Staunton, March 18 – No one is especially happy with the borders of Russia’s North Caucasus Federal District and at least one region, Stavropol, is currently seeking to leave it. No one in Moscow currently appears to have a plan for change, but an Israeli expert on the region is proposing what might be done to improve the situation.
Because Vladimir Putin has called for the amalgamation of Russia’s federal subjects and because the federal district in which the North Caucasus republics have been changed twice over the last decade, the atmosphere for such proposals, even from abroad, is more favorable than it was when the author of this note suggested border changes for the South Caucasus in 1992.
At the very least, the analysis behind this new proposal helps to clarify the nature of the problems in the region and the choices Moscow faces if it hopes to improve the administration of a region that remains anything but settled and one that it hopes to pacify before the Sochi Olympiad a year from now.
In an article posted on APN.ru on Friday, Avraam Shmulyevich suggests that senior officials in Moscow are well aware that “the existing administrative-territorial borders, especially in the North Caucasus, were drawn in Soviet times if not earlier, have exhausted themselves,” and need to be changed (www.apn.ru/publications/article28679.htm