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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012

CENTRAL ASIA THE CAUCASUS


Journal of Social and Political Studies
Published since 2000

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Volume 13 Issue 1
2012
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Editorial
Eldar ISMAILOV Murad ESENOV Jannatkhan EYVAZOV Timur SHAYMERGENOV Leonid BONDARETS Jamila MAJIDOVA Farkhad TOLIPOV Ziya KENGERLI Haroutiun KHACHATRIAN Kakhaber ERADZE Sun ZHUANGZHI Konrad SCHFFLER Vladimir MESAMED Irina EGOROVA
Robert GUANG TIAN

Council

Chairman of the Editorial Council Tel./fax: (994 - 12) 497 12 22 E-mail: elis@tdb.baku.az Editor-in-Chief Tel./fax: (46) 920 62016 E-mail: m.esenov@gmail.com Deputy Editor-in-Chief Tel./fax: (994 - 12) 596 11 73 E-mail: jeyvazov@gmail.com represents the journal in Kazakhstan (Astana) Tel./fax: (+7 - 701) 531 61 46 E-mail: timur-cac@mail.ru represents the journal in Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek) Tel.: (+996 - 312) 65-48-33 E-mail: lbondarets@mail.ru represents the journal in Tajikistan (Dushanbe) Tel.: (992 - 917) 72 81 79 E-mail: madzamila@mail.ru represents the journal in Uzbekistan (Tashkent) Tel.: (9987-1) 125 43 22 E-mail: farkhad_tolipov@yahoo.com represents the journal in Azerbaijan (Baku) Tel.: (+994 - 50) 3006694 E-mail: ziken12@yahoo.co.uk represents the journal in Armenia (Erevan) Tel.: (374-10) 56 59 65 E-mail: haroutiun@gmail.com represents the journal in Georgia (Tbilisi) Tel.: (+995 - 95) 45 82 88 E-mail: kakha_ae@yahoo.com represents the journal in China (Beijing) Tel.: (86) 10-64039088 E-mail: sunzhzh@isc.cass.net.cn represents the journal in Germany (Munich) Tel.: (49 - 89) 3003132 E-mail: GA-infoservice@s.m.isar.de represents the journal in the Middle East (Jerusalem) Tel.: (972 - 2) 5882332 E-mail: mssamed@olive.mscc.huji.ac.il represents the journal in the Russian Federation (Moscow) Tel.: (7 - 495) 3163146 E-mail: egorova@mosinfo.ru represents the journal in the U.S. (Buffalo, NY) Tel: (716) 880-2104 E-mail: robert.g.tian@medaille.edu represents the journal in Ukraine (Kiev) 2 Tel.: (380-44) 524-79-13 E-mail: zhangozha@yahoo.co.uk

Rustem ZHANGUZHIN

E CAUCASUS CENTRAL ASIA AND THE D I T O R I


Giuli ALASANIA Blent ARAS Mariam ARUNOVA Garnik ASATRIAN Bakyt BESHIMOV Ariel COHEN William FIERMAN Paul GOBLE Sergei GRETSKY Xing GUANGCHENG

A L B O A R D Volume 13 Issue 1 2012

Doctor of History, professor, Vice Rector of the International Black Sea University (Georgia) Doctor, Chair, Department of International Relations, Fatih University (Turkey) Doctor of Political Science, leading research associate, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS (Russian Federation) Doctor of Philology, professor, head of the Department of Iranian Studies, Erevan State University (Armenia) Doctor of History, professor, Vice President, American University-Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan) Doctor, leading analyst, The Heritage Foundation, U.S.A. (U.S.A.) Doctor of Political Science, Professor of Indiana University (U.S.A.) Senior Advisor, Voice of America (U.S.A.) Doctor, Chair of Central Asian Studies, Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State (U.S.A.) Doctor of Political Science, professor, Deputy Director of the Institute for East European, Russian and Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (China) President, Institute of Religion and Politics, Doctor of Philosophy, specialist in Islamic studies, leading expert of the Institute of Social Systems, Moscow State University, member of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the Russian Federation President (Russian Federation) Ph.D. (Law), assistant professor, head of the Department of Constitutional Law, Tajik National University (Tajikistan) Doctor, senior researcher, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Sweden) Doctor of History, Director, Center for Strategic and International Studies, professor at the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department, Kainar University (Kazakhstan) Professor of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) Professor, Director, Center for International Studies, The University of Oxford (Great Britain) Doctor of History, professor, Scholar-in-Residence, Ethnicity and Nation-Building Program Co-Chair, The Carnegie Moscow Center (Russian Federation) Dr., Director General, International Institute for Caspian Studies (Iran) Ph.D., History of Central Asia and the Caucasus, Program Officer, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan) Affiliated Senior Analyst, Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen (Denmark) Doctor of History, professor, Director, Center for Strategic and International Studies of RF (Russian Federation) Professor, Rector of Kainar University, President of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Republic of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan) Doctor of Economics, professor, Corresponding member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Senior Fellow of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Georgia) Professor, Chairman, The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, The Johns Hopkins University (U.S.A.)

Alexander IGNATENKO

Ashurboi IMOMOV Lena JONSON Klara KHAFIZOVA Jacob M. LANDAU S. Neil MACFARLANE Alexei MALASHENKO Abbas MALEKI Akira MATSUNAGA Roger N. McDERMOTT Vitaly NAUMKIN Yerengaip OMAROV Vladimer PAPAVA

S. Frederick STARR

The materials that appear in the journal do not necessarily reflect the Editorial Board and the Editors opinion Editorial Office: CA&CC Press AB Hubertusstigen 9. 97455 Lule SWEDEN WEB ADDRESS: http://www.ca-c.org

Central Asia and the Caucasus, 2012 CA&CC Press, 2012

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Journal of Social and Political Studies Volume 13 Issue 1 2012
IN THIS ISSUE:

ENERGY POLICY
Igor Tomberg. CENTRAL ASIAN GAS IN THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT .......................... 7 CHINAS PRESENCE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR OF CENTRAL ASIA ..................................................................... 20 CHINESE STRATEGY TOWARD CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA: ENERGY INTERESTS AND ENERGY SECURITY ............................................................... 43

Konstantin Syroezhkin.

Thrassyvoulos (Thrassy) N. Marketos.

RELIGION IN SOCIETY
Murat Laumulin. CENTRAL ASIA: THE RELIGIOUS SITUATION AND THE THREAT OF RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM .............................. 53 4

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Asiat Buttaeva.

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ISLAM IN POLYCONFESSIONAL DAGHESTAN ........................................................................... 68

REGIONAL SECURITY
Jannatkhan Eyvazov. STRUCTURAL FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGIONAL SECURITY SYSTEMS (A Post-Soviet Central Eurasia Case Study) .......................................................................... 79

REGIONAL POLITICS
Ahmet Tolga Trker. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF RUSSIAN AND CHINESE INTERESTS IN CENTRAL ASIA ................................................................ 103

Ryan Desseyn, Lasha Tchantouridz.

REALPOLITIK AND THE RUSSIA-GEORGIA WAR: THREE YEARS ON .................................................................. 111

REGIONAL ECONOMIES
Ksenia Borishpolets, Stanislav Chernyavsky. THE COMMON ECONOMIC SPACE OF RUSSIA, BELARUS, AND KAZAKHSTAN: PRESENT AND FUTURE ...................................................... 120

Adalat Muradov.

AZERBAIJANS ACCESSION TO THE WTO: ITS PROPOSALS ON THE SERVICE SPHERE ARE MORE LIBERAL THAN THE COMMITMENTS OF WTO MEMBERS ................................................................... 130

Mavzuna Karimova.

TAJIKISTANS ECONOMIC COOPERATION PROSPECTS WITH THE SCO COUNTRIES .................................................... 136 5

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MASS MEDIA
Brian J. Bowe, Eric Freedman, Robin Blom. SOCIAL MEDIA, CYBER-DISSENT, AND CONSTRAINTS ON ONLINE POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN CENTRAL ASIA ............................................................... 144

FOR YOUR INFORMATION The Special Feature section in the next issue will discuss:
n n n

Conflicts in Central Eurasia: Past and Present Regional and World Centers of Power and Conflicts in Central Eurasia Conflict Settlement in Central Eurasia: Mechanisms and Prospects

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

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ENERGY

POLICY

CENTRAL ASIAN GAS IN THE CHANGING GEOPOLITICAL CONTEXT


Igor TOMBERG D.Sc. (Econ.), Head of the Center for Energy and Transport Studies, Institute of Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; Professor at MGIMO University (Moscow, Russian Federation)

Introduction

he 21st century has confronted mankind with hitherto unknown dangers: the planets natural resources, particularly energy supplies, have been depleting at a fast pace, which has stirred up fierce and mounting rivalry over hydrocarbons and other raw materials. In 2011, the growing instability in North Africa and the Middle East added fuel to the smoldering fire, increased the volatility of the energy markets, and

cast doubts on continued and consistent fuel supplies from these and adjacent regions. Central Asia, in turn, is potentially threatened by the unwelcome developments around Afghanistan and Iran; ambitious investment projects (particularly in the energy sphere) are being jeopardized since investors are justifiably worried that a conflict with Iran might spread, in one form or another, to its Caspian neighbors.

Hydrocarbon Future for the Caspian


The threat of conflicts in the Middle East is raising the energy-related value of the Central Asian and Caspian states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). Although they are not 7

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as rich in energy resources as the Middle Eastern countries, their transportation capabilities make them a welcome alternative. Western companies assess the Caspians geological oil and gas reserves at 26 to 40 billion tonnes of standard fuel.1 These figures look quite credible, although they could be slightly overestimated. Russian experts cite 15 billion tonnes (about 2% of the worlds total) of proven oil reserves in the Caspian countries (Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).2 Given the present level of oil production in the region, the reserves will last for the next 65 years, while by 2015 the annual oil export of these countries could potentially reach 140-160 million tonnes.3 The regions post-Soviet states figure prominently in the gas sphere; so far they remain a single regional market of natural gas despite the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the common economic space. The transportation system inherited from the Soviet Union makes it technically possible to move gas from country to country and keeps the market together. These countries used their rich energy resources to join the international division of labor system as suppliers of energy. On the other hand, their energy sector still retains certain typically Soviet features: nothing has been done in the last 20 years to modernize either the pipelines, transportation, and transport infrastructure, or the housing sector. This means that production and consumption remain energy-intensive. Their energy capabilities divide the five Central Asian states and Azerbaijan into two groups: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan with oil and gas reserves of world importance, on the one hand, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with no more or less significant hydrocarbon reserves in their territories, on the other. Uzbekistan with its fairly large resources of natural gas and uranium remains outside both groups mainly because it does not have enough gas for selling outside the country. The bulk of the gas it produces is used inside the country.4 Kazakhstan ranks 11th in the world in terms of oil reserves, while Azerbajian ranks 19th (see Table 1). Current oil production has earned Kazakhstan a place among the top twenty, while Azerbaijan is among the top thirty lcrgest oil producers. Turkmenistan ranks fifth in the world in terms of gas reserves, coming immediately after Russia, Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. There is a well-substantiated opinion that its gas reserves are even larger, at least according to international assessments. In 2008, Gaffney, Cline & Associates, a British consulting company, assessed the gas reserves of the more or less recently discovered giant gas field of Yuzhny Yolotan-Osman at 4 to 14 trillion cu m. In November 2010, additional drilling and a 3-D seismic survey of the Yolotan-Osman group of gas fields allowed the Turkmengeologia State Company to raise the assessment to 21 trillion cu m.5 Gas reserves in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian might be as large as 6 trillion cu m. In 1990, the Soviet successor-states accounted for 63% of the worlds gas export.6 In the last twenty years, however, the post-Soviet gas producers have lost their dominant positions as gas exporters, while gaining firmer ground as gas producers. In 2010, the post-Soviet republics accounted for 24.5% of world gas trade.7 Russia, which accounts for 21% of world gas exports, remains the worlds leaders. In 2009, the Central Asian trio (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) produced 133 billion cu m of natural gas (4.5% of the total world production).
See: Neft i kapital, 4 May, 2011. [http://www.opec.ru/1365619.html]. 3 See: Ibidem. 4 See: S. Zhukov, Uzbekistan: A Domestically Oriented Gas Producer, in: Russian and CIS Gas Markets and Their Impact on Europe, ed. by S. Pirani, Oxford Institute of Energy Studies, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009. 5 See: Obzor rynkov Rossii i SNG, Platts, Issue 7, November, 2010. 6 See: Globalizatsiia rynka prirodnogo gaza: vozmozhnosti i vyzovy dlia Rossii, IMEMO RAS, Moscow, 2010, p. 93. 7 See: 2010 Natural Gas Year in Review, CEDIGAZ, Paris, 2011, p. 3.
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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 Table 1

Ranking of the Central Asian Countries and Azerbaijan in World Production and Reserves of Oil and Natural Gas Production in 2009 oil % Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan CA-5 Azerbaijan Caspian-4 2.0 0.3 0.1 2.4 1.3 3.7 21 40 46 score 16 natural gas % 1.1 1.2 2.2 4.5 0.5 5.0 32 23 11 score 24 % 2.0 0.04 0.04 2.1 0.5 2.6 19 46-48 49 Reserves as of 1 January, 2011 oil score 11 natural gas % 1.3 4.0 1.0 6.3 0.45 6.75 26 5 19 score 15

S o u r c e: Oil & Gas Journal.

Located in the center of Eurasia, the Central Asian gas producers are separated from the world gas consumption centers, while their far from simple geopolitical context complicates gas export. The region and its energy sector need modernization, an extremely expensive task well beyond the local countries financial capacities. Serious foreign investments are the right answer, which means that any of the external actors wishing to control Central Asias energy resources has to pour money into the countries development. According to certain sources, independent access of Central Asian oil and gas to Europe (and in the case of oil and LNG, to the Atlantic) will cost from $30 to $35 billion in the next 5 years8 in the form of direct investments in construction and installation, drilling, equipment and geological exploration. There are no organizational and engineering structures in Central Asia able to attract adequate finances; the Central Asian countries will have to work with investors, contractors, and specialists from Europe, the United States, and Russia. Azerbaijan, on the other hand, has ample specialists, while the transnational oil companies operating in the post-Soviet space know how to attract them. So far no one knows whether Caspian oil can significantly affect the situation in the world markets; it is equally unclear in what way the real supply-demand situation will affect prices. It should be borne in mind that it is economically feasible to develop the Caspian resources only when prices are relatively high. Central Asia and the Caucasus are situated at the crossroads of longitudal and latitudinal supply routes with good opportunities to become an international long-distance haulage and trade hub.
8

[http://www.opec.ru/1365619.html].

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Central Asias recent export paradigm, which boiled down to transporting gas to the West through Russia, is rapidly becoming obsolete. The years 2010 and 2011 convinced analysts that the quality of the gas market has changed to a great extent; today, export hydrocarbon flows have shifted: Central Asian gas producers (from Turkmenistan in particular) are reaching new markets. Map 1
Gas Transportation Routes from Central Asia

R U S S I A
Central Asia-Center
Alexandrov Gay (planned increase from 50 to 80 billion cu m) Astana

(design capacity K A Z A billion cu m) S T A N K H 10

Beyneu-Shymkent

Caspian Gas Pipeline

Atyrau

a n Se spia Ca

(design capacity 40 billion cu m)

Turkmenistan-China
Beyneu (design capacity 40 billion cu m) Almaty

TU

Ashghabad

Serakhs Operational strategic gas pipelines Proposed export gas pipelines

AFG

ST ANI

AN

PAKISTAN

S o u r c e: [http://sosnova.investcafe.ru/post/3422/].

Today China and India, the two Asian giants, are the main consumers of energy resources; this means that the expanding contacts with China in the hydrocarbon sphere are especially important for the Central Asian countries.

The Chinese Alternative for the Central Asian Hydrocarbons


China and the Central Asian states can complement each other in the energy sphere. China has a land border with Kazakhstan; Turkmenistan, the largest Central Asian gas exporter, can reach the 10

(design capacity 30 billion cu m)

ST

AN

Dushanbe

STAN

Transcaspian Gas Pipeline (Nabucco)

RK

ME

AN

Tashkent

YR

NI

TAJIKI

IN

Turkmenbashi

KI

Shymkent

ST

T ZS

UZ

BE

Bishkek

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Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China across the territories of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. China, on its side of the border, can use the ramified oil processing and pipeline infrastructure of its autonomous region to import Central Asian energy resources. The Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China (TUKC) gas pipeline has already been commissioned; by 2013 it will bring over 40 billion cu m to China every year. Late in August 2011, Zhongguo shiyou bao published by the CNPC, Chinas oil and gas corporation, informed its readers that by 2015 China intended to increase the volumes of imported natural gas via TUKC five-fold. Under the 2011 Turkmen-Chinese interstate agreements, China planned to increase its annual import of Turkmen gas to 65 billion cu m by 2014.9 According to the Xinhua News Agency, between 16 December, 2009 and 7 January, 2012 China received over 20 billion cu m of gas via the Central Asia-China pipeline. Today, the pipeline is used for Turkmen gas. Uzbekistan, in turn, announced that it planned to start moving its natural gas to China on 1 April, 2012 under the fixed contracts signed in the fourth quarter of 2011 on the delivery of up to 10 billion cu m a year.10 There are doubts whether Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have enough gas to ensure uninterrupted gas exports to China in the specified volumes. In the post-Soviet republics, the natural gas production, consumption and export statistics are not entirely transparent and even fairly muddled. Gas production and export forecasts are normally overstated mainly because they proceed from the figures of aggregate production rather than from the tank gas figures. According to Russian experts, Central Asia and Azerbaijan will be able to export 95 billion of cu m of gas in 2020 and 115 billion cu m of gas in 2030; half of the amount will come from Turkmenistan.11 According to Uzbek specialists, the planned export of about 10 billion cu m of gas to China will leave the republics underground storage facilities half empty by next winter; this will create problems for the local industry and population because of the steadily declining production of natural gas in Uzbekistan: according to independent sources, today the republic produces some 10 to 15 billion cu m less than in 2000. The government has already suggested that the regions should switch to alternative fuels; in the winter of 2011/12, the administration of the Tashkent Region intended to cut centralized gas supplies to over 500 enterprises and organizations; they were invited to use coal, timber, or kiziak (dry manure) instead. Other regions did the same. Uzbekistan has cut its so far traditional natural gas supplies to Southern Kazakhstan, its immediate neighbor. Late in 2011, its export dropped four-fold.12 Early in 2012, Uzbekistan stopped gas supplies to Tajikistan without preliminary warning. Turkmenistan, likewise, cannot boast of consistently rising gas production; very much like its Central Asian neighbors it depends on the external markets rather than on the countrys domestic developments. In 2010, Gazprom bought only 10 billion cu m of gas from Turkmenistan. This caused a two-fold reduction in its gas production to 36.4 billion cu m, having reached a post-Soviet high of 70.5 billion cu m in 2008.13 Extremely low energy efficiency is one of the gravest ailments of the Central Asian economy. The regions countries, particularly Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, have the highest energy consumption per GDP unit; this means that they use a lot of gas. In 2010 Uzbekistan consumed 45.5 billion cu m of gas, 4.6% more than in 2009.14 This means that with a total gas production of 60 billion cu m (in 2010) and fairly high export obligations (Russia
9

See: RIA Novosti, 28 February, 2012. See: Neft Rossii, 16 January, 2012. 11 See: Aziatskie energeticheskie stsenarii 2030, Moscow, 2012, p. 259. 12 [http://www.fergananews.com/news.php?id=17629&mode=snews]. 13 [http://www.uaenergy.com.ua/c225758200614cc9/0/6d513bb1971b31cfc225790a004f9ce7]. 14 [http://munaigaz.kz/newsgaz/item/190].
10

11

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alone buys up to 10 billion cu m), export to China will infringe on domestic use and undermine the countrys economic growth, the economy of which relies on gas (up to 80% of primary energy sources). The same applies to Turkmenistan: its domestic consumption amounts to 22.6 billion cu m; it also has considerable export obligations to China, Russia (10 billion cu m), and Iran (10-20 billion cu m). According to Russian analysts, by 2020 Central Asia will sell China 40-50 billion cu m of gas a year, the bulk of it coming from Turkmenistan (see Table 2). By 2030, the figures will reach 5575 billion cu m, most of which will still be supplied by Turkmenistan. Table 2
Export Forecasts for Central Asian Gas to China up to 2030 (billion cu m) 2010 Turkmenistan Kazakhstan Uzbekistan Total 4 4 2020 (forecast) 30-40 3 5 38-48 2030 (forecast) 40-60 5 10 55-75

S o u r c e: Aziatskie energeticheskie stsenarii, 2030.

Gas exports to China and wider (in the case of Turkmenistan) possible export to Iran have made it possible for the Central Asian gas producers to withdraw from the vicious circle of export isolation. At the same time, increased amounts of exported gas might potentially undermine the energy security of the exporters by depriving their industries of sufficient amounts of resources needed for their sustainable development.

Multivectoral Gas Pipeline Policy


The gas pipeline to China and the second branch of the Turkmenistan-Iran pipeline were examples of successful diversification of fuel exports which the regions gas producers badly needed. The pipeline used to bring gas from Turkmenistan to Iran has been upgraded even if the planned annual capacity of up to 20 billion cu m remains unattained; it normally moved no more than 8 to 8.5 billion cu m (see Map 2). Since the early 1990s, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline has been actively discussed. Turkmenistan agreed to sell its gas on the Turkmen-Afghan border at the prices no lower than those paid by China. In December 2010, India officially joined the project; the four countries signed a framework agreement under which Turkmenistan pledged to export 90 million cu m a day for the next 30 years. In the first two years, Afghanistan will buy 5 million cu m a day; later, the amount will increase to 14 million cu m; India and Pakistan will divide the rest among themselves in equal proportions.15 A gas pipeline (1,650 km long, estimated cost $7.6 billion) will cross Afghanistan and Pakistan to reach Fazilka on the Pakistani-Indian border; the project is to be implemented in 2012-2015. Under
15

See: India Signs Up for Turkmenistan Gas, International Gas Report, Issue 663-664, Platts, 20 December, 2010.

12

Map 2
Pars and TAPI Gas Pipelines

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Proposed TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline (TAPI)

Proposed Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline (IPI)

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S o u r c e: [http://www.trubagaz.ru/im/turkmenistan_afganistan_pakistan_india.jpg?578:324].

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this agreement, Turkmenistan will sell its gas on the Afghan border; the international consortium will take the risk of further transportation. The safety of the Afghan stretch causes doubts; the government of Afghanistan is prepared to set up a pipeline security service with a staff of 5 to 7 thousand employees; influential field commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami and paramilitary group, which operates in Herat on the Pakistani border, publicly supported the project. The situation is still unclear in the Taliban-controlled provinces of Kandahar and Helmand. The United States, which is interested in political and economic stabilization in Afghanistan, treats the project as one of its top priorities. By 2014, its official mission in Afghanistan should end; TAPI supplies NATO and the U.S. with a pretext to remain in the country. Washington, busy enveloping Iran with economic sanctions, has no use for an alternative Iran-India gas pipeline. In fact, if implemented, TAPI would strengthen economic ties between India and Pakistan and promote their dialog on many other bilateral issues. Russias statement on Gazproms possible involvement can be seen as its indirect support of the project; it will bring gas from Turkmenistan to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan where an LNG plant will be built, which means that it does not infringe on the interests of China either. So far no one can say whether the project, which is expected to cross far from stable Afghanistan and slightly more stable Pakistan, is implementable. Washington, in turn, is sparing no effort to promote the project, at least in the information expanse. Meanwhile, two projects became a target of bitter price-related rivalry. It turned out that prices proposed by Turkmenistan for its gas to be transported via TAPI were much lower than those Iran was prepared to receive for the gas it planned to move to Pakistan along the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline; India withdrew from the project. Iran offered to deliver to Pakistan natural gas at a price equal to 78% of the oil parity price (about $400 per thousand cu m). Late in 2011 in Islamabad, the Turkmen delegation headed by Minister of Power Ya. Orazgulyev cited its price: 74% of the oil parity price (about $380 per thousand cu m).16 Pakistan responded with its own price60-68% of the oil parity price ($310-350 per thousand cu m), including the cost of Afghan transit.17 There is information that Ashghabad is more or less prepared to accept 69% of the oil parity price (about $356 per thousand cu m), including transit fees.18 The Turkmen delegation asked for a break to be able to consult the countrys leaders; no final decision has been reached. Earlier it was expected that contracts indicating the procurement prices would be signed before 31 July, 2011.

Mounting Rivalry
The regions communication capabilities are unique and therefore tempting; those who finally manage to establish control over the North-South and West-East communication hub will not only grow rich on the proceedings and move to the frontline of the global communication scene, they will acquire political instruments as well. Washington and Brussels have pooled forces in the Caspian to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies bypassing Russia; today they are thinking about merging all the hypothetical southern pipelines into a single project tentatively known as the Southern Gas (Energy) Corridor (see Map 3).
16 17

Production cost in Turkmenistan is about $2 per thousand cu m. See: Dawn.com, 13 November, 2011. 18 [http://www.trubagaz.ru/issue-of-the-day/tapi-diskussija-o-tsenakh/].

14

Map 3
The Southern Corridor

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

15
The gas pipeline network in Turkey, Greece, and the lower Balkans is not connected to Western Europe; that is, there is no present route for gas to go from Turkey to Western Europe

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Pipeline operational Pipeline under construction Pipeline under consideration LNG terminal Proposed gas storage Capital City Map shows Turkish natural gas grid only when part of international lines.

S o u r c e: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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The European Union regards the Southern Corridor as one of its energy-related priorities designed to diversify the routes and sources of energy deliveries in order to tighten its energy security. In fact, Europe has long considered Turkmenistan to be one of the main gas suppliers of the planned pan-European Nabucco pipeline; these plans were never realized. In Europe, the project stalled for want of customers prepared to shoulder the considerable investments and political risks. Turkmenistan, which has learned the grim lessons of the gas conflicts and wars of the 1990s, is sticking to the simple scheme: it sells its gas on the border; all transportation risks outside its territory should be shouldered by other participants. This principle is applied to its dealings with Russia and China. In the spring of 2008, Turkmenistan announced that starting in 2009 it intended to reserve 10 billion cu m every year for European customers. The other Caspian states stalled the project by objecting to the planned subsea Trans-Caspian Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan gas pipeline. In December 2010, Americas IHS CERA, which had been retained as a consultant for the Caspian Development Corporation (CDC) in May 2009 by the World Bank, the European Commission, and the European Investment Bank to create the institutional design and commercial framework for the proposed CDC, laid its report on the table. The Corporation was an institutional and commercial design set up to buy and transport considerable volumes of natural gas from Turkmenistan to the European and, possibly, other markets. It was expected that the CDC and Turkmenistan would sign a 20-year-long Gas Purchase Agreement (GPA) and ensure its transportation to the European markets via a main pipeline across Azerbaijan. It was planned to start purchases in 2014 and bring the amounts up to 10 billion cu m by 2017 and up to 20 billion cu m by 2019. Starting in 2020, the CDC expected to buy up to 30 billion cu m every year. The model assumed that Turkmen gas would be purchased at a netback price determined by a weighted average of the sale prices for CDC gas in various European markets, less transportation costs and costs for CDC operations and capital employed.19 To connect Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the CDC will need a gas pipeline laid on the Caspian seabed. It is thought that several Caspian states are trying to slow down the progress in this direction; early in 2011 the EU Commission for Energy announced that the trans-Caspian pipeline will be implemented under the EU aegis; it did not exclude the possibility that the CDC would be the only investor and owner of the future pipeline, which frees Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan from political and investment risks. The procurement price of Turkmen gas remained the weakest link; so far the sides have not formulated their positions. In view of the highly volatile oil prices and the oil parity prices for natural gas imported by Europe, Turkmenistan should insist on long-term export contracts based on take-or-pay terms (Gazproms export contracts are based on this principle). The European Commission, however, which is dedicated to liberalizing the European gas sector, cannot accept the takeor-pay terms. It seems that the project stands little chance of being implemented any time soon, even though it is expected to supply the bulk of gas to the Southern Corridor. Ashghabad, which seeks stiff competition for its gas, is quite right: it needs freedom for political and diplomatic maneuvering to deal with gas consumers, as well as diversified foreign investments in its oil and gas sector and maximally high export prices for its gas. It is playing its European card in the form of repeated declarations in support of the trans-Caspian pipeline as the first step toward Nabucco. The project might remain on paper: it is forbiddingly expensive (about P7.9 billion according to conservative assessments); while the status of the Caspian is still unresolved and the situation in the Southern Caucasus remains vulnerable.
19

Caspian Development Corporation. Final Implementation Report, IHS CERA, December 2010.

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None of the sides involved are sparing any political, diplomatic, or even contract efforts to channel Central Asian (Turkmen, in particular) gas toward Europe; Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the European Union are busy drafting two relevant documents. Late in February 2012, Minister of Industry and Power of Azerbaijan Natiq Aliev said as much at a meeting with the Caspian-European Integration Business Club (CEIBC) members. He informed his audience that Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the EU were working on a political document designed to support the Southern Gas Corridor, as well as on an intergovernmental agreement on the trans-Caspian pipeline. It is expected that the documents will be ready by the end of the year.20 The European Union intends to discuss with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan legally binding bilateral agreements the two countries need to build and use the Trans-Caspian pipeline; it also intends to discuss with Turkmenistan the legal framework to be applied to filling the pipeline with Turkmen gas as well as legal recognition of commercial agreements.

Is Russia Losing Its Position?


Russias attitude to the shifts in the formerly strictly controlled Central Asian gas market is highly important and extremely interesting. It seems that excessive dramatization of these processes, of which certain analysts are guilty, is hardly justified. Gazproms transit monopoly could not last forever; recently, it became a burden rather than competitive advantage. The TUKC pipeline makes the involvement of Central Asian gas exports to the European markets less probable and the rivalry less acute. And it seems that this could not have been done without multilateral political agreements. The new situation will bring sustainable repercussions: Western analysts believe that Russia and China will maintain a practically absolute balance in Central Asia, that is, jointly realized control.21 Beijing could be suspected of putting pressure on Gazprom on the eve of new price talks for the Russian gas supplied to China. On the other hand, the Central Asian gas producers (including Russias LUKoil, which operates in Uzbekistan) are willing to sell more gas to China; Chinas CNPC will produce 30 billion cu m of gas in Turkmenistan. Collectively they have enough gas to meet their export obligations which, however, might undermine power supplies at home and the exporters economic sustainability. Russias loyalty to TUKC is explained by the fact that it will avert Turkmen gas from Europe. It can be described as market sharing of sorts: Ashghabad is free to reach the Asian markets (whether Chinese, Iranian, or South Asian) in exchange for not selling its gas to Europe. It looks as if the Central Asian gas producers are being used (probably temporarily) as substitutes for Gazprom while the Chinese gas market is taking shape. We should never forget that there is another potential rivalry in the Caspian region. I have in mind Iran (for more detail, see below). Moscow seems to be somewhat carried away by the struggle over the European gas market to the detriment of its position in central and eastern Eurasia. The Kremlins determination to build the North and South Streams, balancing on the brink of depriving Ukraine of its transit fees and of worsening relations with it, as well as to double the carrying capacity of the still underloaded Blue Stream, is rather baffling. It seems that it would have been wiser to study cheaper
20 21

See: Trend, 29 February, 2012. [http://www.opec.ru/1147353.html].

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and more adequate alternatives of gas export to Southern Europe. The reality of the world energy market could upset the seemingly well-justified political constructs. The idea of including the Russian Federation in Nabucco is not an exception. Moreover, Gazprom has been invited to participate in that project as a supplier more than once. On signing the agreement, the Prime-Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, expressed his hope for the participation of Russia, as well as Iran, in the implementation of Nabucco: We support Irans participation in the project, should circumstances so allow, and we also hope for Russias inclusion. Furthermore, Richard Morningstar made an eloquent confession: We want Russia to participate in the project as a partner, and we can submit a proposal to supply gas within the Nabucco project. The prospect of filling Nabucco with Russian gas has always provided opportunities for delicate political games, interesting moves and exchanges and, possibly, commercial benefits. Analyzing the expansion of the Blue Stream 2 pipeline, one must pay attention to its intersection with Nabucco near Ankara. Opportunities become apparent for the continuation of the Blue Stream southwards, to Syria and Israel, for instance. Intersection with the European pipeline could become a weighty argument in Gazproms favor when competing for export volumes of Azerbaijani gas. It could also be possible to rely on European support in delicate negotiations with Turkey on conditions of transit (not resale) of Russian gas. In this option there is also an opportunity to cut Iran out of European market by substituting Iranian gas with Russian gas (or Central Asian). To direct the fuel of potential competitor to the East has always been an important geopolitical goal of Gazprom. It is no chance that Moscow has always supported not only the project Peacethe pipeline Iran-Pakistan-Iran, but was also ready to participate in such an exotic initiative, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline which would also direct Turkmen gas towards the east.22 Despite these problems, the prospects of the Eurasian gas market have become obvious. The commissioned TUKC and implemented TAPI will transform the Caspian into a powerful energy hub from which energy resources are sent to the East and the South. The future regional pipeline system will be closed and absolutely autonomous, something which Moscow knows well. Gazprom can join the two projects not only as a co-investor or a general contractor (even though built according to Russian technical rules and specifications the powerful infrastructural facilities will remain attached to the countrys economy for a long time to come), it will also have the opportunity to send the gas it produces in Turkmenistan to India. In any case, Russias involvement in these projects is of strategic importance.

The Iranian Factor


The developments around Iran have created new (and considerable) risks for the fuel and energy complexes of its Central Asian neighbors. Beijing has already voiced its concern about possible destabilization in Turkmenistan if the United States attacks Iran. Indeed, the strategic gas pipeline built by the Chinese for bringing Turkmen gas to China, as well as Chinas loan of over $8 billion to Turkmenistan allow Beijing to regard this country as a sphere of its interests. According to the Moskovskie novosti newspaper, Ashghabad proved unable to guarantee the Chinese investments on its own and is preparing for consultations with Moscow.23
22 The Prospects of Cooperation between South East Europe and Russia in Ensuring the Long-term Energy Security of the Continent, available at [http://www.isac-fund.org/download/06e-Dr.%20Igor%20Tomber%20%20The%20prospect%20of%20Cooperation.pdf]. 23 [http://www.mn.ru/world_ussr/20120130/310629497.html].

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In January 2012, Chen Zhili, Vice Chairman of the standing committee of the All-Chinese Assembly of Peoples Representatives, visited Ashghabad, ostensibly to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The guest and President Berdymukhammedov concentrated on the situation around Iran. China sees Americas plans to use force against Iran to compel it to discontinue its nuclear program as a threat to the large-scale gas production and transportation infrastructure in Turkmenistan, which will supply it in the future with up to 65 billion cu m of gas every year. So far, Beijing is not entirely convinced that gas supply will be consistent. It is also concerned about the safety of its workers and specialists (from 3 to 5 thousand depending on the season) engaged in all sorts of construction projects in Turkmenistan. To a certain extent the conflict between the West and Iran will echo in all the other Central Asian countries and will negatively affect the fuel and energy infrastructure. Today, confrontation with the West over its nuclear file will hardly allow Tehran to tap its gas resources to the full to redivide the export markets. In the future, however, when the American-Iranian conflict is settled, Iran might join the world energy projects. Today, Iran can be described as a potential and so far underestimated threat to Russias gas interests in the European and, in the future, Chinese vectors. With the worlds second largest gas reserves (with 29.6 trillion cu m it comes second after Russia with its 44.8 trillion cu m),24 the country has not yet developed into a serious player in the international markets for certain structural, technical, and political reasons. In the future, as its gas sector develops, Tehran will not miss the chance of using it to acquire its share of international influence. The Iranian leaders have repeatedly offered their gas to help fill Nabucco, which Washington and Brussels see as the main instrument of diversified gas supplies to the EU. Indian analyst M.K. Bhadrakumar summed up the situation: Nabucco will be Irans passport to integration with Europe.25 If and when Iran arrives in the European gas market, it will upset the balance of interests, which arouses great doubts among European consumers anyway. With Iranian gas in the external markets, the Central Asian countries will have to step up their competition for a niche in the far from conquered markets of India, Pakistan, other South Asian countries, or (God forbid) Europe. So far the supply and demand market is perfectly balanced even though consumers are working hard to revive the 2008 consumer market to impose their conditions on the suppliers. Iranian gas might bring the prices down. This happened in 2009 when Europe was flooded with LNG designated for the United States together with the mounting amounts of LNG from Qatar. There is information that Beijing is looking for ways to link Iranian gas to the Central Asian system of gas pipelines. This will allow it to revise the prices China pays for the increasing volumes of gas from Turkmenistan. In fact, today it loses about $0.1 per cu m of Turkmen gas.26 Iranian gas might shift the burden to the exporter. In these conditions all the gas-producing Soviet successor-states should pool their efforts to ensure the interests of the gas suppliers. They have set up the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (known as Gas OPEC). In fact, if 5 or 6 countries (Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Algeria, and Azerbaijan with aggregate natural gas reserves close to the worlds 60%) coordinated their price, marketing, and logistical policies, they could achieve a much clearer and much more balanced market. Real coordination within the Forum could lead to coordinated decisions and, most important, not allow the world gas consumers to exploit the contradictions among suppliers.
24 25

See: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2011, p. 20. See: M.K. Bhadrakumar, U.S. Moves towards Engaging Iran, Asiatimes, 27 March, 2008. 26 See: Shiji jingji baodao, 29 November, 2011.

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Conclusion
The situation is far from simple; it can be called fairly contradictory inside the region and around it; competition over access to resources is stiff; all key players in the Central Asian and Caspian energy sector want to join the global energy market as quickly as possible. If the Central Asian context in the next several decades remains favorable or even neutral, the energy resources of post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caspian will join the global economic turnover at an accelerated pace. The region is a large and growing producer of oil and gas outside OPEC, which makes it doubly important for global energy security. Today Europe and China (Russia will join them later) regard hydrocarbons from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan as an important element of import diversification. On the other hand, the political instability in the adjacent regions (Middle East and Iran) negatively affects the investment climate in Central Asia and creates new serious external risks. The domestic situation is not risk-free either: the countries determined to sell hydrocarbons no matter what might undermine their own economies by depriving them of energy: a paradoxical situation for resource-rich countries.

CHINAS PRESENCE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR OF CENTRAL ASIA


1

Konstantin SYROEZHKIN D.Sc. (Political Science), Professor, Chief Researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Introduction

W
1

hen the fourth generation of leaders came to power in China, the country began drawing up its policy in Central Asia (CA) on the concept of peripheral diplomacy,2 which
2 Three levels were singled out in the extended periphery: (1) regions bordering on China; (2) the APR; (3) the

since 2005 has been based not on the thesis of Chinas peaceful rise, but on the theory of
Eurasian continent and coastal zones of the Pacific and Indian oceans. The objective of this strategy, according to Chinese authors, was to maintain friendly relations with all neighboring countries that form a belt of stability around the

This article does not examine nuclear energy projects.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS peaceful development that came to replace it, as well as on the idea proposed by Hu Jintao of working together to build a harmonious world. At present, Chinas relations with the regional states are being established in keeping with the concept of friendly, peaceful, and prosperous neighbors (mulin, anlin, fulin) confirmed at the 17th congress of the CPC.3 As Fudan University Professor Zhao Huasheng, a leading Chinese specialist on CA, emphasized, this concept, which was formulated as early as 2003, reflects the new approaches to relations with neighboring countries. The changes in the PRCs foreign policy were prompted by the rapid economic growth and reinforcement of the states power, which, naturally, might arouse worries in neighboring countries, most of which are weaker than China. In such conditions, it was critically important to document a new policy concept, proceeding from which the key elements in developing relations with neighboring countries are not only solving ones own tasks, but also taking into account the interests of ones neighbors; this precept is of fundamental significance.4 Chinas growing interest in CA is fully justified and explained by the increase in this regions importance in the world economy and politics; along with the growing threats and challenges ensuing from the region, new possibilities and prospects have opened up. A key aspect of Chinas foreign policy in CA is economic penetration into the region by implementing bilateral and multilateral economic and infrastructural projects (within the framecountry. The value of the peripheral strategy is defined by the fact that it can help to create a friendly and peaceful environment, improve Chinas strategic position, increase its diplomatic resources, and augment its international influence. According to this concept, Central Asia and Russia have formed Chinas so-called strategic rear. 3 See: Hu Jintao, Gaoju zhongguo tese shehuizhui weida cizhi wei douqu quanmian qiangshe xiaokang shehui xin shengli er fendou (Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive for New Victories in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects), Report at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, 15 October, 2007, Renmin ribao, 25 October, 2007. 4 See: Zhao Huasheng, Zhongguo di ZhongYa waijiao (Chinese Diplomacy in Central Asia), Beijing, 2008, p. 181.

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 work of the SCO primarily with Chinese funding) with the participation of Chinese companies and issuing soft loans for developing bilateral commerce. This is shown by the fact that China has been administering commercial and infrastructural loans within the SCO,5 as well as stepping up its bilateral and multilateral economic contacts with the regions states. China has economic interests in several vectors of the region, one of which is trade. Whereas Chinas economic expansion in CA is extremely conditional, trade expansion has already been accomplished. With the exception of Uzbekistan and possibly Turkmenistan, the other states of the region see no alternative to Chinas commercial supremacy; Kazakhstan has long been strongly addicted to Chinas presence, while Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan joined the bandwagon at the end of 2005. Two more vectors are associated with the creation of transportation and logistics infrastructure6 and the formation of free trade areas (FTA) in the CA territories bordering on China.7
5 At the summit of the SCO heads of state in Tashkent in June 2004, Hu Jintao stated Chinas intention to issue $900 million in soft loans to the development of trade among the Organizations countries. In September 2004, at an ordinary session of the heads of government of the SCO member states held in Beijing, a Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation was signed that created a foundation for expanding not only trade and economic relations, but also for deeper integration in all spheres of the economy. In June 2009, at a summit of the SCO heads of state in Ekaterinburg, Hu Jintao said that China would issue $10 billion to combat the financial crisis and for investing in and funding technical and economic projects. 6 As always, Chinas position is pragmatic. Transborder transport projects in Central Asia, first, help to solve the task of turning China into a global trade nation. Without accelerated development of the transborder transport infrastructure, there could essentially have been no increase in trade and economic cooperation between China and Central Asia. Second, these projects are a natural extension of the accelerated development of the western provinces. In so doing, according to the internal Chinese lay of the land, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region will acquire the role of a regional foreign economic and infrastructural hub. 7 Failing to receive approval to create a free trade area in the SCO expanse, China began to act more subtly, preferring to come to terms with Central Asian states without Russias participation. As of today, an agreement in principle has been reached to create a FTA near the Irkeshtam and Torugart check points in Kyrgyzstan, as well as near the Karasu-Kulma check point in Tajikistan. The Chi-

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 The fourth vector is extensive lending to the economies of the Central Asian states; it was designated in 2007, when Chinese investments in projects in Central Asia began to reach billions of dollars. And, finally, the fifth and one of the most important vectors is the development of Chinas relations with the CA states in the energy sphere; it includes the following significant aspects: (1) acquiring ownership of raw hydrocarbon fields or their exploitation under long-term concession conditions; (2) building oil and gas pipelines for delivering resources to China (whereby primarily by means of Chinese loans); (3) Chinas participation in building and reconstructing hydropower plants, central heat and power plants, and power transmission lines with the prospect of delivering electricity to the PRC. And although the transit volumes (particularly oil in the prospective amount of 20 million tons) via these pipelines and power transmission lines are not that significant for China,8 from the geopolitnese side has essentially already created infrastructure for an FTA near the Druzhba and Khorgos check points on the border with Kazakhstan. 8 In 2007, China imported 163 million tons of crude oil, in 2008, 179 million tons, in 2009, 203.8 million tons, for the first time exceeding 50% of the oil consumption volumes, and in 2010, 239 million tons or 55% of the oil consumption volumes (see: Zhongguo nengyuan fazhan baogao. 2010 (Report on Chinas Energy Development. 2010), ed. by Cui Minxian, Zhehua kexue wenxian chuban-

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS ical viewpoint, these projects are difficult to overestimate; their existence guarantees Chinas presence in the region and gives the PRC a powerful trump card when bargaining with Russia over the price of the oil and gas it delivers. There are also other projects being implemented by means of Chinese investments; this makes it possible to purchase Central Asias hydrocarbon resources at prices much lower than the world level.9 Keeping in mind Chinas growing dependence on deliveries of energy resources from abroad,10 it can be expected that its presence in the oil and gas complex of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as in the electric power industry of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will continue to grow. Cooperation in the energy sphere between each of the regional states and China has its own specifics, and so it is worth taking a closer look at each of them (to the extent the scope of this article allows).
she, Beijing, 2010, pp. 92, 95); Zhongguo nengyuan fazhan baogao. 2011 (Report on Chinas Energy Development. 2011), ed. by Cui Minxian, Zhehua kexue wenxian chubanshe, Beijing, 2011, p. 12). 9 For example, Turkmen gas is delivered to China at $120 per thousand cubic meters. For comparison, Iran pays $170 and Russia $190 per thousand cubic meters. 10 According to the forecasts of scientists of the PRC Academy of Social Sciences, Chinas oil consumption will grow to 450 million tons by 2020, while the share of imported oil will increase to 64.5% (see: Zhongguo nengyuan fazhan baogao. 2010, p. 95); according to the forecasts of the Chinese Institute of Energy Studies, by 2015, the oil consumption volume will amount to 500-520,000 tons, while the PRCs dependence on external oil deliveries will top 60% (see: Renmin ribao, 28 November, 2011).

Kazakhstan
It would probably be logical to begin with Kazakhstan since this is where Chinas exploitation of CAs hydrocarbon resources began. Chinas presence is the most widespread in the republics oil and gas sector; it has quite a long history and evokes an immense public response. China made its first advances way back in 1997; this was when the Project of the Century11 was signed which envisaged siphoning $11 billion of Chinas investments into Kazakhstans oil industry,
11 An analysis of the publications of the mid-1990s and official documents of KazMunaiGaz Oil Company shows that by mid-1995, a company called CNPC-Aktobemunaigaz was operating in Kazakhstan. Whereby the strangest thing was that

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including into the restoration of the Uzenmunaigaz and Aktobemunaigaz joint-stock companies, as well as into the building of oil pipelines to Western China and Iran. And whereas the efforts exerted to restore Uzenmunaigaz were unsuccessful, the CNPC-Aktobemunaigaz Joint-Stock Company was established on the basis of Aktobemunaigaz, in which the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC) owns 85.45% of the shares. This was followed by a five-year hiatus, during which China, engaged in resolving other problems, was not particularly active in the Kazakhstan oil and gas industry. A significant breakthrough occurred at the beginning of 2003 when Chinese oil companies Sinopec and CNOOC12 tried to acquire a share in the Kashagan project of the BG Group Plc. But the transaction was stymied by the other participants in the project. The second attempt proved more successful. In 2003, the CNPC acquired 100% of the shares in the Northern Buzachi fields (Mangistau Region) in two stages. This impressive package was purchased from the Nimr Petroleum Company (Saudi Arabia) and Chevron Texaco (U.S.). At the end of 2004, Sinopec purchased the First International Oil Company (FIOC) for $160 million from Albatross Trading Limited, a mystery company located in the British Virgin Islands that was developing the Sazan-Kurak field. The year 2005 proved to be the most productive for China, at the beginning of which CNODC13 purchased Aidan Munai for $160 million. On 15 October, 2005, KazMunaiGaz Oil Company and CNPC International signed a memorandum of understanding regulating Chinas purchase of a set of shares of the PetroKazakhstan Company. At the same time, China also acquired the right to a share of this company in other oil-producing joint ventures with its participationKazgermunai and Turgai Petroleum. At the end of 2009, Chinas CITIC Group14 reached an agreement on purchasing Nations Energy Company for $1.91 billion.15 In September 2009, the China Investment Corporation (CIC)16 purchased 11% of the global deposit receipts (GDR) of the KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Development Company.17 In November, the Chinese National Petroleum Company CNPC E&D18 and KazMunaiGaz purchased 100% of the ordinary shares of Mangistaumunaigaz from Central Asia Petroleum Ltd.; under the agreement, CNPC E&D acquired 50% minus two voting shares of the company. Chinas latest acquisition in the oil and gas sector of Kazakhstan was private enterprise Emir Oil purchased by MI Energy Corporation19 in February 2011.
this company was issued a license in June 1995 for exploiting the Zhanazhol field (for 20 years), in September of the same year for the Kenkiyak post-salt field (for 20 years), and in June 1997 for the Kenkiyak pre-salt field (for 25 years) in the Aktobe Region, which in no way jives with the official version that the CNPC came to the Kazakhstan oil market in 1997 after winning a tender on the privatization of Aktobemunaigaz (for more detail, see: K. Syroezhkin, Kazakhstan-Kitai: ot prigranichnoi torgovli k strategicheskomu partnerstvu, Book 1, V nachale puti, KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almaty, 2010, pp. 158-160). 12 SinopecChina Petroleum & Chemical Corporation; CNOOCChina National Offshore Oil Corporation. 13 CNODCChina National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporationis a 100% subsidiary company of CNOOCthe third largest oil company in China. 14 CITIC Group (China International Trust & Investment Corporation) is one of Chinas largest investment companies, established in 1979 and directly subordinate to the PRC State Council. 15 In keeping with the agreement signed, CITIC Group pledged to offer 50% of the Nations Energy Company, after purchasing a 100% set of shares in this company, to KazMunaiGaz for $955 milliona sum equal to half the purchase price the CITIC Group paid for 100% of the shares of Nations Energy. 16 The China Investment Corporation Investment Fund was established on 29 September, 2007 especially for the foreign investments of Chinas accumulated international reserves. The authorized fund amounted to $200 billion. 17 The purchase was carried out through subsidiary company Fullbloom Investment Corporation, the transaction sum amounted to $939 million. 18 CNPC E&DCNPC Exploration and Development Company Ltd. 19 MI Energy Corporation is a subsidiary company of the Chinese oil and gas company, MIE Holding Corporation, which is a subsidiary of CNPC and Global Oil Corporation registered on the Cayman Islands.

