"The recent visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Astana says that Tashkent's foreign policy, is willing to "break the ice" and start interacting in a common regional problems. Be it the water issue or the security of Central Asia. Turkmenistan could be one of the partners of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan", — told the correspondent of Colossal Director of risk assessment Group Dosym Satpayev. According to experts, it is necessary to take into account new trends in the region, the change in foreign policy of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan wants to revive certain integration projects. Astana never forget, but there was no interest on the part of neighbors. If such interest appears, Kazakhstan is always ready to go back to the old idea of creating a Central Asian Union.
Recall that the first President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov actively interacted with Astana and Ashgabat. Then he had a different kind of politics — to create an Alliance of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as opposed to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The emergence of such a Union would be most beneficial to Turkmenistan. Ashgabat could get access to new projects and investments, but, according to Satpayev, exclusively in the framework of regional cooperation. By itself, the unattractive Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan investors. The investment climate in the country is one of the worst in the region. And alternative to the Kazakh businessmen to invest money, there. "Moreover, Mirziyoev pledged to open the Uzbek market, which is more interesting for Kazakhstan. In this respect, Berdimuhamedov little room to maneuver. Even access to Afghanistan through Turkmenistan unsafe," says Satpayev. The only thing that can now Berdymukhamedov is to promote transportation projects, to propose the increase of traffic on existing highways, and to support Kazakhstan's initiatives within the region. "If this support is from Ashgabat, Astana will regard as a positive signal, and in response may even give some economic benefit," says Dosym Satpayev.
Berdymukhamedov is now trying to find new sources to replenish the state budget, including using its transit possibilities. Three years ago was opened the railway between Kazakhstan and Iran through the territory of Turkmenistan — the Uzen-Bereket-Gorgan, which has become part of a transit corridor with access to the Persian Gulf. Iran, of course, interested in this corridor, in terms of reverse direction, in the direction of Russia. The lifting of sanctions has opened up new prospects — export-import, transportation, transit.
It is transport projects, according to experts, can become a lever that can set in motion the unification process of the region. "It's to do with the desire of Kazakhstan to reach the Persian Gulf. There is the interest of Turkmenistan to use its transit opportunities," — said Satpayev. This, apparently, is the only source of income in the Turkmen budget. Since last year, the country is experiencing shortage of currency, there is virtually halted all foreign exchange transactions. Restricted cash-even with plastic cards, and wages. And gas field of Turkmenistan, call today a more limited interest than even some year and a half ago.
Expert on Central Asia and the Middle East Alexander Knyazev is skeptical about the creation of the Alliance in the region. "I think that the talk about integration initiatives still exaggerated. Multilateral formats limit and not the already not very large opportunities in overcoming challenges. The visits of the first persons of the Central Asian States to each other, probably more effective in the bilateral format, and they should evaluate more the angle of the growth of mutual understanding of the needs of the neighbor, the desire to create alliances," said Colossal Alexander Knyazev.
In his opinion, the region has a number of problems whose solution is in the establishment of bilateral relations: Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, for example, the status of the Caspian sea, communication issues for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan only with the changes in Tashkent there was the possibility of building alliances, devoid of a sense of political jealousy, and all together these countries are the territories of the transnational transit between China and the countries of the Caspian region with access to the Caucasus, the middle East and Persian Gulf. In this context, but even more in matters of security the triple Alliance — Astana, Tashkent, Ashgabat, becoming a more or less clearly defined outline.
Tags: Russia , Central Asia , Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan