Interfax: Lavrov warns U.S. against attempts to use extremists in Afghanistan as temporary allies

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Washington that the use of extremists in Afghanistan as temporary allies may have dangerous consequences. “If this is another attempt to use extremists as temporary allies to achieve some goals and then hope to take these extremists under their control, then this is an absolutely shortsighted tactic, it has […]

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NEWSLINK: “Afghanistan: No Way Forward” – Valdai Club/ Anatol Lieven

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

‘As the Afghan state becomes increasingly fragile as a result of internal divisions and the resurgence of the Taliban, its future prospects remain bleak. US-Russian cooperation on the issue remains unlikely ….”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Replies to journalists’ questions (transcript continued)

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – May 15, 2017) Vladimir Putin answered media questions following a working visit to the People’s Republic of China. Question: Mr President, an international cyberattack was reported on May 12. It hit targets in 150 countries, including agencies, banks and companies in Russia. How much has this attack harmed Russia and the world in general? What can be done […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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After the bomb: crisis management, Petersburg style; After last month’s metro attack, residents of St Petersburg remain defiant, if unruly.

Russia Map

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Shkurenko – May 10, 2017) Natalia Shkurenok is a Saint-Petersburg based journalist, writing for The New Times, Snob, Colta, ArtNews Paper and Novaya Gazeta. Dozens of casualties, an unprecedented collapse of the city’s public transport system and arrests of people of “non-Slavic appearance” – these are the obvious consequences of the Petersburg metro attack on 3 April. […]

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Russia Still Migrant Magnet Even as Wages Stay Below China’s

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – April 19, 2017) The vast pool of labor across Russia’s porous borders is relieving strains in the labor market, helping drain the economy of inflationary pressure as it accelerates after almost two years of recession. A steady flow of arrivals has continued even as shrinking wages and Russia’s worst currency crisis since 1998 […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Mir broadcasting company

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – April 12, 2017) Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Mir television and radio broadcasting company on the eve of his visit to Kyrgyzstan. The interview took place on April 11. President of Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir Radik Batyrshin: The Collective Security Treaty Organisation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The benefits for Russia’s allies are clear. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Did St. Petersburg bombing bring Russia’s Syria intervention back home?” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

St. Petersburg

“Though #Russia has been dealing with #terrorism for many years, it has mostly been rooted in domestic conflicts in the Caucasus. But Monday’s deadly bombing of a St. Petersburg metro seems likely linked to Russia’s involvement in Syria’s civil war. … analysts say that the identification of the bomber as Kyrgyz-born Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, from the turbulent central Asian city of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A way to get real news to Russia; A U.S. attempt to counter disinformation takes shape in Current Time” – Washington Post

Satellite Dishes

… Current Time television, a product of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America, is a 24/7 Russian-language television network based in Prague … aimed at audiences inside Russia as well as the borderlands of the former Soviet Union. … intended to provide ‘fair and accurate reporting, serving as a reality check on disinformation that is driving conflict […]

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Re: Findings of Bipartisan Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Subject: Findings of Bipartisan Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2017 From: Andrew S. Weiss <RussiaEurasiaProgram@carnegieendowment.org> http://carnegieendowment.org/specialprojects/TaskForceonUSPolicyToward RussiaUkraineandEurasia/ Dear Colleague, The breakdown in U.S.-Russia relations in the wake of the Ukraine crisis threatens the entire post-Cold War transatlantic security order. As the new administration prepares to reengage with Moscow, what principles should […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Challenging the U.S., Moscow Pushes Into Afghanistan. Russian inroads complicate U.S. efforts to strengthen the government, stamp out the Taliban and end America’s longest war.” – Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“#Russia is making fresh inroads into #Afghanistan that could complicate U.S. efforts to strengthen the fragile #Kabul government, stamp out the resilient #Taliban insurgency and end America’s longest war. Moscow last month disclosed details of contacts with the Taliban, saying that it is sharing information and cooperating with the radical movement … to fight the local affiliate of #IslamicState, which […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Direct: “Does Putin really intend to restore the Soviet Union? RD Interview: Professor Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent talks about Russia’s foreign policy and explains why Russia is creating alternative regional institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union.”

