An empirical application of regional security complex theory on eastern partnership region
Abstract. Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a very dynamic region. If a year ago the EaP was seen as an authentic and vibrant „laboratory” of democracy building, overcoming the remains of the totalitarian state and putting the basis of a free and pluralist society, nowadays the Eastern Partnership is seen as an „out-dated” approach of the EU. However, Eastern Partnership is visible on European political arena and the big powers (USA, Russia and the EU) pay attention more and more to the evolution of EaP countries. Moreover, it seems to be a confrontation between Russia and Western powers regarding the political and geopolitical orientation of EaP countries. Kremlin tries actively to stop the efforts of the EaP to close to the EU and on the other side, the EU as well as the USA encourage EaP countries to implement reforms in order to build their democracy.
This paper aims to analyse the Eastern Partnership in terms of security complex, trying to argue that Eastern Partnership countries at this phase don’t form a Regional Security Complex and the EU and USA should rethink its approach towards this region.
The EU accession of the ten Central – Eastern European states in 2004 has created new external borders, thus increasing the necessity to tighten cooperation with the new eastern neighbors. When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007, developing a comprehensive multilateral co-operation package for EU’s eastern neighbours had become a pressing necessity. In short time, namely in 2009, EU launched at Prague Summit the Eastern Partnership which is the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy and covers six post-soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Through Eastern Partnership EU cooperates with its eastern neighbours in order to achieve political association and economic integration. This EU initiative aims „to promote democracy and good governance, enable people to build contacts, strengthen energy security, promote sectorial reforms and environment protection measures, support economic integration and convergence with EU sectorial policies as well as social development and offer additional funding for projects to reduce socio-economic imbalances and increase stability”. The main values which unify the target countries include the rule of law, the respect for human rights, the promotion of democracy and deeper engagement of civil society.
Eastern Partnership represents an EU initiative which “establishes a new political instrument for the promotion of democracy and economic reforms in the EU eastern neighbourhood”. The idea of the formation of Eastern Partnership has two motivations. For one hand, the Eastern countries and Southern Caucasus seek to strengthen their relations with European Union and on another hand EU has the interest in seeking stability, good governance and economic development at its Eastern borders.
Which was the interest that stayed at the base of the creating Eastern Partnership? It was clear for EU states that Russia tried to increase its sphere of influence over Eastern countries which have EU aspirations. All the six Eastern Partnership countries were soviet republics. Kremlin has always wanted to control the domestic affairs, foreign and the economy of these former soviet states. Once these countries made public their EU aspirations, Russia didn’t lose the chances to put pressure. One example in this respect which is a grave one is the Georgian War of August 2008. Because of Western orientation of Saakashvili, Russia decided to wage a war with Georgia in order to bring down the Georgian President and to change the balance of power and end Georgia’s chances to NATO. To achieve its goal, Russia decided strategically to put control on Ossetia and Abkhazia, using these territories for broader defence objectives in the South Caucasus.
By creating the Eastern Partnership the EU offered opportunities for positive engagement of the region. Moreover, the EU undertook the responsibility to give all necessary assistance with the reforms in a large number of sectors. In the Joint Declaration on the EaP which was signed in Prague on May 7, 2009, it is stipulated that Eastern Partnership has two dimensions bilateral and multilateral. If the bilateral dimension has launched from the beginning, but the instruments available within the multilateral dimension are new for the region. The two main instruments of the Eastern Partnership on the bilateral level of cooperation are the Association Agenda and Association Agreement. The Association Agenda, “an instrument meant to replace the Action Plan, was signed with all the Eastern Partnership countries (except Belarus). The Association Agenda will prepare for and facilitate the entry into force of the Association Agreement”. The Association Agreement is based on ownership, responsibility and objective monitoring of the results, however it is non-legally-binding. Being non-legally-binding, the achievement of all EU benchmarks doesn’t mean that the Eastern enlargement is possible. Instruments for multilateral cooperation are a novelty for the region. The Eastern Partnership countries have seen too few initiatives of regional cooperation. The multilateral level of cooperation was introduced through the four thematic platforms, namely (1) democracy, good governance and stability; (2) economic integration and convergence with the EU sectorial policies, (3) energy security, and (4) contact between people.
