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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Journal of Social and Political St

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CENTRAL ASIA AND

THE CAUCASUS Journal of Social and Political Studies

Published since 2000

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CA&CC Press® SWEDEN 1

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 CENTRAL ASIA AND BY THE CAUCASUS FOUNDED AND PUBLISHED

INSTITUTE FOR CENTRAL ASIAN AND CAUCASIAN STUDIES

INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES OF THE CAUCASUS

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PUBLISHING HOUSE CA&CC Press®. SWEDEN Registration number: 556699-5964 Journal registration number: 23 614 State Administration for Patents and Registration of Sweden

Editorial Eldar ISMAILOV Murad ESENOV Jannatkhan EYVAZOV Timur SHAYMERGENOV Leonid BONDARETS Jamila MAJIDOVA Farkhad TOLIPOV Ziya KENGERLI Haroutiun KHACHATRIAN Kakhaber ERADZE Sun ZHUANGZHI Konrad SCHÄFFLER

Council

Chairman of the Editorial Council Tel./fax: (994 - 12) 497 12 22 E-mail: [email protected] Editor-in-Chief Tel./fax: (46) 920 62016 E-mail: [email protected] Deputy Editor-in-Chief Tel./fax: (994 - 12) 596 11 73 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Kazakhstan (Astana) Tel./fax: (+7 - 701) 531 61 46 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek) Tel.: (+996 - 312) 65-48-33 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Tajikistan (Dushanbe) Tel.: (992 - 917) 72 81 79 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Uzbekistan (Tashkent) Tel.: (9987-1) 125 43 22 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Azerbaijan (Baku) Tel.: (+994 - 50) 3006694 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Armenia (Erevan) Tel.: (374-10) 56 59 65 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Georgia (Tbilisi) Tel.: (+995 - 95) 45 82 88 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in China (Beijing) Tel.: (86) 10-64039088 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Germany (Munich) Tel.: (49 - 89) 3003132 E-mail: [email protected]

Vladimir MESAMED

represents the journal in the Middle East (Jerusalem) Tel.: (972 - 2) 5882332 E-mail: [email protected]

Irina EGOROVA

represents the journal in the Russian Federation (Moscow) Tel.: (7 - 495) 3163146 E-mail: [email protected]

Robert GUANG TIAN

Rustem ZHANGUZHIN

represents the journal in the U.S. (Buffalo, NY) Tel: (716) 880-2104 E-mail: [email protected] represents the journal in Ukraine (Kiev) 2 Tel.: (380-44) 524-79-13 E-mail: [email protected]

ED ITORI CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Giuli ALASANIA Bülent ARAS

A L B O A R D Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

Doctor of History, professor, Vice Rector of the International Black Sea University (Georgia) Doctor, Chair, Department of International Relations, Fatih University (Turkey)

Mariam ARUNOVA

Doctor of Political Science, leading research associate, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS (Russian Federation)

Garnik ASATRIAN

Doctor of Philology, professor, head of the Department of Iranian Studies, Erevan State University (Armenia)

Bakyt BESHIMOV

Doctor of History, professor, Vice President, American University-Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan)

Ariel COHEN William FIERMAN Paul GOBLE Sergei GRETSKY

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.)

Xing GUANGCHENG

Doctor of Political Science, professor, Deputy Director of the Institute for East European, Russian and Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (China)

Alexander IGNATENKO

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)

Ashurboi IMOMOV

Ph.D. (Law), assistant professor, head of the Department of Constitutional Law, Tajik National University (Tajikistan)

Lena JONSON

Doctor, senior researcher, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Sweden)

Klara KHAFIZOVA

Doctor of History, Director, Center for Strategic and International Studies, professor at the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department, Kainar University (Kazakhstan)

Jacob M. LANDAU

Professor of Political Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel)

S. Neil MACFARLANE

Professor, Director, Center for International Studies, The University of Oxford (Great Britain)

Alexei MALASHENKO

Doctor of History, professor, Scholar-in-Residence, Ethnicity and Nation-Building Program Co-Chair, The Carnegie Moscow Center (Russian Federation)

Abbas MALEKI Akira MATSUNAGA Roger N. McDERMOTT Vitaly NAUMKIN Yerengaip OMAROV Vladimer PAPAVA

S. Frederick STARR

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) Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury (UK) 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.)

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 Luleå SWEDEN WEB ADDRESS: http://www.ca-c.org

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© Central Asia and the Caucasus, 2010 © CA&CC Press®, 2010

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Journal of Social and Political Studies Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 IN THIS ISSUE:

ENERGY POLICY AND ENERGY PROJECTS Arbakhan Magomedov, Ruslan Nikerov.

CASPIAN ENERGY RESOURCES AND THE “PIPELINE WAR” IN EUROPE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: ENERGY GEOPOLITICS IN NORTHERN EURASIA ………........…………………………. 7

Vladimir Paramonov, Alexey Strokov.

CHINA IN CENTRAL ASIA: ENERGY INTERESTS AND ENERGY POLICY ………....................…………………………. 18

Valentina Kasymova, Batyrkul Baetov.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC: ENERGY POLICY AND PROJECTS …….……………………. 31

Georgi Petrov.

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS BETWEEN HYRDOPOWER ENGINEERING AND IRRIGATION IN CENTRAL ASIA: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS ………...……..……………………. 52 4

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

REGIONAL POLITICS Alexey Fominykh.

PROJECTING “SOFT POWER:” AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN POST-SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA ……..............…………………. 66

Jannatkhan Eyvazov.

CENTRAL EURASIA THROUGH THE PRISM OF TURKEY’S SECURITY INTERESTS ………...……............……………………. 77

Raheleh Behzadi.

IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY IN THE CASPIAN SEA BASIN. Oscillation between National Interests and Islamic Adventures ………...…......................………………………. 86

Haroutiun Khachatrian.

THE TURKISH-ARMENIAN NORMALIZATION BID IN 2008-2010: AN ARMENIAN VIEW ……...............…...…………………………. 94

Akhman Saidmuradov, Ekaterina Puseva.

THE GREATER CENTRAL ASIA CONCEPT IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN REGION ………..………………. 102

REGIONAL STUDIES Murat Laumulin.

CENTRAL ASIA AS VIEWED BY CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL ANALYSTS …….………. 109

Maxim Kirchanov.

THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT VECTORS OF GEORGIAN NATIONALISM IN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY. Between the Traditions of the Political Nation and the Challenges of Radicalization ………...……………………. 126

Nikolai Borisov.

KURMANBEK BAKIEV AS ASKAR AKAEV’S POLITICAL SUCCESSOR: FAILURE TO CONSOLIDATE THE POLITICAL REGIME IN KYRGYZSTAN ………....................…………………………. 138

Andrei Galliev.

CRISIS FACTORS IN KYRGYZSTAN: THE REGIONAL, CLAN, AND POLITICAL STRUGGLE ………..............……………………. 149 5

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Zhyldyz Urmanbetova.

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

KYRGYZSTAN: TODAY AND TOMORROW ………...…....………………………. 155

RELIGION AND SOCIETY Kanatbek Murzakhalilov, Mirajiddin Arynov.

