad powstaniem takiej strategii zaczęły się dopiero w tym roku i mam duże wątpliwości czy mogą się one zakończyć w sposób efektywny. Prawdopodobnie taka strategia zostanie wypracowana, ale bez udziału organizacji pozarządowych, uczelni czy samorządów, które są zainteresowane grantami z MSZ. Obawa moja wynika z faktu, że nie ma czasu na te konsultacje. A więc wadą takiej strategii, podobnie jak i wadą ostatnich lat funkcjonowania Polskiej Pomocy, może stać się nie uwzględnienie podmiotów, które są w stanie profesjonalnie wykonać tematy, którymi jest zainteresowane ministerstwo. Czynnik braku strategii łączy się z czynnikiem pierwszym – krotkoterminowością. Rozpoczynając pracę w ramach nowego tematu, w nowym kraju, organizacje muszą mieć czas na naukę, wyczucie, prawdziwe zrozumienie tematu i lokalnych uwarunkowań. Często czas, przeznaczony na realizację projektu, zabiera pozyskanie zaufania lokalnej społeczności, a tym samym rzeczywistych i efektywnych partnerów. Bez gwarancji kontynuacji, bardzo duża część pracy, czasu i kontaktów międzyludzkich zostanie zaprzepaszczona.

Czwarty czynnik, który warto wymienić, to brak koordynacji ze wspólnotą międzynarodową. Oczywiście w rożnych okresach było rożnie, ale generalnie rzecz ujmując, najlepszym wypadku koordynacja ta w odbywa się na poziomie rządowym. Bardzo mało jest wspólnej pracy z organizacjami pozarządowymi zajmujących się tą samą tematyką w innych krajach zachodnich. W związku z tym nie następuje żadna próba uzgodnienia projektów polskich z projektami innych zagranicznych organizacji działających na tym samym polu lub w tym samym kraju.

Kolejny problem to brak monitoringu. Zazwyczaj prowadzony przez MSZ monitoring ma charakter krótkoterminowy, jednorazowy i wyrywkowy. Na podstawie takiego monitoringu bardzo trudno jest przeprowadzić ewaluację efektywności projektów. Z takiego monitoringu wynika jedynie czy projekt się odbywa, czy nie; czy uczestnicy są zadowoleni, czy nie i czy sprawozdanie zostało napisane właściwie. Natomiast jeżeli by się poważnie zastanawiać czy ta pomoc cokolwiek komukolwiek daje, to trzeba było by mądrze opracować mierniki efektywności tych projektów i badać te mierniki w skali długoterminowej, chociażby 2-3 letniej.

Jeszcze jeden temat, który uważam za bardzo ważny – na dzień dzisiejszy polskie organizacje pozarządowe nie są zdolne do otrzymywania dużych grantów z Unii Europejskiej. Tak się dzieje z kilku powodów: po pierwsze mają za małe doświadczenie w zarządzaniu dużymi pieniędzmi. W rzeczywistości tylko pojedyncze organizacje mają takie doświadczenia. Co więcej, przy ubieganiu się o duże pieniądze, nie są one w stanie zabezpieczyć wkładu własnego, a w projektach europejskich wkład własny to minimum 20% sumy projektu, a maksymalnie nawet 50%. Oznacza to, że na przykład organizacja, która ubiega się o 10 mln. euro, powinna położyć na stół drugie 10 mln. euro, których nie ma. Efektywność mechanizmu Polskiej Pomocy byłaby dużo większa, gdyby przywidywał on możliwość gwarancji rządu polskiego, że te 50%, czy wkład własny, zostaną wyłożone przez polski MSZ. W naszym regionie takimi mechanizmami dysponują organizacje czeskie oraz bardzo wiele innych krajów Europy Zachodniej.

Kolejna kwestia dotycząca pieniędzy – obecnie przeciętna polska organizacja pozarządowa nie ma zdolności administracyjnej w zarządzaniu dużymi pieniędzmi. Wynika to z faktu, że administracja organizacji pozarządowych utrzymywana jest od grantu do grantu. Oznacza to, że bardzo mało polskich organizacji ma tak zwane pieniądze instytucjonalne, pozwalające na stabilne utrzymanie infrastruktury. Nie wspomnę już o idealnym modelu, zakładającym posiadanie środków na doszkalanie swoich pracowników lub tworzenie etatów. Jeżeli większość pracowników NGO wynagradzana jest jedynie z pieniędzy projektowych, to są oni albo fanatykami swojej pracy (pracują z założeniem, że przez kilka miesięcy w roku mogą nie dostawać pensji) albo nie są profesjonalistami i zazwyczaj nie są w stanie znaleźć innej pracy. Przedstawiciele MSZ na spotkaniach publicznych mówią, że polskie NGO nie są profesjonalne. Lecz jak mogą być profesjonalne, skoro nikt nic nie zrobił w kierunku, aby takie się stały. Tu to koło się zamyka. Warto zastanowić się nad stworzeniem albo mechanizmu większego tzw. „overhead” w projektach, czyli przeznaczeniem stałego procentu na administrację, który gwarantuje organizacji możliwość elastycznego wydawania Na własne potrzeby albo nad stworzeniem osobnej linii budżetowej, która utrzymywałaby przynajmniej kilkanaście organizacji tradycyjnie od paru lat realizujących projekty które MSZ uważa za korzystne. Takie rozwiązania dałyby organizacjom większą stabilizację finansową, na przykład na 3 lata, po których następowałby audyt. W Stanach Zjednoczonych taka procedura jest wręcz naturalna. „Overhead” jest dla takich organizacji bardzo wysoki, w niektórych przypadkach dochodzi nawet do 50% wartości grantu. USA podpisują z takimi organizacjami kontrakty od razu na 2-3 lub 4-5 lat i taka organizacja ma rzeczywiście dużą stabilność oraz realne możliwości budowania swojej instytucji i zarządzania dużymi pieniędzmi. Co ważne, takie organizacje przechodzą licencjonowanie, czyli dostają licencje na to, że mają prawo ubiegać o zarządzanie grantami amerykańskimi. Stworzenie grupy organizacji, które dostawałyby stałe wsparcie od rządu polskiego oraz 3. lub 5. letnią licencję, było by rzeczywiście dobrą linią postępowania, która przetarłaby drogę polskim NGO do konkurowania z innymi organizacjami pozarządowymi z krajów europejskich. Na dzień dzisiejszy takiej możliwości właściwie nie ma. Można konkurować w małych grantach do 200-300 tys. euro, natomiast w zarządzaniu poważnymi projektami konkurencja jest niemożliwa. Na przykład w tej chwili istnieje szansa ubiegania się o duży grant na projekt europejski na Białoruś, który niestety nam przepadł, chociaż Polska usiłuje pokazać, że ma największą wiedzę na temat Białorusi. Ten projekt europejski jest niedostępny dla organizacji polskich, ponieważ wymaga umiejętności zarządzania pieniędzmi od 20 mln. euro, i został on przyznany organizacji norweskiej, która nie musi mieć dużego doświadczenia w pracy na Białorusi.

Tego typu przykłady można mnożyć, ale generalnie rzecz biorąc to są główne przyczyny słabości Polskiej Pomocy. Wszystkie one mają charakter techniczny, a nie merytoryczny. Ja w ogóle nie wchodzę w kwestię, czy to ma być finansowanie Białorusi, czy Afryki, czy Ameryki Łacińskiej – to są rzeczy drugorzędne. Najważniejsze jest to, że Polska nie jest w stanie w sposób poważny funkcjonować na rynku Pomocy Zagranicznej, bo nie ma do tego mechanizmów. Warto też dodać, że w normalnych krajach europejskich taka pomoc jest rozdysponowywana przez apolityczną jednostkę rządową. Jest to jednostka, której zarząd powoływany jest na długoletnią kadencję i nie zależy od wyniku wyborów co 4 lata. Natomiast w Polsce, niestety, pomoc jest zależna chociażby od tego, że zmienia się minister spraw zagranicznych, a w raz z nim wielu wyższych rangą urzędników ministerstwa. Myślę, że w ramach inwestowania w organizacje pozarządowe, bardzo ważna jest możliwość poprawienia naszego „know how”. Poza projektami implementacyjnymi, muszą być także małe projekty pilotażowe, które dadzą możliwość poznania danego kraju, albo zbadania danej tematyki, co pozwoli określić przyszły projekt. To znacznie poprawiłoby ich jakość. Bardzo ważna jest również kwestia konferencji i seminariów, które pozwoliłyby na wymianę myśli między poszczególnymi polskimi organizacjami oraz z organizacjami z innych krajów – zarówno grantodawców, jak i grantobiorców. Takich możliwości, w ramach grantów finansowanych przez polski MSZ, w praktyce nie ma. Trudno funkcjonować poza jakąś przestrzenią informacyjną. Oczywiście możemy liczyć na to, że to inne kraje będą nas ciągle zapraszać i opłacać nasze wyjazdy, ale nie potrwa długo.

Paweł Kazanecki – Prezes Stowarzyszenia Wschodnioeuropejskie Centrum Demokratyczne

Polish Aid in Support to Regional Development and Decentralization Reforms in Georgia

Teimuraz Khomeriki

It was in January 2007, when the delegation of Georgian high rank officials and politicians visited Poland in the framework of RITA program organized by College of Eastern Europe, with support of Polish American Freedom Foundation (PAFF). The visit was organized with tremendous efforts of Mr. Jacek Michalowski, back then acting in capacity of program coordinator of the PAFF. The delegation was led by Mr. Vano Khukhunaishvili – Chair of the Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Friendship Group, who at the same time was chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Regional Policy, Local Self Government and the Mountainous Regions.

Back then Polish-Georgian relationship had already gained positive dynamic. Fostering the relation at the supreme political level started right after the “Rose Revolution” in 2003, when acting president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili came to power. However, this relationship was hardly translated into concrete projects and/or common initiatives which would support development of people to people contact and sharing the transformation experience which Poland had undergone since the break-up of the Soviet camp.

Delegation pursued particular interests, to identify and share the key aspects of success of the Polish decentralization and local government reform, which was perceived to be successful, creating a solid foundation for Poland’s evolution into a European democracy. The program of the visit included meetings with then Vice-Marshal of Sejm Mr. Bronislaw Komorowski, with the members of Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Friendship Group, Marshal of the Senate Mr. Bogdan Borusewicz, Director General of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister Mr. Jakub Skiba, Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, etc.

During these meetings, Georgian delegation stressed the importance of developing ties between Polish and Georgian institutions to share Polish know-how in transformation. Both sides pledged their support to possible initiatives in this regard. To great extend this visit contributed to incorporating the decentralization and regional development topics in the Polish priorities towards Georgia.

Towards the end of the year, the Chancellery of Prime Minister has started the first projects supporting the experience-sharing in decentralization reform. Structure of the project allowed involvement of different public institutions from Georgia (Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Chancellery of Government, Parliament, etc.) in experience sharing schemes through study visits and trainings.

Over consecutive four years the initiative entailed number of projects supported by Polish Aid, which have assembled under the topical umbrella called “Regional Development”. The topic itself encompasses variety of public policy issues considered in regional dimension (Governance, Human Capital, and Public Finance, etc.). This conditioned the wide spectrum of activities by both public and non-governmental organizations.

Polish organizations have been well positioned to support this dimension, given the experience of Polish decentralization reform, and experience related to managing the EU structural and cohesion funds. On the other hand, for Polish Aid it was difficult to place itself amongst the capacious donors including UNDP GTZ, USAID, SDC, SIDA etc. Georgia has been an aid recipient since the early years of its independence in the 90s, thus these donors had a long history of presence. Number of projects supporting the local democracy formation already had been in place.

However, several circumstances favored success of the Polish Aid activities in Georgia in the domain of regional development. Specific period of time can be cited as one of the factors. Decentralization reform, which started in Georgia in 2005 aimed at increasing the efficiency of local governments and their active involvement in resource allocation. By then the new Organic Law of Georgia on Local Self-Government, provided the foundation for the new system. The law has been in compliance with European Charter of Local Self-Government, although there was much to introduce in terms of practical solutions in order to deliver decentralized governance and economy. Besides, there was a need to promote the new approach to the system, to make a “mind revolution” amongst the policy makers, local politicians and public servants. Experience of Polish decentralization reform, with its decisive role and practical outcome for Polish transition, was well-understood by Georgian policy makers, and therefore Polish Aid activities in this dimension were very much encouraged.

Accelerating people to people and institutional contacts also conditioned the capitalization of the Polish Aid efforts. In this regard important role was played by political personalities involved in bridging Polish and Georgian societies (special tribute has to be paid to Mr. Khukhunaishvili chairperson of Polish-Georgian Parliamentary Friendship Group, who tragically passed away shortly before the appalling death of President Kaczyński, leaving behind enormous contribution to Polish-Georgian relationships and the warmest recalls amongst the Polish friends and politicians) and the enthusiasm of representatives of Polish local and regional authorities. Fairly developed Polish non-profit sector, also greatly underpinned the supply side of the process, providing relevant expertise to the beneficiaries. It should be noticed that Poland has exercised the Aid through immediate involvement of Polish public and non-profit institutions (unlike other donors, mostly acting through international NGOs specialized in absorption of Development Funds). The approach has enabled development of professional ties and immediate experience-sharing with Georgian local governments and other beneficiaries.

Meantime, the absorption capacity of the projects supporting the decentralization reform had been evolving in Georgia, which also created favorable conditions for Polish Aid funded projects. The core role in this regard was played by the State Commission on Effective Governance System and Territorial Arrangement Reform, with its secretariat called “The Center for Effective Governance System and Territorial Arrangement Reform”. It provided hosting for several projects, implemented by Polish public and non-profit institutions.

Amongst others, notably significant outreach was developed by the projects (2007-2010) implemented by the Department of Civil Service of the Chancellery of Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, which supported the human resource capacity building for implementing of the decentralization and later, the regional development reform in Georgia.

From 2008, decentralization reform has evolved into efforts aimed at regional development. It was in late 2008, when the country started preparing the policy framework for this purposes. Special Task Force was established with primary task to prepare a comprehensive strategy for regional development. The process was triggered by joint initiative of the government of Georgia and European Commission Delegation to Georgia, which pledged financial allocation in support to the regional development. It was emphasized that strategic framework would play a key role in relation with the EU and absorption of the aid funding available from international donors and financial institutions. The process of preparation of the strategy involved a multitude of stakeholder. By the end of 2009, TF aired the first drafts of the “2010-2017 State Strategy for Regional Development of Georgia” (SSRD), which after several months of consideration ultimately was adopted by Government of Georgia in June 2010.

It should be noticed that apart from the European Commission and GTZ, key support to the initiative was provided by Polish Aid. Intervention was multidimensional. The Task Force operation was supported through joint pool of resources from Polish Aid, EC, and GTZ. In parallel, the Ministry of Regional Development of Poland (MRR) launched the project in support to capacity building of the newly established Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. MRR hosted a number of study visits of Georgian experts including those involved in preparation of the Strategy for Regional Development. Ultimately, the Task Force prepared a comprehensive strategic document, which embraces a wide spectrum of domains pertaining to regional development. The document is a clear manifestation of a spillover of the Polish expertise on the issue, which on its side is based on the best practices of European regional policy. The approaches addressed in the strategy and proposed solutions can be attributed to the new paradigm of regional development, which has been widely discussed amongst decision-makers and academicians in Poland and enshrined in the Polish Strategy of Regional Development.

