A Russian Perspective on Central Asia

by Laurence on 4/2/2006 · 1 comment

What does Russia want in Central Asia? There’s at least a partial answer to this question in a recent article in Russia in Global Affairs, by Stanislav Chernyavsky, Deputy Director of the 1st Department of the CIS Countries of the Foreign Ministry of Russia:

The Russian strategy must rest on sound pragmatism stemming from the country’s relatively limited foreign-policy resources. These resources must concentrate on key areas, above all, on security, the creation of favorable conditions for economic growth, and the protection of the rights of Russian citizens and ethnic Russians living in the region. Therefore, mutual readiness for cooperation and genuine respect for each other’s interests must become a major criterion of relations between Russia and its Central Asian partners.

For a Russian, P.O.V., the article is worth reading in its entirety.

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{ 1 comment }

Alexander Morrison April 3, 2006 at 1:55 am

Interesting – he doesn’t really seem to factor in Kazakhstan’s greatly superior economic performance, or indeed distinguish much between it and the other Central Asian states at all, despite the fact that it is clearly the most successful of them. He also fails to mention that Russian officers have been implicated in drug-smuggling across the Tajik border from Afghanistan, or that most of the ‘Russian’ troops in Tajikistan are actually locally recruited. The idea that Russia will be supporting NGOs that aim to build democracy & civil society in Central Asia is risible. Finally there is no reference to the way in which Putin sold out the remaining 100,000 or so Russians in Turkmenistan in return for oil. I suppose all that is fairly predictable. What is clear is that Uzbekistan is more interested in cooperating with Russia & China than with the US these days, as Karimov knows no awkward post-Andijan style questions will be asked by these regimes.

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