It is time for Moscow to rethink its approach to Central Asia.
The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 equates with an unquestionable strengthening of the Taliban movement or even with its actual coming to power. The external actors will have to adjust to the new situation and the future Afghan coalition leadership which will include the Taliban.
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.
Central Asia is in a period of transition. Many tenets of Soviet infrastructure and culture have expired and rather than renew these precedents, the countries are emphasizing individual development.
The Istanbul Process’ Heart of Asia Ministerial Conferences can play a role in efforts to promote regional stability and security in Central and South Asia.
The Tajik president should rethink his commitment to building the controversial Rogun Dam and explore other ways to revamp the country’s energy sector.
As the poorest country in Central Asia, Tajikistan continues to face many challenges, including corruption and a lack of basic freedoms for its citizens.
The Tajik leadership faces an urgent choice between fully embracing reform and continuing on its current failed track. Tajikistan’s decision will have very real implications for this troubled region.
Remittances from Russia form a lifeline for Central Asian economies. But with Moscow tightening migration controls, dependence on money transfers risks exacerbating, rather than alleviating, economic and political instability at home.
Twenty years after the Soviet collapse, leaders of the five Central Asian republics have built functioning states but they have yet to fully implement democratic reforms, decentralize and share power, and develop strong intraregional relations.