We continue to publish opinions on the integration initiatives of N. Nazarbayev. In the last issue, the opposite point of view was presented (Rashid G. Abdullo “Controversial Integration”).
“God himself told us to unite,” the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, once said, responding to questions from journalists who asked to comment on the initiative to create the Union of Central Asian States. These words contain the essence of the policy of Kazakhstan pursued by him in the Central Asian region.
The attainment by our states of sovereignty gave a new impetus to the development of the region. Now Central Asia is once again becoming an important part of the global economy. It is home to 56 million people, and the cumulative GDP is about 60 billion dollars a year. At the moment, the region is at a crossroads. There are two ways to further develop Central Asia. The first way is to secure the role of a raw material appendage of the world economy. In addition to this, the role of the pawn in the global geopolitical and geo-economic rivalry. The second way is integration. The way to create a strong regional association, participating equally in global market processes. This is the path of stability, economic growth, military and political independence.
The first obvious advantage of the creation of the Union of Central Asian States is the strengthening of security in the region. This concerns both the external borders of the region and the internal security of each state. In this regard, the security problems of the region become a priority. Today, Kazakhstan is considered an "island of stability and security" in the region. The task is to make this assessment sounded about the whole region. But one thing is when Central Asia looks in the eyes of the international community, and therefore investors, as a region with a booming economy and open markets, another when Central Asia is evaluated as a region torn by internal contradictions, a hotbed of terrorist threat, drugs and weapons.
In the light of what has been said, it is obvious that the state’s growing danger of the state can only be met together, corporately fighting drug trafficking, arms trafficking, and holding back the growth of possible extremism. The process of globalization, one of the unpleasant features of which is the penetration of stronger states into the internal affairs of weak states, is gaining momentum every day. Regional integration is a remedy for this. Alone, it is very difficult to resist the influence of world states. It is not by chance that Kazakhstan is a participant and initiator of many integration formations. EurAsEC, SCO, CSTO, CICA - these and other interstate associations allow young states to preserve their sovereignty, independence from the geopolitical games of world hegemons.
At the moment, the world powers are considering Central Asia as a regular venue for a geopolitical game. The basis for the new combination was the idea of creating a regional forum “Partnership for Cooperation and Development in Greater Central Asia”.
Changing the political map of Central Asia includes joining the traditional states that make up the region and Afghanistan. That is why the name of the regional forum contains the new term “Greater Central Asia”. This issue should be considered in the context of the national security of the states that make up the Central Asian region. That is, as long as we do not represent a monolithic Union, each of our states is capable of either threatening or promising to drag into a clearly mono-vector political association whose unarticulated geopolitical goal is so obvious, and the declared economic and social goals are difficult to achieve.
So far, almost all the associations that play at least some role in economic and political integration on the territory of the former Soviet Union are represented only by Kazakhstan. The rest of the Central Asian states, willy-nilly, are overboard of these large interstate conglomerates. The creation of the Union of Central Asian States will allow all the republics of this entity, directly or indirectly, to take part in other integration associations to which they had previously been ordered.
The union, according to experts of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will create new jobs and attract additional investment in Central Asia. This will allow the states of the region to significantly improve the social picture of Central Asia. Which, in turn, will raise the issue of strengthening security in the states of the region, sharply reduce the likelihood of conflicts between society and the authorities.
In the list of positive effects of the merger - the opportunity to reduce transport costs, costs associated with the transit, both exports and imports. Problems of coordinated and rational use of water and energy resources will be solved, which again means a significant reduction in public spending on public services. Yes, the levels of economic development and reforming of the economies of the countries of Central Asia differ from each other, sometimes significantly. However, logic and international experience suggest that, if desired, these differences can be overcome. At the same time, let us not forget that the large in terms of production, financial and labor resources of the economy are successful in the modern world. Moreover, this success equally applies to both financial and political spheres.
The initiative of Kazakhstan to create a new integration unit on the territory of the Eurasian space has already met with a warm response not only from the states of Central Asia, but also from the international community. The world stability barometer, the United Nations, also spoke positively about the idea of integration in Asia. The official China, the trade and economic partner of the region, also voiced its opinion, to whom the Union of Central Asian States project seemed interesting from an economic and political point of view.
These are the reasons for encouraging Kazakhstan to place at the head of its policy in Central Asia propaganda and promotion of the most serious integration processes. For the surviving and experiencing serious financial and political problems of Central Asian countries, for example, Kyrgyzstan, the idea of pooling resources for a common cause means a long-awaited way out of the current acute situation. Kazakhstan will continue to work in this direction, realizing its mission to help the fraternal republics to get out of the crisis gripe. So far, this activity has been confronted with misunderstanding and even mistrust, but gradually the awareness of the need for such deep integration comes to the residents of the region and the leaders of regional states. Kyrgyzstan is very active in building up the financial ties that are basic for building a strong economic community, which Kyrgyzstan has put in such conditions that it’s time to exclaim “Unite or death!”. It is this republic that is the most reliable partner of Kazakhstan in integration activities. And, perhaps, the efforts of these republics will eventually prevail over the ambitions and pride of other supposed members of the Union.