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Tag: Central Asia

CSTO shows its true colours

To quell the January uprisings in Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev enlisted the help of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The military alliance is cautious by nature, but reacted in this instance as troops were mobilised within hours to aid Tokayev’s government. The Kazakh case may set a precedent and could usher in a new life for the CSTO.

April 6, 2022 - Gijs Willem Freriks

Is Uzbekistan’s re-elected President Mirziyoyev the key to sustainable development in Central Asia, including Afghanistan?

Independent Uzbekistan has been no stranger to controversy. Once ruled by the autocratic Islam Karimov, the country had failed to make any serious changes to its political system as recently as 2016. Ongoing reforms by President Mirziyoyev, however, suggest that the country and even the region may now be changing for the better.

December 16, 2021 - `Sarvar Khalikov Artem Oliinyk Joanna Cygler Mykola Volkivskyi 

Nazarbayev’s handmade political transition in Kazakhstan

The “Land of the Great Steppe” finds itself in a partial or even stalled transitory period, despite the departure of Nursultan Nazarbayev as president. At the same time, Kazakhstan has no choice but to continue to navigate between its Russian and Chinese neighbours, even if relations with both are deteriorating.

October 4, 2021 - Charles Fourmi Dylan van de Ven Gabrielle Valli Hubert-Felix Delattre

Russia and Afghanistan: Three scenarios for Moscow’s response

Russia stands to gain geopolitically from the Western failure in Afghanistan. As a meeting with the Taliban leadership in July showed, Moscow is positioning itself as a key actor in the new Central Asian reality.

August 25, 2021 - Joshua Kroeker

NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan: What it means for the Central Asian neighbourhood

NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan will leave its Central Asian neighbours with a number of challenges. Central Asian states are likely to address these issues with the help of Russia and China, who are eager to advance their status and role in the region.

June 22, 2021 - Yegor Vasylyev

An illegitimate transfer of authority in Kyrgyzstan

Interview with Aida Alymbaeva, a Kyrgyz lecturer and opposition politician. Interview by Charles Fourmi.

December 3, 2020 - Aida Alymbaeva Charles Fourmi

Kyrgyzstan and Belarus – USSR 2.0 failed

The recent developments in the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Belarus could mean the influence of the Kremlin is weakening.

November 6, 2020 - Maksym Skrypchenko

Great power competition returns to Central Asia

The Russian-Chinese duopoly retains strong clout in Central Asia. Western overtures to Central Asian nations, however, are still worrisome to Beijing and Moscow, which treat the region as their own backyard. Even though the United States is unlikely to replace Russian or Chinese influence in Central Asia, Washington can offer a geopolitical counterweight and expand its ties with the region, where a western presence is limited.

In early February this year US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, paid a rare visit to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The visit was yet another signal that Washington, under Donald Trump’s presidency, wants to strengthen ties with Central Asian nations and challenge Sino-Russian domination in the region. Pompeo's visit was part of Donald Trump's administration broad effort to reinvigorate ties with Central Asian nations which has come ahead of the unveiling of the United States Strategy for Central Asia 2019-2025 in February this year.

July 7, 2020 - Natalia Konarzewska

Youtubers, influencers and creative activists are the new vanguard in Central Asia

It is a decisive moment for Central Asia. Societies of the region are receptive to the EU’s messages of transparency, democracy and rule of law, but they are also under pressure from other regional powers. If the European Union wants its new Central Asia Strategy to have a positive impact, it should reach out to innovative groups and individuals calling for change.

Over the past decade, the European Union has ceded ground in Central Asia, not only to Russia and a newly assertive China, but also to the Gulf states and Turkey, and experts forecast its influence is set to further decline. As EU Special Representative Peter Burian once quipped, “China is coming with an offer nobody can refuse, while the EU is coming with an offer nobody can understand.”

April 7, 2020 - Barbara von Ow-Freytag

Students suffer sexual harassment in Kazakhstan

Both cultural change and awareness are fundamental in opposing sexual harassment in academia. After a string of widely publicised sexual harassment cases at several prestigious institutions of higher learning, Nazarbayev’s successor, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has the opportunity to spearhead the anti-sexual harassment campaign in Kazakhstan’s colleges and universities.

March 9, 2020 - Ararat L. Osipian

New president, old authorities

Kazakhstan’s presidential election on June 9th was a breakthrough. It was the first election in the history of the young country where the main candidate was not Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had ruled Kazakhstan for almost 30 years. The country’s new president is Qasym-Jomart Toqaev, a long-time diplomat and confidant of Nazarbayev.

“I have made a difficult decision for myself – to resign from the powers of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.” It was a historic moment when Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his resignation live on TV on March 19th 2019. He made an unusual decision for a region where presidents tend to die in office rather than resign. This step came by surprise for many at that time but had been in preparation for years.

November 13, 2019 - Othmara Glas

Lord of the flies. Power struggles on Central Asia’s island of democracy

With its unique political model, Kyrgyzstan, in a region full of autocratic regimes, is sometimes called an “island of democracy”. This reference, however, does not imply full ascension of democracy.

Kyrgyzstan is often understood to be the only democracy in Central Asia. A transfer of power has happened here more often than its neighbours. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have witnessed replacement at the top following the death of their respective rulers; in Kazakhstan, the presidential change happened this year with the approval of its long-serving president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who, as an aksakal , still retains significant political power; Emomali Rakhmon has been ruling Tajikistan, unchallenged, since the mid-1990s, when he rose to power after political turbulences and a bitter civil war.

November 13, 2019 - Rusif Huseynov

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Agencja interaktywna: hauerpower krakow studio krakow.