TABLIGHI JAMAAT IN KYRGYZSTAN: ITS LOCAL SPECIFICS AND POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE RELIGIOUS SITUATION ………......….………………. 162

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

Regional Centers of Power and their Policy in Central Eurasia

n

Central Eurasia: Politics Today

n

Central Eurasia: Religion in the Sociopolitical Context

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ENERGY POLICY AND ENERGY PROJECTS

CASPIAN ENERGY RESOURCES AND THE “PIPELINE WAR” IN EUROPE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: ENERGY GEOPOLITICS IN NORTHERN EURASIA Arbakhan MAGOMEDOV D.Sc. (Political Science), Professor, Head of the Public Relations Chair, Ulyanovsk State University (Ulyanovsk, Russian Federation) Ruslan NIKEROV Ph.D. Candidate at Ulyanovsk State University (Ulyanovsk, Russian Federation)

Introduction

I

n the post-9/11 world, energy resources have become the most coveted trophy, and force has become the main instrument, while national interests are prevailing over the hopes and illusions of the “democratic transit” of the 1990s.

Russia and the United States are locked in rapidly accelerating rivalry over the Caspian’s gas and gas pipelines (South Stream of Russia vs. Nabucco of the West). While at the turn of the 21st century, Russia did not have a trump card it could successful7

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ly use to oppose the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline,1 later it armed itself with the South Stream to fight the “gas war.” The two projects competed in the “dilemma of simultaneity” regime,2 which describes the dy-

namics of the struggle over several alternatives for the limited resources. The resultant “diversification race”3 started the European “pipeline war” of the 21st century. What triggered the race? Never before, even at the height of the Cold War, has the West been so vehemently determined to lower Europe’s dependence on Soviet fuel; never before has the Caspian basin attracted the clashing political and economic interests of so many countries.

1 The project undermined Russia’s position in the Greater Caspian. During Vladimir Putin’s first term as president, the Kremlin wasted its efforts on joining the “world community” by riding the American “bandwagon of freedom” within the “anti-terrorist consensus.” The West, meanwhile, won the first round: this oil route bypassed Russian territory. Moscow soon realized that it was not merely an engineering structure designed to move oil in the desired direction, but a geopolitical springboard the West had managed to snatch away from Russia. 2 The term coined by Claus Offe of Germany belongs to the “post-communist transit” paradigm and reflects the dilemma of transition societies: either democracy or a market economy as the absolute priority. The powerful imagery and emotional component of this phrasing put the political strain

of struggle for very limited energy sources in a nutshell (see: C. Offe, Varieties of Transition: The East European and East German Experience, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1997, p. 35). 3 For more detail, see: A. Magomedov, “The Conflict in South Ossetia and the Frontiers of Struggle for the Greater Caspian”s Energy Resources,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 2 (56), 2009, pp. 40-42.

“Resource Accumulation” and the Crushed Hopes of Putin’s Russia: The Macropolitical Context of the European “Pipeline War” The macropolitical context throws into bolder relief the logic of the geopolitical"struggle over the Caspian pipelines and Caspian gas, which owes its intensity to three key factors. n

The first factor: the worldwide struggle for “resource accumulation”4 and geopolitical expanse. Energy has become another element of the confrontation between Russia and the West. The new century has created new priorities: control over natural, mainly hydrocarbon, resources and the globally important transport corridors, while energy has been gradually developing into a key information issue. According to Russian academic Irina Tsurina, “never before has the Western world been as keenly aware of its energy vulnerability as it is now; for the first time in recent years, it has interpreted this dependence as a threat to its development;”5 its anxiety is fed even more by global energy fears, transportation threats, and political bluffs. The resultant tension added vehemence to the sides’ political motivations, while energy became another cutting edge of their confrontation.

n

The second factor: Vladimir Putin’s presidency. Associated with the rise of the national state, it can be described as the most significant event of the current century in Russia.

4 A. Magomedov and R. Nikerov studied the “resource accumulation” phenomenon in their book Bolshoi Kaspiy. Energeticheskaia geopolitika i tranzitnye voiny na etapakh postkommunizma, UlGU Press, Ulyanovsk, 2010, pp. 141-149. 5 I. Tsurina, “Imidzh energeticheskogo ‘agressora,’” NG-Energia, No. 242, 13 November, 2007.

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It coincided with the 10-year-long energy boom caused by unprecedentedly high oil and gas prices. Slowly but surely, Putin pushed aside the legacy of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency to reconfirm the primacy of Russia’s national interests. The West started talking about Moscow’s “imperial frenzy” and revived pride fed by petrodollars and accused it of being hot tempered and belligerent. This, along with one other factor, accelerated the “geopolitical maturing” of Putin’s Kremlin. n

The third factor: the crushed hopes of integration with the West nurtured by Putin’s Russia. Today the Kremlin has relegated to the past the hopes of the first years of Putin’s presidency when much was said about Russia as a part of Europe or a member of the “counterterrorist march” with the United States at its head.

Putin was the first head of state to call George W. Bush, Jr. after the 9/11 terrorist attack to assure him of Russia’s support (just as in the past, George W. Bush, Sr. was the first person Boris Yeltsin informed about the Soviet Union’s demise). Two weeks later, when speaking at the Bundestag, he came forward with a very interesting proposition, which Alexander Rahr, a German academic and member of the Valdai Club, described as follows: “Let’s look at Russia not as a resource appendage, but as part of Greater Europe. We are prepared to share our resources to build up Greater Europe; we need your technologies while you are invited to work in Russia.” Events, however, took a different course: the Kremlin did a lot to support the U.S. in its counterterrorist struggle; some of the top American officials admitted that “Putin’s Kremlin did more than any NATO government to assist the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.” In 2001-2002, Putin agreed to the highly doubtful American projects to use Central Asian airdromes and allowed the U.S. to use Russia’s airspace, very much in line with the “deliberate retreat” logic of the Yeltsin-Kozyrev era and in expectation of American appreciation. Putin, whom George W. Bush looked in the eye in 2001, imagined that Russia could become a close friend of the United States and a partner in the struggle against “international terror.” The Bush Administration, in turn, took this for granted. TV analyst Alexei Pushkov, who is wellknown for his ramified contacts in political circles, offered the following comment: “Bush reciprocated with a cowboy hat and a barbecue in Crawford.” After the Cold War, the United States was deliberately dismissive of Russia, keeping contacts strictly within the bounds of its own interests. Russia lost this carefully planned and elegantly conducted geopolitical game: its elite once more proved to be politically short-sighted and gullible. The Russian political and expert communities hypnotized themselves with the mantra that Russia “doomed” to cooperation with the United States profited from everything the Americans were doing. Convinced of their infallibility, the Western “partners” expected Russia to accept everything without a murmur and go along with the West. Stephen F. Cohen, a well-known professor at New York University, wrote in his article “The New American Cold War” (The Nation, 10 July, 2006): “The real U.S. policy has been very different—a relentless, winner-take-all exploitation of Russia’s post-1991 weakness.” The U.S. military bases in Central Asia have no precedence in the region’s past; Russia’s influence was gradually shrinking. The joint struggle against so-called international terror did not dissuade the Americans from acquiring domination at Russia’s southern borders. By 2005-2006, the international situation had changed, while the developments described above contributed to Vladimir Putin’s “geopolitical maturity.” The failed partnership with the West caused disillusionment, which developed into suspicions strongly confirmed by the U.S. involvement in the Color Revolutions in Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), and Kyrgyzstan (2005). 9