However, the multilateral cooperation has few accomplishments. The only successes on this dimension are “the multiple meetings and conferences, establishment of the new institutions, and since recently – high engagement of other region actors into the successful implementation of the Eastern Partnership”.
Chapter I: Theoretical Approach
1. What is Regional Security Complex?
The theory of regional security complex had sketched by Barry Buzan in its work People, States and Fear (1983). Later, Barry Buzan and Ole Waiver had advanced this theory in Regions and Powers. The Structure of International Security which appeared in 2003. Barry Buzan and Ole Waiver argue in their work that regional security complex theory has a significant importance in order to understand and analyse the international politics: “regional security complex theory (RSCT) enables one to understand this new structure and to evaluate the relative balance of power of, and mutual relationship within it between, regionalizing and globalizing trends”.
Due to regional security complex theory, we can distinguish “between the system level interplay of the global powers, whose capabilities enable them to transcend distance, and the subsystem level interplay of lesser powers whose main security environment is their local region”. The scholars offer the proper instrument to analyse the security interdependence within a certain region and not between regions.
First definition of Barry Buzan and Ole Waiver for security complex is the following “set of states whose major security perceptions and concerns are so interlinked that their national security problems cannot reasonably be analysed or resolved apart from one another”. In 2003 this definition was revised “regional security complex is a set of units whose major processes of securitization, desecuritisation or both are so interlinked that their security problems cannot reasonably be analysed or resolved apart from one another”.
2. How to analyse the Regional Security Complex?
In order to analyse EaP from regional security complex perspective, it will be used the theory of Barry Buzan, namely those four levels of analysis:
Domestic level – at this level it is necessary to analyse the internal situation in the states of the region, their domestic vulnerabilities and strengths and also their effects on stability and security.
State – to – state relations – in the case of this level, the analysis should focus on relationships among states of the region and also if there is security interdependence among them;
Region’s interaction with neighbouring regions – at this level it is necessary to analyse if there are relationships between the region taken in consideration and other regions which are neighbouring. However, “is supposed to be relatively limited as the interaction internally defines the complex”.
The role of global powers in the region – in the case to this level in is necessary to analyse “the interplay between the global and regional security structures”.
This level of analysis will help us to have an overview not only about the region, but also about each state of the region and its relation with others states from the region.
Beside of these, a regional security complex can be analysed by applying four variables:
boundary, which differentiates the RSC from its neighbours;
anarchic structure, which means that the RSC must be composed of 2 or more autonomous units;
polarity – the distribution of power among the units;
social construction – which covers the patterns of amity and enmity among the units.
The theory developed under Copenhagen School has the main advantage to analyse each region in terms of regional security terms by applying those four variables and four levels of analysis described above. In the next chapter it will be applied the theoretical approach in order to find out if it is formed an Eastern Partnership security complex.
Chapter II: Eastern Partnership as a Regional Security Complex
II.1 Analysis of Eastern Partnership from Regional Security Complex Theory
As it was mentioned in first chapter, Eastern Partnership has been recently seen as a distinctive region. This is the reason for what no expert tried to analyse this region in terms of regional security complex. As a matter of fact, nobody has tried thinking at Eastern Partnership as a regional security complex. That is why this chapter proposes to apply RSCT on each EaP country. In the following, it will be merged the domestic level and state to state relation, having in mind also their option to be part of EaP. After this, it will be analysed separately the other two levels: the region’s interaction with neighbouring regions and the role of global powers in the region.
