Experts from the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies (tsast) conducted an analysis of military, economic, demographic and natural potential allies of Russia on the organization of collective security Treaty (CSTO) — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. According to the results of the study, they ranked the values of these States for Russia and the allied loyalty to her. A single ally who is both very important and loyal to Russia, the former Soviet Union was not.Experts cast wondered how justified the opinion that the five formal allies of Russia in the CSTO are strategic liabilities, and only suck the political, diplomatic, military and — most importantly — financial resources from Moscow. In a report released last week the book “Allies” (an electronic version is on the site tsast) the team of authors under the direction of Konstantin Makienko has considered the importance of partners of Russia not only from the narrow perspective of their military value, but also from the point of view of their economic, demographic, cultural, geographical potential and natural resources, as well as tried to assess their level of loyalty.Belarus is important, but not very laylagian ally of Russia in the mass consciousness is considered to be Belarus. Cast experts say that on its face this is true: Minsk is a partner in the Union state, the level of military and military-technical cooperation between the two countries is extremely high. “It is difficult to overestimate the strategic value of this very close to us in the ethno-cultural and linguistically the country. The colossal importance of the geographical position of Belarus, which is actually the buffer (or, while maintaining allied relations, the Bastion) between Russia and NATO. The most important consequence of the geographical position is passing through the territory of Belarus transit oil and gas pipelines”— reminiscent of the authors of the review.Meanwhile, assessing the level of allied relations with Belarus, it should be remembered, as noted in the relevant Chapter of the author Anton Lavrov, after gaining independence in 1991 Belarus at the first stage, relatively clearly expressed anti-Russian position, was a strong nationalist and Pro-Western sentiment. Reasons for reorientation in Russia began the isolation of the regime of Alexander Lukashenko and his hopes to lead the Federal government in terms of actual incapacity of Boris Yeltsin. “Both of these factors are currently lost or are losing their relevance. Against this background, there is a very mixed picture of the level of allied reliability Belarus”,— stated in the book.On the one hand, still is preserved, although reduced the high level of military and military-technical cooperation. Belarus is the only internationally recognised state (except Russia, of course), where Russian language has the status of a state. Minsk manifests full solidarity with Moscow in the vote for anti-Russian resolutions in the UN.On the other hand, the Russian-Belarusian relations for a half to two decades to develop in an atmosphere of constant small and large scandals, becomes a marked desire of the Belarusian authorities to reduce the level of military cooperation with Russia. This is reflected in the gradual reduction in the number of officers undergoing training in Russia, and the quest for alternative suppliers of modern weapons. “Finally, a critical indicator of the real policy of Alexander Lukashenko is his desire to develop military-technical cooperation with Ukraine. Moreover, the Belarusian-Ukrainian military-technical cooperation is carried out including in its very highest form — in the form of realization of joint military-industrial projects”,— specified in the study. According to the authors of the cast, the latter circumstance devalues Belarus as a political-military ally of Russia.The conclusion of experts is that: “In General, Belarus may be characterized as having high importance and only average level of allied loyalty. The feeling of zugzwang this whole situation adds the fact that Alexander Lukashenko, apparently, is the most Pro-Russian (or the least anti-Russian) version of the Belarusian political leadership.Any change to the existing status quo is likely to lead to further deterioration of Russian-Belarusian relations until their evolution in the direction of the Ukrainian scenario”.Kazakhstan is also important and is also not particularly aalinganam player in the Central Asian region with high importance for Russia, is, as noted in the study of cast, Kazakhstan. This country has very significant natural resources, primarily hydrocarbon, which among other things makes her an object of interest from other countries, including the USA, China and Turkey. The importance of Kazakhstan to Russia is determined by a huge extent poorly equipped border, and the presence still lingering, despite the forced de-Russification, a large Russian Diaspora.How to develop bilateral relations in ten grattacieli delicately, according to experts, because of their geographic location may provide a convenient springboard for deployment against Russia’s military capabilities, such as strike aircraft, medium-range missiles or missile defense components.Great value also have economic ties of Russia and Kazakhstan. Russia has positive trade balance with Kazakhstan is very important for Russian industry supply of certain raw materials, such as bauxite and uranium. Finally, on the territory of Kazakhstan is important for Russia military object — a polygon Sary-Shagan.”On the other hand, we must note that the allied status of relations with Russia is not enshrined in the main document that defines the policy of Kazakhstan in the sphere of military security and military construction— Military doctrine— the authors of the book. Moreover, many practical steps the Kazakh leadership — forced de-Russification, the policy of settling Russian areas of the country ethnic Kazakhs, the creation of the territorial army, to strengthen military contingents on the Western (i.e. Russian) direction, the development of military and military-technical cooperation with the geopolitical opponents of Russia, primarily the United States— shows that the Kazakh authorities consider Russia to be one of the possible threats to its national security.”In the humanitarian sphere, evidence of the distancing of Nur-Sultan from Moscow was the transition to the Latin alphabet, the purpose of