Союзники России: Формальные обязательства и фактическое сотрудничество
The article explores the correlation between Russia’s formal alliance obligations and the patterns of its actual military and political cooperation. Using a number of quantitative indicators of cooperation between Russia and other countries of the world the research tests the hypothesis of whether Russia’s formal obligations are associated with the scope and stability of its actual cooperation with the partners. Four indicators are used to measure the levels of the actual military and political cooperation: the share of the Russian armaments in the total amount of the country’s arms imports, the number of joint military exercises with Russia, the deployment of Russia’s military bases on the country’s territory and the UN General Assembly affinity scores. The level of formal alliance obligations is measured based on the Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions project data. The multiple regression analysis shows no significant association between the level of formal alliance commitments and the actual military cooperation, but demonstrated that the level of formal obligations does significantly correlate with the UN General Assembly affinity scores. Based on the results of the analysis, the article further hypothesizes that Russia uses formal alliances as tools to enforce bargains in which its close partners are expected to provide Russia with international political support in exchange for its military resources. Moreover, the article presents an attempt to divide all the countries in the world into four groups based on the levels of their formal and actual affinity to Russia, showing that the majority of Russia’s formal allies does not actively cooperate with it in terms of military cooperation or political support.