Archive for Central Asia

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

Three Statistics with Long Shadows for Russia

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 18, 2014) Three newly released statistics – one on births in Kazakhstan, a second on how Russians understand events in Ukraine, and a third on where websites of the .ru domain are hosted – say more about where the Russian Federation is heading than do more

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

Nazarbayev Weighs New Run to Extend Longest Ex-Soviet Tenure

Nursultan Nazarbayev file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nariman Gizitdinov and Torrey Clark – February 12, 2014) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said he may extend the longest reign of any former Soviet leader by running for a fifth term in 2016. “There definitely will be a transition of power — there’s nothing frozen, it will be changed,” Nazarbayev, 73,

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

Post-Soviet States Increasingly Vary in Their Relations with Russia, Poll Finds

Eurasia Map

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 24, 2013) Some post-Soviet states have “left the post-Soviet space” for good, others are interested in closer ties with Russia, and still others are uncertain about where they are headed, a situation that is further complicated by differences between national leaders and their populations on this

EVENT REMINDER – PONARS Eurasia Policy Conference – September 23-24, 2013 (RSVP by Thursday September 19)

File Photo of George Washington Bust at George Washington University

Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 From: PONARS Eurasia / IERES <ieresgwu@gwu.edu> Subject: REMINDER – PONARS Eurasia Policy Conference – September 23-24, 2013 IERES – The Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies We are pleased to invite you to the annual PONARS Eurasia Policy Conference September 23-24, 2013 GW Elliott School of International Affairs 1957

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watchdog Cites ‘Troubling Deterioration’ For Civil Society In Eurasia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Heather Maher – June 18, 2013) Countries in Central Europe and Central Asia are increasingly being ruled by autocratic governments with little regard for democracy, according to the 2013 “Nations In Transit” report by democracy watchdog Freedom House. The result has been a worsening of existing corruption, media censorship, and violence

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

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

Russia Should Become Neither European nor Asian but American, Moscow Commentator Says

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 16, 2013) In thinking about Russia’s future, most of the country’s opposition figures remain trapped in the old debate about whether Russia is fundamentally European or really Asiatic, but, one Moscow commentator argues, it is time to recognize that “the successful Russia of the future” can

Boston Bombers Reflect Specific Experiences of Some North Caucasians in Soviet and Post-Soviet Times, Moscow Analyst Says

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 29, 2013) The two brothers who carried out the horrific Boston bombing are not simply Muslims who were inspired by radical websites or Chechens who were continuing their struggle against Moscow by other means, as many in both Russia and the West have insisted, according to

The motivation of the Boston Bomber: The ethnic background of the Tsarnaev family must provide some clues to mass murder.

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(opendemocacy.net – Susan Richards – April 23, 2013) Susan Richards is a non-executive director and founder of openDemocracy. She has produced a number of feature films and written a prize-winning book, Epics of Everyday Life, about the lives of ordinary Russians in the transition from communism. Lost & Found in Russia, Encounters in the Deep

More About Tsarnaev Brothers And Their Ancestral Homeland

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org  – April 19, 2013) Two ethnic Chechens, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are suspected of having perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15 that killed three people and injured 170 others. As information accumulated — and confusion swirled — about them, RFE/RL Central Newsroom Director Jeremy Bransten sat down with Aslan Doukaev,

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

China’s quiet splash in the post-Soviet space

File Photo fo Chinese Military Parade

(opendemocracy.net – Michael Cecire – February 25, 2013) Michael Hikari Cecire is a Black Sea-Eurasia regional analyst and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, where he contributes to the Project on Democratic Transitions. China’s steadily growing economic expansion throughout the world is a cause of concern for many governments. Eastern Europe and

No Plans to End US Cargo Transit via Russia – Deputy FM

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has no plans to end US cargo traffic to Afghanistan via its territory despite differences in relations between the two states, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Tuesday. “Cargo transit [to Afghanistan] via Russian territory is an important aspect of our cooperation, and we have no

Afghanistan may be threat to Russia’s security after 2014 – analyst

Allied Troops on High Ground Overlooking Afghan Valley

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Interfax – interfax.ru – February 14, 2013) After the planned withdrawal of U.S. forces and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from Afghanistan, this country could become a source of a terrorist threat for Russia and the countries of the region, Army Gen. Anatoly Kulikov, the president of

NATO pullout from Afghanistan to change Central Asian strategic configuration – CIS ATC

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

(February 12, 2013 – Interfax) The terrorist activity level on the space around CIS member states is the highest in Afghanistan, CIS Anti-Terrorist Center Head Andrei Novikov said at the sixth meeting of center senior officials. “Afghanistan, a country bordering on CIS member countries, has the highest level of terrorist activity,” he said. The decision

Presidents Agree to End Baikonur Dispute

Kazakhstan Baikonur Cosmodrome file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – February 11, 2013) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, said Friday that they had agreed to end their dispute over the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia rents from the Central Asian nation. Putin, who received Nazarbayev in the Kremlin, said that amid  increasing cooperation

Washington Attempts to Put Relations with Moscow ‘Back on Track’

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 23 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel Felgenhauer – February 7, 2013) According to Russian diplomatic sources, during a meeting last weekend in Munich on the sidelines of the annual international security conference, United States Vice President Joseph Biden assured Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Washington wants

Eurasian Integration No ‘Reincarnation of USSR’ – Nazarbayev

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

ASTANA, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Former Soviet states’ involvement in Eurasian integration does not herald a return to the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday. “We will continue to strive toward our common goal, and I want to stress once again that Eurasian integration, which is proceeding under my personal initiative,

Domestic Stability to Remain Kazakhstan’s Main Priority in 2013

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 8 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Georgiy Voloshin – January 16, 2013) The year 2012 was certainly rich in events for Kazakhstan. In mid-January, the early parliamentary elections brought two more parties to the country’s legislative body, although none of them gained enough seats to break Nur Otan’s

“The Central Asian countries have problems with Russia, but they can be solved”

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Vestnik Kavkaza – January 10, 2013 – http://vestnikkavkaza.net/articles/politics/35648.html) Interview by Maria Sidelnikova. Exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza The head of the Socio-Political Studies Center, Vladimir Yevseyev, told Vestnik Kavkaza about prospects of development of the situation in Central Asia. –    If anything scary happens in Central Asia, should Russia expect a new wave of migrants? –   

NEWSLINK: Dialogue with the Taliban unavoidable: New approaches are needed to regulate Afghanistan post-2014.

Allied Troops on High Ground Overlooking Afghan Valley

[Dialogue with the Taliban unavoidable: New approaches are needed to regulate Afghanistan post-2014 – Russia Beyond the Headlines/VPK Daily – Anatoly Kulikov – Anatoly Kulikov is an army general and chairman of the Military Chiefs Club of the Russian Federation. – Dec. 10, 2012 – http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/12/10/dialogue_with_the_taliban_unavoidable_20987.html] Russia Behind the Headlines features commentary by Gen. Anatoly

NEWSLINK: Kazakhstan seeking to withdraw the Baikonur cosmodrome from Russian jurisdiction

International Space Station file photo

[Kazakhstan seeking to withdraw the Baikonur cosmodrome from Russian jurisdiction – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 11, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/596443.html] Itar-Tass covers plans by Kazakhstan to end its lease to Russia of the the Baikonur space port: The legendary Baikonur complex which Moscow is operating on lease from Kazakhstan, may be withdrawn from

Russian NATO Rep Denies ‘Re-Sovietization’

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian NATO envoy Alexander Grushko refuted on Friday claims by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia is aiming to “re-Sovietize” Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Sovietization is a cliché which, in my opinion, is absolutely incongruous with the actual processes that are taking place throughout the former

Central Asia, the Power-Contest

U.S. Troops Atop High Ridge in Afghanistan Looking Over Valley

Paul Rogers – www.opendemocracy.net – October 4, 2012 Paul Rogers is professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He is openDemocracy’s international-security editor, and has been writing a weekly column on global security since 28 September 2001; he also writes a monthly briefing for the Oxford Research Group. His books

Europe-Western China Corridor to Become Shortcut Between Europe, Asia-Pacific – Putin

Map of Russia

PAVLODAR. Sept 19 (Interfax) – Innovations will help make transportation systems more reliable and effective, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The introduction of innovations will help significantly enhance the reliability and effectiveness of transportation systems, first of all under the project to build a transportation corridor between Europe and Western China. It will run from

RUSSIA, NATO AND AFGHANISTAN: International operation in Afghanistan: preparations for termination continue

Allied Troops on High Ground Overlooking Afghan Valley

RUSSIAN AVIATION WILL BRING NATO’S NON-LETHAL CONSIGNMENTS OUT OF AFGHANISTAN –  Izvestia – August 30, 2012 –  Aleksei Mikhailov [no direct link available to English translation of article] Izvestia reports that Russian pilots from the the Russian 224th Flight Group will help bring non-lethal NATO consignments out of Afghanistan.  Included will be the property of

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