Uzbekistan emerging from isolation
The rise of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to power in Uzbekistan has brought with it economic reform and billions of dollars in new investment. The country desperately needs foreign partners, both to diversify its economy and strengthen its military. China and Russia, respectively, have stepped in to play these roles. At the same time, the U.S. is withdrawing from the region. As the influence of Beijing and Moscow grows, President Mirziyoyev’s options will shrink.
Uzbekistan’s reforms: Opening a new era in Central Asia?
Uzbekistan’s new president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has embarked on a series of far-reaching reforms. While some domestic initiatives – such as strengthening the rule of law and liberalizing the market – will take more time to show results, a new, proactive foreign policy is already having positive effects. How far Tashkent will take these reforms is still in question, but a stronger Uzbekistan will mean a less influential Russia in the region.
Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
GIS Dossier: A new Great Game in Central Asia
The five independent states of Central Asia that emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union are being courted and pressured by the globe’s key powers in a contemporary version of the 19th century’s Great Game in the region – this time over their vast energy resources.
Central Asia facing turmoil
With the death of Uzbekistan’s president, growing unrest in Tajikistan, an unclear succession plan in Kazakhstan and recent terror attacks in Kyrgyzstan, instability across Central Asia has now become a distinct possibility. The geographical proximity of Afghanistan and the intersecting interests of foreign powers in the region make the situation more difficult.
A landslide victory but the question of succession in Uzbekistan becomes more urgent
A significant number of factors are placing Uzbekistan, governed by one of the world’s most repressive and authoritarian regimes, centre stage in a potential rebalancing of the security dynamic of Central Asia. The recent presidential elections placed the 77-year-old autocratic leader, Islam Karimov, back at the helm of Uzbekistan - but the question of succession n...
China is winning the new Great Game in Central Asia
Massive Chinese investment is flowing into Moscow’s strategic backyard. The Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union, ruled over the various ethnic groups of Central Asia for centuries. Now Beijing is making a concerted effort to solidify economic, transport, and political links with the volatile and resource-rich region, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly. ...
Progress in Afghanistan hinges on continued Western engagement
Nato's withdrawal from Afghanistan is likely to have far-reaching implications for Central and South Asia. Total withdrawal of troops could be devastating for regional security and jeopardise the safety of western nations. Crucial in shaping the region’s future security are decisions made over the US’s long-term military and economic commitment to Afghanistan. A co...
Russia fears regional instability after Nato leaves Afghanistan
Russia plans to set up military maintenance bases in Afghanistan to service the Afghan army’s weapons and hardware when Nato pulls out in 2014. It is in Russia’s interest that the region on its southern borders remains stable. But Russia fears that the withdrawal of Nato troops could lead to militant Islamic groups extending their reach into neighbouring countries ...
Putin's Eurasian Union - potential partners waver over joining
Moscow is banking on the growing strength of the Customs Union, a trade bloc between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and its evolution into the Eurasian Union to reaffirm its role as the regional superpower and challenger to the European Union. But it remains to be seen whether Moscow can pull together a union of seemingly unwilling partners. This report considers ...