Central Asia Does Not Know Which Way to Turn

When Putin embarked on his war against Ukraine no one was consulted, not least Russia’s allies in Central Asia, the southernmost elements of which have enough to worry about with Islamic fundamentalists; a situation worsened by the hurried departure of the United States from the region which has loosened the strings that bound them in. They should by now be used to the fact that Great Powers do not consult Small Powers when they make earth-shattering decisions in foreign policy.

But what to do? These countries have not exactly hurried to pin their colours to the mast on the issue of Ukraine; yet a deafening silence sends its own message. These countries are closely tied to Russia economically and militarily; some are effectively dependencies. Of these Kazakhstan is in the most awkward position since the government was only recently propped up against the people courtesy of Russian military intervention. Kyrgizstan, like Kazakhstan, has a population more sympathetic to Ukraine than to Russia, and increasingly vociferously so. And no sooner did the president of Uzbekistan declare its sympathy for the Kremlin than he was publicly disavowed by a press spokesman.

Novaya gazeta:

Как достать соседей

Страны Центральной Азии стараются почти не афишировать свое отношение к конфликту между Россией и Украиной. Но молчать с каждым днем все сложнее

16:04, 8 марта 2022Вячеслав Половинко, спецкор