Window on Eurasia’s Paul Goble notes a Russian article suggesting that Turkey might interested in pushing the GUAM alliance into forming an alliance against Russia.
The Turkish government is seeking to revive GUAM in order to form an alliance of states against Russia broader than the pan-Turkic groupings it had promoted in the past, Aleksey Fenenko says; but he adds that Ankara faces real difficulties in doing so and that Moscow has the means to block any such geopolitical effort.
In today’s “Nezavisimaya gazeta,” the instructor on world politics at Moscow State University says that “Turkish diplomacy is trying to revive a block like GU(U)AM” consisting of “countries which have difficulties with Russia” and which thus could help Ankara in its conflict with Moscow (ng.ru/cis/2016-02-26/3_kartblansh.html).
GUAM was formed by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. Uzbekistan later joined and left the organization: hence, its acronym. Like Latvia, Turkey already has observer status in the group and like its members it wants to make the organization into “an alternative” to the Moscow-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The idea of creating such a grouping of states arose in the mid-1990s. In June 1996, Moldova and Georgia issued a joint statement. And in October 1997, they were joined by Azerbaijan and Ukraine in calling for a system of mutual consultations in order to “’counter Russian hegemony.’” That became GUAM at a meeting in Yalta on July 7, 2001.
But despite the aspirations of its organizers, the group has not become a truly effective grouping of states, Fenenko says. They are divided on many issues, and Uzbekistan has pointed to its dissolution by leaving as a result of differences with the others over relations with the United States.