which, according to the authors, “is an etching residual of the heritage of Russian culture.” Experts remind that in four of the six votes on the anti-Russian resolutions of the UN General Assembly Kazakhstan chose not to Express their position, abstaining from matirovanie. An additional risk factor they consider the authoritarian nature of the political system of Kazakhstan and the ongoing process of the transit authority, which, as in any authoritarian system, carries a high risk of political instability and the likelihood of abrupt change of foreign policy. In view of the foregoing characteristic of Kazakhstan in the selected cast coordinate system is described as “high importance — medium level of loyalty.”Armenia — critical and very localName factors most reliable political and military partner of Russia, the experts at cast call Armenia. They remind: “After the collapse of the USSR in the hardest conditions of the siege, the threats by Turkey and the war in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s leadership made a choice in favor of strategic partnership with Russia. In this vein, the relations of Armenia and Russia developed in all subsequent years.” Russia, like the book said, has maintained a major military presence on Armenian territory, is fixed on a long permanent basis by interstate agreements. To the extent possible Yerevan supports Moscow’s position in international organizations such as the UN, where the Armenian delegation voted consistently against Antero��Russian resolutions in the UN General Assembly on Crimea.”Of course, the presence of this mission in part is due to the fact that Syria has a significant Armenian Diaspora, but, on the other hand, it is also a gesture of political support for military intervention in Syria,” they suggest.In turn, Armenia as a member of the CSTO and the EAEC, received, as noted in the study, a significant economic and military preferences in the form of free access to the Russian market for Armenian goods and labour, the ability to buy weapons at internal Russian prices, concessional loans.At the same time, experts emphasize that the Russian-Armenian relationship is not entirely unproblematic. Impact of complexity in transport from time to time, exacerbated by various economic issues, such as, for example, pricing for the supply of Russian natural gas. “However, it is worth noting that relations between the two countries has withstood the coming to power in Armenia, the opposition forces as a result of the unrest in 2018 as evidenced by the ongoing implementation of various projects and the continuation of military-technical cooperation. The further development of relations and Union now depends on the next steps and course of the new leadership of Armenia”,— stated in the book.The researchers urged not to underestimate the value of like metaresources Armenia. “The importance of this partner determined the most stable factors — geographical location. For Russia, Armenia has become a de facto Outpost in the Caucasus region, the presence of which has a serious impact on the other two Transcaucasian republics”,— is told in the book.Allied potential of Armenia adopted the cast formula is estimated as “moderate importance: high loyalty”.Kyrgyzstan is not very important, but very loyal; Tajikistan — not important and not aaltrude Russian-Kyrgyz relations seems to experts to cast “if not provided, you have all chances to strengthen the economic and humanitarian (including taking into account the huge of the Kyrgyz Diaspora in Russia and the continuing significant Russian Diaspora in Kyrgyzstan) ties.” After the withdrawal of the U.S. base from Manas, the U.S. and the West has largely lost interest in the country, but as the review says, “will continue to hamper growth of influence of Russia and China.””Russia will remain the main donor of all military organizations of Kyrgyzstan, a country where trained the bulk of its military personnel, and in the case of shares of Islamist militants — an ally who will come to the rescue in the first place”,— experts are convinced.Tajikistan, as they resemble, is the poorest country of the former USSR and one of the poorest countries in the world. “Prospects for economicIC breakthrough is not visible, and, apparently, this retardation will continue for decades,” says the book. According to researchers, in the long term economic development of Tajikistan will depend on the success of the Chinese plan of “One belt and one road”. However, since the announcement of this initiative in 2013 and to date, no impressive progress in this area has not been achieved.Security Tajikistan, reminiscent of the authors of the study, there is a serious internal and external threats. Causes internal instability — extreme poverty of the country on the background concentration of all resources of the ruling elite and the family “leader of the nation” Emomali Rakhmon and the excess of unemployed young people is the breeding ground for radical Islamism. In the field of external security the key factor is the future of Afghanistan, which are difficult to predict.Most experts believe that in the case of a real US withdrawal from Afghanistan a victory where the Taliban (banned in the Russian terrorist organization) is inevitable, and it will require strengthening of the Russian military presence in Tajikistan and the region as a whole. “Just as obstacles in the way of Islamists and drug trafficking Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan should be interested in Russia”,— is spoken in the book of cast.In General, as the authors note, both these Central Asian republics “extremely Malorechensky and internally highly unstable”. An important if not decisive role in the internal political dynamics play clan-clientelle and territorial disputes. In Tajikistan remains at high risk of activation of radical Islamists, particularly in the case of coming to power in neighbouring Afghanistan of the Taliban. Despite the complete dependence on Russia in matters of security and defense, Dushanbe often allows himself anti-Russian and Russophobic attacks manifestations in the media. Considering all these factors, the experts at cast gave Kyrgyzstan a rating of “low importance — high loyalty”, and Tajikistan, “low importance — low loyalty”.Elena Chernomorskaya Russian influence in Afghanistan and Central Aseistant: Centre for analysis of strategies and technologies.
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