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.
The future and the past can meet sometimes—when the present is at an impasse, like it is today. For a quarter of a century now, we have been tirelessly building a new world order, but suddenly time seems to have rolled back, reviving the talk of a new Cold War, an ideological conflict, arms control, and nuclear confrontation.
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.
The only strategic response to the global water challenge and international competition for water would be to improve water use efficiency by redistributing water intakes and introducing new water use technologies. Importantly, these measures do not require redistributing water flows among countries.
For more than twenty years, Uzbekistan has had no real political change and remains one of the most authoritarian countries in the world. How has President Islam Karimov held onto the reins of power for so long?
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.
Not so long ago Russia was the only country to advocate the adoption of a code of responsible conduct in cyberspace. Today the expert community is already actively discussing the need for such a code with regard to the global Internet infrastructure.
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.
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.
Uzbekistan’s withdrawal makes one think of a more general problem – the artificiality of the entire structure of military-political security, built around Russia. In fact, the CSTO is now a mechanical combination of three security systems, each based on Russian participation.
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.
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.