Republic of Moldova
European integration is a priority issue pursued by Republic of Moldova. The European aspiration of Moldova began to take shape in 1994 with the signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. The next steps of Moldova towards the EU were the signing of the Action Plan in 2005 and in 2008 an agreement on the liberalization of the visa regime came into force. However, until 2009 the European integration was limited to mere gestures and did not contribute to a genuine integration of Moldova with the EU because of the communist rule. After the elections of July 2009, a coalition of four centre-right parties formed the parliamentary majority in Moldova – the Alliance for European Integration (AIE).
The AIE has set integration with the EU as its strategic aim: the long term goal is to join the EU, and the ongoing objective is to adapt the Moldovan legislation to European standards. In 2011 Moldova succeeded to receive visa facilitation Action Plan. Additionally, in 2010 negotiations of the new Association Agreement (AA) which includes deep and comprehensive free trade area were launched and they finalized in June, 2013. Republic of Moldova succeeded to initial the AA and the DCFTA at the Vilnius Summit which took place on 28 – 29 November 2013 and to sign it on 27 June 2014. The DCFTA represents a huge success, offering to Moldova a framework for modernizing its trade relations and economic development by the opening of markets via the progressive removal of customs tariffs and quotas, and by an extensive harmonization of laws, norms and regulations in various trade-‐related sectors, creating the conditions for aligning key sectors of the Moldovan economy to EU standards.
Moreover, starting with 24 April 2014, Moldova was granted with visa liberalization, thus Moldovan citizens can travel in Schengen area without visas.
At the domestic level, Moldova faces with some vulnerabilities and threats. One of the biggest vulnerability of Moldovan state is high level of corruption. Corruption is deeply embedded in Moldova’s public institutions and it is cited as a stagger block to European Integration – Chisinau’s fundamental objective. A successful anti-corruption policy was a benchmark for EU visa liberation, as well as for successfully implementing the Association Agreement with the EU. Thanks to EU pressure, key anti-corruption institutions were created in 2012. National Anti-corruption Centre was created by reshuffling the old and ineffective Center for Fighting Economic Crime and Corruption. Furthermore, law no. 180 of 19/12/2011 established the National Integrity Commission, aiming to control officials’ wealth. However, these anti-corruption institutions for time being don’t have a successful activity in their anti-corruption efforts.
A big threat is Transnistrian conflict. Anyway the conflict in Transnistria is considered “the least violent of the four frozen conflicts in the EaP area”. For sure, this conflict represents one of most important obstacles for Moldova’s European integration aspirations. Unfortunately, the conflict in Transnistria remains an unsolved one, in the last 4 years nothing happened in respect of a peaceful resolution. Moreover, Russia’s attitude towards Moldova has hardened. Last visit of Dimitri Rogozin in Chisinau resulted with a hard threat “Moldova’s European integration might complicate a resolution of Transdniestr’s status”. In conclusion, because of Transnistria, Moldova will be threatened by Russia in its European drive as as n the case of Crimea in Ukraine.
At the state to state relations level, Moldova has good relations with all EaP countries. However, Ukrainian – Moldovan relations can be perceived sometimes as troublesome. There are some unresolved issues between Ukraine and Moldova: “the demarcation of the state border and a number of property issues, ranging from resorts to a hydroelectric station”. Because of these unresolved issues, a lot of misunderstandings continue to loom the bilateral relations between Moldova and Ukraine and prevent real progress.
Ukraine is a key country within Eastern Partnership mostly because of its strategic geopolitical position. After Orange Revolution of 2004, Ukraine was considered the most democratic countries in the Community of Independent States (CIS). According to Freedom House, Ukraine in 2005 enjoy “relatively free media, as well as broad civil and political liberties, including freedom of association, as indicating by numerous active civil society organizations operating in Ukraine”. The Ukrainian elections from 2005 brought the democratic position, with Victor Yushchenko as the president and Yulia Tymoshenko as prime – minister. During their mandate the democracy in Ukraine increased and EU directed its support and assistance to the new democracy.