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The Western media abounded in scornful and denouncing comments on Russia and Putin; thinktanks, the Council on Foreign Relations being one of them, were not alien to this practice either. In fact, its report entitled Russia’s Wrong Direction and its insulting tone embarrassed even Putin’s numerous critics.6 Putin’s “demonstration of testosterone” was not only fed by petrodollars, but also by the desire to wipe away the memories of two decades of humiliation and the failed attempt at integration with the West in the context of the counterterrorist struggle. The “thirst for the West” typical of Yeltsin’s time, however, is still very much alive. Alexander Rahr, still seen as “the German in the Kremlin,” has pointed out that Putin (to whom his most inveterate critics ascribe many of the repulsive sides of the Russian character) can barely keep the lid on his fury and disappointment with the failed offensive at the West. The race for the Greater Caspian energy and transit assets as part of the global “resource accumulation” trend was unfolding amid the recently emerged confrontation between Russia and the West and the mounting Russian-American rivalry, as well as against the macropolitical background described above.

South Stream and Nabucco: Energy and Geopolitical Dimensions The hiatus that occurred after the Tskhinvali events in the fall of 2008 was used to grasp the meaning of the August war in Georgia and its possible impact on the future of the energy supply lines in the Greater Caspian. At first, it seemed that the five-day war had shattered investors’ nerves and shown that Russia could remove the pro-Western Georgian government at any moment. The prospects for Nabucco looked vague. With time, however, came the realization that “avoid-Russia pipelines” would disentangle the West from Russia’s pipeline networks. The events which followed the Russian-Georgian war and the gas war between Russia and Ukraine early in 2009 consolidated this into a conviction. The West, determined to find energy sources and transportation routes outside Russia, plunged into feverish activity; the battle for the Greater Caspian reached new heights, with the Nabucco project moving to the center of a newly devised strategy. This caused fundamental geopolitical shifts in the Caspian meso-region. The Caspian countries have awoken to their new role of active energy and transit players. In October 2008, the British auditors Gaffney, Cline and Associates (GCA) caused quite a stir by stating that the optimal evaluation of the Iuzhny Ilotan-Osman gas deposits was 5 times higher than the Dauletabad gas deposits (one of Turkmenistan’s largest); the newly discovered deposits made Iuzhny Ilotan-Osman the world’s fourth or fifth largest gas field,7 while Turkmenistan boosted its status with Eurasian energy politicians. The so far generally shared doubts about Turkmenistan’s ability to cope with its already signed obligations were brushed aside, while the pipeline projects bypassing Russia acquired a new lease on life. 6 See: “Russia’s Wrong Direction. What the US Can and Should Do,” Council on Foreign Relations, March 2006, available at [www.cfr.org/publication/9997]. 7 See: N. Grib, N. Skorlygina, “Turkmeniia nashla gaz v obkhod Rossii. Zavety Turkmenbashi proshli mezhdunarodny audit,” Kommersant, 15 October, 2008.

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The August war and the resultant doubts were gradually forgotten to allow the idea of a TransCaspian Pipeline System to be revived and pushed forward. Important geopolitical changes in the Caspian meso-region were not excluded; meanwhile the frantic rivalry between South Stream and Nabucco became a fact. The latter is the brainchild of a consortium of energy companies of Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Turkey with a price tag of $11 billion attached to it. Intended as a transportation system designed to bring Mid-Eastern and Caspian oil to Europe via Turkey’s Anatolian Plateau, it was backed and partly funded by the European Union and strongly supported, politically and morally, by the United States. A purely business venture with no political undertones, it was a chance to acquire more gas from the Caspian and Middle East with lucrative transit fees as an additional perk. The pipeline intended to liberate Europe from “Russia’s gas slavery” was aptly named after the main protagonist of a rarely performed Verdi opera which recounted the hard plight of Jews under King Nebuchadnezzar who then liberated them. It all started one evening in Vienna in 2002 when the Turkish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Rumanian colleagues of a group of Austrian executives were invited to see Verdi’s opera. “The officials had spent the day sketching out a plan for a Map 1 The Rivaling South Stream and Nabucco Gas Pipelines

NORWAY SWEDEN

Izhevsk

Urengoi-Uzhgorod Smolensk

Ryazan

BELARUS

Penza

Mozyr

Kursk

Warsaw

UKRAINE

Prague

RUSSIA

Yelets

Orenburg

Saratov

Soyuz Alexandrov Gai

Kiev

Central Asia-Center

THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Novopskov

SLOVAKIA

Uzhgorod Vienna HUNGARY

South Stream

KAZAKHSTAN

Atyrau

Beinau

Nabucco

CROATIA RUMANIA Sevastopol

Tuapse

Nabucco BULGARIA

GEORGIA Samsun Ankara

ITALY

UZBEKISTAN

GERMANY

MOSCOW

Minsk

Yamal-Evropa POLAND

Torzhok

Riga

Kaliningrad

Berlin

Yaroslavl

AZERBAIJAN Baku

GREECE

TURKEY

Blue Stream

Okarem Ashghabad

SYRIA

11

TURKMENISTAN

Greifswald Rostock

Gryazovets

Cherepovets

Nord Stream Butinge

Existing pipelines Planned South Stream Gas Pipeline Planned Nabucco Gas Pipeline

Vyborg Primorsk St. Petersburg

FINLAND

IRAQ

IRAN

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2,050-mile pipeline that could transport up to 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas every year across their countries to the European markets. The sources of this gas would not be Russia, but Azerbaijan”8 and the Middle East. After a while, the pipeline acquired political overtones, its business rationale being pushed to the backburner. Nabucco became another political weapon to be used against Russia and its influence in Central and Eastern Europe. The ideologists of New Europe recognized their chance not only to build a new vitally important supply lines with the West, but also to undermine Russia’s position. Even before the war in the Caucasus, Nabucco was seen as a way to defeat Russia and form a counterbalance to its so far dominant position on the European gas markets. Oil and gas pipelines developed into an instrument of Europe’s geopolitical defenses against Russia, the “barbarian at the gates,” and were mentioned in the same breath as military terms. “Intended as a defense against Russian dominance over the EU’s natural gas supplies, the Nabucco pipeline is beginning to look like a modern-day Maginot Line,” wrote Kyle Wingfield, editor of the Business Europe section of the Wall Street Journal in its 16 April, 2008 issue. Washington was extremely vexed by the European leaders’ dithering over the pipeline: “Nabucco is exposed to the EU’s inability to put up a united front on energy security. Although EU leaders say that it’s the Union’s highest priority project, the European capitals are failing miserably to rally around it,” writes Kyle Wingfield. This was part of the problem; the Turks, who ruined Europe’s energy game, created more complications. Quite unexpectedly they decided to use the transit pipeline as a political weapon: Prime Minister Erdoðan declared that the future of Nabucco depended on resumed talks about EU membership for his country. Washington dismissed the attempt as “Putin-ization of Turkey’s foreign policy.” Turkey went even further by demanding 15 percent of the gas moved along the pipeline; a compromise, however, allowed the sides to sign an inter-governmental agreement. The West remained convinced that “the Turkish government might act as a sort of southern Ukraine—receiving gas from several sources, mixing it together, siphoning off a portion, and then selling the rest to Europe in a non-transparent way while collecting transit fees.” This cast doubt on the project future, invalidated it and jeopardized the sources of fuel, potential markets, and trust of potential users. The war in Georgia and the Russian-Ukrainian gas conflict of January 2009 not merely dramatically changed the course of energy debates but also inspired those who rallied behind Nabucco to scare Europe with Russia’s “gas tyranny.” A discussion was held at the Heritage Foundation on the gas conflict and its impact; on the whole, this think-tank tends toward extreme ideologization of the problems discussed and very straightforward interpretations. The American analysts decided that Russia’s gas monopoly should be discontinued and that (even more important) the trans-Atlantic community’s energy and security issues should be interconnected. Speaking at the “U.S. Policy toward the South Caucasus: Challenges of Energy and Geopolitics” conference, Frederic Starr, Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at J. Hopkins University, said that Nabucco was a geopolitical issue since Russia had treated it as such. He went on to say that the economic dimension just as important, but, at least for a while, geopolitics would come before economics: the Nord Stream carried a price tag of $12 billion, while a pipeline across Belarus would have cost $3 billion. 8