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“Despite the deteriorating state of relations between Russia and the West, experts and politicians continue to search for ways out of the crisis. Many blame Russia and President Vladimir Putin for the desire to restore the Soviet Union and pursue an authoritarian path of development. However, as other experts argue, such perceptions stem from a misunderstanding of Russia’s interests, goals […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to media questions

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – September 17, 2016) Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists upon completing his working visit to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The President of Russia participated in a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. What are we going to talk about? What would you like to know? Question: Mr […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian expert forecasts “quiet” power transfer in Uzbekistan

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(RIA Novosti – August 29, 2016) The elite have been preparing for the current Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s departure from power for a long time – all those involved are interested in maintaining the current state of things. It is the opinion of Alexey Malashenko, an expert of the Moscow Carnegie Centre. The government of Uzbekistan on Sunday announced that […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Answers to media questions [Putin on Brexit)

Eurasia Map

(Kremlin.ru – June 24, 2016) Vladimir Putin responded to media questions at the end of his working visit to Uzbekistan to attend the SCO Heads of State Council, timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the SCO. Question: I would like to ask you about Brexit. Well before the vote, it was alleged that Russia would be happy if […]

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Russia’s militant migrant challenge

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Russia’s terrorist threat has evolved. But the authorities are yet to evolve with it. (opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – March 17, 2016) Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s SCPS Center for Global Affairs. He blogs on Russian security affairs at In Moscow’s Shadows and tweets as @MarkGaleotti. Why did Uzbek nanny Gyulchekhra Bobokulova call out […]

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Muscovites bring flowers to commemorate slaughtered girl, nationalists demand visas for Central Asia

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – Muscovites are bringing flowers to the Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station to commemorate a young girl, whose nanny was detained near the metro station on Monday with the girl’s head in her hands. There are lots of flowers, some with black ribbons, soft toys, chocolate, candies and candles near the entrance to the metro station. Pedestrians […]

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NEWSLINK: “Tajiks fear weaker Russian presence will open the way for ISIS. Locals in Tajikistan are worried about the possible reduction of Russian servicemen in the country, as the Islamic State militant organization grows in strength in neighboring Afghanistan.” – RBTH/Gazeta.ru

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Russia Seeks To Drive Wedge Into Central Asia

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Bruce Pannier – January 5, 2016) Russia appears to be practicing a bit of “divide-and-conquer” politics in Central Asia, and state-owned Gazprom is spearheading the campaign. On January 4, Russia’s main news agencies quoted a “source” within Gazprom Export, the Gazprom wing charged with handling gas imports from other countries, saying Russia would not be importing any […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Eugene Rumer, Paul Stronski: “Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia at Twenty­Five-A Baseline Assessment”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace undertakes an overview of former Soviet states two-and-a-half decades following the USSR’s collapse. For nearly twenty-five years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the former Soviet lands now collectively referred to as Eurasia defied the best and the worst expectations of students of the region’s history. Unfortunately, […]

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Kazakhstan down to 56th position, Russia climbs to 58th place in Prosperity Index

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

ASTANA. Nov 3 (Interfax) – Kazakhstan occupies 56th place in the Legatum Institute’s 2015 Prosperity Index, being one position down since the previous year. Norway retained the leading position; its first runner-ups are Switzerland, whose position was also changed, and Denmark. The top ten prosperous countries of the world also include New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland and […]

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Putin calls on CSTO to fight terrorist threat in Central Asia

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

The Collective Security Treaty Organization Summit, which took place in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on Sept. 14-15, was chiefly devoted to countering the threat of Islamist terrorism in Central Asia. However, Russian experts believe that corruption and poverty are a greater threat to the region than terrorism. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH […]

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Kazakh, Uzbek leaders reignite talk of succession

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty and Olim Abdullayev in Tashkent – September 17, 2015) The issue of succession has become topical again in Central Asia’s largest countries – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – after the Kazakh leader appointed his daughter as deputy prime minister, while the Uzbek president was reported to have openly nominated his second […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times/Sarah Lain: Russia Faces Facts on China

Eurasia Map

Writing in The Moscow Times, Sarah Lain, of the Royal United Services Institute, examines evolving Sino-Russian relations. Russia … cannot, and will not try to, compete with China’s growing economic influence … Russia’s leading multilateral economic foreign policy project … the Eurasian Economic Union … has … suffered from a variety of tensions …. Chinese investment via the Silk Road Economic Belt … could help […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Islamist threat to Russia looms large at Central Asia security summit

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia

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How the Soviet Union Wrecked Russia’s Military-Industrial Complex

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – June 11, 2015) While Russia’s tussle with Ukraine may seem an unfair match, Ukraine does have one simple advantage – it makes a number of important vehicles and components that Russia needs to equip its military. After Moscow’s annexation of Crimea last year, Kiev brought its leverage to play and placed a […]

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NATO transit through Russia still possible – envoy

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Interfax – Brussels, May 20, 2015) After the International Security Assistance Force completes its operation in Afghanistan, for which a simplified procedure of transit of freight was used, the interested countries will still be able to use the transit scheme in accordance with the general procedure, Russia’s permanent representative to NATO Aleksandr Grushko told Interfax. “I would like to note […]

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Kazakh president ends speculation by announcing will stand for re-election

File Photo of Nursultan Nazarbayev and Barack Obama with Flags

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – March 11, 2015) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled the Central Asian nation with an iron fist for more than a quarter of a century, has agreed to his Nur Otan party’s nomination to stand for another term. The 2007 amendment to the Kazakh constitution abolished term limits […]

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The Great Succession Game: Central Asian leaders’ silence on succession plans poses a growing threat to stability in this volatile region.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, Central Asian States

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Naubet Bisenov in Almaty – January 23, 2015) In Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where ageing leaders run one-man shows that suppress any hint of opposition, the issue of succession resurfaces every time the autocratic presidents are reported to have travelled abroad for medical treatment. That these leaders hide succession plans under a veil of secrecy […]

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The galloping militarisation of Eurasia

Eurasia Map

(opendemocracy.net – Neil Melvin – June 16, 2014) Neil Melvin is director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme at SIPRI In recent months, attention has overwhelmingly been focused on Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. But there is a wider and more disturbing process of militarisation underway throughout the Eurasian region. Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the deployment […]

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Interfax: Afghan heroin has “killed” at least 500,000 Russians since 2000 – drug watchdog head

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) – The director of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, has said there have been at least 500,000 deaths in Russia caused by the use of Afghan heroin since 2000. “Over the past 14 years, since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghan heroin has killed more than one million people in Eurasia, including at […]

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Turkmenistan: The Achilles Heel Of Central Asian Security

Map of Turkmenistan and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – February 16, 2014) Central Asian governments are already on heightened alert over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. This sense of alarm is almost certain to increase in coming months. But in Turkmenistan there does not seem to be the same concern heard in the neighboring Central Asian states. Ashgabat seems content to rely on […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Concerned at US Plans for Bases in Afghanistan

Allied Troops on High Ground Overlooking Afghan Valley

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ A senior Russian diplomat has voiced concerns over US plans to retain nine military bases in Afghanistan after their planned withdrawal from the country. Russia’s presidential envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, told RIA Novosti in an interview Wednesday that the bases would “exert a serious influence on the whole vast Asian region and become […]

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Indo-Russian Summit Highlights Emerging Trends in Asian International Relations

India map

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 199 – Stephen Blank – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – November 6, 2013) Indian Premier Manmohan Singh’s October 21–22 visit to Moscow not only reaffirmed traditional Indo-Russian amity, it also revealed significant trends in Asian developments that affect both parties as well as other key players like the United States, China and Pakistan. In […]

