This chapter chronicles Russia's use of economic statecraft towards the post-Soviet states from mid-1992 to mid-1997. For each event, it is necessary to determine the precise Russian demand, demonstrate the calculated use of Russian economic diplomacy as a policy tool, and ascertain the extent of the target state's concessions. For each coercion attempt, the salience of conflict expectations, opportunity costs, the threat of military force, and the strength of the target regime is also evaluated.
Because of the recent nature of these coercion attempts, I have relied primarily on press accounts as the primary source of information. Because media attention has varied across republics, some of the coercion attempts are easier to document than others. In most instances, Russian policy elites were publicly candid about threatening economic disruption to procure concessions. In a few cases, the linkage was only implied. In most of these events, the press assumed that Russia's chief diplomatic tool was the unspoken threat of economic or military coercion. To avoid overinterpretation, I have tried to keep the journalistic speculations to a minimum, relying instead on actions and comments from foreign policy elites and regional experts.
According to some Russian officials and scholars, economic statecraft was not a credible policy tool. In 1995 the Russian Minister for CIS Affairs claimed, “We can't even put effective economic pressure on Tajikistan.”