The importance of geopolitics, as the main basis for the international policy of states, can hardly be overestimated. Geography has a decisive influence on the economy. Even in technology.
If you're into tech startups today, then the best place on earth is Silicon Valley, and if your startup isn't there today, then the chances of success will be inversely proportional to the distance to Silicon Valley from where it's located.
Because for founders of a startup, both personal contacts with engineers and personal contacts with venture investors are important, without this it is impossible to achieve success, and this is best done locally, namely in California, where they are. It is no coincidence that, for example, the head office of OpenAI, the developer of chatGPT and GPT-4 artificial intelligence systems, is located in San Francisco (California).
The situation is also with the situation on the planet of state formations. The chances of economic development are initially different, for example, Paraguay and Slovakia. Slovakia is surrounded by economically developed European states, and Paraguay is on the periphery of world economic life. Therefore, their chances of attracting investment in the technology sector are correspondingly different.
Here it is necessary to clarify such a term as "geopolitics". The fact is that often experts use it quite freely. Meanwhile, geopolitical science is a science that has both time and place of its creation. At the end of the 19th century, scholars such as the Swede Rudolf Kjellen (the author of the term "geopolitics") and the German Friedrich Ratzel developed its foundations. Of course, this was not done in a vacuum.
But it is important that it was then that this discipline was formed with a certain set of specific terms. The most important act in the development of this science was the publication of the book in 1904 by the British Halford Mackinder "The Geographical Axis of History", in which he introduced into circulation such concepts as Heartland ("core land") and other geopolitical terms (H. Mackinder was a member of the Secret council under the king of Great Britain.The Privy Council had real power in the British Empire).
To understand how important this is, it should be remembered that the main enemy of Ukrainian independence, Vladimir Putin, in the film “The World Order” (2015), the main propagandist of the Kremlin, Vladimir Solovyov, uses these terms, calling his friend Helmut Schroeder an Atlanticist, and the war in Syria is not a war with ISIS, but a war to protect Russia's geopolitical interests.
The reader may ask the question: this is very far from Russia, what are these interests? And for this it is necessary to know the postulates of Mackinder's geopolitics. It is through Syria that the "small geopolitical arc" passes, and through Ukraine - the "big geopolitical arc". Because the war with Ukraine for Putin was a logical continuation of the war in Syria.
Due to the fact that he knows the geopolitical doctrine, in his opinion, he wages wars in Syria and Ukraine, and thus protects the approaches to Russia, which, in his opinion, is hostile to the Atlantic world (“countries of the sea” - Britain and the USA). It is important to clarify here, probably, he thinks so, otherwise it is impossible to interpret his words in the film "World Order".
And if we compare them with the texts of the Russian geopolitician Sergei Karaganov, then the following picture of their perception of the world emerges: Russia is an outpost of the struggle between the "morally correct world and the insidious West."
Now let's move on to the analysis of the Three Seas Initiative project: what is its geopolitical value, and who is the main actor behind this international legal treaty.
After Britain left the EU, it became clear that it was geopolitical science that became the main reason for this act. Even Henry Kissinger in Diplomacy wrote that “England was the only European country whose supreme state interests did not require expansion in Europe.
Believing that its national interest lay in maintaining the European balance, it was the only country that did not seek for itself on the continent anything more than to prevent the domination of Europe by any one power.
To achieve this goal, she was ready to join any coalition of countries opposed to such actions. The balance of power was gradually established by shaking up British-led coalitions against French attempts to dominate Europe. This mechanism underlay almost every war fought in the 18th century...
Britain's role as a stabilizer reflected a geopolitical fact. The survival of a relatively small island off the coast of Europe would be threatened if all the resources of the continent were under the rule of a single ruler. This statement by Kissinger is of particular value, because it was written by a prominent practical diplomat, representing precisely the camp of the Atlanticists.
What Kissinger's words should be heeded is the fact that he was the creator and ideologist of the policy of detente of international tension, aimed at reducing the aggressiveness of the confrontation between the countries of the socialist and capitalist camps.
