S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (러시아문화권연구소) 러시아연구 (Russian Studies) 러시아연구 Volume 04 (1994)
구 소련지역의 민족분규와 러시아연방의 인근외교
National Problerns in Countries of the Fonner Soviet Union and Russia’s Policy toward "Near Abroad"
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 러시아연구소
- 러시아연구, Vol.4, pp. 271-305
- The breakup of the Soviet Union has contributed to the escalation of interethnic conf1icts and full-scale war between nations in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The ethnic minorities, who enjoyed official and legal equality and rights under the common status, the Soviet Citizen in the Soviet era, have struggled for the seecssonist and independent movement to protect themselves from repression and discrimination and keep their political and cultural autonomy. Accordingly, newly independent states of the former Soviet Union might be divided into two or three parts.
The 25 milion Russians who lived outside Russia also lost their privileged status under the Soviet rule and suddenly became second-class citizens in these newly independent states. As other ethnic minorities have done, Russians in the former Soviet Union republics have suffered from violations of civil, political, economic, and human rights. They have been prevented from obtaining jobs, housing, and social-security benefits. Consequently, politicized Russian officers of the Russian troops that remained stationed in the Soviet era, have helped armed struggle of ethnic Russians against national majorities by providing Russians with weapons.
Policies and alternatives to resolve ethnic problems in countries of the former Soviet Union were debated within the boundary of direction or doctrine of foreign policy. National-patriots criticized that Russian government renounced the obligation to defend interests and human rights of Russians in "near abroad." And they urged Yeltsin to take aggressive steps, including military intervention, to defend human rights of ethnic Russians outside Russia. Moreover, they also argue to maximize Russia' s influence on the countries of the former Soviet Union. By contrast, Yeltsin feared that Russia’s involvement in interethnic conflicts in "near abroad" could cause the tension with Western countries and thus lose the economic aids from the West which Yeltsin hoped to obtain. Thus, he hesitated to be involved in the resolution of ethnic problems in the former Soviet republics. Yeltsin ’s supporters contend limited involvement in interethnic conflicts that would contribute to keeping the good relationship with Western countries. On the other hand, moderate-center parties propose the Eurasian policy that would replace the alternatives of radical democrats and conservative nationalists. Their policy toward national problems presuppose the maintenance of good relationship with the West, the former Soviet republics, and Asian-Pacific states. The Eurasian national policy is to be based on the conception of civil nationalism.
National policies discussed above have strength and weakness. The better resolution of national problems require reinterpreting conceptions like nations and nationalism in the context of international political, economic, and cultural environments following new world order and globalization. Ethnic conceptions of the nation conceives of the nation as a genealogical and vemacular cultural community, whereas civic and territorial conceptions of the nation regard it as a community of shared culture, common laws and territorial citizenship. The establishment of ' civil nationalism' helps economic growth that would allay interethnic conflicts. When all citizens would not be discriminated by nationalities and ethnicity and could have equal rights under civil nationalism, ethnic minorities, skilled laborer of high education and high-tech would renounce to immigrate to other safer countries and determine to settle in their present residence. Accordingly, they would contribute to the economic development of their host countries. Finally, the transformation of CIS into an economic community could help to form the exterior circumstances appropriate for the establishment of civil nationalism. The free movement of labor and goods within the bloc of CIS would contribute to strengthening the foundation of civil nationalism.