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According to my estimates (which are probably incomplete), more than 80 companies with a share of Chinese capital operate today in the oil and gas industry of Kazakhstan, 21 of which are producing oil at Kazakhstans fields (see Table 1). Table 1
Presence of Chinese Companies in the Oil and Gas Industry of Kazakhstan (Oil and Gas Production, Beginning of 2011) Company Shareholders Chinese Companies Aktobe Region CNPCAktobemunaigaz (since 1997) Since June 199766.7% of voting shares; since April 2003, CNPC owns 85.45% of the shares (94.5% of voting shares). Including: CNPC Exploration and Development Company Ltd.60.33%, CNPC International (Caspian) Ltd. 25.12% CNPC87.96% The companys employees5.02%, various physical and legal entities9.53% Other Participants

Lancaster Petroleum (since 2007) Sagiz Petroleum Company (since 2007) Kazakhoil Aktobe (since 2003)

CNPC100%

CNPC25%

KazMunaiGaz Oil Company75% Atyrau Region

Embavedoil (since 1996)

Since 199650% of the shares; since the end of 2005, Satko International Limited 100% Sinopec through its subsidiary First International Oil Company (FIOC Ltd.)100% First International Oil Company 100%

Until the end of 2005 Kazakhstan and Vietnam 50%

Sazan-Kurak Joint Venture (since 2004) Caspian Petroleum Company (since 2004) Adai Petroleum Company (since 2004)*

First International Oil Company 50%

RN-Kazakhstan (Russia) 50%

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 Table 1 (continued)

Company

Shareholders Chinese Companies Other Participants

Potential Oil (since 2006)

CNPC100%

Kyzylorda Region CNPC-Aidan Munai (since 2005) PetroKazakhstan Inc. (since 2005) CNODC100%

Since October 2005, CNPC International Ltd.67% in PetroKazakhstan Inc. Since January 2007, PetroChina67% in PetroKazakhstan Inc.

Since October 2005, KazMunaiGaz Oil Company33% of the shares in PetroKazakhstan Inc. and 50% of the shares in Valsera Holding BV. Since September 2009 KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Production Company33% of the shares in PetroKazakhstan Inc. LUKoil Overseas Kumkol B.V. (Netherlands)50% KazMunaiGaz Oil Company50% Since June 2007, KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Production Company 50%

Turgai Petroleum (2005) Kazgermunai Joint Venture (since 2005)

CNPC PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources50% CNPC50%

KuatAmlonMunai (since 2006)

CNPC100%

Mangistau Region Buzachi Operating Ltd. (since 2003) CNPC International Ltd. (registered in the U.S.)50% (before 2009), at present75% CITIC Canada Petroleum Limited50% LUKoil25% Mittal Investments25% (before 2009) KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Production Company 50% KazMunaiGaz Oil Company50%

Karazhanbasmunai (since 2006)

Karakudukmunai (since 2004)

CNPC50%

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 1 (continued)

Company

Shareholders Chinese Companies Other Participants

Arman Joint Venture (since 2005) Mangistaumunaigaz (since November 2009)** Emir Oil (since February 2011)

CNPC25% CNPC Exploration and Development Company Ltd.50% minus two voting shares MI Energy Corporation (subsidiary of MIE Holding Corporation)100% KazMunaiGaz Oil Company50% plus two voting shares Emir Oil LLC belonged to B. Cherdobaevs Company BMB Munai Inc.

KazMunaiGaz Exploration and Production Company (since September 2009)

Fullbloom Investment Corporation KazMunaiGaz Oil 11% Company89%

* Owing to the fields lack of prospects, FIOC and Rosneft withdrew from the project in June 2011. ** The Pavlodar Refinery has been excluded from the transaction.

According to my estimates, Chinas share in oil production in Kazakhstan amounts to around 25-27% and in gas production to13-15%. Of course, these figures are far from those with which the Kazakhstani opposition and some deputies frighten the Kazakhstanis (40%), but they are quite considerable, particularly if we keep in mind the areas Chinese companies are operating in the country (see Table 2) and the fact that the oil and gas sector is the basis of Kazakhstans economy and the main contributor of revenue to the budget. Apart from purchasing oil and gas companies, China is exerting active efforts to develop infrastructure for delivering Kazakhstans hydrocarbons to the PRC, as well as to reconstruct the republics oil refineries. There are several significant projects in this area. The first project is the Western Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline (see Map 1), the intentions to build which were first announced in 1997; the project was reanimated on 13 October, 2003,20 and on 17 May, 2004, an agreement was signed on building the first section of the Atasu-Alashankou oil pipeline. The first stage was finished on 15 November, 2005; investments amounted to $806 million, $700 million of which were engaged under project financing conditions backed by CNPC. The second stage, which envisaged building the Kenkiyak-Kumkol oil pipeline, began in December 2007 and was finished in July 2009; investments amounted to around $1 billion. At the first stage, the throughput capacity of the oil pipeline amounted to 10 million tons a year; the investment
20 In March 2003, the Kenkiyak-Atyrau oil pipeline went into operation (the first joint project of KazMunaiGaz Oil Company and CNPC). In reverse operation, this oil pipeline became the first part of the large Western Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline.

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 Table 2

Share of Companies with Chinese Capital in Oil and Gas Production (by region, 2010) Region Total Production Share of Companies with Chinese Capital Chinas Net Share

Oil Production (tons, %) Aktobe Region Atyrau Region Kyzylorda Region Mangistau Region 7,417,040 1,731,133 11,156,308 12,689,001 7,235,332 250,404 9,904,104 11,173,016 97.55 14.47 88.78 88.05 6,494,279.7 250,404 5,928,772.8 6,062,968 87.56 14.47 53.14 47.78

Gas Production (thou. cu m, %) Aktobe Region Atyrau Region Kyzylorda Region Mangistau Region 3,334,517 23,730 1,606,003 2,399,937 3,181,566 4,551 1,547,755 754,145 95.41 19.18 96.37 31.42 2,968,979.5 4,551 971,615.1 200,302.1 89.04 19.18 60.5 8.35

S o u r c e: All calculations by the author.

Map 1
Western Kazakhstan-Western China Oil Pipeline

Petropavlovsk Kostanai Pavlodar Uralsk ASTANA Ust-Kamenogorsk Aktobe Atasu Kenkiyak Atyrau
Caspian Sea

Karaganda Agadyr Akiatau Aktogai Ucharal Dostyk

Zhanazhol Aralsk Kumkol

Balkhash

Beyneu

Taldykorgan

Karamai Dushinzi

Aral Sea Aktau

Kyzylorda Taraz

Almaty Khorgos Urumqi

Shymkent first section (launched in March 2003) second section (launched in November 2005) third section (launched in July 2009) section of the old oil pipeline

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

project envisaged a further increase in its capacity: to 15.5 million tons in 2010; to 20 million tons in 2012; and to 50 million tons in 2020.21 The Kazakhstan-China Oil Pipeline Company is the owner and delivery operator, the shareholders of which are CNPC and KazMunaiGaz Oil Company on a parity basis through their subsidiary companies. The second large project is the Central Asia-China gas pipeline (see Map 2)22; an agreement on Kazakhstans participation in it was signed at the beginning of November 2007. In March 2008, KazTransGaz and Trans-Asia Gas Pipeline Limited (a subsidiary of CNPC) created the Asian Gas Pipeline Company on a parity basis for building and subsequent exploitation of the KazakhstanChina gas pipeline. According to the agreements reached, implementation of the Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline project was to be carried out in two stages. The first section of the gas pipeline, with a throughput capacity of 40 bcm a year, length of 1,333 km and diameter of 1,024/1,067 mm, was to be laid from the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan border through Shymkent to Khorgos. The first stage ended in July 2009 and the gas pipeline went into operation on 12 December, 2009; the cost of the project amounted to $7.5 billion.23 The Beyneu-Bozoi-Kyzylorda-Shymkent gas pipeline is considered to be the second section; its capacity amounts to 10 bcm a year, length1,480 km, and diameter1,016 mm. Implementation of this project was to begin after its economic feasibility was proven,24 however, as early as 10 October, 2008, a meeting was held in Astana between Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Masimov and Vice President of CNPC Wang Dongjin, at which the latter confirmed the willingness of the Chinese side to finance building the second branch of the Kazakhstan-China gas pipelinethe Beyneu-Bozoi-Shalkar-Samsonovka section.25 During Nursultan Nazarbaevs visit to the PRC, which took place in mid-April 2009, KazMunaiGaz Oil Company and CNPC signed a framework agreement on extending cooperation in the oil and gas sphere and rendering assistance in obtaining loans, which presupposed China granting the Kazakh Company $5 billion for projects in the oil and gas sphere; the matter also concerned financing the BeyneuBozoi-Akbulak-Shymkent gas pipeline project.26 On 7 December, Nursultan Nazarbaev signed a law on ratification of the agreement on building the Beyneu-Shymkent section. The gas pipeline will be built using a loan issued by China; the estimated cost of the project amounts to $3.5 billion.27 The third major project is associated with reconstruction of the Atyrau Oil Refinery, the tender for which was won at the end of October 2009 by Sinopec Engineering, a subsidiary of China

21 See: S. Gavrichev, Kazakhstan-Kitai-Kumkol, RusEnergy Portal, 21 May, 2004, available at [http:// www.rusenergy.com]; in reality, 7.7 million tons of oil were pumped via the oil pipeline in 2009. 22 The Central Asia-China gas pipeline, which begins in Turkmenistan, passes through Uzbekistan (two branches, a third is currently being built) and Kazakhstan (with the prospect of hooking up to the Beyneu-Bozoi-Shymkent section in Kazakhstan) to the border with China. The total length of the gas pipeline is around 7,000 km, 184.54 km of which pass through Turkmenistan, 530 km through Uzbekistan, 1,300 km through Kazakhstan, and around 4,860 km through the PRC. 23 At the beginning of March 2009, B. Shaiakhmetov stated that around $2.5 billion had been used (see: E. Butyrina, V stroitelstvo kazakhstansko-kitaiskogo gazoprovoda uzhe investirovana tret neobkhodimoi summy, Panorama, 6 March, 2009. 24 See: K. Konyrova, Kazakhstan i Kitai podpisali soglashenie o sozdanii SP po gazoprovodu Kazakhstan-Kitai, Trend Information Agency, 8 November, 2007, available at [http://www.capital.trendaz.com]. 25 See: Vitse-prezident CNPC soobshchil o gotovnosti KNR finansirovat stroitelstvo vtoroi nitki gazoprovoda Kazakhstan-Kitai, Kazinform Information Agency, 11 October, 2008, available at [http://www.inform.kz]. 26 See: Ibidem. 27 According to KazMunaiGaz Chairman of the Board K. Kabyldin, the cost of the second section of the gas pipeline will amount to 350 billion tenge (approximately $2.3 billion) (see: Zh. Kuzhekov, Trubu k tsentralnoaziatskomu gazu Kitai prolozhil za rekordnye sroki, Radio Azattyk, 14 December, 2009, available at [http://rus.azattyq.org]).

28

Map 2
Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline
Dostyk

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Aktogai Atyrau Akbulak Bozoi Beyneu Aral Sea Aktau SamskoZhanaozen Kosbu Deposit IX Kyzylorda Taraz Bishkek Shymkent Boztau field Mingbulak Namangan Lake Balkhash Sary-Ozek Almaty Balkhash Taldykorgan

Khorgos Urumqi

Uzbekistan

Kyrgyzstan

Guanzhou

Kaspian Sea

29
Turkmenistan
Malai Ashghabad Gorgan
Am uD

Rometan

Karakul Navoi Bukhara


ary a

Tashkent

XUAR PRC Tajikistan


Dushanbe

Samanuele Bagtyyarlyk

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Pakistan Iran
South Iolotan

Afghanistan
Deposits under CNPC license oil gas uranium gas fields Central Asia-China gas pipeline

India

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Petroleum&Chemical Corporation (Sinopec). The project is to be implemented in 2010-2013; investments amount to $1.04 billion; the main objective of the refinery is to extract paraxylene and benzene from oil. The planned production volume is 496,000 tons of paraxylene and 133,000 tons of benzene, as well as 200,000 tons of TC-1 reactive fuel a year. The key part of the second phase of reconstruction envisages building an aromatic hydrocarbon complex. KazMunaiGaz Trade House is the commissioner. The objective of the reconstruction is to raise the quality of gasoline to Euro-4 emission standard and obtain raw material (benzene and paraxylene) for development of the petrochemical industry. Sinopec Engineering will use ParamaX BTX technology of the Axens Company (France) for reconstructing the Atyrau Oil Refinery. What are the specifics of Chinas presence in Kazakhstans oil and gas industry?
n

First, China acquired all its assets in Kazakhstan that used to belong to foreign investors at open tenders. So it is wrong to say that China is buying up Kazakhstans oil and gas fields. Second, in contrast to other foreign investors, China has created joint ventures with Kazakhstan on the basis of the large facilities it has purchased. This is a great advantage for Kazakhstans economy and for raising the significance of the KazMunaiGaz Oil Company, but only if these joint ventures are used intelligently. Third, it should be kept in mind that the Chinese companies functioning in Kazakhstans oil sector do not operate under production sharing agreements, but in keeping with the provisions of current tax legislation. Owing to this, Kazakhstans tax agencies have very few complaints against them. Figure 1

Distribution of Oil Reserves in Terms of Country Affiliation of Production Companies in Kazakhstan at the Beginning of 2008 (%) PRC 5.4

Indonesia 5.7 Russia 7.1

Italy 13.3

U.S. 36.9

Great Britain 14.3

Kazakhstan 17.4

S o u r c e: S.V. Zhukov, O.B. Reznikova, Tsentralnaia Aziia i Kitai: ekonomicheskoe vzaimodeistvie v usloviakh globalizatsii, RAS Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, 2009, p. 102.

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Fourth, despite the increase in number of companies with a share of Chinese capital operating in Kazakhstans oil and gas sector, the wider range of their activity, and increase in production volumes, Chinas share in in-place and recoverable reserves is insignificant (see Fig. 1). Fifth, a large part of the fields purchased by China between the end of 1980 and beginning of the 1990s are under development and, according to the forecasts of KazMunaiGaz specialists, the share of companies with Chinese capital in oil and gas production volumes in Kazakhstan will drop in the future (see Fig. 2). Figure 2
Oil Production Between 2010 and 2020 by Companies with the Participation of Chinese Investors (thou. tons)

8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

CNPC-Aktobemunaigaz PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources Turgai Petroleum Karazhanbasmunai

Mangistaumunaigaz Kazgermunai Joint Company Buzachi Operating Ltd. Others

S o u r c e: Expert conclusion of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil and Gas on an inquiry from deputies of the Majilis of the Kazakhstan Parliament, Kazenergy, 14 April, 2010, available at: [http://www.kazenergy.com/content/view/11750/65/lang,ru].

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Sixth, companies with a share of Chinese capital cannot be accused of giving preference to Chinese citizens when hiring employees. According to Kazenergy, on 1 January, 2010, the number of staff hired on contract at enterprises with a share of Chinese capital amounted to 17,733 people; 17,519 of them (98.8%) were citizens of Kazakhstan.28

According to Head of KazMunaiGaz Kairgeldy Kabyldin, only 25 of PetroKazakhstans employees are Chinese specialists (with a total staff of 2,360 people), which amounts to only 1.1%. There are 20 Chinese managers (4.5%) among the 440 employees in the companys head office. Among Kazgermunais total staff of 660 people, only 12 (1.8%) are Chinese; there are 11 Chinese (around 5%) among the 200 office employees. Among the companys total staff of 6,000 people, 33 Chinese work in the management of Mangistaumunaigaz (0.6% of the total staff and 2.2% of the companys administration). There are 21 (1%) Chinese employees among Karazhanbasmunais total personnel of 2,100.29 It should also be noted that the work of Chinese companies operating in Kazakhstans oil and gas sector differs little from the activity of other foreigners, particularly with respect to the increase in production volumes and oil and gas export (of course, when this is advantageous). Despite the fact that Chinese companies are very active in performing their investment obligations, they take little part in resolving local social problems, however it would not be fair to accuse them of this. Resolving social problems is the responsibility of the government structures, which should establish regulations for foreign investors that primarily meet the interests of the people of Kazakhstan. So all complaints should be redirected toward the government. We ourselves are to blame for many of our misfortunes, while a Chinese bogeyman is used to distract public opinion away from the true source of the problems. One of Confucius sayings is appropriate in this context, Dont complain about the snow on your neighbors roof when your own doorstep is unclean.

Uzbekistan
Contacts between Uzbekistan and China in the oil and gas sphere began after Islam Karimovs official visit to China in May 2005. During this visit, an agreement was signed on Chinese investments in the exploitation of Uzbek oil fields; it envisaged CNODC carrying out geological exploration work at 23 fields in the Ustiurt, Bukharo-Khivin, and Ferghana areas. The UzChina National Petroleum Corporation was established on a parity basis with an authorized capital of around $96 million for working at these fields. It is presumed that the Chinese company will invest around $600 million in the project over 25 years.30 In the spring of 2007, CNPC Silk Road (a subsidiary of CNODC) began executing an agreement on carrying out geological exploration at five investment deposits in 2006-2010 signed in 2006 between Uzbekneftegaz and CNODC. The total volume of investments for carrying out geological exploration work, which will go on for 5 years, will amount to $208.5 million, $88.5 million of which
28 See: Expert conclusion of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil and Gas on an inquiry from deputies of the Majilis of the Kazakhstan Parliament, Kazenergy, 14 April, 2010, available at [http://www.kazenergy.com/content/view/11750/65/ lang,ru/]. 29 See: Glava KMG schitaet razgovory o kitaizatsii neftegazovoi otrasli RK preuvelichennymi, Novosti-Kazakhstan Information Agency, 18 February, 2010, available at [http://www.newskaz.ru]. 30 On 10 September, 2009, Uzbekneftegaz and CNODC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Beijing, in compliance with which 23 fields situated on the Ustiurt plateau were given to the UzChina National Petroleum Corporation (see: Kitaiskie investory osvaivaiut uzbekskii rynok, IWPR, 28 September, 2009, available at [http://www.iwpr.net]).

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will be utilized under a minimum work program; there are plans to drill 15 exploration and 12 confirmation wells. When new fields are found in the regions being explored, the Chinese company and Uzbekneftegaz will open a joint venture on a parity basis to engage in their exploitation.31 In 2008, Uzbekneftegaz and CNPC signed the deed of incorporation and charter of the Mingbulakneft enterprise in order to carry out further joint exploration and exploitation of the Mingbulak field in the Namangan Region. Andijanneft and CNODC were the founders of the joint venture. The joint venture was established on a 50/50 basis.32 At the end of 2008, talks were held between Uzbekneftegaz and CPTDC33 on the possibility of arranging for the manufacture of pipes and machine-tools in Uzbekistan for the oil and gas industry. The project is to be carried out at the enterprises of Uzneftegazmash.34 On 30 April, 2007, an agreement was signed between the two countries on Uzbekistans participation in building the Central Asia-China gas pipeline. The Asia Trans Gas joint venture was established in mid-April 2008 for planning, building, and operating the Uzbek section of the gas pipeline. It was not initially planned to deliver Uzbek gas along this gas pipeline, but as early as the beginning of November 2009, the governments of Uzbekistan and China came to terms about the export of up to 10 bcm of Uzbek gas a year to the PRC (after the second branch of the gas pipeline goes into operation).35 In June 2010, during Hu Jintaos visit to Tashkent, Uzbekneftegaz and CNPC signed a framework agreement on the buy-sell of natural gas.36 On 25 December, 2010, the second branch of the Uzbek section of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline went into operation. At the beginning of 2011, it became known that Uzbekistan intended to implement a project before 2014 to build the third branch of the Uzbek section of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline and increase the volume of Uzbek gas deliveries to China to 25 bcm37 (see Table 3). Table 3
Large Projects in Uzbekistans Oil and Gas Industry with the Participation of Chinese Companies Capital Investments ($m) 600.0 Type of Activity Exploration and exploitation Joint Venture UzChina National Petroleum Corporation

Investor

Year

Project

CNPC, 2005 Uzbekneftegaz

23 fields at Ustiurt and in the BukharaKhivin Region

31 See: CNPC mozhet vo vtoroi polovine 2009 goda pristupit k bureniiu skvazhin na mestorozhdenii v Uzbekistane, Information Agency 12.uz, 25 March, 2008, available at [http://www.12.uz]. 32 See: Uzbekneftegaz i kitaiskaia CNPC sozdaiut novoe SP dlia razrabotki Mingbulaka, Internet portal UzReport.com, 17 October, 2008, available at [http://www.uzreport.com]. 33 CPTDCChina Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation (a subsidiary of CNPC). 34 See: Kitaiskaia CPTDC khochet sozdat proizvodstvo neftegazovykh trub v Uzbekistane, Information Agency 12.uz, 17 December, 2008, available at [http://www.12.uz]. 35 See: V Kitai budet postavliatsia ezhegodno do 10 mlrd kubometrov Uzbekskogo gaza, Portal Vesti.uz, 4 November, 2009, available at [http://www.vesti.uz]. 36 See: D. Azizov, Uzbekneftegaz i CNPC podpisali gazovoe soglashenie, Portal Trend, 10 June, 2010, available at [http://ru.trend.az]. 37 See: Uzbekistan obiavil, chto do 2014 goda postroit tretiu ochered svoego uchastka gazoprovoda Tsentralnaia Azia-Kitai, Novosti-Kazakhstan, 1 February, 2011, available at [http://www.newskaz.ru].

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 3 (continued)


Capital Investments ($m) 208.5 Type of Activity Exploration and exploitation Exploration and exploitation Gas transit Joint Venture UzChina National Petroleum Corporation UzDongSheng

Investor

Year

Project

CNPC, 2006 Uzbekneftegaz

Arniaz, Sardob, Markovskoe, Umid, Ustiurt Fields in the Ferghana Valley Planning, building, and operation of the UzbekistanChina gas pipeline Mingbulak field in the Namangan Region Production of pipes and machine-tools for the oil and gas industry

Dong Sheng

2007

113.0

CNPC, 2007 Uzbekneftegaz 2010 2014 CNODC, Andijanneft 2008

1 branch 2,900 2 branch 3,000 3 branch 2,200

Asia Trans Gas

Exploration and exploitation Production

Mingbulakneft Joint Venture on a 50/50 basis A few joint ventures based on enterprises of Uzneftegazmash

CPTDC, 2008 Uzbekneftegaz

Turkmenistan
Chinas relations with Turkmenistan reached a new level of development after Saparmurat Niyazovs visit to the PRC at the beginning of April 2006. On 3 April, talks were held between the head of the Turkmen state and Hu Jintao, which ended in an agreement on deliveries of Turkmen gas to China38; it envisaged building a main Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline and Chinas purchase of 30 bcm of gas a year for 30 years at the Turkmenistan border as soon as it went into operation (2009). In so doing, it was specified that Turkmenistan would deliver natural gas via the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline in the designated amounts and by the set dates.
38 The question of organizing deliveries of Turkmenistan gas to China was discussed as early as 1996. At that time, a consortium of Chinas CNPC, Japans Mitsubishi, and Americas Exxon drew up a feasibility report for a pipeline project from Turkmenistan (the Dauletabad field) through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the PRC, South Korea, and Japan. But owing to the low world gas prices in those years and high cost of building the pipeline ($9 billion), the project was declared unprofitable and work on it was halted. As world gas prices rose, interest in the renewed project began to grow again. At the request of Turkmengaz, in 2003-2005, Chinese companies carried out service work on the right-hand bank of the Amu Darya which confirmed the high viability of these sections.

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In order to supply the gas pipeline with raw material, the sides agreed to jointly engage in exploration and exploitation of all the fields and areas on the right-hand bank of the Amu Darya River (under production sharing agreements). If additional volumes of gas are needed to fill the gas pipeline, Turkmenistan guarantees deliveries from other fields. In accordance with the agreement, the Chinese side was to determine the procedure for purchasing natural gas from Turkmenistan; the price of natural gas will be set on a reasonable and fair basis, based on a comparable price in the international market. Payment will be made exclusively in U.S. dollars. Finally, the Chinese side will conduct consultations with the governments of the transit countries in order to reach agreements on mutually advantageous natural gas transit conditions through their territories.39 The agreement also envisaged that the following agreements would be entered by the corresponding organizations of the sides before 31 December, 2006: agreement on joint exploration and exploitation of gas fields defining the main framework of cooperation with participation of the Chinese organization for supplying the gas pipeline with raw material; agreement on the main principles for building the gas pipeline and drawing up its feasibility report; agreement on the buy-sell of gas that defines the specific amounts of gas purchases by year, as well as sets forth all the organizational, legal, financial, and other conditions for regulating the sale of Turkmen natural gas to the PRC. All the above-listed agreements were entered rather quickly. Laying of the gas pipeline was to be finished in 2008 and gas export to begin on 1 January, 2009. China committed to financing the entire project using its own funds and building the necessary infrastructure in its territory.40 The fields on the right-hand bank of the Amu Darya with estimated resources of 1.7 tcm were determined as the raw material base and Samandepe was to be the primary field. On 17 July, 2007, Turkmenistans new president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov paid an official visit to China. During the visit, a production sharing agreement was signed between the Turkmenistan State Agency for Hydrocarbon Resources and CNPC at the Bagtyyarlyk gas field on the righthand bank of the Amu Darya, which was to be the raw material base for building the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China. The production sharing agreement envisaged seismological and drilling work, which would make it possible to prepare newly discovered deposits for exploitation and join them to the gas pipeline at the second stage. The route of the gas pipeline was also coordinated. CNPC and Turkmengaz signed a 30-year contract for the delivery of 30 bcm a year (beginning in 2009). Beijing also issued Ashghabad a soft loan to be used for purchasing Chinese drilling equipment.41 At the beginning of 2008, construction began of the Turkmen section of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline, and in August Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov held a meeting in Beijing with Head of CNPC Jian Jiemin and General Director of CNPC International (Turkmenistan) Liu Gumxun, at which
39 See: General Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Implementation of the Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline Project and Sale of Natural Gas from Turkmenistan to the Peoples Republic of China. Beijing, 3 April, 2006, Neytralnyy Turkmenistan, 4 April, 2006. 40 On 27 August, 2007, the CNPC announced that building would start of the second branch of the West-East gas pipeline for transporting gas coming from Central Asia. The gas pipeline was to be finished by the end of 2008 and launched at its full capacity in 2010. The rated capacity of the gas pipeline is 30 bcm a year. The gas pipeline begins at the Khorgos check point, passes through Xian, Nanchang, and on south to Guangzhou and east to Shanghai. The length of the gas pipeline is 4,859 km, and with all its branches, more than 7,000 km (see: Xinjiang nianjian, 2008 (Xinjiang Yearbook for 2008), Urumqi, 2008, p. 168. 41 See: Dogovor Turkmenii s Kitaem: Porazhenie Gazproma ili obmen rynkami? Gazeta, 19 July, 2007.

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the Chinese partners were asked to consider the possibility of buying another 10 bcm of natural gas a year (over and above the 30 bcm envisaged in the interstate agreement). He also spoke in favor of extending cooperation with CNPC by implementing new projects, in particular on building gas refineries.42 On 29 August, 2008, talks were held in Ashghabad between the President of Turkmenistan and PRC Chairman Hu Jintao, who was in Turkmenistan on an official visit. The talks ended in signing a set of five bilateral documents, including a joint statement and Framework Agreement on Extending Cooperation in the Gas Industry. It was officially stated that instead of the 30 bcm agreed upon earlier, 40 bcm of Turkmen natural gas would be delivered every year to the PRC.43 However, at the beginning of 2009, Turkmenistan unexpectedly postponed the date for beginning gas export to China. A CNPC delegation headed by Vice President Wang Dongjin came to Ashghabad in March, which succeeded in convincing the Turkmenistan leadership to begin exploitation of the gas pipeline at the end of the year; the arguments they presented proved sufficiently persuasive. According to the companys plans, by the end of the year CNPC was to build a gas refinery at the Samandepe field with a capacity of 5 bcm, a second industrial gas treatment complex with a capacity of 8 bcm was to be put into operation, which was to be built at the promising the Altyn Asyr group of fields (this was planned for 2010); a total of 30 wells (23 restored and 7 new) were to be ready by the end of September 2009 at the Samandepe field. Construction of the corresponding ground infrastructure, including a gas transportation and collection system, has been actively going on; 40% of the total amount of the planned work has already been carried out.44 At the beginning of June 2009, another brick was lain in the energy relations between China and Turkmenistan: Deputy Government Representative T. Tagiev said that an agreement had been reached on China issuing a targeted loan of $3 billion for industrial exploration of the South Iolotan field. The loan conditions were not specified.45 On 29 December, 2009, with reference to a source in the Turkmen government, the Reuters Agency stated that Chinas CNPC, South Koreas LG International Corporation and Hyundai Engineering Co., Gulf Oil from the UAE, and Petrofac, quoted on the London Stock Exchange, had won the tender for exploiting the largest gas field in Turkmenistan, South Iolotan, and building gas refineries. The total cost of the contracts amounts to $9.7 billion. The contract was signed on the part of CNPC for a sum of $3.128 billion, on the part of Petrofac International (UAE) for $3.979, on the part of GulfOil & Gas (UAE) for $1.150 billion, and on the part of the South Korean companies LG International Corporation and Hyundai Engineering Co. for $1.485 billion.46
42 See: Kitayskiy otrezok gazoprovoda Turkmenistan-KNR polnostiu postroen, Turkmenistan.Ru Agency, 9 August, 2008, available at [http://www.turkmenistan.ru/]. 43 See: Hu Jintao v gostiakh u G. Berdymukhammedova, Turkmenistan.Ru Agency, 30 August, 2008, available at [http://www.turkmenistan.ru]. 44 See: V Ashkhabade proshli peregovory po gazoprovodu Turkmenistan-Kitai, Rusenergy.com., 31 March, 2009, available at [http://www.rusenergy.com]; Kitaiskaia CNPC postroit v Turkmenistane gazopererabatyvaiushchiy zavod moshchnotiu 5 mlrd kubov, CA-news Agency, 7 January, 2009, available at [http://www.ca.news.org]. 45 See: N. Grib, Turkmenskiy gaz dobudut za kitayskie dengi, Kommersant, 8 June, 2009; in terms of the reserves confirmed at the beginning of 2009 by Gaffney, Cline & Associates (Great Britain), South Iolotan is one of the four largest fields in the worldits hypothetical reserves amount to 4.7-14 tcm, which is comparable to the Shtokman gas condensate field in the Arctic (Russia) or South Pars (Iran) (see: T. Milacheva, Krupnee, chem Shtokman, PBK-daily, 20 February, 2009). At the beginning of October, this information was called into question, a repeat audit and the exploratory drilling carried out showed that the reserves at this field are 2-3-fold lower than announced previously (see: A. Kliuchkin, Turkmenskaia skazka, Internet-portal Lenta-ru, 13 October, 2009, available at [http://www.lenta.ru]). 46 See: Kitai v 2013 godu poluchit gaz iz krupneishego mestorozhdenia Turkmenii, Regnum Information Agency, 8 March, 2011, available at [http://www.regnum.ru]; Turkmeniia otdala gazovye kontrakty inostrantsam, Kommersant, 31 December, 2009.

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At the end of June, State Council Vice Premier Li Keqiang visited Turkmenistan where he signed a set of agreements with Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov that envisaged regulations for establishing a gas union between Beijing and Ashghabad. The sides did not reveal the details of the signed documents. The Xinhua Agency limited itself to saying that agreements were entered on cooperation between the PRC and Turkmenistan in the gas sphere, as well as on financial cooperation matters. It appears that mutual understanding was also reached on the price at which China will purchase Turkmen gas. At any rate, at the beginning of 2010, the Russian press announced, as already mentioned, that China paid $120 per thousand cubic meters of Turkmen gas, while Iran paid $170 for it, and Russia $190.47 On 14 December, 2009, a ceremony was held for launching the Central Asia-China gas pipeline attended by Hu Jintao, Islam Karimov, and Nursultan Nazarbaev, who came to Turkmenistan, which shows the high significance of this event. In July 2010, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Politburo He Guoxin visited Turkmenistan. At the end of the talks with Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, he confirmed the previously reached agreements on building the second branch of the gas pipeline and increasing the deliveries of Turkmen gas to 40 bcm a year, as well as Chinas proposal to increase the Central Asia-China pipeline throughput capacity to 60 bcm, of which the Turkmen share will amount to more than 50 bcm a year.48 In August 2010, information appeared with reference to Turkmen sources that Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov had instructed the heads of the republics oil and gas industry to hold talks with China Development Bank on acquiring a soft loan of $4.1 billion for further construction of production facilities at the South Iolotan field. A corresponding loan agreement between the China Development Bank and Turkmengaz was signed in April 2011; the Petrochina Corporation vouched for repayment by means of deliveries of Turkmen gas to China49 (see Table 4). Table 4
Large Projects in the Oil and Gas Industry of Turkmenistan with the Participation of Chinese Companies Investor Sinopec Year February 2007 Project Drilling 6 wells with a rated depth of 3.1 km at the Yashildepe field Capital Investments $42.3 million Type of Activity Joint Venture With Turkmenneft

CNPC

May 2007

Drilling $1.5 billion 12 exploratory wells at the South Iolotan field in 12 years

Exploration

With Turkmenneft

See: N. Grib, Turkmenskiy gaz podelili na troikh, Kommersant, 15 April, 2010. See: Ia. Khummedov, Kitai pokupaet Turkmenistan, Vremya Vostoka Portal, 5 July, 2010, available at [http:// www.easttime.ru]. 49 See: A. Grivach, Gaz v obmen na dengi. Kitai daet Turkmenii 4 mlrd doll. v schet budushchikh postavok, Moskovskie novosti, 28 April, 2011.
48

47

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 4 (continued)

Investor CNPC International

Year July 2007

Project Exploration and exploitation of the Bagtyyarlyk and Samandepe fields, as well as the adjacent areas, building infrastructure Building and operating the TurkmenistanChina gas pipeline

Capital Investments

Type of Activity Exploration and exploitation

Joint Venture CNPC International (Turkmenistan)

CNPC International

July 2007

P395 million

CNPC International (Turkmenistan)

Eximbank PRC

Novem- Reconstruction of ber the Maryazot 2007 Production Organization Novem- Building a glass ber plant 2007

20-year loan Production at a 3% interest rate for $239,358,000 20-year loan at a 3% interest rate for $60,642,000 $3.13 billion Exploration and exploitation

Eximbank PRC

CNPC/ CPTDC

Decem- Industrial ber exploitation of 2009 the South Iolotan field April 2011 Industrial exploitation of the South Iolotan field

Petrochina/ China Development Bank

$4.1 billion

Exploration and exploitation

Thanks to all these contracts, China has become not only the largest investor in Turkmenistans economy, but also the main consumer of Turkmen gas, whereby at prices much lower than the market level. It is highly questionable whether this cooperation is advantageous to Turkmenistan, but the fact remains.

Tajikistan
China is just as interested in the energy and infrastructure possibilities of Tajikistan, relations with which were invigorated in 2004 when Hu Jintao announced that the PRC was willing to issue privileged buyer credits to the SCO member states; at that time, the republics government quickly drew up 53 proposal projects for a total of $1 billion. 38

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In March 2006, the government of Tajikistan and Chinas Eximbank signed a memorandum of understanding. Three major projects were approved (building two high-voltage power transmission lines, Lolazor-Khatlon and South-North, and building the Dushanbe-Khujand-Chanak highway) and tenders were organized for their implementation among Chinese companies. On 19 April, 2006, the Barki Tojik Company (Tajikenergo) and the China Theban Electric Apparatus Stock Co. (CTEAS) signed two contracts in Dushanbe for a total of $340 million, which envisaged building the 350-km 500 kV South-North power transmission line ($281 million) and the 93-km 220 kV Lolazor-Khotlon power transmission line ($9 million). On 16 September, President Emomali Rakhmon and PRC Prime Minister Weng Jiabao took part in the official ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of the 500 kV South-North power transmission line. In November 2006, Chinas Sinohydro Corporation announced that it was willing to participate in implementing the project to build a hydropower plant on the Zeravshan River. In 2007, the contract was signed, in compliance with which the company committed itself to build the Zeravshan Hydropower Plant with a capacity of 150 MW and a 60-km 220 kV power transmission line from the power plant to the city of Panjakent. A Chinese loan of $200 million was issued for the construction for 25 years at a 1% annual interest rate; the project implementation period was 2007-2010. In March 2007, it was announced that specialists from Sinohydro Corporation had finished drawing up the feasibility report for construction of the Yavan Hydropower Plant, and as early as April the Tajikistan Ministry of Finance and Chinas Eximbank would sign the corresponding credit agreement. However, the agreement was never signed. According to Tajik experts (who were not far from the truth), political motives interfered with the transaction: busy with trying to establish gas relations with Uzbekistan, China decided to avoid coming to clashes with it over its participation in projects to build hydropower plants in Tajikistan.50 At the beginning of June 2009, a large Chinese delegation headed by CPC Central Committee Politburo member Wang Lequan visited Dushanbe. The visit ended in the signing of several agreements on cooperation, including an Agreement between the Tajik Ministry of Energy and Industry and CTEAS on building the Nurabad-1 Hydropower Plant on the Khingob River (capacity 350 MW, beginning of construction2010, amount of investments$560 million), an Agreement between the Tajik Ministry of Energy and Industry and CTEAS on building a Central Heating and Power Plant in Dushanbe (capacity 200 MW, amount of investments$400 million), and an Agreement between Barki Tojik and CTEAS on additional work for the construction of the Lolazor-Khatlon and South-North power transmission lines (additional investments$61 million).51 Apart from the projects to build power transmission lines, none of these agreements have yet been implemented. The same reason is given for this delayregard for Uzbekistans opinion, which is expressing concern about the possible cutback in water supplies to the republic. At the end of November 2010, PRC State Council Premier Weng Jiabao paid an official visit to Tajikistan. One of the documents signed during the visit envisages issuing Tajikistan a soft loan of more than $37 million from Chinas Eximbank for building the 220 kV Khujand-Ayni power transmission line in the Sogd Region. Building will be carried out by CTEAS, a company that has already recommended itself in Tajikistan.52
50 See: R.G. Abdullo, Tadzhiksko-kitayskie otnosheniia: nekotorye niuansy, Portal Centrasia.ru, 6 May, 2011, available at [http://www.centrasia.ru]. 51 See: A. Iuldashev, Wang Lequan v Dushanbe, Azia-Plus, 5 June, 2009. 52 See: R.G. Abdullo, Tadzhiksko-kitayskie otnosheniia: nekotorye niuansy; N. Pirnazarov, Tadzhikistanu nado byt bolee ostorozhnym k prozhorlivoy ekonomicheskoy akule Kitaia, CA-news Agency, 26 November, 2010, available at [http://www.ca-news.org].

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Another loan agreement for $26.5 million was signed in September 2011. The loan was issued by Chinas Eximbank; it was to be used to build the new Sogd-500 substation for the 500 kV SouthNorth power transmission line.53 This is all well and good, and Tajikistan does indeed need power transmission lines and hydropower plants. But the question is how is it going to pay back the loans? According to the Tajik Minister of Finance, Chinese loans account for around 36.6% of the total amount of the republics external debt, which had reached $1 billion 790.45 million by 1 October, 201054 (see Table 5). Table 5
Large Projects in the Oil and Gas Industry of Tajikistan with the Participation of Chinese Companies Project High-voltage South-North power transmission line (PTL-500) High-voltage Lolazor-Khatlon power transmission line (PTL-220) High-voltage Khujand-Ayni power transmission line (PTL-220) Sogd-500 substation for the 500 kV South-North power transmission line Building the Zeravshan Hydropower Plant with a capacity of 150 MW Building the Nurabad-1 Hydropower Plant on the Khingob River with a capacity of 350 MW Construction of a central heat and energy plant in Dushanbe with a capacity of 200 MW Dates 2006-2010 2006-2008 Beginning2011 Beginning2012 Beginning2008 Beginning2010 Beginning2010 Company CTEAS CTEAS CTEAS CTEAS Sinohydro Corporation CTEAS Financing $281 + 61 million loan from Eximbank $59 million loan from Eximbank $37 million loan from Eximbank $26.5 million loan from Eximbank $200 million loan from Eximbank $560 million loan from Eximbank $400 million loan from Eximbank

CTEAS

Kyrgyzstan
Chinas interest in Kyrgyzstan is associated not so much with energy as primarily with transportation and logistics projects. This is explained by the fact that Kyrgyzstan is chiefly a transshipment base for Chinese goods intended for sale in the Central Asian markets and partially in Russia. Nevertheless, China is taking part in implementing several energy projects in Kyrgyzstan. In 2004, China and Kyrgyzstan entered into partnership to build two hydropower plants on the Naryn River with investments totaling around $2 billion. However, these agreements were cancelled owing to the revolutionary uprisings in Kyrgyzstan.
53 See: A. Iuldashev, Kitai vydeliaet okolo $30 mln na obespechenie energonezavisimosti Tadzhikistana, Information Agency Asia-Plus, 3 October, 2011, available at [http://www.news.tj]. 54 See: N. Pirnazarov, op.cit.

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In August 2006, the energy industries of China (the State Grid Corporation of China) and Kyrgyzstan (Electric Power Plants and the National Electricity System of Kyrgyzstan Company) signed a protocol of intent on long-term cooperation which envisaged mutually beneficial interest in building and reconstructing power supply networks and electric power stations, as well as in exchanging technical experience. The cascade of the Saryjaz and Kambaratin hydropower plants, building power transmission lines in Kashgar, building a coal-operated central heat and power station, and reconstructing the Uchkurgan hydropower plant and central heat and power station in Bishkek can be included among the projects Chinese investors are interested in. In October 2009, one of Chinas largest companies, Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co. (TBEA), and the National Electrical Grid of Kyrgyzstan Company signed an agreement on cooperation in Beijing. It envisages Chinas participation in implementing the project to build the Datka substation and 500 kV Datka-Kemin power transmission line. The project costs $342 million. Building of the power transmission line was to begin in 2010,55 but there are no reports that it has actually begun. Kyrgyzstan is counting on Chinas assistance in rehabilitating and modernizing the central heat and power station in Bishkek, as well as in carrying out R&D work and delivering equipment from Chinese plants for hydraulic units No. 2 and No. 3 of Kambaratin-2 Hydropower Plant (the first hydraulic unit was delivered earlier from Russia, which was also supposed to deliver the second and third hydraulic units). Kyrgyzstan believes that participation in building Kambaratin-2 Hydropower Plant could be a successful investment project for the PRC in the republic; this opinion is also shared by the Chinese side. We can already begin cooperating in projects to build Kambaratin-2 Hydropower Plant and modernizing the Bishkek central heat and power station, said PRC Deputy Commerce Minister Chen Jiang at a meeting with Maxim Bakiev in January 2010.56 In May 2011, a protocol of intent was signed with Sinohydro, Chinas state building company, on building a hydropower plant on the Suusamyr River.57 At the beginning of September 2011, an agreement was reached with the Shenxi Company (the coal and chemical industry) on building an oil refinery in Kara-Balta; the anticipated amount of investment is $600 million.58

Conclusion
What conclusions can be drawn from the above? First, there can be no doubt that China has come to Central Asia with serious intentions and for the long haul, and this love affair appears to be mutual, since in most cases (particularly after 2005) the political establishment of the regions countries have been supporting Chinese companies at the highest level. Nor is there any doubt that China will augment its economic presence in Central Asia, including in the energy sphere. Second, it stands to reason that Chinas energy policy is aimed at tapping the hydrocarbon resources of Central Asia for servicing its own energy needs in the mid and especially the long term. But
55 See: D. Karimov, Kitayskiy opyt kak model dlia ekonomicheskogo razvitiia Kyrgyzstana, Information Agency 24.kg, 15 January, 2010; idem, Okeyla, mister Chudinov! Information Agency 24.kg, 16 October, 2009, available at [http:// www.24.kg]. 56 See: D. Karimov, Kitayskiy opyt kak model dlia ekonomicheskogo razvitiia Kyrgyzstana. 57 See: Iu. Mazykina, V Kyrgyzstane s kitayskim investorom podpisan protokol o namereniiakh stroitelstva GES na reke Suusamyre, Information Agency 24.kg, 31 May, 2011. 58 See: Kitay postroit v kyrgyzskoy Kara-Balte NPZ za $600 mln, Portal Tazabek, 3 September, 2011, available at [http://www.tazabek.kg].

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nor can we ignore the fact that the policy being pursued by the PRC also meets the interests of the regions states, which are striving to diversify the sources of investment in their energy sector and the directions for transporting hydrocarbons and energy. When evaluating Chinas presence in the energy sector of the CA countries, we cannot ignore the popular thesis that they are becoming a raw material appendage of the PRC, in which there is a large grain of truth. The growing internal demand in the PRC for almost all raw materials is promoting CAs transformation into a raw material appendage not only of the European, but also of the Chinese economy. The comprehensive non-competitiveness of the economies of the regions countries (compared with the nearby Chinese economy) is aggravating, if not completely preventing their opportunities to diversify their economic structure outside the raw material sector. Attaching this status to the Central Asian region is of an objective nature and there is no alternative to it in certain historical conditions. The raw material specialization of the Central Asian economies is manifested in their relations not only with the PRC, but also with all the other countries in the present-day world. And this is not so much a problem of bilateral relations with China, as an internal problem of these republics, which consists of the fact that there are very limited opportunities for productive use of the population outside the raw material production sector and several branches of agriculture in Central Asia and Eurasia.59 Finally, as someone engaged in geopolitics, I am very interested in the competition among the geopolitical actors in CA. Keeping in mind Chinas growing appetite, it can be presumed that competition among the Chinese, Western, and Russian companies operating in CA (particularly in the oil and gas sector) will grow, which will force the states of region to choose a priority partner. So there can be no doubt that an open conflict of interests between China and Russia might occur at some stage, since both these countries are trying to pursue their own advantages in CA. In this event, China will most likely try to make the states of the region choose between its investment capabilities and Russias imperial ambitions, and it will be rather difficult to predict who the Central Asian elite will vote for. It is very possible that the choice will be made in Chinas favor, particularly keeping in mind its share in creating new oil and gas, transport, and infrastructure projects and the designated changes in the PRCs image in the public opinion of the regions states. Despite the worries about Chinese expansion that exist at the mental level, today, not only the political elite, but also the population of the CA states regard China as a very worthy alternative to Russia. So the main question for me sounds rather paradoxical: how long will the idyll in relations between the PRC and CA states continue and how will China behave when it no longer has to compete with Western and Russian companies? We should always remember that we are dealing not only with a leading Asian nation, but also with a country, one of the stratagems of which is the axiom about the wise monkey sitting on the hill watching two tigers fight in the valley. And the most important thing is for the tigers not to fall into the monkeys clutches after they run out of steam. All kinds of fears and phobias should not be allowed to take the upper hand. Nor should Chinas cooperation with the regions countries in the energy sphere be shrouded in secrecy.
n

First, we need openness; all the contracts that have been signed or are being prepared for signing must be discussed with specialists, including representatives of NGOs. And this does not only apply to China, it concerns all foreign investors.

