Independent expert Rozani Ismailova, working with the Institute for Reporting War and Peace (IWPR), the crisis assessment team in Central Asia, answers the questions of our online magazine.
Rozani, how do you assess the Russian foreign policy in the region today in the context of the latest political events in the countries of Central Asia?
The weakening of Russia in the geopolitical and geo-economic processes of Central Asia due to the complication of relations between the leaders of the countries of the region, on the one hand, and the growing political activity of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, on the other, is viewed as a direct threat to Russia's geopolitics. Moscow’s support for the military suppression of the Andijan uprising, as well as support for Kyrgyzstan’s entry into the Hypik program, is a direct confirmation of this.
What are Russian priorities in the region today? Why does Russia need Central Asia?
Russia's political control over the situation in the region of Central Asia and, accordingly, in full control over the approaches to this region.
Who is Russia staking on in the region and why?
Kazakhstan has the necessary strategic potential for the further development of cooperation with Moscow. This is the absence of external threats, as well as the implementation of social and economic reforms, a favorable political situation. And since Kazakhstan is the most economically strong state, it plays an important stabilizing role in Central Asia, which makes Russia loyal to the political processes in Kazakhstan.
What is the perspective of Russian policy in the region, in the context of a natural conflict of interests here between China, the United States and Russia?
The general logic of geopolitical rivalry forces the political elites of the region to choose a side capable of providing the necessary resources for this and the new situation requires Russia to neutralize the negative consequences for it. For this, Moscow needs to restore the systemic integrity of the Central Asian region within the former Soviet Central Asia.