Kissinger orchestrated US rapprochement with China, playing an important role in US negotiations with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1971. This subsequently led to the "Chinese economic miracle."
While in the EU, the British realized that it was not profitable for them and returned to their previous policy, which they had, as Kissinger wrote, at least since the 18th century. After all, historical practice often has a lasting impact on the political culture and strategic thinking of the elites of any country.
Britain's historical approach to finding a balance of power in Europe to protect its, as we can see, geopolitical interests, has deep roots, and in the past it was used, according to Kissinger, as a successful strategy. Most likely it is used now and will be used in the future, because Britain will not cease to be an island nation.
Moreover, the influence of the British ruling class and its emphasis on the preservation of traditional institutions, including the education system, is an important aspect of British society and politics.
Private schools such as Eton and Rugby have played and continue to play an important role in shaping the values and attitudes of future leaders. The continuity of these institutions and their conservative traditions can indeed perpetuate established worldviews and strategic approaches in the British political sphere.
Britain, and the other Atlanticist country the US, wants to retain leverage over European politics. It is difficult for them to do this with the Brussels bureaucrats of the EU (there are their hegemon countries France and Germany, which are economically strong and have their own long-standing political traditions that differ from the British ones), but with the economically weaker countries of Eastern and Central Europe, this is make it easier.
France and Britain have always had a special and different relationship with this region (remember, for example, the Napoleonic Wars and World War II).
And now the British would like to have a special relationship with these countries on top of Brussels.
It is no coincidence that in 2016 (by the way, the time of Britain’s exit from the European Union, a coincidence?) The Three Seas Initiative (3SI), also known as the Baltic, Adriatic, Black Seas Initiative, or Trimorie, was founded, which is a forum of twelve states of the European Union, stretching along a north-south axis from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic and Black Seas in Central and Eastern Europe.
The initiative was aimed at creating a regional dialogue on the development of infrastructure, energy, digitalization and science, affecting both Member States and the region as a whole. In 2016, representatives of these states (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) met at their first summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The second Summit of the Initiative took place on 6-7 July 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.
US President Donald Trump was among the invited guests. The US interest in this initiative is also not accidental: the US also wants to have a special relationship with a number of countries in the East of the European Union.
At the seventh summit in Riga on June 20, 2022, Ukraine received the status of a partner member of the 3SI, thanks to the great effort of the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the invitation of the President of Latvia Egils Levits, having become a de facto participant in this initiative (the thirteenth state of the 3SI), I was also lucky to take part in this historic summit, and I would like to acknowledge and thank the Latvian partners for constructive cooperation.
If we superimpose a map of the 3SI participants on the maps of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Commonwealth, before its final partition by Prussia, Austria and Russia, in 1795, we will see that in addition to Estonia, Bulgaria - which are today included in the Initiative, and eastern Romania (former the united principality of Moldavia and Wallachia) - whose lands were not part of Austria-Hungary; South Tyrol, Bosnia and Herzegovina, western Belarus, which today are not included in 3SI; and a significant part of western and eastern Ukraine (the Left Bank and Crimea) - which today, in fact, and some parts of the territory of Ukraine are legally included in the 3SI, we will see that the territories of the Commonwealth and Austria-Hungary practically coincide with the territory of the countries that are today part of the 3SI.
This can only mean one thing, namely that the history of Europe is of great importance in the present and future, during the formation of new geopolitical coalitions.
Therefore, today we see the geographical outlines of the 3SI countries, surprisingly reminiscent of the historical state formations of the past, seemingly gone forever into history.
As well as the policy of Britain (and the United States, by the way) towards 3SI, which is also very reminiscent of its policy in the 18th century, which consisted in the desire of Britain to prevent the decisive strengthening of continental countries that could challenge it in the future (it should be noted that a return to old political tradition occurs after the UK left the EU in 2016).