59 See: S.V. Zhukov, O.B. Reznikova, Tsentralnaia Asia i Kitay: ekonomicheskoe vzaimodeystvie v usloviiakh globalizatsii, RAS Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow, 2009, p. 160.

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Second, we need a sober evaluation of reality, which presumes a systemic study of both the political, national, sociopolitical, and ideological processes going on in China, and the specifics of its foreign policy.

CHINESE STRATEGY TOWARD CENTRAL AND SOUTH ASIA: ENERGY INTERESTS AND ENERGY SECURITY
Dr. Thrassyvoulos (Thrassy) N. MARKETOS A Jurist-Internationalist; specialized in Public International Law at the University of Aix-Marseille III (France); was nominated Doctor of International Relations by the Panteion University of Athens (Greece); works for the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs; serves as a lecturer of Eurasian geopolitics in the Athens branch of the Center for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies (C.E.D.S.Paris) (Athens, Greece)

Introduction

s Chinas economy has grown and become integrated into the global market, both have become interdependent. Therefore Chinas long-term development goals will only be possible with increasing and stable access to foreign trade, resources, and energy. The latter has become a pressing issue as the countrys dependence on international energy imports rapidly increases and might impose a limit on its growth if left unmet. This is especially important given supply shortages as a result of the recent events in Libya and given the future prospect of supply disruptions from the Middle East. In the case of oil, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast in 2010 that Chinese imports would grow from 4.3 million barrels a day (m/bd) in 2009 to 12.8 m/bd in 2035, thus rising from 53% to 84% 43

of the total demand. The issue of resource shortages will play an even more prominent role in international relations and will become an increasing source of conflict among major powers. Given the fact that some countries are more generously endowed with strategic resources, this opens up the possibility of using these tools for political gain. Historically, economic diplomacy has contributed to the shifting balance of power in the world. Nations have more often been inclined to employ economic measures in pursuit of foreign policy objectives when the legitimacy of the power of existing structures of international cooperation decreases.1 The result
1 P. Bergeijk et al. Economic Diplomacy, The Hague Journal for Diplomacy, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, pp. 1-6.

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 of the current realignment of geo-economic power will encourage nations to reassess the effectiveness of their energy, economic, and foreign policies. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense Annual Report indicated that Beijings regional energy strategy is geared to alleviate Chinas heavy dependence on sea lines of communication (SLOC) and in particular on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca and Hormuz. At present, it has a limited ability to control the flow of commodities over the Indian Ocean and through these straits. In response, China has invested heavily in bilateral relations and in developing infrastructure to support its fleet in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. Also China has multiple agreements to pipe oil and natural gas in from energy-rich Central Asian neighbors. The country is constructing a pipeline through Myanmar to bypass the Strait of Malacca. In spite of these developments, new land pipelines will only slightly alleviate the growing need in the future for maritime-based hydrocarbon transport. Also Central Asian oil can be too much of a good thing. On any given day, Russia is the worlds first or second largest oil producer, second largest oil exporter, and second largest gas producer. As Anatol Lieven says, Russia has long assumed China would be forced to depend on it

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS for oil, yet China sought out resources from other sources. Russia has not become Chinas major energy provider, unlike Europe with its heavy dependence on Russian gas and oil.2 The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently analyzed Sino-Russian energy relations and stated that Russia is only Chinas fifth largest supplier of oil, behind Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iran, and Oman. Also there has been historically little meaningful natural gas cooperation between the two countries, primarily due to failure to come to terms on a gas pipeline. The report makes it clear that the country only supplies 4% of Chinas liquefied gas. Half of Chinas LNG imports come from Australia. Also Chinese analysts remain wary over a pricing conflict with Russia, problems in Chinese upstream investment, and doubts about the willingness and ability to make the necessary investments to guarantee supply increases. According to Janes Intelligence Review, 95% of Chinese seaborne oil imports come from Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, if Chinas sea lanes become more vulnerable, the consequence will be a rise in Russian and Central Asian influence.
2 See: H. Philippens, Fueling Chinas Maritime Modernization: The Need to Guarantee Energy security, Journal of Energy Security, IAGS, December 2011, p. 2.

Background
Concerns about supply stability, cost, and resource distribution have led to a greater emphasis on resource diplomacy. Due to the interconnectedness of these issues, there has been a rise in their implementation as instruments of foreign policy. Also, as a result of the projected future rise in the global demand for energy resources, supply might become constrained. A meaningful example can be borrowed from Chinas strategic use of its rare earth elements (REEs). At the moment, China provides 97% of the worlds rare earth elements. This creates the use of REEs as a diplomatic bargaining tool, much like Russia has used oil and gas supplies to pressure European countries. China has indicated it will not use REEs in such a manner, yet in 2011 it suspended exports to Japan after a territorial row regarding claims to the Senkaku Islands and accompanying exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the East China Sea, which reached a climax in 2010 after a fishing boat collision. China might not have control over the sea lanes that provide its oil, gas, and resource supplies, but it can use its REEs as means of political leverage while it retains a monopoly over the market. REEs such as lanthanum and cerium are vital for the petroleum refining industry and are used as fluid catalytic cracking units. 44

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If REE export quotas are reduced, this will impact on the price of gasoline production. Paradoxically, REEs are a fundamental component for many green technologies needed to break out of oil-cycle fuel dependence.3 It remains extremely unlikely that China will go to war over resource issues alone as hostilities would be a severe obstacle to the prosperity of the codependent economies of China, the U.S., and other countries across the region and the world. China further needs sustained economic growth to fuel its military buildup. A major threat for the Chinese Communist Party is the fear that regional and global powers may work to boycott or blunt Chinas economic success. Prosperity has somewhat elevated domestic unrest, making continued growth a necessity.4 Chinese academic Gong Jianhua said in 2011 that Chinas territorial sovereignty, strategic resources, and trade routes comprise its core interests, and like any other country China will never compromise them. According to Chinese analysts, lack of resources and lack of trust can lead to future wars. Of these two causes, the access and control of resources will be the most fundamental. Yet in the case of energy security in the South China Sea (SCS), both trust and resource-access appear equally important. Trust is decidedly lacking in all the parties concerned. China will not rely on the U.S. Navy to patrol and police the high seas and mediate rivalries with other powers. It will therefore increasingly try to protect and assume control over its SLOC.5 On the other hand, Central Asia and Afghanistanareas that are the predominant focus of interest of Beijings inland energy security pattern (as will be explicitly referred to below)are areas that could either function as a tool in a containment strategy by the West or Russia or as a window to Europe, Iran, and the coastal regions in the South. There is a real fear of containment among the Chinese elite, even if it is not necessarily seen as a likely outcome. This is not to say that China views Greater Central Asia (GCA) as its Lebensraum, but more importantly as a strategic region for trade and security in the long term.6 This has, however, resulted in China trying to create an irrevocable presence in the region, both through bilateral relations and through multilateral institutions and its strategy of multilateral diplomacy. China has been relatively successful in expanding its operations space within GCA, despite some noticeable drawbacks. It is apparent that China has not gone very far in its establishment of multilateral structures in the region; it seems that Chinas intent is only to build structures that are sufficient for its political and economic interests. China is, however, the driving force behind the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and hopes that this will be the preferred choice for the governments in the region. On the other hand, Russia is not very interested in limiting its own influence in the region and has propagated the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The cleavage between China and Russia is reducing regional attempts at multilateralism, much to the joy of the regional governments that do not want to be dominated by either Russia or China. It is however undeniable that China and Russia are dominating the region, with China as the emerging power of influence and Russia as the older, and more influential, hegemon. There is very little leeway for the rest of the international community to infiltrate the region; this is due not to the appeal of China or Russia, but more to the lack of coordination and focus from other external actors. Major crises, such as political revolutions, create windows of opportunities for external actors to gain a foothold, hence the Russian and Chinese approaches in the case of Kyrgyzstans political chaos in April 2010.7
See: P. Bergeijk et al., op. cit., p. 2. See: H. Philippens, op. cit., p. 3. 5 See: Ibid., p. 4. 6 See: T.M. Ashraf, China Seeks an Afghan Stepping-Stone, Asia Times Online, 16 May, 2008, available at [http:/ /www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JE16Ad03.html]. 7 See: N. Swanstrm, China and Greater Central Asia: New Frontiers?, Silk Road Paper, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Silk Road Studies Program, December 2011, pp. 37-38.
4 3

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Beijing itself has institutionalized bilateral relations with various powers and has signed a number of strategic and cooperative partnerships. Of these, the Sino-Russian strategic partnership (2002) stands out as being particularly important, both bilaterally and as a foundation for future multilateralism, since it brings together, as argued by Lowell Dittmer, two large and precarious multiethnic continental empires to form a mutual help relationship that would be uniquely useful to them in the face of a relatively hostile international environment.8 Russia has become pivotal in the creation of a multilateral energy policy. The international isolation of Iran, combined with the Sino-Iranian cooperative partnership, has also given Beijing leeway in exploiting Iranian energy resources, and China has actively attempted to tie Iran to the Chinese energy network. Both the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have openly expressed their admiration of the Chinese model and have been anything but reluctant to work with China. China, together with Russia, has also been one of the more staunch supporters of Iran, even if there are indications that China has become more critical of the Iranian nuclear policy, something that was seen in Chinas acceptance of the Security Council resolution against Iran.9 The Sino-Pakistani strategic partnership, in turn, has provided China with a reliable ally against India and access to the Arabian Sea. Pakistan, which has been a close ally of China, is now facing great problems and the integrity of the state itself is under discussion; there are deep concerns in Beijing about how Pakistan will manage this. What is striking in all this cooperation, with the possible exception of Pakistan, is that they are all open for interpretation. This has been a conscious strategy on the part of Beijing, since by keeping all of these agreements open-ended and leaving them intentionally vague, China has managed to keep relations with the United States, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran on a fairly good footing. This will continue to be the Chinese policy, but it will be increasingly hard as some issues, primarily Iran and Pakistan, are difficult to handle in a neutral way.10 Another effect of the Sino-Russian, Sino-Pakistani strategic partnerships, as well as the SinoIranian cooperative partnership, is that they have facilitated a strong Chinese presence in its counterparts spheres of influence. For example, the Kremlin has grudgingly accepted a Sino-Russian modus vivendi in Central Asia, while Pakistan has few public concerns over Chinas emerging presence in Afghanistan.11 Indeed, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has publicly reiterated his ambitions to emulate Americas democracy and Chinas economic success,12 while a China-Afghanistan Comprehensive and Cooperative Partnership has also been signed, leading to much improved relations.13 This does not indicate that China is ready to surpass Russia in the Greater Middle East (GCA) in the short term; on the contrary, China finds Russia both more powerful in the GCA (excluding Pakistan) and more ready to act, as we have seen in Kyrgyzstan. This being said, there are certainly also limits to Chinas aspirations in the wider region, which trace back both to Beijings intrusion in the spheres of interest of other powers, as well as to local apprehensions about Chinese dominance. But compared with other regional powers, most notably Russia, China has demonstrated a greater willingness to respect local sovereignty in the region. For
8

L. Dittmer, The Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 10, No. 28, 2001,

p. 413.
9 See: Real Clear World VideoChina Agrees to Increase Pressure on Iran, 15 April, 2010, available at [www. realclearworld.com/.../china_agrees_to_increase_pressure_on_iran_.htm]. 10 See: N. Swanstrm, op. cit., p. 76. 11 See: N. Norling, The Emerging ChinaAfghanistan Relationship, CACI Analyst, 14 May, 2008, available at [http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/4858], 11 March, 2011. 12 Karzai Says Afghanistan Wants to Copy American Democracy, Chinas Economic Success, Voice of America, 20 June, 2006, available at [http://www.voanews.com/english/news/a-13-2006-06-20-voa6.html]. 13 See: Hu Jintao Holds Talks with Afghan President Karzai, Consulate General of the Peoples Republic of China in San Francisco, 24 March, 2010, available at [http://www.mfa.gov.cn/eng/wjb/ zzjg/yzs/gjlb/2757/2759/t675482.htm].

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example, while China has been more willing to accept the Central Asian states right to organize and form groups without external powers, Russia has firmly opposed such institutions. It seems as if the Chinese are placing far more confidence on letting investments and economic bonds do the work for them, rather than relying on coercion and zero-sum thinking, but it also indicates that China realizes its own weakness and the danger of expanding too fast and too aggressively. Other powers in the region have attempted to react to this foreign presence, especially the Chinese, whether they believe Beijings words of a peaceful rise or not. It is apparent that China has increased its influence in the region and is expected to grow much stronger over time. Considering the impact of modern transport technologies, this influence is also bound to extend further and further into the Eurasian interiors and raise the stakes for passivity from other powers. Today, Chinese railways operate at altitudes inconceivable only a decade ago, through the Kunlun and Tanggula mountain ranges, and perhaps even into Kyrgyzstan through Tian Shan; Chinas Huawei Company is supplying telephone switches to Afghanistan; and Chinese technology is the lifeline of Irans energy exploitation. It has become apparent that failure to understand the practical and political implications of Chinas engagement with Greater Central Asia will unavoidably lead to an inadequate understanding of both the opportunities that these investments open up and the challenges they present. China has not been silent about its intention to integrate the GCA region into its fold, but, on the other hand, it has not been explicit about it either. What needs to be understood are the silent but aggressive infrastructural investments in the region in collaboration with political cooperation and their impact.14

Implications
Beijings efforts to integrate into the Greater Central Asian region are restrained by the all pervasive American presence in Afghanistan. Even so, it is evident that Kabul remains a vital part of Beijings energy infrastructure, linking China with Pakistan, Iran, and the oil-rich Central Asian countries. So it came as no surprise when China secured the $3.5 billion Aynak copper field project in the remote Logar province in May 2008. China also extended the Xinjiang railway as far as Kashgar (via the Karakoram highway) about 500 km from the China-Pakistan border and is involved in the construction of a rail line to link Gwadar with the Pakistan-Iran railroad. China is taking advantage of its enormous cash reserves, buying up major energy assets in distressed countries like Afghanistan. It is also securing not only energy flows, but also key strategic advantages for years to come. Although most of its energy imports still come from the Middle East, Beijing is rapidly seeking to diversify its suppliers on a global basis: Venezuela, other Latin American countries, Africa, and Russia, as well as Central Asia. Furthermore, it has well-known strategic anxieties that the Strait of Malacca or other Indian Ocean waters may be closed to it during a time of crisis. Therefore, for geostrategic reasons, China seeks to avoid excessive dependence upon Middle Eastern and African producers. Most important, the geographic proximity of the greater Caspian basin states, many of which border on China, and the lack of a strong U.S. military presence in CA, especially one that can counter Beijings massive land power, has made it an appealing source of energy in the eyes of Chinese planners. There would be no need for the energy to be transported across the oceanwhere Chinas energy supplies would be vulnerable to potential maritime interdiction by the U.S. and Indian navies. In Beijings eyes, Tehran is privileged for being able to ship gas and oil to it overland through
14

See: N. Swanstrm, op. cit., p. 39.

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the new pipelines that China has helped to build in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and that could ultimately be connected to Iran. The Atasu-Alashankou oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to China was launched as early as December 2005, and in 2006 Beijing announced its plans to also build a natural gas pipeline parallel to it.15 Thus, Iran remains the most important Caspian producer for China. In the first quarter of 2006 alone, the gross volume of Chinas oil imports from Iran increased by 25%. Iran already supplies 1517% of Chinas annual oil imports, and the interest in an overland pipeline from Iran to China makes it clear that Irans role in Chinas energy policy will only continue to increase in the foreseeable future.16 One global power that is ready to pump legitimacy into Iranian President Ahmadinejads regime and its geopolitical aspirations is China. Given its unquenchable thirst for energy and its mega-investments in Irans energy sector, the PRC would never wish to see Tehrans strategic role and influence in CA diminished. This is because Beijing is very cognizant of the fact that an Iran in turmoil would translate into increased American influence in CA and an end to Iranian investments there, as well as destabilization of the region. The PRCs evolving energy policy is based on transporting hydrocarbons by pipeline to the coast of the Arabian Sea and onward by tanker to China. This grand strategic surge will be consolidated in a few years time once the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Then there are plans to establish a PRC-sponsored Iranian-Pakistani condominium in Afghanistan in order to transport the hydrocarbons to the main ports in Gwadar and Chah-Bahar. This is because a potential Pakistan-CAChina (Xinjiang) energy corridor would contribute significantly to enhancing Chinese energy security and reducing Chinas dependence on maritime traffic transiting the Strait of Malacca. The security of sea lines of communication is a particular concern for Chinese military strategy, especially due to the PRCs naval inferiority vis--vis the United States and to the increasing maritime competition/ rivalry in Northeast Asia. It is promoting an increased interest in developing a sufficient naval capacity for defending extended sea lines of communkcation, particularly keeping in mind that 85% of Chinese oil imports transit the Strait of Malacca.17 In the above context, a discernible shift in Chinese strategy, that is the projection of military power into the region in order to secure critical energy supplies, is evident. This imperative is also an important component of the PRCs evolving maritime strategy. Although landlocked, CA has a complementary and supporting role in Chinese maritime strategy based on three principal factors. First, China is dependent on maritime trade for its economic development; its naval capabilities are limited. Therefore, China does not have sufficient naval capacity to defend its sea lines of communication. Second, the U.S. is a potential adversary, so the PRCs vulnerability with respect to a U.S. naval campaign against its maritime trade, especially energy imports, must be kept in mind. In this case, landbased oil and gas pipelines provide a means of mitigating Chinas vulnerability to U.S. naval interdiction. Growing from the globalization of Chinese economic interests is the realization of the requirement for globally-capable armed forces, in particular naval forces to protect sea lines of communication (SLOC). In addition, since 95% of Chinas seaborne oil imports are from the Middle East and Africa and these shipments have to cross the Indian Ocean en route to China, the PRC needs to be able to maintain a presence in the Indian Ocean region. Indeed, Beijing is developing a presence there via
15 See: B. Stephen, Chinas Emerging Energy Nexus with Central Asia, Jamestown Foundation, China Brief, Vol. 6, Issue 15, 19 July, 2006. 16 See: Ibidem. 17 See: A. Homayoun, Gr. Compley, V. Bodansky, Iran Gains Strategic Momentum Balancing Russia, the PRC and the West, Defense and Foreign Affairs, Special Analysis, 10 December, 2009 (for further reading on this subject, see: Th.N. Marketos, Chinas Energy Geopolitics: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Central Asia, Routledge Contemporary China Series, 2009).

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a network of friendly portsthe string of pearls, and its naval deployment in the Gulf of Aden, where it has expressed an interest in establishing a naval base. This provides the basis for the third factor linking CA and Chinese maritime strategy, namely, the Sino-Indian rivalry. Thus the need for China to reduce the volume of energy imports transiting the Indian Ocean makes it necessary for Beijing to reduce its vulnerability to Indian naval interdiction. This, however, makes it all the more important to develop the Gwadar Port Energy Zone in Pakistan, which is also vulnerable to Indian action, thereby necessitating an increased Chinese presence in the western Indian Ocean Region and support for Pakistan. This would further exacerbate Indias concerns. The role of Central Asia in this nexus of Sino-Indian rivalry, Chinese maritime strategy, and energy security is therefore twofold. Firstly, in order to reduce vulnerability to Indian naval interdiction, land-based oil and gas pipelines linking Central Asian hydrocarbons to the Chinese market will have to provide a supplemental source of supply; Central Asian energy infrastructure is also intended to provide the link between Middle Eastern and African sources of supply via the planned Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan corridor or the so-called TAPI pipeline schedule. Second, due to Chinas dependence on the Indian Ocean Region as a critical transit area for its energy supplieseither by sea or the projected Gwadar terminal, a Chinese military presence in the region, and thus an Indian response, is necessary. In this regard, Chinas increasing presence in Central Asia provides Beijing with a northern component of a potential containment strategy vis--vis Delhi.18 Therefore, Beijing is discussing its potential participation in the projected Iran-AfghanistanPakistan-India pipeline, or so-called Peace Pipeline. Likewise, if the projected Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline (TAPI) is implemented, it too will likely attract Chinese participation. Were an energy relationship between Pakistan and China to materialize, it would only heighten the existing nexus of energy, security, and maritime power projection exemplified by Chinas support for the construction of a major deep-sea port in Gwadar, Pakistan. Islamabads role as an energy provider for China would certainly intensify Chinese efforts to help Pakistan remain secure, stable, and non-fundamentalist. It is worth mentioning here that, according to a contract signed in May 2009, Iran will start exporting 21.5 million cu m of gas a day to Pakistan. It is also important to note that both Tehran and Islamabad are cognizant that in return for their cooperation in and facilitation of the PRC energy policy, they will be provided with a PRC strategic umbrella against both the U.S. and regional foes (India, Israel, and even Russia). This grand strategy is the key to the growing PRC influence in Tehran. Tehran itself is betting on the total interdependence of Asia and Persian Gulf geo-economic policies. In this context, Tehran has proposed the Asian Energy Security Grid and the $7.6 billion Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI), both good examples of Iranian regionalization efforts, but doomed under great pressure from other actors, primarily the U.S. In the meantime, Russias and Irans desire to oppose Washingtons position to keep them away from Caspian energy transportation projects, the Iranian-American confrontation, and Tehrans doubts that Russian-American cooperation is viable, are forcing the countrys leaders to demonstrate more flexibility in regional policy and remain loyal to their alliance with Russia in the interests of their own security and as a possible counterweight to Americas Central Asian policy. In the context of the bitter geopolitical and geo-economic rivalry with Washington in CA and the Middle East, Moscow itself finds cooperation with Tehran to be its only solution, even at the expense of a compromise in the Caspian Sea delimitation process or in Irans nuclear program. So, Iran and Russia are joining forces to pull the Central Asian states onto their side by implementing such regional projects as the international transport North-South corridor, the North-South fiber optic communication line, and others, which in
18 See: J. Bospotinis, Sustaining the Dragon, Dodging the Eagle and Barring, The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2010, p. 76.

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the future might promote the economic integration of these states. Moscow is surely refund by acting as an intermediary between Iran and the West and by Tehrans consent to Russias intention to join the Islamic Council Organization (OIC) as a counterweight to Americas influence in the Islamic world in general and in the Muslim oil and gas exporters in particular. The same scheme applies to China, another of Moscows rivals in Eurasia. In fact, since the mid-1990s Russia and China have been talking about building, together with Iran, the so-called panAsian continental oil bridge, a network of pipelines that will connect the Russian and Central Asian fuel energy producers with Chinese, and possibly also Korean and Japanese, customers. This idea has the potential of being realized, provided Tehran joins the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in an energy security project binding actual SCO members (Russia, China, and the Central Asian states) with Iran. As for the European Union (EU), it is inclined to involve Russia and China in its Iranian projects, a tendency which contradicts U.S. interests in the region.19 It should be kept in mind that Iran is already an energy exporter to Europe through Turkey, funneling through Turkmenistans gas and swapping oil with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Iran, Russia, and India have also conceived new areas of cooperation that connect northern Europe to the Indian Ocean via Iran and the Russian Federation. In that sense, the 25-year supply agreement, worth up to $42 billion, signed between Iran and Switzerland, is only the prelude of what might follow if America does not find a more comprehensive way of dealing with Iran.20 The EU is also in favor of Iranian participation in projects such as Nabucco, White Stream, and Iranian-Turkish gas pipelines, with the possible inclusion of Arab gas originating from Egypt or Syria.21 These Iranian endeavors can reorient Central Asian energy routes through its territory and form a kind of gas cartel along with Russia and the CA countries, an idea put on the table recently by the Persian Gulf Council on Cooperation and approved by Tehran. Of course, any thought about Tehrans possible inclusion in the Nabucco project produces strong American opposition, but both the EU and U.S. are maneuvering new incentives for Iran to scrap its uranium enrichment program.22 As for Turkey, in an effort to become the main energy corridor to Europe through the TransCaspian gas pipeline, it is not excluding the possibility of Irans involvement. In fact, it is actively involved in the project for moving Iranian and Turkmenian gas to Europe across Turkey, which, it is convinced, will allow Europe to become independent of alternative gas suppliers. Provided that Washingtons relations with Tehran improve, these geo-economic trends might come to the fore in the U.S.s Central Asian strategy. Such thoughts sounded more realistic when the Bush administration stopped regarding Turkey as a reliable and acceptable partner for transporting energy resources to Europe. The prospects for the development of an alternative petroleum route from both the Caucasus and Central Asia to the Persian Gulf via Iran would be a wise foreign policy initiative in realpolitik terms. Iran has the potential to become an international petroleum port pumping station for its own petroleum resources, as well as those of oil-rich Central Asian republics and the Caucasus. This would minimize Russias influence and Europes reliance on Russian energy and pipeline routes, while providing a greater sense of energy security for the industrialized world. Iran clearly has the capacity for a Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran pipeline. The project, estimated to cost around $1.2 billion, is currently being considered and may develop into a viable strategy and solution, pumping 1 million bbl oil per day from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the Persian

19 20

See: Sh. Repsol, Wary of Iran Deal: Report, Payvand News, 3 May, 2008. See: US Fearful of Iran-Europe Gas Deals, Payvand News, 3 May, 2008. 21 See: D. Gollust, Major Powers Make New Incentives Offer to Iran, VOA, London, 3 May, 2008. 22 See: Ibidem.

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Gulf island of Kharg. Tehran is also supporting a projected Iran-Turkmenistan-Turkey-Europe gas pipeline, which, covering a distance of 3,900 km, was scheduled to supply up to 30 billion cu m of gas by 2010.23 Cooperation between Europe and Iran could include, apart from Irans contribution of gas for the Nabucco pipeline project, the use of the Iranian grid for the transportation of natural gas from Caucasian and Central Asian producer states to the European market, as well as European investments in the Iranian energy sector.24 Paradoxically, Washington will not be able to reduce Europes dependence on Russian gas without Irans participation. Keeping this in mind, the United States under the Obama administration changed its priorities in the Eurasian geopolitical battlefield. Russia is no longer the primary objective of the U.S. regional policy. The higher priority is to win over Turkey and Iran for a host of political reasons, first and foremost gaining Tehrans support for and assistance in expediting the U.S.s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, Washingtons primary objective is a new Nabucco fed by Iranian and Turkmenian gas (the latter shipped via Iran). To get around the existing embargo and the threat of new sanctions, the U.S. envisages a gas pipeline going from Iran to Armenia and then to Turkey. Hence the U.S. pressure on Turkey to sign the open border protocols with Armenia and violate long-standing agreements with Azerbaijan over linkage between resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and normalization of relations with Armenia. The U.S. is supporting Erevan regarding the possible independence of NagornoKarabakh on the basis of the Kosovo precedent in the negotiations sponsored by the OSCEs Minsk Group. However, both Turkey and Iran are most apprehensive about Washingtons policies, despite the seeming benefits for themselves. While not turning their back on the U.S. initiatives, they gravitate toward Moscow and recognize Russias strategic dominance in the Greater Black Sea Basin.

Conclusions
As some analysts point out, it is up to Tehran to decide whether to gain access to the Western market through participation in the Nabucco project or to join Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and some countries of CA in implementing the Energy of Asia scheme. They also suggest that cooperation within the SCO appears to be the most convenient form of integration among Russia, the Central Asian states, and Iran.25 Indeed, Iran is characterized as a geostrategic pivot. The entire geopolitical equation in Eurasia will change on the basis of Irans political orbit. Should Iran ally with the United States and become hostile to Beijing and Moscow, it could seriously destabilize Russia and China and wreak havoc on both nations. This would be due to its ethnocultural, linguistic, economic, religious, and geopolitical links to the Caucasus and Central Asia.26 Iran is a target of U.S. hostility not only because of its vast energy reserves and natural resources, but also for major geostrategic considerations that make it a strategic springboard against Russia
23 See: R. Molavi, M. Shareef, Irans Energy Mix and Europes Energy Strategy, Durham University Centre for Iranian Studies, Policy Brief, 2008. 24 See: I. Grigoriadou, Evropaiki Energiaki AsfaleiaEllhno-Tourkiki Synergasia (European Energy Security Greek-Turkish Cooperation), ELIAMEP, Policy Brief, No. 12, December 2008 (see also: Yu. Vladimir, Iran and Russia: New Start after 30-year Pause, Strategic Culture Foundation, 27 January, 2009, available at [http://en.fondsk.ru/ print.php?id=1877]). 25 See: M.D. Nazemroaya, The Eurasian Triple Entente: Touch Iran in a War, You Will Hear Russia and China, Strategic Culture Foundation, 22 January, 2012, p. 2. 26 See: H. Philippens, op. cit., p. 4.

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and China. The roads to Moscow and Beijing also pass through Tehran, just as the road to Tehran passes through Damascus, Baghdad, and Beirut. Nor does the U.S. want to merely control Iranian oil and natural gas for consumption or economic reasons. Washington wants to put a muzzle on China by controlling Chinese energy security and wants Iranian energy exports to be traded in U.S. dollars to ensure the continued use of the U.S. dollar in international transactions.27 Realizing this, in November 2011, Iran and Russia signed a strategic cooperation and partnership agreement between their highest security bodies on the economy, politics, security, intelligence ties, and coordination. As for Syria, it is being used as a tool to alienate and attack Iran. Apart from a secure port for stationing its war vessels in the Mediterranean, Russia does not want to see Syria used to reroute the energy coordinators in the Caspian Basin and the Mediterranean Basin. If Syria should fall, these routes would be resynchronized to reflect a new geopolitical reality. At the expense of Iran, energy from the Persian Gulf could also be rerouted to the Mediterranean through both Lebanon and Syria in the Levant. In his book The European Dream: How Europes Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2004), Jeremy Rifkin astutely observes fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas require a significant military investment to secure their access and continual geopolitical management to assure their availability. They also require centralized, top-down command and control systems and massive concentrations of capital (to move them from underground to end users), and again one of the end-user communities is the military that secures them. China will have to face an inconvenient truth about its current economic and military growth rate. As fossil fuel production peaks during the middle of the 21st century, this will coincide with the projected completion of Chinas full-scale blue water naval capability. Indeed, the protection of Chinas SLOC will remain the driving force behind naval modernization. Carriers will be needed to secure offshore defense and out-of-area missions, especially in the Indian Ocean where land-based aviation, even with advances in aerial refueling, will be insufficient. Thus, it is obvious that China is making the transition from a continental to sea power by increasingly shifting its focus toward naval modernization in an effort to balance and diversify access to a multitude of resources. Asia is seeing a rise in zero-sum competition over access to and control of resources, which is being accompanied by so-called energy nationalism. China is opting to secure supply lines of energy and other commodities through the SLOC in the Greater Indian Ocean, which at present it has little control over. The latter, although it became something of a backwater during the Cold War, is emerging with its maritime domain as the global systems center of gravity. As R.D. Kaplan says, it is here that the 21st centurys global dynamics will be revealed.28 China does not trust the U.S. to secure the global commons. At present, China has little ability to influence the South China Sea region and is unable to respond to any large-scale threats. Due to its assertive posture vis--vis other countries in the region, China has created a sense of insecurity, fueling an atmosphere of distrust, animosity, and resource nationalism in the Asia Pacific Region. These developments have in turn contributed to a sense of insecurity for China and have inevitably legitimized calls to modernize and expand the capabilities of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

27 28

See: H. Philippens, op. cit. R.D. Kaplan, The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, Random House, 2010.

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RELIGION IN SOCIETY

CENTRAL ASIA: THE RELIGIOUS SITUATION AND THE THREAT OF RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM
Murat LAUMULIN D.Sc. (Political Science), Senior Research Fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Introduction
n Central Asia, religion is gradually coming to the fore in everyday life as a fairly integrated phenomenon with a wide range of functions: consolidation of ethnic self-awareness, shaping spiritual and moral culture together with the awareness of being part of a religious and the world community; fulfilling social functions through religious prescriptions; formulating the ideals of social justice, as well as mans duty to the state and the states to man, etc.1 Some of the functions, however, are internally contradictory: consolidation of the religious
1 See: R. Rakhimov, Svoeobrazie islama v Tsentralnoy Azii, Rossia i musulmansky mir (INION, IV RAN), No. 1, 2011, pp. 97-114.

community does not always bring society together. In other words, in some cases religion might exacerbate the relations between the state and the religious part of society. Religious consolidation not infrequently revives old problems and breeds disagreements inside society; conscientious believers often make too rigid demands of the state (which turns them into the opposition), while any encroachments on the religious principle of fairness may stir up protest feelings. In different countries, religious communities have different reasons for and ways of opposing the state; however, there is one common denominator: the gap between the religious interpretation of justice and the duties of the faith53

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 ful, on the one hand, and state expediency, on the other. Not all religious communities disagree with the state: the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) insist on obedience to the authorities (since all authority is given by God, Allah). These religious teachings contain certain reservations which permit disobedience, and religious radicals never miss the chance to exploit them. America, which tends to exploit religious radicalism to maintain instability in Central Asia, is another factor of the mounting religiouslymotivated extremism and terrorism.

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS This is the context in which religions are functioning in Central Asia.2
2 See: Tsentralnaia Azia segodnia: vyzovy i ugrozy, ed. by K.L. Syroezhkin, KISI, Almaty, 2011, pp. 130-156; D. Fayzullaev, Radikalizatsia islama v postsovetskoy Tsentralnoy Azii, Azia i Afrika segodnia, No. 11, 2008, pp. 1519; A.V. Mitrofanova, Tsentralnaia Azia i radikalny islam, Azia i Afrika segodnia, No. 2, 2009, pp. 50-56; A. Nanaeva, Islamskiy fundamentalism kak osnova razvitia politicheskogo islama v iuzhnom regione Tsentralnoy Azii, Rossia i musulmansky mir, No. 2, 2009, pp. 79-85; D. Chaudet, Islamist Terrorism in Greater Central Asia: The Al-Qaedization of Uzbek Jihadism, Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 35, IFRI. Russia/NIS Center, Paris, 2008, 29 pp.

Islams Development Trends in the Region


There are several opinions in Central Asia about religion and its development. It is believed that Islam is strengthening its position in many spheres of the public and personal life of the local population, the bulk of which regards itself as Muslim. Some five or six years ago this was a mere formality, while today, Muslims are demonstrating much greater interest in Islam and its meanings.
n

One third of the total number of Muslims only pay lip service to their faith; this suggests answers to some of the questions. Why are the Salafis relatively successful in the region? The answer is obvious: the considerable interest in Islam breeds numerous questions, the answers to which are supplied by the Salafis rather than the official Muslim clergy. Muslims who pay lip service know next to nothing about the fundamentals of Islam, which makes them easy prey for extremists.3 This explains why, despite the obvious absurdity of their arguments, extremists have no shortage of supporters in Central Asia. The second trend is closely associated with the first: the regional countries are Islamized, which has positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, Islam brings spiritual health to society and can positively affect local politics. However, the other side of the coin is that by insisting on strict obedience to the Sharia, the Islamists overburden society, which can be treated as a negative aspect. The third trend, viz. the secular nature of all the local states, compensates for the regions growing Islamization. The diverse opinions about the future of Islam and its impact on the state system in different countries of the region can be put in a nutshell: the majority of the regions population prefers to live in secular states. Sociological polls drew an even clearer picture of what people want: from 55% of those who favor secular regimes in Kyrgyzstan (the lowest share: the local people are prepared to

3 See also: E. Freedman, Authoritarian Regimes, Muslims Religious Rights in Central Asia and Lack of Foreign Press Coverage of Rights Violations, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010; M.B. Olcott, Velika li ugroza jihada v Tsentralnoy Azii, Pro et contra, No. 2, 2009, pp. 39-52.

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accept Islam as a bond needed to keep the people together in a fairly shaky state) to 90% in Kazakhstan. The other states lie somewhere between the two extremes.
n

The fourth trend is the diminishing of direct foreign influence on the nature of Islam in Central Asia. This has happened for several reasons: (1) the spiritual administrations of the Muslims of Central Asia (which are frequently and justly criticized) remain within the traditional Hanafi maddhab, which is the most loyal to the state and popular traditions; (2) the authorities in all the countries are working hard to prevent infiltration of extremism and its impact on the regions Islamic structures by tightening laws and cutting down on the number of those who study Islam abroad.4

Today, foreign influence on the nature of Islam professed in the region is much weaker than before; in the past it was considerable and is still bearing fruit: foreign missionaries planted the seeds of nontraditional versions of Islam in Central Asia. The current landslide in the radicalization of Islam is explained by the following: Widespread poverty and property gaps; Inadequate efforts of the state in education, health protection, etc; The power struggle between clans and groups; Disdain for the basic democratic principles (human rights, rule of law, etc.); The peoples inability to affect decision-making at the state level; Many years of foreign missionaries successful efforts to spread radical Islam in the region; The external geopolitical impact, of which radical Islam is the main instrument.

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan


According to official sources, 80% of the countrys total population belongs to the Muslim community, which includes about 20 ethnic groups: 60% are Kyrgyz; about 15% are Uzbeks; over 5% are Kazakhs, Tatars, Tajiks, Dungans, Uighurs, Turks, Bashkirs, Chechens, Darginians, etc. Nearly all of them are Sunnis (the Hanafi maddhab); no more than 1,000 belong to Shia Islam. There are three Islamic universities, seven Islamic institutes, and 52 madrassahs in the republic; about three thousand imams serve in 2,050 mosques. The figures were supplied by Supreme Mufti of Kyrgyzstan Ch. azhy Zhalilov at a press conference on 19 April, 2011. Over 1,700 mosques, nine Islamic higher educational establishments, 60 madrassahs, and about the same number of centers, public funds, and associations are officially registered with the State Commission for Religious Affairs.5 About one thousand functioning mosques are not registered. The number of religious facilities in the republic is on the rise; in 2010 alone, 100 new mosques were registered, many of them built on money supplied by Muslim countries.
4 See: A.V. Shustov, Transformatsia etnokonfessionalnoy struktury novykh nezavisimykh gosudarstv Tsentralnoy Azii (1990-epervoe desiatiletie 2000-kh gg.), Vostok-Oriens (IV RAS), No. 5, 2011, pp. 98-115. 5 See: K. Malikov, Voprosy modernizatsii obrazovatelnykh uchrezhdeniy v Kirgizstane, Rossia i musulmansky mir, No. 1, 2010, pp. 103-109.

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A public opinion poll about the peoples attitude to the much more active propaganda of Islam produced the following figures: 76.6% are positive; 2.5% percent are negative; 8.6% are neutral; while 12.3% are undecided. The republics official Muslim community is headed by the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan (DUMK); despite the fact that new heads were appointed in 2010, the structure is not very popular among the congregation. Two Sufi orders (Naqshbandia and Qadiriya) are more popular than the others. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is the largest religious minority; it counts all Russians and Russian-speakers as its followers (which means that religious affiliation is identified with ethnic). They comprise about 10% of the total number (5.2 million). There are 55 Orthodox parishes, one Orthodox convent, and four church schools; there are also two parishes of Old Believers and four Roman Catholic parishes. There are about 280 Protestant communities in the republic (48 Baptist; 21 Lutheran; 49 Pentecostal; 35 Presbyterian; 45 communities of the Charismatic Church; 49 communities of Jehovahs Witnesses; and 30 communities of Seventh-Day Adventists). The Church of Christ with about 14 thousand parishioners (35% of whom are ethnic Kyrgyz) is the largest of the Protestant communities. There is a Jewish community in the republic; its synagogue is very active in the public and humanitarian sphere: it distributes food, teaches Jewish culture, etc. The small Buddhist community uses one temple; there are 12 Bahai prayer houses. The Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations in the Kyrgyz Republic was enacted by a presidential decree on 12 January, 2009. Parallel Islam is represented by non-traditional Wahhabi or Salafi jamaats (Hizb ut-Tahrir, Akhmadiya, Nurjiler, Suleymania, etc.). Since 2005, the number of Muslims who prefer radical Islam has been steadily increasing; according to leading Kyrgyz experts, Salafis and Wahhabis are expanding the area of their activities. They pointed out that the Salafis presented no threat to the leading regimes; they do not claim political power, which means they could essentially be left in peace. However, there is one stumbling block: their teaching distorts the religious foundations of the Hanafi maddhab, the religion of the absolute majority of the regions Muslims. And this is absolutely true. Radical Islamic trends have been readily embraced in Kyrgyzstan not only because of the poverty of the absolute majority and the weak state, but also because none of the Muslim leaders tried to oppose the radical trends. In Kyrgyzstan, only 30 to 40% of the imams have special theological education; the clan system and corruption in the religious sphere cause social, economic, political, and spiritual frustration. In this context, the social aspects of radical proliferation are easily blended with Islamist ideology; radical protest generates Islamist feelings, and vice versa. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) stepped up its activities in light of the ethnic conflicts between the Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in 2010. They plundered several Orthodox churches (an unprecedented event in the republics history); the synagogue was bombed (no casualties according to the law enforcers). Orthodox priest Father Dmitry said that at the same time an Orthodox cemetery was desecrated in the north of Kirgizia; over 30 graves were destroyed. He also said that the republic had recently lived through a wave of plundering of Protestant prayer houses; in the last two months, 15 Protestant churches had suffered. Everything happened according to the same pattern: a group of four or six armed Asians in masks burst into the churches; they attacked the guard, tied him up, and tortured him; some guards died. They stole everything of value, mainly money. 56

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On 18 January, when speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Z. Rysaliev said that there were 1,279 terrorists registered in the republic (86.1% of whom were born in the south); 1,192 of them support Hizb utTahrir; 49 are Wahhabis; 36 are Akromists, and two are IMU members. On the whole, between 1999 and 2010, the country lived through 1,059 acts of extremism; in 2010, there were 101 known instances, 64 of them led to criminal cases; 21 cases were sent to the State National Security Committee for further investigation. In 2010, law enforcers confiscated 12,179 extremist materials (including 3,151 leaflets; 126 magazines; 3,168 books; 7 brochures; 22 newspapers; and 67 videos). Foreign special services are also aware of the activities of Islamist radicals in Kyrgyzstan. The Country Report on Terrorism 2008 of the U.S. Department of State based on secret service reports pointed out that between 2006 and 2008 the number of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist political movement advocating the establishment of a borderless, theocratic Islamic state throughout the entire Muslim world increased by 10 thousand (from 5 to 15 thousand). Its members congregate in the south among the compact communities of ethnic Uzbeks, however, as the report says, it is reportedly achieving an increased following in the north as well. Kyrgyz officials reported growing support for and bolder public outreach by HT. On 26 May, 2009, the Ministry of Interior of Kyrgyzstan refuted what the Department of State had written in its report relating to the number of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir operating in the republic. Illegal activities with religious undertones have not subsided. On 1 August, 2011 an armed group suspected of contacts with the Union of Islamic Jihad, an international terrorist organization, was detained outside Bishkek. There were two law enforcers among its members, one of whom resisted arrest and was killed. Huge amounts of firearms were confiscated; seven members were arrested and taken to the State National Security Committee; the other law enforcer escaped and was put on the wanted list. The government, the DUMK, and other official Islamic structures have been trying in vain to gain a grip on the developments. In November 2010, the DUMK adopted a fatwa on the preservation of interconfessional consent in coordination with the State Agency for Religious Affairs; at their joint meeting the two structures condemned those who looted churches and prayer houses during the 2010 conflict. Their spokesmen announced that these were crimes pure and simple with no other undertones. The qadis of the regions and the imams of all the mosques were instructed to explain to the Muslims that religious intolerance could not be accepted. Kyrgyz officials discussed a ban on education in religious establishments abroad. K. Uzakov, head of the republican State Committee, pointed out, It would be expedient to ban religious education for our young men abroad since religious extremism threatens our state security; to stress the point he referred to Tajikistan. He deemed it necessary to point out that Wahhabism is the state religion in several Islamic countries and went on to say, we do not know what sort of education our young men can receive there. He insisted that there are over 50 higher and secondary educational establishments and that those who teach there are adequately educated. Deputy Head of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Osh Region M. Nurdinov was of the same opinion: the imam killed during a special operation on 29 November, 2010, had studied abroad; the other one, who dispatched young men to terrorist camps, allegedly for education purposes, studied abroad for about five years. According to experts, Islamization in Kyrgyzstan is going on at a pace unmatched in the other Central Asian republics. About 50% of the republics total population sided with the idea of an Islamic state. 57

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The Republic of Tajikistan


According to expert assessments, 97% percent of the population (slightly over 7 million) are Muslims; according to the government, the share is 99%. Most of the Muslims belong to the Hanafi maddhab of Sunni Islam; a law of March 2009 made it the official religion. Minister of Culture M. Asrori explained that the new law was prompted by religious radicalism, nihilism, and some other Islamic trends alien to our people spreading in our country. About 4% are Ismailites who live in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and in several districts of the Hatlon Region and in Dushanbe. There are 27 central mosques, 325 cathedral mosques, 3,334 juma mosques, and one Jamoatkhona (Ismaelian religious community) in the country. The cathedral mosques are free to elect their imams, publish periodicals, and run Islamic publishing houses (according to the data of the Department for Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Culture as of 1 August, 2010). There is an Islamic university in Tajikistan and 19 registered madrassahs (figures for September 2010); religious education in private homes is banned; religious structures can set up their schools and grammar schools; in 2009, a new subject, Islamic Studies, was added to the secondary school curriculum (for the eighth to eleventh grades). By 2010, the Department for Religious Affairs had registered 83 non-Islamic groups, the largest of them being Orthodox Christians (150 thousand). There are also Baptists, Roman Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, Lutherans, and Protestant Korean denominations. In Dushanbe and other big cities, there are even some very small religious communities (Bahais, Zoroastrians, and Judaists). Some religious communities are either banned or not registered; two local Christian groups Haeti farovon and Jehovahs Witnesseswere banned in December 2008 and January 2009, respectively. About 0.01% are atheists or do not belong to any confession. The Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan founded in 1990 is the regions only religious party. All religious associations have to obey the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations enacted in 2009.6 Terrorist acts with obvious religious roots are not infrequent in the republic, which suffers from an intricate intertwining of clan struggle, corruption, involvement of state structures in drug trafficking, and inability of the official Islamic leaders to keep religious activities within the law. This cannot help but increase the number of extremist and terrorist Islamist acts; here are several pertinent facts.7 The largest terrorist act of the last few years took place on 5 September, 2010 in the city of Khujand, in the republics north. It killed two militiamen and left 30 wounded. The investigatory structures and Secretary of the republics Security Council A. Azimov treated it as a terrorist act staged by IMU fighters. It should be said that the IMU is invariably accused of all terrorist acts in Tajikistan. Islamists were accused of a bomb blast which took place in November 2007 on the grounds of Kohi Vahdad (the Palace of Unity) in which one person was killed. In June of the same year a bomb exploded on the grounds of the republics Supreme Court. Earlier, in 2006, the building of the Ministry of Emergency of Tajikistan was attacked three times. Some think that external forces were involved in the attacks carried out by suicide bombers.
6 See: A. Rakhnamo, Transformatsia politicheskoy kultury politicheskogo islama v Tadzhikistane, Tadzhikistan i sovremenny mir (TsSI, Dushanbe), No. 1, 2009, pp. 83-69. 7 See: A. Nanaeva, Islamskiy fundamentalism i politicheskiy islam v stranakh Tsentralnoy Asii (na primere Tadzhikistana i Uzbekistana), Rossia i musulmanskiy mir, No. 1, 2009, pp. 84-93.