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EVENT & CALL FOR PAPERS: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

From: Dominique Arel <darel@uottawa.ca> Subject: ASN 2014 Convention Call for Papers Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 Call for Papers 19th Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) International Affairs Building, Columbia University, NY Sponsored by the Harriman Institute 24-26 April 2014 www.nationalities.org ***Proposal deadline: 24 October 2013*** [Please note that the deadline is earlier than […]

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Russian citizens are not ready to live with people from central Asia in one country – VTsIOM

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Interfax – September 11, 2013) Less than 10 percent of Russian citizens are ready to accept people from Central Asia who have lived in Russia for a long time as equals, VTsIOM General Director Valery Fyodorov said. “Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kyrgyz – those who are in most cases called guest workers – only 8 percent of Russians agree to consider […]

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Economic aid to Central Asian states strategic investment – Russian diplomat

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 10, 2013) The Central Asian region is important for Russia, just as Russia is important for Central Asia, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview published by the business daily Kommersant on Tuesday. “In some instances our relations were elevated by mutual agreement to the level of strategic partnership and even allied relations. […]

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The Foreign and Security Policies of the Central Asian States

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(International Relations and Security Network (ISN) – isn.ethz.ch – Stephen Aris for the ISN, senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) – 30 July 2013) Despite the potentially suffocating interests of external powers, the Central Asian states still have enough political space to pursue their own foreign and security policy agendas. In today’s Q&A session, the CSS’ Stephen […]

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Central Asia: An Indicator of Russia’s Imperial Aspirations

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief, Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments) Polish-American political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski said in the mid-1990s that “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine, suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.” This phrase is often used in disputes, both […]

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U.S. Transit Center will be shut down on schedule – Kyrgyz premier

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Interfax – BISHKEK, July 9, 2013) Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev has denied rumors claiming that the presence of the U.S. Transit Center at Manas International Airport near Bishkek could be prolonged. “These are just rumors. The government submitted a bill renouncing the agreement with the U.S. on the deployment of the Transit Center at Manas Airport to parliament. Parliament […]

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The ‘big game’ in Central Asia is long over

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – June 27, 2013 – Sergei Markedonov is a visiting research fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.) What the implications of Bishkek’s decision regarding the lease of the NATO-U.S. transit center at Manas are for Moscow. On June 20, 2013, the parliament […]

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MGIMO Analyst Sees Border Changes Ahead for Central Asia

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 18, 2013) Andrey Kazantsev, the director of the Analytic Center of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Moscow Institute for the Study of International Relations (MGIMO), says that the borders of the countries of the Central Asian region are likely to change over the next century and that this prospect should worry Russian […]

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Aral Sea Stopped Shrinking Says Russian Scientist

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) The Aral Sea, which has been shrinking for almost half a century causing an environmental disaster in Central Asia, has finally stopped drying up, a Russian scientist said on Tuesday. “The sea is currently close to a balance because its surface has shrunk so much that evaporation has gone down too, so that […]

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Russian Influence in Central Asia a Greater Threat than Chinese, Kazakh Nationalist Says

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 12, 2013) Despite the hysteria about it whipped up in Russian language outlets in Kazakhstan, one commentator says, the growth of Chinese influence in Kazakhstan is far less a threat to the survival of the Kazakh people than the past and present impact of Russian influence on that Central Asian nation. […]

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Russia Aims to Boost Security Alliance in Central Asia

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 29, 2013) Ahead of NATO’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan next year, leaders of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization have pledged to pool their resources to counter any potential deterioration of the security situation in the region. In an effort to demonstrate the importance of the military alliance, President Vladimir Putin […]

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Russian-US Military Competition in Central Asia Threatens to Compromise Regional Security

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10 – jamestown.org/programs/edm/ – Georgiy Voloshin – March 18, 2013) Following his recent visit to Brussels, the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Nikolai Bordyuzha, told the Russian press that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had been ignoring all attempts to establish a permanent dialogue on security issues […]

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