Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Iran's admission to SCO means for its members to declare readiness to confront West

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Bishkek will be the first big political event for newly elected President of Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani. The bilateral negotiations with the Russian and Chinese Presidents to be held on the sidelines of the summit are not expected to result in adoption of very important decisions. But perhaps they will help President Rouhani in understanding the prospects of Iran in this Organization and make the necessary adjustments in the foreign policy of Tehran, Igor Pankratenko, expert on Iran and Central Asia, Candidate of Historical Sciences, member of the expert community “Russian Intelligence Network”, said in an exclusive interview with CA-News.

China’s Game in Central Asia

China is currently making a series of attempts to strengthen its position in Central Asia. Its primary aim is to radically change the balance of power in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization through the use of economic levers. China made the following key proposals during preparations for the organization’s last summit: creation of the SCO Development Bank based on Chinese capital; formation of an “SCO account,” also based on Chinese money, or rather a fund for supporting projects to develop the organization; and, establishment of a single free trade zone for participating countries.

Building a NATO-SCO dialogue

By Richard Weitz

Since late 2001, NATO has emerged as a major institutional player in Central Asian security affairs. This development resulted from the increased Alliance interest and involvement in Central Asia following the September 11 terrorist attacks and NATO's takeover of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in August 2003. However, the Uzbek government's May 2005 crackdown in Andijan revealed the fragility of the Alliance's relations with the countries of the region. Consequently, NATO needs a new initiative to enhance its position in Central Asia.

Russia Moves to Strengthen Ties with Uzbekistan

By Sergei Blagov

As the Kremlin intensified its efforts to develop relations with Uzbekistan, the leadership of the most populous nation in Central Asia appears to remain non-committal. Following talks in Moscow, Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, and his Uzbek counterpart, Islam Karimov, hailed the bilateral summit on April 19-20 as a move towards strengthening the partnership. Russia and Uzbekistan remain strategic partners, Medvedev reportedly commented.

NATO and World Security

By Zbigniew Brzezinski

In the course of its 60 years, NATO has institutionalized three monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long “civil war” within the West for trans-oceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States’s post–World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination; and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union.