July 2011

Post-Soviet Integration - New Hopes

By Danyil Rozanov

The process of the Common Economic Space launch preparation goes on. This is a new integration mega-project within post-soviet area. On July 1st 2011 starts a new formation stage of the Common Economic Space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Customs bodies finish the performance customs control over the goods within internal borders of the Customs Union states – the most important stage of the CES establishment. Its initiators underline success achieved within development of common internal market of the CU states undertime. The EU states spent 36 years on that; Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan with joint efforts managed to do that in a year. It is supposed that the CES starts operating on January 1st of 2012.

Kyrgyzstan’s Chaotic Foreign Policy

By Erica Marat

Since the April 7, 2010 regime change in Kyrgyzstan, experts have debated whether the country is leaning more toward Russia or the United States. President Roza Otunbayeva has met with both the Russian and US presidents, participated in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana and visited several European capitals. Kyrgyz government officials and the parliament, however, have leaned more toward strengthening cooperation with Moscow and Kazakhstan. Which of the directions has been Kyrgyzstan’s priority in the past year?

Central Asia: the discourse of danger

By John Heathershaw and Nick Megoran

From policy reports and academic studies, to computer games and television mini-series, Central Asia is routinely portrayed as overwhelmingly dangerous. Does it matter that serious analyses dovetail with fictional accounts? John Heathershaw and Nick Megoran argue that it does, because it indicates a common Western geopolitical vision of Central Asia that distorts policy towards the region.

Kazakhstan’s Balancing Act

By Daniel Wagner and Luca Costa

Kazakhstan has become the most developed country in Central Asia over the past decade as a result of its rapid oil-driven growth and pragmatic foreign policy. President Nazarbayev has skilfully balanced the country’s diverse range of interests and maintained a sensible equilibrium between Kazakhstan’s two most significant international partners—Russia and the U.S.—whose interests compete in the region. While Russia has an historical and geographic comparative advantage, Kazakhstan’s relations with the U.S. are significant and growing. Nazarbayev has balanced relations between Russia and the U.S. by sending cheap oil to Russia and becoming an integral part of Washington’s War on Terror.

LITHUANIA AND UKRAINE SIGN JOINT DECLARATION ON COOPERATION AT BOTH AN INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL

In Vilnius, Lithuania and Ukraine signed a joint declaration on cooperation at both an international and regional level, which provides for consultations of the countries on international and regional issues, also during their chairmanship of regional organizations, and as Ukraine is looking forward to progress on the Association Agreement with the European Union.