These activities had been complemented with the projects in support to regional development, which were implemented by Polish NGOs. Amongst others, projects encompassed support to development planning at local level, sharing the experience of public administration and local public finance management. In 2009, a Regional Development Professional Network was created, uniting about 200 professionals from local and regional level involved in implementation of regional development. The project aimed at training and coaching of network participants to get them equipped with information, knowledge and skills needed for effective support to the regional development in Georgia. Participants were thought to create absorption capacity for anticipated projects in support to regional development and contribute to networking and information sharing across the country. Polish Aid supported the network for two consecutive years.

It is noteworthy that Polish Aid efforts have been complemented with activities funded from the resources of Polish private funds and/or public authorities. For example, Polish American Freedom Foundation supported number of study visits with participation of Georgian local government officials. Regional authorities also established partnership ties with Georgian counterparts, thus providing opportunities for experience sharing.

In General, Polish Aid has a successful experience in regards to the project supporting regional development in Georgia and the cooperation is highly appreciated by Georgian counterparts. On the other hand, Georgian beneficiaries would like to get more involved in planning and administration of the project. Currently project “ownership” for beneficiaries is stimulated through encouraging availability of cooperation agreements between Georgian and Polish institutions in charge of project administration. Part of the activities can also be outsourced to Georgian partner organization for implementation. This even further increases project ownership, and provides flexibility in implementation of the project, manifested in performance better adapted to the local needs.

The persistent problem related with cooperation is the absence of a long-term program basis, which hampers continuity of development interventions and conditions in the short term period for project implementation (usually it is limited to 6 months, because of the regulations related to budget process in Poland).

Currently the work is ongoing to develop a multi-year framework for Polish Aid development cooperation, which will ensure dynamic of complementary interventions to fulfill long-term program objectives.

Teimuraz Khomeriki – expert on economic and regional development, public administration and public sector reforms. He was a coordinator of many NGO projects supporting regional development in Georgia

Polska Pomoc Rozwojowa stan obecny i perspektywy – wywiad

Jerzy Rohoziński

Jak wygląda w największym skrócie nasz system współpracy rozwojowej?

Polska jest młodym donorem, dokładnie od 2004 roku, kiedy wstąpiliśmy do Unii Europejskiej. Pomoc rozwojowa jest więc dla nas tak naprawdę nowym tematem. Wciąż się uczymy. Na początku, oczywiście, nasz system w porównaniu ze stanem obecnym wyglądał inaczej: środki i możliwości były znacznie mniejsze.

W tej chwili mamy do czynienia ze zdecydowanie większymi środkami. Oczywiście, że pod tym względem nie będziemy się prędko mogli porównać z Niemcami czy na przykład z krajami skandynawskimi, ale np. w krajach Partnerstwa Wschodniego naszą przewagą jest to, że po pierwsze chyba lepiej rozumiemy Wschód, a po drugie sami mamy doświadczenie w transformacji ustrojowej, które możemy przekazywać. Wydaje się, że właśnie dlatego jesteśmy cenieni i po prostu możemy, przynajmniej potencjalnie, mądrze wydawać pieniądze, i, miejmy nadzieję, z jakimś widocznym efektem, czego bardzo byśmy sobie życzyli.

Nasz system też się profesjonalizuje. Obecnie mamy w MSZ już dwa departamenty: Departament Współpracy Rozwojowej i Departament Wdrażania Projektów Rozwojowych. Razem to jest około 50-60 osób. To wszystko się składa na pion rozwojowy, który podlega Podsekretarzowi Stanu, aktualnie Panu Krzysztofowi Stanowskiemu. Jeśli chodzi o zasoby kadrowe, to już jest znacznie lepiej niż było wcześniej. Podjęliśmy też kroki, żeby system uczynić jeszcze bardziej efektywnym.


Po pierwsze, w tym roku skończymy prace nad programem wieloletnim – dokładnie pięcioletnim, który będzie obejmował wszystkie kraje Partnerstwa Wschodniego, ale nie tylko. W ramach tego programu wieloletniego będą bardziej precyzyjnie opracowywane priorytety na każdy rok. Następna rzecz, do której właściwie dopiero się zabieramy, to jest system ewaluacji. On właściwie do tej pory nie istniał i to nam zarzucało zarówno środowisko pozarządowe, jak i OECD. Ale to było wynikiem takich a nie innych zasobów kadrowych. W tej chwili one już są większe i możemy nad tym popracować. To wszystko też jest robione z myślą o tym, żeby podwyższyć poziom projektów, które otrzymujemy.

A jest niski?

Często niestety tak. Na przykład w przypadku krajów, wydawałoby się nam tak bliskim, jak Ukraina czy Mołdowa, dostajemy projekty naprawdę marnej jakości: w przypadku Ukrainy nie cała pula została w tym roku wykorzystana. Szkoda tych nie wykorzystanych środków. Mamy nadzieję, że jak będą precyzyjnie dopracowane priorytety, to będą się zgłaszać ci, którzy mają coś konkretnego do zrobienia, a nie po prostu projekt dla samego robienia projektu.

A zatem projektodawcy mają wiele pracy przed sobą?

Nie tylko oni, my też. Myślę, że po obu stronach – naszej i projektodawców – jest jeszcze wiele rzeczy do zrobienia. Mam nadzieje, że to będzie zmierzać w tym kierunku i Polska stanie się bardziej efektywnym donorem.

W jakim kierunku powinny się zmieniać organizacje pozarządowe?

Jeśli chodzi o organizacje pozarządowe, to moje osobiste sugestie byłyby takie: po pierwsze powinny starać się łączyć w konsorcja, bo takie konsorcja nawet nieformalne, skupione wokół jakiegoś projektu, mają większą siłę i mogą być bardziej efektywne. W takim przypadku można racjonalnie wydawać środki. My w każdym razie dążymy do tego, aby było mniej, my to określamy, „drobnicy projektowej”, czyli mniej projektów za to o większych budżetach, które mają większy efekt.

W tej chwili organizacje pozarządowe są wciąż głównym wykonawcą projektów w naszym systemie. Ale za jakiś czas może będą to np. instytucje naukowe i badawcze, gdzie jest realny „know how”, który można przekazać. Trzeba pamiętać, że projekt jako pojęcie wywodzi się ze świata biznesu i zakłada coś innowacyjnego. A organizacje pozarządowe głownie pośredniczą w przekazywaniu tego „know how”, ale same go nie wytwarzają. Muszą pamiętać, że ten „know how” wytwarza świat nauki i biznesu. Są takie organizacje, które starają się współpracować z ośrodkami naukowymi i badawczymi, i to dobrze im wychodzi. Taka tendencja będzie pewnie coraz popularniejsza.

Czy środowisko organizacji pozarządowych będzie mieć jakiś wpływ na program wieloletni?

Tak. Program wieloletni był konsultowany społecznie. Organizacje pozarządowe uczestniczyły w grupach roboczych. Chodzi tu głownie o grupę „Zagranica”, zrzeszającą organizacje działające poza granicami naszego kraju. Co roku nasz program był konsultowany z tą grupą. Natomiast od tego roku, kiedy zaczęły się pracy nad programem wieloletnim, taka współpraca przyjęła szerszą formułę: był cykl regularnych spotkań dotyczących rożnych tematów z organizacjami pozarządowymi, które wniosły swój wkład w program wieloletni i to będzie widoczne. Chociażby w sformułowaniu ogólnej misji i wizji naszej Pomocy Rozwojowej.

Czy program wieloletni oznacza, że już nie będzie projektów rocznych?

Niestety nie, w tej materii ogranicza nas Ustawa o finansach publicznych. Niezależnie od programu wieloletniego projekty niestety trzeba będzie rozliczać do końca roku. To nie znaczy, że trzeba zamknąć projekt całkowicie. Wtedy będzie można sobie tak rozplanować działania, tak w czasie je rozłożyć, żeby do końca danego roku coś zrobić, a potem złożyć następny projekt, który będzie kontynuacją. Ale często jest tak, że jak ktoś pracował już rok w danym kraju to wydaje mu się, że cokolwiek nie złoży to i tak dostanie dotację. Ale tak nie będzie, musi być widoczna jakaś twórcza kontynuacja, logika działań. Natomiast tak czy inaczej ten „koniec roku” będzie zawsze dla księgowych, niestety, trudny.

A dla koordynatora projektu? Przecież musi czekać z niecierpliwością na rozstrzygnięcie kolejnego konkursu, nie dostając wtedy wynagrodzenia?

Faktycznie jeżeli organizacje żyją tylko z projektów i to głownie finansowanych przez MSZ, to nie mogą płacić stałego wynagrodzenia pracownikom, bo po 31 grudnia danego roku będzie kilka miesięcy przerwy, czyli będzie trzeba czekać do następnego projektu. To jest szerszy problem słabego zaplecza wielu naszych organizacji pozarządowych, które „żyją” tak od projektu do projektu i nie są w stanie sobie jakiegoś trwalszego finansowania zapewnić. My niestety nic na to nie poradzimy, to, co możemy zrobić, to może w przyszłości jakoś pomagać im w składaniu projektów do Komisji Europejskiej i to wszystko. Ale organizacje same muszą szukać sobie innych środków, także gdzie indziej.

Organizacje pozarządowe zarzucają też słabą koordynację polskiej pomocy z innymi donorami…

To się zmienia. Koordynacja jest i nabiera coraz realniejszych kształtów. W Brukseli odbywają się np. regularne nieformalne spotkania donorów na rzecz Białorusi, w których uczestniczymy. Rozważaliśmy już poza tym robienie projektów wspólnie z Niemcami i Austrią w Gruzji i Mołdowie. Komisja Europejska podjęła też ostatnio inicjatywę wspólnego programowania na rzecz Mołdowy i my się w to włączyliśmy. Ta inicjatywa dotyczy nowych krajów członkowskich, więc możemy dzięki temu lepiej się dowiedzieć co robią w Mołdowie powiedzmy Czechy, Słowenia czy kraje nadbałtyckie.

Jak Prezydencja Polski w UE wpłynie na polski system współpracy rozwojowej?

Temat współpracy rozwojowej będzie gościł na forach unijnych i my jako kraj sprawujący Prezydencję będziemy moderować te fora i poddawać rożne tematy pod dyskusję, czy też zwracać uwagę na pewne kwestie. Mamy nadzieje, że w trakcie dyskusji na tych forach pojawią się rożne ciekawe wnioski, które nas zainspirują do dalszego ulepszania naszego systemu. A może i my zainspirujemy czymś innych…

Dr Jerzy Rohoziński – historyk, antropolog kultury, religioznawca, obserwator przemian zachodzących w świecie islamu. Ekspert do spraw współpracy rozwojowej z Mołdawią, krajami Kaukazu i Azji Środkowej w Ministerstwie Spraw Zagranicznych RP.

Prometheanism and Great-Power Politics

Hiroaki Kuromiya

[tekst pierwotnie opublikowany w://text originally published in:
"Nowy Prometeusz nr 5, grudzień 2013 r., ss. 113-122]

The collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union took everyone by surprise. All of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union became independent states almost by default. The collapse realized one of the most important aims of the Promethean movement: the creation of a buffer zone between Poland and Russia in the form of the independent states of Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania (although the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad oblast’ – formerly Eastern Prussia – still faces Poland directly from the east). Yet this realization had little to do with the ideas of the Promethean movement per se, in the sense that the nominal independence of the constituent republics had been laid down by Stalin himself. It was Stalin, for example, who in 1945 insisted on the membership of Ukraine and Belarus in the United Nations, suggesting that they were “independent” states within the Soviet Union. Indeed, the independent states into which the Soviet Union broke up had already existed as constituent republics of the Union.

Yet Russia itself did not disintegrate. Many groups whom the Promethean movement supported (the Don and Kuban Cossacks, Northern Caucasian groups, Tatars—those in Idel-Ural in particular, and others) did not gain independence. For these people the new Russian Federation was not very different from Soviet Russia. The wars in Chechnia that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union highlight this issue well. Moreover, in Asia, the collapse of the Soviet Union changed virtually nothing in terms of the complex national configuration. Although the People’s Republic of Mongolia may no longer be a Soviet satellite state, the Mongolians are divided into three states: Russia, Mongolia, and China.

What, then, was the contribution of the Promethean movement? No doubt, it contributed a great deal to keeping alive the ideas (and to a lesser extent, the movements) for independence of the Soviet national minorities (although the movement itself did not survive World War Two, when Poland was destroyed and eventually absorbed into the Soviet bloc). Before World War Two, it also offered a sizeable and respected counterweight to the chauvinistic trends in in Poland by advocating a liberal approach towards the problems of national minorities within the country.

All these contributions are important and in many respects remarkable. Yet one cannot ignore the fact that the fate of the Promethean movement (and many other movements) hung at the mercy of international politics. Without either overstating or understating the contribution of the Promethean movement to the post-Soviet international order, it is important to note that international politics was defined largely by the Great Powers. In fact, it still is, as is obvious to any keen observer of international politics.

* * *

The plight of modern Poland was so intractable that it became known as the “Polish Question” and even became the butt of jokes. Alluding to the alleged penchant of the Poles, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill remarked, in a conversation with Stalin in Moscow in October 1944, that when two Poles get together, regrettably they only fight. Stalin responded to Churchill in an equally disingenuous manner: “if a Pole is by himself, he’ll start a fight with himself.”1 The “Polish Question” lay at the center of the struggle for war and peace in the 1930s. Hitler was bent on destroying Poland, and in the end Stalin joined Hitler in doing so. Britain and France may have entered the war to protect the independence of Poland, but they soon disappointed the Poles by their lukewarm support, a support that was promptly destroyed by Hitler and Stalin.

Later, after Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, when Stalin needed the support of Poland, he was willing to make concessions. In a meeting with Polish representatives in December 1941 in Moscow, for instance, Stalin somewhat ambiguously acknowledged that L’viv, taken by the Soviets in 1939, was a Polish city. Because Stalin’s position was to unite the Ukrainians into a single Ukrainian republic within the Soviet Union (as he indeed did in 1939 after destroying Poland), Władysław Anders complained to Stalin about pro-German Ukrainians in L’viv. Stalin responded disingenuously: “They are your Ukrainians, not ours. We’ll work together to obliterate them”! ([T]o byli wasi Ukraińcy, nie nasi. My ich, wspólnie, zniszczymy.)2

A relatively small country, Poland was clearly at the mercy of a Great Power to the east. This was the difficult position from which the Promethean movement wanted to break free. Yet those countries in support of Poland and its Promethean ideas had their own political agendas. Already by the mid-1930s, France, which had traditionally played the role of Poland’s protector, no longer accommodated Poland’s position of “balanced diplomacy,” which it regarded as being held too rigidly.3 Fearing the threat of Germany, France opted for an alliance with the Soviet Union (the 1935 Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance), although this was merely a marriage of convenience. Moreover, the 1932 non-aggression pact between Poland and the Soviet Union had already made it difficult to promote the Promethean movement. With the 1935 Franco-Soviet treaty, France’s support of the Promethean movement became virtually meaningless. The death of the most important leader of the movement, Jósef Piłsudski, in 1935, was an equally heavy blow. Funding became scarce. By the late 1930s, in the face of energetic anti-Soviet movements supported by the Axis Powers (Germany and Japan in particular), the Promethean movement faced a crisis, from which it never recovered.4

The War changed everything. The idea of the Promethean movement may not have been destroyed, but Poland was. In the end, the Great Powers decided the fate of Poland, the outcome of which satisfied none of the movement’s goals. True, one could question whether Poland was capable at the time of solving its problems of national minorities (Ukrainians and Belarusans in particular) peacefully and to their own satisfaction. In any case, the “Polish Question” was resolved only to the satisfaction of the Great Powers, or more accurately of one Power (the Soviet Union) whose demands the other Powers accepted. Although this story is well-known, one needs to remember that as far as Poland was concerned, at Teheran and Yalta Great Britain and the United States accepted Stalin’s position regarding Poland’s provisional government and its future territory without much resistance and without the participation of the Poles.5 To both Britain and the United States during World War Two, alliance with Moscow was more important than the “Polish Question.” In October 1944 in Moscow Stanisław Mikołajczyk, Prime Minister of the Polish government in exile (in London), was shocked to learn that Britain and the United States had let Stalin have his way over the future territory of Poland (the demarcation of Poland and the Soviet Union along the Curzon line). In response to Mikołajczyk’s protest, Churchill said,

If you think you can conquer Russia, well, you are crazy, you ought to be in a lunatic asylum. You would involve us in a war in which twenty-five million lives might be lost. You would be liquidated. You hate the Russians. I know you hate them. We are very friendly with them, more friendly than we have ever been. I mean to keep things like that. I tell you, we’ll become sick and tired if you continue arguing. We shall tell the world how unreasonable you are. We shall not part friends”.6

As an Englishman present in the exchange observed, “This was not diplomacy. Nor did it intimidate Mikolajczyk.”7

Churchill knew that his position meant tragedy for Poland. Still the maintenance of an alliance with the Soviet Union was his priority. Smaller nations like Poland and smaller national groups were not. In his world, there was no room for the realization of Promethean ideas.