However in 2010 the power shifted in favor of Viktor Yanukovich, the leader of the Party of Regions. He managed to cause the collapse of Tymoshenko government and to accuse the former prime – minister of power abuse against the national interest of Ukraine. However, EU considers this act as a selective justice, considering that Tymoshenko’s file is pure political one. In March 2010, it was formed a new government coalition. The prime – minister was Mykola Azarov from Party of Regions and Victor Yanukovich – the President of Ukraine – which had the strongest influence on the government’s work and also a huge power over the decisions which are passed at the level of Presidential Administration.
Yanukovich has always declared that European integration is his priority. However, Ukrainian president, proved reduced enthusiasm in the European orientation. This fact was obvious in November, 2013 when Yanukovich refused to sign the AA, including DCFTA. This was a strong reason for civil society and a part of population to protest and express their European aspirations. In fact, this event led to a great instability in Ukraine which represented a serious vulnerability of Ukraine. In the context of this vulnerability, Russia annexed Crimea which lead unofficially to a war in Eastern part of Ukraine. This situation represents a great threat to Ukraine that undermines its security.
At state to state relation, Ukraine had great relations with Belarus till Orange Revolution. Belarus being an authoritarian state wasn’t agree with the democratic motivations of Ukraine in fear to not escalating in its disfavour: it seems that the Orange Revolution will have some influence on the situation in Belarus, and for several reasons. Firstly, the Ukrainian events of 2004, similarly as the 2003 Revolution of Roses in Georgia, proved that democratic transformations in the CIS area are possible. As a result, Belarus, until recently perceived to be one of the many authoritarian or semi-authoritarian post-Soviet states, today is viewed by the United States and the European Union more as a challenge. Western states may decide that since the democrats were successful in Ukraine, the opposition in Belarus should be supported by even greater involvement”. However, the bilateral relations not suffered too much, “because both Ukraine and Belarus are increasingly aware of the importance of the mutual relations (…) It can be assumed that similarly as over the last fourteen years, when the two states have tried not to emphasize the differences between them regarding foreign policy, they will now try to develop a modus vivendi in the sphere of bilateral relations, regardless of the disputes about internal policy”.
The bilateral relation with Moldova can be considered relatively unsatisfactory because of Transnistria conflict (See p. 14). However, the relations of Ukraine with Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan can be perceived as diplomatic relations without tracks of enmity, not even amity.
Belarus saw the possibility to join EaP as a chance to escape from isolation, especially since its relationship with Russian Federation became “increasingly bumpy” in the last years, and was negatively affected by the Georgian War of August 2008.
Belarus is one of the most authoritarian states within EaP. Then why EU invited Belarus to join EaP? Paul Ivan – expert within Romanian Centre for European Policies – argued that “in 2008 the regime had made some liberalization attempts and the previous policy of isolating Belarus hadn’t brought significant results, the EU went along and engaged the regime in Minsk”. What is sure is that Belarus doesn’t have plans to join EU. The population is also divided equally in those who prefer the European option and those who would like the integration in Customs Union.
At the domestic level Belarus is the most authoritarian regime and because of this there are a lot of vulnerabilities in Belarusian society: “lack of freedoms of association, assembly, and expression, and the right to fair trial; government harassment of human rights defenders, independent media, and defence lawyers continues, including through arbitrary bans on foreign travel”.
At the state to state relation level, Belarus is quite isolated and don’t have developed relations with other EaP countries. The main political partner of Belarus is Russia and both of them have close political, economic and security related bond. More sor, Belarus took part at the creation of Customs Union which is a regional integration project initiated by Russian Federation that tries to copy EaP initiative.
The EU and its shared value are very popular among Armenians; however the Armenian political elite showed reluctance regard to the issue of European integration. Armenia is located between Azerbaijan and Turkey and it considered as an isolated country. Its motivation to join EaP was related with escaping from regional isolation and also to benefit from new funds for the modernization of the country. However, Armenian President declared that Armenia will join to Customs Union.
