Wednesday 1 October 2008
September 19, 2008
CSTO Plans Regional Army Near Afghanistan
The CSTO says the move is intended to deal with potential "challenges to the sovereignty" of its member states. But many observers see it as Moscow's response to possible further NATO expansion and to Washington's decision to deploy an antimissile defense system in Central Europe.
September 19, 2008
EU, Central Asia's Marriage Of Convenience
A meeting of foreign ministers from the European Union and Central Asia took place on September 18 in Paris, and the fact that it was the first time the two groups have ever met speaks volumes about the sensitive nature of the two regions' relationship.
September 16, 2008
Uzbekistan Presses EU To End Sanctions
With the European Union preparing to review its currently suspended visa ban and arms embargo on Uzbekistan in October, the country's foreign minister has said the bloc is guilty of "double standards" for penalizing the country for shortcomings that uniformly afflict the entire Central Asian region.
September 05, 2008
Former Spy's Charges Spark Heated Reaction
The case of a former Uzbek spy who fled to Britain this week after accusing President Islam Karimov of personally ordering massacres has sparked heated reactions across Central Asia, with the intelligence agencies of both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan offering contradictory assessments of his allegations and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan also weighing in.
September 04, 2008
Moscow Seeks Alliances in Energy-Rich Central Asia
Facing isolation over the Georgian conflict, Russia is seeking support in Central Asia and control over the energy-rich region’s gas and oil exports to the West. Moscow this week announced plans to build a pipeline to pump Uzbek and Turkmen gas through Russia for re-export to Europe. But Central Asian countries, seeking to balance their relations with both Russia and the West, appear unlikely to offer clear support to Moscow.
September 02, 2008
Coalition Of The Weak 'Chickens Out'
With the exception of Ukraine and the Baltic states, none of the republics of the former Soviet Union has vigorously protested Russia's recent aggression in Georgia and its subsequent recognition of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Their silence indicates that Russia is surrounded by weak states whose governments are the products of personal alliances, rigged elections, and political coercion, and therefore lack popular legitimacy.
September 01, 2008
Uzbek Ex-Spy Accuses President Of Massacres
After months in hiding, a former intelligence officer tells RFE/RL that President Islam Karimov personally ordered massacres. Ikrom Yakubov fled his Central Asian homeland earlier this year, fearing for his life, and has now arrived in Britain to claim political asylum.
August 07, 2008
Dealing With Post-Soviet Petrostates
With oil and gas prices at stratospheric highs, the post-Soviet petrostates are the new supermen of the international arena. RFE/RL's Daniel Kimmage argues that the "transitional" paradigm is outdated and the West should look for new ways to promote democracy and harmonious relations.