* * *

When European affairs of the period are examined in the light of Asian affairs, the determinant factor of the politics of the Great Powers in establishing the world order becomes even clearer. The issue of Asia is all the more important because of its virtual absence in the study of European history.

Asia’s colonial history is quite different from that of Europe. “Captive nations” in Europe (in the Austrian, Russian, and the Ottoman Empires) were largely liberated as a consequence of World War One. In Asia (as in Africa), however, western colonialism remained firmly entrenched. Japan’s rise as an imperial power in the late nineteenth century changed the balance of power in Asia, just as the rise of a united Germany did in Europe after 1871.

Japan’s rise was initially supported by Great Britain and the United States. For the first time in modern times, Britain concluded an alliance with Japan, a non-European power, in 1902, as a counterweight against Russia. As for the United States, in exchange for Japan’s non-interference in the Philippines (an area of intense US colonization), the USA gave tacit agreement to Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910. Yet as was clear from the USA’s position in the Russo-Japanese peace negotiations in 1905 (held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA), the USA was equally concerned about Japan’s expansion into China and beyond, at the cost of the USA’s interests in Asia. In the wake of World War One, the concern of Britain and the USA about Japan’s power in Asia led to the formal abrogation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1923 and increasingly tense relations between the USA and Japan.

Unlike the western imperial powers, the Soviet Union championed the cause of national liberation in Asia. Moscow was anti-imperialist, but itself was hardly non-imperialist. It considered Outer Mongolia (which nominally became independent of China after the 1911 Xinhai Revolution in China) its own “satellite” state. In 1924, after a complex process of conflict and negotiation with China, Outer Mongolia became the People’s Republic of Mongolia with Moscow’s support. Moscow controlled the People’s Republic of Mongolia ever more tightly. Moscow also intervened in China repeatedly. In support of China’s revolutionary struggle, Moscow initially promoted the Kuomintang-Communist united front. When it collapsed in 1927, Moscow supported the Communists through the Comintern. The Soviet Union kept the control of the China East Railways, a legacy of the Russian Empire’s colonial rule. In 1929 Moscow even sent its military forces and fought against China’s warlord, Zhang Xueliang, to keep its colonial control of the railways. In 1929, Moscow also sent its military forces to Afghanistan in support of the pro-Soviet king Amanullah Khan.8

Japan was not much better. Unlike Moscow, Japan championed not the cause of national liberation in general but that of liberation of Asia from European colonial powers. This exempted Japan’s colonialism: Japan indeed acted towards other Asian nations like any other colonial power. In the wake of victory in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan’s prestige as the liberator from Western colonial powers reached a high point in many parts of the world. Ottoman Turkey, for instance, was eager to open diplomatic relations with the new rising Asian power as a force to emulate and a counterforce against Turkey’s long-time adversary, Russia. Yet Japan demanded precisely those same unequal treaties from the Porte as a condition of diplomatic relations. As a result, the two countries did not open formal diplomatic relations until the 1920s.

At any rate, Japan had promoted her its “Promethean”-like movement in Asia. Already before the Russo-Japanese War, Japan worked to use Mongolia (Inner and Outer Mongolia) as a buffer state, an independent state under Japan’s aegis. Japan also paid close attention to minorities within Russia. For example, the Japanese Army courted Russian Tatar Muslims. In 1909 “Ibrahim” (Abdrashid Ibragimov or Abdürreşid Ibrahim, 1857–1944), a Tatar from Western Siberia, was meeting with Japanese military intelligence in Tokyo.9 During the civil war in the wake of the collapse of the Russian Empire and the October Revolution, Japan was tellingly more supportive of Grigorii Semenov than it was of Admiral Kolchak: Semenov, partially of Buryat-Mongol origin, supported pan-Mongolism (i.e. the breakup of the former Russian Empire in the east), whereas Admiral Kolchak dreamed of the resurrection of the Russian Empire. Likewise, Japan supported Siberian independence movements. Of course, none of these materialized, in part because Japan’s partners never fully trusted Japan, suspecting it of hatching imperialist schemes.

At this time of turmoil in Russia, however, Polish-Japanese cooperation against Moscow resumed again after it had ceased with the end of the Russo-Japanese war in 1905. For instance, Japan sent Captain Masataka Yamawaki to Warsaw in 1919 to re-establish formal contact with the Polish military.10

Japan’s interests in Asian minorities as buffers against the Soviet Union also conflicted with China’s sovereignty. Japan had long eyed not only Inner Mongolia but also Xinjiang (Chinese Turkestan), inhabited mainly by Muslims. Xinjiang’s importance for Japan was that its conquest would have opened a direct route to the heart of the Soviet defense industry in Western Siberia and in the Urals (including the Kuzbass area). Japan justified such a scheme as liberation. After all, China, like the old Ottoman Empire and the old Russian Empire, was an empire, however rapidly it was declining. Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet were China’s “colonies.” From the perspective of China’s minorities, the break-up of China was inevitable and desirable, and Japan promoted itself as a force to be used for this purpose.

Had it not been for Japan’s imperialist schemes, that is, had Japan developed a liberal, truly liberationist conception of national questions in Asia, could an Asian version of Prometheanism have been accepted by the Western powers, just as the Poland-sponsored Promethean movement was backed by France and Britain? It is highly unlikely. Woodrow Wilson may have been a “great” politician, advocating the principle of “self-determination” for nations. Yet when Japan tried to include a clause for racial equality to the Versailles peace treaty, the Western political leaders, including Wilson himself, rejected it. They advocated self-determination for Europeans, but colonialism for Asians, Arabs, and Africans.11 Britain, France, the United States, and Japan all rejected China’s demand for the abolition of unequal treaties and extra-territorial privileges. Only the Soviet Union renounced extra-territoriality (although it continued to intervene politically and militarily in China).12 Under these conditions, an Asian version of Prometheanism, if such had existed, could not have succeeded. Japan’s hypocrisy was a complicating factor: by allying with the Entente, after World War One Japan took possession of German colonies in Asia (China’s Shandung province and some German islands in the Pacific) with the support of the Western nations.

Japan won some concessions from the Western powers, which, however, dashed Japan’s ambitions to be their equal. At the the Washington Naval Conference, the first disarmament conference in modern history, in 1921–1922, for example, Japan had to eat humble pie, forced to return Shandung to China and accept a treaty that kept Japan’s naval force inferior to that of Britain and the United States. At this conference, having broken Japan’s diplomatic codes, the United States gained negotiating advantage.13 Japan had reason to believe that it was now surrounded by unfriendly and even hostile western powers on all sides (particularly the United States, the Soviet Union, and Britain).

Thus, in the 1920s, for Japan the Soviet Union was no longer the only (or even the major) potential foe. The Japanese Navy did not regard the Soviet Union with its meager forces in the Far East as a major (naval) force to reckon with. Japan instead considered the United States the major threat to Japan’s interests. The Japanese Army, however, still considered the Soviet Union an immediate threat from the north, especially in Manchuria and Mongolia. It was Japan’s Army that took the question of Asian “captive nations” seriously. Its vision for dismantling the Soviet Union included the Caucasus, thus potentially competing (if not conflicting directly) with the Poland-sponsored Promethean movement.14

Ultimately, Japan’s impatient and unwise moves in Asia (which emanated from its hypocritical stance towards other Asian nations and a siege mentality) sealed its fate and the fate of other Asian nations under Western colonialism. The turning point was Japan’s invasion of Manchuria (north-eastern China) in 1931 (the “Mukden Incident”) and the set-up of a puppet government there (Manchu-kuo) the following year. This was alarming to western colonial powers, especially the United States, which retained vital interests in China’s vast market and resources. Japan’s easy conquest of Manchuria emboldened Japan regarding the prospect of conquering China proper. Indeed in early 1932, some conspirators within the Japanese military forces deliberately engineered an incident in Shanghai to provide a casus belli for military intervention in a city where the Western powers had much greater stakes (including extraterritory) than they did in Manchuria. (Some people suspect that this incident was a Chinese Communist provocation.) The First Shanghai Incident led the Western powers to believe that Japan indeed had a master plan to conquer China proper.

Japan’s adventure in China led to what might be called an informal and virtual united front against Japan between the United States and the Soviet Union: the resumption of American-Soviet diplomatic relations in 1933. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the New York Times correspondent in Moscow Walter Duranty to present the Soviet Union in the best possible light to the American public to facilitate the US recognition of the Soviet Union.15 Duranty was an apologist for Stalin. When millions of people were dying from hunger in the Soviet Union in 1932, Duranty repeatedly denied the existence of famine.16 There is testimony that Duranty regularly reported to the Soviet secret police in the 1930s.17 Roosevelt also mobilized the services of Armand Hammer. It is now believed widely that Hammer was a Soviet agent, or at least an agent of influence for the Soviet government: he often worked as its mouthpiece in the US.18 Ostensibly Roosevelt’s rationale was that the recognition of the Soviet Union would boost trade and help to improve an American economy still reeling from the Great Depression. Yet the real reason was to use the Soviet Union to offset Japan’s growing power in the Far East.19 In 1934, Karl Radek, who was serving as Stalin’s “personal diplomat,” frankly stated that Moscow’s intention was to sabotage US-Japanese relations.20 It is significant that Stalin transferred Soviet Ambassador to Japan Aleksandr Troianovsky from Tokyo to Washington as the first Soviet Ambassador to the United States. Roosevelt, in turn, made every effort to buy the confidence of Stalin. Japan was at the center of the American-Soviet rapprochement.

Thus, in Asia, a kind of “collective security” against Japan that involved the Soviet Union and the United States (and China) formed. True, it was not a formal arrangement, but one of the kind that Maxim Litvinov strove but ultimately failed to create in Europe against Nazi Germany. In this case, Moscow was much more successful.

The American-Soviet “united front” signified that Japan’s ambitions in Asia were destined to fail. Confronted by the perceived “siege” of the Great Powers, Japan became disoriented. Stalin aptly noted in 1939: “As a result of the now two-year-old war with China which hasn’t been won, Japan has lost its balance and begun to get nervous and act out of gear, now attacking Britain, now the Soviet Union, and now the People’s Republic of Mongolia. Its action has no reason. This has revealed Japan’s weakness. Its conduct may unite all others against it.”21

Great-power politics in Asia sealed the fate of Japan-generated “Promethean” movements. In the end, the Soviet Union added to its territory: through agreements with Britain and the United States at three big war summits in Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam, Moscow acquired Southern Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands as a result of Japan’s defeat and in violation of the 1941 Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact. In the end, Moscow managed to enable Outer Mongolia to become officially independent of China. Moscow may have had a similar scheme about Xinjiang, but it did not succeed. The Western powers renounced their extra-territory in China during World War Two, and allowed China to preserve its territorial integrity. They considered China’s unity indispensable as a force against Japan.

* * *

World War One largely broke up the “prison of nations” in Europe (in the Austrian and the Ottoman Empires in particular). The collapse of the Russian Empire, however, was far from complete, providing a political basis for the Promethean movement. France, Britain, and even Germany implicitly supported the movement as long as they regarded the Soviet Union their foe. After Józef PiŃsudski’s death in 1935, the movement began to lose momentum. The fate of the movement was sealed in the end when London, Paris, and Moscow formed an alliance against Berlin. Poland found itself sacrificed to the interests of the Great Powers. István Deák once said of Hungary’s experience of World War Two: “In Hungary, at least, one of the things history teaches Hungarians is that it is a terrible mistake to be a small country in Central Europe.”22 It was also a lesson Poland learned.

The Asian case is even more revealing. Well before the Pacific War began, the Great Powers (particularly the Soviet Union and the United States) formed a united front against a power (Japan) bent on subverting the colonial order in Asia. In an effort to preserve their interests, they contained the only Asian power that was capable of challenging them and ended up preserving the largest Asian empire (China) intact. The stark contrast with Europe cannot be overemphasized. It was only after China was taken over by Communists that the Western Powers began to question China’s occupation of non-Han lands (particularly Tibet). There was little ground for successful Asian “Prometheanism.”

Both Poland’s old Rzeczpospolita and Japan’s Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere are things of the past, although it should be noted that they meant different matters in different centuries. Now both Poland and Japan are comparatively small countries. They were the only countries (except for Germany) that took up the challenge to subvert the Soviet Union from within. They were overruled by the Great Powers. Imperialism is decisively on the decline. What about Great-Power politics? The Great Powers are likely to overrule the vital interests of smaller states for some time to come. This is one lesson Promethean movements have to teach today’s world.

Professor Hiroaki Kuromiya – historian, professor at the Department of History, Indiana University, Bloomington, he specializes in the history of the Soviet Union and Ukraine. He is an author of numerous works devoted to Stalinism as well as Japanese-Polish and Japanese-Caucasian anti-Soviet cooperation.

1 O. A. Rzheshevskii, Stalin i Cherchill’ (Moscow, 2004), p. 419.

2 W. Anders, Bez ostatniego rozdziału (Newtown, Wales, 1950), p. 123. Later Stalin “reviewed his claim to the Ukrainians and White Russians who had lived in eastern Poland and said, quite calmly, that he had ordered the execution of 20,000 Ukrainians who had been collaborating with the Germans and later captured by the Red Army. ‘We have put another 200,000 Ukrainians in our own army. Everything is settled.” S. Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland: Patter of Soviet Aggression (New York, 1948), pp. 99-100.

3 See F. Dessberg, Le triangle impossible: Les relations franco-soviétiques et le facteur polonais dans les questions de sécurité en Europe (1924–1935) (Bruxelles, 2009).

4 G. Mamoulia, Les Combats indépendantistes des Caucasiens entre URSS et puissances occidentales: Le cas de la Géorgie (1921–1945) (Paris, 2009), pp. 178–190.

5 For the painful discussion in 1945 between Churchill and Stanisław Mikołajczyk over this matter, see S. Mikolajczyk, The Rape of Poland, pp. 93–99 and 116–120.

6 Churchill Taken from the Diaries of Lord Moran: The Struggle for Survival 1940–1965 (Boston, 1966), pp. 214–15.

7 Ibid., p. 215.

8 V. Boiko, “Sovetsko-afganskaia voennaia ekspeditsiia v Afghanistan 1929 goda,” Aziia i Afrika segodnia, 2001, no. 7, pp. 31–37.