D. Freifeld, “The Great Pipeline Opera,” Foreign Policy, 24 August, 2009.

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Neil Brown, special advisor to Senator R. Lugar, is convinced that energy plays an important role in Central Asia and the Caucasus when it comes to Transatlantic security. He deemed it necessary to warn that in the absence of a consolidated energy policy in the European Union NATO might be endangered.9 Ariel Cohen, a leading expert at the Heritage Foundation, fanned the passions in an effort to present them as prevailing European opinions: it is commonly believed in Eastern and Central Europe, he asserted, that Russian oil and gas came to replace the Cossack squadrons of the 19th century and tank divisions of the 20th century as instruments of political control over Europe. The pipelines fetter Europe, say the Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians; they are afraid that these new chains might destroy NATO.10 The gas crisis of January 2009 added urgency to Nabucco and made it highly popular across Europe. European consumers and politicians concluded that they needed alternative routes and alternative fuel sources. In the winter of 2009, unheated homes11 proved the best argument in favor of Nabucco, earlier dismissed as an empty dream; its commercial future, however, and the sources of adequate volumes of gas remained as vague as ever. Russia was no longer seen as a reliable gas supplier: the Europeans became convinced that Russia was an aggressive “petrostate” with political biases stronger than its commercial commitments. It should be said, however, that many people in Europe looked at “orange” Ukraine as a corrupt and unreliable transit country responsible for the “sporadic” gas supplies from Russia; such people refused to think of Nabucco as anything else but an opera. No matter what, the European capitals were slowly and gradually moving toward the opinion that the latest gas war put the EU’s integrity, strength, and independence at risk and that the next conflicts would widen the split. People willingly lent an ear to those who said that Russia had built the pipelines to sabotage European unity and argued that for the sake of stability Europe should find new fuel sources in Central Asia. This created another twist in the struggle for the Greater Caspian in the form of consistently promoted “avoid-Russia” initiatives. On 1 September, 2008, a special EU summit that met to discuss the Caucasian war passed a resolution which said that Europe should address the problem of its excessive gas dependence on Russia; the EU launched negotiations on Nabucco. In November 2008, European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visited Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan (the countries involved in the project) to identify the still pending problems and to arrive at a common draft decision on Nabucco.12 This opened a season of fierce battles between those who supported South Stream and those who sided with Nabucco over the agreements on gas deliveries needed to make the projects feasible and over political and financial support. Pipeline policy rests on strategic rather than economic arguments; many in the West are convinced that geopolitical arguments should be treated as a priority; gas supplies and profitability come second. Jonathan Stern of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies believes that the European Union has enough political will to make Nabucco a success: the governments of the European countries should persuade their energy companies to support Nabucco, emphasizing that this is a test of viability of Europe’s unified energy policy and European solidarity and that they (i.e. policy and solidarity) should be up to snuff. 9

See: “Gaz podkliuchili k sfere interesov SShA,” Kommersant, 30 January, 2009. “Rossiiskie truboprovody ugrozhaiut Evrope?” community.livejournal, 25 October, 2009. 11 The Kremlin lost the propaganda campaign: Europe remained convinced that it was blackmailed by Putin. 12 See: [http://www.newsazerbaijan.az/analytics/20081107/42569096.html]. 10

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This pushes politics ahead of economic considerations, which makes the future of Nabucco even more vague than it is now. In the summer of 2009, the struggle reached its height with Russia fighting fiercely to bury Nabucco; it bought shares in European energy companies to prevent a Nabucco coalition; it bought natural gas in Central Asia and Azerbaijan (sometimes at highly inflated prices) to deprive Nabucco of gas. Some people call this vehement rivalry a war over Europe’s energy future; it split the continent into “old” and “new” Europe and intensified the doubts of the “old” European elites. “In many ways, Schröder and Fischer personify the intense struggle—some call it a war—over Europe’s energy future.” The veterans of German policy and former colleagues in the Schröder Cabinet, in which Fischer was foreign minister, found themselves on the opposite sides of the “energy barricades”—the most dramatic confirmation of the split. While in office, Schröder was reliably pro-Russian on German and European energy issues. Less than one month before leaving the chancellorship, Schröder used his office to guarantee a $1.4 billion loan (later declined by Russia) for a Kremlin-backed natural gas pipeline that would connect Russia to Germany via the Baltic seabed. Just days after stepping down, he accepted a senior post with the pipeline consortium run by Gazprom. The deal caused a huge scandal inside Germany. “In the summer of 2009, Fischer made the breach with Schröder official”: he signed up with a rival consortium—energy companies that have joined to build the Nabucco natural gas pipeline as a “political communications advisor.” As distinct from the former chancellor, the former foreign minister was a pure-bred Atlanticist openly skeptical about Russia. David Freifeld quotes him as saying in an interview to the Wall Street Journal that Schröder’s idea about Putin as democrat “was never my position.” When asked what he found “most objectionable” about Schröder’s tenure, he replied succinctly: “His position on Russia.”13 The two men who led Germany together for eight years became opponents in a fierce and highly politicized energy war. The accelerating “diversification race” unfolding within the framework of the “dilemma of simultaneity” adds to the continental antagonism. The rivaling transit policy of the European Union and Russia added vigor to the geopolitical competition in the Caspian-Black Sea area and raised the degree of general mistrust. This policy multiplied ineffective and commercially unappealing projects for the simple reason that commercial and industrial rationale was sacrificed to political considerations. The above changed the train of thought in some of the minds of the European political community: Why indeed should Russia be excluded from our energy future?

