Although during the Russian war in Ukraine, Belarus may be qualified as a Russian proxy, paradoxically, it can be as well perceived as a country struggling to save the rest of its independence from Moscow.
The physical elimination of Evgeni Prigozhin and the commandment of the Wagner Group opens the question of the further use of mercenaries, not only in Ukraine but in wider regional context. Designed as a non-conventional solution of ‘delicate’ tasks abroad, Wagner and its leader turned into a ‘delicate’ question of Russian internal politics.
Turkish stance towards the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine is based on the national interest that implies avoiding risks and profiting from opportunities created by the conflict. The ultimate aim is to make its own place in the post-war international system more optimal than it was in the pre-war one.
Although during last three decades the process of globalization seemed to make the link between power and territory less relevant than during the Cold War, for certain states, geography remains the crucial factor conditioning the size and shape of their decision-making process towards external partners.
After Russia started the war in Ukraine, Türkiye found itself in a delicate position between the two antagonists. But this challenge may very well serve as an opportunity to emancipate itself into an independent pole of power, a full-fledged regional leader.
Germany has been the engine of European integration since its own unification. But German economic miracle that sponsored both processes was based on the geopolitical order that no longer exists.
Countries with strong historical consciousness and long political traditions often have to adapt their strategy to be able to face contemporary challenges. But even in the postmodern, information-oriented world, experience (even a bitter one) may be an advantage and not a burden.