A triumvirate of Eurasian Allies Moscow, Astana and Tashkent Are Forming New Geopolitical Axe

By Viktoria Panfilova

The visit of the Secretary of State Grigoriy Karasin, Vice Minister of the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Russian Federation to Tashkent became the continuation of the dialogue, started in Moscow this April by the Presidents Islam Karimov and Vladimir Putin. Then they signed a large set of documents on various spheres of cooperation – from economy to special services cooperation, up to 2017. Security and development of the total Central Asia region depends on its accomplishment.


“The main issues of the current agenda – discussion of the ways of strengthening of cooperation in the sphere of security between Uzbekistan and Russia, including also the on-coming withdrawal in 2014 of ISAF contingency from Afghanistan and in general the prospects of the situation development in the region”, – reported in the Uzbekistani diplomatic establishment.


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“Foreign Affairs Ministry of Uzbekistan almost daily holds political consultations with the diplomats of different countries of the world. The current political consultation is out of the general context. One thing is to hold consultations, let’s say with Latvia or Bulgaria, and another thing – with Russia. Moscow and Tashkent signed two important treaties – on strategic partnership and ally relations. And this is already binding“ – said an independent political analyst from Uzbekistan Farkhad Tolipov to the NG. According to him, these documents are quite ambitious. “At the first glance Uzbekistan lost CSTO as the source of security protection. But there is a similar treaty with Russia. In case of a security threat one of the parties launch an immediate mechanism of negotiations to neutralize the situation with provision of military infrastructure. If, let’s say, there is a threat towards Uzbekistan, than Russian military men can dislocate within the territory of the republic. This proves the seriousness of the relations:” –noted the Uzbekistani expert. 


Aleksander Knyazev, an expert on Central Asia and Middle East, noted for NG that the joining of Uzbekistan to the free trade area additionally points out that Tashkent has something to work over with Moscow, and a number of other capitals of the Commonwealth. In particularly with Astana. 


On June 13-14th the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Tashkent. Under the results of the talks it was planned to sign a treaty similar to Russian one – on strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Aleksander Knyazev thinks that “this proves a principally new content of regional processes”. 


“The estimation of the two biggest republics of the region – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – as two entities, being in the permanent state of competition for regional leadership, is artificially constructed stereotype and has not unbiased grounds. Uzbekistan due to its geographic location and transport-communicative potential, economic and demographic abilities, existence of strong state institutions and a number of other characteristics can claim the kind of role. However, evident is a list of dependencies of Uzbekistan from the same Kazakhstan, and then from Russia within the number of industries of economy, transit capabilities. That is why the optimal variant for the accomplishment of positive scenarios of development of Uzbekistan itself  and for the whole Central-Asia region is preservation of existing and development of new mechanisms of cooperation,” – considers Knyazev. Accordinging to him, in-region confrontation, division of the region into blocks shall serve only for the common destabilization and chaotization of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan, which shall undoubtedly, negatively project on Russia.


The experts consider that Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan with the support of Russia, considering the interests of other states of the region and foreign actors can undertake the responsibility to form regional sub-system of international relations, adapting to new threats and challenges. “By this, each country has its place in the hierarchy of the international and regional policy, including also in the sphere of security. Neighbor countries – Kirgizia and Tajikistan, considering the unbiased parameters, can be observed only as the bodies of regional policy, they can not be full-right participants of basic regional allies, such as CSTO or the Customs Union, or uninstitutionalized, such as the expressed axe Astana-Tashkent-Moscow”, - noted Knyazev. 


According to the Kazakhstani expert of the Association of Boundary Cooperation Marat Shibutov, the contacts in the format Tashkent-Astana-Moscow for all three countries are vitally important. “There is an idea of a “ Triumvirate Union” – Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, having several lines of activity. Under the line Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan, under the line EES-Uzbekistan, under the line Uzbekistan-Russia. Considering the role of Russia and Kazakhstan the CSTO, CU, EEX, the formation of a geopolitical axe Moscow-Tashkent-Astana could sufficiently assist to consolidate the regional geopolitical, and later also geoeconomic area“, – said Shibutov in course of the session of experts in Alma-Ata, held by the Knyazev Foundation. Such partnership, according to him, shall suggest economic as well as political benefits for each of the member of for the region in general. Exactly this union can work out a general acting strategy in relation to the policy of the PRC and USA in the region, as well as under the issue of Afghanistan and transit of power in the countries of the region, which anticipates first of all the succession of foreign political priorities. 


The experts also consider, that within the new negotiation platform it shall be able to solve the issues of water-use in the region more efficiently. Particularly, the issue on the construction giant hydro-power plants in Kirgizia and Tajikistan. In course of political consultations of Grigoriy Karasin in Tashkent they discussed the matter of the construction of Verkhi Aryn cascase of HPP in Kirgizia, the idea of which Tashkent confronts. 


Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from ng.ru