Russian Policy towards Central Asia in the Late 20th and Early 21st Century
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Russian Policy towards Central Asia in the Late 20th and Early 21st Century
Publication type
Stanislav Pritchin 
Affiliation: IMEMO RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The beginning of the 21st century has seriously changed the geopolitical situation in the Central Asia region. The terrorist attack in the United States in September 2001 led to the fact that and its NATO allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan, to ensure which they managed to achieve a military presence in Central Asia. Meanwhile China, a growing world power, has declared its interests in the region and has been actively promoting its economic and infrastructure projects in the region since the early 2000s. Russian policy to the region after years of passive and inert years in the 90s last century has become more consistent and thoughtful in the beginning of 21st century. As result, Moscow was able to partly repair its influence in the region. Generally, Russian policy has been more responsive and based on old traditional levers, such as integration projects, cultural and historical proximity. Meanwhile, Russia's geopolitical rivals, China and the West, are using more effective tools that have helped them significantly increase their political influence in Central Asian countries. Today, Russia faces a very important threshold for changing its regional policy in order to ensure long-term strategic interests. Without this adaptation, Russia risks to lose competition with its geopolitical rivals.

Russia, Central Asia, Eurasia, Russian Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
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