9 Nihon Rikugun to Ajia seisaku: Rikugun Taishō Utsunomiya Tarō nikki, vol. 1 (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 2007), pp. 235–36, 243, 321 and vol. 2 (Tokyo: Iwanami, 2007), p. 248. See also A. Ibrahim Un Tatar au Japan – woyage en Asie (1908–1910), tr. and ed. F. Georgeon (Arles: Actes Sud, 2004).

10 H. Kuromiya and A. Pepłoński, Miedzy Warszawą a Tokio: Polsko-Japońska współpraca wywiadowcza 1904–1944 (Toruń, 2009), p. 49 and Ewa Pałasz-Rutkowska, Polityka Japonii wobec Polski, 1918–1941 (Warszawa, 1998), p. 47.

11 M. MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (New York, 2002), pp. 306–21.

12 See B. A. Ellman, “The End of Extraterritoriality in China: The Case of the Soviet Union, 1917–1960,” Republican China, 21:2 (April 1996), pp. 65–89 questions the view that the Soviet Union actually renounced extraterriality in China.

13 See H. O. Yardley, The American Black Chamber (Indianapolis, 1931).

14 See H. Kuromiya and G. Mamoulia, “Anti-Russian and anti-Soviet Subversion: The Caucasian-Japanese Nexus, 1904–1945” Europe-Asia Studies, 61:8 (2009), pp. 1415–1440.

15 T. Tzouliadis, The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin’s Russia (New York, 2008), pp. 55–59.

16 See S. J. Taylor, Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty, New York Time’s Man in Moscow (New York, 1990).

17 C. Blumay and H. Edwards, The Dark Side of Power: The Real Armand Hammer (New York: Simon, 1992), p. 48.

18 Ibid.

19 On the US, see B. Farnsworth, William C. Bullitt and the Soviet Union (Bloomington, 1967), ch. 5 and on the Soviet Union, see Stalin’s coded telegram on Litvinov’s visit to the USA, Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv sotsialno-politicheskoi istorii (RGASPI), f. 558, op. 11, d. 82, l. 43 and the Politburo directive to Maksim Litvinov (25 October 1933), , f. 17, op. 162, d. 15, l. 119.

20 RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 792, l. 1.

21 Zhonghua min guo zhong yao shi liao chu bian—dui Ri kang zhan shi qi. Di 3 bia, Zhan shi wai jiao (Taipei, 1981), p. 425.

22 I. Deák, J. T. Cross, and T. Judt (eds.), The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 68.

Polska polityka wschodnia, prezydencja Polski w UE – ocena i rekomendacje


[niniejszy tekst pierwotnie opublikowany został w:
"Nowy Prometeusz" nr 1, październik 2011, ss. 17-38]

Henryk Szlajfer

Polityka wschodnia to w istocie dwa względnie odrębne komponenty: polityka wobec Rosji oraz polityka w ramach Partnerstwa Wschodniego. Mając na uwadze ostatnie wydarzenia, trzecim składnikiem polityki wschodniej stały się również stosunki polsko-litewskie. Dotyczą wprawdzie relacji z państwem podobnie jak Polska należącym zarówno do NATO, jak i Unii Europejskiej, ale ich dynamika ma niewiele wspólnego z tym faktem oraz zadaniami, jakie stawiają sobie obie organizacje. Rozpocznijmy od intencji.

Przejmując w 2007 r. władzę, nowy rząd PO-PSL zakładał, że możliwe jest w relacjach ze wschodnimi sąsiadami osiągniecie nie tyle przełomu, co zasadniczego uspokojenia i unormowania stosunków (zwłaszcza z Rosją) oraz przejście do bardziej pragmatycznych i zdecydowanie mniej „godnościowych” (cokolwiek to znaczyło) relacji z innymi partnerami. Nowy rząd nie był jednak jedynym ośrodkiem władzy prowadzącym politykę zagraniczną.

Do tragedii 10 kwietnia 2010 r. w Smoleńsku, alternatywnym centrum polityki wschodniej w szerokim rozumieniu był Prezydent Lech Kaczyński, jego bezpośrednie otoczenie oraz polityczne zaplecze (PiS). Antagonistyczna i zbudowana na konflikcie dwutorowość była oczywista. W wymiarze publicystycznym i programowym starcie obu ośrodków pojawiło się jako konfrontacja „koncepcji jagiellońskiej” (forsowana przez reprezentantów PiS, w szczególności przez bliskiego prezydentowi Pawła Kowala) z „koncepcją piastowską” (zaproponowana przez ministra spraw zagranicznych Radosława Sikorskiego). Po 10 kwietnia, z uwagi na śmierć Prezydenta Kaczyńskiego, organizacyjna i programowa jednolitość polityki wschodniej została formalnie przywrócona.

Wspominam o tym, albowiem jeśli o wartości polityki sądzić po jej publicznym wyrazie i percepcji, polityka wschodnia w istocie znalazła się w głębokim kryzysie. Konfrontacja obu wspomnianych koncepcji była treściowo niezwykle uboga, bez klarownych sugestii dotyczących kierunku, sekwencji i intensywności niezbędnych działań. Z pewnością jednak nastąpiła jej intensywna wizualizacja: jej wyrazem były uroczystości na Westerplatte we wrześniu 2009 r. Uchwycony przez kamery moment przejścia Prezydenta Kaczyńskiego obok ostentacyjnie obojętnego premiera Putina i kolejny obraz przechadzki po sopockim molo premierów Tuska i Putina sygnalizowały zainteresowanej sprawami zagranicznymi publiczności, że obracamy się oto w kręgu symbolicznych gestów, swoistych wizualnych totemów, umożliwiających demarkację terytoriów „okupowanych” przez skonfliktowane obozy (i ich programy). Z kolei w trakcie kilku tygodni, jakie minęły od smoleńskiej katastrofy, rosyjski komponent polityki wschodniej zdominował publiczny dyskurs. Słowa „przełom” i „nowe otwarcie” stały się swoistą mantrą. Na dalszy plan zepchnięte zostały inne elementy polityki wschodniej i nasilające się nieuchronnie negatywne zjawiska: sytuacja na Białorusi i łatwe do przewidzenia zwycięstwo wyborcze Wiktora Janukowycza w Ukrainie. Jedynie mała Mołdowa nadal była nadzieją. Przejdźmy jednak do polityki.

Najpoważniejszym projektem politycznym nowego rządu PO-PSL była bez wątpienia koncepcja Partnerstwa Wschodniego (zaakceptowana przez UE w maju 2009 r.), konceptualnie wykraczająca poza projekt Europejskiej Polityki Sąsiedztwa Plus niemieckiej prezydencji z 2007 r. W założeniach był to projekt interesujący z dwóch zasadniczych powodów: po pierwsze, stwarzał nowe ramy instytucjonalne dla polskiej polityki, umożliwiające podjęcie programów o rożnym ciężarze gatunkowym i w rożnych dziedzinach i, po drugie – i być może najważniejsze – zakładał tak pożądaną europeizację polskiej polityki wschodniej, ujęcie jej celów w szerszym, unijnym kontekście.

Trudną do uniknięcia ceną jaką zapłacono za europeizację Partnerstwa Wschodniego było osłabienie znacznej części jego politycznego wymiaru. Wprawdzie przyjęte tzw. cztery platformy współpracy wielostronnej przewidywały podjęcie problematyki demokracji, dobrego zarządzania i stabilności, to w praktyce wyraziło się to w położeniu nacisku na problematykę wymiaru sprawiedliwości, walki z korupcją, reformy administracyjnej oraz kontaktów międzyludzkich. Dziedziny ważne, bez wątpienia, ale daleko niewyczerpujące problematyki demokracji, systemów politycznych czy praw człowieka. Inne zatem płaszczyzny i problemy zdominowały praktyczną działalność Partnerstwa, co znalazło odzwierciedlenie w tzw. inicjatywach flagowych. Te zaś oznaczały koncentrację uwagi (i środków) na problematyce zarządzania granicami, wsparcia dla małych i średnich przedsiębiorstw, środowiska i katastrof naturalnych, kultury i konserwacji energii. Każdy z tych programów jest ważny i interesujący sam w sobie. Szczególnie istotne jest również związanie projektu Partnerstwa z ewentualnymi umowami stowarzyszeniowymi i handlowymi oraz pewną liberalizacją reżymów wizowych („kontakty międzyludzkie”). W sumie: utrzymanie i rozwinięcie Partnerstwa jest w polskim interesie, mimo zasygnalizowanych ograniczeń projektu. Trudno jest natomiast ocenić (nie dysponuję odpowiednimi informacjami) polski udział w Partnerstwie. Dotyczy to w szczególności programów wielostronnych, z definicji unijnych: Ile przedsiębiorstw i polskich instytucji korzysta z programu? Ilu polskich ekspertów?

Próby polskiego rządu, a w szczególności ministra spraw zagranicznych, wyjścia poza ograniczone ramy zarysowane przez Partnerstwo Wschodnie, nie są, jak do tej pory, skuteczne. Mam tu przede wszystkim na myśli politykę wobec Białorusi oraz projekt specjalnego funduszu wspierającego inicjatywy demokratyczne na Wschodzie. Druga inicjatywa może okazać się, miejmy nadzieję, skuteczna. Nacisk położony na kontakty z organizacjami reprezentującymi „Społeczeństwo obywatelskie” jest trafny. Natomiast polityka wobec Białorusi, racjonalizowana dzisiaj w kategoriach zmiennych proporcji „kija i marchewki”, została po prostu zaprojektowana i wykonana po amatorsku. Inaczej, zdecydowanie pozytywnie, trzeba ocenić politykę wobec Mołdowy. Z kolei sprawa Ukrainy jest obecnie w polskiej polityce wielkim znakiem zapytania. Ani rząd ustami premiera, ani minister spraw zagranicznych nie zarysowali podstawowych kierunków działania w nowej, potencjalnie kryzysowej, sytuacji. Nie jest też jasne, jakich postaw i działań Warszawa oczekuje od unijnych partnerów, zwłaszcza w sprawie umowy stowarzyszeniowej. Słowem, brakuje odpowiedzi na pytanie w jaki sposób zamierzamy połączyć, w ramach polityki europejskiej, dążenie do wzmacniania ukraińskiej niepodległości i państwa z linkages („transakcjami”) obejmującymi problematykę demokracji, swobód obywatelskich i stowarzyszenia.

Polityka wobec Rosji, po przerwaniu niebezpiecznej eskalacji poprzedzającej 2009 r., znajduje się ponownie w impasie. W to, że przerwanie takiej eskalacji było dla nas korzystne, trudno wątpić. Że wkładano w ten proces więcej niż wskazywały na to realistyczne oceny, świadczy natomiast tylko o konceptualnej słabości polskiej polityki. Zasadnicze sprawy dotykające kluczowych polskich interesów są nadal kwestiami spornymi, bez widoków na szybkie rozwiązanie. Kwestia tarczy antyrakietowej, dzisiaj wprawdzie odsunięta w przyszłość, została powiązana przez Kreml ze swoistym nawykiem protestu w każdej sprawie dotyczącej choćby symbolicznego wzmocnienia polskiego bezpieczeństwa. Reakcja na umowę polsko-amerykańską w sprawie skromnej obecności F-16 i Herkulesów była (i jest) symptomatyczna. O gazociągu Nord Stream napisano już tomy, aczkolwiek w tej sprawie trudno było oczekiwać sukcesu. Zakończenie sprawy katyńskiej jest nadal niejasną perspektywą. Zaś podejście Kremla do kwestii smoleńskiej tragedii, po kilkutygodniowym okresie demonstrowania dobrej współpracy, stało się „tradycyjne”. Styl politycznego działania zaprezentowany przez władze rosyjskie w związku z raportem MAK był, parafrazując Kisiela, rezultatem, nie przyczyną.

Należy jednak wyraźnie zaznaczyć, że w każdej z tych kwestii jakikolwiek rząd byłby w trudnej sytuacji. Problemem jednak jest nie tyle brak namacalnych, pozytywnych rozwiązań, ile brak jasności dotyczącej obecnego kształtu i perspektyw polskiej polityki wobec Rosji. Klasycznym sygnałem-konfuzją były zawirowania dotyczące energetyki: gazu i energii atomowej. W pierwszej obserwowaliśmy żenujący spor

między wicepremierem-ministrem gospodarki a ministrem spraw zagranicznych, w drugiej – niejasne sygnały dotyczące reakcji na rosyjski projekt budowy elektrowni atomowej w obwodzie kaliningradzkim (i związane z nim rosyjskie sugestie). Dobrym sygnałem jest natomiast stosunkowo szybki wzrost polskiego eksportu do Rosji, poprawa stosunków w sferze kultury i kontaktów międzyludzkich. Nie zapominam też o inicjatywach wizowych dotyczących Kaliningradu. Po faktycznym wypełnieniu zadań przez grupę do spraw trudnych są to jedyne klarowne sygnały. W takiej niedookreślonej sytuacji pojawiają się, poza rządem, również „cienie przeszłości” jak chociażby projekt trójkąta Warszawa-Moskwa-Berlin. I sprawa być może najważniejsza, tylko po części pozostająca poza obszarem oddziaływania Warszawy: unijna polityka wobec Rosji, potencjalnie najbardziej skuteczny instrument działania z punktu widzenia Polski, jest nadal w sferze utopii. Nie oznacza to jednak, że również w konkretnych sprawach należy z góry rezygnować z europeizacji polskich interesów na rosyjskim Wschodzie.

I w końcu żenująca sprawa stosunków z Litwą. O tym, że wielu litewskich polityków i znaczna część opiniotwórczych elit nie należą do kategorii bezinteresownych aniołów, wiemy od dawna. Wiemy również, że wielu przywódców polskiej mniejszości także do aniołów się nie zalicza. Litania mniej lub bardziej uzasadnionych pretensji wobec Wilna (nie tylko dotyczących Polaków) jest długa. To wszystko jednak nie tłumaczy braku rozwagi i zachwiania proporcji w podejmowanych działaniach. Nagle postanowiliśmy odegrać nad Bałtykiem rolę do tej pory „zarezerwowaną” w Europie Środkowej dla Węgrów w ich relacjach z Rumunią i Słowacją. Ten spektakl jest już nużący i słabo reżyserowany. Pasuje do niego najkrótsza recenzja teatralna jaka pojawiła się w okresie międzywojnia pod piórem Antoniego Słonimskiego: „Wyszedłem pierwszy”. Warto zatem cofnąć się o krok, uporządkować listę priorytetów, rozważyć starannie argumenty zainteresowanych stron i powrócić do stołu z niezbędną determinacją i taktem.

prof. Henryk Szlajfer – ekonomista, politolog, dyplomata. Profesor Centrum Studiów Latynoamerykańskich Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego. Były ambasador-szef Stałego Przedstawicielstwa RP przy OBWE, MAEA i innych organizacjach międzynarodowych w Wiedniu. Redaktor naczelny kwartalnika „Sprawy Międzynarodowe”.

Модест Колеров

Я оцениваю современную Восточную политику Польши (восходящую в главном одинаково и к наследию Пилсудского, и к наследию Дмовского, и к наследию Гедройца) как:

1) весьма эффективную традиционную империалистическую политику в отношении Украины и Молдавии,

2) неудачную империалистическую политику в отношении Белоруссии,

3) запоздалую национальную, постколониальную политику в отношении Литвы,

4) реликтовую политику в отношении Латвии,

5) заново только сейчас формулируемую политику в отношении Кавказа,

6) успешную национальную политику в отношении России.