At the domestic level, Armenia has huge problems with political corruption, being the biggest vulnerability. More so, this phenomenon “permeating all levels of society: the public administration, particularly the judiciary, the police and the health sector, are especially vulnerable to corruption. This situation is echoed by Armenia’s poor performance in most areas assessed by governance indicators”. The biggest threat of Armenia is Nagorno – Karabach frozen conflict which represent a serious challenge to the security, stability, and prosperity of the Armenia.
At the state to state relation level, Armenia has good relation with all EaP countries beside Azerbaijan. Bilateral relations between these two countries have been hostile since Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a war in 1990 over the disputed land – Nagorno Karabakh. This territory is populated by ethnic Armenians but it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The war ended in 1994 when Armenian military forces with the help of Russian forces managed to drive out the Azerbajani troops from the disputed land. However, no another country recognized the separatist quasi-statelet of Nagorno-Karabach. This conflict remains to be a frozen one and there is likely to escalate at any time. Russia has always been the ally of Armenia, but in fact this fact caused “a politically, economically and militarily dependence on Russia, which over the years has assumed control of Armenia’s key economic sectors”.
Relationship between Georgia and Armenia are good. However, because of „Georgia’s tense relations with Russia, Armenia cannot take the Georgian route for granted, as was shown during the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, when Armenia was subject to a communications blockade”.
Azerbaijan like Belarus is an authoritarian EaP country and it is not interested in further economic and political integration with EU. Its motivation to join EaP is related with the improvement of the relations with EU and also with energy issues. On the other hand, for EU it was convenient to have Azerbaijan as partner because of the energetic stakes: Azerbaijan remains a key energy resource partner for EU.
At the domestic level, Azerbaijan does not want to enable democratizing reform. The big vulnerabilities of Azerbaijan are the lack of the independence of judicial system and also the high level of corruption which “continues to be the main obstacle to development of entrepreneurship and economic diversification in Azerbaijan”. Another vulnerability is poverty because of “the uneven distribution of profit generated by the energy sector that contributes to significant social disparities, and undermines attempts to fight poverty, which remains persistent in Azerbaijan”.
A big threaten to Azerbaijan is related with the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh described above. In this context, Azerbaijan is determined to reclaim Nagorno – Karabakh and a potential conflict with Armenia could affect its security.
At the state to state relation level, Azerbaijan has difficult and hostile relation with Armenia because of disputed land Nagorno – Karabakh. Azerbaijan has traditionally good relation with a non Eastern Partnership country – Turkey. Lately, the good relation with Turkey has somewhat weakened recently, as “Turkey tried to improve its relations with Armenia, increased co-operation with Russia, and could not agree on transit prices for Azerbaijan’s natural resources”.
Georgia accepted to join EaP being interested in the involvement of the EU in conflict resolution in the Caucasus, but also in visa liberalization and the establishments of a free trade with EU. After Rose Revolution in 2003 the Georgian president Mihail Saakashvili wanted the integration of Georgia in NATO and EU. However, the integration of the country in the European and Euro – Atlantic structures was affected by Russian – Georgian War of 9 August 2008. The war resulted into independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and in short time Russia recognized the new separatist territories.
Georgia signed the Association Agreement, including DCFTA at Vilnius Summit as Moldova did. Georgia continues the democratization reforms. However it also has vulnerabilities which challenge its internal stability. One of the biggest vulnerability is corruption, “Georgia continues to suffer from corruption at elite levels, and the UNM administration’s insularity fostered opportunities for cronyism and insider deals”.
The threat at the address of Georgia is the hostile relation with separatist territories: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In fact, “Georgia sees Russia as the main threat to its security and territorial integrity. Moscow has supported the separatist ambitions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and as a result of the 2008 war it virtually incorporated the two regions into the Russian Federation. Georgia and Russia currently do not have diplomatic relations, and Russia has closed its market to Georgian goods”.
