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  1. #1
    Council Member
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    Aug 2015

    Default Kazakhstan

    Putin's Next Potential Target: The Baltic States
    Highly improbable. This is from the same Atlantic Council that is desperate for trans-Atlantic closeness, irrespective of differing US and Western European public opinion, and irrespective of the lack of Western (Continental) European contribution to NATO, which is now a US tripwire plus nuclear umbrella.

    Putin has carefully chosen targets where he would find some degree of popular support due to various ties, and targets not protected by other great powers.

    I guarantee you the Baltics are safe. The less conventional response NATO has there, the more NATO will rely upon nuclear deterrence. Narva isn't worth the gamble when Obama has no "flexible options".

    Putin will strike next in Central Asia, if at all. Any country with a significant Russian minority contiguous to the Russian border is at risk. China has a vote, but it wants stability above all, and has its own irridentist claims on Taiwan.

    Honestly, what will the EU do if northern Kazakhstan "secedes"?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-08-2016 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Copied to the new Kazakhstan thread

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Northern Kazakhstan "secedes"?

    Cited in part:
    Quote Originally Posted by Azor View Post
    Honestly, what will the EU do if northern Kazakhstan "secedes"?
    Nothing beyond a diplomatic statement. The EU has enough to "do" closer to home and shows little inclination to be effective in Central Asia. The Baltic states are different.

    I am not sure there is such a place as 'Northern Kazakhstan' and having consulted Wikipedia I noted these facts:
    In 1989, ethnic Russians were 37.8% of the population and Kazakhs held a majority in only 7 of the 20 regions of the country.

    In the 1999 Census there were 4,480,675 Russians (29.9% pop) and in 2009 3,793,764 (23.7% pop).
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-08-2016 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Copied to the new Kazakhstan thread

  3. #3
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    Aug 2015


    Hence the small "n" northern. The settlement areas of the ethnic Russians in northern Kazakhstan are roughly contiguous with the Russian border, rendering a Donbass-style porous border scenario quite feasible. Russians as a % of the population have continued to fall considerably, primarily due to emigration to Russia or beyond. Nevertheless, if Putin wants to add to his population, I see no more tempting a target.

    I can see the Kremlin targeting the Baltics with rhetoric, lawfare and cyberwarfare, in order to divert Western attention, and then swooping in on Kazakhstan instead. Astana has recently made some movements in the direction of China and towards banning the Russian NGOs which keep the diaspora connected to the Kremlin's echochamber.

    Nazarbayev is 75 and it is unclear who his successor may be. He comes across as more of a Jaruzelski than a Walesa, which may stay the little green men until he dies, but what then?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-08-2016 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Copied to the new Kazakhstan thread

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