Major geopolitical shifts and internal dynamics are setting the stage for possible increased great-power competition in Central Asia between Russia and China at a time when the region is becoming less hospitable to the projection of U.S. power and to the promotion of democracy.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
Syrian jihad will not be replicated by Central Asian combatants returning home, but fundamentalist ideals are long-established in this region and will not go away.
2014 was a year of crisis. Ebola, ISIS, and Donbas are now part of the global lexicon. Eurasia Outlook experts weigh in on how crises on Russia’s periphery affected the country, and what these developments mean for Moscow in 2015.
After the initial shock the Ukrainian crisis brought, Central Asian states have gradually come to the conclusion that they should continue dealing with Russia. Still, none of these states are prepared to be totally controlled by Russia.
As Russia and the West enter a period of prolonged mutual resentment and distrust, the post-Soviet space remains the most volatile issue in their relationship.
The world treats Afghanistan as a doctor would treat a seriously ill child that nevertheless shows some signs of improvement. If Moscow sincerely wants Afghanistan to return to peace and stability, then it should stop looking at this country through the prism of its present relations with Washington.
It is likely that Kyrgyzstan will become a member of the Customs Union. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan’s integration process with Russia was not substantially affected by the developments in Ukraine.
It is time for Moscow to rethink its approach to Central Asia.
Beijing is emerging as the big winner in Central Asia, displacing Washington and Moscow while ensuring that engagement with countries in the region takes place on its terms.