At the state to state relation level, Georgia has satisfactory relations with all Eastern Partnership. It has hostile relation with a non EaP country – Russia and this hostility is related with Russian – Georgian War. This is why Georgia wanted integration with the West, being „the optimal civilization choice and a way to break free from Russia’s sphere of influence. This is why Georgia has tried to appeal to the West by presenting itself as a regional pioneer of democratic, economic and institutional reforms, and as a transportation link between Europe and the hydrocarbons-rich Caspian Sea and Central Asia”.
Regarding the region’s interaction with neighbouring regions, the Eastern Partnership as a region doesn’t have many interactions with other regions. The only interaction is with EU due to multilateral dimension which aims the multilateral cooperation between the EU and EaP region and between the partner states themselves. However the multilateral cooperation among the partner states for time being is underdeveloped.
Regarding the role of global powers in the region, EU, USA and Russia has involved in the evolution of the Eastern Partnership. EU and USA have special development assistance to Eastern Partnership countries awarded annually due to different aid programs (e.g. USAID, EuropeAid). On another hand, Russia involves in this region with the intention to decline the European aspirations through pressures. For example, Russia imposed the embargo for Moldovan wines and a large number of Moldovan immigrants have been expelled out of Russian territory. In case of Ukraine, Russia imposed the embargo for Ukrainian chocolates.
More so, Russia created the Customs Union trying to copy the Eastern Partnership project, and through this platform Russian authorities try to convince Eastern Partnership countries to give up at their European aspirations. Until now, Armenian president declared officially that his country will join Customs Union.
II.2 Why Eastern Partnership is not a Regional Security Complex?
Analysing the Eastern Partnership region through Regional Security Complex theory, namely applying the four variables described in theoretical chapter, we can identify if Eastern Partnership is a security complex.
Boundary. Indeed the Eastern Partnership countries differentiate from its neighbours by their European aspirations. Theoretically, it should be so. However, according to the Index of European Integration for Eastern Partnership countries, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Armenia are not frontrunners with EU membership aspirations. More so, Armenia recently announced that it wants to join a Russia-led Customs Union and Belarus will be for sure member of Custom Union together with Kazakhstan. So, which is the difference between Kazakhstan which is not member of Eastern Partnership and Belarus or Armenia? Apparently, no one. Also, the boundary for Eastern Partnership doesn’t represent an advantage as far as Eastern countries – Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova – are geographically separated by Southern Caucasus countries – Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. I can argue that it is no any boundary that encompasses all EaP countries as far as no institutional (taking in account that Armenia and Belarus want to join Customs Union) or geographic proximity don’t support this hypothesis.
2. Anarchic structure which means the Eastern Partnership should be composed of 2 or more autonomous units. Eastern Partnership, indeed, is composed by six countries mentioned in first chapter: Ukraine, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. There is no any authority above them and also I can’t identify any changes to the anarchic structure as far as a real regional integration didn’t take place.
Polarity. According to Barry Buzan a regional security complex “can be analysed in terms of polarity, ranging from unipolar, through bi- and tripolar, to multipolar”. However in the case of Eastern Partnership we can refer just to non-polarity because no EaP state dominates any other countries from the region. Moreover, in the EaP region didn’t take place any kind of disintegration, merger on conquest that could affect the polarity inside region. However, according to the Index of European Integration mentioned above, Moldova is the best performer in terms of democratization and convergence with EU policies; which means that there are some differential growth rates among EaP related with reform and democratic modernization. Notwithstanding, the Moldovan achievement doesn’t make it to be more powerful and to change the distribution of power in EaP region.