Decline of Nabucco and the Eastern Horizons of Caspian Energy Policy Late in 2009, Nabucco suffered a crippling blow: burdened with innumerable and irresolvable problems, it lost the exhausting round against South Stream. Russia, on the other hand, somewhat consolidated its position as the main transit country between Central Asia and Europe. 13

D. Freifeld, op. cit.

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The old disagreement between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan over the gas deposits along the median Caspian line suddenly flared up again to send Nabucco into a tailspin. In fact, for the last ten years this problem has been and remains the main stumbling block on the road towards the two countries’ better relations. The statement President of Turkmenistan Berdymukhammedov made late in August 2009 set the ball rolling. It turned out that his country was planning to build a naval base on its stretch of the Caspian coast. The message was clear: Turkmenia was resolved to fight for its interests. As could be predicted, Baku voiced its displeasure to Ashghabad. It was not South Stream which delivered the final blow to Nabucco: its demise was speeded up by a chain of events that unfolded within the space of several weeks between December 2009 and January 2010. First, on 14 December, 2009, a new gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan and the northwest of China was commissioned. Designed by China’s state-owned giant CNPC, it can carry 40 billion cu m (bcm) of gas every year along its 1,250-mile stretch across the territories of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and China. The newly commissioned pipeline supplemented the Atasu-Alashankow oil pipeline built in 2006 that linked Kazakhstan and China. The new gas pipeline and the agreement under which Turkmenistan pledged to supply China with 30 bcm of gas every year for the next 30 years bonded the two countries. More than that: Turkmenistan borrowed heavily from China—it is developing Iuzhny Ilotan’s large gas deposits using China’s tied loan of $4 billion. Second, Russia meanwhile restored its gas relations with Turkmenistan disrupted by the blast at the Central Asia-Center gas pipeline in April 2009. On 22 December, 2009, at a meeting in Ashghabad attended by the top figures of Gazprom and Turkmengaz, the presidents of the two countries buried the gas conflict. The sides agreed to resume export of Turkmenian gas across Russia’s territory; they also signed several important documents related to strategic cooperation in the energy sphere which envisaged, among other things, extending the 2003 bilateral agreement signed for 25 years. Moscow’s agreement to pay European prices for Turkmenian gas was even more important: “Russia was resolved not to leave gas to be used in alternative pipelines.” Russia and Turkmenistan reiterated their commitment to the Caspian Coastal Pipeline (along the Caspian east coast toward Russia via Kazakhstan) with a capacity of 30 bcm. “Evidently, Russia hopes to cluster additional Central Asian gas from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.” No matter how impressive, the above leaves pending the answer to the question: Will Russia rush to emulate China, which built a new gas pipeline in three years? Third, on 6 January, 2010, the 182-km long Dauletabad-Sarakhs-Khangiran pipeline was inaugurated. With an annual capacity of 20 bcm, it connected Iran’s northern Caspian region with Turkmenistan’s vast gas field. These events send strong messages with respect to energy geopolitics. Within the space of three weeks, Turkmenistan committed its entire gas exports to China, Russia, and Iran. It has no urgent need for the fairly risky pipeline projects advanced by the United States and European Union. The West failed to repeat its triumph with the BTC oil pipeline on the Caspian gas front; in the short-term perspective, it has lost the battle for control over the Caspian pipelines. The Greater Caspian meso-region has obviously acquired a new pattern of energy cooperation. Russia, Iran, and Turkmenistan, which hold the world’s largest, second largest, and fourth largest gas reserves, respectively, along with China, “consumer par excellence this century,” upturned the scenario the West has been writing in the persistent transit and diplomatic wars of recent years. M.K. Bhadrakumar, Indian career diplomat and analyst, offered a comment: “The Turkmen-Iranian pipeline mocks the U.S.’s Iranian policy” and further: “The U.S. is threatening Iran with 15

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new sanctions and claims Tehran is ‘increasingly isolated.’ But Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s presidential jet winds its way through a Central Asian tour and lands in Ashghabad.” This visit created a new economic Ashghabad-Tehran axis. Iran is currently engaged in negotiations with Turkey on pumping its gas via the existing 2,577 km-long pipeline connecting Tabriz with Ankara, which means that the West is probably “losing the battle for establishing direct access to the Caspian.”14 Map 2 Pipelines of the Greater Caspian

Russia Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan-China

Ukraine

Novorossiisk Georgia

Supsa

ha

n

Nabucco

Tengiz Turkm

enista

n-Chin

a

Uzbekistan

Baku Arm Azerbaijan en ia

Caspian Pipeline

Turkmenistan

ku

-C

China

Ba

Ceyhan

ey

Turkey

Tra n Pip scasp elin ian e

CPC

Tehran

Syria Iraq

Iran

Afghanistan Pakistan

Existing pipelines

India

Planned pipelines

Western analysts, engrossed in contemplating the prospects of the European projects, were caught unawares. Michael Richardson, former Asia editor of The International Herald Tribune, showed his irritation in the title of his article which appread in The National newspaper: “China versus Russia and the Battle of ‘Pipelinestan,’”15 a broad hint at the rivaling oil and gas pipelines which crisscross the region. Mr. Richardson and many of his colleagues went out of their way to present China’s victory as Russia’s defeat in Central Asia: “By opening a pipeline through Central Asia, China has broken Russia’s long-standing dominanace over the natural gas export from the region and underlined the rapid rise of Beijing in the energy-rich zone.” 14 15

M.K. Bhadrakumar, “Russia, China, Iran Redraw Energy Map,” Asia Times, 8 January, 2010. M. Richardson, “China versus Russia and the Battle of ‘Pipelinestan,’” The National, 28 December, 2009.

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He went as far as saying: “Beijing’s gains in Central Asia—at Russia’s expense—were underscored the day after the pipeline acros Central Asia to China was inagurated in Turkmenistan.” This is in line with the old Atlanticist position: China’s breakthroughs in North Eurasian energy projects spell Russia’s defeat and doom it to cooperation with the West and Europe. This is hardly correct. According to M.K. Bhadrakumar, “Russia does not seem perturbed by China tapping into Central Asian energy.” Russia is quite satisfied with the fact that Turkmenian gas will not go to Europe to compete with Russia’s exports. On 3 December, 2009, Prime Minister of Russia Putin said that Moscow does not object to gas exports to China; First Vice-Premier of Russia Igor Shuvalov was quoted as saying that Russia approved the gas pipeline between Turkmenistan and China via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and supported its commissioning. They confirmed the extreme importance of Chinese-Russian energy cooperation as an important factor behind the new energy geopolitics in Central Asia and elsewhere in Northern Eurasia. Under an agreement of 13 October, 2009, the sides pledged to set up a firm foundation for their long-term cooperation in geological surveying in Russia and third countries. China was prepared to supply easy loans to the Russian energy sector, although the price-related issues are still being discussed. In the early half of 2008, China looked into the energy potential of the Russian-Georgian war and, while remaining absolutely neutral, displayed a great interest in the August events in South Ossetia. Soon after the Russian Blitzkrieg in Georgia, on 8 September, a delegation of the CC of the Communist Party of China led by Wang Jiarui, head of the CC International Department, arrived in Moscow on an invitation of the United Russia Party with the obvious intention of finding out how the South Ossetian conflict had affected China’s position in the battle for Central Asian energy resources. In the last 10 years, China, already actively involved in resource accumulation, has been figuring prominently on the Caspian scene. Very much like Moscow, Beijing is concerned about the planned trans-Caspian pipelines designed to move Central Asian fuel to the West via Azerbaijan and Georgia. This explains its interest in the five-day war. After gathering as much information as they could, the Chinese went to Baku to find out what the Azerbaijani top figures thought about the war and about the future of Nabucco.16 Russia does not intend to compete with China over the Central Asian resources. “What matters most to Russia,” writes M.K. Bhadrakumar, “is that its dominant role as Europe’s No. 1 energy provider is not eroded.” In this context, the Russian pipelines (Nord Stream and South Stream) tolerate no alternatives.17 Contrary to what the Atlanticists assert and thanks to Russia’s price policy established in December 2009, Ashgabad does not see the Chinese pipeline as a substitute for Gazprom, which is still viewed as an important partner. The Chinese price (its discussion began early in 2010) can hardly match the Russian offer.

