Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In 2011, four Central Asian states signed a Joint Plan of Action in Ashgabat pledging to work together to counter radicalization and terrorism in the region.
Despite its geographical remoteness from conflicts involving radical Islamists, the Russian Far East is not completely isolated from them. Preventing the growth of extremist threats in the Russian Far East and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole requires joint efforts of all states concerned.
Central Asian countries will have to adjust their old stakes, which have failed, and make new ones. They will largely depend on the positions external partners will take. But countries in the region want economic cooperation without a geopolitical “burden.”
A hypothetical alliance between Russia and China is based on the assumption that it should serve as a counterweight to the U.S. hegemony. That thinking, however, overlooks the possibility that Moscow and Beijing might build closer relations for dealing with the important challenges they both face.
The migration corridor that has formed between the countries of Central Asia and Russia is one of the largest and most stable in Eurasia and the world.
The SCO summit in Tashkent and Russian President's visit to China which took place in June have provided a good occasion to discuss the need for strengthening multilateral cooperation and ensuring regional security.
How Washington Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Eurasian Integration
Due in part to the legacy of the Soviet system, in which the state allocated housing to families and individuals on the basis of non-market principles, and in part to endemic housing shortages in the post-Soviet era, housing concerns are an important potential source of political grievances in post-Soviet states.
U.S. policymakers confront a paradox in Eurasian politics: more pluralistic Central Asian states are more prone than the region’s solidly authoritarian states to ethno-nationalist violence.
The best strategy towards the TTP would be monitoring and assessing the applicability of its experience to integration projects involving Russia. After all, Russia was not ready to sign it anyway. Neither was China.
At the summit in Ufa, Russia should give the green light to the establishment of an SCO Development Bank where China takes dominant positions in the authorized capital and management bodies. In exchange, Moscow could coordinate investment principles on terms that would be most favorable to itself and its partners.
Russia proposes an integration project that envisages the strengthening of external economic borders to stimulate re-industrialization. Central Asian states are interested in the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, but they do not want to impose tighter control on their external economic borders.
Russia’s goal is to acquire reliable guarantees of its own security with regard to China, while avoiding full involvement in the growing Sino-American global rivalry and reaping all the benefits a third party can expect in such a situation.
The CSTO has not shown any signs of activity during its two decades of existence. The mechanism to realize its potential remains unclear; i.e., it is unlikely that a Belarus or an Armenian soldier will guard the Tajik-Afghan border, or that a Tajik or a Kyrgyz will intervene between Armenia and Azerbaijan in case of an armed clash.
Analysts have long observed that Central Asian countries are not seriously tackling the growing backlog of problems plaguing the region, and recent events give cause for a gloomy outlook.
The recent revolution in Kyrgyzstan – the second in five years – and the bloodshed in the south of the country that followed it have cast doubts over the country’s viability as an independent state. There is yet another important factor: an outwardly solid authoritarian regime, one among many in the territory of the former Soviet Union, collapsed within a few days. This raises a more general question: Is this an exceptional case or does it open a new chapter in post-Soviet history?
The world system is in motion, and relations between countries are changing rapidly, as evidenced by the current developments in the post-Soviet space.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.