Ответственные национальные политические круги в России могут только:

1) завидовать такой политике Польши на Украине и в Бессарабии (Молдавии без Приднестровья),

2) констатировать её провал в Белоруссии,

3) сочувствовать борьбе поляков в Литве,

4) сожалеть об отсутствии политики Польши в отношении её Инфлянтов в Латвии,

5) прогнозировать неудачу этой политики на Кавказе,

6) стремиться восстановить необходимый баланс в отношениях Польши и России, который в настоящее время нарушен в пользу Польши. Речь не идёт о Катыни: для меня несомненно, что признание Россией ответственности Сталина за Катынь, несмотря на все неприемлемые попытки расширить масштаб этого преступления и толковать его как „геноцид”, – правильное решение, в целом отвечающее исторической правде. Нарушение баланса я вижу в попытках ≪инструментализировать≫ Катынь как средство давления на Россию, а, например, русско-польские ≪центры диалога≫ использовать как центры польской пропаганды.

С научной, а не риторической точки зрения, мы не можем говорить о том, какими должны быть отношения Польши с её восточными соседями. Потому, что эти отношения определяются двумя мощными историческими трендами: евроатлантической политикой Европейского союза и НАТО – и исторической идентичностью Польши, её представлением о своих пределах и о своей миссии на Востоке. Из этого и должна исходить любая ответственная власть в России. Пока мне не видно, что современная высшая власть в России вполне адекватно понимает эти исторические границы и условия Восточной политики Польши.

Главная рекомендация, с которой мне уже приходилось выступать в Польше перед польской аудиторией, заключается в одном простом пожелании Польше: быть честной со своей историей и своей имперской миссией, ис- пользовать их не как оружие против России, полагая, что на Востоке после Кресов располагается только дикая Сарматия и Сибирь, а как фундамент для взаимного понимания с Россией и взаимной ответственности с Россией за огромное постимперское пространство между Балтикой и Черным морем. Не делать себе лишнего врага там, где полной победы всё-равно не будет.

Польша, как и любой председатель в ротации председателей в ЕС, имеет минимальные возможности для воздействия на реальную политику ЕС и Еврокомиссии. Единственное, что она может сделать на посту председателя ЕС для восточной политики ЕС – провести аудит инициированной Польшей и Швецией программы ≪Восточное партнёрство≫. Несмотря на масштабные проекты и цели, эта программа остаётся чистой риторикой и никак не помогает ЕС поставить под свой политический и экономический контроль политическую и экономическую инфраструктуру Азербайджана, Армении, Грузии, Молдавии, Украины, тем более – Белоруссии. Стыдно даже слышать, какие ри- торические комплименты раздаёт Польша Молдавии как ≪лидеру Восточного партнёрства≫: за этим комплиментами нет ни ценностей, ни прагматики. Чем дальше, тем больше практика ≪Восточного партнёрства≫ ЕС дискредитируется тем, что сводится к бюрократическим фальсификатам.

Задачи были амбициозны – практика оказалась ничтожной. Вас не должно обманывать, что кто-то в России нервничал по поводу этой программы и даже якобы хотел к ней присоединиться – это было дипломатическим пустословием. На самом деле программа ставит перед собой задачу десуверенизации Восточной Европы и Закавказья, но выполнить эту задачу не может. Чтобы не нести ответственности за крах этой программы, Польше надо просто вернуть её на землю.

Модест Колеров – главный редактор информационного агентства REGNUM.

Степан Григорян

Тема отношений с Россией, для любой страны, это непростая вещь, поэтому здесь я ограничусь лишь тем замечанием, что заигрывать с ней очень опасно для любого ее соседа. Сегодня политика этой страны непредсказуема и достаточно агрессивна, поэтому нормализация отношений с Россией непростая задача.

Что же касается политики Польши в отношении стран Восточной Европы (Украина, Молдова, Белорусь) и Южного Кавказа (Армения, Азербайджан и Грузия), то здесь Польша работает очень активно – имея посольства во всех этих странах. Польша, вместе с Швецией,в 2008 году инициировала программу “Восточного партнерства”. Это, новая программа сотрудничества ЕС с этой шестеркой стран, где в настояшее время идет серьезный переговорный процесс по ассоциированному членству. В Польше, при правительстве, очень успешно и активно работает “Центр Восточных исследований”. Польские аналитические центры и общественные организации имеют партнеров в странах-участницах “Восточного партнерства” и реализуют совместные проекты в разных областях, включая, вопросы защиты прав человека, проведения справедливых и демократических выборов, реализации реформ в политических и экономических системах этих стран. Польша, это та страна ЕС, которая выступает за продолжение расширения ЕС на Восток, что можно только приветствовать, т.к. перспектива членства (пусть даже отдаленная перспектива) в ЕС безусловно будет позитивно и стимулирующе воспринята политическими элитами стран-участниц “Восточного партнерства”.

Во время председательства Польши в ЕС с 1 июля 2011 года необходимо учесть создавшуюся вокруг ЕС ситуацию.

Во-первых, бурный процесс революций и протестных движений в Северной Африке и странах Арабского мира показал, что закрывать глаза на нарушения прав человека, ограничения СМИ и фальсификацию выборов в этих странах, ради мнимой стабильности, которую обеспечивали режимы правящие в этих странах многие годы (авторитарные, как в Тунисе и Египте и тоталитарный, как, например, в Ливии), не имеет смысла. Все равно такие режимы в конце концов разваливаются (приводя к дестабилизации ситуации в больших регионах соседних с ЕС), а все последствия такой “терпимой” и “толерантной” позиции к этим режимам, все равно расхлебывает та же Европа. Это видно сегодня на примере нахлынувшего в европейские страны потока мигрантов из стран Северной Африки и Арабского мира. Отсюда очевидно напрашивается вывод: Европа не должна терпимо относиться к любым проявлениям нарушений прав человека, ограничений средств массовой информации и фальсификаций выборов, которые многие годы мы наблюдаем в странах-соседях ЕС (страны Северной Африки, Арабского мира, Белоруси и Южного Кавказа). Здесь роль Польши в обсуждении этих проблем, в период ее председательства в ЕС, могла бы быть исключительно важна и полезна. Т.е., например, странам Южного Кавказа надо продолжать помогать, но лишь при условии если правительства этих стран будут выполнять основополагающие требования в области прав человека и демократического развития.

Во-вторых, в рамках программы “Восточного партнерства” Польша должна продолжать акцентировать внимание на сотрудничестве ЕС с институтами гражданского общества стран-участниц этой программы (Украина, Молдова, Белорусь, Армения, Азербайджан и Грузия). Это поможет становлению гражданских институтов в этих странах и их более эффективной борьбе за права и свободы граждан. Время показало, что бессмысленно финансировать лишь правительственные программы в странах-участницах программы “Восточного партнерства”, т.к. высокий уровень коррупции в них приводит к распылению помощи оказываемой ЕС.

Степан Григорян – руководитель Аналитического центра глобализации и регионального сотрудничества (АЦГРС), политолог

Расим Мусабеков

Польша, географически относясь к Центральной Европе, значительную часть своей истории была тесно включена в систему отношений со странами Восточной Европы. Так было, когда существовала обширная Речь Посполития простиравшаяся от Балтийского до Черного морей. Затем почти два века насильственного включения Польши в состав Российской империи и в образованный под эгидой СССР так называемый ≪социалистический лагерь≫. Однако за исключением недолгого периода между двумя мировыми войнами, ≪восточная политика≫ Польши не была самостоятельной. Лишь после демонтажа коммунистической системы и распада Варшавского Пакта у Польши появилась возможность для осмысленного ведения такой политики, исходя из собственных национальных интересов.

Вступление в Евросоюз и НАТО придала внешнеполитическим позициям Польши необходимую опору. В определенных ее политических и аналитических кругах даже обозначился соблазн и иллюзия возможности использовать экономическую мощь и военно-политический потенциал этих организаций для возобновления соперничества с Россией за влияние на Востоке. Это особенно заметно проявлялось в период администрации Качинского. Однако заставить Брюссель ≪плясать под польскую дудку≫ не удалось, главным образом в силу особой позиции Франции и Германии. Приход правительства Туска внесло в восточную политику Польши коррективы, с переносом акцента с соперничества, на партнерство с Москвой. Таким образом, хотя в отличие от других стран бывшего ≪социалистического лагеря≫, которые также стали членами Евросоюза и НАТО и интересы которых на Востоке имеют локальный (как у Румынии) или же исключительно экономический характер, Польша артикулирует геополитический контент. Но последовательности и четко сформулированных целей ≪восточной политике≫ Польши определенно не хватает. Во всяком случае, так это видится из Азербайджана.

Очевидно, что польские интересы на Востоке в первую очередь локализуются на Белоруссии, Украине и отчасти Молдове. Однако определенная активность наблюдается на Кавказском и Центрально-азиатском направлениях. По восходящей линии развиваются азербайджано-польские отношения. Свидетельством тому частые визиты глав государств и правительств, министров, рост товарооборота.

Замечу, что эти отношения развиваются не с чистого листа. Между Азербайджаном и Польшей примерно со второй половины XIX века имелись гуманитарно-культурные и научные связи. В Баку проживала многочисленная польская колония. Среди ее представителей выросла плеяда талантливых архитекторов, инженеров, медиков, педагогов, ученых, военных и т.д. которые верой и правдой служили Азербайджану. Многие замечательные исторические здания нашей столицы возведены по проектам и под руководством польских архитекторов. После большевистской оккупации в Варшаве в 1931-1938 годах жил со своей женой полькой один из создателей Азербайджанской Демократической Республики Мамед Эмин Расулзаде и издавал тут журнал ≪Гуртулуш≫. Хороший исторический фон и прагматические экономические интересы создают хорошие предпосылки для углубления азербайджано-польских отношений.

Что касается предстоящего с середины 2011 года польского председательства в Евросоюзе, то можно ожидать активизации программы ≪Восточного партнерства≫, которая в связи с недавним экономическим кризисом, оказалась в неопределенном состоянии. Польша может усилить поддержку Евросоюзом таких энергетических проектов, как газопровод НАБУККО, а также продления нефтепровода Одесса-Броды до Гданьска. Это может дать выход Каспийской нефти на важный рынок Центральной и Северной Европы.

Расим Мусабеков – Депутат парламента Азербайджанской Республики, политолог

Paweł Usow

Polska z pewnością podejmowała i podejmuje najbardziej aktywne ze wszystkich państw UE działania wobec Białorusi. Niewątpliwie jest to jeden z priorytetów polityki zagranicznej Warszawy. Ograniczeniem dla ambitnych, demokratyzacyjnych pomysłów są skromne zasoby finansowe oraz konieczność uzgadniania decyzji z pozostałymi państwami UE, dla większości których poprawa sytuacji na Białorusi nie stanowi żywotnego interesu. Dodatkowym utrudnieniem jest fakt, iż Rosja nadal traktuje ten kraj jako swoją wyłączną strefę wpływów. W swojej strategii wobec Białorusi Polska stara się prowadzić dwutorową politykę: inną wobec reżimu w Mińsku i inną wobec społeczeństwa. Celem takiego rozróżnienia jest niedopuszczenie, by konflikty i spory z oficjalnym Mińskiem stanęły na przeszkodzie dobrych relacji z białoruskim społeczeństwem. W praktyce jednak, dwutorowość polskiej polityki ma na razie charakter deklaratywny, ponieważ jak dotąd nie udało się znaleźć sposobu, by izolacja polityczna reżimu w mniejszym lub większym stopniu nie powodowała izolacji całego kraju.

Podstawowymi celami Polski jest demokratyzacja Białorusi, wzmocnienie jej suwerenności i otwarcie jej na Zachód i UE. Demokratyzacja, w tym kontekście, oznacza wywieranie nacisku na reżim polityczny i wspieranie działalności opozycyjnej. Wzmocnienie suwerenności oznacza podejmowanie inicjatyw, obliczonych na niedopuszczenie do całkowitego wciągnięcia Mińska w strefę wpływów Rosji, a wręcz integrowanie Mińska w przestrzeń europejską. W tym miejscu mamy do czynienia z pewnym paradoksem, gdyż jednoczesna izolacja reżimu i próba integracji Białorusi z UE to cele wzajemnie się wykluczające. Sprzeczności w strategii Polski i UE są skutecznie wykorzystywane przez białoruskie władze, które starają się narzucić swoim partnerom na Zachodzie własną grę i, co trzeba uczciwie przyznać, dość często robią to bardzo skutecznie. Realizacja każdego z powyżej wymienionych celów polskiej polityki możliwa jest tylko w sytuacji, gdy są one traktowane jako spójna strategia, a nie jak taktyka pojedynczych kroków. Polsce, jak dotąd, nie udało się osiągnąć swoich celów. Przyczyna leży nie tylko po stronie polskiej, ale przede wszystkim po białoruskiej. Łukaszenko nigdy nie dotrzymywał swoich obietnic i absolutnie ignoruje reguły gry politycznej, jeżeli te stoją w sprzeczności z jego interesami. Całkiem ignoruje również opinię międzynarodową, a rozumie tylko i wyłącznie język siły, którego ani Polska, ani Unia nie są w stanie użyć ze względu na stosunki z Rosją.

Wybory prezydenckie 19. grudnia 2010 roku w Mińsku zakończyły się ponownymi represjami wobec opozycji, poskutkowały zamrożeniem stosunków z Zachodem i tym samym otworzyły nowy, trudny okres w stosunkach polsko-białoruskich. Obecnie strategia Polski polega na stałym i bezwzględnym nacisku na reżim polityczny, co ma doprowadzić do uwolnienia wszystkich więźniów politycznych na Białorusi. Od tego Polska oraz UE uzależniają możliwość powrotu do dialogu. Nie oznacza to jednak, iż dialog ten będzie się odbywał na tym samym poziomie, co w latach 2008 – 2010. Reżim białoruski nie zdecyduje się na żadne zmiany w polityce wewnętrznej, ponieważ zagrażają one jego stabilności. Dodatkowo, reakcje Mińska na nową strategię Polski i UE są bardzo negatywne i agresywne. Polska oskarżana jest o wtrącanie się w sprawy wewnętrzne suwerennego państwa oraz finansowanie, a nawet organizację, zamieszek w grudniu 2010. Oficjalna propaganda stara się stworzyć negatywny wizerunek Polski, sugerując, iż ma ona ambicje imperialne i chce zagarnąć tereny Zachodniej Białorusi. Łukaszenko uderza również w naturalne interesy Polski na Białorusi – rozbił Związek Polaków, uznał nowo wprowadzoną Kartę Polaka za sprzeczną z konstytucją, aresztował dziennikarza Gazety Wyborczej Andrzeja Poczobuta i zwleka z ratyfikowaniem umowy o małym ruchu przygranicznym.

Polska zawsze wspierała sektor pozarządowy na Białorusi. Gdy nasilały się represje ze strony władz, rosło wsparcie dla organizacji i struktur opozycyjnych. To wsparcie dość często nie przynosiło oczekiwanych rezultatów nie tylko z powodu kontroli reżimu, ale również z powodu ogólnej słabości opozycji oraz, niestety, korupcji istniejącej wewnątrz organizacji opozycyjnych. Mimo to Polska strona potrafiła zrealizować wiele projektów, wśród których najważniejsze to: koordynowany przez Studium Europy Wschodniej UW Program Stypendialny Rządu RP im. K. Kalinowskiego przeznaczony dla studentów usuniętych z wyższych uczelni ze względu na działalność polityczną (swoją lub swojej rodziny); stworzenie niezależnej białoruskiej telewizji satelitarnej „Biełsat”, która nadaje z Warszawy na Białoruś oraz wspieranie takich stacji radiowych, jak Radio „Racja” czy Redakcja Białoruska Polskiego Radia dla Zagranicy. Warszawa nie powinna zapominać też o całości społeczeństwa białoruskiego. Kwestia wizowa jest najbardziej aktualna w sytuacji ochłodzenia stosunków polsko-białoruskich. Mimo, iż Polska wprowadziła dla Białorusinów wizy narodowe, wciąż nie rozwiązuje to problem. Choć rząd polski nie ma wpływu na koszty wiz schengeńskich, mógłby postarać się o złagodzenie procedur wizowych, które w większości są uciążliwe i nie rzadko absurdalne. Sankcje polityczne i jednoczesne wsparcie dla opozycji są ważnymi elementami strategii Polski, lecz społeczeństwo białoruskie musi odczuwać, iż nie jest izolowane od reszty Europy.