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In the Rasht District (in the Pamir foothills), fighters of one of the local terrorist organizations attacked a column of 75 military dispatched to the so-called Rasht district group (180 km to the east of Dushanbe) to apprehend 23 dangerous criminals who had escaped from a temporary detention center of the State National Security Committee on 23 August, 2010. The column was ambushed and attacked with sub-machine gun, machine-gun, and grenade projector fire as it was pulling out of a gorge. According to the official figures, 24 people fell victim to the attack (independent media wrote about no fewer than 40 people were killed, 5 of them officers). The law enforcers insisted that the attack was a terrorist act pure and simple and shifted the responsibility onto commander of the irreconcilable Tajik opposition A. Rakhimov (Mullo Abdullo) and his assistant A. Davlatov. The fugitive criminals (5 of them were Russians) planned to join Rakhimovs unit. Only seven of them have been caught so far. The RF Embassy to Tajikistan explained that the fugitive Russians born in Daghestan had come to the republic allegedly to study Islam. They were all convicted to long terms in prison for their involvement in an attempted coup and unconstitutional activities. According to the Defense Ministry of Tajikistan, today the unit of Mullo Abdullo (its numerical strength remains unknown) includes fighters from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia who can easily find their bearings in the mountains, are mobile and, most important, are supported by most of the locals living in the Pamir foothills. The ministrys statement, which called the group a lawless international said that they had hoisted the banner of the holy religion of Islam to turn the republic into the battleground of a fratricidal war. According to official sources, 11 members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist party, were arrested (two of them Uzbek nationals), brought to court, and sentenced to prison terms (from 3 to 20 years) for inciting national, racial, and religious enmity; propaganda of extremist activities, violent regime change and constitutional changes; organization of extremist groups; and involvement in political parties, public or religious alliances, or organizations which according to enforced court judgments should be liquidated or banned because of their extremist nature (typical wording of similar cases). Late in March 2011, eleven members of Hizb ut-Tahrir (all of them Tajik citizens) were sentenced to 4 to 20 years in prison. According to the public prosecutor of the Sogd Region, in 2010 ninety criminal cases were instituted against 42 members of the same organization (banned in Tajikistan). In the first three months of 2011, twenty-nine members of the same organization were brought to court on criminal charges and three criminal cases were opened. Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in Tajikistan since 2001; in 2008 it was listed as an extremist organization and its activists were prosecuted. The state does a lot to oppose religiously motivated extremist and terrorist crimes. The Committee for Religious Affairs plans to reform the Council of the Ulemas in full conformity with the new law. On 10 September, 2010, after prayers in the central mosque of Tajikistan, Head of the Id al-Fitr Committee A. Kholikov announced that the Council of the Ulemas would acquire new heads and that this would be followed by measures designed to achieve fuller freedom of conscience and would prove useful for the countrys religious organizations. Some think that the reforms of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Tajikistan will give the state more freedom to deal with mosques and the faithful. A little earlier, President Rakhmon separated the Committee for Religious Affairs from the Ministry of Culture; since then it has been involved in devising and implementing all sorts of limitations on the activities of religious organizations across the country. The lower chamber of the parliament of Tajikistan approved amendments to the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations (2009), according to which all those wishing to study 59

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theology abroad should obtain official permission; they should receive corresponding documents from the Ministry of Education and the Committee for Religious Affairs. The deputies said that the bulk of Tajik students prefer to be educated in Iran where Shia is the dominant trend, while the majority of Tajiks are Sunnis. The state will decide in which country citizens of Tajikistan will study and what type of education they will receive; this will help to avoid conflicts between clerics and in society as a whole, said member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (headed by the president) D. Davlatzoda. He pointed out that 1.5 thousand students were studying at the Islamic University in Dushanbe; that there are about six thousand official students at 19 madrassahs, one grammar school, and two mixed secular-religious schools. Late in August 2010, President Rakhmon voiced his serious concern that those who studied abroad came back as terrorists and extremists and called on parents to bring their children home immediately. It should be said that today no more than 60 Tajiks are still learning religious subjects abroad; the others have returned. Tajikistan tries to preserve the secular nature of the state; it bans headscarves at schools and other educational establishments. Recently the president criticized women who continue to wear Muslim headscarves. Mosques were closed down (most of them in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region); imams were replaced (in 2010 about 20 imams of the largest mosques were removed); the list of banned organizations was extended and laws in the religion sphere tightenedthis was expected to stabilize the religious situation. Today, the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan fears prohibition; to avoid this it concentrates on social and charity programs. Some of the above measures are approved inside the country and abroad; other measures are resolutely condemned. The United States, for example, became concerned with the serious violations of religious freedom in Tajikistan. According to ITAR-TASS, U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly at OSCE made a statement, the text of which was published by the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe. The American diplomat was quoted as saying: The most severe abuses of religious freedom take place under authoritarian governments; those that seek to control all religious thought and expression as part of a more comprehensive determination to control all aspects of political and civic life. Some governments cite concerns about political security as a basis to repress peaceful religious practice. We see this today in the OSCE especially in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. This statement was suggested by the recent draft law on the responsibilities of parents, which would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from participating in religious communities (the ban extended to prohibiting children under 18 who did not attend religious schools from attending mosques). The government keeps an eye on the Salafis, whose organization was banned in January 2009; by mid-2009, forty members were arrested. The first Salafis appeared in Tajikistan back in 2005; today there are over 20 thousand of them. Senator A. Turajonzoda explained that they are mainly young men educated at the International King Faisal University in Islamabad and universities of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where the position of the Salafis was especially strong. Tajik students received financial assistance from all sorts of public organizations in Arab countries which paid for university courses, housing, and stipends. An analysis of their dangerous activities (in Tajikistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world), which not infrequently enjoy support from the West, suggests that these structures are backed by foreign special services. 60

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The Republic of Uzbekistan


According to the official figures, about 93% of the republics population are Muslims (the bulk of them are Sunnis of the Hanafi maddhab; 1% are Shia living in the Bukhara and Samarkand regions). As of 1 July, 2010, there were 2,226 registered religious organizations (they belonged to 16 confessions); 2,051 of them were Muslims (including mosques and educational and Islamic centers) and 175 Christians.8 Several Shia denominations are active among the Muslim communities; there are 50 educational religious structures and an Islamic university. Religious minorities are united into 52 communities of Protestants of Korean denominations; 37 ROC communities; 23 Baptist communities; 21 communities of Pentecostals (Full Gospel); ten communities of Seventh-Day Adventists; eight Judaic communities; five communities of Roman Catholics; six Bahai communities; two Lutheran communities; four New Apostles Creed communities; two communities of the Armenian Apostolic Church; one community of Jehovahs Witnesses; one community of the Society for Krishna Consciousness; one Buddhist community; one Christian Voice of the Lord Church; and one interconfessional Bible Society. The Tashkent Islamic University set up in 1999 on a presidential initiative (as a response to a series of terrorist acts in the republics capital) and patronized by the Cabinet is a secular higher educational establishment where all sorts of subjects are taught with the help of latest secular methodologies. Orthodox Christians comprise about 4%; their share is steadily shrinking due to the outflow of ethnic Russians and other Slavs. Another 3% belong to small religious communities of Catholics, Christian Koreans, Baptists, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, Jehovahs Witnesses, Buddhists, Bahais, and Krishnaites, or they are atheists. There are about ten thousand Ashkenazi and Bukhara Jews, who mainly live in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand. In the early 1990s, anti-government Islamist movements took shape in Ferghana; they have been growing ever since. It should be said that prior to the 1998 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations, there were about seven thousand religious communities in the republic, the larger part of them being Islamic. According to various sources, there was a large number of unregistered organizations (after registration their numbers shrank to 1,500). Leaders and members of unregistered religious organizations (especially those suspected of proselytism) were persecuted; surprise inspections and arrests were not infrequent; some members were brought to court on criminal charges. The law bans religious attire in public places. It is common knowledge that Uzbekistan acts harshly in the religious sphere; it was the first in the region to repress Islamist radicals; the number of people sent to prison for illegal activities in the religious sphere is the highest in the region. Its laws ban proselytism, uncontrolled import and dissemination of religious literature (censorship councils were set up), as well as private teaching of religious subjects, violations being treated as criminal offences.9 Here are several typical examples. In 2010, members of Nur, a Turkish Muslim organization, were sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison (it is officially listed as an extremist organization; its membership is believed to be 141). Hundreds of suspected religious extremists were arrested after three large-scale crimes which took place in the summer of 2009; many of them belonged to banned religious organizations but were not guilty of the crimes.
8 See: S. Agzamkhojaev, Sovremennoe sostoyanie islamskogo obrazovania v Uzbekistane, Rossia i musulmanskiy mir (IMEMO/IV RAN), No. 1, 2010, pp. 124-133. 9 See: B. Babadzhanov, Islamskoe dvizhenie Uzbekistana: juhad kak ideologia izgoev, Rossia i musulmanskiy mir, No. 3, 2010, pp. 105-125.

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The ban of or punishment for unregistered religious activities are the most typical human rights violations in Uzbekistan; Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, and Jehovahs Witnesses, as well as those who belong to other creeds, also suffer. Uzbekistan is determined to keep religious organizations in check; it is hard to acquire official registration; the state keeps an eye on most of the Muslim communities; in the countryside mosques are closed or their official registration annulled. A human rights activist who asked to remain anonymous due to his fear of being repressed by the state said, The government does not want more mosques in the villages. It is not only hard to register an independent mosque in the countryside; those already registered are losing their registration. All religious literature brought into the country is scrutinized, however since early 2011 the number of illegally imported books and other printed matter has been on the rise. The State Customs Committee reports that in the first few months of 2011 there were 66 attempts to smuggle 2,571 copies of religious works and 62 items of religious video and audio materials by various means of transportation and by post. Recently officials of customs checkpoints in Tashkent confiscated 547 copies of journals and leaflets published in South Korea and 120 copies printed in the U.K. and Germany. Since the mid-1990s, Islamic radicals have been persecuted in great numbers; today, as many as several tens of thousands are behind bars; many of them have been sentenced to over 15 years and will remain in prison until the next amnesty. The International Religious Freedom Report 2010 of the U.S. Department of State says that Uzbekistan is frequently listed together with other violators of freedom of conscience and that on 16 January, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State redesignated Uzbekistan as a Country of Particular Concern.

The Republic of Turkmenistan


There are no official figures about the number of followers of different confessions in Turkmenistan; we all know, however, that Sunni Muslims are in the majority (they are ethnic Turkmens, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, and Baluchis). Shia Muslims (mostly ethnic Iranians, Azeris, and Kurds) live in small communities along the Iranian border and in the city of Turkmenbashi. Traditional rites (veneration of ancestors) figure prominently in the local version of Islam. The Council for Religious Affairs regulates relations between the state and confessions; according to its information, in 2010 there were 398 mosques in the republic. The ROC runs 13 Russian Orthodox parishes (three of them in Ashghabad, the republics capital) and a monastery, also in Ashghabad. In 2008, all the ROC parishes in Turkmenistan were transferred directly to the Moscow Patriarchate. Small communities (Jehovahs Witnesses, Judaists, Shia Muslims, and several evangelical Christian groups, such as Baptists and Pentecostals) function without registration. A small community of ethnic German Lutherans lives in the city of Sarakhs and its environs. There are about 1,000 ethnic Poles who have already blended into the Russian community and consider themselves to be Orthodox Christians. There is a Catholic community in Ashghabad which consists of citizens of Turkmenistan and foreigners; they use the chapel of the Papal Nuncio. There are about 1,000 Jews in Turkmenistan who have neither rabbis nor synagogues. Turkmenistan is practically free from Islamic radicals; there are essentially no cases of religiously motivated terror for two reasons: first, the spiritual traditions of the Turkmens, who at no time have 62

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been devoted to fundamentalist Islamic trends; and, second, the states strict control over the religious life of its citizens. In 1994, a Gengesh (Council) for Religious Affairs under the president appeared, which is headed by a chairman and his deputies: mufti; deputy mufti, bishop of Turkmenistan (an Orthodox priest) and a state official. There are regional (velayat) councils for religious affairs at the local administrations headed by the chief imams of each of the regions. The muftis and other clerics are paid by the state, a flagrant violation of Art 12 of the Constitution, which says religious organizations are separate from the state. Turkmenistan prefers to ignore those who criticize this violation of its fundamental law. The partial regime liberalization of 2008 did nothing to alleviate control over religious communities and over what is preached in the mosques and churches. Very much as before, in 2008 the number of those wishing to perform hajj to Mecca was limited, under a decree issued by President Berdymukhammedov, to 188 (the number of seats in the Turkmen Airlines airplane chartered to take people to Saudi Arabia at the expense of the company). Political scientists and other experts agree that as distinct from its neighbors Turkmenistan has avoided the danger of the influence of Wahhabi groups and their agents in its territory. This became possible thanks to strict control by the state and special services and because neither the Turkmen religious milieu nor the Turkmens mentality is conducive to religious fundamentalism. Fundamentalist Islam stands little chance in this country. So far, practically all the emissaries that Hizb ut-Tahrir dispatched to Turkmenistan have failed; the local people remain indifferent to the ideas and the religious literature smuggled into the country. No-one knows whether the local Muslims are profoundly religious: the huge mosques in Ashghabad remain half empty on Muslim holidays. Some observers think that the states total control has taught people to pray at home. The Country Report on Terrorism 2008 of the U.S. Department of State says that Turkmenistan was involved in international counterterrorist measures and that clandestine passage was still possible due to long and porous borders that stretch across mountain and desert terrain, as well as the small size and uneven quality of Turkmenistans border guard and customs services. The report contains concise information about September 2008 violence in the Khitrovka region of Ashghabad, which started for obscure reasons and lasted for a long time. This forced the Government of Turkmenistan to reevaluate its counterterrorism program, training partners, and readiness. The same report says, Turkmenistans law enforcement and security agencies exert stringent security control over all aspects of society, making it unlikely that Turkmenistan could easily be used as a terrorist safe haven. The country has opted for a fairly original and efficient religious policy which keeps it safe from Islamic radicalism.

The Republic of Kazakhstan


The polyconfessional and polyethnic Republic of Kazakhstan has over 3,300 religious organizations which belong to over 40 confessions and denominations. The situation in this country proves that religion (traditional and non-traditional confessions and all sorts of religious associations) can have both a positive and negative effect on the social and political processes.10
10 See: B.S. Zhusipov, Religiozny ekstremizm kak ugroza bezopasnosti Kazakhstana, Kazakhstan-Spektr (KISI), No. 1, 2009, pp. 35-41; M. Asanbaev, L. Umirzakova, New Forms of Religious Extremism in Kazakhstan: Destructive Sects

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Religion is viewed as a positive factor; however more than a third of the population regards it as a negative phenomenon. It can be said that the people of Kazakhstan have not agreed on how to treat religion and its influence on social relations. Positive opinions, however, prevail.11 The South Kazakhstan Region is more religious than the rest of the country and stricter in following Islamic postulates. It should be said that city dwellers are more negative about the role of religion in contemporary society. The larger part of the republics population prefers to commune with God directly; a third of the polled are undecided about whether religious services and rites are necessary; and there is no agreement on the role of the church/mosque and clerics. Sociologists have pointed out, however, that Muslims are more positive about the role of religion than the followers of other confessions; they are more positive about the role of religious services/rites which open the road to God. Kazakhs are more positive about the role of religion than Russians and other ethnic groups, who point to the negative sides of religion12; 75% of the people of Kazakhstan describe themselves as religious, while 15.5% do not regard themselves as believers. The degree of religiosity differs from region to region; according to official polls, in the Atyrau region there are 3.3 times more religious people than in Almaty and Astana. Villagers are more devout than city dwellers: 11.6% of villagers perform namaz (7.4% in cities). The same goes for zakat and saum. City dwellers, on the other hand, have more money to pay for hajj. One out of ten people in Kazakhstan has problems associated in one way or another with his faith; the followers of other religions are more frequently exposed to problems than Muslims and Orthodox Christians. There is a more or less widely shared opinion that radical religious groups and their activities can spoil relations among the followers of different religions. In the countryside, people believe that interconfessional relations are more or less stable, while in cities people are aware of negative factors. Over half of Kazakhstan citizens (67.4%) pointed out that their faith has become stronger in the last three years, although only 3.6% of the total population is prepared to follow the Holy Scriptures and advice of priests when it comes to important decisions. This means that religiosity in Kazakhstan is skin deep. According to sociological polls people in the South Kazakhstan and West Kazakhstan regions are more religious than people in other regions; recently people in Almaty have become more religious, while in the Karaganda Region one out of five has lost his faith. Since August 2008, however, the people of Kazakhstan have been losing their previously positive opinion of religion. Today, many more people are convinced that religion manipulates public opinion and uses the faithful to pursue its own interests. This does nothing good for the nations social cohesion.
and Cults, Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 1 (55), 2009, pp. 42-48; A. Izbairov, S. Ayazbekov, Osobennosti religioznoy situatsii v Kazakhstane: sushchestvuiushchie problemy, Kazakhstan v globalnykh protsessakh (IMEP, Almaty), No. 4, 2008, pp. 78-86. 11 See: T. Kozyrev, Novye tendentsii v razvitii etno-konfessionalnoy situatsii v Kazakhstane, Analytic (KISI), No. 5, 2009, pp. 87-90; K. Smagulov, The Religious Situation Today in Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Volume 12, Issue 3, 2011, pp. 45-64. 12 See: N. Krasnobaeva, Religioznaia situatsia v Vostochno-Kazakhstansky oblasti, Rossia i musulmanskiy mir, No. 7, 2010, pp. 71-76; I. Tsepkova, Mezhkonfessionalnye otnoshenia v Kazakstane, Rossia i musulmanskiy mir, No. 11, 2009, pp. 72-76.

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In October 2011, the country acquired a new law on religion; amendments which had been postponed for over ten years were finally introduced under the pressure of Western human rights organizations, the ROC, public figures, and politicians; the Protestant churches were more critical than the others. The new Law on Religious Activity and Religious Organizations replaced the old one On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations of 15 January, 1992; their titles suggest that the old one was designed to ensure religious freedom while the new law regulates the activities of religious organizations. The new law outlined the responsibilities of the Agency for Religious Affairs of Kazakhstan, which is expected to study and analyze missionary activities and religious organizations, coordinate the activities of the local executive structures dealing with religious affairs, organize religious study examination, check the lists of citizens who initiate religious groups, and coordinate the activities of foreign religious alliances in the republic and appointments of heads of religious organizations by religious centers outside Kazakhstan. The government established control over foreign missionaries, but sacrificed the most odious regulation present in several draftsquotas for missionary activities and their distribution by region. The new law established new rules of registration of missionaries and their re-registration and banned unregistered missionary activities. Several public alliances (including Zheltoksan rukhy), some of them fairly obscure, objected to the law which banned namaz. Member of parliament and composer Bekbolat Tleukhan, who made himself a name by saying that celebrating 23 February (a holiday inherited from Soviet times and now called Defender of the Homeland Day.Ed.) was an encroachment on Kazakhstans independence, was one of the severest critics of the new law. He also insisted that films with erotic scenes should be banned and that their ads should be removed from the streets; he also wanted to remove the Darwin theory of the origin of the species from school curricula and change the designs on exercise books for schoolchildren. The events of 2011 showed that religious extremism in Kazakhstan was a cause for concern. In April, law enforcers detained a group of four people who were close to radical groups. It is a wellknown fact that people from Kazakhstan have been joining illegal terrorist groups in the Northern Caucasus. A wave of terrorist acts swept the country. In May, 25-year-old suicide bomber R. Makatov, the only casualty of his amateurish act, blew himself up in the Department of the National Security Committee in Aktobe; it is believed that this was a test of the countrys readiness to deal with terrorism. Aktobe has earned a bad name as the city from which the people of Kazakhstan cross into the Russian Federation to join North Caucasian jihadists. Four of them were arrested in Makhachkala in the possession of a homemade bomb. In 2009, a group of six headed by A. Karimbaev (who later died in prison) was arrested in the Aktobe Region; they were accused of training for terrorist acts by firing pneumatic weapons in the steppes. On 20 April, 2011, S. Amanov, head of a clandestine network and one of the last Kazakhstani jihadists, was killed in Makhachkala. A night blast at a temporary detention center of the National Security Committee was caused by the previous detention of about 20 people suspected of cooperating with the suicide bomber in Aktobe in May. On 28 October, 2011, a previously unknown Islamist group which called itself Jund al-Caliphate (Soldiers of the Caliphate) threatened to use violence if the new law which banned namaz in state offices was not cancelled. This was their response to the ban on prayer rooms in state structures in the country with a predominantly Muslim population and annual repeat registration of foreign missionaries. 65

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This was the first direct threat addressed to the authorities after the new law was adopted. On 31 October, Atyrau was shaken by two powerful explosions; five minutes later an unidentified suicide bomber blew himself up outside an apartment building; there were no other casualties because it all happened too early and because his bomb had no damage agents. On 12 November in Taraz, a fighter known to the secret services as a jihadist robbed an arms shop, killed five law enforcers, used a grenade projector to fire at the building of the National Security Committee, and killed himself with a grenade. This stirred up a lot of panic in the city. This is how religious extremism came to Kazakhstan. Some political scientists think that if the people of Kazakhstan perceive revenge-seeking Islam as the norm, the social situation in the republic can be described as being akin to that in the Middle East, which is characterized by an ideological vacuum, unemployment, authorities which ignore the needs of the ordinary people, and replacement of state priorities with the material interests of the ruling elite. The far from favorable social situation in the regions is a headache for law enforcers and antiterrorist structures; they rely on agents recruited from different groups of religious extremists. The high corruption level in state structures makes efficient governance impossible; the ordinary people do not trust the authorities and do not respect them; well-informed officers of the special services and the police have even fewer reasons to trust the people at the top. External forces are skillfully exploiting the instability belt in Central Asia and social inequality in Kazakhstan to sponsor religious emissaries sent to Kazakhstan from abroad. There is another purely technical problem: the republic has no adequate network to train antiterrorist forces and experts in counter-partisan war.

Conclusion
The common features of the religious situation in the Central Asian countries are as follows: Sunni Islam (Hanafi maddhab) is the largest religion in all the countries; Orthodox Christianity (ROC of Moscow Patriarchate) comes second; Members of religious communities have become younger; City dwellers have become much more religious; Most religious organizations (particularly Islamic communities) have become more politically involved; Religious communities pay more attention to education; The number of new religious movements has increased ten- or even a hundred-fold; They receive money from abroad; their headquarters are found outside Central Asia; Political movements under Islamic slogans are mushrooming in the Central Asian countries (Turkmenistan being the only exception) and moving closer to other opposition forces; All countries have established control over religious organizationsstrict in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan and more lax in Kyrgyzstan; All countries have repeatedly tightened their religious legislation; The situation with Islam is worsening in all the countries of the region; All Central Asian societies (with the exception of Turkmenistan) are becoming Islamized; 66

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Banned Islamist organizations operate in all the countries;

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None of the countries has a more or less clear idea about the extent of religious feelings of its population and the number of believers. An analysis of the religious situation in Central Asia suggests that religiously motivated extremism and terrorism are on the rise. So far, tighter legal anti-extremist and antiterrorist measures, as well as persecution and numerous court cases have not reduced the volume of extremist and terrorist activities, which means that what has been done is not enough. Islam in Central Asia is developing political dimensions, which is the first step toward radicalization; the process must be stemmed: religion should save peoples souls and not call on people to protest; it has the ability to transform negative sentiments into a creative force of personal and social development.13 The time has come to admit that religiously motivated extremism and terrorism are the two most dangerous threats to the regions stability. The radical Islamist movements operating in the region are consistently improving the forms and methods of struggle; they are gradually becoming involved in drug trafficking, organized crime, and slave trade and luring young people into their orbit. This is the gravest threat of all. Islamist groups are now better organized and more mobile; they are mastering network operation principles. This means that the forms and methods of struggle against them should be adjusted to the new reality. We cannot exclude the possibility that radical Islam has its supporters among the bureaucracy and business elite: this calls for close attention and investigation. The acute social, political, economic, and religious problems in Central Asia encourage Islamic radicals; terrorism with religious hues is an outcrop of the regions systemic contradictions. It will develop into a real threat if several factors blend together and encourage terrorism, which means that the individual components of the terrorist structure must be destroyed to undermine terrorist capabilities. It should be said that the local people have no trust in the official Islamic structures, while the informal Muslim structures are much more respected. Islamist movements cannot survive without widescale popular support. There is a lot of dissatisfaction with the ruling regimes, which could create new protest forms (including radical Islamism). Nearly all the Central Asian regimes can be described as authoritarian; the ruling elites form closed groups; there are no instruments for putting pressure on the authorities; social programs remain on paper while social lifts are being cut back. Islamic radicals capitalize on the faults and shortcomings of the regimes and exploit them to promote the Sharia as an ideal form of state governance. In recent years, foreign missionaries have scored many points in planting the ideology of Islamism; today it can spread far and wide all by itself with the help of their pupils; there are crystallization centers of radical communities and terrorist groups. So far, the Central Asian regimes use force, however it is fairly ineffective; positive forms of opposition to religiously motivated extremism and terrorism are needed; they have been used abroad and proven to be worth the trouble. The regions law enforcers should always bear in mind that it is their fellow citizens who belong to Islamic radical movements: cruelty, as well as death, should be excluded. It is much wiser to try to
13 See: Z.G. Zhalilov, Netraditsionnye islamskie dvizhenia v Tsentralnoy Azii, Kazakhstan-Spektr, No. 4, 2009, pp. 28-36.

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return them to the legal field and reintegrate them into society. This calls for preventive methods in the form of discussions about religions and their practical contexts and active discussions of the most urgent problems of the regions states. The above fully applies to the regions religious figures: the popularity of Muslim radicalism is largely explained by the impotence of the official Islamic leadership. The official leaders of the regions umma avoid discussions with the radicals and daily sermons with clear and well-founded criticism of their ideas. While the imams are obviously unwilling to discuss the most outstanding social and economic problems, the Islamic radicals have the answers to all the questions, which attracts people to them. This means that the Central Asian spiritual leaders should take up the initiative from the radicals. We should always bear in mind that many big geopolitical actors profit from Central Asias instability; they know how to capitalize on the local protest potential and the ideas of Islamic radicalism brought to perfection outside the region: by combining the two factors they hope to stir up trouble and profit from it. Despite the fact that extremists and terrorists are relatively strong when it comes to criticism, they have no positive program (the idea of the Caliphate, which looks fairly doubtful in the world today, cannot be described as such); this situation should be tapped to the full. The time has come to address the political, social, and economic problems; while they remain pending, the radicals will continue to use them as trump cards. The list of urgent problems is well known: corruption, social injustice, appalling unemployment among the youth, the absence of social lifts, undeveloped democratic institutions, etc. They must be resolved in order to begin fighting religious extremism and terrorism in earnest.

ISLAM IN POLYCONFESSIONAL DAGHESTAN


Asiat BUTTAEVA Ph.D. (Philos.), Assistant Professor, State Institute of National Economy (Makhachkala, Russia)

Introduction
he Republic of Daghestan is the largest of the North Caucasian republics in terms of territory (50.3 thousand sq km) and population size (2.1 million). It borders on five states in the south of Russia: Azerbaijan and Georgia on land and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran 68

across the Caspian. It has administrative borders with the Stavropol Territory, Kalmykia, and Chechnia. The incredible confessional and ethnic diversity of Daghestan is also a result of its very specific history and no less specific geographic location.

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS There are 2,451 religious units in the republic: 2,396 of them are Muslim; 50 Christian; and 5 Judaic.1 The Christian communities are Orthodox (19 in all), Old Believer (1), Armenian (2), and Protestant (28, 6 of which are Seventh Day Adventists; 5 are Pentecostals; 5 are Baptists of the Union of the Evangelical Baptist Christians of Russia; 5 are Baptists of the Council of the Churches of the Evangelical Christian Baptists of Russia; 1 is Good Tidings Evangelicals; and 6 are Jehovahs Witnesses). The majority of the republics population are Muslims; the structural diversity of Islam, the predominant religion, is present in all spheres of social life. Standard Islam, which has accumulated all types of knowledge about the Muslim religion and is dealing with all sorts of questions related to the sphere of religious consciousness at the level of religious reflection, has acquired a very specific regional form. It is a result of its interconnection with a spiritual substructure of national cultures and is based on the polyethnic nature of the Caucasian Muslims and the fact that they belong to different Islamic schools intimately intertwined with local traditions and customs. In the past, Soviet ideology, which promoted the idea of the world as a global society with its members devoid of national identity, allowed the government to coordinate and harmonize, to a certain extent, the interests of the Soviet ethnicities. The death of the Soviet Union buried the ideology of interethnic relations stemming from the principles of multisided fraternal cooperation and mutual assistance (the ideology of communist internationalism). Today, the post-Soviet polyethnic society has no regulator of any sort; this has become especially obvious in the Muslim regions, in the North Caucasian republics where Islam has become much more active than before. Islams unifying and regulatory role is easily explained by the fact that it does not divide people into ethnic groups.
1 See: Kontseptsia respublikanskoy tselevoy programmy Vzaimodeystvie s religioznymi organizatsiaiami v Respublike Dagestan i ikh gosudartvennaia podderzhka na 2012-2015 gody, available at [http://www.minnaz.ru/ news_open.php?id=787], 15 December, 2011.

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 Indeed, after losing their old ideals and finding themselves in a hostile and incomprehensible environment people are looking for a way out of their disagreement with the world and religion provides them with all answers. They can either live in peace with the world around them or oppose it: this reveals the axiological value of the object rather than its properties. At all times, people have turned to religion in search of answers to the questions about the meaning of life, duty, happiness, the value of human life, etc. In his Heroes and Heretics, Barrows Dunham pointed out that if a movement toward social reforms fails and if for a while problems cannot be resolved through social reforms attention turns toward psychological problems, which become more acute. The evil which underlies social relations complicates individual lives and affects the moral side of human behavior.2 Islam provides the foundation of the Muslims identity and loyalty; furthermore, most of the large-scale political and social movements in the recent history of the Muslim world are based on Islam as the unifying and motivating force. Today, when it is hard to discern the meaningful code of the cultural transformation in world outlook and when it is even harder to place these changes in a spiritual context, Islam is doing a lot to supply adequate answers to the political, economic, and social questions within the ummas own tradition. In fact, the greater role of religion contains no negative elements if it is based on the principles of humanism and the priority of human values. We should not exclude the possibility that social changes might be misinterpreted, however we should not exclude the possibility of changes that might provide important impulses of further development, the fruits of which will be reaped many years later. The bridges which tie together different philosophical points of view decrease the disproportions in the development of human society, which, to a certain extent, is a self-unfolding process calling for humanistic ideals.
2 See: B. Dunham, Heroes and Heretics. A Political History of Western Thought, Knopf, 1964, p. 59.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS lam, the republics two most popular religions. An analysis of the Islamic renaissance in Daghestan reveals three major stages with fairly conventional boundaries and chronology. The same is true of the driving forces, which differ by the degree of their involvement.

Islamic Renaissance in Daghestan: Stage by Stage


First Stage
At this stage (late 1980s-early 1990s), Islam was legalized and helped revive Islamic values in the life of the peoples of Daghestan. Old mosques were restored and new mosques built; local Muslim communities (jamaats) were registered; spiritual educational establishments mushroomed across the republic; this process, accompanied by mass publication of religious literature, looked fairly impressive. Today, there are 2,486 Islamic communities: 1,290 jumah mosques; 827 neighborhood mosques (including 9 central and 10 neighborhood Shia mosques); 273 prayer houses, 13 higher educational establishments, 79 madrassahs, 2 cultural and educational centers; 1 union of the Islamic youth as well as the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Daghestan (DUMD). Other religious communities belong to Sunni Islam.3 These figures give a scanty idea (if at all) about the developments in Islam that leave no traces on the surface. This explains why many experts probe deeper than the mere numerical indices to assess the results of the Islamic resurrection manifested by the Muslims ideas about life and their behavior. R. Musina, for example, believes that the Islamic renaissance, which was fairly active in Russia in the 1990s, could not always be described as a genuine religious renaissance (as its supporters presented these processes) or as a triumph of religious fanaticism (as its scared opponents or badly informed observers insisted).4 R. Yakupov who studies Islam, deemed it necessary to point out that religious consciousness has not yet been restored in its totality. Today, consistent Muslims are but a small fraction of the formerly Muslim peoples. The greater part of those who attend mosques and observe religious holidays not only do not gear their lives to religious normsthey do not know enough of them.5 He was convinced that complete religious revival starts from educating the main mass of the adepts. This is a long process, which is invariably difficult in industrial societies. This means that there will be no renaissance in the true sense of the term, while Islam will restore its position in a form adapted to the contemporary political and social conditions.6
See: L.A. Bashirov, Islam i etnopoliticheskie protsessy v sovremennoy Rossii, Moscow, 2000. R. Musina, Musulmanskaia identichnost kak forma religioznogo natsionalizma tatar v kontekste etnosotsialnykh protsessov i etnopoliticheskoy situatsii v Tatarstane, in: M.V. Iordan, R.G. Kuzeev, S.M. Chervonnaya, Islam v Evrazii. Sovremennye eticheskie i esteticheskie kontseptsii sunnitskogo islama, ikh transformatsia v massovom soznanii i vyrazhenie v iskusstve musulmanskikh narodov Rossii, Progress-Traditsia, Moscow, 2001, p. 296. 5 R. Yakupov, Islam v Rossii v svete etnografii, in: Etnichnost i konfessionalnaia traditsia v Volgo-Uralskom regione Rossii, Collection of articles, ed. by A.B. Yunusova, A.V. Malashenko, Moscow, 1998, pp. 99-100. 6 Ibid., p. 100.
4 3

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To add positive dimensions to the Islamic resurrection, the Muslims must become free to pursue their faith; the process is not smooth, however, because of the still low level of religious culture among the Russian Muslims, while several spiritual administrations, which depend on foreign aid, are locked in rivalry in the absence of a single religious center. On 30 December, 1997, the Peoples Assembly of the Republic of Daghestan passed a Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations, which made the Muslims of Daghestan free to communicate with co-religionists from other countries. This helped the local people extend, albeit not at a fast pace, political, economic, and cultural cooperation with the rest of the Islamic world; business communities are expanding their direct contacts. Today, members of Islamic organizations can communicate, and do so, with religious centers and state structures of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other countries (their contacts are mostly limited to hajj-related issues). This is not an easy process and is complicated by external and internal (purely Islamic) reasons; we can only hope that over time it will gain momentum. The Sufi brotherhoods, which gradually regained the legality they were deprived of under Soviet power, have not yet become a political force on their own right. New religious organizations and parties are barely distinguishable (with the exception of those which preach religious radicalism) and are short-lived. The very fact of their existence points to rapid politicization of Islam (from the very beginning the Islamic renaissance in the republic has not been limited to religious matters). It should be said that in the 1990s, Daghestan had to cope with numerous problems that used to be limited to the Third World countries. The process was accompanied by sharp confessional contradictions, religious intolerance, stronger fundamentalist trends, and other sociopolitical signs traditionally regarded as diseases of the developing countries. The transitional nature of the processes going on in Russia exacerbated the latent contradictions inherited from the authoritarian regime. Amid the general crisis, part of the Muslim community actively embraced the radical Islam brought in by the wave of new Islamization which swept the postSoviet expanse and which in many respects had nothing in common with the way of life of the local religious communities and their ideas about the world. Chechnia and Daghestan proved to be especially receptive to the fundamentalist alternative. At the height of interest in Islam, the Santlada Publishing House (which later moved to Moscow under the name of Badr) was set up in Daghestan to publish the works of the founding fathers of Salafism and of the local Salafi leaders (M. Tagaev, B. Kebedov, and others) sold in huge numbers in the Northern Caucasus and elsewhere in Russia. On the one hand, they discussed the most topical problems of the umma and educated the Muslims; while on the other, they tilled the soil for more radical sentiments among the faithful, young people in particular.

Second Stage
The years 1991-1999 can be described as the second stage in the development of Islam in Daghestan; national relations became tenser; national movements became more active, while Wahhabi organizations became more numerous. This was when the Union of the Muslims of Russia (leader N. Khachilaev), the Nur Movement (co-chairman M. Sadikov), the Islamic Party of Russia (M. Rajabov), the regional Islamic Party of Daghestan (S. Asiyatilov), the Wahhabi all-Union Islamic Resurrection Party (A. Akhtaev and B. Magomedov), pro-Wahhabi Islamic Way (M. Udugov), and the Islamic Nation Congress (M. Udugov, A. Aliev), etc. came to the scene. The Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Daghestan (S. Basaev) appeared in Chechnia; Jamaatul muslimin (Kh. Khasbulatov) was 71

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formed in Daghestan. Wahhabi Islamic communities and centers of information and propaganda were set up across the two republics, which gave Muslim missionaries a chance to step up their propaganda activities. Wahhabis penetrated every social group, their ranks swelled with new recruits; they established contacts with bureaucrats and influential members of the business community and replaced the old spiritual leaders with younger ones fresh from the famous foreign Islamic centers and universities. Wahhabism, which can be described as a primitive version of Islam devoid of its most complicated ideas and reduced to outward rituals and attributes, was used to justify all types of deviant behavior. It was a byproduct of revived Islam and its obvious advantages. By the mid-1990s, the secular powers and official Muslim clerics became concerned about the mounting radical and extremist trends in Islam. Revived Islam was pushing forward as a regulator of spiritual life and social relations; it also claimed the role of a political ideology. In fact, this was Islamic fundamentalism pure and simple, a combination of sociopolitical forces that tried to shift the state and society onto the Sharia. At this stage it became abundantly clear that the religious communities of Daghestan (and the other North Caucasian republics, for that matter) were not yet ready to accept the canonical forms of Islam and the Muslim tradition: these two aspects of historical and cultural development of Islamic philosophy remained outcasts in the Soviet Union. It turned out that canonical Islam (based on the Koran and the Sharia) was divorced from the main part of the umma: for more than half a century Islamic clerics were isolated from the political and social life of the Muslim community. Each social group and each and every Muslim discovered their own Islam; in fact, it is this extremely individualized approach to Islam which makes it a highly specific religion that can be correctly perceived only within national traditions. The political-confessional and religious-psychological vacuum created under the impact of external and internal forces was filled with all sorts of sham-Islamic (or even extremist or criminal) elements. They hoisted the banner of national freedom and Islamic revival to side with the radical groups of ethnic nationalists and corrupt elements of the national bureaucracy to try to appropriate the republics natural resources and remain in power. This tempted the socially deprived groups, young people in particular. It should be said that, on the whole, Islamic fundamentalism was far from ambiguous in Daghestan in terms of its ethnic, social, or even geographical aspects. The process took the sharpest forms in those North Caucasian republics where Islam had gained a stronger position, that is, in Daghestan and Chechnia. Their populations were hit worse than the others by the social and economic crisis; unemployment and crime were mounting, creating a wide stratum of social outcasts in the process. In Daghestan, the fundamentalist ideology attracted people from all professional, social and age groups, which made it a very specific social and cultural phenomenon (its followers looked and dressed differently than other Muslims). The republic had the largest number of fundamentalist communities (jamaats) with mostly young (the most vulnerable) membership. The largest jamaat was united into the so-called Islamic Jamaat of Daghestan led by B. Muhammad (B. Kebedov). Wahhabism spread like wildfire across the republic. A.G. Huseynov had the following to say about this: Wahhabi organizations appeared and became popular in the Kizil Yurt (Kirovaul, Komsomolets, Staroe Miatli, Novoe Miatli), Khasavyurt (Pervomaiskoe, Mutsalaul, Terechnoe, Sovetskoe), Kazbek (Inchkha, Gertma), Buynaksk (Karamakhi, Bugmi), Gunib (Kudatli, Sogratl), Karabudakhkent (Gubden), and Derbent (Beliji, Khpenj) districts, as well as in the cities of Makhachkala, Buynaksk, Khasavyurt, Kizlyar, and others.7
7 A.G. Huseynov, Sotsialno-politicheskie konflikty Severnogo Kavkaza: sushchnost i puti uregulirovania, Nauka Publishers, Moscow, 2007, p. 190.

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The above suggests that Wahhabi cells were operating, more or less actively, in practically all the large districts and cities of Daghestan. The Islamic revival in the republic was accompanied with dramatic or ever tragic events and bloodshed. The poisonous volcano of Wahhabism erupted in 1999 in the Tsumada, Botlikh, and, especially, Novolak districts: A war came to Novolak; this was a true war with all its attributes: gun fire, missiles, grenade launchers, bloodshed, and crowds of unfortunate refugees.8 The genuine Islamists headed by Sh. Basaev revealed their true nature in the village of Tukhchar of the Novolak District: Russians were separated from the militiamen; they were dragged by the hair and thrown down to the ground. Their throats were cut in front of the crowd gripped by fear This was how five Russian soldiers died. A three-liter vessel was placed at their throats Nobody could make head or tail of this ferocious and hitherto unknown ritual. The vessel still remained at the checkpoint when we came to it after the bandits had driven away. TV Center showed it to Russia.9 The fierce conflicts in Daghestan were caused by strongly politicized religion. Much has already been written about them; the authors of books and all sorts of journalist reports tried to sum up the developments. We should not overestimate the role of the religious factor: ethnic disagreementsobvious and latentadded fuel to the fire.

Third Stage
The third stage began in 2000 when the Wahhabis were defeated and their activities banned. It is still going on; the ethnic and religious factors became more or less blended. At first this stage looked like a return of Muslim values to public and political life accompanied by the peoples emotional attitude toward the new elements in religious life. This period looks like an integral part of social renovation in Daghestan with due account of the historical realities which, in the past, played a positive role in the peoples spiritual life. These shifts in philosophical attitude call for a new axiological system and landmarks of social development. Today, the state should extend its support to religious communities and closely cooperate with them. The republic has acquired a republican program On Cooperation with the Religious Organizations of the Republic of Daghestan and Their State Support for 2009-2011, which envisaged, among other things, financial assistance (more than 100 million rubles) over a period of three years. There is a similar draft program for the years 2012-2015, under which religious organizations can count on state assistance in the follower spheres:
n n n n

Financial and information assistance to religious organizations and educational establishments; Professional training for municipal officials and teachers at religious educational establishments; Computer equipment and libraries for religious educational establishments; Help in organizing the teaching of secular subjects at higher religious educational establishments;

8 9

S.A. Musaev, A.M. Buttaeva, Novolak-99nachalo novoy istorii Rossii, Makhachkala, 2009, p. 41. Ibid., p. 153.

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Competitions of theological works designed to refute the ideology of religious extremism, terrorism, etc.

This program taught religious figures to trust the state; the relations between the confessional organizations and the state reached a qualitatively new level. The social tension fanned by destructive and asocial outcrops of religiosity (and extremism) still makes it unlikely that more harmonious relations can be achieved in the near future. DUMD, on the other hand, is doing a lot to consolidate all the Muslims of Daghestan and become the center of their spiritual lifeso far, all in vain. The followers of the Tariqat and Salafi (and followers of other religious movements for that matter) cannot agree on theological issues. The religious situation in the republic remains shaky because of disagreements inside the confession, as well as disagreements on canonical, theological-legal, ritual, and moral ethical issues between followers of Sheikhs S. Israfilov, M. Rabadanov, G. Tagirov, M.-M. Babatov, M. Karachaev, M.-G. Hajiev, I. Ilyasov, P.-M. Akaev, M. Magomedov, I. Israfilov, I. Saidov, M. Kurbanhajiev, and I. Tagirov, on the one side, and those who support Sheikhs S. Atsaev, A. Gamzatov, M. Kurbanov, and A. Nuradinhajiev, on the other.10 In all other cases, conflicts inside religious communities were of a non-systemic nature and were, as a rule, caused by disagreements over the construction of cultic buildings (in the village of Karabagly of the Tarum District and the village of Jawgat, Kaytag District) and left practically no imprint on the spiritual situation in the republic. The Commission under the President of the Republic of Daghestan is helping to restore civilian peace in the republic by assisting those who abandoned their terrorist and extremist activities in the republic to adjust to a peaceful life. The Commission is particularly involved in dealing with matters related to liberation from criminal responsibility or punishment for such people.11 The Commission has met 12 times and discussed 23 applications.

Confessional Composition of the Religious Organizations in Daghestan


People living in Makhachkala, the republics capital, are fairly active religiously: there are 102 mosques (44 of them are jumah mosques; 1 Shia, 47 neighborhood, and 11 prayer houses). Three Islamic higher educational establishments and 14 madrassahs offer education to about 1,000 students. The absolute majority of the faithful Muslims belong to the Shafi madhhab; much fewer people belong to the followers of Hanafi madhhab and Shia (Jafari madhhab). On Fridays, about 40 thousand gather in jumah mosques in the city and its environs. There are 1,519 Islamic organizations (including 681 jumah mosques, 602 neighborhood mosques, and 197 prayer houses) in the republics Central Region, which includes several cities and towns (Izberbash, Kaspiysk and Buynaksk); districts (Akushi, Akhvakh, Buynaksk, Botlikh, Gergebel, Gumbetovsky, Gunib, Dadakhaev, Levashinsky, Kaytayg, Karabudakhkent, Sergokalinsk, Tlyaratin, Khunzakh, Tsumada, Tsuntin, Charodin, Shamil, and Untsukul); and 1 unit.
10 See: D.V. Makarov, Ofitsialny i neofitsialny islam v Dagestane, Part 3, Konflkt mezhdu salafitami i tarakatistami, available at [http://www.ansar.ru/library/19]. 11 See: Ukaz Prezidenta Respubliki Dagestan O komissii pri Prezidente Respubliki Dagestan po okazaniiu sodeystviia v adaptatsii k mirnoy zhizni litsam, reshivshim prekratit terroristicheskuiu i extremistskuiu deiatelnost na territorii Respubliki Dagestan No. 264 ot 2 noiabria 2010 goda [http://north-caucasus.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/189651/], 25 July, 2011.

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The Northern Region of Daghestan (the cities of Kizilyurt, Kizlyar, Khasavyurt, and Yuzhnosukhokumsk and the districts of Babayurt, Kazbek, Kizilyurt, Kizlyar, Kumtorkalin, Novolak, Nogaisk, Khasavyurt, and Tarum) have 448 Islamic communities (including 270 jumah mosques, 118 neighborhood mosques, and 28 prayer houses). It should be said that the religious situation in the Northern Region has local specifics, its multiconfessional nature being one of them. The majority are Sunnis of the Shafi and Hanafi madhhabs. People living in the Southern Region of Daghestan are less religious: the cities of Derbent and Daghestanskie Ogni and the districts of Agul, Akhtyn, Derbent, Dokuzparin, Kayakent, Kurakh, Kuli, Mararamkent, Laks, Suleyman Stalsky, Rutul, Tabasaran, and Khiv have 382 Muslim communities with 291 jumah mosques, 71 neighborhood mosques, and 9 prayer houses. The education level of the Muslim clerics remains low; few people have deemed it necessary to perform hajj. The Tabasaran District has a relatively larger religious population; people attend 78 mosques; 90 students attend the local madrassah.

