Source: 24.kg news agency
“Authorities of Kyrgyzstan have become hostages of geopolitical fight of national interests between the U.S. and Russia in Central Asia,” the Professor of Madrid University Kadyr Malikov told 24.kg news agency commenting on the Kyrgyz President’s statement on withdrawal of the Transit Center at Manas.
According him, “two weakest countries in economic and political-military terms – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – turn to be hostages of geopolitical fight of national interests between the U.S. and Russia as well as its allies that will intensify and may destabilize the whole region”.
He thinks that with Vladimir Putin’s re-coming to power “probably, Russian foreign policy in Central Asia will be more tough and fast-moving to restore stands lost earlier in countries having strategic interests for Russia”.
“All this happens on the background of obvious activization of the U.S. in Central Asia in order to anchor its interests both directly and through satellite-countries and to push out Russia from the region,” the expert thinks. “The situation in Afghanistan is far away from stability and the U.S. will hardly leave Afghanistan by 2014 as planned.”
According Kadyr Malikov, “the recent display of Taliban’s potency in Kabul, in “green zone”, showed that Hamid Karzai’s Government wouldn’t stand for long without support of NATO countries”.
“Meanwhile Pakistan continues impeding full supply of cargo for NATO contingent in Afghanistan, the U.S. has pretext and will look for alternative routes through Central Asian countries. Actually, they will start up a search for new logistics of energy resources via Afghanistan not just to ensure cargo transportation for NATO troops in Afghanistan. At the same time, probably, the U.S. will launch various programs and projects in Central Asia to counteract threats of drug trafficking and terrorism in Fergana valley. The history shows that the U.S. will hardly develop economy of countries, pour investments, construct hospitals and schools and establish civil infrastructure. It is more usual for them to bribe officials, develop democracy, human rights, and military and police components,” the expert says.
He thinks that main struggle with Russia will be for control over water resources in the region. “The Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave to understand that the U.S. intends to work in the line of “the U.S. partnership over water resources” as, according to their military information, exactly lack of water may give rise to conflicts between countries of Central Asia,” he says.
Alongside with that, Kadyr Malikov notes that “the U.S., having anchored for long time in the region, has chance to play in three directions – China, Iran, and Russia”.
“Russia, wishing to anticipate the steps the United States in the region, claims for control stock in the construction of hydroelectric power stations not only in Kyrgyzstan but in Tajikistan,” he says. “The sharp deterioration of relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, frontiers’ problems, irrigation water problems, the total dependence of Tajikistan on Russian POL, tough stance of Tashkent on construction of Rogun HPP, request to hand over about 80 per cent of stakes to Russia and issue on Russian loan, controversies in payments and prolongation of a treaty on Russian military base’s stay in Tajikistan, the uncertainty of labor migration issues are identical to the Kyrgyz situation, and are basic tools of Russian “persuasion” in order to protect its national interests in the region.”
The expert says, “It is possible to say that authorities of Tajikistan are in the situation which in some ways is alike the situation of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s times”.
“New authorities of Kyrgyzstan fell into triangular logjam as Bakiyev did,” Kadyr Malikov thinks. “Virtually Russia uses the same tools of “persuasion” toward our country; today these are issues on POL, migration, investments, Customs Union, non-confidence in the current Government.”
But, the expert emphasizes, today the situation is more complicated and dangerous: “the U.S. understands the prevailing situation and has stepped up work – they are conducting systematic policy to decrease Russian influence on Kyrgyzstan by decreasing its impact on Kyrgyz policy and economy through its satellites apart from direct negotiations on the Transit Center at Manas”.
“Hence Kyrgyzstan looks involuntarily for alternative source of POL through Azerbaijan, economic and investment projects through Qatar, Japan and political bind to Turkey and Georgia,” Kadyr Malikov thinks. “Besides, Turkey is assigned a part of Trojan horse of the U.S. in Central Asia, bait in the form of Pan-Turkism plus secular Islam through eyes of the U.S. instead of Islam as the system.”
“Authorities of Kyrgyzstan are teetering between the U.S. and Russia now that decide their own strategic interests in prejudice of national interest of the country. Danger increases due to the prevailing domestic political situation, possibilities of outside players to finance various political forcers in order to influence on decisions of authorities. Therefore, in case of cooling relationships between the Kremlin and Bishkek, authorities of Kyrgyzstan will follow the path drawn by the United States. Probably, this will cause destabilization in the country with a help of a third force, loss of credit of trust in authorities and their leave. However, there are many risks to destabilize the situation in the entire Fergana valley. Or Kyrgyzstan will become the second Georgia that means the U.S. will have a foothold in the region to debar creation of the Eurasian Union, promote U.S. military initiatives (toward Iran) and push out Russia from the region in mid-term,” the expert sums up.
Kadyr Malikov thinks there is a third option – containment policy when Russia and the U.S. do agree with each other and equalize each other in Kyrgyzstan dividing anew various areas and political forces into zones of influence on proven formulas “the price is negotiable” and “divide et impera”.