Astana Can Initiate OSCE Reforms. Expert View

Kazakhstan can give an impulse to the OSCE restructuring and balancing the three baskets of the Organization during its Presidency in OSCE in 2010, claimed the Head of the Foreign Policy Studies Department of Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies at the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bulat Auelbayev.

“Kazakhstan can start OSCE reforms. As there are already plenty of problems within the Organization. And the Organization itself (mainly western colleagues) doesn’t want to change in principle”, - said Auelbayev.

Earlier experts repeatedly noted that the balance of OSCE is disturbed between the three baskets – security, economy and humanitarian issues, which mainly concern human rights protection and elections monitoring. Lately the third basket has gained priority, meanwhile today the problems of military-political and economic cooperation are much more urgent.

“There are certain expectations of our neighbors including Russia form the OSCE Presidency (of Kazakhstan). Kazakhstan will give more attention (during its Presidency) to the problems of Central Asia, and maybe, in general for the CIS issues”, - specified Auelbayev.

According to his comments, at the same time Kazakhstan also counts on the support of Europe in the number of matters.

“Painful points of Central Asia is a hydro-energy complex – water depletes, which demands integrational decisions to prevent crisis and social, technologic and ecologic disasters. Naturally, we will also consider the issue, what can OSCE and Europe give us”, - added Auelbayev.

chernyavskyIn his turn the Director of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations Stanislav Cherniavskij noted that Kazakhstan is “our closest ally and loyal friend” and expressed hope that due to the Kazakhstan OSCE Presidency Russia will “manage to establish a dialogue on new general European security and on the accomplishment of the initiative suggested by the President of the Russian Federation”.

At the same time Cherniavskij doubted that Astana will manage to lead radical OSCE reforms for a year of Presidency.

“Radical reforms in this Organization, if there will be any, will take too much time”, - underlined the expert.

Dwelling on the OSCE Presidency of Kazakhstan, the senior researcher of the Center for East Asia and SCO at Scientific Coordinating Council on International Studies in MSIIR Leonid Gusev said that Astana is able to intensify the solution of two urgent issues.

He thinks that first of all, Kazakhstan during its Presidency can “lobby” the idea of the “establishment of the security structure within Asian continent”.

Secondly, Kazakhstan as the friend of Russia can reduce to some extent negative attitudes of the West towards Moscow in the connection with the events in August of 2008 in South Ossetia.

“Kazakhstan as a friendly state can reduce negative trends, tendencies revealed by OSCE and the EU member states, as well as by different human rights and other organizations”, - explained Gusev.

Experts underlined the well-thought pragmatic position of Kazakhstan on foreign policy issues, its ability to find contact points with Russia as well as with Europe.

“Kazakhstan is special with its correct and well-minded policy”, - suggests the deputy director of the fund “Center for Political Studies and Consulting” Aleksander Kuznetsov.

vlasov“Kazakhstan leads multi-vector policy of political pragmatism, being in its essence a “bridge” connecting Europe and Asia”, - underlined in his turn the Director of Informational Analytical Center for Social-Political Processes Studies Within the Post-Soviet Territory at MSU of M.V. Lomonosova Aleksey Vlasov.

“Kazakhstan cooperated closely with Russia in every issue, including the oncoming Presidency of the country in OSCE”, - said Vlasov.

At the same time, according to the Director of political programs of the Council for Foreign and Defense policy Andrey Fedorov, the initiatives of Kazakhstan within OSCE shouldn’t be treated as a “hand of Moscow”. This would be destructive either for Kazakhstan or for Russia.

“Astana possesses its own point of view in many issues, and this point can coincide or contradict to the Russia’s one. This is good, this is a ground for discussion”, - thinks the expert.

“In any case, the Presidency of Kazakhstan in OSCE won’t be easy. But one shouldn’t be afraid of that. Most things will depend on Astana itself, will it manage to detect crisis files and react to prevent them during the year of its Presidency. This suggests expert discussions”, - summarizes Fedorov.

Declaring the program “Way to Europe” a “road map” for OSCE Presidency, obviously President Nazarbayev narrowed its sense to some extent as the program will proceed even after the end of the Presidency term in the Organization. Naturally, during a year Kazakhstan won’t be able either to reform OSCE fundamentally, or to accomplish all its suggestions. And probably further work under these problems will continue in the framework of this program.

From the other hand the program promotes the development also in other directions. So that, Kazakhstan supposes to raise an issue on the establishment of general European security system during its Presidency in OSCE. But almost simultaneously there is a task raised to reform security system in Asia. This is not a coincidence: being in its essence a “bridge” between Europe and Asia, right after the Presidency in OSCE in 2010, already in 2011 Kazakhstan will Chair the Organization of Islamic Conference.
Media monitoring