Islamic Educational Establishments


In the last twenty years, the republic has acquired a far-flung (compared to the other RF subjects) network of Islamic educational establishments of three levels: higher educational establishments (universities and institutes); specialized secondary schools (colleges and madrassahs); and primary schools (maktabs at mosques). The Department of the Ministry of Justice of the RF for Daghestan registered 15 Islamic higher educational establishments, 13 of which regularly offer education to 1,472 students. According to the town and district administrations, there are 79 madrassahs in the republic with the student body of 3,017 (27 of them are registered with the Ministry of Justice) and 158 primary schools at mosques (3,149 pupils). In 2007, Makhachkala acquired the North Caucasian University Center of Islamic Education and Science (SKUTsION), which unites the Sheikh Muhammad-Arip Islamic University of Daghestan and the Institute of Theology and International Relations. It is headed by President M. Mutailov, First Deputy of the Mufti of the Republic of Daghestan; its first director was late M. Sadikov, the Institutes rector. There are two theological institutes in Daghestan: (1) the Mamma-Dibir al-Rochi Institute of Theology and International Relations in Makhachkala, a non-state establishment of higher professional education; and (2) the Said-afandi Cirkey Institute in the village of Cirkey, Buynaksk District, a non-state establishment of higher professional education.

The Islamic Media in the Republic


The DUMD publishes a newspaper Assalam in eight languages of the peoples of Daghestan; at times its circulation reaches 80 thousand copies. There are also very similar weekly Islamsky vestnik 75

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(Islamic Herald) and the Nur-ul islam newspaper. Both newspapers have electronic versions on the Internet. In 2002, the DUMD started the Islam journal with a circulation of 150 thousand, which is published in Makhachkala; the monthly Islam v Yuzhdage is published in Derbent, while the Shia community of Makhachkala publishes the Kavsar newspaper from time to time. The DUMD organizes broadcasts of 15-minute long programs, Mir vashemu domu (Peace to Your Home), in Russian at the State TV channel Daghestan; every other day it runs Chas razmyshleniy (An Hour for Reflection) on the TNT-Makhachkala and Domashny channels; every Friday the TV Tsentr-Makhachkala channel offers the Put k istine (The Road to Truth) program. The DUMD uses republican radio to promote Islam in the local languages, while the mosque imams and religious activists use the local media.12

Christian Communities
Christianity is the second popular confession in the republic. Today, there are 50 Christian religious communities, including 19 Orthodox, 28 Protestant; 2 Armenian, and 1 Old Believer communities; there are 23 Orthodox priests in the republic. The republics territory is divided into two districtsthe Makhachkala and Kizlyar territorial units (blagochinie). On 22 March, 2011, they were made parts of the Vladikavkaz and Makhachkala Eparchy of the ROC of Moscow Patriarchate (before that, starting in 1998, they belonged to the Baku and Caspian Eparchy). Sunday schools function at all Orthodox churches (there are 18 churches and chapels and 1 monastery). The Makhachkala Blagochinie headed by Archpriest Nikolay Stenechkin includes:
n n n n n n n

the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Our Most Holy Mother of God (Makhachkala); the Cathedral of the Holy Sign (Khasavyurt); the Church of the Mother of God of Kazan (Kaspiysk); the Church of the Intersession of the Holy Virgin (Derbent); the Church of Reverend Seraphim of Sarov (Izberbash); the Church of Alexander of Neva (village of Akhty), and the Church of Alexander of Neva (Buynaksk). the Cathedral of Great Martyr St. George the Victorious (Kizlyar); the St. Nicholas Church (Kizlyar); the chapel in honor of the Seeking of the Lost Icon (Kizlyar); the Church of the Mother of God of Kazan (Komsomolskiy); the St. Nicholas Church (Kraynovka); the Cathedral of Holy Hierarch St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (Bryansk);

The Kizlyar Blagochinie headed by Hegumen Yury Palchikov includes:


n n n n n n

12 See: Information about the religious communities in the Republic of Daghestan for 01.01.2010, available at [http:// president.e-dag.ru/respublika/svedenija-o-religioznykh-obedinenijakh-v-respublike-Daghestan-na-01012010-g/ ?tx_felogin_pi1%5Bforgot%5D=1].

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n n n n n n

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the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (Kochubey); the Church of St. Andrew the First Called (Tarumovka); the Church of the Holy Mother of God (Talovka); the Church of St. Peter and Paul (Koktyubey); the Alexander of Neva Chapel (Terekli-Mekteb), and the Convent of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.13

The small republic is dotted with numerous Orthodox churches (many of which were restored after perestroika). On 5 May, 2007, the Orthodox Convent of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (initially a monastery set up in 1736 by Archimandrite Daniil of a Georgian princely family) was revived in Kizlyar under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Baku and the Caspian area by nuns from the Yaroslavl Region. The Cathedral of Great Martyr St. George the Victorious has already been restored in Kizlyar; the Armenian Church of St. Grigoris in the village of Nyugdi (Derbent District) is being restored. In 2000, the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Our Most Holy Mother of God became the dome; in 2005 it was completely restored to mark its 100th anniversary. The largest Orthodox cathedral in the Northern Caucasusthe Cathedral of the Holy Sign functions in Khasavyurt. It was built in 1903-1904 in honor of the Holy Sign of the Mother of God icon to mark the 300th anniversary of the royal house of the Romanovs by Cossacks of the Terek Cossack Army; it is one of the republics cultural monuments. In 1990, the republic started building new churches; eight of them appeared in Kizlyar, Akhtakh, Buynaksk, Izberbash, Koktyubey, Talovka, Terekli-Mekteb, and Komsomolskoe. The republican administration and municipalities are doing a lot to help the Orthodox communities restore old and build new churches. On the instructions of President of the RD M. Magomedov, the Orthodox community in the village of Krainovka (Kizlyar District) engaged in reconstruction of its church received financial support; money was also extended to the restoration of the Cathedral of the Holy Sign in Khasavyurt within the Republican program On Cooperation with the Religious Organizations of the Republic of Daghestan and Their State Support for 2009-2011. The financial commission at the republican Ministry for National Politics, Religious Affairs and External Contacts set up to fulfill the program has already drafted the documents necessary to extend financial assistance to the church in the Rassvet settlement (Tarumov District), the Cathedral of St. Andrew the First Called in Tarumovka (Tarumov District), and the Cathedral of the Holy Sign in Khasavyurt. For obvious reasons, Orthodox revival in the republic has been less active than the Islamic renaissance mainly because Russian speakers have been leaving the republic in great numbers. According to the 2002 all-Russia population census, there were 120 thousand Russians in the republic (4.69% of the total population). According to the earlier population census of 1989, there were 166 thousand Russians in Daghestan (9.1%). In 1959, Russians were the second largest population group (20% of the total population). It should be said that the outflow of Russians has undermined the republics labor and cultural potential, which has inevitably affected the social and economic situation in the country. The republican leaders identified the problem as a key one; in 1994, a special Commission of the Government of the RD was set up to address the problem.
13 See: Pravoslavie v sovremennom Dagestane, available at [http://www.minnaz.ru/news_open.php?id=652], 22 October, 2011.

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There is a patchwork of Protestant groups (5 thousand members) in Daghestan who belong to several different churches: Evangelical Christian Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals, Evangelical Christians, and Jehovahs Witnesses.

Judaic Communities
There are 5 Judaic communities in Daghestan based in the cities of Makhachkala, Derbent, Buynaksk, Khasavyurt, and Kizlyar. They all belong to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. All of them run Sunday schools (heders); there are no higher or secondary specialized Judaic schools in the republic, to be qualified as a rabbi, boys must spend six years at the Moscow Judaic Institute of the 21st Century and two years of post-graduate training in Israel.

Conclusion
In Daghestan, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are living peacefully side by side; their followers have learned tolerance, mutual respect, and mutual assistance, which allows these religions to remain an important factor of social and political stability in the republic; they are helping to develop the local culture and plant humanistic, spiritual, and moral ideas in society. We should bear in mind, however, that the impulses of Islam and Christianity are different and that the quality of cultural exchange depends not so much on the sides readiness to cooperate but on the sum-total of objective factors indispensable for an interconfessional dialog. The degree of development of cultures of different countries is likewise important. Today, we are witnessing an amazing historical U-turn inspired by the globalization of all spheres of public life and the fact that numerous factors (demographic, political, economic, cultural, social, etc.) are also involved in the process; the religious sphere is also affected. The countries of the non-Western world are not prepared to accept the values the West is persistently imposing on them. In the past, they proved pernicious for the traditional cultures of autochthonous population and created frequently destructive contradictions. We should also bear in mind that the Western impacts are not so much accepted, they are adjusted to the historical-cultural traditions, national psychology, and social, economic, and political order of the receiving side. This makes distortions and conflicts inevitable. This means that the dialog between the government and society and among all sorts of religious organizations should be readjusted to the task of improving the spiritual and moral situation in the republic; the bodies of state power, local self-administration, and religious communities should be ready to extend adequate information and ideological support.

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REGIONAL SECURITY

STRUCTURAL FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGIONAL SECURITY SYSTEMS (A Post-Soviet Central Eurasia Case Study)
Jannatkhan EYVAZOV Ph.D. (Political Science), Deputy Director, Institute of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Introduction
nyone wishing to identify the regularities according to which regional security systems function and develop should first find out the main factor of their functioning and development. It must be said that, at all times, ethnic and religious contacts, economic interests, ideology, political survival, and rivalry over influence remain important determinants in interstate relations. At the same time, the present level of diversity and interdependence in the international political system makes it hard to identify a limited number of factors that apply to all cases; we should also bear in mind that each region has its own specific phenomena. 79

Here I will try to assess the relations among states from the viewpoint of corresponding regional political structures and, taking the regions of post-Soviet Central Eurasia as an example,1 identify the degree to which political structure
1 Here I rely on the Central Eurasia and Central Europe conception formulated by Eldar Ismailov, according to which Central Eurasia consists of three post-Soviet regions: Central EuropeBelarus, Moldova, and Ukraine; the Central CaucasusAzerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia; and Central AsiaKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (for more detail, see: E.M. Ismailov, Central Eurasia: Its Geopolitical Function in the 21st Century, Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 2 (50), 2008, pp. 7-29).

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 affects the regional security system. To do this, I will rely on the theoretical-methodological in-

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS struments of neorealism and the theory of regional security complexes (TRSC).

Structural Factors and Security Relations in Regional Political Systems


Structuralism of Kenneth N. Waltz and the Theory of Regional Security Complexes. At the theoretical level, neorealism offers the most detailed explanation of the structural factors of the conduct of states. According to Kenneth N. Waltz, who was the first to formulate this theory, the structure of the international political system, which stems from interaction of its elements (states), is responsible for its conduct.2 The anarchical nature of the structure of the international system and the unevenness of power distribution have already created a situation in which survival is seen as the cornerstone of conduct in a world where the security of states remains highly vulnerable.3 This means that in the neorealist context the conduct of states is mainly determined by the material structure of the international political system. The classical conception of Regional Security Complexes (RSC) formulated by Barry Buzan4 is based on a similar approach; it is political factors, or rather the pattern according to which power is spread among the elements, which determine the functionality of RSCs. Here, as well as in the neorealist approach, the conduct of states is determined by their strength/weakness. At the same time, the structuralism offered by Waltz and Buzan is not one and the same thing. Classical (Waltzian) neorealism looks at the structure of the international political system as the result of objective power differentiation among states (among the strongest of them) and ignores the factors at the regional and national level. In his initial RSC conception formulated within the essential structure of the security complex, Buzan, in addition to the principle of the arrangement of the units and the distribution of power among them, envisages the pattern of amity/enmity.5 The latter allowed the author to assess the system-level stimulators together with the region-level and unit-level factors when assessing the functionality of an RSC. Later, the securitization conception underpinned this theory. On the whole, however, the political bias of the TRSC was preserved, while the range of functional factors was widened
See: K.N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics, McGraw-Hill, Boston, 1979, pp. 91-92. See: Ibid., p. 92. 4 The concept of the regional security complex was first formulated in 1983 by Barry Buzan in: B. Buzan, People, States and Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations, Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hemel Hempstead, 1983. This work, as well as its second edition (B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, Second Edition, Lynne Rienner Publishers Boulder, Colorado, 1991), offered the classical approach to the security complex conception. In later works written by Buzan together with other authors (B. Buzan, O. Wver, J. de Wilde, Security. A New Framework for Analysis, Lynne Rienner Publishers Boulder, London, 1998; B. Buzan, O. Wver, Regions and Powers, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003), an attempt was made to go beyond the limits of the classical conception of the security complex. To remedy the main disparities between their present approach and the classical conception of the security complex (concentration on the military and political spheres of interstate relations and insufficient attention to the non-state actors, the conduct of which creates additional vectors of intersectoral interdependence), the authors postulated two types of security complexeshomogeneous and heterogeneousas well as the securitization conception. 5 B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, p. 211; B. Buzan, O. Wver, J. de Wilde, op. cit., p. 13.
3 2

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and the dependence between them and the objective distribution of power in the international system was loosened. In fact, the latest changes in the TRSC do not so much devalue the impact of structural factors on states conduct as try to fit them into the limits of individual regions and study them with due account of their regional specifics (ethnicities, confessions, the history of their relations, etc.). The structure itself, which is no longer an international but a regional political system, preserves its role as an important endogenous assessment parameter. The pattern of power distribution among the members of an RSC directly affects the stability/instability of its political structure. The evolution of any RSC is, among other things, a process of structural stabilization or, to put it differently, a transfer from an unstable to a stable political structure. For obvious reasons, the initial stages of RSC development presupposed the presence of an unstable political structure; this is where an assessment of their structural specifics should begin. Stability/Instability of a Political Structure: The Key Parameters. What is implied by the instability of a political structure? Is it enough to associate this with any other description of participating states in a regional security system, such as aggregate national power or the sociopolitical cohesion level (which can be identified in the TRSC)? Both are correct, but they are not enough to completely understand the phenomenon. I am convinced that when talking about instability of a political structure we should treat it as a sum-total of three aspects: first, inner weakness of the states inside the regional system; second, asymmetry of strength and vulnerability among these states (structural asymmetry); and third, undeveloped, or rather immature, relations among these states. Strong and weak states. The RSC model presupposes a direct dependence between the functioning of weak and internally vulnerable states and the negative dynamics of their relations.6 According to Buzan, the level of sociopolitical cohesion is the criterion of the states strength/ weakness. What at first glance looks like a simplification in using the criterion of strength/weakness as the key one applied to the systems of postmodern states7 does not depreciate its relevance to the regional systems of Central Eurasia (the subject of the present article), which are still far removed from postmodernity. This can be used as the central criterion in our assessment of the strength/weakness of the target regions of the present article; this mainly corresponds to the present level of their development.8

See: B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era,

p. 106.
7 When assessing the sociopolitical development of contemporary states, Buzan and Wver have identified three types/ levelspre-modern states (low development level of inner sociopolitical cohesion and state organization, weak governmental control over the territory and population); modern states (strong governmental control of society; limited openness, the sanctity of sovereignty and independence and its attributes, including territory and borders, placing the stakes on self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and national identity); and postmodern states with relatively moderate sanctity of sovereignty, independence and national identity, economic, political and cultural openness to the world (for more detail, see: B. Buzan, O. Wver, op. cit., pp. 23-24). 8 On the whole, the strength and weakness concepts are fairly abstract and too relative to provide a criterion of their assessment for all cases. What may be considered as a strength in one state could be felt as a weakness in another. This relativity rests on the objectively different development levels of states and regional interstate systems. The types of postmodern and modern states differ greatly. For example, in a postmodern state, decentralization of power and federalization are no longer its weaknesses, but rather a condition of domestic policy which feeds dynamic and balanced economic growth and, therefore, the states inner strength. The same phenomena in a modern state might breed, at least in the short term, political fragmentation and separatism and, by the same token, make it weaker and more vulnerable. This means that Buzans criterion looks somewhat oversimplified when applied to the postmodern standards, however, when applied to the states of Central Eurasia as the key one, it mainly fits their current social, political, economic, and cultural structure.

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This criterion is not the only one: when dealing with the modern state we should turn to some of its other classical parameters, viz. economic and military capabilities. 9 Today, all states, including those which have moved into post-modernity, still need the capability to support and defense themselves. Buzan has extended the strength/weakness parameter to powers. According to his classification, a state can be (1) weak/strong as a state, or (2) weak/strong as a power.10 In the first case, the level of sociopolitical cohesion is the relevant criterion; in the second, it implies military and economic capabilities to extend its influence.11 In other words, the state can be either strong as a state and a power (the U.S. is a good case in point), or it can be strong as a state and weak as a power (Switzerland), or strong as a power but weak as a state (Russia), or weak as a state and a power (Somalia). The strength/weakness of a state as a state is the key criterion of its impact on regional dynamics. Objectively, a states weakness, caused by the low level of its sociopolitical cohesion and inadequate economic and defense capabilities, increases vulnerability perceptions in the process of securitization. In fact, securitization of weak states is determined by the conceptualization of their vulnerabilities; the more numerous, deeper, and more obvious the vulnerabilities, the more they affect the security policy of the state. At the regional level, this adds to the negative dynamics in security relations: according to the logic of neorealism in the conditions of anarchy and self-reliance, the state, aware of its own weaknesses, tries to capitalize on the vulnerability of its neighbors to prevent them from becoming a threat to its own security. The neighbors reciprocate in kind, which inevitably causes conflicts. There is also a domestic political context: weakness caused by the low level of sociopolitical cohesion means that there is no stability between political institutions and society: the political institutions are unable to rule effectively. In these conditions, the political elite has no choice but to use the states objective vulnerabilities for political purposes at home to regulate, in particular, its relations with all sorts of political groups. In other words, by politicizing its vulnerabilities, the elite seeks the sociopolitical cohesion a weak state badly needs; this is accompanied by stronger securitization of these vulnerabilities. It is important that the aims of sociopolitical consolidation do not presuppose that there are threats inside the state; therefore, external threats are used for this purpose. On the whole, attempts to achieve sociopolitical consolidation by identifying external enemies and shifting the burden of responsibility for domestic problems onto them are not new. One thing, however, merits our attention: this instrument is normally used by weak statestake North Korea, Iran, and Cuba, for example. Relations of this sort isolate the state or may even trigger a war. More likely than not, this situation creates a lot of tension in regions composed of weak states. The stability/instability of the political structure of the regional security system is strongly affected by the way strength/weakness and vulnerability/invulnerability are distributed among the regions states.
9 The table in the next section of this article supplies economic and military parameters that are indispensable for assessing states relative strength/weakness: GDP, per capita GDP, GDP growth rates, military budget, the size of military forces and the main type of military hardware. 10 See: B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, p. 97. 11 See: Ibidem.

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Like any other systemic organization, the regional security system is based on a close interconnection of its elements. In the classical TRSC, this interconnection (or rather interdependence) exists in the sphere of central (fundamental) interests of national security.12 This is what distinguishes individual RSCs. In other words, here we are dealing with the regionally organized interdependence of states related to the key security issues generated both objectively and subjectively (perceptually). In classical conditions, the anarchic nature of the regional political system and geographic proximity of the states within it, as well as vulnerability/invulnerability, develop into the key security issues that incorporate states, both materially and perceptually, into the model now known as the regional security complex. At the same time, our perception of these parameters through the prism of security is relative: any state assesses the level of its strength and vulnerability by comparing it to the same indices of its neighbors and acting accordingly, which, in compliance with a systemic approach and interdependence, stimulate neighbors perceptions and conduct. In this context, the degree of instability of the regions political structure largely depends on the extent to which strength/weakness and vulnerability/invulnerability differ from state to state; in other words, instability depends on the degree of asymmetry of strength and vulnerability among the regions states. The higher the degree of symmetry among these parameters, the more stable the relations among the states and the more stable the regional political structure as a whole. Symmetrical and asymmetrical regional security systems. It is easy to see how the dependence between the regional asymmetry of strength and vulnerability, on the one hand, and the instability of a RSCs political structure, on the other, can be further developed to demonstrate how the perception of a states own relative weakness and vulnerability can affect its relations with its neighbors. For better results, this situation should be regarded within the framework of the four conventional models of regional security systems with different degrees of symmetry/asymmetry of strength and vulnerability of the corresponding states:
n n n

A positively symmetrical regional security systemall states are equally strong while their mutual vulnerability is at more or less the same level. A negatively symmetrical regional security systemall states are more or less equally weak and exist at more or less the same level of mutual vulnerability. A positively asymmetrical regional security systemsome states are strong and others are weak, while the degree of vulnerability of the former to the latter is much lower than the degree to which the latter are vulnerable to the former. Furthermore, the former prevail in the system both qualitatively and quantitatively (there are more strong states than weak ones). A negatively asymmetrical regional security systemsome states are strong and others are weak, while the degree of vulnerability of the former to the latter is much lower than the degree to which the latter are vulnerable to the former. The weak states outnumber the strong ones, while the qualitative capabilities of the strong states are not sufficient to affect regional relations in any noticeable way.

The first model can be described as the most stable regional political structure, at least because its members are less exposed to the acute securitization of their own relative weakness. A strong state implies the low level of its security vulnerabilities, hence, the low capabilities for its neighbors to capitalize on them.
12

See: B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era,

p. 190.

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On the regional scale, such states, or their majority, which allows them to dominate in the region (as in the positively asymmetrical regional system), create fewer opportunities to manipulate the vulnerability of others and, in this way, stabilize the systems political structure. Even if these states function at a high level of vulnerability, the very fact that their weaknesses are symmetrical decreases the chances of destabilization. Parallels are found in the sphere of international trade when trade or tariff wars, were discontinued due to the economic phenomenon Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye described as symmetrical interdependence.13 States that depend on one another to an equal degree for their security are less inclined to capitalize on their vulnerabilities than those states that are unequally (asymmetrically) dependent. The logic is obvious: if you exploit the weaknesses of your neighbor, it may reciprocate by targeting the weak points of your security. The mutual damage will be almost identical. The negatively asymmetrical regional security system is less favorable in terms of political structure stability. The arguments are the same: on the one hand, the weakness of most states leads to enhanced securitization of vulnerabilities and preventive aggressiveness; while on the other, the asymmetry of vulnerability among the states tempts the stronger states to exploit the vulnerability of their weaker neighbors. The second modelthe negatively symmetrical regional systemalso cannot be described as conducive to political structure stability. The equal (symmetrical) dependence of states on one another for their security restrains them, however their general weakness and individual high vulnerability level prevent them from establishing stable relations inside the region. Maturity and immaturity of security relations. The immature relations among states are another factor of instability of a regional political structure. It basically arises from the absence of shared interests and cooperative practice in interstate relations. In the absence of cooperative practice, regional relations become highly unstable for the simple reason that the response of the opponent(s) to any of the common problems is unpredictable. This situation can be viewed through the prism of a structuralistic interpretation of states conduct (in particular through a mechanism of the security dilemma). The situation does not relate to the classical Waltzian formula14; it fits more to Buzans structuralism, which looks at the anarchical nature of a structure and its impact on states conduct, while anarchy develops from immature to mature one.15 Though, this is an insufficient explanation at the theoretical level and calls for specification of the practice of inter-societal relations. The social constructivist approach supplies an important contribution: it concentrates on practice that creates social structures, the security dilemma being one of them. According to Alexander Wendt, the entire process of interaction between societies produce and reproduce social structures either into cooperative or conflicting ones, which, in turn, is responsible for the actors identities and interests.16 Even though the maturity of interstate relations is connected with strength/weakness, it remains a very specific parameter of structural (in)stability. (Im)maturity of relations is not a direct product of states strength or weakness; it is determined by a socially and practically confirmed bias toward exploiting (manipulating) the weaknesses (vulnerabilities) of the opponents for the sake of its own polit13 The asymmetry and symmetry parameters are used along with others to assess the stabilizing effect of economic interdependence between states (see: R.O. Keohane, J. Nye, Power and Interdependence, Third Edition, Longman, Boston, 2001, p. 157). 14 Waltz treats the anarchic nature of the structure of the international political system (its maturity levels, in particular) as universalist, that is, he does not distinguish between the maturity levels of anarchy and the specifics of the impact of different maturity levels on the way states behave. 15 See: B. Buzan, People, States and Fear. An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, pp. 174-181. 16 See: A. Wendt, Constructing International Politics, International Security, Vol. 20, Issue 1, Summer 1995, p. 81.

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ical interests. Maturity is, therefore, a quality of the state duads (systems), in which the level of confidence is sufficient for cooperation among states, at least in the solution of common security issues. The highest degree of maturity is reached when a state is prepared to sacrifice its sovereignty for the sake of a common political entity, that is, for political integration. Mature relations are not necessarily limited to strong states. States can have different degrees of sociopolitical cohesion and be at the same time close allies. It should be said that today mature relations between strong states are much more frequent than between weak states. Two main factors come into play here: the social affinity/diversity between states and the practice of their relations. The former is ensured by ethnic, linguistic, and confessional specifics and shared or not shared political values (institutions and ideologies). The latter is created by the states history: what prevails in the history of their relationsamity or enmity. In other words, confidential relations among states, the predictability of their conduct and, therefore, their cooperative relations depend on their social affinity, friendly relations, and the absence of conflicts in the past.

Regions of Post-Soviet Central Eurasia under the Impact of Structural Factors


The Central Eurasian Segments of the Political System of the Post-Soviet Space. Central Europe, the Central Caucasus, and Central Asia belong to negatively asymmetric regional security systems. However, this is true of the entire post-Soviet space. In my previous works, I tried to specify the post-Soviet regional security system. In my opinion, if we exclude the transformational trends, today the three regions (Central Europe, the Central Caucasus, and Central Asia) can be treated as regional security complexes. Together with Russia as the systems only pole of power, they form the Post-Soviet Security Macrocomplex (PSM).17 The PSM is obviously asymmetrical in terms of the strengths/weaknesses, threats, and vulnerabilities; it is created mainly by the states with weak sociopolitical cohesion and inadequate cooperative experience in regulating the security dilemmas present in their relations. The numerous conflicts still broiling in this space are the best evidence of the above. Even if we disengage ourselves from any common macro system and contemplate the Central European, Central Caucasian, and Central Asian RSCs as individual and independent units, we cannot miss the fact that they are mainly unstable political structures. The degree of this instability differs from one RSC to another because of the different parameters described above. The table (on pp. 86-91) offers a glimpse of some of the qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the countries on which the regional specifics of post- Soviet Central Eurasia depend. The Regions Political Structure at the Initial Development Stage and the Role of the Exogenous Factors. The figures quoted below vividly illustrate the current specifics of the political structure of the three RSCs. In order to gain an authentic idea of their structures development, we need to return to the period of their restoration, that is, the early 1990s.
17 For more detail, see: J. Eyvazov, Some Aspects of the Theory of Regional Security Complexes as Applied to Studies of the Political System in the Post-Soviet Space, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Vol. 12, Issue 2, 2011, pp. 1724; J. Eyvazov, Central Eurasia through the Prism of Security: A Regional System or a Sub-System? The Caucasus & Globalization, Vol. 5, Issue 1-2, 2011, pp. 6-15.

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Table
Certain Economic, Military, and Sociopolitical Descriptions of the States of the Central European, Central Caucasian, and Central Asian RSCs (2010)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks

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Military Budget ($m)

Per Capita GDP ($)

Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles

Navy (warships/ submarines)

Population

GDP ($b)

Armenia

9.23

1.2

2,987

434.0

3,090,379

48,570

110

104/136

239

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

16/33

Territorial claims which cause open and latent conflicts in relations with neighborsAzerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh), Turkey (Eastern Anatolia), Georgia (Javakhetia)and the resultant isolation from the main economically profitable regional energy and transportation projects (BTC, BTE, KATB); dependence on external actors (Russia, the diaspora). Conflict with Armenia, occupation of southwestern regions and related sociopolitical and economic problems; potential threat of separatism in the areas where ethnic minorities live in compact communities,

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2 Azerbaijan 52.2 2.3 5,846 1,590.0 8,933,928 66,940 339 111/357 425 41/35 18/ -

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Table (continued)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles

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Military Budget ($m)

Per Capita GDP ($)

Navy (warships/ submarines)

Population

GDP ($b)

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

tension with some of the neighboring powers caused by their regional and ethnic policy (Iran, Russia). 3 Belarus 53.8 2.4 5,608 716.0 9,587,940 72,940 515 1,078/280 1003 133/238 Inflexible (Soviet-style) regime, repressive methods of governance which caused international isolation (mainly by the U.S. and EU) and pro-Russian orientation, resulting in considerable economic dependence on Russia for export of consumer goods and energy resources. Conflict in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Tbilisi no longer controls; forced migrants; separatist threats in other places where ethnic minorities live in compact communities; continued tension with Russia and its military,

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Georgia

11.3

4.5

2,690

420.0

4,219,191

20,655

93

63/137

185

12/29

17/ -

Table (continued)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles Navy (warships/ submarines)

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Military Budget ($m)

Per Capita GDP ($)

Population

GDP ($b)

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

political, and economic repercussions (the August 2008 war; recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia; the increase and legalization of Russian military presence in these regions and the loss of the Russian market for Georgian products). 5 Kazakhstan 127.0 6.0 8,081 1,120.0 15,753,460 49,000 980 1,520/370 1,460 162/116 17/ Still unregulated legal status of the Caspian; dependence on external actors (Russia) when it comes to transporting energy resources to the world markets; latent conflicts with Uzbekistanborder issues and rivalry for regional leadership. Weak system of state governance, political

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6 Kyrgyzstan 4.53 2.2 815 96.0 5,550,239 10,900 150 320/35 246 52/32

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Table (continued)

Table (continued)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles

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Military Budget ($m)

Per Capita GDP ($)

Navy (warships/ submarines)

Population

GDP ($b)

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

instability inside the country responsible for the violent regime changes in 2005 and 2010; this and relatively poor natural resources are responsible for the countrys poorly developed economy. Unsettled contradictions with Uzbekistanborder in the Ferghana Valley, water resources, transborder activity of radical Islamic structures; economic and security dependence on external actors (Russia, China, and Kazakhstan). 7 Moldova 5.38 2.5 1,505 16.0 3,575,574 5,354 44/164 148 - /6 Continued division of the country because of the Transnistrian conflict; economic decline and dependence on external actors (Russia and the EU) caused by the conflict and lack of natural resources.

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Table (continued)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles Military Budget ($m)

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Per Capita GDP ($)

Navy (warships/ submarines)

Population

GDP ($b)

Tajikistan

5.72

5.5

808

84.0

7,074,845

8,800

37

23/23

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

23

- /16

The still unresolved repercussions of the civil war of 1992-1997; weak state governance, political instability, economic decline; continued economic (labor migration and investments) and security dependence on Russia; weak control of the Afghan border and destructive impact of Afghan instabilityradical Islamic groups and drug trafficking; continued tension with Uzbekistan caused by the unsettled border and water-use issues, trans-border activities of radical Islamic organizations. Inflexible closed political regime; continued tension with Uzbekistan over the use of water of the Amu Darya and with the Caspian

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9 Turkmenistan 19.9 11.0 3,849 261.0 5,176,502 22,000 680 942/829 564 94/18 6/ -

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Table (continued)
GDP Growth Rates (%) Numerical Strength of Armed Forces Main Type of Military Hardware Air Forces (aircraft/ helicopters) Main Battle Tanks Infantry Fighting Vehicles/Armed Vehicles

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Military Budget ($m)

Per Capita GDP ($)

Navy (warships/ submarines)

Population

GDP ($b)

Guns

No.

State

The Most Serious Challenges to Sociopolitical Cohesion

states over offshore oil and gas fields. 10 Ukraine 137.0 3.0 3,005 1,430.0 45,433,415 129,925 2,988 3,028/1,432 3,351 221/292 48/1 Internal instability, which in 2004 took the form of the Orange Revolution, society split over political and church identity, the Crimea issue, tension with Russia, on which the country depends for energy resources. Inflexible closed repressive political regime which found itself in political isolation (maintained mainly by the U.S. and EU); economic problems; active radical Islamic organizations and tension with neighbors over water use, borders, radical Islamic groups, and refugees.

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11 Uzbekistan 37.6 8.2 1,352 1,420.0 27,794,296 67,000 340 399/309 487+ 135/110

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S o u r c e: The Military Balance 2011, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 2011.

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On the whole, the entire PSM was engulfed by a wave of armed conflicts among the states or inside them with a greater or lesser degree of external intervention. This can be described as a point of reckoning, the beginning of the development of this political structure, and an important stability/ instability indicator. In the early 1990s, the vehemence of the conflicts and their dynamics differed from one post-Soviet region to another. Ethnopolitical conflicts unfolded dynamically in the Central Caucasus, much faster than in the two other Central Eurasian RSCs, that allow us to detect their more precise ties with the inner weaknesses of the regional states and, as a result, with the instability of the regions political structure.18 The early period of post-Soviet independence of the Central Caucasian states (1991-1994) can be described as a period of their greatest inner weakness. This was when regional security relations reached their peak of negativity. Inner weakness and political instability were largely the product of specific objective features of the sociopolitical, economic, ideological, and axiological context created by the Soviet Unions unexpectedly rapid disintegration. At the beginning of the long road of postSoviet development the states had to deal with the social and economic difficulties created by the need to transfer to a market economy; considerable shortcomings in distribution of economic resources inside society; the quest for national identity; the exacerbation of ethnopolitical conflicts; inadequate legitimacy and de facto impotent central governments; and the lack of necessary political skills of the new generation of political leaders. It was at this stage of post-Soviet independence in the Central Caucasus that the Armenian-Azeri war reached its peak, as well as the civil war and armed ethnopolitical conflicts in Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia). Only one of the conflicts in Central Europe, in Moldova, developed into armed clashes. The latent confrontation in the Crimea and the inner weakness of Ukraine remain functionally interconnected. In the first and second cases, the conflicts reflected, among other things, the low level of sociopolitical cohesion. In both cases, there were endogenous political factors together with an exogenous factor, Russias indirect presence.19 Irrespective of the answer to the question of whether the conflicts in these regional systems were caused by endogenous factors or developed under the impact of external forces, one thing is clear: weakness and the low level of sociopolitical cohesion of the regional states made the external geopolitical impact effective. This is true of the entire post-Soviet space and is amply confirmed by the comparison between the Central Caucasus and Central Europe and the Baltic states, another postSoviet area. The three Baltic states are fairly heterogeneous in the ethnic and confessional respect; their numerous communities are tied ethnically and linguistically to Russia.20 All the newly independent states felt the impact of the economic and sociocultural disintegration of the Union state; Russias geopolitical interest in retaining its domination in the Baltic region was as strong as, for instance, in Central Europe. This means that if we regard the exogenous political factors as the most important,
18 Some authors have investigated the links between ethnopolitical conflicts in the post-Soviet Caucasus and the regions structural instability (see, for example: N. MacFarlane, The Structure of Instability in the Caucasus, Internationale Politik und GeselschaftInternational Politics and Society, No. 4, 1995, p. 385; R. Sokolsky, T. Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security. A Mission Too Far? Rand Corporation, Washington, 1999, pp. 9, 13-14; S.E. Cornell, Small Nations and Great Powers. A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, Curzon Press, U.K., 2001, p. 52). 19 Russia is part of the PSM along with the Central Eurasian RSCs. The term exogenous as applied to Russias impact on these RSCs should take into account their interconnection in the unified PSM structure. 20 In 2009, ethnic Russians in Estonia comprised about 26% of the total population; in 1989, on the eve of the Soviet Unions disintegration, Russians made up 30% of the population. The figures for Latvia are about 30% in 2009 and 34% in 1989; and about 6% in 2009 and 9.4% in 1989 in Lithuania.

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along with the ethnic and confessional structure of the post-Soviet space, the Baltic states were more prone to conflicts than Central European. Things proved different in reality. The three Baltic states sailed through the transition period without conflicts; in 2004, they acceded the EU and joined NATO; in Central Europe, meanwhile, external factors are still actively manipulating the conflict potential of the regional states. This shows that the inner strength/weakness factor plays an important role in the dynamics of security relations within the corresponding RSCs. At the same time, this factor alone, as well as all the other factors (ethnic, confessional, and economic) taken separately, are insufficient for a complete understanding of the functionality and development of these RSCs. We should also bear in mind the specifics of their combinations in these spaces, as well as the impact produced by exogenous political impulses (relating to the activity of the other PSM elements and to external poles of power). The high instability level of the political structure is not necessarily accompanied by obviously dominating conflict dynamics of interstate relations. This parameter depends more on exogenous political rather than endogenous factors. Indeed, despite their far from simple ethnoterritorial specifics, the Baltic states can be described as a relatively stable political structure. The regions geopolitical openness, caused in particular by the centers of influence in the West and their interest in the region, has balanced out the impact applied by its political environment. This promoted their relatively rapid, painless, and symmetrical transformation, as well as their strengthening; their relations became mature, which added stability to the Baltic political structure of the Baltic region. The above-mentioned logic is confirmed by the empirics of the political structure in the Central Asian RSC. Here too, the transfer to anarchy (caused by the rapid disintegration of the U.S.S.R.) was also accompanied by the weakening of its political units. Still, its influence on security relations in this RSC and the level of conflict potential differed greatly from what took place in Central Europe and the Central Caucasus. The events in Uzbekistan of the late 1980s (in Ferghana) and the civil war in Tajikistan in the early 1990s were the most obvious outbursts of conflict in post-Soviet Central Asia. At the same time, the former and, to a great extent, the latter were much more localized than the events in the Central Caucasus. They did not develop into sustainable and open seats of interstate conflict in the region. As distinct from the conflicts in the other two RSCs, they were finally settled with the active involvement of other states/powers (especially in the case of the domestic conflict in Tajikistan). The role of neighbors and external powers took different forms (for example, Uzbekistan latently supported the northern Khujand (Leninabad) group,21 while Russia openly helped to stabilize the situation by transferring power to Imomali Rakhmon22). The situation around Tajikistan or, to be more exact, its inner weakness threatened to undermine stability of the developing regional political structure of Central Asian RSC. The importance of this destabilizing effect along with Tajikistans inner weakness is explained by the republics
21 The northern part of Tajikistan (Khujand, formerly the Leninabad region) with a predominantly Uzbek population was much more advanced economically (during Soviet power) than the rest of the republic. This part of Tajikistan was ethnically and economically closer to Uzbekistan. Under Soviet power, the republic was ruled mainly by people from Khujand. In post-Soviet times, the South tried to remove people from the North from their commanding posts. Along with other reasons, this contributed to the confrontation in the republic. In fact, the advent to power of Imomali Rakhmon, who was from Kulob, meant that the Khujand groups suffered a political defeat (see: K. Martin, Dobro pozhalovat v Leninabadskuiu Respubliku? Tsentralnaia Azia, No. 10, 1997; Ch. Fairbanks, C.R. Nelson, S.F. Starr, K. Weisbrode, Strategic Assessment of Central Eurasia, The Atlantic Council of the United States, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C., 2001, pp. 14, 21). 22 See: L. Jonson, Russian Policy and Tajikistan, Central Asia, No. 8, 1997, available at [http://www.ca-c.org/dataeng/st_03_jonson.shtml].

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geographic location, its strategic importance for Russia as the southern frontier of the so-called Near Abroad. The republics weakness bordering on its potentially complete collapse as a state would have attracted stronger states willing to fill the political vacuum. As was mentioned above the powers (or the countries willing to acquire this status) looked at control over Tajikistan as a strategic advantage created by the countrys geographic location. In fact, since the early 1990s, this Central Asian state has been developing into an arena of rivalry among external forces seeking domination in Tajikistans political space. This could have destabilized relations among the external actors. In particular, the conflicting political interests in Tajikistan caused tension, to say the least, between Russia and Uzbekistan in the mid- and late 1990s23; Uzbekistan was seeking closer relations with and support of the West. Moreover, these specifics of Tajikistans inner development made it the main corridor between Central Asia and instability in Afghanistan. From the very beginning, the states of the Central Asian RSC regarded Afghanistan as a source of existential threats to their security. It became a transit territory through which drugs and religious radicalism spread across the post-Soviet space. Accordingly, when dealing with Tajikistan, external actors never lose sight of the Afghan factor; this is particularly true of Russia and Uzbekistan. The republics weakness created conditions for Russias continued military presence in its territory.24 Russias military presence is explained, to an equal extent, by its regional geopolitical approaches and its conduct and by Tajikistans political weakness and vulnerability. Whereas we may wish to disregard the possibility that Russia, while seeking control over the Near Abroad, provoked confrontation inside Tajikistan, we have to admit that Russias military presence stemmed the conflict. At the same time, the meaning of this involvement (in the context of the (un)stable political structure in the Central Asian RSC) is highly ambiguous, to say the least. On the one hand, Russias military contingent, first, helped to concentrate political power in the country, which was rapidly falling apart; and second, the country became less vulnerable to the negative activity of external forces (not only neighboring states, but also all sorts of criminal and radical religious groups which used Tajikistan to move drugs across its territory and spread political Islam). This stabilized the regions political structure, but we cannot help but wonder how long Russias military presence will stabilize the situation inside the country and around it. The political elite of Tajikistan cannot be described as the product of a sociopolitical decision achieved by Tajik society itself. It is a product of the competing external players (Russia and Uzbekistan, in particular) or, rather, the victory of the former over the latter. Russias continued military presence does not guarantee that this model of Tajikistans national-state development will lead to sociopolitical and economic strengthening of the country. In fact, the opposite is true: from the very beginning Russias military presence protected the pro-Russian regime of President Rakhmon. It is intended to stem all forces and processes (both inside and outside the country) that might distort the present political orientation and guarantee this protection in full accordance with Realpolitik. Since Russias military presence is primarily explained by Tajikistans internal weakness and vulnerability, we can conclude that Russias continued and sustainable military presence is explained by the fact that the state remains weak and vulnerable. When Tajikistan becomes stronger and less vulnerable, it will no longer need external guarantors of its security; this will deprive any foreign state of convincing arguments for its military presence in Tajikistan. In other words, Russia will preserve its military contingents in Tajikistan because of its geopolitical interests in Central Asia,25 if, first, the
23 24

This was when Uzbekistan left the CSTO and joined GUAM (1999). This brings to mind the situation in Georgia in the early 1990s. 25 In October 2004 the Russian 201st motor rifle division deployed in Tajikistan was transformed into a military base.

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countrys inner sociopolitical cohesion remains weak, while society and political institutions remain loosely connected, and its economy remains inadequate and the country remains dependent on Russia; second, if tension in its relations with neighbors, particularly Uzbekistan, continues. It should be said that the above fully describes the situation. This means that just as in the conflicts in Central Europe and the Central Caucasus, external actors were also actively involved in Central Asia (the civil war in Tajikistan). The conflicts in the regions states were conditioned by the combination of the following factors: the states inner weakness + its geopolitical importance + external political activity. This brings to mind the situation in Moldova and Georgia. In the case of Tajikistan, the conflict was officially settled; it is believed that the tragic situation in Tajikistan has become history. The situations in Moldova and Georgia have not been settled. Does this mean that the coefficient of sociopolitical cohesion in Tajikistan, plus other parameters of its national strength, is higher than in Moldova and Georgia? The answer is No rather than Yes. The three countries are more or less similar in terms of their levels of inner strength/weakness. The situations are different because of the different level of external political activity and its specifics. In all three cases, Russia is the main and strongest source of exogenous influence; the three countriesTajikistan, Moldova, and Georgiaare more or less equally important for Russia. External powers exert a different influence in each of these regions. In the case of Central Asia as a whole (and Tajikistan in particular), Russia is the dominant force; its domination has been achieved and is being stabilized. In the second and third cases, there is no external domination. Today, we are seeing a geopolitical clash in which the conflicts are being used to preserve or even increase external influence in the region. The overlay mechanism within the TRSC can be helpful in the assessment of differences between the cases of Tajikistan, Moldova, and Georgia. In the first case, the inner conflicting dynamics were overlaid by Russia as the dominant force; in the other two cases, this external power is present and competes with the others. Specifics of (A)Symmetry of Strength and Vulnerability in the Regions. The table shows that the three RSCs consist of states with a low level of sociopolitical cohesion; there is also an obvious asymmetry of strength/weakness among them. In the Central European RSC, Belarus has the highest coefficient of sociopolitical cohesion. Compared with the other two states, it is more stable internally; its post-Soviet development has been relatively free from conflict. Ukraine follows suit with a much lower level of sociopolitical cohesion; Moldova is even less cohesive. One can draw this conclusion relying on the dynamics and sociopolitical results of the conflicts in each of them. In both countries, society is obviously split, albeit to different degrees. In Moldova, the Transnistrian conflict de facto detached part of the territory (about 12%), together with people who live in it, from the rest of the republic. This can hardly be described as an ethnic conflict since about 30% of the breakaway Transnistria is composed of ethnic Moldavians, the titular nation of the Republic of Moldova. All the territories in Ukraine remain under control, however continued tension in the Crimea might detonate the situation. The country could be divided along the west-east line. As in Moldova, the Ukrainian split is not a purely ethnic phenomenon; it has political and Church dimensions. It should be said that the predominantly political nature of the inner social split is confirmed by the fact that those who disagree with the official policy (in Ukraine this disagreement cropped up under President Yushchenko in 2005-2010, who looked to the West and wanted integration with NATO and the EU) want closer cooperation with Russia up to and including reintegration. This is another case of an obvious connection between political structure (in)stability and exogenous political factors. The Church crisis in Ukraine, which has been dragging on for a long time (caused by 95

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the split between the supporters of the Kiev and Moscow patriarchates), also demonstrates obvious political hues.26 It seems that in the future, too, Moldova and Ukraine will remain less cohesive socially and politically than Belarus. Despite the highly specific regime of President Lukashenko and the related internal and external pressure, the challenges to Belarusian cohesion are less dangerous for the countrys security than in the other two countries of the Central European RSC. Different combinations of endogenous and exogenous factors produce different effects. In the case of Belarus, even more or less considerable destabilization of the regime will not add either an ethnic (as in Moldova) or an ethnic and Church (as in Ukraine) split to the sociopolitical dissent. The exogenous political factor is manifested differently in these states. In view of the relatively stable pro-Russian social and political identity in Belarus,27 destabilization will urge Russia to help preserve the country. This is not the case in Ukraine and Moldova, which seek European integration. The structural asymmetry of the Central European RSC is demonstrated in economic and military parameters: the table shows that Ukraine is much stronger in these respects than Belarus and Moldova. At the same time, the military-political configuration in this RSC is largely determined from the outside. According to the logic of regional interdependence formulated by the TRSC, Ukraine and Belarus, the two strongest states, should be the main rivals. In fact, the rivalry in the duad hinges on their relations with the Russian Federation. The sum-total of the indices of its national strength makes Ukraine Russias most important rival in the post-Soviet space. Ukraine and Moldova perceive Russia as a threat to their security, which forced them to draw closer together. This confirms that the PSM idea is highly topical and that the Central European, Central Caucasian, and Central Asian RSCs should be regarded as PSM sub-systems. Structural asymmetry is no less obvious in the other two RSCs; their different levels of sociopolitical cohesion add to the regions structural instability caused by different levels of military and economic parameters. It is much harder to assess the degree to which structural specifics affect the situation in the Central Caucasus. Though, as distinct from Central Europe, in the Central Caucasian RSC security dynamics are more localized, which calls, in particular, for a more precise definition of the political structure proper. However, in view of the regions far more complicated ethnic and confessional specifics, relations among the individual elements of the political structure are strongly affected by non-political factors. This makes it harder to identify the interconnection between the political structure and the conduct of states (its elements). The three states of the Central Caucasian RSC are fairly vulnerable in terms of their sociopolitical cohesion. From time to time their vulnerability is obviously associated with what their neighbors do. In the early 1990s, armed conflicts deprived two of the states (Azerbaijan and Georgia) of control over parts of their territory populated by ethnic minorities. The inner tension in Georgia is fed by the continued tension with Russia. In August 2008, it developed into a war. Georgias relatively weak economic potential allows us to describe the challenges to its sociopolitical cohesion as much more obvious than in the case of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
26 The Ukrainian authorities tried to detach Ukrainian Orthodoxy from Russia to play down the impact of the Russian Orthodox Church and increase the religious distance between Ukraine and Russia by setting up a single local Orthodox Church. President Yushchenko spoke in June 2008 during the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the introduction of Christianity into Russia about the necessity of setting up a single local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. 27 In the post-Soviet period, Belarus has been much more oriented toward Russia than the other Soviet successor states. It is a member of all the major Kremlin-initiated post-Soviet reintegration alliancesthe CIS, the CSTO, the Union State of Russia and Belarus, the EurAsEC, the Customs Union, and the Common Economic Space.

