asiaNet Q & A
Kovalev: I believe there is no clearly formulated strategic standpoint on this. The role of Russia in politics of the CIS provinces is being dictated by the current situation in those countries, their current state of affairs. That doesn't mean, however, that there are not constant factors influencing Russia's position. Let's recall the role Russia played in Abkhazia a terrible, bloody role. When it comes to Georgia [today], on the one hand, Russia is ready to establish partnership relationships. On the other hand, it wants to keep its military bases there no matter what. Wherever it can, Russia is trying to maintain fragments of the Soviet power. Of course, it is easier for Russia to deal with Armenia Armenia is interested in Russia's help in its resistance to Azerbaijan. It is different with Georgia. No matter how much policymakers talk about recognition of Georgia's territorial integrity, no matter how much they insist that they are not interested in Abkhazia's separation from Georgia, the old Soviet instincts keep working.