Russian Policy in Central Asia in 1991 - 2010: A Disappearing Power?
Title: Russian Policy in Central Asia in 1991 - 2010: A Disappearing Power?
Author: KAZANTSEV, Andrey
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2010/59
Russian policy in Central Asia is usually analyzed within the context of the “New Great Game” theory. It usually assumes that Russia acts strategically and maximizes regional power. Analysis of real Russian foreign policy in Central Asia shows that this assumption is far from reality. Russian regional policy is chaotic, understanding of the interests is very vague and often contain mutually contradictory elements. The root of this situation can be discovered already in the crisis of Soviet modernization of Central Asia that caused a near-consensus desire of Russian political forces to completely withdraw from the region in 1991. The attempts to re-establish Moscow’s power in the region after that have usually represented non-systemic reactions to specific challenges or opportunities and all attempts to develop coherent understanding of Russian interests and aims in the region have failed. This was one of the important reasons of quick decline of Russian power and influence in the region that can be projected to the future, especially, within the context of recently lost Russian strategic control over energy transportation after realization of Chinese pipeline projects.
Subject: Central Asia; Russian foreign policy; the 'New Great Game'; pipelines; terrorism
Type of Access: openAccess