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In the Armenia-Azerbaijan duad the former is less vulnerable because of its ethnic and religious homogeneity, among other things. At the same time, these countries negative interdependence due to their involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenias weak economy, as well as its dependence on external actors, equalizes risks to the sociopolitical instability in both states. As a result of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan lost about one fifth of its territory (the part very important in the cultural-civilizational respect). During the war of 1991-1993, each of Armenias military successes plunged Azerbaijan into a grave political crisis and regime change. Today, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue remains the most important factor of the split/unity of Azerbaijani society. Armenia, which won the war and established its control over this part of Azerbaijan populated by Armenians, has to spend more on the arms race; the logic of the security dilemma has made it dependent on external actors (Russia) for its security; it was excluded from the economically advantageous regional transportation and energy projects and must be prepared to confront its economically stronger opponent. This can hardly be described as a positive factor when assessing the sociopolitical situation in Armenia. The political crisis during the last presidential election of February 2008 demonstrated that society was split and there was no agreement on the issues described above.28 The Nagorno-Karabakh issue, which ties the two countries together, determines the dynamics of their military and political rivalry in the region. This also explains the asymmetry of strength between them. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan regard this territory as a vitally important component of their national security. Azerbaijan treats it as part of its territory according to international law; its loss might weaken its position in the regional balance of power. Given the military-strategic specifics of Azerbaijans central and western parts and Armenias military-technical capabilities, Armenias continued military control of Nagorno-Karabakh (even if Azerbaijan restored its sovereignty over the valley regions of Karabakh) will threaten a large part of Azerbaijans territory (crisscrossed by the BakuSupsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipelinethe main sources of the republics income). At the same time, as most other multinational states, Azerbaijan cannot relinquish part of its territory in order to avoid a possible domino effect; other compact ethnic communities might try to detach themselves from Azerbaijan. In 1993, the country found itself on the brink of similar developments when there were attempts to set up a Talysh-Mugan Republic in the southeast of Azerbaijan. Armenia, in turn, is seeking control of Nagorno-Karabakh because of its mainly Armenian population, which fears continued Azeri sovereignty over this territory.29 There is another, structuralpolitical explanation of Armenias continued occupation of the southwest of Azerbaijan. According to the aggregate indices of its national power (territory, population, and resources), Armenia is much weaker than Azerbaijan. To compensate for the imbalance and in view of the far from simple previous relations, Armenia needed military-strategic advantages in the form of control over the strategically important Nagorno-Karabakh with its predominantly Armenian population. Today, the Armenia-Azerbaijan duad presents the greatest source of instability in the Central Caucasian RSC and is responsible for the regional arms race. The military and economic inequality of
28 During the presidential election in Armenia, the bulk of the protesting electorate supported Levon Ter-Petrossian, who wanted integration with the West, less dependence on the Russian Federation, and better relations with neighbors. According to the official figures, he gained 21.5% of the votes against 52.8% gained by Serzh Sargsyan, who represented the ruling party. The opposition accused the countrys leaders of falsifications and started mass protest actions; about 10 people died in the armed clashes; a state of emergency was introduced. 29 See, for example: H. Tchlingirian, Nagorno-Karabagh: Transition and the Elite, Central Asian Survey, No. 18 (4), 1999, p. 445.

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the two countries is behind the asymmetry of strength. According to official declarations, the armed forces of Azerbaijan outstrip Armenia (see the Table). However, to assess the real correlation of forces, we should take into account the capabilities of Armenias armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and around it.30 This presents a different picture: Armenia has many more tanks, infantry fighting and armored vehicles, and guns, while the numerical strength of both sides is more or less the same. For geographical reasons, these components of the armed forces are critically important for establishing a real military balance between the two states. Azerbaijan is much stronger economically; its military budget is three times larger than that of Armenia. The gap will increase in the course of time because of Azerbaijans much faster economic growth. However, in the future, the reliance of Azerbaijans economy on the revenues from the export and transportation of energy resources might develop into a problem.31 The obvious signs of military and economic asymmetry bring to mind the Waltzian formula: the vicious circle of the security dilemma. The asymmetries are mutually stimulating: Azerbaijans better economic situation urges Armenia to build up its military capabilities, while Azerbaijan is steadily expanding its economic capabilities to respond to Armenias efforts in the military sphere. The future for both countries looks sad: large-scale and ineffective economic investments in the military sphere in Azerbaijan vs. still greater military-technical and economic dependence on external actors for Armenia. Georgia, which has its share of economic problems, tends to spend more on defense. Very much as in the case of the states of the Central European RSC, this is suggested not so much by its relations with its Central Caucasian neighbors as by its relations with Russia or, rather, with the separatist regimes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia supported by the Russian Federation. At the same time, Georgia, as member of other duads, may become involved in other structural asymmetries. Tension in the Georgia-Armenia duad might increase in view of the still burning contradictions over Javakhetia populated by Armenians and the development of mutually advantageous economic cooperation with Azerbaijan. The table shows that Kazakhstan holds the best position in the Central Asian RSC. This country is more heterogeneous in the ethnic and confessional respect than other regional states, however this is balanced out by the economic factor and cooperative relations with the external centers of power. The challenges are mainly exogenous and are created by the still unresolved legal status of the Caspian; the five coastal states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan) have not delineated the sea. There are also problems in relations with Uzbekistan (transborder issues and rivalry over regional leadership). The global economic crisis of 2008 hit Kazakhstan, which means that economic growth might slow down to deprive Astana of economic instruments for smoothing out objective social problems; this might extend the range of real threats to the countrys sociopolitical stability. Some other states of the Central Asian RSC, too, have economic instruments for smoothing out domestic problems. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan could make use of oil and gas exports as the simplest and fastest way to do this.32 However, the fairly rigid and relatively isolated political regimes
30 There are informal military units on the occupied Azeri lands presented as self-defense forces of Nagorno-Karabakh: there are about 18,000 people, 316 tanks, 324 infantry fighting and armored vehicles, and 322 guns. They should be regarded as part of Armenians real military capabilities. 31 According to the official statistics, in 2009 the share of Azerbaijans oil and gas industry was 44.8% (see: Azerbaijan in Figures 2010, State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, available at [http://www.azstat.org/publications/azfigures/2010/en/010.shtml]). 32 According to certain sources, the proven natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan amount to 4.3% of the worlds total; Uzbekistans share is 0.9% (figures at the end of 2009) (see: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2010, p. 22,

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and corruption in both countries, which make it difficult to ensure a fair distribution of economic wealth, complicated the situation. Both states (and Tajikistan for that matter) border on Afghanistan, which makes them vulnerable to Afghan instability. Turkmenistan has much more favorable internal and external conditions.
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First, along with the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan, it is one of the leaders among the former Soviet republics in terms of gas production and export volumes. It has the smallest population in the region, while Uzbekistan has the regions largest population (five times higher than that of Turkmenistan), which limits its chances to resolve the countrys problems by exporting energy resources. Second, Ashghabads foreign policy is more consistent; in 1995, the international community recognized its status of permanent neutrality. Its relations with the strong powers are balanced and relatively stable. Uzbekistan, on the other hand, performed several foreign policy U-turns: in 1999, it switched from a pro-Russian to a pro-Western orientation only to beat a retreat in 2005, which does not recommend it as a reliable ally. Uzbekistan is the regions only country with security problems with all of Central Asian neighbors.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have not moved far enough toward sociopolitical cohesion; they have survived serious upheavals: the civil war in Tajikistan and the two revolutions in Kyrgyzstan (in 2005 and 2010) are the most serious outcrops of the crises of statehood. There are other internal and external factors which do nothing to improve the situation.
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First, as distinct from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, they have much fewer natural resources to be developed with minimum investments in a maximally short period of time.33 Second, radical religious movements are much stronger in these two countries than in their neighbors; they have already lived through several armed conflictsthe civil war in Tajikistan with obvious religious hues and the Batken events in Kyrgyzstan. Third, they are more open to external influence than the other countries: the specific features described above make them dependent on external factors in the political, economic, and military respects.

The structural asymmetry in the Central Asian RSC is further increased by the fairly different military and economic capabilities of its members. Accordingly, the functionality of security dilemma becomes apparent in a varying degree in all the duads of the RSC. At the same time, the states are demonstrating more restraint in their conduct than the countries of the Central Caucasian RSC. One can connect this with their much more homogenous ethnic, linguistic, and confessional structure,34 which keeps enmities at bay. This is also explained by exogenous political factors: their relative geopolitical affinity, that is, domination of the only external power (Russia) which, in the absence of rivals, tries to consolidate the RSC even though it does not always suppress the negative dynamics of the security dilemma among the regions actors. The Uzbekistan-Tajikistan duad is one of the best examples of this even though both countries are involved in the same regional organizations (including the security-related CSTO and SCO).
available at [http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publications/ statistical_energy_review_2008/STAGING/local_assets/2010_downloads/statistical_review_of_world_energy_full_report_ 2010.pdf]). 33 Hydropower engineering is the main energy source in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, although its export is less profitable than the export of oil and gas. 34 Sunni Islam is the predominant confession in all five states; they are all populated by Turks (with the exception of Tajikistan).

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The U-turn Uzbekistan performed in the mid-2000s when it turned to Russia did not improve its relations with Tajikistan. This prompted Tajikistan, which is much weaker than Uzbekistan in all respects, to seek Russias protection, which alerted Uzbekistan. The agreement on the legal status of Russias armed units in Tajik territory the sides signed in April 1999 prompted President of Uzbekistan Karimov to accuse Moscow of failing to consult the regions other countries.35 In 1999, Uzbekistan left the CSTO and started moving closer to the West, probably because of the Russian-Tajik agreement, among other things. Ethnic and territorial issues as well as the problem of water use and trans-border activity of radical Islamic organizations (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Hizb ut-Tahrir)36 add to the destabilizing potential of the power asymmetry in the Uzbekistan-Tajikistan duad. Relations in the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan duad are less obvious, but they play an important role in the regions structural (in)stability. The aggregate national power indices of the two countries make them the most probable regional leaders. Within the context of the Central Asian RSC, security relations within the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan duad are best described by the Waltzian vicious circle. Its oil and gas transformed Kazakhstan into the regions economic leader with much stronger military components of its national power. Despite the fact that Uzbekistan is lagging behind in the economic sphere, it has important advantages over the other countries. First, it is the only state with land borders with all the other states of the Central Asian RSC. Second, its population, which is ethnically more homogenous than in the other states, is also the largest. It is twice as large as that of Kazakhstan, while the correlation between the titular and non-titular ethnicities is much more favorable (the regions best) than that of Kazakhstan (the regions worst). This has inevitably stirred up a lot of concern in Uzbekistans neighbors in the post-Soviet era. In fact, in the course of time, Uzbekistans conduct supplied its neighbors with even more obvious cause for worry. On top of this, there is a large number of still unsettled problems in its relations with neighbors (from border conflicts to water use problems). While Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (the two poorest countries) had to accept Russias protection and the deployment of its military contingents in their territories in response to their weakness compared with Uzbekistan, the richer countries (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) placed the stakes on a qualitative and quantitative improvement of their military capabilities. (Im)Mature Relations between the Regional States. The conditions in which the political system has been developing in the post-Soviet space (in the three Central Eurasian regions in particular) are hardly conducive to a more or less rapid enhancement of the maturity of interstate relations. This is best confirmed by the armed conflicts of the late 1980s-early 1990s, which have not yet been resolved. The entire space (including Russia and other post-Soviet areas) is a conglomerate of ethnicities and religions. Samuel Huntington wrote that the line of clashes of civilizations (Orthodoxy, Western Christianity, and Islam) runs across these and similar areas. The social factor is more conducive to mature interstate relations in Central Europe and Central Asia than in the Central Caucasus; indeed, their ethnic, linguistic, and confessional structures are more homogeneous than in the latter. Central Europe is populated mainly by Slavs, who are Orthodox Christian, and Central Asia has a predominantly Turkic population, which follows Sunni Islam. The picture is different in the Central Caucasus, which is populated by three major ethnic groupsAzeris, Armenians, and Georgianseach with a religion of its own: Shia Islam among the Azeris; Gregorian
35 See: R. Burnashev, Regional Security in Central Asia: Military Aspects, in: Central Asia. A Gathering Storm? ed. by B. Rumer, M.E. Sharpe, 2002, p. 157. 36 The fact that radical religious groups penetrate Uzbekistan from Tajikistan remains one of the main bones of contention in the two countries bilateral relations.

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Christianity among the Armenians; and Orthodox Christianity among the Georgians. This may be helpful in explaining why conflicts as outcrops of immature relations have become especially vehement in the Caucasus. The relations among the political units in these regions have not contributed to the maturity of political relations. The history of independence of all political units (states) is very short: for long periods these ethnicities were parts of external imperial systems. Their Heartland location (to borrow the term from Halford Mackinder) made them the coveted targets of external actors (Russia, Turkey, Iran, the West, and China). In fact, the mechanisms the external actors used to achieve their aimsresettlement, pushing ethnic borders at will, and manipulations with ethnicities in the divide and rule stylenever contributed to good neighborly relations in these regions. The problems inherited from the imperial past still cast a pall over the relations among the newly independent states. Besides, in the post-Soviet era, Central Eurasia remained geopolitically attractive to the great powers. In fact, economic factors, in particular regional energy and transportation projects, brought the regions states closer together, although this has not helped resolve the security dilemmas so far and has not been conducive to regional cooperation on the basis of economic interdependence.

Conclusion
The specifics of the regions political structure remain one of the key endogenous factors of the regional security systems. The post-Cold War world has so far failed to move away from the positivist interpretations of international politics; in most cases, interstate relations are developing under the impact of structural factors. At the same time, one needs to reassess their impact in the context of the regions social specifics. Any regional political structure can stimulate either moderation or conflicts in the relations of the regional states. This makes it important to identify such a parameter as the stability/instability of political structure of a regional security system not only from the theoretical point of view, but also for purely practical purposes. Though, this parameter cannot be the only explanation of amity/enmity. (In)stability of a political structure is determined by three factors: inner strength/weakness of the states in a regional system; (a)symmetry of strength and (a)symmetry of vulnerability among them; and (im)maturity of their mutual relations. The political structure of the Central Eurasian RSCs discussed here, as well as the entire PSM, is unstable; the sociopolitical cohesion of states can hardly be described as high. Their independent development, especially in the early and mid-1990s, was aggravated by serious internal problems and an acute feeling of vulnerability. At the same time, different countries have different ideas about their vulnerabilities and threats; the levels of their weakness are likewise different, which points to the systems structural asymmetry. This means that out of the four types of regional security systemspositively symmetrical, positively asymmetrical, negatively symmetrical, and negatively asymmetricalthe RSCs functioning in Central Europe, the Central Caucasus, and Central Asia belong to the latter; the same is true of the entire PSM. The relations among the states in each of the regions have not become mature and cooperative enough to play down the negative impact of their weakness, vulnerability, and structural asymmetry. The stability/instability of a political structure can be described as an independent endogenous variable of any RSC, if the latter does not belong to a large system (in this case, it follows the development pattern of the larger system). 101

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The above analysis of the political structure of the post-Soviet regions of Central Eurasia has demonstrated that the RSCs of Central Europe, the Central Caucasus, and Central Asia belong to the PSM. For the time being, any adequate assessment of security relations within these RSCs is possible only within the web of interdependencies of the regional system in the post-Soviet space. These RSCs are functioning and developing under the strong influence of Russia, the only power pole in the PSM which sometimes overshadows the relations between the member states of these regional complexes. Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia can serve as the most pertinent examples of this. This means that the entire range of impacts of the structural factors on the development of the Central European, Central Caucasian, and Central Asian RSCs can be revealed only if we bear in mind the specifics of the PSM political structure.

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REGIONAL POLITICS

COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF RUSSIAN AND CHINESE INTERESTS IN CENTRAL ASIA


Ahmet TOLGA TRKER Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Istanbul Arel University (Istanbul, Turkey)

Introduction
n addition to the recent violent ethnic conflict in Kyrgyzstan, some of the other events attracting attention to politics in Central Asia are the Georgian-Russian war, the Color Revolutions, the Andijan events in Uzbekistan, the Karimov governments subsequent decision to end U.S. basing rights, Kazakhstans economic rise, and the leadership change in Turkmenistan. At the same time, the security situation in Afghanistan and the growing insecurity about energy supplies has heightened the interest in security and economic cooperation in Central Asia. Russia and China have been reacting to these same pressures. On the one hand, they have reached a broad agreement on the priority of regime security and

the need to limit the long-term military presence of the United States in Central Asia. On the other hand, their agreement and priorities should not be viewed as entirely cohesive. The divergent interests within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), among the Central Asian states, and especially between Russia and China serve to limit any coordinated foreign policy toward Central Asia by the two powers. This paper aims to establish a framework/ background for a comparative analysis of Russian and Chinese policies on Central Asia based on a perspective that combines the interest-oriented realist school with value-driven or ideology-based foreign policymaking.

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To do that, I will first focus on those arguments that are most important for shaping foreign policy in the context of the growing pressure of globalization and the creation of new national identities and diverse constituencies. Second, I will compare the official statesponsored values chosen by Russia and China in formulating their policies toward Central Asia.

Third, I will look into how these statesponsored values facilitate relations with Central Asia. Finally, I will examine the relationship between the states interests and official state values and evaluate the effectiveness of Russian and Chinese foreign policies in Central Asia, as well as the Central Asian reaction to the power play between these two rising nations in their region.

I. The Role of Values in Foreign Policymaking


Traditionally, foreign policymaking studies share the assumption that states are rational actors and that they follow their own interests. Today, states still prioritize their interests by seeking to maximize their security and economic wellbeing. However, in the post-Cold War era this alone is no longer a sufficient explanation of foreign policy formulation. Instead, classical realist assumptions have been challenged by the rise in standards and ideas that call for qualitative justification of interest-maximizing behaviors. Formulating a foreign policy based purely on interests might be seen as a violation of some of the new regulations, such as peace and cooperation.1 Without offering values or ideologies to rationalize ones own behavior from the moral standpoint, foreign policymaking can leave states facing considerable domestic and international resistance.2 Therefore, rational actors should offer a state-sponsored value-driven dimension to rationalize their search for benefits in seemingly non-interest-driven terms. For these policies to be effective, such values must persuasively provide an alternative to offset conflicting standards that question interest-based foreign policy. States, as rational actors, should almost always prioritize interests over values since following the regulations could result in deviating from national interests. In other words, if interests and sponsored values come into conflict, the latter are often less important than the former, particularly when there is excessive pursuit of values and ideology. In this sense, value-driven foreign policy in combination with interest-based assumption is different from solely value-driven policymaking, since the former includes both the carrot and the stick. That is, lack of cooperation could be denounced in moralistic terms. Finally, the efforts exerted by states to balance and combine values and interests depend on the actors in the political and social structure. Therefore, for instance, we could expect a pluralist
1 For more comprehensive accounts of the changes and trends in international relations theories, see: St.M. Walt, International Relations: One World, Many Theories, Foreign Policy, No. 110, Spring 1998; The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, ed. by P.J. Katzenstein, Columbia University Press, New York, 1996; R.O. Keohane, J. Nye, Transitional Relations and World Politics, International Organization, Vol. 25, No. 3, Summer 1971; T. Hopf, The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory, International Security, Vol. 23, No. 1, Summer 1989; A. Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999. 2 See: J.K. Jacobsen, Much Ado about Ideas: The Cognitive Factor in Economic Policy, World Politics, No. 47 (2), January 1995, pp. 283-310; A.S. Yee, The Causal Effects of Ideas on Policies, International Organization, No. 50 (1), December 1996, pp. 69-108; L.H. Gelb, J.A. Rosenthal, The Rise of Ethics in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2003, pp. 2-7.

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country like the United States to embed values in its foreign policymaking better than its Russian and Chinese counterparts.

Central Asia
Scholarly interest in Central Asia has become widespread after the five statesKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistangained their independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.3 There are many aspects of the importance of the region. Some stress the significance of its Islamic religion when discussing the security issue in Central Asia.4 Others say that geopolitics play a greater role in the region, which has been described as the second Persian Gulf, a new grand chessboard, the heartland of the heartland, or the Great Game II.5 The Cold War complex also haunts the republics themselves. Despite this unease, the politics and governments in Central Asia, the post-Soviet republics occupying it, their relations with their neighbors, and how they deal with the pressures of globalization seem to be some of the greatest concerns. Among the global powers that have prime interests in the region, the United States, Russia, and China are the leading competing forces, although nations such as Japan, South Korea, and India also have their sights set on the region.6

II. Russian and Chinese Official Values in Central Asia


Since the early 1990s, the largely statist-driven contemporary Russian government has tended to place less emphasis on values in its dealings with Central Asian republics. However, in the last decade, Russian foreign policy has signaled a change toward Central Asia, which can be interpreted as a value: sovereign democracy. Originally the term was used as a reaction to NATO intervention in Ko3 For instance, see: D. Christian, A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1998; R. Foltz, Religions of the Silk Road, St. Martins Griffin, New York, 1996; M. Haghayeghi, Islam and Politics in Central Asia, St. Martins Press, New York, 1996; S. Soucek, A History of Inner Asia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 2000; Ch.W. Maynes, America Discovers Central Asia, Foreign Affairs, No. 82 (2), March/April 2003, pp. 120-133. 4 See: D. Hoffman, Irans Drive to Rebuild Seen Posing New Challenges to West, The Washington Post, 2 February, 1992; J. Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Report for Congress, 13 November, 2008. 5 See: Zb. Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Basic Books, New York, 1997; M.P. Amineh, Globalization, Geopolitics and Energy Security in Central Eurasia and the Caspian Region, Clingendael International Energy Program, The Hague, 2003; S. Cunnings, Oil, Transition and Security in Central Asia, Routledge Curzon, New York, 2003; R. Legvold, Greater Power Stakes in Central Asia, in: Thinking Strategically: The Major Powers, Kazakhstan, and the Central Asian Nexus, ed. by R. Legvold, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003. 6 See: A. Bohr, Regionalism in Central Asia: New Geopolitics, Old Regional Order, International Affairs, No. 80 (3), 2004, pp. 485-502; N. MacFarlane, The United States and Regionalism in Central Asia, International Affairs, No. 80 (3), 2004, pp. 447-461; D. Smith, Central Asia: A New Great Game? Research Monograph from Strategic Studies Institute, 1996, p. 20 (see also: T.C. Shaffer, V. Hate, Indias Look West Policy: Why Central Asia Matters, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C., September 2007; N. Joshi, Reconnecting India and Central Asia: Emerging Security and Economic Dimensions, Central Asia Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program, Washington D.C., 2010; Ch. Len, Japans Central Asian Diplomacy: Motivations, Implications and Prospects for the Region, The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 3, 2005, pp. 127-149).

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sovo in 1999, against Russias traditional ally Serbia. Tony Blair, the prime minister of Great Britain at the time, used human rights above sovereignty to imply a new international doctrine, which includes an important qualification of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Accordingly, this new doctrine is based on values rather than on territorial ambitions. But values and interests, he adds, cannot be separated. If we can establish and spread the values of liberty, the rule of law, human rights and an open society then that is in our national interests too. The spread of our values makes us safer.7 Moscows reaction to NATO intervention in Kosovo was to reverse Blairs doctrine to sovereignty is above human rights. Later on Russia followed this by constructing a comprehensive system of defensive networks, thus forming a sovereign state alliance. To do this, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) established the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in 2002 aimed at joining forces to combat international terrorism, illicit drug circulation, illegal migration, and organized crime. The CSTO members, Russia and all the Central Asian nations except Turkmenistan, agreed that external cooperation involving any member with a third party should be approved by all.8 In addition, in 2000 the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation signaled a new direction in Russias foreign policy toward Central Asia.9 The new foreign policy called for developing bilateral relations with the Central Asian sovereign states by dropping the traditional multilateral approach and focusing less on the region as a whole and more on the specific nations as Russias strategic partners.10 In 2006, Vladislav Surkov, former deputy head of the presidential administration, used the term sovereign democracy to offer a qualitative value of Russian foreign policy: the idea in a societys political life where the political powers, their authorities and decisions are decided and controlled by a diverse Russian nation for the purpose of achieving material welfare, freedom and fairness for all citizens, social groups and nationalities, for all the peoples forming that wider society.11 Even though the term initially caused a split between liberal-minded politicians and experts such as Dmitry Medvedev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mikhail Kasyanov, and hardliners, it found its manifestation in Russian foreign policy. For instance, Monaghan notes that Moscow is operating in the nature of a unipolar world dominated by the United Statesa world marked by double standards, the use of force and instability, and one in which Russia would need to protect its sovereign independence.12 Moreover, former Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov argues that contemporary Russian foreign policy would include cooperation with NATO, as well as the CSTO and SCO, in order to adapt to the chal7 For an analysis of Blairs new doctrine, see: J. Ralph Tony Blairs New Doctrine of International Community and the UK Decision to Invade Iraq, University of Leeds, School of Politics and International Studies, Working Paper, No. 20, August 2005. Ralph adds: To the historically minded, the New Doctrine bears an uncanny resemblance to the Old Doctrine of ethical imperialism, in whose name civilized countries imposed their values on barbarous ones. 8 See: J. Nichol, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, CRS Report for Congress, 14 December, 2007. 9 See the full text at [http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/docs/2008/07/204750.shtml]. 10 See: D. Trofimov, Russian Foreign-Policy Objectives in Central Asia, Russian Regional Perspectives Journal, Vol. 1, Issue. 2, 2006 11 V. Surkov, Natsionalizatsiia budushchego, Expert Magazine, No. 43 (537), 20 November, 2006, available at [http://expert.ru/expert/2006/43/nacionalizaciya_buduschego/]. For an excellent analysis of the term, see: A. Okara, Sovereign Democracy: A New Russian Idea or a PR Project?, Russia in Global Affairs, No. 2, July-September 2007. Okara notes: The phrase sovereign democracy came into use long before Surkov. During the Cold War, it meant a democratic state independent of the Soviet Union and the Communist camp and having an appropriate political regime. In todays world, it is broadly used in Taiwan where it provides an explanation for the islands independence from China and juxtaposes the democratic principles of the regime in Taipei to the regime in Beijing, available at [http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/ n_9123] (see also: I. Krastev, Russia vs. Europe: The Sovereignty Wars, Open Democracy, 7 September, 2007). 12 A. Monaghan, An Enemy at the Gates or From Victory to Victory? Russian Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Vol. 84, No. 4, July 2008, pp. 717-733.

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lenge to national security arising from a violent assault on the constitutional order of some postSoviet states.13 Okara argues that the term sovereign democracy has two messages. The first message is that we are a party wielding state power and sovereign elite, and the sources of our legitimacy are found in Russia, not in the West Second, being a power-wielding force we are the guarantors of Russias sovereignty and survival in the context of globalization and other external super-threats.14 We could add to this a third message in which Russia encourages foreign authoritarian rulers, for instance those in Central Asia, to transplant a similar Russian system to rule their countries, while persuading these rulers to counter the Western ideal of liberal democracy. Although the substance of the term is still debatable, it continues to dominate Russian foreign policy15 and reflects a departure from a realistminded foreign policy. Similar to Russia, Chinas foreign policy is also concerned with the issue of sovereignty. However, since Hu Jintao assumed leadership in 2002-2003, China has instead striven to demonstrate that it no longer highlights the supremacy of sovereignty. Rather China presents itself to the world order as a responsible state. This can be observed at the U.N., where China had been infamous for abstaining from voting on contentious international issues. For instance, a notable example of this change in Chinese attitude was when China supported U.N. Resolution 1769 to send peacekeeping troops to intervene in the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of its ally Sudan.16 Medeiros and Fravel see the new Chinese attitude as a less confrontational, more sophisticated, more confident, and, at times, more constructive approach toward regional and global affairs, affording it the position of a status quo power in the international community.17 Such observations are strengthened when Chinese officials identify peaceful development in a harmonious world as their diplomatic, and also to some extent ideological, guiding principle.18 For instance, in his speech during his first official visit to the United States, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao spelled out peaceful rise as the cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy, by which China would remain actively involved in world affairs in a manner that engaged, respected, and tolerated other nations without harming their different social systems and cultural traditions.19 Although the academic debate on peaceful rise continued, Jia Qingguo explained the crux of the term as despite initial resistance, the Chinese government gradually accepted the post-Cold War international reality and decided that it was not in Chinas interest to challenge the most powerful country unless Chinas own core national interests were involved.20 In order to achieve peaceful development in a harmonious world, in addition to maintaining its non-interventionist tradition, Chinese foreign policy should demonstrate a number of values, such
13 Quoted from: D. Averre, Sovereign Democracy and Russias Relations with the European Union, Demokratizatsiya, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2007, pp. 173-190. 14 See: A. Okara, op. cit. 15 See: N. Mehdiyeva, New Man in the Kremlin: What Future for Russian Foreign Policy, International Spectator, No. 43 (2), June 2008, pp. 21-34. 16 For analysis of the U.N. resolution on the Sudan, see: R. Cohen Will Security Council Resolution 1769 Make a Difference in Darfur?, Brookings Institution, 9 August, 2007, available at [http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2007/ 0809humanrights_cohen.aspx]. 17 See: E. Medeiros, T. Fravel, Chinas New Diplomacy, Foreign Affairs, No. 82 (6), 2003, pp. 23-35. 18 See: S. Xu Hui Shen, Qualitative Energy Diplomacy in Central Asia: A Comparative Analysis of the Policies of the United States, Russia and China, The Brookings Institution, Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, April 2011, p. 16, available at [http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2011/04_us_russia_china_shen/ 04_us_russia_china_shen.pdf]. 19 Ibidem (for full speech, see [http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/topics/wenvisituscaeth/t55971.htm]). 20 J. Qingguo, Learning to Live with the Hegemon: Evolution of Chinas Policy toward the U.S. since the End of the Cold War, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 14, No. 44, August 2005 (quoted from: S. Xu Hui Shen, op. cit., p. 16).

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as impartiality in handling international duties and transparency in making decisions that might influence the wellbeing of citizens beyond its borders. Nevertheless, it can be argued that when compared to its Russian, and even American, counterpart, Chinese foreign policy seems to adhere to a stauncher moral background and to be a more value-driven foreign policy.

III. The Impact of the Value-Driven Foreign Policies of Russia and China in Central Asia
As noted earlier, the term sovereign democracy was initially used in response to the Western challenge of liberal democracy. Later the term gained more applicability as part of a new direction in Russias foreign policy toward Central Asia. The Andijan incidents of 2005 in Uzbekistan can be utilized to understand its application. While the EU and the United States criticized Karimovs handling of the Andijan uprising, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov more or less endorsed Uzbekistans official interpretation by saying that the incident was planned and executed by radical Islamist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT).21 In addition to Russia declining requests by the West to mediate in the conflict, the SCO refused to grant asylum to any of the Andijan protestors.22 The Russian attitude during and after the Andijan uprising could be argued to convey not only a set of values with respect to the Central Asian leaders such as priority of order over plurality, but also rewards such as encouraging and supporting the practice of sovereign democracy within their borders and remaining immune to human rights critics beyond them. After Andijan, Russia signed the Treaty on Allied Relations with Uzbekistan in November 2005, which highlights the respect for mutual sovereignty between the two countries. The Program of Economic Cooperation for 2008-2012 was signed, and the Russian energy giants Gazprom and LUKoil have invested about $2.5 billion in Uzbekistan since the signing of the treaty.23 On the other hand, energy deals and economic cooperation between Russia and Central Asian states, particularly Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, continued in the last decade as sovereign democracy became firmly embedded in Russian foreign policy. In 2003, Moscow concluded a series of deals with Astana over the joint exploitation of three oil-rich sites of Kurmangazy (Rosneft), Tsentralnoye (Gazprom), and Khvalynskoye (LUKoil). In 2005, the Russo-Kazakh joint venture KazRosGas was formally established, with the intention of producing 15 bcm per year from the Kazakh site of Karachaganak.24 In 2007, Putin, together with President Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan and President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan, signed a deal on the construction of a new pipeline to transport Turkmen and Kazakh gas to Russia.25 Overall application of the term sovereign
21 See: International Crisis Group, The Andijan Uprising, Asia Briefing, No. 38, 25 May, 2005; M. Walker, Analysis: Uzbek Leader Escapes Isolation, United Press International, 7 May, 2005. 22 See: J. Corwin, Is Russia Helping Tashkent Clean-up After Andijan?, Eurasianet, 14 July, 2005, available at [http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/civilsociety/articles/pp071505.shtml]. 23 Note that the U.S. base in Uzbekistan closed after the Andijan uprising in November 2005 (see: G. Saidazimova, Andijan Prompted International Power Shift, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 12 May 2006, available at [http://www. rferl.org/content/article/1068365.html]. 24 See: S. Xu Hui Shen, op. cit., p. 13 (see also: M. Laurelle, Russias Central Asia Policy and the Role of Russian Nationalism, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Washington D.C., 2008). 25 For detailed discussion of this topic, see: Perspectives on Caspian Oil and Gas Development, International Energy Agency Working Paper Series, December 2008, pp. 14-21.

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democracy to Russian foreign policy in Central Asia is best exemplified when Russia leverages its connections and resources to counter Western interests. The main foreign policy objectives of China in Central Asia could be summarized as ever increasing energy reliance on outside resources and the Uighur separatist activity in Western China to counter the U.S. and Russian influence in the region and to monitor rivalry from neighboring India.26 The cornerstone of the Chinese version of Central Asia lies in its commitment to multilateralism and establishing a harmonious neighborhood as part of its collective regional responsibilities. When compared with Russian bilateralism, the Chinese multilateral approach offers Beijing economic opportunities. In contrast to Russias tendency to confront the West in the region, China offers a non-interventionist multilateral cooperation network. Chinese energy reliance has naturally driven foreign policy since the 1990s. For instance, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) began operating in Kazakhstan when it bought majority shares of the Kazakh Aktobemunaygaz oil company in 1997 and continued when it took over PetroKazakhstan in 2005.27 In addition, CNPC, together with KazMunayGas, built a 1,000-km pipeline to connect Atasu (a town in the western Kazakh Karaganda province) to Chinas Alashankou in Xinjiang, which was completed in December 2005. This pipeline is important not only for the Chinese domestic market, but could also be instrumental if and when Eurasian oil and gas reach the Japanese and South Korean markets through Chinese territory.28 There are other agreements on oil and gas cooperation between China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan signed in the name of building a harmonious neighborhood.29 For instance, a notable energy advancement was signed between China and Turkmenistan in which the latter agreed to export 30 bcm of natural gas annually for 30 years through a planned Central Asian pipeline to be built by CNPC. Not only was this deal signed with Ashghabad, but China will explore for oil with Turkmenistan and is talking to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan about gas pipelines from the latter through, or with branches to, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, so that it can avoid having to depend on Russia.30 Since neither of those Central Asian states wants to be permanently tied to subsidizing Russia at below market prices, the stage is being set for Sino-Russian rivalry in Central Asian gas affairs. This is all the more likely as Russian demand increases, while its pipeline capacity is insufficient and while it is determined to subordinate Central Asian gas to its whims so that it can keep the region dependent upon it, maintain Gazproms monopoly over gas and pipelines, and provide its own customers with cheap energy at subsidized prices. Thus Russia has consistently sought to organize a gas cartel under its domination to monopolize Central Asian gas projects and frustrate any efforts to sell independently to other markets. Chinas deals with Central Asian states like Turkmenistan indicate that it knows it cannot rely on Russian promises and is prepared to compete with it in Central Asia. Chinese foreign policy is therefore dynamic on a Central Asian scale and comprehensive insofar as it seeks to build relations in different aspects of policymaking. Yet it also is in transition from the old statist model to something new that might possibly have more elements of multilateralism and a
26 See: V. Paramonov, O. Stolpovski, Chinese Security Interest in Central Asia, Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, Advanced Research and Assesment Group, May 2008. 27 See: Zh. Saurbek, Kazakh-Chinese Energy Relations: Economic Pragmatism or Political Cooperation? China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2008, pp. 79-93; St. Blank, Chinas Recent Central Asian Energy Moves, Analyst, May 2009. 28 See: Zh. Daojiong, Chinas Energy Security: Domestic and International Issues, Survival, No. 48 (1), 2006, pp. 179-190. 29 See: Ibidem. 30 See: Ch. Durdiyeva, China, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Launch Turkmenistan-China Gas Pipeline, Analyst, 20 January, 2010.

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value-based approach. This new approach could conceivably evolve into one that relies less on bilateral efforts to force states into compliance by invoking other political considerations.

IV. The Future: Interests, Values, and Russian and Chinese Foreign Policy in Central Asia
The Wests attempts to push forward liberal democratic ideals in Central Asia have not succeeded so far. Similarly, the formulation of sovereign democracy as a subsidiary of Russias foreign policy interests also has its problems and the actual reception of sovereign democracy in the region is very limited for two reasons.31 First, sovereign democracy reminds the Central Asians too much of the sovereignty their territories previously enjoyed under Soviet and Russian rule or patronage. Since the Russian Federation gained its independence from the Soviet Union, Moscow has stationed troops in the territory of many of the former Soviet republics, including Tajikistan, Georgia, and Moldova. If sovereign democracy were used as the sole national ideology, these Central Asian countries would worry about Russias influence becoming too great, as it was in the Soviet era. This worry would only result in negative consequences for Moscows foreign policy in the region. Second, Moscows support of the pro-Russian separatist movements in the former Soviet republics, like Transnistria in Moldova, or Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, presents even greater concern for the Central Asian leaders. If Moscow simply wished to transplant the Russian system in Central Asia, it could also promote sovereign democracy in separatist regimes if it wished to.32 Therefore, Moscow has expressed certain reservations in preaching sovereign democracy in the separatist regions in Central Asia. This also signifies that Moscow is prioritizing interests over preaching values or principles. To most mainland Chinese scholars with official connections, Shen mentions, Chinas oil diplomacy is interpreted as not threatening to the world, because China is not a status quo challenger.33 However, to most non-Chinese observers, China is simply making the best use of its harmonious and responsible masks to enter the Central Asian energy market and engage Central Asian statesmen and businessmen to challenge other energy powers. Other powers regard the self-proclaimed benevolent Chinese intention of tying regional energy economies from Japan to the Middle East via Central Asia as a bold attempt by China to dominate regional markets.34 What then does the future hold for the Central Asian countries? For one thing, even though they have made some attempts to form their own bloc, such as the Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), to monitor energy-related issues in the region, collective action by the Central Asian states seems unlikely. Rather, the Central Asian states will continue to formulate inward-looking security and economic policies. This holds true even when we consider the multivectoral foreign policy announced by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev, in which he stated, we are
As quoted from: S. Xu Hui Shen, op. cit., p. 14. As noted by the Uzbek observer Alisher Taksanov, even Karimov of Uzbekistan, a beneficiary of the Russian promotion of sovereign democracy, was worried about the Russian action because: should it become angry with Uzbekistan, [Russia] might support the separatist tendencies in Karakalpakstan [and] the separation of the Khorezm area, Samarkand, Bukhara, the Navoi and Dzhizak regions, and finally the Fergana Valley. In the end, Uzbekistan could be broken up into a number of small principalities (see: S. Xu Hui Shen, op. cit., p. 15). 33 See: S. Xu Hui Shen, op. cit., p. 20 (see also: H.H. Lai, Chinas Oil Diplomacy: Is It a Global Security Threat? Third World Quarterly, No. 28 (3), 2007, pp. 519-537). 34 N. Swanstrm et al, China, in: The New Silk Road, ed. by S.F. Starr, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Washington, 2007.
32 31

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witnessing superpower rivalry for economic dominance in our region... We have a choice between remaining the supplier of raw materials to the global markets and waiting patiently for the emergence of the next imperial master or pursuing genuine economic integration of the Central Asian region. I choose the latter.35 Even though Nazarbaevs words echo the importance of regional economic integration and a careful bargain with the great powers to their own advantage, it is not realistic to expect the formation of a strategic partnership between the states of the region. Certainly, Russian-Chinese relations and policies in Central Asia to date demonstrate the limits of the statist approach that puts politics and interests in command. In the past, such attitudes led to Chinas failure to secure access to the energy it believed it was going to receive and to Russias failure to sell as much as it intended to China and other Asian countries. A value-based approach could certainly do better than this, and it has the added virtue of stimulating a more cooperative approach to relations among Central Asian countries. Yet it also provides an opportunity for the United States and the European Union to support an alliance that could reduce the burden of distrust due to interestbased realist policies and lead the regional political environment toward a more friendly and harmonious system. This would not be a remedy to the problems of the region, but it would certainly be a positive new start.
35 For an in-depth analysis of Kazakhstans foreign policy, see: Foreign Policy of Kazakhstan: Risks and Perspectives, Eurasia Transition Group, Bonn, Germany, available at [www.eurasiatransition.org].

REALPOLITIK AND THE RUSSIA-GEORGIA WAR: THREE YEARS ON


Ryan DESSEYN Member of the Advisory Group, Master of Arts in Diplomacy Program, Norwich University (Northfield, U.S.) Lasha TCHANTOURIDZ Ph.D.(Political Science), Director and Associate Professor, Master of Arts in Diplomacy School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, Norwich University (Northfield, U.S.)

Introduction

n November 2011, in a dramatic departure from the original claims of the Russian troops rescuing the inhabitants of Abkhazia and

South Ossetia from Tbilisis genocidal actions, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev acknowledged the real reason behind the Russian invasion

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 of Georgia in August 2008. Speaking on 21 November, 2011 at the headquarters of Russias 58th army of its Southern Military District located in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia, Medvedev noted: If we had faltered in [August] 2008, geopolitical arrangement would be different now and number of countries in respect of which attempts were made to artificially drag them into the North Atlantic Alliance, would have probably been there [in NATO] now.1 This was no slip-up, as Medvedev continued to push this line later on the same day. When interviewed in Rostov on the same day, he further confirmed: Today I already spoke with the army officers and I will tell it to you too that it was of course a very difficult page in our recent history, but, unfortunately, it was absolutely necessary [decision]. And the fact that Russias actions at the time were so tough has eventually secured a situation for us, which, despite of all the difficulties, is now quieter than it was We have simply calmed some of our neighbors down by showing them that they should behave correctly in respect of Russia and in respect of neighboring small states. And for some of our partners, including for the North Atlantic Alliance, it was a signal that before taking a decision about expansion of the Alliance, one should at first think about the geopolitical stability. I deem these [issues] to be the major lessons of those developments in 2008.2 Medvedevs acknowledgment validated what most Russia-watchers in the West suspected, but few cared to admit: Russias war against Georgia was motivated by the age-old realpolitik considerations, and not humanitarian sentiments toward some obscure mountainous peoples. The Russians had apparently decided to stop NATO enlargement by force, and according to Medvedev, the outgoing Russian president, that achievement was a highlight of his presidency. Western allies could respond with nothing of substance, and quietly allowed Mos1 Medvedev: The August War Stopped Georgias NATO Membership, Civil Georgia, 21 November, 2011, available at [http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24168]. 2 Ibidem.

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS cow to dismember Georgia, the most outspoken pro-American and pro-Western state. This was not the first time when policies of appeasement were offered to an aggressive expansionist state, but it was definitely new for the post-Cold War era.3 After the fall of the so-called Evil Empire, most political scientists counted on a peace dividend, whereby standing down from permanent high alert would save on defense costs. However, the outbreak of numerous local and regional conflicts that resulted from newly found freedom from oppressive regimes has presented a far greater challenge than could ever have been expected. Complicating matters were that this supposed peace occurred in a sea of unpredictability that was markedly different than the stability of the bipolar world of the very tense but also predictable Cold War. The Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was the result of the confluence of age-old tensions and realpolitik worldviews that were masterfully played in the old capital of the former Evil Empire.4 Three years after the war, and through an understanding of the historical background, one can see how the confluence of realpolitik and hegemony created a necessity for both the Russians and the Georgians to act the way they did, though Georgia was probably more justified in its actions than Russia.5 Georgia erred in the planning, timing, and executing its policies and action in the rebel areas, but it was the Russians who violated the international principles of
3 Ironically, before the war, Vladimir Putin chose Munich to announce a Russian comeback and deliver stern warnings to the West in February 2007 (see: O. Rolofs, A Breeze of Cold War, Munich Security Conference, available at [http://www.securityconference.de/Putin-s-speech.381+ M52087573ab0.0.html]. After the war, the report prepared by the so-called Tagliavini commission served as an example of appeasement at work: the commission concluded that it was Georgia that started the August war (see: Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia, 2 December, 2008, available at [http://www. ceiig.ch/]). 4 See: S.E. Cornell, S.F. Starr, Introduction, in: The Guns of August 2008: Russias War in Georgia, ed. by S.E. Cornell, S.F. Starr, M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, NY, 2009. 5 See: P. Felgenhauer, After August 7: The Escalation of the Russia-Georgia War, in: The Guns of August 2008: Russias War in Georgia.

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 laterally attacking and dismembering a smaller neighbor. This sad precedent took place within a context of Russia not even trying to gain a measure of international support for its actionsa new low even for Russia.

