FEAS RESEARCH E-BULLETIN FEAS E-BULLETIN DECEMBER 2016 - Page 9

Author: Günay, Mehmet Zeki Title: Russia’s Policy on Secessionism in The United Nations Security Council Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Oktay Fırat Tanrısever Department: International Relations Date: June 2016 Abstract: This dissertation examines Russia's policy on secessionism in Kosovo (Serbia), Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgia), and Crimea (Ukraine) in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It aims to compare and contrast Russia's stance on these different cases of secessionism that have been brought to the agenda of the UNSC. Contrary to the views of some experts who claim that Russia's references to issues concerning identity and international law during the debates on secessionism in the UNSC reflect Russia's commitment to the principles of international law and its support to the selected identities, this dissertation argues that Russia's positions on identity issues and international law are driven mainly by its pragmatic concerns in order to enhance its regional power and influence. This argument is supported by Russia's inconsistencies in its approach to international law and identity matters. To this end, firstly, the literature on international relations of ethnic conflicts and secessionism, and theories of International Relations is discussed. Secondly, the dissertation examines the evolution of secessionism in Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Crimea. Thirdly, it analyzes post-Soviet Russia's foreign and domestic policy on Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Crimea. Later, it discusses Russia's responses and policy choices concerning each case in the UNSC. The dissertation aims to identify the underlying determinants of Russia's 'varying' responses to secessionism. Studying Russia's position on secessionism in the UN in the post-Cold War era is significant not only for understanding 'Russia in the UN' but also Russia's broader foreign policy choices. 6