Conclusion “To be sure,” writes M.K. Bhadrakumar, “2009 proved to be a momentous year for the ‘energy war’” in the Greater Caspian. The Chinese pipeline inaugurated on 14 December and the Iranian pipeline inaugurated on 6 January changed the energy map of Eurasia. Another event wedged inbetween 16 17

See: A. Gabuev, “Delegatsiia KPK posetila Moskvu i Baku,” Kommersant, 15 September, 2008. Construction of the first line of the Nord Stream system began on 9 April, 2010.

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these two dates confirmed Russia’s victory in the East Asian energy sector. On 27 December, Prime Minister Putin inaugurated an oil terminal near the Far Eastern port of Nakhodka to be served by the mammoth $22-billion oil pipeline Eastern Siberia-the Pacific: East Siberian oil went to the Pacific markets. On 14-15 January, 2010, the Nabucco project, recently the symbol of European energy freedom, suffered another defeat in Batumi. The presidents of Azerbaijan, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine, who were expected to attend the energy summit, preferred to ignore it, while the president of Georgia, the host country, likewise failed to appear to open the conference; representatives of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan were also invited. This summit, very much as its five predessors, was convened to discuss how to diminish dependence on Moscow and move Caspian gas to Europe by circumventing Russia. Planned as a summit of ten heads of state and government, it became a conference of experts. The 21st century changed the energy rivalry in the Caspian beyond recognition. The euphoria of the 1990s caused by the victory in the Cold War and the hopes of unlimited growth and prosperity evaporated. The new millennium and 9/11 returned the world to simple and clear geopolitical principles: “we—them” and “who will win?” Very much as before, national interests, the use of force, and pragmatism prevailed over the hopes and illusions of the early post-communist period of the 1990s. The events of 9/11 marked the end of the geopolitical hiatus of the 1990s; the “teleology of the transition period” discredited by the failure of the “democratic transit” in Russia collapsed along with the Twin Towers.

CHINA IN CENTRAL ASIA: ENERGY INTERESTS AND ENERGY POLICY Vladimir PARAMONOV Ph.D. (Political Science), Independent Expert (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) Alexey STROKOV Independent Expert (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

Introduction

I

n the mid-1990s, China displayed the first flickers of interest in the Central Asian fuel and energy complex, which has been steadi-

ly growing since that time along with Beijing’s interest in other spheres of the region’s economy. In the latter half of the last decade of the 20th 18

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century, the project activities of China and Chinese companies in the Central Asian energy segment were concentrated in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector. In the early 21st century, however, this interest began gradually spreading to the rest of the region to become diversified by the industry’s branches. Today, China is showing a lot of

interest in the oil and gas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and in the nuclear power production of the former. China is paying enough attention to the fuel and energy complexes of the rest of the region to promote its economic and political interests in each of the states and the region as a whole.

The Role and Place of Energy in China’s Strategies Domestic policy. China’s general strategy is geared toward boosting the efficiency of the planned and centralized state administration and management of its ramified and dynamically developing economy, while liberalizing economic activities at home. This calls for a balance between the traditional socialist and the capitalist conceptual and ideological attitudes, principles, and goals designed to preserve the country’s integrity and security and ensure its sustainable development. The national-state ideology and the leading role of the Communist Party of China are never questioned. This means that the Chinese fuel and energy complex is intended to ensure consistent development of all the economic segments, social and economic stability, and stronger military and political might. China’s energy policy was and is concentrated on the following: (1) stage-by-stage development of the domestic raw material base of the national fuel and energy complex; (2) its accelerated technological modernization; and (3) diversification of national power production by using all types of energy sources. Foreign policy. China is seeking a place among the key players on the global economic and political scene. It is placing its stakes on greater efficiency and attractiveness of the Chinese economic model while trying to find a niche for the country in the global processes and the quest for mechanisms of their efficient management badly needed to preserve its integrity, sustainable development, and security, as well as its position in the world. Applied to the energy sphere, the above means that Beijing should protect its economic interests and its influence in the global and regional energy markets by acquiring firm positions in long-term contacts with fuel-rich countries (the Central Asian countries included) to guarantee a consistent inflow of raw materials into its fuel and energy complex. Today, its interests are concentrated on hydrocarbons; tomorrow they will spread to uranium. This is not an end in itself, but rather the country’s readiness to cooperate with other countries, particularly its neighbors, in order to guarantee China’s strategic interests in the economic, security, and political spheres. The role and place of Central Asia. On the whole, Central Asia plays a secondary role in China’s security and raw material (energy resources) spheres: it is a strategic rear to be relied upon for greater political efficiency (in the security, economic, and energy spheres) of China’s relations with the leading Western countries and APR neighbors, which are priority vectors for China. In other words, China’s strategy based on carefully studied and analyzed international experience (Soviet experience included) is being successfully realized as part of a long-term devel19

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opment program/algorithm. The Chinese intend to build a strong and self-sufficient state able to survive global and regional calamities and prevent security threats in every, including the energy, sphere. The fact that this strategy underestimates the fundamental importance of the Eurasian heartland and the potential of strategic partnership with the Russian Federation and Central Asia can be described as one of the main faults of China’s strategic course. This, however, is largely predetermined by Russia’s and Central Asia’s policy in the energy sphere, which is still limited to the interests of national companies and geared toward larger fuel exports. This explains why China regards Russia and the Central Asian countries as unreliable and temporary allies rather than strategic partners; in the energy sphere, their role is limited to fuel and raw material supplies. The interests of Russia and the Central Asian countries (including in the energy sphere) are threatened by the factors described above rather than by Chinese policy per se. Energyand raw-material-related rivalry between China and Russia and the Central Asian countries cannot be totally excluded.