Conflict in the Caucasus


The Caucasus has been at the crossroads of civilization since it spread beyond the Fertile Crescent; and within this context it has become relatively recently the gateway to Russia and its old empire, worrying Czars from Catherine the Great and Nicholas to despots such as Stalin and Khrushchev.6 Georgias strategic geographic significance has made it of paramount importance to Russia, but it holds even more worth in the Russian psyche as evidenced by unusually tense, vulgar and emotionally charged anti-Georgian rhetoric heard in the country since 2003.7 The range of violent emotions that Georgia has generated in Russia during last eight years or so is truly remarkable as since the end of the Cold War no other country in the world has come even close to becoming an addressee of so much hateful and vile discourse in the Russian capital.8 Given its location, the Caucasus is much like the Balkans, though due to a traditional Euro-centric preoccupation in security and defense affairs, not many Western scholars are well versed in the history and importance of the region. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the emergence of the Russian Federation, newly opened or re-discovered trade and pipeline routes, as well as the democratic awakening of many post-Soviet and Middle Eastern countries the region commands closer attention. Regrettably, most Westerners hear mostly of the problems with Russia and its struggles with the separatists in the Republic of Chechnia, and some of the horrors associated with this struggle from the school siege in Beslan to subway bombings in Moscow. Indeed, the Russian Federation is facing much more serious problems than is evident from superficial examination, but Americas wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have distracted many from taking note of a region that is the keystone in the structure of civilization between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.9 Conflict in the Caucasus ignited parallel to those in the Balkans, as many tensions that were quelled or fermented under communist rule were now free to fester to their natural progression. In the late 1980s, a series of conflicts in the Caucasus were opened with the Armenian-Azerbaijan rivalry over the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Regiongeographically part of Azerbaijan, but predominantly populated by Armenians, this province waged a bloody war of secession. This example was followed by northern Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have previously enjoyed a significant degree of autonomy within Georgia, but decided to pursue full independence through violent military uprisings, with much encouragement and military support from Moscow. As the Soviet system was breaking up, these three separatist regions in the Southern Caucasus, along with Chechnia in the Northern Caucasus, opted to follow the parade of sovereignties of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslav republics. However, unlike the Union republics, the basic constituent parts of the U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia, autonomous entities did not have legal or constitutionally
See: S. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations? Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3, 1993, pp. 22-49. See: M. Lipman, Enemy Schoolchildren in Moscow, The Washington Post, 21 October, 2006. 8 See: A. Illarionov, The Russian Leaderships Preparation for War, 1999-2008, in: The Guns of August 2008: Russias War in Georgia. 9 See: Ch. King, Tbilisi Blues, Foreign Affairs, 25 August, 2004.
7 6

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established rights to sovereignty. Therefore, Karabakh, Abkhazia, Chechnia, South Ossetia (alternatively known as the Tskhinvali region), and later Kosovo, resorted to violent struggles to establish themselves as de facto sovereign entities. All these conflicts subsided or were effectively frozen by the beginning of the new century, but uncertainty and tensions surrounding them continue to linger over the heads of decision-makers in worlds great powers. In Georgia, tensions were furthered as the central government tried to resolve frozen conflictsthe restoration of Georgias borders, national unity, and authority as a part of the platform that brought Mikheil Saakashvili into office.10 Interestingly enough, the frozen conflicts in Georgia were reignited by the closing of a black market at the border of the secessionist minded region.11 The ruling group in Tskhinvali used legal black hole of its own creation, and the desire by the Shevardnadze government to keep things peaceful, and engaged in black market operations at a massive scale, which enriched unscrupulous entrepreneurs in Ossetia, Russia, and Georgia, but diverted huge amounts from Georgias budget, and allowed for hazardous products to be sent to the Russian market.12 Ironically, this sensible and legal action by the Saakashvili government prompted the South Ossetia to utilize force in response,13 and alarmed its patrons in Moscow. It is very likely that the shutting down of the Bodbe market in 2004 benefited Russian interests as much as it did Georgias. Regardless, bringing black market operations within proper legal and political channels also signaled the new Georgian governments desire to strengthen the central government, increase its efficiency, and bring the revenue collection within the parameters of a responsible government. This act also went in contravention to the age-old Russian/ Soviet policies toward the Caucasus, and their other dependencies or semi-dependencies: such acts had to be cleared with Moscow firstthis Saakashvili did not do. The Soviet authorities even practiced forced relocations, and a denial of national identity in the Caucasus and elsewhere in order to quell local initiative and keep local leaders subservient.14 This attitude by the central Russian/Soviet government for centuries has been informed by a strong belief in realpolitik embedded within a framework of assumed superiority of Russian, central, politics over everything initiated by governments of much smaller tributary nations. Realpolitik alone would be unbearable for Russias neighbors in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, but its fusion with the traditional Russian feudal paradigm of master-slave relationship makes Moscows desire to lord over its smaller neighbors intolerable. Conflict is not a new phenomenon in the Caucasus. The region and its intricacies have confounded rulers from Greats such as Peter and Catherine to Ottoman Sultans alike.15 Ever since the ancient Argonauts traveling to western Georgia to capture the golden fleece, the Caucasus has been a target of emerging, expanding or declining empires: the Athenian, the pagan Roman, the pagan Persian, the Turk-Seljuk, the Mongol, the Ottoman Turk, the Arab, the Byzantine, and the Russian, to name a few. Peoples of the Caucasus fought and resisted them all, especially the Georgians and the Chechens they seldom extended welcome to foreign empires. Struggle with the invaders involved all forms of warfare, and centuries of battles in the region have witnessed all sorts of engagements, from decisive battles to decades-long low scale insurgencies. Foreign invasions, and often invasions of more than
See: Ch. King, op. cit. South Ossetia continued to be a black market hub after the August war (see: Six Months after Caucasus War: South Ossetia Becomes Thorn in Russias Side, Spiegel Online International, 24 December, 2008, available at [http://www. spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,598311-2,00.html]). 12 See: R. Ratliff, South Ossetian Separatism in Georgia, ICE Case Studies, No. 180, May 2006, available at [http:// www1.american.edu/ted/ice/ossetia.htm]. 13 See: Ch. King, op. cit. 14 See: A. Applebaum, Gulag: A History, Doubleday, Washington, D.C., 2003. 15 See: J. Winik, The Great Upheaval, Harper, New York, NY, 2007.
11 10

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one empire at the same time, also witnessed temporary and shifting alliances between local powers and the invaders. Even without foreign empires, peoples of the Caucasus are quite able to generate conflicts among themselves, and great outside powers traditionally have fuelled such conflicts by taking sides, pitting one faction against another, and forcing them to adopt irreconcilable positions. In a similar way, the current Russian engagement in the Caucasus strives to set the Ossetians and the Abkhazians against the Georgians, as well as tries to exploit for its own advantages animosities and rivalries in the Northern Caucasus, and between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russian Realpolitik
Vladimir Putin, Russias undisputed leader since 2000, is an excellent example of a Russianstyle practitioner of realpolitik at work. Putin has skillfully exploited weaknesses of the Georgian government, and inexperience and nave approaches to international affairs by its leadership. Putin has not hidden his nostalgia for the Soviet Union, and has often made references to former military glory and international influence of the communist superpower.16 Most memorably, Putin pronounced a homily to the U.S.S.R., and blamed everything bad in Russia on its demise right after the thoughtless hostage rescue operation by the Russian authorities in Beslan, North Ossetia, where in September 2004 hundreds of children perished at the hands of Chechen terrorists, the Russian Special Forces, and local vigilantes. Hans Morgenthau notes that every competitive system maintains an equilibrium within its own set of rules, and that the anarchy that comprises the international system of states is no different.17 If this assertion is correct at the level of international regions, one could see how Mikheil Saakashvilis thrust of joining NATO, distancing from Russia, and attempting to restore the countrys lost territorial integrity could have triggered reactionary responses from Russia. Actions by the Georgian government were perceived as upsetting the existing equilibrium by provoking a response from Russia, the local regional hegemon. A Russian response had been expected especially one considers Saakashvilis efforts concerning Georgia joining NATO, the organization viewed with great suspicion in Russia to this day, and becoming part of the West.18 The response proved to be of dramatic proportions for Georgia, and perhaps Moscows highly charged emotionally rhetoric that had preceded it served as psychological preparation for military action. Saakashvili definitely felt that it was right time for him to act, but it remains a mystery as to why the conflict was unleashed in early August 2008, when the Russian troops were already massed at Georgias northern borders and the Ossetian rebels were evacuating civilians from the areas that subsequently witnessed battles. The Russian air force had deployed hundreds of fighter jets to the airbases just across the border with Georgia, and was keeping them armed and battle-ready for days with live missiles and bombs attached to the planes. Most likely Saakashvili hoped for a strong support by the West, and it is equally likely that he had false and misleading assurances from Moscow as well. Regardless the motive, Moscow used the opportunity to its full advantage by capturing 20 percent of Georgia, and blaming violence on the United States and the West. Russia discovered it could do any16 See: A. McDuffee, Boehner: Russias Putin Harbors Intense Soviet Nostalgia, The Washington Post, 25 October, 2011, available at [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/think-tanked/post/boehner-russias-putin-harbors-intensesoviet-nostalgia/2011/10/25/gIQAtpOGGM_blog.html]. 17 See: H. Morgenthau, K. Thompson, D. Clinton, Politics Among Nations, McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/ Languages, 7th Edition, 2005. 18 After the War, The Economist, 16 October, 2008.

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thing it wanted.19 Neither the United States nor any other Western power was in a mood to seriously quarrel with Russiait might have been a shocking surprise to many, but Russia has remained a formidable military adversary even after the dissolution of the Evil Empire. Saakashvili committed a terrible error of judgment, which turned fatal for hundreds of peaceful Georgians. This fatal misstep could have caused far greater number of casualties had the Russians not been persuaded to stop at the outskirts of Tbilisi. Realpolitik explains Russian behavior well, and this was reflected in Condoleezza Rices comments after her negotiations with the Russian leadership. U.S. Secretary of State commented that Russia appeared to have unlimited military goals, which she termed as unacceptable, implying that Moscow was poised to capture the capital city and overthrow the Georgian government by force. Russia has definitely taken a realpolitik approach to its relations in the Caucasus, especially in terms of using the renegade entities in the region for its own ends. The current Russian policy has been a brainchild of the former and future president Vladimir Putin, currently Prime Minister. Under Putin, Moscow started viewing potential clash areas in Georgia as a means to upset U.S. and Western progress in the region. Since the collapse the Soviet Union, no other issues in Moscows relations with the West have been more upsetting to the Kremlin than Western encroachment to the areas previously unilaterally dominated by Russia. NATO enlargement aside, Moscow has been the most adamant about its current hegemony over the Black Sea region, which brings Georgia and Ukraine into the same equation of power struggle with Moscow. Outwardly Western orientation of Presidents Yushchenko and Saakashvili, their desire to join NATO, and the EU, and the phenomenon of Colored Revolutions that has put these people in powerall these and other related issues have fuelled antiWestern sentiments in Moscow. Losing both Ukraine and Georgia for Moscow would mean losing political, economic, and especially military dominance over the Black Sea, the only warm sea access for the Russian Navy. This would eventually translate into Russia losing its great power capabilities and status. To avert that probability, Moscow had to send a strong message to the West, punish the misguided leaders in Tbilisi and Kiev, and reestablish a firm military grip over the Black Sea. By winning war in Georgia, and subsequently winning the presidential elections in Ukraine, Moscow has achieved all of the above. The Georgian leadership has failed specifically countering the Russian plans in the regionthey have naively or misguidedly believed in the ultimate value of international assurances and accords basing their hopes primarily on public images, ideological rhetoric, and diplomatic talks, rather than military power and material capabilities. Neorealist theories of Kenneth Waltz and Robert Gilpin concerning political structures20 and hegemonic stability are closely intertwined as hegemons commonly influence the political structure they are part of. In the case of the Russia-Georgia relations, Georgia had been taking advantage of the revamping international system, the perceived weakness of Russia after the fall of communism.21 The Georgian leadership was probably trying to prevent a Russian comeback in the region by quickly reintegrating with the Westironically, they have achieved the opposite result. It is very likely that the Russian leadership was reasoning along the same lines, and Moscow saw it urgent and necessary to act before it was too late. The denial of the Membership Action Plan (MAP)a roadmap for joining the allianceby the Bucharest NATO summit in June 2008 acted as a go-ahead signal for Moscow. Regardless, no matter how in the right Georgia was, those in power in Tbilisi and elsewhere had to know Russia would one day try to reassume the mantle of leadership in the region by force. Historically, the Russians had come back from defeat after defeat after defeat to become one of two centers
19 20

Ch. King, Putins Putsch, Foreign Affairs, 22 September, 2004. See: K. Waltz, Theory of International Politics, McGraw-Hill, 1979. 21 See: Ch. King, Tbilisi Blues.

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of military power in the world; Russia would try to rise again to protect areas of its vital interests no matter the circumstances. The vacuum of political power left by the fall of the Berlin Wall certainly was seized by some, as the presence of an illiberal hegemonic power in the region had for centuries quelled any opportunity for self-rule or the development of free institutions.22 The Soviet Unions history of exerting total control over its citizens to the point of robbing them of any cultural identity created a very rigid hegemonic stability situation. By doing their best to relieve people of their heritage and identities, the Soviets were able to stunt the development of nations in these areas allowing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to exercise extraordinary power and control over vast areas.23 In a sense, the Soviet Union was an exception in the annals of historys great powers in terms of achieving so much control over so many historically distinct nations of the world. Generally, great power influence does not exceed vital political, military and economic considerations, while the Soviets tried to re-shape cultural identities of communities under their domination. The dissolution of the Soviet Union should be seen as a correction of that abnormal and excessive great power domination model rather than Russias complete retreat from its great power status. Russia has always been pursuing a hegemonic power status from Peter the Great and Czarist times to Bolshevik totalitarianism to the current republic. It should be noted that the Russian Empire truly acquired a European great power status after it gained access to and secured its presence in the Black Sea region. The story of the expansion of the Russian state in any one direction is a story of continuing military hostilities with its neighborsits wars with the Ottoman Empire and its allies, as well as the indigenous peoples of the Caucasus, testify specifically to the importance of Russias naval presence in the south. So it should not have been entirely unexpected that in the opening decade of the 21st century Russia, a country with only one rival in strategic arms, would undertake unilateral military action to preserve its status in the vital region. Russias success in pursuing realpolitik and making headway through military means highlighted weaknesses of the Western alliance and its inability to protect a like-minded state. The significance of this point cannot be understated: such events give much hope to the proponents of high fences and rigid boundaries not only in Russia, but also in countries like Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and elsewhere. If the U.S. could be deterred by attacking and quickly defeating its smaller ally, most certainly it would encourage those in similar geographic and political circumstances to both build up their military and be more aggressive toward their pro-American neighbors. The current nuclear stand-off between Israel and Iran, the latter continuing its work on nuclear arms despite the promises made and the sanctions imposed, would be a case in point.

Upsetting the Status Quo?


Americas wars in Afghanistan and Iraq though necessary to combat Islamic extremism contributed to this destabilized system, and provided opportunity for Russia to reacquire its hegemonic status. America, as the leading Western power, and one among very few (alongside Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) not suffering from colonial guilt is currently unable to assist its allies in need, such as Georgia. Although advocating for Georgias entry to NATO in return for gracious and quality support in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the U.S. could do during the war was offer humanitarian support in
See: R. Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. See: N. Sharansky, Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy, Public Affairs, New York, NY, 2008.
23 22

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the form of C-17 cargo planes, with the 3rd Airlift Squadron from Dover, Delaware, leading the way. The slow deployment of U.S. and NATO warships also gave a signal of hope to Georgia; however, the United States did stop short from violating the Montreux Convention on the status of the Black Sea, a holy cow of naval security for both the Russians and the Turks. The process of Moscow reasserting itself as a hegemonic power has been slow and deliberate. This drive has materialized in the form of the brutal suppression of uprising in Chechnia, which pretty much bordered with policies of genocide, the alleged killings of whistleblowers in Great Britain, and Russia, contract killings of dissident journalists, the alleged poisoning of Orange Revolution architect Viktor Yushchenko, the power play over energy deprivation and finally the invasion of Georgia and freeing the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.24 The invasion and dismemberment of Georgia has underlined weaknesses and shortcomings of U.S. and Western policies toward Russia, which the Obama Reset policies were supposed to address. The Reset approach sought to pacify the Russians primarily through various concessions, including abandoning concerns for Georgias defense and security, walking away from the missile defense plans in Eastern Europe, turning the blind eye on gross human rights violations in Russia, and more recently, pressing Georgia to clear a way for Russias joining the World Trade Organization. So far Moscows bets have been right on: the Obama administrations hastily devised and immature Reset to the Kremlin all but ignores the future of the Black Sea basin, and relegates the United States and the West into a groveling posture.25 The awkwardly named Reset button26 is manifesting itself in ways that are actually a direct opposite of what its name originally implied in Russianthe United States is unloading its Russia-related problems by letting Moscow have its way in its immediate neighborhood. The current Russian approach attains two key diplomatic positions within the framework of realpolitik. The first is states position of strength when trying to accomplish anything utilizing diplomatic tools, from trade, resource or travel agreements to relations concerning arms, defense, and even war. This position ensures a strong likelihood of coming out a winner in any negotiation or contest, no matter the subject. Additionally, Moscows unchallenged saber rattling would ultimately result in smaller countries, neighbors of Russia, either siding with it or acquiescing to its policies, as they now know who holds the upper hand in the region. Second, Russias continuing assertion of dominance in the Black Sea basin all but guarantees intervention in the internal affairs of Georgia or any other state in the regionit could be triggered by overtures of oppression from local pro-Russian groups or Russian language speakers requiring assistance. The 2008 Russo-Georgian war will not be the last one as there is no sign of Moscow dramatically changing its attitude toward the former Soviet Union, and its smaller neighbors are less than willing to roll over and die at Kremlins request. Russias bravado and position of strength coupled with the relative weakness and various preoccupations of the West cemented a win-win scenario for Russia.27 It has been a win-win for the aforementioned reasons of shoring up its power base not only in the Caucasus but vis--vis Brussels and Washington as well.28 Shortcomings and errors of the Georgian leadership are undeniable as a small and asymmetrically equipped country could not have possibly won a war against the second greatest military power
See: A. Karatnycky Ukraines Orange Revolution, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2005. See: In Search of Dtente, Once Again, The Economist, 2 July, 2009. 26 The button was presented by State Secretary Clinton to Russias Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivanov at their meeting in Geneva. The button sported Reset in English, but in Russian it read Peregruzka, that is overload, instead of the proper Perezagruzka. 27 See: O. Ramsbotham, T. Woodhouse, H. Miall, Contemporary Conflict Resolution, Polity Press, Malden, MA, 2005. 28 Russia delivered in short order after Putin issued threats in February 2007. Putins full speech in English is available at The Washington Post website: Putins Prepared Remarks at 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, Monday, 12 February, 2007, available at [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/12/AR2007021200555.html].
25 24

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in the world. The arguments subsequently voiced in Georgia pointing out that Tbilisi was surprised and unprepared for such a response from Russia are precisely a case in point. Russia opted to act aggressively in order to generate immediate benefits for itself, it did not necessarily act to benefit the peoples of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia. Despite their self-proclaimed independence, guaranteed by nothing but the Russian gun, the long-term prospects and future for these peoples remain uncertain at best. Georgia will not abandon its claims over the ancient lands of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, which together constitute around 20 percent of countrys territory. The long-term problem of these two Georgian provinces is by no means solved, despite the assurances to the contrary by the Russians. Prior and during the events of August 2008, the Georgian leadership committed many errors of judgment, but it was the Russians who chose to flat out violate the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity.29 Unless the disputes around Sukhumi and Tskhinvali are solved, this kind of behavior by Tbilisi and Moscow will likely continue in the coming decades, until one of the sides is no longer able or willing to pursue the established pattern.

Conclusion
The November 2011 elections in the Tskhinvali region once again demonstrated that sovereignty of the local self-proclaimed state is just a glorified faade for Russian rule. When the opposition candidate soundly defeated Moscows hand-picked candidate, the election results were annulled by a local court citing but never demonstrating evidence for widespread irregularities.30 No matter how hard the Abkhaz and Ossetian separatists wish, their provinces will never be sovereign and independent. Despite the recognition of their independence by Russia, and heavy deployment of Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in essence, these remain frozen conflicts ready to ignite anytime. The road to conflict can be forestalled or missed completely by a wise reading of the political and economic landscape, and applying what power one has where it can. After more than a decade of exerting authority in the Caucasus as an up and coming power, Georgia was met with the fist of Russian force after some missteps by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and a move by NATO to flank Russia. The latest in a string of conflicts to confound an expected peace dividend after the Cold War, this conflict illustrated how the dynamics of the Cold War bi-polar world order are not entirely dead and gone. Russia remains a viable hegemonic power, and is more willing to use its hard power than China, and more effective in bang for the buck than the United States. The geographic location of smaller Georgia remains instrumental in Russias interest, as it provides a backdrop of Russia defending its territory from not only Western dominance, but also from other potential threats arising elsewhere.

29

See: M.W. Janis, J.E. Noyes, International Law: Cases and Commentary, Thomson West Publishing, St. Paul, MN,

1997.
30 See: Protests Continue in Tskhinvali, Civil Georgia, 5 December, 2011, available at [http://www.civil.ge/eng/ article.php?id=24231].

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REGIONAL ECONOMIES

THE COMMON ECONOMIC SPACE OF RUSSIA, BELARUS, AND KAZAKHSTAN: PRESENT AND FUTURE
Ksenia BORISHPOLETS Ph.D. (Political Science), Professor at the Department of World Politics, Moscow State Institute of International Relations(U), Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Moscow, Russian Federation) Stanislav CHERNYAVSKY D.Sc. (Hist.), Director of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations(U), Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Moscow, Russian Federation)

Introduction
n 1 January, 2012, the official opening of the Common Economic Space (CES) of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, which moved customs control to the outer border of the Customs Union (CU) in July 2011, launched a qualitatively new stage in integration development in the post-Soviet expanse. The objective conditions for consolidating economic cooper-

ation among the three countries have long emerged, the technical work, in the best interests of all the partners concerned, has been carried out, and the top leaders are showing sufficient political will. So there is every reason to believe that the driving force behind post-Soviet integration in the CU-CES format has sprung into action.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Flat duty and tax rates on imported goods, sanitary and veterinary control, and technical regulation principles have been in effect for Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan alike since the middle of 2011. On 1 January, 2012, a basic set of documents on the CES consisting of 17 agreements came into force that address the rights of migrant workers and the members of their families, standard principles of currency policy, access to railroad transport services, standard regulations for the support of agricultural goods producers, and conditions for ensuring free movement of capital. All of this will help to form a common market with more than 170 million consumers and a total gross product of more than $1,385 billion. Systemic organization of the flows of such large-scale economic resources is already generating real benefits; despite the list of goods to which export limits still apply, goods turnover among the participants of the Customs Union has almost doubled. According to experts, by 2015 integration will afford the participants in the Customs Union an additional 15% increase in GDP amounting to approximately $400 billion. However, in addition to the surface indices, it is expedient to look deeper and appreciate the other innovation benefits owing to the free movement of goods within the framework of mutual trade among Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, the decrease in financial load on commercial enterprises, the removal of administration barriers, the standardization of customs regulations, and the positive effect of the post-Soviet countries

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 economic convergence with the humanitarian sphere. At present, economic development in the three countries is undergoing a qualitative leap, which is raising the investment appeal of the Customs Union and, since 2012, of the CES as well. However, according to competent assessments, it will take about 5 years (from 2011 to 2015) for the CES to operate as a full-fledged multilateral union capable of ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor. What is more, at least 55 international documents and other acts must be adopted for this integration union to function as planned.1 In these five years, the governments involved will have to carry out more than 70 mandatory measures envisaged by the CES agreements in keeping with the specific deadlines set forth in them. It is worth noting that Russian Government Chairman Vladimir Putin designated 2015 as the date for launching the Eurasian Union.2 In other words, the current tasks involved in making the CES a viable project should be carried out as strategic landmarks are reached for creating a wider and more diverse integration union.
1 See: Gensek EvrAzES: EEP polnotsenno zarabotaet cherez 5 let, available at [http://www.regnum.ru/news/ 1452817.html], 5 October, 2011. 2 See: Premier RF: Evraziiskiy soiuz mozhet zarabotat k 2015 godu, available at [http://www.regnum.ru/news/ 1457665.html], 19 January, 2011.

Profitability of the CU-CES for Russia


No one knows for sure just how profitable the CU-CES will be for Russia as the leading economic entity of integration activity. Customs revenue into the Russian budget was expected to amount to 5.4 trillion rubles by the end of 2011, which testifies to a steady rise in income and shows that Russias state budget interests are being fully observed within the Customs Union and starting investments have proven their commercial viability. However, uniting the goods, labor, and capital markets will not enforce Russias advantages automatically. As the legal foundation for integration takes shape, it will be expedient for Russia to intensify cooperation with its partners in those branches that enhance the common export potential of 121

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the CU while also being strategic for the export potential of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which joined the union in October 2011. The strategic branches for Belarus in large-scale international trade are as follows: mineral fertilizers, lumber, finished meat products, instruments, and ground vehicles. There are favorable competitive conditions for Kazakhstan to expand the export production of grains and products of the flour-and-cereals industry, mineral fuel, oil and petroleum products, nonorganic chemical products, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. As for trade with the CIS countries, the most important sectors of the economy for Belarus are the meat-and-milk and food industries (particular confectionary), the energy industry (mineral fuel, oil and petroleum products), the chemical industry (mineral fertilizers, plastics, and chemical fibers), and the textile industry, while for Kazakhstan, they are the manufacture of grains and products of the flour-and-cereals industry, the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, mineral fuel, oil and petroleum products, and ferrous and non-ferrous metals. As world experience shows, the commercial viability of integration products depends not only on direct acquisitions, but also on the opportunities for rational organization of multilateral cooperation and ensuring sustainable leadership. Judging from the objective characteristics of the current economic situation, Russia has favorable opportunities for assuming leadership over Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan, which has also Table 1
Share of Main Partners in the Export and Import of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES Member States (%)
Predominating Share (more than 33) Significant Share (25-33) Share of other Partners

Perceptible Share (5-12)

Belarus

Ukraine, Latvia, Switzerland, Russia, France

The Netherlands

Noteworthy Share (12-25)

RUSSIA (32)

35

Kazakhstan

Switzerland, RUSSIA (8), France Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, France, RUSSIA (11) PRC, Turkey, Belarus, FRG, Italy, The Netherlands Iran, Uzbekistan, RUSSIA (10), Turkey

PRC, Italy

48

Kyrgyzstan

PRC

33

Russia

57

Tajikistan

PRC

23

Uzbekistan

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joined the project. Russia continues to hold a strong position not only thanks to its close cooperation with partners in the heat and energy complex, but also to the level of cooperation in transport communications, technical regulations, innovation projects, and other practical areas. In so doing, bilateral goods turnover with Russia remains the main backbone of foreign trade both with its partners in the CU-CES and with all the countries in the post-Soviet expanse (see Tables 1 and 2).3 Table 2
Share of Main Partners in the Import of CU, EurAsEC, and CES Member States (%)
Predominating Share (more than 33) Share of other Partners

Noteworthy Share (12-25)

Perceptible Share (5-12)

Belarus Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan

Ukraine, FRG Italy, FRG, Ukraine Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan PRC PRC 21% RUSSIA (31)

Significant Share (25-33)

RUSSIA (59)

28 34

RUSSIA (36)

28

Russia

Italy, France, Ukraine, U.S. Uzbekistan, PRC, Kazakhstan

FRG, PRC RUSSIA (33)

53

Tajikistan

43

Uzbekistan

However, to ensure the efficiency of Russias integration ties with its CU-CES partners on a long-term basis, additional efforts must be exerted to develop economic cooperation among Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. These countries must also increase their contribution to supporting the regional position of the CU-CES and modernizing their own production potential; Russian business is called upon to play an important role in resolving these matters.

Tasks and Opportunities for Russian Business in the Integration Vector


Investment expansion of Russian business in the CU/CES countries is the driving force behind forming a common market and promoting government decisions. The removal of customs barriers is
3 Tables 1 and 2 were compiled on the basis of Evraziiskoe ekonomicheskoe soobshchestvo 2000-2010, Interstate Statistic Board of the CIS, Moscow, 2011; Statistika stran EvrAzES, Statistics Collection, Moscow, 2011.

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opening up additional opportunities: legal procedures for registering documents will take less time and become easier, while transport costs will be significantly reduced. However, this is still wishful thinking, while reality leaves much to be desired.
n

First, the customs legislation of the CU contains provisions that limit the freedom of movement of some goods for which either flat import duty rates have not yet been established, or on which export duties are levied in one of the participating states, or regarding which antidumping, special duties, and other protective measures have been instituted. Second, the so-called residence principle interferes with free movement of goods, in correspondence with which a company of a CU member state may only carry out customs registration of goods in the country where it is registered.

The corresponding services of the three states may interpret the CU Customs Code regulations differently, which could also be detrimental to business. However, it should be kept in mind that customs legislation is only one of the many legal regulators in the economic sphere. There is also civil and currency legislation, as well as many other elements of law-enforcement practice that have still not been incorporated into economic integration. Successful functioning of the CU requires making businessmen more aware of the cooperation opportunities in those vectors that require coordinating joint efforts. Moreover, discrepancies have not been overcome in defining the mechanisms for ensuring public procurement, carrying out price formation, combating pirated goods, setting rail fees and amounts of state agricultural support, regulating inbound transportation means, and dealing with other aspects of economic activity. In addition to the above, there are many other, more complex, problems that have still not been resolved. The most interesting vectors for large Russian businesses are the production and transportation of hydrocarbons, the energy industry, telecommunications, machine-building, transportation, the banking sector, and agriculture. A promising vector of integration cooperation could be joint projects in metallurgy, specialized branches of the heat and energy complex and military-production complex, airplane construction, ship-building, atomic machine-building, and the manufacture of machine-building commodities and chemical products, as well as intensifying cooperation in the development of high technology. Medium and small businesses are interested in cooperating in information technology, the banking sphere, insurance activity, and trade. It stands to reason that Belarus and Kazakhstan have their own business practices, national legislation, and practical application traditions. The economy of Belarus is currently in need of radical management reforms. The systemic crisis, two devaluations of the national currency, and hyperinflation, as well as belated renunciation of emission support of the real sector and the chronic deficit of the current external balance are creating very poor premises for the countrys prosperity in 2012; rigorous structural reforms and restructuring of the economy are due. Although, on the whole, Russian business has great prospects for advancement on the Belarusian market, it is coming across quite a few non-economic obstacles on its way. These are primarily the political ambitions of the national elite, which are often not underpinned by either economic and organizational, or any other fundamentals. A negative role is also played by the striving of the Belarusian authorities to make use of all kinds of external assistance, while ignoring real economic grounds for cooperation. Many Belarusian companies prefer to do business within the country and make payments and pay taxes through their branches abroad. Many programmers, builders, transportation engi124

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neers, as well as companies that render educational, consultation, and translation services do their business offshore. As for Kazakhstan, more than 70% of the countrys oil and gas resources are controlled by Western companies. The real scope of the Russian presence in this leading branch of Kazakhstan is very modest, which cannot be said of China. Kazakhstan prefers to orient itself more toward cooperation with Western and Asian corporations that have the latest and effective technology for the high refining of raw hydrocarbons, than with Russian oil and gas companies, which have been concentrating on easy projects that produce rapid profit with minimum investments, whereby long-term investments in geological exploration and exploitation of highly complex fields are shrinking. In other words, Russia needs to put more emphasis on projects designed for the high refining of oil and gas that produce a wide range of high added value products. The participation of Russian companies in creating a Western Europe-Western China transport corridor is extremely promising in the transport sphere. This involves creating a modern road infrastructure, logistic centers, and networks of comfortable rest places, organizing efficient trade and cargo storage, staffing thousands of jobs, and enhancing the welfare of the people who live along these major routes. At present, Belarusian and Kazakhstan partners are showing an interest in creating joint ventures with Russian business to establish new logistic routes throughout the entire territory of the Customs Union. This is largely due to the perceptible increase in the amount of cargo shipments through Belarus and Kazakhstan after the union began functioning. The markets of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to which Russian, Kazakh, and Belarusian companies will be able to gain free access in the future, can hardly be considered promising. Kyrgyzstans GDP is limited to approximately $5 billion (which amounts to only 0.004% of the world GDP), while the average annual income per capita is no higher than $800. More than 52% of Kyrgyz are poor, while 17.8% are extremely poor; according to the World Bank classification, the republic belongs to the low-income group of countries. The economy of Kyrgyzstan depends entirely on money that comes in from the outside, mainly in the form of loans from the IMF, WB, and donor countries. The situation in Tajikistan is no better, which is also one of the poorest agricultural-industrial countries of the world. According to the IMF, today as many as 63% of Tajiks live on less than two dollars a day. Experts describe the Tajik economy as having an extremely high level of import dependence and low level of human potential. Tajikistans budget has a large deficit. Remittances from migrant workers, most of whom work in Russia, reach 50% of the countrys GDP. As per the World Banks latest Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 report, in 2009, Tajikistan ranked first among the countries in which a significant portion of GDP is comprised of remittance flows from migrant workers. Last year, the amount of officially registered remittances to Tajikistan amounted to $2.1 billion.4 The level of representation, activity, and penetration rate of Russian business into the markets of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is not high; moreover, far from all the declared projects are implemented. Some companies, for example, Russian Aluminum, have entirely curtailed their activity in the mentioned countries; several projects have been at the discussion or development stage for several years now (Inter RAO UES/RusGidro), while others have been frozen and remain pending (the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas fields). Moreover, Russian business has a non-economic price to pay in the markets of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which is characteristic of developing countries. These are induced by the irrational behavior of the ruling elites, which can cause the slightest change in the political situation in the region to
4

[http://www.ng.ru/economics/2011-11-25/1_soyuz.html].

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become a reason for renouncing earlier obligations and for the emergence of significant business risks. Another serious obstacle to business development is corruption (even despite the fact that Russian business structures categorize it as overhead costs); the situation is also aggravated by the financial crisis. The negative factors also include the artificially high expectations of the leaders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, who think their countries are attractive for investment, which is explained by the absence of pertinent information and the pursuit of strictly egotistical interests. Favoritism in job appointments is leading to officials being afraid of letting the people who make government decisions know the real scoop on the sociopolitical and economic situation in the country. As for independent monitoring, there is none. It is obvious that as the CU takes shape, conflicts of interest could arise among individual business groups, which will be interpreted by all the interested sides as interstate contradictions. Most of the problems that arise are usually related to the subjective approaches of the business elites, which frequently do not have an adequate or objective idea of the real state of affairs. Coordinated mutual concessions are needed to overcome this situation and achieve a mutually beneficial level of cooperation, and, what is particularly important, the sides must manifest a constructive approach when discussing differences.

Balance in the Geographical Expansion of Integration Relations


Many countries, including in the Far Abroad, are interested in expanding the geographical range of cooperation with the integration structures of the CU-CES. However, it is unlikely that any other countries will become members of the CU-CES any time soon. As for Kyrgyzstan, many representatives of its elite continue to have serious doubts about President Almazbek Atambaevs decision to join the union. The most likely candidates from among the CIS countries (in particular Tajikistan and Ukraine) which supported the establishment of a Free Trade Area (FTA) in October 2011 associate their development not with enforcing one strategic vector of cooperation but with acquiring external resources from several alternative sources. So if the attitude of potential participants in the CU-CES is to change, a radical shift will need to be achieved in the moods of the ruling circles, not to mention at least a year of intensive targeted preparations. The potential of economic cooperation in the event that new members join the CU-CES is largely ensured by the regional relations of Russian partners and it would be premature to carry out an indepth analysis of this process. However, it should be kept in mind that a common service market will begin functioning at the beginning of 2012. There are plans to offer the resident enterprises of the participating states a national regime for rendering services, standardizing requirements, and ensuring mutual recognition of permits in licensed types of activity. In so doing, the common efforts of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, as well as Kyrgyzstan (although to a lesser degree), will make it possible to ensure the unions potential, thus encouraging more participants to join the CU-CES. The most probable time for enlargement appears to be 2013-2014.5
5 During expert discussions of the prospects for enlarging the CU-CES, it is periodically emphasized that only the EurAsEC participating states will be able to contend for membership in the Customs Troika (which now officially has four members). Admittedly, this approach has not been voiced in official discussions.

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Keeping in mind that the integration factor in the post-Soviet expanse relies primarily on Russias resource potential, the short-term prospects for enlargement of the CU-CES are largely determined not by objective (interests in intensifying the complementarity of the economic systems) but by subjective stimulants (moods among the ruling circles of Russian partners). The politicians and main influence groups of each country in the post-Soviet expanse have different attitudes toward the idea of joining the CU-CES. For example, Ukrainian politicians are mainly against the country becoming a CU member, drawing attention to the risk of a decrease in national sovereignty and emphasizing participation in the EU market, the volume of which is equal to $16 trillion (this figure is several times higher than the analogous index for the CU). After vacillating for several months, the Tajik elite also developed a negative attitude toward joining the CUCES, while the Uzbek leadership headed by President Islam Karimov has been even more unenthusiastic. However, the real results of the initiatives for holding consultations put forward by countries of the Near and Far Abroad showing an interest in cooperation will most likely not be manifested for another 3-4 years. On the whole, balanced geographical expansion of the CU-CES is dictated by a political choice in favor of either an intensive (enlargement only by means of the EurAsEC member states) or extensive version of integration, a key element of which will be Ukraines involvement. But both of these hypothetical scenarios also have certain provisions in common, such as refraining from speeding up talks with potential partner states on entry into the CU-CES, introducing a standardized transport and logistics system throughout the entire customs territory keeping in mind advanced international experience, assisting optimization of the investment climate and conditions for conducting business, and paying additional attention to increasing capabilities not only at the level of big, but also of medium business.

Integration Development in Multivectoral Conditions


Integration relations are being established against the background of the participating states diversified interests. The most graphic manifestation of multivectoral relations has been the change in architecture of foreign trade cooperation in the post-Soviet expanse (including within the framework of the EurAsEC) and departure from the monocentric system of partnership in export and import.6 However, the current situation is not creating conditions for a radical reorientation of relations among the partner countries of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES. It is characteristic that during the world economic crisis, the monetary values of exports and imports of the CU-CES and EurAsEC participating states within the integration format and beyond it only underwent significant changes in some cases (in the Tajik and to some degree Kyrgyz vectors).
6 At the current stage, the volume of goods turnover with countries beyond the post-Soviet expanse in the three participants of the CU, EurAsEC, and CESKazakhstan, Russia, and Tajikistantops the volume of goods turnover with integration partners (approximately 74%, 86%, and 53%, respectively) and only in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan does this goods turnover comprise a relatively lesser share in foreign trade cooperation (approximately 45% and 48%, respectively). The significance of multivectoral international economic cooperation of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES participating states is more clearly manifested when comparing the values of the export-import flows that have developed among them, with other CIS countries, and with the broad international environment.

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The development of the main integration formats relies not only on the dimensions of reciprocal trade exchange between the member countries, but on their complementarity. This will make it possible to resolve many integration development issues, including those associated with assisting the national economies of Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, which have a chronically negative foreign trade balance (beyond the post-Soviet expanse). Multivectoral economic cooperation among the CU-CES participating states is not creating real premises in the mid term for a breakdown in the integration cooperation system that exists in the post-Soviet expanse. Despite the fact that it intensifies competition among economic interest groups at the top level in each of the partner countries, something else is slowing down the integration trends; the matter concerns the unstable involvement of Russian partners in widespread international division of labor. Foreign trade cooperation of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan beyond the post-Soviet expanse is limited and not fully underpinned by strong bilateral ties with large counteragents. Moreover, contemporary multivectoral relations orient Russian partners toward expedient activation of cooperation with the regional environment, whereby not only in the post-Soviet expanse, but also beyond it (in certain vectors). On the whole, keeping in the mind the current architecture for attracting the interests of participants in the EurAsEC-CU-CES, there are no prerequisites for the appearance of sufficiently strong centers of alternative cooperation. Raising the significance of the external vector by developing economic cooperation with the immediate regional environment (including China) in the mid term is limited for the Russian partners by the narrow range of commodity exchange and insufficient investments (Iran and Turkey), and also by the Chinese policy of step-by-step advance of its interests. However, at present, the level of Chinas economic presence, even in the economies of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan which are more open to it, is not enough to achieve decisive influence in the mid term. It should be emphasized that the objective economic challenges of multivectoral relations, which reflect its limited orderliness, fragmentariness, and lack of significant contribution to the development of economic cooperation between the CU-CES countries and immediate regional environment, cannot be overcome in the near future. Nevertheless, potential risks are accumulating precisely in this area (particularly in the Central Asia zone). Central Asias economic cooperation with Iran and Turkey is much lower than it is with China, which could lead in the mid term to an imbalance in cooperation relations on the eastern flank of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES.

In Lieu of a Conclusion: Prospects for Making the CU-CES a Viable Project


An evaluation of the prospects for integration cooperation among Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, as well as Kyrgyzstan, within the framework of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES, keeping in mind foreign experience and possible new members, is extremely interesting when viewed in the context of the tactical and strategic tasks of Russian policy. If it does not integrate with its close neighbors, the common market with which would be as large as the EUs, the Russian economy could find itself bowing further to the raw material demands of the major centers of international influence. Moreover, the integration project should ensure Russia leadership among states whose economic systems can only function with extensive external support. Another challenge for the Russian side is the multivectoral nature of its partners economic interests, which is having an influence on the resolution of specific issues of multilateral cooperation. 128

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The official assessments which presume that integration will provide the participants in the CU-CES with an additional 15% increase in GDP by 2015 are fully justified. The objective characteristics of the international economic cooperation system of the CU, EurAsEC, and CES participating states make it possible to anticipate significant profit; the Russian nucleus of the latter will ensure stable functioning of the main systemic relations in the mid term. Nevertheless, achieving the designated indices of integration development presumes several specific and targeted steps to ensure stable progressive momentum of integration cooperation. The matter concerns a balanced attitude toward the initiatives to increase membership in the CU, EurAsEC, and CES aroused by the political context, which is related to the contradictions in the leading circles of the potential candidate countries. In this respect, it is very important for the CU-CES to actively position itself as a participant in widespread international economic cooperation. Efforts to create a standardized legal field of economic activity within the CU-CES must be intensified, in which unification of currency, financial, and civil regulations will be efficiently introduced (along with the standardization of customs legislation). For the moment though, the legislative regulatory base of the integration processes lags significantly behind the administrative decisions to simplify customs procedures on the external borders, while instituting supranational structures will not fully resolve the practical tasks of optimizing business activity conditions (primarily Russian). The system of multivectoral economic cooperation among the CU, EurAsEC, and CES participating countries must be improved with respect to integration development. Multivectoral relations should play a significant role in the economic respect, particularly as a mechanism for involving nonraw material companies of developed industrial countries in modernization of the industrial sector and stepping up Central Asias economic cooperation with Iran and Turkey, which so far lags perceptibly behind its cooperation with China. It should be noted that the main payoffs of multivectoral relations are primarily manifested in political governance and the differing interests of the elites participating in the distribution of government income. The favorable prospects for and significant economic benefit to be gained from integration cooperation within the CU, EurAsEC, and CES for Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, as well as for new member Kyrgyzstan, are generated by the objective characteristics of multivectoral interaction. However, implementing a comprehensive integration project in the post-Soviet expanse, just like movement along the Eurasian Union trajectory, depends to a decisive extent on political coordination of the efforts of Russia and its partners, as well as on strengthening the institutional component of supranational regulation of the integration trends.

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AZERBAIJANS ACCESSION TO THE WTO: ITS PROPOSALS ON THE SERVICE SPHERE ARE MORE LIBERAL THAN THE COMMITMENTS OF WTO MEMBERS
Adalat MURADOV1 D.Sc. (Econ.), Professor at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Introduction
he service sector is developing dynamically in the world and its share in GDP is growing from year to year. According to the IMF, the share of services in world GDP amounts to 63.2%, whereby the U.S. accounts for 80% and the EU for more than 70% of world GDP. World practice also shows that the share of added value in the service sphere is much higher than in industry and agriculture.2 The total volume of exported services is also increasing at a rapid rate. For example, the volume of exported services in world trade increased from $155 billion in 1975 to $2.5 trillion in 2005, i.e., it has risen more than 15-fold in thirty years. The export of services in the world amounts to approximately 20% of the entire commercial
[http://www.indexmundi.com/world/gdp_composition_ by_sector.html].
2

export of goods and services. Banking services, insurance, operations in the securities market, construction, and telecommunication services have long extended beyond national boundaries. Approximately 75% of the services (in value terms) is exported by developed countries, 24% by developing countries and the countries with a transition economy, and 1% by international organizations. At the same time, it should be emphasized that most developing countries are characterized by a negative balance of foreign trade in services.3 This article analyzes Azerbaijans service market and its development characteristics and makes a comparative analysis of Azerbaijans proposals on the service sphere and the service commitments of the WTO member countries.
3

[http://kanaev55.livejournal.com/36942.html].

Development Characteristics of Azerbaijans Service Sector


Azerbaijans service market began to emerge in the 1990s after Azerbaijan gained its state independence. Prior to this time, the activity of most service sectors was strictly regulated by the state, and
1 Adalat Muradov is one of the authors of the proposals on the service sphere and took part in the talks on Azerbaijans accession to the WTO in 2003-2009.

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in some of them the state was the main supplier of services. Since the 1990s, the domestic service market has been in a state of expansion. The greatest momentum is seen in construction, transportation, banking, insurance, telecommunications and communications, trade, catering, and tourism. Some service sectors are developing with particular dynamism. For example, in just the past 10 years, construction has increased 7.6-fold, communications9.5-fold, trade3.2-fold, and transportation2.9-fold. As a result, the share of certain service sectors in Azerbaijans GDP has been increasing with each passing year. For example, as of today, this index amounts to 7.5% in construction, 6.6% in trade, 6% in transportation, and 1.9% in communications. However, despite the dynamic development of certain service sectors, their total share in Azerbaijans GDP is relative small and has been on the constant decline in recent years. Whereas in 2000, it was equal to 42%, in 2010, it was only 35%. This is primarily related to the very high growth rates in the production of commodities. For example, the production of commodities in Azerbaijan has increased 4.8-fold in just the past 10 years. At the same time, growth rates in the service sphere for this period amounted to approximately 2.7-fold. In other words, the annual growth rate of the production of commodities amounted to 17.8% and of services to 10.3%. The service sphere is playing a significant role in resolving Azerbaijans employment issues. The share of those employed in the service sphere amounts to 47% of total employment, whereby wholesale and retail trade account for 12.3% of this figure, transportation for 4.1%, communications for 1.3%, the real estate service sphere for 1.6%, education for 8.1%, and public health for 3.9%. The service market in Azerbaijan is one of the most liberal. The share of the nongovernmental sector is equal to 72% in construction, 75.3% in transportation, 78.6% in communications, and 99.2% in trade.4 The economic reforms in Azerbaijan have led not only to intensified development of the traditional industries, but also to the creation of new types of services. One of the most tempestuously developing spheres is communication and telecommunication services. Today, 99% of the Azerbaijani population uses mobile communication services. The number of active Internet users amounts to 43% of the countrys total population. It should be emphasized that ICT is one of the priorities of Azerbaijans economy. A contemporary information and communication infrastructure has been built and significant efforts have been made to create a common information space and extend information and communication services. In 2012, Azerbaijan will launch a national telecommunications satellite, which will be particularly conducive to the further development of this sector. However, the indices of dynamic development aside, Azerbaijans service industry as a whole can be described as still emerging. Keeping this in mind, the strategy for developing and regulating service branches is aimed at expanding the competitive environment by involving foreign suppliers in the service market, on the one hand, and ensuring the protection of the interests of Azerbaijans service suppliers, on the other. In compliance with this strategy, further enhancement of transport services is particularly important. Since Azerbaijan is situated at the crossroads of transport corridors, corresponding steps are being taken to realize the relative advantages in this sphere. In order to intensify the transport system and execute its transit capabilities, Azerbaijan is implementing grandiose projects relating to the East-West and North-South transport corridors. Azerbaijan has joined the TRACECA program, the objective of which is to develop the Europe-CaucasusAsia transport corridor. The necessary steps are also being taken to raise the quality of transportation services. To this end, the Caspian Shipping Company has been equipped with modern tankers and Azerbaijan Air Lines with the most state-of-the-art airliners. Rail transport has expanded its activity in many vectors, while efforts continue to reconstruct automobile transport, including the reconstruction of roads.
4

See: A. Muradov, Azerbaidzhan i WTO: Uslugi, Baku, 2006, 35 pages.

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Restoration of the Great Silk Road has created a good basis for Azerbaijans further cooperation with Europe and Asia and increased integration of the national transport and road infrastructure into the world communication system. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which has the capacity to pump 50 million tons of Azeri oil a year to the world markets, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline have been put into operation. Azerbaijans flexible and sound policy has turned the country into a multi-modal transport system in the Caspian and a very important oil and gas transit country. Completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the International Sea Trade Port will help to expand transport communications and transit capabilities, as well as increase cargo shipments. Tourism is also a priority vector in development. This sector is not only creating new jobs in the non-petroleum sector, but is also an important factor in the diversification of the national economy. Construction of a summer and winter tourist complex in Shakhdag has been going on for several years now. This complex has no analogues in the Caucasus or CIS and will promote the development not only of tourism, but also of mountain sports in Azerbaijan. It covers more than 2,045 hectares, is situated at an altitude of 1,300-2,554 meters above sea level, and will meet all the world standards. The most rudimentary assessments indicate that at least 5,000 people will work in this complex. Other sectors, such as construction, are stimulating the development of a wide range of industrial spheres through the inter-sectoral communications system. It is no accident that the construction industry has become the second largest sector of the economy after industry. As mentioned above, its share in GDP amounts to 7.5%, and it has left behind even the traditional second largest sectoragriculture. Several service sectors are related to the most scientifically and technically advanced spheres, for example, telecommunications and computer services. Such service sectors as public health, education, and social insurance are of important social significance for Azerbaijan. The policy being conducted in the service sphere in Azerbaijan is also aimed at stimulating foreign capital. And this, according to the government, will lead to Azerbaijans service sector acquiring the financial resources and, just as important, the advanced technology and efficient methods of service execution and management it needs for development and for reaching a high culture of business relations and customer service, and so on. Encouraging the export of domestic services is an equally important vector of policy in the service sphere. In this respect, it should be emphasized that accession to the WTO will make it possible to: extend the presence of competitive domestic service suppliers in the foreign markets; shift to a multilateral system of regulation based on most favored nation treatment and nondiscrimination; obtain guaranteed protection against the possible use of discriminating measures of other countries. A description of the countrys labor resources should also be singled out as a particular feature influencing the development of the Azeri service sphere: the relatively low cost of manpower, which is particularly important for labor-intensive services; the generally high educational level of the workforce; the ability of workers to efficiently adapt to the demands of the economic environment.