Reasumując, polityka sankcji wobec reżimu przyniosła pewne, aczkolwiek ograniczone, sukcesy jak, na przykład, uwolnienie większości więźniów politycznych. Niestety byli kandydaci na prezydenta Mikoła Statkiewicz i Andrej Sannikow oraz obrońca praw człowieka i szef Centrum Obrony Praw Człowieka „Wiosna” Aleś Bialacki wciąż nie są na wolności. „Sprawa Bialackiego” wywołała ogromny skandal w Polsce, ponieważ przy nieostrożnym pośrednictwie Warszawy, białoruskie organy bezpieczeństwa otrzymały z Ministerstwa Sprawiedliwości RP informacje o jego rachunkach bankowych. Areszt Bialackiego stał się potwierdzeniem tego, że reżim nie zamierza zmieniać polityki wewnętrznej, zorientowanej na zduszenie każdego oporu, szczególnie w okresie pogarszającej się sytuacji społeczno-gospodarczej na Białorusi. Tym niemniej, Łukaszenko oczekuje, że Unia wyjdzie mu naprzeciw i ostatecznie nie zablokuje kredytu z MFW. Wszystko wskazuje na to, że Łukaszenka jest gotowy wrócić do takiego formatu stosunków między Europą i Białorusią, jaki istniał przed 19 grudnia 2010 roku. Można założyć, że Unia, w jakimś sensie, również jest na to gotowa, choć grozi to powtórką scenariusza z 2010 roku. Jeśli Unia rzeczywiście się na to zdecyduje, to taka strategia doprowadzi do konserwacji istniejącego na Białorusi systemu politycznego, a także nie uchroni Mińska od pogłębiania procesów integracyjnych z Rosją.

Podstawą europejskiej polityki w stosunku do Białorusi powinna stać się wielostronna izolacja oficjalnego Mińska, połączona z aktywnym kulturalnym i społecznym zbliżaniem białoruskiego społeczeństwa z Europą. Unia Europejska nie ma jasnej strategii stosunków z Białorusią oraz brak jej całościowej wizji relacji między Mińskiem i Brukselą w przyszłości. Wydaje się, że zarówno polityka Polski, jak i UE, w stosunku do Białorusi, nie ma charakteru wyprzedzającego, a jedynie reaktywny. Jeśli więźniowie polityczni zostaną wypuszczeni – kwestia dialogu i kredytów wróci na agendę, jeśli nie – to polityka ze strony UE pozostanie zamrożona. W takiej sytuacji możemy pokusić się o stwierdzenie, że istnieje określona strategia postępowania z władzami w Mińsku, ale całkowicie brakuje strategii wobec białoruskiego społeczeństwa.

Dr Paweł Usow – białoruski politolog i publicysta, ekspert Białoruskiego Centrum

Nika Chitadze

During the last four years, Poland has played a very important role in relation to Eastern policy issues. For example, with regard to the relations between Poland and Georgia, it should particularly be pointed out, that Poland was one of the initiating founders of the group: “Friends of Georgia”, where six countries from Eastern and Central Europe plus Sweden have united. Furthermore, Poland very actively supported Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic policy. In this regard it should be mentioned, that Poland was one of the active supporters of granting Georgia and Ukraine Membership Action Plans during the Bucharest Summit of NATO, which was held in April 2008.

Among the main agreements, which have been signed between Georgia and Poland during the last four years, the following should be mentioned:

1. “Memorandum on Cooperation 2007-2008 in the Field of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration between the Governments of Georgia and the Republic of Poland” (put into force: 27 February 2007)

2. „Agreement between the Governments of Georgia and the Republic of Poland on Cooperation in the Fight Against Organized Crime and Other Types of Crime” (put into force: 3 May 2008)

3. „Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the Governments of Georgia and the Republic of Poland” (put into force: 1 July 2008) It is important to mention that Poland was one of the initiators of the EU Eastern Partnership Program. It was presented by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the help of Sweden, at the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels, on 26 May 2008. The Eastern Partnership was inaugurated in Prague, on 7 May 2009. Through the initiative of Poland and several other EU member states, the first meeting of foreign ministers in the framework of the Eastern Partnership was held on 8 December 2009, in Brussels.

The main goal of the Eastern Partnership is to improve the political and economic trade-relations of the six post-Soviet states (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) with the European Union. The main guiding principles include the promotion of human rights and rule of law in former Soviet states, developing the principles of a market economy and encouraging sustainable development and good governance, The main policy of Poland in the framework of Eastern policy should be connected with the above-mentioned issues. It should also be added, that Poland has real potential to support country-members of the EU Eastern Partnership in the way of developing democratic institutions, good governance, etc.

Poland’s chairmanship of the European Union will play a very positive role in the development of cooperation in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Program. It will be important for Poland to be active in various fields. Most important is the financial support of the EU for the country-members of the EU Eastern Partnership Program. As it is known, the EC has declared the release of €600 million to the six post-soviet partner countries for the period of 2010-13, as part of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument. This constitutes about a quarter of the total funding available to the Eastern Partnership countries in this period. According to the EU program, those funds will be used for three main purposes: the Comprehensive Institution Building program – mainly supporting reforms (approximately €175 million); the Pilot Regional Development program – aimed at addressing regional economic and social disparities (approximately €75 million); and implementation of the Eastern Partnership, focusing on democracy, good governance, stability, economic integration and convergence with EU policies, energy security, and contact between people with the aim of bringing partners closer to the EU – for which purpose the EU will issue about €350 million.

Under Polish chairmanship of the EU, it will be possible to rationally allocate the above-mentioned funds to obtain the maximum possible results.

One of the main priorities of the EU under the chairmanship of Poland could also be activation of the EU energy policy – for example to promote discussion on implementing several energy projects with the participation of the EU and EU Eastern Partnership Program member-states. One example is the Odessa–Brody pipeline. It is a crude oil pipeline between the Ukrainian cities of Odessa, located on the Black Sea, and Brody, near the border between Ukraine and Poland.

Another potentially valuable and important project is the NABUCCO project. Its implementation would make it possible to transport around 26- 31 Billion Cubic Meter of natural gas from Central Asia to Europe, via the territories of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Another project, which might viably be considered, is the White Stream Project. Within its framework it would be possible to export gas, from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to Ukraine and then to EU markets, by the construction of a gas pipeline on the bottom of the Black Sea.

Furthermore, Poland is also able to play a pro-active role related to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, near the occupied territories. Particularly helpful would be giving EU monitors additional functions. For example if they were able to act as police and peacekeepers, this would positively reflect on the process of providing stability in Georgia, bearing in mind the further perspective of de-occupation.

Nika Chitadze, PhD – politologist, expert, graduate of the Tbilisi State University. Professor and Dean of the Educational Studies at the American University for Humanities Tbilisi Campus. He is a member of George C. Marshall Alumni Union, Georgia and International and Security Research Center in Tbilisi.

Николай Енчу

Даже если учесть тот факт что, с момента принятия Маастрихтского договора Европейский Союз проводит единую внешнюю политику, а также единую политику безопасности, среди 12-ти новых государств-членов принятых в состав ЕС в результате последнего его расширения 2004-2007 гг., Польша безусловно выделяется тем что придает особое внимание и значение Восточной составляющей внешней политики самого крупного геополитического, геоэкономического, а также геокультурного и цивилизационного образования на всем евразийском пространстве. Достаточно отметить, что проект ≪Восточное партнерство≫, впервые обнародованный 26 мая 2008 года министром иностранных дел Польши на Совете ЕС по общим вопросам и внешним связям, является совместной польско-шведской инициативой, преследующей цель сближения Евросоюза с шестью странами Восточной Европы и Южного Кавказа: Украиной, Молдовой, Азербайджаном, Арменией, Грузией и Белоруссией. Будучи дополнением к Северному и Средиземноморскому измерениям внешней политики Евросоюза, проект Восточного партнерства задуман в качестве платформы для дискуссий по визовым соглашениям, соглашениям о свободной торговле, a также по стратегическому партнерству ЕС с названными шестью восточными соседями.

Тем не менее, даже если Восточное Партнерство выступает в качестве ≪заменителя≫ дискуссий о новом расширении Евросоюза на Восток, данный проект неоднозначно оценивается как внутри ЕС, так и за его пределами. В России, например, большинство экспертов критически восприняли эту

внешнеполитическую инициативу ЕС, высказывая опасения, что страны региона будут поставлены перед искусственным выбором между сотрудничеством с Москвой или Брюсселем, а также относительно вероятного оттеснения Российской Федерации в ≪северо-восточный угол Евразии≫. Внутри Европейского Союза, министр иностранных дел Чехии, Карел Шварценберг, заявил на днях австрийской газете ≪Die Presse≫ что, после принятия Хорватии в состав ЕС, процесс его расширения должен в первую очередь коснуться стран Западных Балкан, ≪которые не успокоятся до тех пор, пока

их границы не станут символическими≫. Исходя также из необходимости предотвращения серьезных социальных потрясений и массовой безработицы на уровне 60 % у границ Евросоюза, чешский министр иностранных дел считает что Сербию или даже Албанию следует принять в первую очередь в состав ЕС, в то время как Украина или Республика Молдова, например, ≪должны будут проводить реформы еще долгие годы, пока эти процессы будут завершены≫.

Исходя из вышесказанного, восточная политика Польши безусловно более соответствует духу и букве Римских договоров 1957 г., настаивая на том, чтобы безвизовый режим был предоставлен всем странам Восточного партнерства, в том числе Украине и Республике Молдова, по выполнению обозначенных Евросоюзом критериев, а не ≪в долгосрочной перспективе≫. Как заявил недавно министр иностранных дел Польши, Радослав Сикорский, ≪европейские стремления стран Восточного партнерства – амбициозны, и мы (Евросоюз.-Прим. авт.) должны на них ответить≫, с тем чтобы ≪предоставить этим странам то, что Польше было нужно, когда мы были на их стадии – сильные убеждения продолжать проведение внутренних реформ≫. В результате этого, ≪более сильные экономические связи приведут партнеров ближе к полному участию во внутреннем рынке ЕС≫, – подчеркнул Р.Сикорский.

С 1 июля и по 31 декабря 2011 года, Польша председательствует не только в Совете Европейского Союза, но и в Европейском Парламенте, имея, таким образом, максимальную возможность убедить остальных партнеров по Евросоюзу в необходимости проведения реалистичной и, в то же время, наиболее эффективной восточной политики ЕС. В этой связи, особые надежды возлагаются на ряд мероприятий, запланированных в рамках польского председательства в ЕС, как-то проведение бизнес-форума Восточного партнерства в Сопоте, конференция министров транспорта Восточного партнерства (24-25 октября 2011 г., Краков) и особенно предстоящий в сентябре в Варшаве саммит Восточного партнерства, от которого ожидается четкого ответа о том, что безвизовый режим ≪достижим для всех партнеров, которые выполняют обозначенные ЕС критерии≫, что ≪нет необходимости в долгосрочной перспективе (для предоставления безвизового режима.- Прим. авт.), если страна достигла критериев раньше≫ (Радослав Сикорский).

Даже если за время своего председательства, кроме других приоритетов, Польше предстоит вести непростые переговоры по поводу принятия бюджета ЕС на фоне кризиса в нескольких странах Евросоюза, предоставление на сентябрьском саммите Восточного партнерства Украине, а также Республике Молдова определенного рода перспективы членства в ЕС должно быть безусловным приоритетом общей внешней политики Евросоюза, с тем чтобы не допустить полного возвращения этих двух стран в сферу влияния Российской Федерации. Учитывая намерение нынешнего премьер-министра и, возможно, будущего президента Российской Федерации, В.Путина, создать нечто вроде Евросоюза на всем пост-советском пространстве, а именно ≪Евразийское экономическое сообщество≫ до 2013 года, функционирующее на тех же принципах что и ЕС, перспектива вхождения Украины и Республики Молдова в предполагаемое сообщество является отнюдь не иллюзорной, имея в виду предоставление им довольно реальной альтернативы, не требующей особых критериев для выполнения или ≪долгосрочной перспективы≫.

Таким образом, учитывая то что сегодня политические настроения в Евросоюзе относительно расширения значительно хуже, чем были несколько лет назад, фактором, который сможет склонить ЕС в какой-то форме признать такую необходимость является успешное председательство Польши в Европейском Союзе в сфере восточной политики, подразумевающее с необходимостью продолжение и даже завершение переговоров об Ассоциации с Украиной и Молдовой уже до конца 2011 года.

Николай Енчу – доктор хабилитат исторических наук, заведующий сектором новейшей истории Центра исторических исследований Института истории, государства и права Академии Наук Молдовы.

Serhij Herasymczuk

Pragmatyzm – właśnie ten termin obecnie charakteryzuje relacje między Polską i Ukrainą. Coraz głębiej do lamusa odchodzą twierdzenia, że dla europejskiej integracji Ukrainy kluczowa jest współpraca Warszawy i Kijowa oraz że Polska jest głównym adwokatem sprawy ukraińskiej w UE. Zamiast nich mamy pragmatyzm, choć zarówno politycy, jak i eksperci, nie zawsze są jednomyślni w tłumaczeniu co kryje się za tym modnym dziś określeniem.

W Polsce, gdy mówi się o pragmatyzmie, utrzymuje się, że czas idealistów minął: Polska nie może inwestować politycznie i gospodarczo oraz zapamiętale kontynuować starań o perspektywę członkostwa w UE dla wschodnich sąsiadów przede wszystkim dlatego, że nie znajdują one należytego rezonansu w Kijowie, ale i dlatego, że działają one na nerwy Rosji. Z tego powodu, aby „rozładowaniu” w stosunkach polsko – rosyjskich stało się zadość oraz za milczącą zgodą Ukraińców, Polska odmawia bycia „świętszą niż sam papież” i rezygnuje z funkcji lokomotywy dla sąsiedniej Ukrainy. W ten sposób, w interpretacji części polskich elit, pragmatyzm jest antonimem idealizmu i synonimem makiawelizmu w stosunkach międzynarodowych.

Z takim podejściem godzi się Kijów. Ukraińska elita władzy uważa za korzystny fakt, że Polska znajduje wspólny język z Kremlem i nie przeszkadza ukraińskim politykom w budowaniu swojego „pragmatycznego dialogu” z Moskwą. A dialog ten polega na wspieraniu koncepcji „русского мира” oraz sprzyjaniu rosyjskim inicjatywom w zamian za wątpliwe korzyści gospodarcze i populistyczne obietnice „jasnej przyszłości w przyjacielskich objęciach bratniego narodu”.

Na koniec pragmatyzmowi kibicują też i w tak zwanej „Starej Europie”. Tam również budowany jest własny model „pragmatycznych stosunków” z Kremlem, oparty na twierdzeniach: „We should engage Russia” lub „Russia and Europe are equally important and mutually dependant”. Budowie tego modelu przeszkadzali Ukraińcy i Polacy, którzy starali się „starym Europejczykom” otworzyć oczy na niebezpieczeństwo tak pojmowanego pragmatyzmu. Więc Europa pieczołowicie przygotowywała grunt dla zmian tego kursu, a gdy tylko tak się stało – przyklasnęła.