The Central Asian Fuel and Energy Branches in China’s Economic Policy In the post-Soviet era, China’s economic policy in Central Asia has been consistently placing greater importance on the region as one of Beijing’s domestic and foreign policy energy-related priorities. In the first half of the 1990s, China’s economic interest in Central Asia was fairly limited, concentrating mainly on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In fact, at that time, the Central Asian countries never considered China an important economic partner, their hopes being pinned on Russia and the West, as well as on some of the financially attractive and culturally close Islamic states. By the middle and end of the 1990s, China clarified its interests in Central Asia to help promote the newly launched program of accelerated development of its inland territories. This interest developed into the first projects of Chinese companies in the oil and gas sector of Kazakhstan and the much more prominent presence of Chinese producers in the region’s consumer markets. By that time, the Central Asian countries had already developed an interest in China as an important economic partner; they needed larger volumes of imported Chinese consumer goods and machine-building products. Early in the 21st century, Central Asia’s importance as one of China’s foreign economic factors was boosted by the changed economic, energy, and geopolitical factors. In the wake of 9/11, the region, which had so far remained in the backwater of world development, found itself in the center of hectic political activities. Beijing augmented its economic presence in Central Asia: it intensified its project and investment involvement, even though this was still limited to the region’s mineral and fuel riches. Chinese producers expanded their presence in the Central Asian markets; larger loans started flowing into the Central Asian economies. This meant that Beijing identified the economy as a linchpin of its Central Asian strategy. The Central Asian countries, in turn, learned to look at China not as an important trading partner, but as a strategic investor/creditor for their economies. China’s rapidly growing economic presence in the region and its bilateral and multilateral economic relations (including in the fuel and energy complex) with the local states are still far from the 20

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ideal and from historically justified cooperation patterns; they hardly fit China’s long-term interests or those of the Central Asian countries and Russia. On the one hand, China’s economic presence is limited to producing and importing industrial raw materials (fuel in particular), which depletes Central Asia’s resources, does nothing for its processing branches, and steps up competition or even rivalry with the Russian Federation. On the other hand, the fact they have no or a weak industrial policy and strategy of economic integration into the postSoviet expanse is forcing the Central Asian republics (wittingly or unwittingly) to perpetuate their status of “raw material (energy resources in particular) appendages;” they are gradually degenerating into targets of the current global resource and influence game. This does not fit the logic of positive development trends in the Eurasian heartland; the most unfavorable scenarios—a clash of Chinese and Central Asia or Chinese and Russian interests—look possible; they are doing nothing for the sustainable economic development or security of Russia, Central Asia, China, and other countries of continental Eurasia.

China’s Economic Policy and Energy Interests in Each of the Central Asian Countries China and its companies are mainly interested in the oil and gas sector of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan,1 the hydrocarbon and export potential of which look preferable. So far, the oil and gas sector remains the core of China’s economic and energy regional policies; the Chinese, however, are showing much more interest than before in other economic branches as well. In recent years, China has been demonstrating a lot of interest in nuclear energy (Kazakhstan); power production (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan); and coal mining (Kyrgyzstan). This means that China is gradually spreading its economic influence to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, two countries with no considerable hydrocarbon resources, and Uzbekistan with considerable (so far not exported on a great scale) oil and gas reserves.2 1 The proven oil reserves of Kazakhstan are assessed at about 5.4 billion tons (about 3% of the world’s total); the figures for gas are about 1.8 trillion cu m (about 2% of the world’s total). The proven oil reserves of Turkmenistan are assessed at about 100 million tons (about 0.06% of the world’s total), and gas reserves at about 2.9 trillion cu m (3.2% of the world total) (for oil reserves, see:, June 2006—L.S. Beliaev, V.V. Bushuev, M.R. Lastovskaia, A.V. Lebedev, O.V. Marchenko, P.A. Sergeev, S.V. Solomin, S.V. Filippov, Mirovaia energetika: sostoianie, problemy, perspektivy, ed. by V.V. Bushuev, Energia Publishing House, Moscow, 2007, p. 588; gas related information can be found in Oil&Gas Journal, No. 103.47, 2005, pp. 24-25—L.S. Beliaev, V.V. Bushuev, M.R. Lastovskaia, A.V. Lebedev, O.V. Marchenko, P.A. Sergeev, S.V. Solomin, S.V. Filippov, op. cit., p. 587). The official oil and gas figures for Turkmenistan are slightly higher than those quoted by respectable foreign sources. Turkmenistan assesses its oil reserves at 15 billion tons, and gas at about 24 trillion cu m (see: Gazovaia industria Turkmenistana: perspektivy razvia, Information portal TurkmenInform (Turkmenistan), 24 April, 2009, available at [http://www.turkmeninform.com/ru/press/2009/04/25/ 0000981.htm]). 2 Uzbekistan is one of the world’s leaders with respect to gas production; its forecasted reserves are about 2.2% of the world’s total. Its share in the world’s total gas production is 2.5%. In 2008, its proven gas reserves were assessed at over 2 trillion cu m; oil reserves at 82 million tons, and gas condensate at 160 million tons. The figures for the republic’s forecasted gas reserves are 5.9 trillion cu m; for oil, 817 million tons of oil; and for gas condensate, 360 million tons. In recent years Uzbekistan has been producing over 60 billion cu m of gas, between 40 and 49 billion cu m of which are used inside the country; 10 to 16 billion are exported. At the same time, Uzbekistan depends on oil imports, this dependence increasing even more in the future. In 2010, it will have to buy no less than 4.2 million tons of oil (see: the site of the National Information Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan [http://www.uza.uz]; the site of the National Holding Uzbekneftegaz [http://www.uzneftegaz.uz]).

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Kazakhstan From the very first days of their diplomatic relations, China has regarded Kazakhstan as the key target of its economic and energy interests in Central Asia. In the first half of the 1990s, however, its economic presence in Kazakhstan was limited mainly to trade. In the latter half of the same decade, however, China demonstrated much more interest in the energy sphere, mainly because Chinese economy developed into a major energy consumer (oil in particular). Chinese companies came to Kazakhstan with their projects and their money; the leading energy corporations of China became interested in the assets of Kazakhstan’s oil and gas branch and involved in the development of hydrocarbon fields in the country’s west. In the first decade of the 21st century, China’s presence in Kazakhstan’s economy and ivs energy sector became even more pronounced. China’s widening presence in the republic’s market is best illustrated by the following figures: between 2001 and 2008, China increased its deliveries of commodities 11.3-fold: from $0.74 to about $8.4 billion; the total trade turnover increased from $1.25 to about $16 billion. In 2009, the volume of Chinese exports to Kazakhstan dropped by 10.5% against the previous year and accounted for $1.514 billion; while the total trade turnover dropped by 15.5%, to $13.482 billion (see Fig. 1). Figure 1 Trade between China and Kazakhstan (1992-2009) 18,000 Trade turnover, $m

16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

0

1992

2,000

S o u r c e s: Figures for 1992-2001—The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which refers to Kazakhstan’s national statistical structures; information for 2002-2009— The Economist Intelligence Unit, which refers to Kazakhstan’s national statistical structures.

The trade structure, however, testifies that Kazakhstan was obviously a raw material source; in 2008, for example, over 93% of its exports to China were raw materials (energy fuels accounted for about 82% of the total; ferrous and non-ferrous metals for about 12%). Kazakhstan bought products of the machine-building and metal-working industries (about 53%), foodstuffs and consumer goods (about 35%), and other commodities from China (see Table 1). 22

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Table 1

Structure of Trade between China and Kazakhstan (2008)

Description of Goods

Supplies from China to Kazakhstan $m

Share, %

Supplies from Kazakhstan to China $m

Share, %

Chemical products





266

3.5

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals





1,156

15.2

Energy resources





5 549

73.0

Machinery and equipment

3,412

40.8





Foodstuffs and other consumer goods

2,968

35.5





Other

1,004

11.7

631

8.3

Total

8,362

100

7,602

100

S o u r c e s: The Economist Intelligence Unit, which refers to Kazakhstan’s national statistical structures (Kazakhstan: Country Report, The Economist Intelligence Unit, London, March 2010).