Last variable is social construction which covers the patterns of amity or enmity among the Eastern Partnership countries. EaP countries, on the one hand, don’t share any common culture (even if they were members of Soviet Union, their identity and culture remained intact) or regional cooperation and on the other hand, the Eastern Partnership countries have not been affected by long-standing enmities. Inside Eastern Partnership a form of enmity we can notice between Armenia and Azerbaijan related with the frozen conflict in Nagorno Karabah or Moldova and Ukraine related with the conflict in Transnistria.
Briefly, I will show why Armenia and Azerbaijan form a regional security complex build upon enmity. Since 1990 Armenia and Azerbaijan are in an on-going over Nagorno Karabakh which is considered a frozen conflict. Applying the variables of RSCT, we can see that Armenia and Azerbaijan has the same boundary, being neighbours, they share the geopolitical aspiration to annex Nagorno Karabach territory. The anarchic structure variable is also present because the regional security complex is formed by two autonomous units: Azerbaijan and Armenia. The social construction is based on historical enmity between these two countries since the war of 1990. Moreover, we can observe the involvement of other big powers such Russia, EU and USA in the peaceful resolution of this frozen conflict.
Moldova and Ukraine form also a regional security complex because of Transnistrian conflict. This regional security complex is also based on enmity. Kiev is directly involved in resolving the Transnistria conflict and Chisinau perceive this involvement as threat. Moldovan officials consider that Ukraine is reluctant to solve this conflict in benefit of Moldova’s territorial integrity. On the other hand, Ukraine perceives a historical problem with Moldova regarding the demarcation of the state border and a number of property issues, ranging from resorts to a hydroelectric station.
Applying those four variables, we will see that these two countries form a regional security complex. Regarding the boundary variable, Moldova has borders with Romania and Ukraine only. The border between Moldova and Romania passes along the Prut River, which forms a natural geographic barrier, the border between Moldova and Ukraine was drawn in a manifestly arbitrary (4 November 1940), based on political criteria obscure established in Moscow. Currently, Transnistria (the left Dniester territory under the control of the self-proclaimed “Transnistrian Moldovan Republic”), is a narrow strip of land between the territory of Ukraine and the rest of Moldova. Moldovan-Ukrainian border is 1222 km and its center sector, 442 km, not controlled by the government in Chisinau. Regarding anarchic structure it is obvious that the security complex is formed by two countries and a separatist territory, by nobody recognized – Transnistria.
Social construction is based more on a historical enmity. The territory of the left bank of the Nistru has been part of Ukraine Soviet far into 1940, when the constitution was proclaimed Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in the USSR. Although Transnistria does not identify with the complex history of ethnic Ukrainians, currently about one third of Transnistrian population declared Ukrainian. However, following the policies pursued in the USSR, these are largely russified Ukrainians. The Ukrainian ethnic factor plays a substantial role in the internal realities of the region. The memory of Ukrainian society that keeps memory of Transnistria was “Ukrainian land.” Moldovan officials consider that Ukraine intentionally don’t want to sustain resolution efforts. However, at the beginning of 2013 Ukraine took over the OSCE chairmanship and declared that from this position, Ukraine will try to boost the conflict resolution in Transnistria. Until now there is no any achievement in the respect of conflict resolution in Transnistria.
As I have analysed above despite the fact that the EaP countries had a common history with Soviet Union, the EaP states vary greatly, both in their features and in their expectations regarding the EU.
Eastern Partnership initiative was very well received by all EU countries as well as by countries from EaP region. Eastern Partnership states don’t represent a coherent group. Moreover, the analysis above proved that Eastern Partnership don’t form a regional security complex. No variable could indicate that this region is a security complex. However inside of Eastern Partnership there are two regional security complexes: (1) Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding Nagorno – Karabach and (2) Republic of Moldova and Ukraine regarding Transnistrian conflict. Both of them are built upon enmity and it is related with a frozen conflict. It is necessary to mention that EU is reluctant to involve totally in conflict resolution in the region. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova have many expectations from EU in the respect of conflict resolution. That’s why it is necessary that EU to develop a conflict resolution strategy for EaP region.
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