The President of the United States Donald trump took in Washington, the head of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev Nursultan to sign him a number of agreements on expanding cooperation in the political, economic and investment spheres, as well as to sign contracts for 2.5 billion dollars. In gratitude for the hospitality of the Kazakh leader invited his American counterpart to visit Astana. Meanwhile, the Russian foreign Ministry had warned about United States attempt to dislodge Moscow from Central Asia.
On the eve of Nazarbayev’s meeting with trump foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov said that Washington decided to use the format C5+1, in which the Americans are cooperating with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, for the sake of creating so-called “Big Central Asia”, in which Moscow will be no place. However, the Minister is confident that the former Soviet Republic not to betray the friendship with the Kremlin, as it is not determined by their economic interests and geopolitics.
We will remind, in addition to Kazakhstan, which is traditionally actively develops cooperation with the leading States of the world, including China, the US and the EU, in 2017 to expand contacts in Uzbekistan. According to trump and the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, under the leadership of Shavkat Mirziyoev, who became President of the Republic at the end of 2016, Uzbekistan has entered an era of Renaissance.
Of course, the rest of the region can not boast of such assessments, but Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia, and Kazakhstan is the most economically successful. Should Russia fear that the United States can displace it from the region, “MK” has found out from the experts:
Azhdar KURTOV, chief editor of the magazine “Problems of national strategy”:
In the early 1990-ies, the US has attempted to oust Russia from the former Soviet Union, when the new States began to seek geopolitical partners. For example, in 1994 in Kazakhstan there was a mass departure of Russian, which was accompanied by pressure from the authorities of the Republic in relation to all Russian-speaking organizations. In parallel, the U.S. penetrated into the Kazakh economy. In particular, Nazarbayev allowed American companies to develop their mineral resources for a long time they were a monopoly, and now the Russian capital is a relatively small part. In addition, American advisers Nazarbayev lobbied for the restriction of the use of the Baikonur cosmodrome to Russia slowed down space exploration, destroyed their mines for ballistic missiles, was replaced by its employees at the facility from military to civilian and so on.
At the present stage US ensure that Kazakhstan hindered the integration processes in the post-Soviet space with Russian participation. In particular, Astana actively opposed the establishment of a single Parliament in the framework of the Eurasian economic Union. Besides, the aging Nazarbayev Americans increasingly think about the fact that his successor shared, first of all, their ideals, including incorporating anti-Russian components. However, there is no force majeure that would put an end to the plans of Washington. Of course, Central Asia is between Russia, China and the Islamic world, and for US there is no place. However, in a similar situation with Ukraine, this has not prevented the Americans.
However, for Russia in Central Asia, the main danger today represent the efforts not the US, and China, which each year pushes out of the region by both Russian and American businesses with their goods. Because of its economic opportunities with Moscow can not confront Beijing, but openly called him a threat to their interests is impossible. On the contrary, they should be friends.
Stanislav PRITCHIN, an analyst with the program of Russian and Eurasian Affairs “Chatham house”:
– The President of Kazakhstan met with all four last heads of the States and tried them to build pragmatic relations, such as with Russia and China. However, the current visit of Nazarbayev to Washington was preparing for a long time and special interest in the news about a 22 billion dollars from the National Fund of Kazakhstan, which at the end of 2017 was frozen one of the largest banks in the US (the decision was made in accordance with the claim of the Moldovan oligarch Anatol Stati, who accuses Kazakhstan in the raider attacks on the $ 4 billion dollars, – note of the “MK”). This amount is comparable to the annual budget of the Republic, however, after talks trump and Nazarbayev not a word is said about this problem.
As for Lavrov’s concerns about the increasing US influence in Central Asia, then divide them difficult. Program C5+1 need for political dialogue, was not discussed any economic issues. The US is not going to increase investment in the region, there to build new infrastructure and so on. Dialogue is important in itself, but it poses no threat to Russia. In the end, Russia and China have common borders with Central Asia and Finance in the real sector of the economy, including in the Eurasian economic Union, the New silk road and so on. It is difficult to imagine a global project in which the U.S. could compete with major regional players. This region is rich enough to Washington posed serious effort to overcome its geographical remoteness.
Besides, such countries as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and even Uzbekistan have a long way to go to USA could call them partners. In particular, it is necessary to safeguard the rights of LGBT people and so on. Tashkent has a liberal reform, but he is still very far from Western standards.
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