Britain and the United States - the "countries of the sea" (thalassocrats) - are decisively interested in the 3SI initiative, as this gives these countries the opportunity, bypassing Brussels, to directly contact and influence the military and economic policies of the countries of Eastern Europe, potentially having significant opportunities for economic growth, in relation to to the countries of Western Europe, which today are no longer developing as dynamically in economic terms as it was in the middle of the 20th century.
The intention of Britain and the United States is to push France and Germany, as the main actors of the EU, in the management of affairs in Europe.
How should the Ukrainian political elite take advantage of this? We remember the indecisiveness of France and Germany during the first period of our current war with Russia, which was caused by the unwillingness of the political elites of these countries to break geopolitical ties with it. And only after the commission of terrible war crimes in Ukraine, under the pressure of their civil communities, the French and German elites changed their attitude towards the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, geopolitical interests, which, as we already know, are of a lasting nature in time, and are determined by the entire historical development of these countries, most likely in the near future, will again lead France and Germany to restore their normal relations with Russia (of course, after Putin’s departure). from power).
Deprived of a resource base, they are extremely interested in such a base that Russia has, as well as in the sale of their industrial products in such a promising market as Russia.
And this will again be carried out through the head of Kyiv (Ukraine is too small and poor in resources compared to Russia to be of independent interest to France and Germany).
At the same time, as a member of 3SI, Ukraine is extremely interesting to Britain and the United States as a tool to prevent the creation of a possible geopolitical union in the future between France, Germany (EU hegemons) and Russia, after Ukraine's victory in the war, and the replacement of Putin's elite in Russia with liberals -immigrants with whom it will be possible to deal with the West (as, for example, it was in Germany after the Second World War, it was possible to deal with Konrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhard).
If such an alliance emerges in the future, then Ukraine will again be squeezed between the unfriendly politicians of Western Europeans and Russians, who, even being liberals, will still not accept the independence of Ukraine as a long-term given (we have already seen this from the statements of liberals in this war (Navalny : “Crimea is not a sandwich to be passed back and forth.") The independence of Ukraine irritates the liberal Russian elites just as much as the Spanish elites - the independence of Catalonia. This should be understood in order not to be under illusions.
Therefore, Ukraine's participation in 3SI is a very important factor in Ukraine's future political and economic prosperity. 3SI is needed by the "sea countries" - Britain and the United States, to realize their geopolitical interests, so they will support it. And Austria and Poland, as it happened in the history of Europe earlier, hope to become the main political engine of the economic development of the countries of Eastern Europe.
Ukraine, in the future, as having defeated Russia in the war, should take advantage of this. It will become the main defender of the 3SI borders, and the main recipient of investments in its economy (both the "countries of the sea" and 3SI participants understand the need for such investments).
The development of such processes is much more realistic (because they are based both on the interests of the countries united in the 3SI, and on the interests of Britain and the United States) than waiting for the impossible, namely, when economically more powerful Western European countries begin to help Ukraine in economic affairs.
They have no interest in this, so most likely this will not happen. The Dutch have repeatedly stated that Ukraine is no longer Europe, and after the end of the war, when the humanistic factor disappears, forcing them to help Ukraine, one way or another, they will completely forget about Ukraine.
Only interests, military and economic, can move history, and nothing else. Therefore, only in friendship and harmony between the participants, in such a regional union of countries as 3SI, which will need to be supported by Britain and the United States, as we have already understood, Ukraine will be able to survive and move on to further development, militarily, politically and economically.
With Britain and the United States, of course, everything is not so simple either (Biden's indecision in the supply of arms to Ukraine; Ben Wallace's remarks about military supplies to Ukraine - “we are not Amazon for you”), but they still have deep geopolitical interests in the European continent (what kind, we indicated above), and they will not refuse them, while Germany and France, and other Western European countries do not have them in relation to Ukraine.
Russia will always be a much more interesting target for them. After Putin's departure from politics, we will again see Western Europeans looking arrogantly at the Ukrainians.
How can we realistically achieve the future prosperity of Ukraine as a member of 3SI in my next article.