Kazakhstan and Central Asia: weak hopes on troubled background

11.06.2009. Gazeta.KZ

By Samat Rakhimbayev

Kazakhstan and Central Asia: weak hopes on troubled backgroundAn international conference took place at the Kazakhstani Institute of Strategic Research.

“Central Asia in terms of geopolitical transformation and world economic crisis” it was the title, which discovered the most topical for the regions problems.

The general ground, which exists in the region, could not suit not a single state of Central Asia, and Kazakhstan in particularly. particularly, because a number of problems for security of the country depends on our neighbors, and directly not connected with the Kazakhstani processes.

Sanat Kushkumbayev, deputy chair of the Committee of the foreign political analysis and prognosis of foreign affairs ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, noticed: that in-depth reasons of conflict in the countries of Central Asia in previous years were not liquidated. Armed excesses, which happened last decade, still take place periodically, as May events in Uzbekistan showcased.

“And as an “irritator” even a small conflict situation may be, for instance, within the framework of the growing unemployment or reduction of the labour migration. And sometimes incompetent measures, for instance, can be the reason for conflict in the sphere of regulation of confession relations. During the last year we can witness, that these problems were extremely sharpened,” the expert said.

It was also sounded at the conference of enforcing of problematic potential of water-energy issues, which are permanent for the region. It happens because of climatic changes as well: a long and cold winter “knocks out” energy system of the region. Season increase of precipitations also influences. And there was no a key, complex, solution of these problems, and still there is not.

Amanzhol Urazbayev, representative of Anti-terrorist center of the CIS, drew attention on sharpening problem of drug trafficking to the countries of the region from Afghanistan. Although it is not clear how to combat it. In Afghanistan production of poppy by ten times exceeds on profitability a production of grain, therefore, what can external countries do with this threat? Although palpability of this threat for our societies is very sharp. Should we take just one fact – content of drug substances in hemp, which is planted in Afghanistan, by two times is more, than in the Central Asian hemp. Naturally, that Afghanistan under these conditions remain the main factor of narcotization of the population in Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries of the CIS.

Development of the situation around Iran has a by-side, but still a strong influence on the situation in our countries. “What will be actions of America and its ally Israel towards this country and its nuclear program?” asked participants of the conference Murat Laumulin. And the experts have no doubts, that Teheran sooner or later will be an owner of nuclear weapon, it is just a matter of time. But, it is unlikely to be a long time.

Probably, the European Union could positively influence on the situation in Central Asia, as it was going to render to the countries of the region a significant economic assistance. But crisis will correct these plans towards lowering. To what extent – the issue is open. Although in political regard Europe may do even now not less things. For instance, the thing which Mr Laumulin named a “correction of the American ambitions in the NATO” and joint contribution of the European allies to the maintenance of a stable peace in Afghanistan.

As for China? China, according to Laumulin, will use the crisis for strengthening of its positions in our region. Although how much it will be able to free its economic resources for this is not clear as well. Then approach of Beijing and Washington, which was symbolized with coming president Obama to power, will enforce contradictions with Russia. And this for countries of Central Asia is a “concerning tendency.” And in it itself inner contradictions are growing, which were deteriorated by the crisis.

“As for Kazakhstan, we will be busy in the nearest future with our presidency in OSCE. The agenda is almost formed, Kazakhstan will struggle for realization of transport corridors via Eurasia. The most important, that Kazakhstan, as OSCE chair, could make up a dialogue in the sphere of security, what is very important and has been grown. Dialogues between NATO and SCO, OSCE and CICA. It was our contribution in the strengthening of Eurasian security, – Mr Laumulin considers.