W zachwycie nad korzyściami płynącymi z pragmatyzmu, zarówno w Polsce, Ukrainie, jak i w starej Europie, unika się krytycznego spojrzenia na niego. Warszawscy i kijowscy pragmatycy nie dostrzegają, że pod hasłami pragmatyzmu odbywa się rezygnacja z prawa do własnego punktu widzenia nie tylko w polityce międzynarodowej, ale nawet i w stosunkach dwustronnych, które stają się podporządkowane interesom Kremla. Bruksela tak rozumiany pragmatyzm posuwa do skrajności, skrywając pod szatą „podejścia pragmatycznego” własną bezsilność, aby jakkolwiek bodaj wpływać na inicjatywy płynące z Moskwy.

Można założyć, że pragmatycy rozumieją słabe punkty swojego stanowiska. Jednak nie uważają oni, że należy starać się te realia zmienić (w szczególności, gdy potrzebne jest zaangażowanie dodatkowych środków, wydatków oraz w sytuacji, gdy nadmierne rozzłoszczenie Rosji oznacza zagrożenie dla bezpieczeństwa energetycznego całej Unii). Przy użyciu znacznie mniejszych środków i z większą skutecznością pragmatycy zwalczają tych, którzy ujawniają prawdziwy sens tak pojętego pragmatyzmu. Stąd i oskarżenia pojedynczych idealistów o „rusofobię”, „nadmierne uwielbienie teorii spiskowych”, „nieadekwatność w ocenie sytuacji” oraz „ogólną neurastenię”.

Taki kontekst, rzecz jasna, odbija się na charakterze stosunków między Polską i Ukrainą. Z jednej strony, pragmatyzm dowodzi swojej funkcjonalności: obecność wspólnego, ideowego lidera „w trzecim kraju” zdecydowanie polepsza wypracowanie wspólnych założeń w stosunkach międzynarodowych, obecność wspólnego źródła ropy i gazu – sprzyja kształtowaniu podobnej polityki w sferze energetycznej itd. Tyle, że jakoś tak boleśnie się robi od utraty ideologicznego fundamentu na rzecz merkantylnej bezideowości i skrywanej bezsilności.

Oczywiście można się przyzwyczaić i do takich warunków – zamiast ideowych wartości Europy szukać dróg do gospodarczego sukcesu, zamiast kierowania się pryncypiami w stosunkach z Moskwą – liczyć na jej przychylność i przymykać oczy na jej kolejne wpadki, a zamiast idei szerszej Europy – ograniczać się do liberalizacji reżimu wizowego. O ile idealizm nie wyklucza pragmatycznych sukcesów, tak „pokrętny pragmatyzm” w pełni niweluje ideowość, choć to właśnie ta ideowość Unii Europejskiej czyniła integrację atrakcyjnym projektem i dawała Brukseli moralne prawo do bycia arbitrem na arenie międzynarodowej.

Obecność zarówno zwolenników pragmatyzmu, jak i apologetów idealizmu doprowadza do sytuacji, w której wyobrażenia o prezydencji Polski w UE stają się rożne. Idealiści oraz ci, którzy do nich lgną siłą inercji, oczekują że Polska, niejednokrotnie udowadniająca swoje przywiązanie do unijnych wartości i przychylność wobec wschodnich sąsiadów, w pełnym wymiarze wykorzysta sytuację wynikającą z jej statusu. Chodzi przede wszystkim

o to, że prezydencja Polski w Unii wzmocni stanowisko tych, którzy opowiadają się za rozszerzeniem Unii na tereny byłego ZSRR, a przynajmniej na te kraje, które nieraz deklarowały integrację europejską jako priorytet swojej polityki. Idealiści pokładają również duże nadzieje w szczycie Partnerstwa Wschodniego, który odbędzie się w Warszawie i stanie się katalizatorem do napełnienia tego programu rzeczywiście funkcjonalnymi inicjatywami. Na razie Partnerstwo Wschodnie nie rozwinęło skrzydeł, ale potencjalnie ma wciąż szansę by przekształcić się w program znacznie bardziej efektywny i konstruktywny niż amorficzna Europejska Polityka Sąsiedztwa. Sceptycy w ogóle uważają, że polska prezydencja w UE to jedna z ostatnich szans by reanimować Wschodnie Partnerstwo. Trudno bowiem pokładać nadzieje w tym względzie w następujących, po polskiej, kadencjach Danii i Cypru.

Optymiści liczą również, że w czasie kierowania pracami Rady Europejskiej przez Polskę, Unia dokona próby konsolidacji, a środkowoeuropejskie i bałtyckie kraje członkowskie nie będą już traktowane przez „starych europejczyków” jako kraje drugiej kategorii, tylko jako inicjatorzy zmian i reform, koniecznych do tego, by „projekt europejski” z honorem wyszedł z kryzysu odczuwalnego nie tylko w sensie gospodarczym, ale również w sferze wartości.

Jest jeszcze jeden problem, który w ciągu ostatnich lat wyraźnie stanął na porządku dziennym. To kwestia liberalizacji reżimu wizowego między Unią i sąsiadami, a co najmniej Mołdową i Ukrainą. Na postęp w tej kwestii w trakcie polskiej prezydencji liczą zarówno idealiści, jak i pragmatycy. I jedni i drudzy oczekują, że liberalizacja obowiązku wizowego i stopniowa likwidacja wiz stałaby się rzeczywistą inwestycją w przyszłość stosunków UE z sąsiadami.

Jednakże, biorąc pod uwagę niesprzyjający krajom Europy Wschodniej kontekst międzynarodowo–polityczny – większe wsparcie Unii dla krajów Afryki Północnej; kampania prezydencka we Francji i naturalny zapał obecnego prezydenta Sarkozy’ego, aby udowodnić sukces swego „dziecięcia” – Unii na rzecz Regionu Morza Śródziemnego (nie wykluczone, że kosztem Wschodniego Partnerstwa); pogłębienie się rosyjskich wpływów w UE i całkiem udany lobbing rosyjskich interesów na unijnej agendzie; niebezpieczeństwa płynące z rewizji reguł strefy Schengen itd. – na pewno nie warto stawiać polskiej prezydencji zbyt wysokiej poprzeczki. Czego, natomiast, rozsądniej oczekiwać: przynajmniej utrzymania Europy Wschodniej w polu uwagi Brukseli i zrównoważenia nadmiernego zachwytu „starych europejczyków” kwestiami afrykańskimi, powstrzymania tych krajów od kategorycznej rezygnacji z perspektywy rozszerzenia Wspólnoty, a w przyszłości członkostwa w niej krajów Partnerstwa Wschodniego, próby nawiązania dialogu z Białorusią w celu uniknięcia ostatecznej transformacji Mińska w rosyjskiego satelitę, wsparcia dla demokratycznych zmian w Mołdowie oraz wrażliwości na próby blokowania procesów demokratycznych w każdym z państw Partnerstwa Wschodniego.

Jeśli oficjalnej Warszawie uda się wykonać te zadania, polscy politycy pokażą, że niezależnie od światowych trendów, „resetów” i „rozładowań” w relacjach między państwami, tendencji do ekonomizacji stosunków międzynarodowych i dominacji realpolitik, Polsce udaje się utrzymać balans miedzy abstrakcyjnym idealizmem i bezideowym pragmatyzmem oraz zachować własny fundament moralny. I to właśnie stanie się polskim wkładem nie tylko w europejskie perspektywy Ukrainy, ale i w przyszłość Europy jako całości.

Serhij Herasymczuk – Dyrektor Programu Międzynarodowego Grupy Studiów Strategicznych i nad Bezpieczeństwem w Kijowie.

Turkism, Azerbaijanism and the Language Question

Tadeusz Świętochowski

[tekst pierwotnie opublikowano w://text was originally published in: "Nowy Prometeusz" nr 4, październik 2013, ss. 115-124]

Turkism and Pan-Turkism, terms popularized by the Crimean Tatar journalist Gaspirali Gasprinski in the late 19th century, were both tolerated by the Tsarist government as a suggestion of the unity of Turkic peoples under the rule of Imperial Russia. Later, with the growth of the local press and the “time of storm and pressure” – starting with the Russian revolution of 1905-1907, the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911 and the Young Turkish Revolution of 1908 –the people of Azerbaijan, previously known as Persians or Caucasian Tatars, now began to call themselves Turkic or Caucasian Turks.1 Soviet rule, established in 1920, also initially tolerated Turkism, as neighboring Turkey was experiencing a revolutionary stage of Kemalism, which was thought might acquire a socialist character. Such expectations ceased to exist in the 1930’s, during the early years of Stalin’s reign.

A particularly Azerbaijani dimension of the “Time of Fear” became the question of nationality linked to religion. As a fresh note of incriminations in the purges began to sound, Pan-Turkism and its ties to Kemalist Turkey – until recently regarded as a friendly neighbor –was no longer tolerated. The head of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan, Jaffar Baghirov, explained to the Central Committee, that Turkey viewed itself as the only independent and free, Turkic speaking state, therefore its aim was to support the bourgeois-nationalist elements of the Turkic-Tatar Soviet population for the purpose of separation from the USSR and of creating a state under the guidance of Ankara2. Along with the air of hostility towards Pan-Turkism, the Stalinist purges also assumed an anti-Iranian fervor. The codeword for the “Iranian trace” now became Pan-Islamism and the campaign against it extended from the Shiite clergy to the labor immigrants; most of them of Azerbaijan origin, from across the Araxes frontier. Close to 15,000 persons were deported to Iran, where so-called “muhajirin” (immigrants) gave rise to the suspicion that they were a potentially pro-Soviet element. Among Iranian citizens remaining in the USSR, the number of persons that were imprisoned totaled 8979.3 A much worse fate awaited the Iranian political émigrés residing in Soviet Azerbaijan. The prominent Iranian Communists, among them Ehsanulla Khan, Hasan Abdulqasim Ashuri, Ali Huseynzadeh and Reza Pashazadeh, were arrested in late 1937 and subsequently executed4. The anti-Iranian aspect of the purges also marked the high point of a century long process of “de-Iranization”, showcased by the brutal suppression of Persian cultural traditions and language, which had until then survived in some towns north of the Araxes River borderline.

In December 1936, shortly before the culminating stage of the purges, the new (Stalinist) constitution was proclaimed. The USSR underwent another act of restructuring and its special feature this time was, once again, the issue of nationality. Partly in recognition of the fact that national differentiation among Muslims had progressed and partly with the aim to expedite the whole restructuring process, the Autonomous Republics of Kirghizia and Kazakhstan were upgraded to the status of constituent republics of the USSR. The same status of nominally sovereign Union republics was granted to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, the three components of the Zakfederatsia (Transcaucasian SFSR), which was now dissolved amidst indications that behind this regional association lurked counterrevolution. This was the crowning act in the Stalinist korenizatsia (nativization) policy of promoting national identities by splitting larger cultural, linguistic or regional entities. From now on, only vertical links (i.e. republic–center), rather than horizontal ones (republic-republic), would be permitted. Regional blocks on the pattern of Zakfederatsia, which might conceivably become a challenge to the Center, ceased to exist.

In addition to this legalistic change, citizens of the republic were suddenly ordered not to call themselves Turks any longer, but Azerbaijanis. A new, particularistic variety of national identity was imposed with the purpose to cut historic links to the outside, non-Soviet world. It signified not only the rejection of reactionary pro Iranian Pan-Islamism, but also of identification with the Turkic speaking world, such as that in Kemalist Turkey. Turkey, although strongly secular, ceased to be regarded as a friend of the USSR.

Azerbaijan, the part of the Caucasus region with the strongest ethnic, linguistic and cultural links to the countries outside the Soviet border, now had to renounce even its most nominal ties with the Turkic world. The term for the country’s language, as well as its inhabitants, now became the strictly observed: “Azerbaijani”, instead of Turkic or Azeri-Turkish, officially in use up to this point. A special committee was hastily put together for rewriting school textbooks and, later, for another urgent task, which appeared to imitate Kemalist Turkey – purging, if possible, the native language from Arabic, Persian, and even modern Turkish words. A scholar in the field of linguistics, Idris Hasanov, was accused of treason as a Pan-Turkist: the proof – his approval of the use of Turkish grammatical forms in the native language of Azerbaijan, as well as words of Ottoman origin.

The narrowly ethnic and strictly secular national particularism, as opposed to programs of a broader appeal, such as Turkism, or Pan-Islamism, also opened prospects for faster assimilation with Russia. A meaningful step in this direction seemed to be the change from the Latin alphabet, in use since 1926, to Cyrillic in 1940.

Curiously, Soviet “Azerbaijanism” appeared to follow in the shadow of Pan-Turkism, which the leader of the Musavat party, Mammad Amin Rasulzade had mentioned in his writings in exile. In his view, Pan-Turkism could be acceptable as a platform for cultural or educational cooperation, but not for long term political action, as this would implicitly subordinate Azerbaijani interests to Turkey, and threaten the native identity. Future political partners should rather be their Caucasian neighbors, including Christian and non-Turkic Georgia and Armenia.

Within the Soviet space, the dissolution of Zakfederatsia marked the end of the idea of the Common Caucasian Home tradition of regional federalism that was intended to rise above national and religious divisions. From now on, the never fully successful idea of Caucasian federalism would continue in weakening forms within the émigré environment. The main centers of activity of the Azerbaijani political emigration were Istanbul, Paris and Tehran.

The forum for non-Soviet Caucasian federalism was the Promethean movement, born in 1925, in Paris, with the encouragement of the Polish government. Its purpose was to support, through cooperation, the strivings for independence of non-Russian nationalities of the USSR, including Georgians, Caucasian Highlanders, Crimean Tatars, Azeris, Karelians, and above all, Ukrainians.

Of all the Azerbaijani émigré political groups, by far the largest was the Musavat, with most of the party activists gathered in Turkey. As the years passed by, the Kemalist authorities put the immigrant community under increasing pressure to fully assimilate, on the grounds that the Azeri people, as Turkic speaking residents of Turkey, should become its citizens. It was thought that the ideas of Caucasian federalism could also serve as a counterbalance to Pan-Turkism and act as a shield against possible Turkish attempts at expansion into Azerbaijan, as Rasulzade implied in his book, Pan-Turanism and the Caucasus Question, published in Paris in Russian. In his view, the Azeri – conscious that they had not been and were now not part and parcel of Turkey – should focus their efforts on ties with their closest neighbors in the Caucasus region.

That same year, in 1930, Rasulzade transferred the party leadership from Turkey to Poland. The idea of regional unity spreading among the Caucasian émigrés induced Polish government agencies to increase their support of the Promethean movement. In 1934, the Brussels Pact was signed, dedicated to the achievement of future confederate, rather than federal, regional states in the Caucasus region. The pact was endorsed by the Azerbaijanis, Georgians and Caucasian Highlanders, leaving the door open for the Armenians; hesitant about joining in an anti-Russian initiative.

The rapprochement with other nations of the Caucasus region reinforced the position of Rasulzade against the Musavatist “Istanbul wing” of the old time politicians from the Difai (Defense) organization. This was confirmed at a secret party congress in Warsaw in 1936. As new world conflict was approaching, the Third Reich began to show an interest in the Azerbaijani émigré groups. Gradually, Berlin began to attract their activities and key political figures went to reside there.