Service Trade in Azerbaijan


On the whole, the volume of Azerbaijans foreign service trade is on the rise. Whereas in 1995, the export of services amounted to $172.4 million and import to $304.6 million, in 2010, these figures 132

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were $2,064.9 million and $3,797.8 million, respectively (see Table 1). In other words, during the indicated period, foreign service trade turnover rose more than 10-fold. Table 1
The Dynamics of Azerbaijans Service Trade in 1995-2010 ($m) 1995 Export Import 172.4 304.6 2000 259.8 484.4 2005 683 2,653 2010 2,064.9 3,797.8

S o u r c e: Azerbaijans Balance of Payments.

As the table shows, Azerbaijans foreign service trade has a steady negative balance, whereby import dependence is tending to grow. This is explained by the continued need for the import of several traditional types of service and the growing demand for progressive, technically and technologically complex services. Moreover, the significant negative balance in service trade is the result of an increase in the amount of outbound tourism, as well as the increase in the import of construction services owing to the implementation of regional infrastructure projects. On the whole, Azerbaijans balance is negative in items associated with providing communication, tourist, construction, and transportation services. Transport and tourism has been the most important item in Azerbaijans trade balance in the service sphere in the past few years. In 2010, transport accounted for 31.2% of the total volume of service export and tourist services for 30.1%. The share of import of corresponding services in the total import of services amounted to 21.1% and 19.6%, respectively. Other services (apart from transport and tourism) accounted for approximately 38.7% of the total export volume and 59.3% of the total import volume of services in 2010.5 Azerbaijan still has a weak export position in the financial service sphere. The export of such business services as marketing, managerial, auditing, consulting, and legal is essentially non-existent in the structure of Azerbaijans service trade.

Azerbaijans Proposals on the Service Sphere and the Commitments of the WTO Members
Azerbaijan submitted a declaration of accession to the WTO on 30 June, 1997. The WTO Secretariat established the Working Group on Azerbaijan on 16 July, 1997; its first meeting was held in June 2002. As of the present, 8 meetings of the Working Group have been held and negotiations are still going on. Azerbaijan submitted its proposals on the service sphere to the WTO in May 2005. A comparative analysis was carried out of the commitments of the WTO members and Azerbaijans proposals on services. In so doing, the WTO member states were ranked according to income level and region. The analysis was carried out on the basis of a comparison of market access limitations and preferred nation treatment.
5

[http://cbar.az/pages/statistics/external-sector-statistics/].

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1. Comparison of Overall Level of Commitments


As mentioned above, an assessment was carried out of the commitments of the WTO member states. Among the 152 members, 12 original members of the European Union submitted only 1 offer during the Uruguay round, while new members have placed their own separate offers.6 The analysis showed that the level of commitments reflected in Azerbaijans proposals was higher than the level of commitments of the WTO members as a whole.7 For example, the overall level of commitments for Azerbaijan scored 51.3 (out of a scale of 100), while the average level of commitments by WTO members is 28.2. If joined, Azerbaijan would rank 27th in the overall level of commitments. The proposals on commitments for types of services are also higher than similar commitments in the WTO. For example, Azerbaijans proposed commitments for business services amount to a little more than 63, while on average in the WTO, they amount to 29.3; in other sectors, they amount to 48.2 and 20.2 for communications, 68.8 and 41.4 for construction, 60.0 and 26.8 for distribution, 33.8 and 22.5 for education, 75.0 and 33.8 for the environment, 41.5 and 34.9 for financial services, 29.7 and 14.6 for health, 71.9 and 53.6 for tourist services, 60.0 and 21.3 for social services, and 12.5 and 11.6 for transport, respectively. A comparison of the proposals on commitments in Azerbaijans service sphere and on average in the WTO also shows that Azerbaijan ranks 27th in terms of business services, 15th in terms of communications, 57th in terms of construction, 33th in terms of distribution, 42nd in terms of education, 38th in terms of the environment, 69th in terms of financial services, 26th in terms of health, 42nd in terms of tourist services, 17th in terms of social services, and 50th in terms of transport among the WTO members. In other words, it can be stated on the basis of the analysis of proposals by sector that Azerbaijan submitted rather liberal proposals on all the service sectors and Azerbaijans proposed commitments on services are higher than the average level of commitments of the WTO members. It should be emphasized that there is a direct dependence between the level of commitments of the members in the WTO and the date they join this organization. The later countries join the WTO, the higher the commitments proposed and the higher the demands on these countries from the WTO countries.

2. Analysis of the Commitments of Countries in Terms of Income Level


The level of commitments was also analyzed in terms of income level, and the World Bank gross national income classification was taken as the main criterion. As we know, Azerbaijan is among the countries with an upper middle income. The analysis established that Azerbaijans proposals on services are also higher than the commitments of countries with an upper middle income. Before turning to the results of the analysis of Azerbaijans proposals and the commitments of countries with an upper middle income, one special feature should be emphasized. The results of the analysis on income level show that the countries with a higher level of income have assumed more commitments. Azerbaijan proposed almost twice as many commitments as the commitments of the WTO member countries with an upper middle income. For example, Azerbaijans overall level of commitments, as
6 7

See: WTO, National Schedules of Specific Commitments by WTO Members. See: WTO Accession Strategies for Azerbaijan. KDI, 2008, pp. 20-55.

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mentioned above, amounts to 51.3, while for the WTO member states with an upper middle income, this index is 27.5. Azerbaijans proposals on commitments for types of services are also higher than the same commitments of the WTO member countries with an upper middle income. The commitments Azerbaijan proposed for business services amount to 63.4, while this index is 31.1 on average for countries with an upper middle income, and 48.2 and 25.1 for communications, 68.8 and 44.6 for construction, 60.0 and 19.5 for distribution, 33.8 and 24.6 for education, 75.0 and 24.5 for the environment, 41.5 and 35.2 for financial services, 29.7 and 9.6 for health, 71.9 and 53.6 for tourist services, 60.0 and 14.4 for social services, and 12.5 and 10 for transport, respectively.

3. Analysis of Commitments in Terms of Region


An analysis was also carried out of the WTO member countries in terms of region. South Asia and the sub-Saharan region assumed the least, while Europe and Central Asia assumed the most commitments when joining the WTO. It is interesting that the countries of Europe and Central Asia that acceded to the WTO recently assumed more commitments than on average for the region. The analysis shows that Azerbaijans proposals on services can be compared with the commitments of Europe and Central Asia and are much higher than the commitments of other regions. For example, Azerbaijan proposed assuming more commitments than the WTO member countries of South Asia, the sub-Saharan region, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin, the Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific Basin. The overall level of Azerbaijans commitments amounts to 51.3, while it is 14.5 on average for South Asia, 14.9 for the sub-Saharan region, 16.7 for Latin America and the Caribbean Basin, 22.6 for the Middle East and North Africa, and 32.4 for South Asia and the Pacific Basin. Azerbaijans proposals on commitments for types of services, apart from the commitments of the East Asian and Pacific Basin countries for financial services, are also higher than similar commitments for the regions. Azerbaijans proposed commitments for business services exceed 63, South Asias are 17.3, the sub-Saharan regions are 11.8, Latin America and the Caribbean Basins are 16.4, the Middle East and North Africas are 22.9, and East Asia and the Pacific Basins are 34.6. Azerbaijans proposals on types of services are higher than similar indices for the above-mentioned regions. For example, they are 48.2 and 11.1; 8.5; 15.9; 16.8; 29.0 for communications; 68.8 and 12.5; 20.5; 33.6; 58.8 for construction; 60.0 and 9.6; 8.4; 7.7; 11.6; 36.4 for distribution; 33.8 and 9.4; 9.1; 8.6; 12.8; 21.1 for education; 75.0 and 11.7; 14.0; 7.6; 25.0; 37.8 for the environment; 41.5 and 35.6; 14.3; 29.2; 36.7; 45.7 for financial services; 29.7 and 11.7; 8.4; 8.9; 12.4; 9.1 for health; 71.9 and 35.4; 52.3; 50.0; 53.2; 52.0 for tourist services; 60.0 and 3.1; 12.2; 14.1; 18.2; 15.8 for social services; and 12.5 and 1.6; 5.0; 4.3; 5.7; 16.0 for transport, respectively.

Conclusion
So Azerbaijans overall level of proposed commitments and sectoral commitments are higher than the average similar index for the WTO as a whole. The results of an analysis of the commitments of member countries in terms of income level and region confirm that Azerbaijan is willing to assume more commitments, which its proposals showed. The sectoral coverage of Azerbaijans commitments is essentially the same as for the new members. 135

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As we know, the requirements for service market liberalization are tighter for countries that are in the process of accession to the WTO. In other words, the later a country joins the WTO, the higher the requirements it must meet. Despite this, it must be said that Azerbaijans proposals on commitments in the service sphere are extremely ambitious, which the WTO members should take into account. The WTO members should also take into account that the limitations reflected in Azerbaijans proposals do not create problems in service trade. It should also be kept in mind that Azerbaijan is building a new economy based on market principles after 70 years of a planned economy. So in these conditions, the date of Azerbaijans accession to the WTO will largely depend on how fully the current state of development of Azerbaijans service sphere is taken into account, as well as on a real assessment of the liberalization of the service sector and level of commitments reflected in Azerbaijans proposals by the WTO members.

TAJIKISTANS ECONOMIC COOPERATION PROSPECTS WITH THE SCO COUNTRIES


Mavzuna KARIMOVA Ph.D. (Econ.), Head of the Department of Foreign Economic Affairs, Institute of Economics and Demography of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)

Introduction
he Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was established on 15 June, 2001 in Shanghai (PRC) by the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK), the PRC, the Kyrgyz Republic (KR), the Russian Federation (RF), the Republic of Tajikistan (RT), and the Republic of Uzbekistan (RU). The SCOs prototype was the Shanghai Five, the members of which were all of the aforementioned countries apart from Uzbekistan. This political association was established when Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, and Tajikistan signed agreements on confidence-building in the military sphere (Shanghai, 1996) and on mutual reduction of armed forces in the border zone (Mos-

cow, 1997). Thus a mutual confidence-building facility was launched in the military sphere in the border regions and conditions created for establishing truly partnership relations among the countries. After Uzbekistan joined the organization in 2001, the Five became Six and the structure was renamed the SCO. Moreover, at present four countries (India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan) have observer status in the organization, while another two (Belarus and Sri Lanka) are dialog partners. The SCO has two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council China and Russia, which are nuclear-weapon states under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Another two non-NPT nuclear

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1

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 The economy is one of the key spheres in cooperation among the SCO states and particular attention is focused on the development of economic relations. The objective of this article is to assess the state and prospects for Tajikistans economic cooperation within the framework of this organization.

[http://www.sectsco.org/RU/brief.asp].

The SCO in the Framework of Regional and Global Politics


Although the SCOs initial tasks were associated with taking joint interregional steps to intercept terrorist acts, separatism, and extremism in Central Asia (CA), the organizations activity quickly acquired a comprehensive economic orientation. In September 2003, the heads of the SCO member states signed a Multilateral Economic Trade Cooperation Program targeted for 20 years.2 One of the long-term objectives was to establish a free trade area in the SCO expanse, while in the short term, active efforts were aimed at creating favorable conditions for reciprocal trade and investment. Cooperation within the SCO encompasses such spheres as power engineering, transport, agriculture, telecommunications, and many other branches of the economy; the organizations member states are cooperating extensively in the scientific-technical, cultural, education, tourist, and humanitarian spheres. Today, the SCO is one of the core elements of regional and global politics, and the interests of all the participating states realistically concur in its practical work. It goes without saying that, spurred by the advance of many new and innovated ideas and conceptions, the creation, development, and strengthening of the SCO have enriched the theory and practice of international relations. The member states have similar customs, which is largely related to the Great Silk Road that has been an integral part of their territory for millennia; moreover, they are united by the common desire to establish multilateral contacts, intensify cooperation among governments and NGOs, and develop economic trade and humanitarian cooperation. The 11th session of the Council of SCO Heads of State was held on 14-15 June, 2011. The summit concluded with the adoption of the Astana Declaration on the Tenth Anniversary of the SCO, which assessed the organizations achievements over the past decade and set forth the plans the member states have for enhancing practical cooperation and engaging in joint efforts in the future. The SCO states have extremely rich reserves of raw mineral and hydropower resources. They account for at least 25% of the world oil resources, 30% of the world gas reserves, and 50% of the proven uranium reserves.3 All of this requires intensifying integration cooperation in the real sector of the economy. Furthermore, the CA states have enormous transit potential, and its efficient use is becoming an important factor in forming the regions global communication infrastructure. The Central Asian countries have all the prerequisites for sustainable development, raising the competitiveness of their national economies, forming a common market of goods and services in the future, and becoming successfully integrated into the world community. These capabilities can be brought to fruition by intensifying integration cooperation among the CA states, conducting a coordinated economic policy, and enhancing cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism, and the drug business. The Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the SCO signed in June 2001 pinpointed the landmarks of economic cooperation. One of the main objectives was to augment trade and economic and
2 3

[http://www.mintrans.ru/activity/detail.php?FOLDER_ID=1046]. [http://www.sco-ec.gov.cn/crweb/scor/info/jmxs.jsp?col_no=344&siteid=scor].

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investment cooperation.4 Developing transport infrastructure, the energy industry, environmental protection, and, in particular, resolving water resource problems are priorities of the SCOs economic trade cooperation. Furthermore, a Multilateral Economic Trade Cooperation Program was drawn up for the SCO member states for the period up to 2020. The end goal of the program is to create conditions for the free movement of goods, services, capital, and manpower. There are several obstacles to rapprochement of the SCO countries. They include the differences in depth and scope of the economic reforms; the different levels of economic development; the significant discrepancies in national legislation; the impossibility of ensuring free and reciprocal convertibility of national currencies; the absence of interregional confidence-building measures in military, border, and transborder issues; the absence of a free trade regime; and problems associated with the use of common natural resources.

Tajikistans Foreign Economic Activity Needs Modernizing


High-quality modernization of the national economy is needed to ensure normal and sustainable economic growth in Tajikistan. Today the Tajik economy is non-competitive, and the populations purchasing power is growing primarily by means of work migrants remittances. This has recently been leading to an increase in imports from the countries of both the Near and Far Abroad. Cooperation with the SCO countries is one of Tajikistans most important objectives, however the starting conditions of its integration into the world economy objectively differ from those that existed in other member states of the Organization. The country began to abruptly raise its economy without a well-considered strategy of integration into the world markets. The states hurried departure from the foreign economic spheres in which it used to be a direct and monopoly participant also caused a Figure 1
Dynamics of Tajikistans GDP, Export, and Import Growth Rates (2003 = 100%) 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2001 export 2005 2007 import 2009 2010 GDP

[http://www.sectsco.org/RU/2001.asp].

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number of acute problems. Liberalization was accompanied by a deterioration in the foreign trade structure and aggravation of the external debt problem. Greater dependence on external factors during integration into the world economy is an absolutely legitimate trend for any country. In Tajikistans case, the hypertrophic nature of this dependence was caused primarily by the crisis state of the economy and the breakdown in its conventional controls. In light of the cutback in production and consumption of domestic products, the export sphere became the largest sector of the economy, with the help of which other branches kept afloat. For example, more than a quarter of Tajikistans GDP is realized by means of export. After foreign trade was liberalized, consumer goods constituted the main import commodities (largely food, raw materials for its production, and household appliances), as well as means of communication and computer technology. In the 1990s, saturation of the consumer market with imported goods was warranted: the import of communication means and computers enhanced the technical base of education and science. But lack of attention to domestic production (including to the production of food and industrial consumer goods) had a serious impact on the countrys economy.

Role of the SCO Countries in Tajikistans Economy


Tajikistan is trading actively with the SCO countries. Several figures show the role and significance of this trade in the development of the Tajik economy. For example, in 2010, the share of the SCO countries in the overall import volume into Tajikistan amounted to 60.34%. Furthermore, the import of products from Russia constitutes 61.45% of the total import volume of the SCO countries into Tajikistan; it is followed by Kazakhstan and then China. China mainly delivers machinery, equipment, spare parts, base metals and items made from them, as well as products of the chemical industry, to Tajikistan. Tajikistan mainly receives plant and mineral products from Kazakhstan; foodstuffs and cattle breeding products, textiles and apparel, machinery and equipment, as well as mineral products from Figure 2
Import Structure of the SCO Countries into Tajikistan (%) China 8,96

Other countries 39,66

Kazakhstan 11,02 Kyrgyzstan 0,58

Uzbekistan 2,7

Russia 37,08

S o u r c e: Calculated on the basis of the statistics digest Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic Tajikistan for 2011.

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Kyrgyzstan; mainly mineral products, products of the chemical, lumber, and woodworking industries from Russia; and mineral products and means of ground, air, and water transport from Uzbekistan. Tajikistan depends entirely on imports from the SCO countries of such products as plants (90.6% of the total imports into the country), mineral products (84.3%), lumber and products made from it (94.6%), items made from stone or similar materials (82.0%), and base metals and items made from them (70.7%). As for exports from Tajikistan to the SCO countries, in 2010, their share amounted to 48.9%. Tajikistan exports most of its goods to China. Base metals and items made from them account for 93.16% of the total export volume to China and mineral products for 4.38%. The share of live cattle and animal product exports to the SCO countries amounts to 65.9%, plant products to 83.3%, and prefabricated food products to 79.6%. Figure 3
Export Structure from Tajikistan to the SCO Countries (%) Other countries 51,13 China 34,4

Uzbekistan 0,72

Kazakhstan 1,67 Russia 8,52 Kyrgyzstan 0,56

S o u r c e: Calculated on the basis of the statistics digest Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic Tajikistan for 2011.

Chinas Role in the Tajikistan Economy


In ten years, more than 70 agreements have been signed with the PRC alone; China is one of Tajikistans top three trade partners and is a key investor in the countrys economy. Since 2006, economic trade cooperation has been undergoing a boom: China mainly delivers machinery, equipment, spare parts, base metals and items made from them, and products of the chemical industry to Tajikistan. Several major national projects have been implemented in Tajikistan with the support of the Chinese government, which has become a clear sign of Tajik-Chinese friendship and cooperation. Many Chinese companies have launched long-term activity in Tajikistan. The opening of highway service in the fall of 2004 between the PRC and Tajikistan through the Kulma Pass, as well as the launching of Beijings rather extensive loan scheme to the Tajik economy not only led to an abrupt increase in the scope of trade turnover, but essentially gave a boost to Chinas real economic penetration into Tajikistan. China has begun actively lending to the Tajik economy. Furthermore, the soft loans issued to the republic for particular socially significant projects are usual140

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Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 Table 1

Tajikistans Foreign Trade Cooperation with the PRC Tajikistans Export Structure to the SCO Countries in Terms of Commodity Groups for 2010 (%)
Chinas Share in the Total Export Volume of Commodity Group to the SCO Countries from Tajikistan Share of Commodity Group in Tajikistans Export Volume to the SCO Countries

Tajikistans Import Structure from the SCO Countries in Terms of Commodity Groups for 2010 (%)
Chinas Share in Tajikistan's Total Import Volume of Commodity Group from the SCO Countries Share of Commodity Group in Tajikistans Import Volume from the SCO Countries

Total Live animal and cattle breeding products Plant products Animal and vegetable oils and fats Prefabricated food products Mineral products Products of the chemical industry Plastics and products made from them Raw hide and leather Lumber and products made from it Paper and cardboard, items made from them Textiles and apparel Footwear and headwear Items made from stone or similar materials Base metals and items made from them Machinery, equipment, and spare parts

100 0.03 4.99 0.00 0.30 4.55 0.25 0.02 0.26 0.07 0.03 19.52 0.03 0.00 63.38 1.07

100 0.00 0.12 0.00 0.00 4.38 0.00 0.01 0.29 0.01 0.00 0.50 0.00 0.00 93.16 0.38

100 1.77 8.28 2.74 5.74 24.37 20.50 1.23 0.03 4.59 1.17 1.21 0.20 2.05 6.13 11.01

100 0.07 1.52 0.00 0.38 1.09 13.40 2.44 0.14 2.52 2.44 2.56 0.38 2.85 19.52 38.00

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 1 (continued)


Tajikistans Export Structure to the SCO Countries in Terms of Commodity Groups for 2010 (%)
Chinas Share in the Total Export Volume of Commodity Group to the SCO Countries from Tajikistan Share of Commodity Group in Tajikistans Export Volume to the SCO Countries

Tajikistans Import Structure from the SCO Countries in Terms of Commodity Groups for 2010 (%)
Chinas Share in Tajikistan's Total Import Volume of Commodity Group from the SCO Countries Share of Commodity Group in Tajikistans Import Volume from the SCO Countries

Means of ground, air and water transport Instruments, optical equipment, and watches Miscellaneous industrial goods Works of art Other

2.42 0.14 0.04 0.12 0.01

0.19 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.00

7.19 0.76 0.70 0.06 0.26

7.57 1.90 2.49 0.00 0.72

S o u r c e: Calculated on the basis of the statistical digest Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic Tajikistan for 2011.

ly reclaimed by Chinese companies themselves. So, as of today, the PRC is a major lender to Tajikistan, significantly surpassing the financial structures of other countries.5 In light of the scope of the republics economy, Chinas economic presence in Tajikistan appears significant and mainly boils down to trade (including shuttle) and rendering financial assistance in the form of soft loans and grants. Most of Chinese finances in the Tajik economic consist of loans (more than $600 million). Chinas direct investments into the Tajik economy are insignificant and amount to less than $50 million.6 The electric power industry (building of the Zeravshan Hydroelectric Power Plant and Nurabad-2 Hydroelectric Power Plant, as well as the high-voltage Lolazor-Khatlon and South-North power transmission lines); transport (reconstruction of the Dushanbe-Khujand-Chanak highway and building of the Shakhristan and Shar-Shar road tunnels); and the mining industry (development of gold deposits in the Penjikent district and building plants for the manufacture of aluminum fluoride and cryolite), as well as projects in the telecommunications sphere are the main branches of the Tajik economy into which China is pumping its financial resources.7
5 See: V. Paramonov, A. Strokov, O. Stolpovskiy, Ekonomicheskoe prisutstvie Kitaia v Tadzhikistane. Izuchenie obshchestvenno-politicheskikh protsessov na postsovetskom prostranstve, Information and Analytical Center, 23 June, 2009, available at [http://www.ia-centr.ru/expert/5038/]. 6 Ibidem. 7 Ibidem.

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So, as things currently stand, the prospects for developing Tajikistans economic cooperation with the stronger SCO economy are very ambiguous. On the one hand, Tajikistan is in need of Chinas finances and goods, while on the other, the dimensions of Chinas economic penetration into Tajikistan are such that they could lead to Tajikistans dependence on China.

Conclusion
Tajikistan is placing great significance on cooperation within the framework of the SCO and sees it as one of the most important regional organizations. Much has been accomplished in the SCO with respect to resolving regional issues, organizing economic cooperation, and developing other cooperation vectors, which are gradually encompassing all spheres of interrelations of the Organizations member states. On 15 June, 2011, when speaking at an extended sitting of the Council of SCO Heads of State in Astana, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon emphasized the need to harmonize the investment legislation of the Participating states. He noted in particular that it would be expedient to enhance the legislation of all the Organizations members by improving the conditions for distributing and protecting foreign investments, as well as to regulate and strictly monitor a special legal management regime for the free economic areas. He suggested creating a special working group to study this matter. Employing such measures would make it possible to implement large joint projects in special free economic areas in Tajikistan. In particular, the matter concerned new science, production, and business compounds along the lines of the industrial, scientific, and technology parks that are becoming popular today.8 Realizing the advantages of Tajikistans transport and geographical location and the potential of its border territories is another strategically legitimate vector. Creating a wide network of free economic areas and border trade zones in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and the Sogd Region would draw the SCOs copious flows of goods and capital, which are currently going to foreign countries, into Tajikistan. Keeping in mind the raw material orientation of most of the SCO countries and relying on the primary sector of their economies, more active use must be made of the regions potential in developing branches that manufacture high value-added products, as well as in expanding cooperation in the innovation sphere. Joint investment in production plants that are promising for the SCO market could be a fundamental way to create a favorable climate for regional integration. And implementing important regional projects in priority spheres of the economy would help to accelerate execution of the Multilateral Economic Trade Cooperation Program. Border infrastructure must also be developed and transcontinental transport corridors (including rail) built. Tajikistan believes that the new stage in SCO development should be marked by the striving of its member states toward implementing joint economic programs aimed in particular at supporting and encouraging weak national economies. In addition to creating favorable investment, socioeconomic, and transport conditions, regional economic cooperation must also be enhanced; this will be conducive to reducing social tension and stabilizing the situation in the Central Asian region. In our view, it is important to concentrate on projects relating to amelioration and the regions water industry and aimed at expanding cooperation in agriculture and the hydropower industry, as well as at implementing trans-regional transport projects.

8 Speech by President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon at an extended sitting of the Council of SCO Heads of State (Astana, 15 June, 2011), available at [http://www.president.tj/rus/novostee_150611.html].

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MASS

MEDIA

SOCIAL MEDIA, CYBER-DISSENT, AND CONSTRAINTS ON ONLINE POLITICAL COMMUNICATION IN CENTRAL ASIA
Brian J. BOWE Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Communications, Grand Valley State University, Lake Superior Hall (Allendale, U.S.) Eric FREEDMAN Associate Professor of Journalism & Associate Dean of International Studies & Programs, Michigan State University (East Lansing, U.S.) Robin BLOM Ph.D. Candidate, Media and Information Studies, Michigan State University (East Lansing, U.S.)

Introduction

ecent world events have demonstrated that the Internetand social media tools in particularare increasingly useful for polit-

ical organizing, not merely frivolous virtual spaces for youthful publics to connect socially. Rather, social media is touted as the crucible in which

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1 L. Morillon, J. Julliard, Enemies of the Internet: Web 2.0 versus Control 2.0, Reporters without Borders, available at [http://www.rsf.org/ennemis.html], 2010, p. 2. 2 See: A. Puddephatt, Freedom of Expression Rights in the Digital Age. Mapping Digital Media: Reference Series

Volume 13 Issue 1 2012 clear roles in both starting new democratic processes in some countries and entrenching them in others, Howard noted.3 However, the libertarian possibilities of increased freedom facilitated by ICT access have a dark reality, as repressitarian governments adapt to the Internet age by exerting power over the Internets infrastructure and using activist communications for surveillance purposes.4 This paper reviews recent events and legal developments related to the Internet and social media in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. They include legislation extending libel laws to online communications, blocking of oppositional and independent websites, and punishing journalists who report or comment for online media.
No. 6, Open Society Media Program, London, 2011, available at [www.mappingdigitalmedia.org]. 3 P. Howard, The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam, Oxford University Press, New York, 2010. 4 See: E. Morozov, The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, Public Affairs, New York, 2011.

Post-Soviet Repression in Central Asia


A well-established function of journalism in civil society is to furnish citizens with the free flow of reliable information they require to be free and self-governing.5 This function is a necessary part of any discussion of the changes to the media environment wrought by increased access to ICT.6 Yet two decades after their independence from the Soviet Union, the five Central Asian republics remain bastions of official and extra-legal censorship, self-censorship, constraints on journalists and news organizations, and insufficient financial resources to support independent, and sustainable, market-based press systems. These constraints prevent the development and operation of press systems that could contribute to more honest and transparent governance, build trust in the press credibility, promote pluralistic political systems, and promote the dissemination and critique of information and news that advances human rights and national development.7
See: B. Kovach, T. Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2007. See: A. Puddephatt, op. cit. 7 See: M.E. Price, Press Freedom Measures: An Introduction, in: Measures of Press Freedom and Media Contributions to Development: Evaluating the Evaluators, ed. by M.E. Price, S. Abbott, L. Morgan, Peter Lang, New York, 2011, pp. 1-19.; R. Shafer, E. Freedman, Press Constraints as Obstacles to Establishing Civil Societies in Central Asia, Journalism Studies, No. 10 (6), 2009, pp. 851-869.
6 5

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In the face of what Shafer and Freedman describe as the bleak press rights territory of postSoviet Central Asia,8 all five nations constitutions9 include press freedom provisions that are not enforced. The press systems vary in such components as proportion of non-state media outlets, journalist salaries, and the structure of government agencies that regulate the media. However, their shared Table 1
Press Freedom Indicators in Central Asia (The annual Media Sustainability Index from the International Research & Exchanges Board assesses the state of national media systems, both traditional and new media, based principally on input from local journalists and press observers)

Professional Journalism

Business Management

Country & Overall Score

Kazakhstan 1.68 Kyrgyzstan 1.66 Tajikistan 1.42 Turkmenistan 0.35 Uzbekistan 0.56

1.73 1.94 1.57 0.28 0.43

1.68 1.61 1.43 0.75 0.66

1.79 1.88 1.59 0.25 0.53

1.48 1.27 1.16 0.14 0.73

Scoring 0 = Country does not meet the indicator; 1 = Country minimally meets aspects of the indicator; 2 = Country has started to meet many aspects of the indicator; 3 = Country meets most aspects of the indicator; 4 = Country meets the aspects of the indicator. S o u r c e: Media Sustainability Index 2011: Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Europe and Eurasia.

R. Shafer, E. Freedman, op. cit. For example, Art 20 of the Kazakhstan Constitution promises: The freedom of speech and creative activities shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall be prohibited. 2. Everyone shall have the right to freely receive and disseminate information by any means not prohibited by law. However, it also includes this broadly worded exclusion: 3. Propaganda of or agitation for the forcible change of the constitutional system, violation of the integrity of the Republic, undermining of state security, and advocating war, social, racial, national, religious, class and clannish superiority as well as the cult of cruelty and violence shall not be allowed (Constitution of Kazakhstan (2007), available at [www.kazakhstan.orexca.com/ kazakhstan_constitution.shtml]).
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Supporting Institutions

Freedom of Speech

Plurality of News

1.71 1.61 1.33 0.31 0.46

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characteristics enable policymakers, researchers, and foreign funders to examine the media environment on regional and nation-by-nation bases. Since independence, these nations have been governed by regimes that can be classified as repressitarianmeaning both authoritarian in governance and repressive in human rights practices.10 There have been no pluralistic or democratic replacements yet in Central Asia for the Soviet press model. We attribute that absence to several factors, particularly the perpetuation of authoritarianism by regimes more committed to self-survival and self-aggrandizement than to effectively guiding and encouraging the press to advance economic and social development and participatory governance.11 In addition, efforts by Western funders to build democratic press systems through professional training, university-level journalism education, and subsidies to fledgling independent media outlets have fallen short, in part because of the regions history, economics, cultural traditions, national rivalries, and power politics. The Media Sustainability Index12 published by the U.S.-based International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) highlights reasons (see Table 1) why a dramatic expansion of press freedom appears unlikely at this time. Another U.S.-based NGO, Freedom House,13 ranks all five press systems as not free. Press rights defender and advocacy groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters sans Frontires (RSF), and the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations regularly criticize the regimes for their anti-press policies and actions. So do foreign government and multinational agencies such as the U.S. State Department and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europes Representative on Freedom of the Media. This lack of press freedom extends to the online realm, and the regimes overt hostility to traditional broadcast and print media now encompass new media. However, there are economic reasons why some regimes find themselves moderating their crackdowns on the Web. As Morozov noted: Authoritarian regimes in Central Asia have been actively promoting a host of e-government initiatives. But the reason why they pursue such modernization is not because they want to shorten the distance between the citizen and the bureaucrat but because they see it as a way to attract funds from foreign donors (the likes of the IMF and the World Bank) while also removing the unnecessary redtape barriers to economic growth.14

New Media under Attack


Access to the Internet (see Table 2) varies tremendously among the Central Asian countries, from 1.6 percent to 39.3 percent of the population, as does the number of Facebook users.15 However, access alone is too rough an indicator of the power or potential power of the Web to advance grassroots political activism and pressure for changes withinor ofthese regimes. Importantly, such data do not show the amount of time users are online and how they use that time. Do they send email, play games, watch pornographic movies, read opposition or foreign news sites, read government sites,
10 E. Freedman, R. Shafer, S. Antonova, Two Decades of Repression: The Persistence of Authoritarian Controls on the Mass Media in Central Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Vol. 11, Issue 4, 2010, p. 95. 11 R. Shafer, E. Freedman, In Need of Defenders: Imperiled Press Rights in Post-Soviet Central Asia and the Role of Media Watch and Media Advocacy Organizations, Paper presented to the International Association for Media and Communication Research, Istanbul, 2011. 12 Media Sustainability Index 2011: Development of Sustainable Independent Media in Europe and Eurasia, International Research & Exchanges Board, Washington, D.C., 2011. 13 See: Freedom on the Net, Freedom House, 2011, available at [www.freedomhouse.org]. 14 E. Morozov, op. cit., p. 87. 15 See: Internet World Stats, 2011, available at [www.internetworldstats.com].

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 2

Internet Penetration Rate and Number of Facebook Users in Central Asia as of 30 June, 2011 Country Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Internet Penetration Rate (percentage of population) 34.1 39.2 9.2 1.6 26.8 Facebook Users 293,040 49,820 20,260 13,000 82,900

S o u r c e: Internet World Stats (2011).

download photos, or blog, for instance? To what degree does government blocking of sites affect their use? And do they use the Internet at home, where there is at least an appearance of privacy, or in public places such as cybercafes and at work? Dutton et al. observed: Over the first decade of the 21st century, the Internet and its convergence with mobile communications has enabled greater access to information and communication resources. In 2010, nearly 2 billion people worldwideover one quarter of the worlds population use[d] the Internet. However, during the same period, defenders of digital rights have raised growing concerns over how legal and regulatory trends might be constraining online freedom of expression.16 Events around the globe, including Egypt, the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus, Iran, China, and Syria, show the variety of ways that repressitarian regimes use laws and technology to block online and social media venues for political dissent, expression, advocacy, and organization. RSF17 places Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on its roster of top-ten enemies of the Internet. A report on Internet freedom by Reporters sans Frontires observed: The year 2010 firmly established the role of social networks and the Internet as mobilization and news transmission tools. In 2010 alone, 250 million Internet users joined Facebook and by the end of the year, the social network had 600 million members. In September that year, 175 million people were Twitter users100 million more than in the previous year.18

Recent Developments
Recent events have drawn attention to an Internet freedom crisis in Central Asiaevents that we summarize in this section of the paper. To illustrate, bloggers in Kazakhstan say a July 2011 decision by KazTeleCom to block domestic access to the open source publishing platform and blogging tool WordPressfor the third timewas politically motivated; the countrys principal ISP acted af16 W.H. Dutton, A. Dopatka, M. Hills, G. Law, V. Nash, Freedom of Connection, Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, U.K., 2011, p. 45. 17 See: L. Morillon, J. Julliard, op. cit. 18 Ibid., p. 4.

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ter a court banned two WordPress blogs as illegal earlier in the year.19 The blockage ended about two weeks later.20 Also in Kazakhstan in 2011, a new website called Guljan suffered a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack with hits from about 10,000 IP addresses in and out of the country; the cyberattack forced the website to close for a week.21 The U.S. Department of State22 has reported about the expansion of restraints on new media. For example, it described how a deputy cabinet minister in Kazakhstan ordered Internet providers to block five independent news sites. Its report also described how a Kazakhstani official suggested that a correspondent for Internet portal Stan.TV not cover a protest demonstration, threatening that she would be arrested; the official later threatened to sue her for libel. On a higher level, the Kazakh Information and Communication Agency established the Service to React to Computer Incidents; the agencys head said it was compiling blacklists of destructive websites.23 The Internets potential as a political organizing tool was underscored in 2009, when Freedom House issued its initial report on Internet freedom, covering fifteen countries but none in Central Asia. Its second Freedom on the Net report expanded to thirty-seven countries, including Kazakhstan, which was rated as partly free as to the Internet. The report also emphasized the interaction between constraints to maintain the regimes power and the countervailing goal of building the countrys telecommunications industry: Kazakhstans government has sought to make the [I]nternet a new source of economic strength and build the country into the information-technology hub of Central Asia. With that goal in mind, the government has made modest efforts to liberalize the telecommunications sector, promote internet usage, and enhance the internet portals of state entities. At the same time, the authorities also attempt to control citizens access to information and apparently fear the Internets democratizing potential. In recent years, the government has blocked a popular blog-hosting platform and passed several pieces of legislation that restrict free expression online, particularly on topics that are deemed threatening to President Nursultan Nazarbaevs power and reputation.24 Meanwhile, use of mobile communication devices is rapidly growing in the region. By 2009, Kazakhstan had almost 15 million users, with mobile-phone penetration at about 95 percent; Internet access through mobile devices also grew, but that penetration rate was a much lower 7 percent in 2010.25 Statistics show mobile cellular subscription rates per 100 inhabitants ranging from 63.42 in Turkmenistan to 106.99 in Kazakhstan; the other three countries had rates of more than 75.26 Turning to the situation in Kyrgyzstan, its government temporarily blocked access to independent Internet news sites and print media during several days of violence in Bishkek.27 It is too soon to gauge whether journalists rights and media independence will improve significantly in Kyrgyzstan after its second grassroots-driven change of governments and its constitutional transition in 2010 from a presidential to a parliamentary system. However, practices of the interim
19 See: Kazakh Bloggers Say Blockage of Blog Website for Political Reasons, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 13 July, 2011, available at [www.rferl.org/articleprintview/24264250.html]. 20 See: C. Schwartz, Kazakh Blog Ban Demonstrates Complexity of Digital Free Speech, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 25 July, 2011, available at [www.rferl.org/content/transmission_kazakh_blog_ban_shows_complexity_of_digital_ free_speech/24275964.html]. 21 See: J. Lillis, Kazakhstan: Is State-Sponsored Hacking Curbing Internet Freedom? EurasiaNet.org, 2011, available at [www.eurasianet.org/node/63987]. 22 See: 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, U.S. Department of State, 2011, available at [www.state. gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/index.htm]. 23 Freedom on the Net. 24 Ibidem. 25 See: Ibidem. 26 See: Mobile Cellular Subscriptions per 100 Inhabitants, International Telecommunications Union, 2011, available at [www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics]. 27 See: 2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

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government, including the arrests of journalists, raise serious questions about the degree of liberalization that can be realistically expected. As EurasiaNet.org reported: Recent developments in Kyrgyzstan are displaying the dark side of a free press A few journalists have made commendable efforts to fulfill the traditional watchdog function of a free press. But such bright spots are being marred by a rise in chauvinistic and racist rhetoric in the Kyrgyz-language press, along with recent violent attacks against journalists.28 CPJ said interim President Roza Otunbaeva talks all the right talk about the importance of democracy and the rule of law, but de facto, whats happening with the press right now, particularly in the south,29 is despicable: Television stations were destroyed, ethnic Uzbek television journalists were evicted, and the main television station was forcibly sold to an ethnic Kyrgyz.30 The situation in Tajikistan was described by Kohlmeier and Nekbakhtshoev,31 who wrote about the extension of libel laws to new media; the country also has closed websites that undermined the states policies. Their study cites the governments proffered justifications, including information security, which is similar tobut broader thanlegal provisions guarding state secrets, as well as improving journalists professionalism by making them think about the consequences of their actions before they do anythingan approach that encourages self-censorship. Violators face fines and jail. In Turkmenistan, the website of the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights, headquartered in Vienna, was hacked and made inaccessible for several days in the fall of 2010. That happened soon after the president ordered the National Security Ministry to accelerate its actions against those who disseminate slanderous information about Turkmenistans democratic, law-based secular state.32 Another scholar33 explored the future of Internet media in Uzbekistan, whose government maintains the regions most extensive and intrusive state-mandated filtering system and where websites must register as mass media. Connectivity and infrastructure have improved, but strict controls impair wider access and use. Websites of human rights organizations and exiled opposition political parties are permanently filtered and blocked. Even without an official censorship agency, the government monitors mass communications, collects and analyzes the content of information products disseminated by individuals and legal entities, and issues warnings to the media. A 2009 study by the OpenNet Initiative assessed the degree of government filtering of political, social, and security websites globally. In Central Asia, it reported: an overall high leveldefined as pervasiveof filtering in Uzbekistan; mediumdefined as substantialin Turkmenistan, and lowdefined as selectivein the other three countries.34 Contributors to Internet-based publications have been imprisoned. CPJ identified several who were behind bars in late December 2010.35 In Uzbekistan, Dzhamshid Karimov, who freelanced for the UK-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting and for online and independent publications, was in long-term, forced psychiatric confinement; Salidzhon Abdurakhmanov, a reporter for the independent
28 A. Khamidov, Kyrgyzstan: A Free Press Begets Hate Speech, EurasiaNet.org, 12 May, 2011, available at [http:/ /www.eurasianet.org/node/63473]. 29 The Ferghana Valley in southern Kyrgyzstan was the site of deadly clashes in 2010 between ethnic Uzbeks and ethnic Kyrgyz. Ethnic tensions remain high in the region. 30 N. Ognianova, Interview with E. Freedman and R. Shafer, New York City, 11 March, 2011). 31 See: K. Kohlmeier, N. Nekbakhtshoev, Internet Libel Law and Freedom of Expression in Tajikistan, in: After the Czars and Commissars. Journalism in Authoritarian Post-Soviet Central Asia, ed. by E. Freedman, R. Shafer, Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, Michigan, 2011. 32 Turkmen Rights Groups Website Hacked, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2010, available at [www.rferl.org/ content/Turkmen_Rights_Groups_Website_Hacked/2189615.html]. 33 See: Z. Hoerdegen, The Future of Internet Media in Uzbekistan: Transformation from State Censorship to Monitoring of Information Space since Independence, in: After the Czars and Commissars. Journalism in Authoritarian PostSoviet Central Asia. 34 See: W.H. Dutton et al., op. cit., pp. 42-43. 35 See: 2010 Prison Census, Committee to Protect Journalists, 2010, available at [http://cpj.org/imprisoned/ 2010.php].

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website Uznews, was in prison on fabricated drug charges; and freelancer Dilmurod Saiid, accused of extortion and forgery, wrote for the independent website Voice of Freedom and local newspapers. In Kyrgyzstan, Azimjon Askarov, another Voice of Freedom contributor, is serving a life sentence on disputed charges of organizing riots, possessing extremist literature and ammunition, attempted kidnapping, and complicity in the murder of a police officer.

Hope amid Crackdowns


Repressitarian governments have many tools to maintain control over Internet expressionincluding governmental, legal, and technological techniqueshowever it remains economically counterproductive for nations hoping to compete in the current wired global economy to crack down too tightly on Internet expressions.36 Because the Web is truly world-wide, there exists a jurisdictional vacuum over content regulations, leaving such regulations to the arbitrary actions of individual governments.37 The ability of social media to promote political opposition and organization in Central Asia remains largely speculative to date, but there are indications of its promise beyond the five regimes focus to control content and access. In their study of an oppositional website launched during the runup to the 2005 coup that toppled the first authoritarian president of Kyrgyzstan, Kulikova and Perlmutter concluded that the short-lived advocacy site suggested the Internets potential to bypass government controls and publicly disseminate nonofficial information.38 More recently, when a series of explosions at a military munitions depot in Abadan, Turkmenistan, killed dozens of people in July 2011, the government shut telephone lines and the Internet in the town. Citizen journalists then reported on the incident to an Austrian-based human rights group and to foreign media outlets; they also posted photos of the damaged depot and eyewitness comments on the human rights groups website and on a social chat site. A Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent wrote: This discussion was taking place while official Turkmen media were broadcasting their usual cheery songs and reports glorifying the president and all of his marvelous works. He observed: The deadly explosions also mark the unprecedented emergence of citizen journalism in one of the worlds most isolated countries.39

Conclusion: Caution amid the Hope


There is a certain air of inevitability expressed by some government officials related to the growing omnipresence of the Web. For example, Kazakhstans prime minister predicted increased competition for traditional media from nontraditional media, leading to drastic changes in the entire media
36 See: B.J. Bowe, R. Blom, E. Freedman, Negotiating Boundaries between Control and Dissent: Free Speech, Business and Repressitarian Governments, in: Human Rights and Information Communication Technologies: Trends and Consequences of Use, ed. by J. Lannon, IGI Global (in press). 37 See: A. Puddephatt, op. cit. 38 See: S.V. Kulikova, D.D. Perlmutter, Blogging Down the Dictator? The Kyrgyz Revolution and Samizdat Websites, International Communication Gazette, No. 69, 2007, pp. 29-50. 39 M. Tahir, Citizen Journalism Scores Breakthrough in Turkmenistan, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2011, available at [www.rferl.org/content/citizen_journalism_scores_breakthrough_in_turkmenistan/24266428.html].

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market. Sometimes its not so thrilling to read bloggers, but it is the reality we have to put up with, the prime minister said. All media soon will be beaten by the Internet.40 Howard suggests that the presence of an active online civil society can help cause a state to transition away from authoritarianism toward democracy. With such connected populations, citizens are no longer just consumers of content, they manage the means of cultural production through consumer electronics, he notes.41 However, it is important to recognize that even as activists become better able to use social media to organize, dangers remain. The idea that the Internet favors the oppressed rather than the oppressor is marred by what I call cyber-utopianism: a nave belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to acknowledge its downside, wrote Morozov.42 Morozov particularly noted the potential for online communications to be used for surveillance purposes. Similarly, in a study of Internet use and cultural identity among Kyrgyz youth, Ibold observed: Indeed, the Internet present potential perils for activists and ordinary citizens living under authoritarian regimes, such as enabling such governments to gain unprecedented insights into activist networks and activities by mining opposition information from Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking tools.43 Another implication concerns the traditional distinctions between professional and non-professional communicators. With the expanding use of new and social media by ordinary citizens and political activists in Central Asia, those blurring borders raise important questions for press rights advocates. Shafer and Freedman identified several: Who is a journalist and how do press rights defender groups determine when to speak out on behalf of someone who falls outside traditional definitions? Should media development organizations train bloggers and citizen journalists and, if so, train them about what and with what funding? What roles can and should domestic and international NGOs play in the defense of bloggers, website administrators, and citizen journalists, including those affiliated with opposition parties and outlawed groups?44 For journalists in particular, another set of questions involve the benefits and disadvantages of mobile phones. As Kenny asks, are they a blessing or a curse for the news?45 To illustrate, he proffers unintended consequences of the proliferation of cell phones in Kyrgyzstan, where 75 percent of Internet users are 30 or younger and where much of the news about the country goes largely unreported by the larger global news community.46 Kenny observes that journalism and public relations are frequently conflated there and that the opinionated chatter of social media too often merges with fact, innuendo and rumor but is reported as truth. He writes: I fear that without a baseline set of news-gathering values, ordinary news consumers may end up just pinballing around the Internet, leaving Kyrgyzstan as an emerging niche news society reliant on whatever is trending now on Yahoo.47

40 Kazakhstans Traditional Mass Media May Lose Out to Online MediaMasimov, Central Asia & Caucasus Business Weekly, 2011, available at [www.allbusiness.com/economy-economic-indicators/money-currencies/15624949-1.html]. 41 See: P. Howard, op. cit., p. 201. 42 See: E. Morozov, op. cit., p. xiii. 43 See: H. Ibold, Disjuncture 2.0: Youth, Internet Use, and Cultural Identity in Bishkek, Central Asian Survey, No. 29 (4), 2010, p. 524. 44 R. Shafer, E. Freedman, In Need of Defenders 45 See: T. Kenny, Kyrgyzstan: Are Mobile Phones a Blessing or a Curse? EurasiaNet, 2011, available at [http://www. eurasianet.org/node/63958]. 46 Ibidem. 47 Ibidem.

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