by Eka Janashia (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The most recent round of the Geneva Talks, held on March 27 in Switzerland, did not yield any concrete results but confirmed the continuity of negotiations under this format. The inability to reach a non-use-of-force agreement continues to be one of the most challenging issues preventing the participants, Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to overcome the deadlock in the discussions.
by Robert M. Cutler (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The success of the recent summit between the Russian and Chinese presidents is significant not only for agreements reached between the two sides but also for the absence of disagreements over Central Asia. Speculation abounded after the Soviet break-up over possible Russo-Chinese competition; but by the time the U.S. military established a presence in Central Asia in support of Afghanistan operations, a Sino-Russian entente had begun to close over the region. Today Sino-Russian energy cooperation outside Central Asia and deepening political elite-level friendships signify the re-assertion of that bilateral entente as the U.S. diminishes its profile in Central Asia.
by Joldosh Osmonov (03/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
After the U.S. evacuates the Transit Center at the Manas airport in 2014, Russia intends to replace it with a civic cargo logistics center. However, it is still unknown whether the U.S. airbase will actually be removed and the heated discussions around the issue are at their height.
by Roger N. McDermott (03/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On February 17-21, Russia conducted its first surprise military inspection exercise in twenty years. The exercise in the Southern and Central Military Districts (MDs) tested combat readiness levels in key formations. These involved the elite Airborne Forces (VDV), Ground Forces brigades, Military Transport Aviation (VTA) and the defense ministry’s 12th Main Directorate. The top brass criticized the performance of officers and soldiers and equipment deficiencies following the exercise, which also revealed the limited power projection options the Russian military possesses in relation to Central Asia.
by Dmitry Shlapentokh (02/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In 2011, Kazakhstan’s President expressed strong support for Vladimir Putin’s initiative of creating a Eurasian Union. In fact, Nursultan Nazarbaev himself presented similar ideas almost 20 years ago. While Putin sees the new Eurasian Union as a Russia-centered geopolitical entity with exclusive ties between Russia and other members, Kazakhstan regards its relationship with Russia as just one among several others. Kazakhstan is actually distancing itself from Moscow, which has increasingly lost its attraction as a center of science and technology for Kazakhstan’s elite. One indication is Astana’s decision to phase out Moscow’s control over the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.