When World War II expanded into a conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union, the strategic importance of Baku and its environs also served as a reason for imposing a preventive occupation of northern Iran by the Red Army in August 1941. The Soviet occupational authorities, staffed by ethnically Azerbaijani personnel, encouraged local autonomist aspirations and tended to support native education and the use of literary language, after a many years long campaign of imposing Persian under the rule of Shakh Reza Pahlavi. At the same time, soldiers who had crossed over from the Soviet to the German side, requested that the Stalin-imposed term “Azerbaijani” cease to be used in Germany and be replaced with “Turk”.5

Contrary to its declared obligations, the Red Army forces failed to leave the northern part of Iran at the end of the war. In November 1945, Sayyid Jaffar Pishevari, the leader of the newly created leftist Democratic Party of Azerbaijan formed an autonomous government in Tabriz, under the protection of Soviet troops. The decree of the autonomous government of January 1946, proclaimed Azeri as the official language of Azerbaijan, elevating its status.

The issue of Iranian Azerbaijan soon quickly acquired international dimensions and a solution was deferred to the broader forum of the United Nations, as it was feared that the problem might develop into a preliminary skirmish in the approaching Cold War. Under pressure from the Western powers and the Security Council, Soviet troops left the occupied territory of Iran in the spring of 1946.

In the early post-war years, radio propaganda from the USSR attempted to stimulate separatist feelings in the Iranian part of Azerbaijan, where “Persianisation” returned on a much larger scale than before. At the same time, in Soviet Azerbaijan, writers and artists were encouraged to create works in the spirit of “unity of the common fatherland”. The effect was the rise of the “literature of longing”, devoted to the theme of a divided country, especially exalting the happy conditions in Soviet Azerbaijan, in contrast to the sad fate of its other “half” under the yoke of Iran. Some of these literary accomplishments received some of the highest Soviet distinctions, including the Stalin Award. In 1950, it was awarded to the composer Jangir Jangirov for the symphonic poem “On this side of the Araxes River”, and to the writer Suleiman Rustam, for his collection of poems, entitled: “The Two Coasts”. In the following year, the award was received by Mirza Ibragimow, for a novel describing the recent events that had taken place across the southern border, on the eve of the rise of Azerbaijani autonomy, under the poignant title, “The Day Will Come”. As the Cold War gained momentum, expectations grew that with the transition to armed conflict, Iran would become one of the first objects of military action. In such a way, a rapid unification of the two parts of Azerbaijan would be achieved. Suddenly, in 1955, any voices calling for Pan-Azerbaijanism were silenced, corresponding with the improvement of Iranian-Soviet relations.6

In the post-World War II years, the anti-Soviet position that emerged in Iran and Turkey found its reflection in the political climate imposed in Soviet Azerbaijan to secure the stability of power by intertwining fear, suspicion, and economic stagnation. Even though such a climate was by no means a unique feature of Azerbaijan under Soviet rule, the content of the denunciations carried particular meaning. The largest category included those concerning pro-Turkish or Pan-Islamic inclinations at a time of intense promotion of the identity of Azerbaijanism. By its nature, such promotion attempted at erasing the extensive historical links with the Middle East in general, and with Iran and Turkey in particular; now viewed as a dangerous neighbor in the context of the Cold War.

The struggle against the “Turkish trace” extended to the fields of historical linguistics and ancient literature, as shown by the campaign against the old-Turkic language folk epic, Dede Korkut in the early 1950’s. Until recently, regarded as a precious monument of historical legacy, it was now turned into a target for political condemnation. In the words of Baghirov, the epic work was a reactionary, anti-populist literary piece, permeated throughout with the venom of Turkic nationalism, not to mention Pan-Islamism

The attempt at suppressing historic roots was to be a stepping stone towards the expansion of Russian culture and language – a process aimed at building unity between the Soviet nationalities. Shortly before Stalin’s death, Baghirov, in the party periodical “Kommunist”, officially brought into use a new term, and described how two centuries ago the people of Azerbaijan eagerly awaited incorporation into Russia, feeling respect and gratitude ever since towards “Older Brother” – the great Russian nation.

The post-Stalin execution of Baghirov was to be the signal for a changing political climate, and the new Party head, Imam Mustafayev, an academic in the field of agriculture, assumed the leadership position in 1954. His nomination was seen as the coming of a new, “Thaw Generation”, alongside the revival of the intelligentsia. Mustafayev was fond of calling his country the “land of oil and cotton” and tended to view Azerbaijan in its wider context as a part of the (albeit Soviet) Middle East. In his speeches, he often compared Azerbaijan’s economic achievements with those of Turkey. As time went on, Mustafayev’s statements gave rise to suspicions of Pan-Islamic and even Pan-Turkish proclivities. His downfall proved to be the resurgent controversy over the language issue. According to the new law, applicable to the whole of the USSR, teaching of native languages ceased to be obligatory in Russian schools in the Soviet republics and the choice of school (with instruction in either Russian or the local language) was left up to the parents. When Mustafayev’s government, fearing linguistic Russification, attempted to delay implementation of the new law (with the intention to reconfirm Azeri as the official language of the country) a political crisis arose at the highest level of the Azerbaijani Communist Party hierarchy. In the words of Mustafayev’s rival, Veli Akhundov: “The issue of recognizing Azeri as the official language of the republic in 1956, brought negative consequences, such as the reawakening of nationalist sentiments and distortion in Party policies. This issue was exploited by various demagogues and nationalists for the purpose of heating up nationalistic passions, especially among parts of the intelligentsia and the student youth”. In answer to such criticism, Mir Ibrahimov, recipient of the Stalin Award, mindful of refusals by the postal service to accept telegrams or letters in the Azeri language, responded: “Some comrades show not only dislike, but also contempt for the language of Azerbaijan”. In June 1959, Mustafayev was forced into retirement, officially because of the failures of his policies; prime among them: “confusion in the question of language”.7

His successor, Veli Akhundov, was committed to reverse the nationalist deviations of Mustafayev. The Moscow language policy was accepted and was met with the approval of well-educated Azeris. Their personal ambitions or expectations most probably stretched beyond the limits of their home country, and thus, they favored mastering the Soviet lingua franca over the native idiom. The complex interplay of the conquered people’s national sentiments and imperial assimilation is presented in the commentary of an Azerbaijani writer:

The Soviet regime in Azerbaijan, as in other national republics, left its impact on the formation of national consciousness in a convoluted and contradictory manner. On the one hand, it promoted the idea of the Azerbaijani nation, and even cultivated high, but incomplete, Azerbaijani patriotism. (Incomplete inasmuch as the Azerbaijani culture was purposefully separated from its historic roots through such means as the imposition of atheism, the change of Arabic alphabet to Latin, and then, later, to Cyrillic, banning the normal study of the Musavatist period and of the links to the culture of the Iranian Azeris and akin peoples – Iranians and Turks – and inasmuch as any manifestation of patriotism had to be accompanied with an oath of friendship and fealty to the Russian “Older Brother”). On the other hand, the Russification that took place was partly imposed and partly spontaneous. Characteristically, the process reached especially large dimensions when the Azerbaijani bureaucracy came to positions of power on all levels, squeezing out the non-Azeris. Precisely, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the number of Russian schools in Baku exceeded that of Azerbaijani schools, even though the city was acquiring an increasingly higher native character through its ethnic composition. Both the intelligentsia and the bureaucracy mainly sent their children to Russian schools”.8

The long term effect was a further deepening of the rift between the “big city” inhabitants and the small town and village populations. There, the view continued that learning Russian was wasteful, inasmuch as this foreign language was easily forgotten among the local people.

In 1969, Haidar Aliyev, a former KGB General, was appointed the new head of the CPAz. Among the key political figures in Azerbaijan, his personal impact would last longer than that of any of the other leaders – more than three decades. The early Aliyev years initiated the sending of students and young scholars on a mass scale to universities in Russia and other republics, making it possible for them to pursue careers outside their homeland. Aliyev also promoted the further growth of Russian schools inside the country. During the 1970’s, the proportion of inhabitants with good knowledge of the Russian language almost doubled from 16.6% to 29.5%, although it still remained lower than in most other republics. At the same time, the Azerbaijanization of the bureaucratic and industrial personnel was accompanied by a noticeable ethnic change, with the proportion of Armenians and Russians slowly, but steadily, declining, while the natives, by the time of the 1979 census, amounted to almost 80% of the republic’s population.9 Pan-Azerbaijani voices once more resounded in literature and scholarship and before his transfer to the Politbureau in Moscow, Aliyev openly expressed the hope to realize a reunited Azerbaijan in his lifetime.10 While in Iranian Azerbaijan this campaign was viewed as a new indication of Soviet expansionism, north of the border it appeared as a reminder that pan-Azerbaijani aspirations could only be fulfilled through the actions of the USSR.

During the perestroika transformations, the leader of the People’s Front of Azerbaijan, Abulfaz Elchibey, became the president of an independent Azerbaijan on June 7, 1992. As the first democratically elected head of state), he received “only” 59% of the vote (i.e. without the Soviet-style majority. The figure reflected the strong, but not overwhelming support he enjoyed at the time; quite satisfying in the case of an established democracy, yet in the existing situation, indicative of the extent of fear towards essential political transformations. A historian witnessing the events commented:

The prospect of taking over full power by the People’s Front, gave rise to fear amongst the privileged stratum, since now the issue would no longer be the usual success of one or other of the clans and factions, but rather the undermining of the very foundations of its existence. Full independence and exit from the Community of Independent States, would lead to the disruption of the system of connections with Moscow, which for them constituted the basis of power and influence… Transition to the Azeri language was a frightening prospect tied to the loss of status and even the loss of jobs by a large group of people without command of the native language. The taking over of power by the PFAz was a victory for the plebeians, towards whom the Baku elite felt true class hatred”.11

The electoral victory of the People’s Front signified the superiority of the more nationalistically disposed, but also provincial part of the population over the urban and, at least partly, Russianized members of society. Elchibey articulated more clearly than any other Azerbaijani public figure the community’s historically ingrained aspirations and concerns. These were: the emancipation from Russia’s all-pervading grip, drawing closer to Turkey, as well as the West and developing links to the Azerbaijani population across the Iranian border. He sought to act upon these goals, often only to find out that they exacted a heavy price and could be mutually exclusive. The attempt to officially designate the native language of Azerbaijan as Turkish met with a wave of protests. The extent of these protests was a shock for Elchibey and forced him to give up the attempted change. Clearly, Soviet-imposed Azerbaijanism had put down deep roots in the native soil.

Elchibey’s foreign policy was highlighted by the withdrawal of Azerbaijan from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and emotional gravitation toward Turkey. His slogan, borrowed by the President of Turkey, Suleyman Demirel, resounded: “Two states, one nation”, but it did not bring the hoped for amount of aid and assistance to Azerbaijan. Elchibey’s openly voiced concern pertaining to the limitation of Iranian Azeris’ cultural rights aroused distrust in Tehran. The PFAz government’s attempt at opening up to Western oil companies by concluding “preparatory” agreements on investments and the joint exploration of off-shore oil deposits was a step that provoked unconcealed hostility from Moscow. In the view of many, this sealed the fate of Elchibey’s rule after just one year, leading to the return to power of Haidar Aliyev.

Political instability continued as a hallmark of post-Soviet Azerbaijan and within the first 4-5 years of its existence, the independent republic had three presidents, two acting presidents, and one successful coup d’état. An air of relative stability only returned with the consolidation of power in the hands of Haidar Aliyev. Even so, he had to contend with various attempts to overthrow the government by force.

Among the many diverse aspects of post-Soviet Azerbaijani identity, the language question contained political potential and became the foundation of dissident activities across the Araxes frontier.12 As if in appreciation of its significance, on July 5, 2001, Haidar Aliyev issued a presidential decree declaring that the Azerbaijani language was the state language of the Republic of Azerbaijan and that the usage and development of the native language was one of the principal attributes of Azerbaijani independent state and whereby Aliyev resolved to issue regulations for its protection. This included creating a committee for language issues chaired by the president of the republic, which would submit proposals for legislation on the legal status of the Azeri language. The heads of ministries, state agencies and academic institutions were to prepare and carry out projects related to the use of the state language with the Latin alphabet. In addition, the Ministry of Education was to take decisive measures for improving the learning of the native language, while the Academy of Sciences, along with the Union of Writers, was to submit a program for publishing works on the arts and sciences, as well as dictionaries and textbooks in the Latin alphabet, introduced by Elchibey.

After an exceptionally lively debate, Parliament passed legislation on the state language, banning the use of Cyrillic in public places – a continuing practice, despite the official switch to Latin. The streets of Baku became the scene of feverish labor, as signs, billboards and advertisements were altered. The third change of alphabet proved to be incomparably more difficult than the change to Latin in the 1920’s, when the majority of people were illiterate. The ban on the use of Cyrillic caused disaffection amongst the middle-aged and older members of the population. Similarly, some opposition voices expressed concern that enforcing Latin would reduce the readership of the independent press. Chief amongst the complaints concerning the alphabet reforms was that “there is not much to read in the Latin script”.

Frequently, the answer came back “use Russian”. The significance of this language has left a deep impact on the educational system in Azerbaijan, where the number of Russian schools is on the rise again, inasmuch as they enjoy a reputation for higher academic standards. One of the reasons for this is the abundance of textbooks in Russian. On the broader aspect of the language situation in Baku, one local resident wrote the following observations: “Despite all the changes, the Russian language does not disappear. Perhaps the younger generation knows Azeri better, but those who used Russian before independence – whatever their nationality – still speak in that language, as in the old days”.13

Professor Tadeusz Świętochowski a world-renown Polish historian and Caucasologist. He is a Professor emeritius of Monmouth University and lecturer at the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw. His fields include contemporary history of the Middle East and Azerbaijan.

1 See: T. Świętochowski, The Politics of Literary Language and the Rise of National Identity in Russian Azerbaijan before 1920, “Ethnic and Racial Studies”, vol.14, no.1, 1991, pp. 55-67

2 J. Baberowski, Stalinismus an der Peripherie: das Beispiel Azerbaijan 1920-1941, in: Hildermeier, Manfred, Stalinismus vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg: Neue Wege der Forschung, München, 1998, p. 763

3 T. Solmaz, Iran kominternin sarq siyaseti, 1919-1943, Baku, 2001, p. 426

4 Ibidem, p.432

5 See: P. Zur Muhlen, Zwischen Hackenkreuz und Sowjetstern. Der Nationalismus der sowjetischen Orientvolker in Zweiten Weltkrieg, Dusseldorf, 1971

6 See: L. Fawcett-L -Estrange, Iran and the Cold War. The Azerbaijan Crisis of 1946, Cambridge University Press, 1992; T. Atabaki, Azerbaijan: Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth Century Iran, British Academic Press, 1993; B. Shaffer, Borders and Brethren. Iran and the Challenge of Azerbaijani Identity, Cambridge 2002

7 J. Gasanly, Natsional’nyi vopros v Azerbaidzhane, Pravda i vymysel (1956-1959 gg,), “Zerkalo”, 6/6, 2006, no. 8

8 A. Abasov, Azerbaidżanskaia revoliutsia, in D. Furman (ed.), Azerbaidzhan i Rossiya, Moscow, 2001, p.123

9 See: V. Kozlov, I., Natsional’nosti SSSR. Etnodemograficheskii obzor, Finansy i Statistika, Moscow 1982.

10 The Times” (London), 1982, 11/29.

11 A. Abasov, op.cit., p. 145

12 See: G. Riaux, The formative years of Azerbaijani nationalism in post-revolutionary Iran, “Central Asian Survey”, Vol. 27, no. 1, March 2008

13 B. Blair, Alphabet and Language in Transition, “Azerbaijan International”, 8, 1, Spring, 2000. (Special Issue), p.33