by Richard Weitz (03/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In accordance with its efforts to diversify its allegiance with major powers, Kazakhstan supports a strong U.S. economic and defense presence in Central Asia. The U.S. is equally interested in preserving Kazakhstan’s balanced relationship with the other great powers. Renewing the partnership requires realigning its focus as the U.S. military presence in Central Asia declines but U.S. interests do not, while Kazakhstan responds to China’s growing regional role and strong Russian interest in maintaining Moscow’s primacy in the region. An effective U.S. diplomatic approach toward the region requires reaffirming U.S. support for the political and economic independence of Kazakhstan and its neighbors.
by Georgiy Voloshin (03/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On February 26-27, Kazakhstan’s southern capital, the city of Almaty, hosted another round of international talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This high-level meeting attended by representatives of the P5+1 group of countries and Iranian officials was earlier confirmed by the European External Action Service, which is currently acting as one of Tehran’s main interlocutors. Although Kazakhstan is not formally involved as a negotiating partner, it decided once again to use its global reputation as a firm supporter of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the non-proliferation policy in providing its territory for the first round of talks in 2013.
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.
KAZAKHSTAN EMBARKS ON FAR-REACHING ECONOMIC REFORMS
by Georgiy Voloshin (02/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In his December 2012 address to the nation, President Nazarbayev presented an ambitious program of political, economic and social transformations aimed at permitting Kazakhstan to become one of the world’s thirty most developed and prosperous countries by 2050. Nazarbayev’s decision in mid-January 2013 to reorganize the government, via the establishment of a new ministry in charge of regional development and the optimization of policy functions within existing structures, was the first demonstration of this new course. Later on January 23, the Kazakh president met with members of his government in order to provide concrete guidelines for the short- and medium-term.
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.