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Kyrgyzstan And Uzbekistan Are Jolted By One And The Same Power

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 02:49

In early April, the website of the international news agency Fergana published an interesting article by Ulugbek Babakulov. “If not Atambaev: What President of Kyrgyzstan do the heads of neighboring states want to see?” The article cites the opinions of various political scientists on the current situation in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, on their possible future relationships. The list of experts included representatives of Russia (Arkady Dubnov, Grigory Mikhailov), Kazakhstan (Marat Shibutov, Eduard Poletayev); Uzbekistan (Bakhtiyor Ergashev; political emigrants from Uzbekistan: Alisher Taksanov and Kamoliddin Rabbimov). Naturally, the opinions of the experts differ in the substance and depth of analysis; however, they are united by a common concern for the future of the countries of the Central Asian region (CAR).


In connection with the upcoming autumn election of the new president of Kyrgyzstan (the election is scheduled for November 17, 2017), all the neighbors expect Bishkek to initiate changes in geopolitical terms. The article indirectly touches upon the issues of the Kremlin's regional geopolitical projects: in particular, it is asserted that only three Central Asian countries directly participate in or partially support the Kremlin's projects. These countries are: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. However, the reputable experts do not touch upon the topic of Western influence on the CAR countries.


We believe that it's not possible to have an objective view of the emerging situation in the region without an adequate assessment of this aspect.


The Tashkent-based NATO Office for Liaison and Interaction with Central Asian Countries was closed on April 1, 2017. Allegedly, this happened due to a change in the structure of the alliance's contacts in the region. From now on, any contacts with the countries of Central Asia will be carried out directly from Brussels.


For reference: The NATO Office for Relations and Interaction with Central Asian countries in Tashkent was opened in May 2014. At the same time, the University of World Economy and Diplomacy of Uzbekistan established the depository library of the alliance. A NATO officer for liaison and interaction with the Central Asian countries served as the diplomatic representative of the alliance on the ground and facilitated practical cooperation with partners in the region in various areas.


Back in the day, the leadership of the alliance took great pains to create the center. Andrei Grozin, the head of the Central Asia department at the CIS Institute, believes that one of the main reasons for its closure is the reduction in the contingent of the Western coalition in Afghanistan. As a result, the activities of the West (and, particularly, the United States) in the Central Asian region have been declining year by year. In addition, many programs for promoting security and development of civil society are being curtailed. According to the political scientist, the leadership of NATO is becoming disappointed with the still low level of development of civil society in the countries of the Central Asian region and Washington's weak ability to influence these countries, despite the significant budgets allocated for the purpose.


It is clear that, according to the American intention, the activities of the bureau were aimed to create the conditions necessary to return the NATO bases to the region. However, after the opening of the bureau, the governments of the Central Asian countries quite clearly defined their reluctance to implement this scenario.


Western experts note that the Central Asian region is not among the key areas of influence of NATO. Therefore, the alliance has decided to redistribute the funds. Is it reasonable to trust such assessments?


Based on current priorities and due to its geographical location, such a complex zone as Central Asia will always attract attention of both the US and the EU (primarily, Germany). No wonder that last year the Chancellor of Germany, A. Merkel, visited Kyrgyzstan. Just imagine how great is the distance between Berlin and Bishkek!


Therefore, the Anglo-Saxons will always strive to be present in the CAR countries and actively influence them: if not through NATO, then through the tools of the US Department of State, such as the “collective West” and the OSCE structures. We must not forget about the mechanisms of such influence. The concept of “soft power” (defined by Joseph Nye) occupies an important place among them. Developed in the depths of the Tripartite Commission in 1990, the concept involves a variety of ways to lobby a party's own interests without direct presence.

In recent years, all major geopolitical players in the region – the US, the EU, China and Russia – have been implementing this concept of “soft power” in various forms and directions, with varying degrees of success. The non-regional participants use different strategies and influence different groups of the population. For example, the US pays much attention to Internet technologies, aiming primarily at the youth audience. The EU prepares a diversity of programs, including environmental and health care. China seeks to influence through official channels, focusing on language and culture, and also striving to realize its economic interests through lending policies. Russia sets the task of working with the Russian-speaking audience. Kazakhstan, as the regional leader, is also taking measures that look attractive to many.


Long-term and short-term goals are realized with the help of “soft power.” For example, higher education is focused on achieving long-term goals, while the media activity is for short-term goals. In this regard, we can cite a convincing fact. Romania is not a rich country, but its leadership has always understood that personnel is all-important for strengthening its influence in Moldova. So, Romania has provided free education to Moldavian youth for years (over 5,000 young Moldavians are annually trained for free). Now they occupy the leading positions in all spheres, actively exercising pro-Romanian influence. The West has trained the elite for more than one century. Actually, their “divide and rule” policy consists in not only dividing the countries, but also separating the elite of these countries from the people (or destroying the stubborn ones) in order to rule using the hands of the national elites (the West does not favor the Syrian president exactly because of his defiance.


To realize their interests, all Western “centers of power” use their official structures in the CAR, as well as non-governmental organizations (for example, the OSCE structures). In summer 2016, John McGregor, the former head of the OSCE Office in Bishkek, has been appointed the new OSCE project coordinator in Uzbekistan.


For reference: Uzbekistan has been a member of the OSCE since 1992. In 1995, on the initiative of the Uzbek side, the OSCE Office for Relations with Central Asia was established in Tashkent. It carried out activities to establish contacts at various levels and to interact in areas of mutual interest. In 1999, the bureau was renamed to become the OSCE Center in Tashkent. In June 2006, at the initiative of the Uzbek side, the Permanent Council of the OSCE decided to establish the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan.


Currently, a number of OSCE projects are being implemented in the republic. Uzbekistan cooperates with the OSCE in many areas, such as strengthening regional security and stability, developing civil society institutions, expanding international economic and humanitarian partnership, as well as environment protection.


We must not forget the fact that Americans and NATO have completely destabilized the Middle East; the bloody lessons of Iraq and Syria speak of this vividly. However, few people notice that Central Asia will be the next target for destabilization, for orange revolutions and destruction of states, for all kinds of upheavals and revolutions. According to the plans of the “global deep states,” a big geopolitical conflict is already ripening. Millions of people are likely to be drawn into it. It is clear that normal and sound people in the CARs, Russia and Beijing would not want this; however, there are so many contradictions in the region that it appears to be a powder keg. If the West wants to blow it up, it can easily be done.

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