Russia has vital role in Central Asia even with Bishkek-Tashkent rapprochement - Expert -

29 March, Wednesday

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Russia has vital role in Central Asia even with Bishkek-Tashkent rapprochement - Expert

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 The signing of the Declaration on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and a large package of cooperation documents by the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan is a major step toward improving Central Asian stability, although Russia's role in guaranteeing regional security remains strong, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council Andrey Kortunov told TASS.

"The new agreements between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan constitute a significant step forward, especially given the two nations' historically strained relations. We're talking about numerous signed documents primarily related to economic, scientific, technical, and humanitarian cooperation, but the focus has been on border delimitation. The completion of this process eliminates the likelihood of any previous cross-border misunderstandings," the expert said.

He emphasized that Russia is interested in boosting cooperation and resolving cross-border challenges in Central Asian countries. "The example of Armenia and Azerbaijan shows how difficult it is to pursue a balanced stance when two of your partners - serious, key partners - begin to clash," the expert added.

At the same time, Kortunov believes that Russia's role in securing regional security is critical for both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. "There are currently no alternative security providers for the region. Given that the situation in neighboring countries, particularly Afghanistan, remains dire, and we have no idea what will happen in this nation in a year, two, or five years, this objectively connects Kyrgyzstan and, to a lesser extent, Uzbekistan to the Russian Federation. As a result, cooperation with Russia will undoubtedly continue," he stated.

The expert recalled numerous attempts in the region to establish a separate Central Asian integration framework. "But it will be difficult, if not impossible, to do without Russia," he warned.


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