After identifying Kazakhstan as the main target of its trade, economic, and energy interests in Central Asia, China launched a much more active lending policy, favorable loans going mainly to the projects developed by Chinese companies. Oil and gas were not the only targets of Chinese investments: loans went to other economic branches as well. On the whole, China’s total investments in Kazakhstan’s economy amount to no less than $23.6 billion, including about $11 billion in investments, $0.55 billion in loans, and $12.1 billion in assets3 bought in various (mainly oil and gas) industries; the fuel and energy complex received over 93% of the above. On the whole, China’s economic (and energy) presence in Kazakhstan can be described as considerable; China and Chinese companies are still involved in the raw material sector despite Astana’s frantic efforts to channel Chinese interests into the processing branches and industrial and innovation cooperation.

Kyrgyzstan From the very first days of their diplomatic relations, China has regarded Kyrgyzstan not as a market to be filled with Chinese products, but mainly as a strategic foothold from which Beijing could expand its trade in Central Asia and the post-Soviet expanse. The trade relations between the two countries intensified after 2004. 3

Figures for the beginning of 2010.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Figure 2 China’s Trade with Kyrgyzstan (1992-2009)

1,600 Trade turnover, $m

1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

0

S o u r c e s: Figures for 1992-2001—ADB, which refers to Kyrgyzstan’s national statistics structures; figures for 2002-2009—The Economist Intelligence Unit, which refers to Kyrgyzstan’s national statistics structures.

Table 2 Structure of Trade between China and Kyrgyzstan (2008)

Description of Goods

Supplies from China to Kyrgyzstan $m

Chemical products

Share, %

Supplies from Kyrgyzstan to China $m

Share, %

168

14.2





Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap





155

58.0

Machinery and equipment

60

5.1





Textile raw materials (hides and wool)





74

27.7

Consumer goods and foodstuffs

735

61.9





Other

223

18.8

38

14.3

Total

1,186

100

267

100

S o u r c e s: The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Kyrgyzstan’s national statistics structures (Kyrgyzstan: Country Report, The Economist Intelligence Unit, London, March 2010).

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In 1992-2004, the volume of Chinese commodities in the Kyrgyz market remained within an annual limit of $26-100 million, while trade turnover was at the $30-125 million level. In 2008, the volume of Chinese exports reached $1,186 million with a total turnover of $1,453 million. In 2009, the volume of Chinese trade with Kyrgyzstan dropped from $1,186 to $528 million; total turnover decreased from $1,453 to $657 million (see Fig. 2). The structure of Chinese-Kyrgyz trade shows that Kyrgyzstan is and will remain a source of raw materials. In 2008, Kyrgyzstan exported mainly ferrous and non-ferrous scrap (about 61%) and textile raw materials (mainly hides and wool, about 30%) to China. China supplied Kyrgyzstan with foodstuffs and consumer goods (about 72%); chemical products (about 10%); and machinery and equipment (about 4%) (see Table 2). So far, China’s presence is limited to trade; Chinese investments in the Kyrgyz economy are estimated at between $160 and $189 million (about 5% of the total is invested in the fuel and energy sector), $120 million of which were issued as loans and $40-60 million as investments.4 China’s financial presence is mostly felt in small-scale mining, transportation projects, the production of construction materials, and technical aid to the republic’s government. Projects in the fuel and energy complex, therefore, are few and small even for Central Asia.

Tajikistan Until the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, China’s economic presence in Tajikistan was limited to sporadic supplies of small batches of “Made in China” consumer goods. This is easily explained by the civil war of 1992-1996, the fragile peace which took many years to be consolidated, and the fact that Tajikistan is geographically isolated from China. Their common border (over 500 km long), which passes through a high mountainous region and until recently lacked transportation infrastructure, isolated the two countries from each other rather than encouraged trade contacts. Chinese commodities reached Tajikistan via Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan was the last of the Central Asian states to sign a border agreement with China, which proved to be the first step toward more active contacts through the Karasu checkpoint and the highway across the Kulma Pass; China issued favorable loans, mainly to purchase Chinese consumer goods. Trade gradually began gaining momentum; in 2005, it grew more than nine-fold against the previous year to reach $229 million. In 2007, the trade volume almost doubled; and in 2008, it grew by another 10%. In 2009, trade turnover dropped by 17.3% against the previous year—from $755 to $624 million (see Fig. 3). Intensified trade between the two countries led to more active involvement of China and its companies in all spheres of the Tajik economy; between 2005 and 2009, Chinese business acquired a fairly strong position in the republic’s key economic sectors, the energy sector in particular. China’s tested practice of easy loans on all sorts of economic and social projects made it the main creditor; it left international financial organizations and other countries far behind. The loans, as a rule, are used by Chinese companies. On the whole, China’s financial resources in the republic are assessed at $732 million (the fuel and energy sector accounts for about 44%), including $600 million in loans, $50 million in investments, and $82 million in bought assets.5 4 5

Figures for the beginning of 2010. Figures for the beginning of 2010.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Figure 3 Trade between China and Tajikistan (1998-2009)

800 Trade turnover, $m

700 600 500 400 300 200 100 2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

0

N o t e: There is no information for 2001 and 2002; trade turnover in the above-mentioned years was negligible. S o u r c e s: Figures for 1998-2001—ADB refers to Tajikistan’s national statistics structures; figures for 2002-2009—The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Tajikistan’s national statistics structures.

Turkmenistan Until the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, China showed no intention of expanding its economic presence in Turkmenistan, which is explained, among other things, by the countries’ geographic location. For a long time, the share of Chinese producers in the Turkmenian market was practically indistinguishable even on the small scale of Turkmenistan’s foreign trade. After 2006, however, as soon as Beijing clearly identified its long-term strategic interests in the republic’s gas sector, China’s economic presence in Turkmenistan became much more noticeable. In 2006, trade turnover more than doubled to reach $125 million. In 2007, it grew another three-fold to reach $377 million. In 2008, trade turnover increased by 76% ($663 million); deliveries from China reached the $568 million level. In 2009, trade turnover increased by 58% against the previous year to reach $1,048 million (the share of Chinese exports being $915 million) (see Fig. 3). The recently shaped trade structure indicates that China exports machinery and equipment to Turkmenistan to be used by the Chinese companies working in the Turkmenian oil and gas sector. In 2008, for example, 90% of China’s exports were products of the machine-building and metalprocessing industries; Turkmenistan sold energy resources (about 81%), cotton and other textile raw materials (about 6%) to China (see Table 3). Project and investment activities of the Chinese companies involved in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sphere, as well as in the branches of special interest to Ashghabad, continued along with the rising trade volumes. There too, China relied on the mechanism of soft loans tested in other Central Asian countries. 26

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Figure 4

Trade between China and Turkmenistan (1997-2009)

1,000 800 600 400

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

0

1998

200 1997

Trade turnover, $m

1,200

S o u r c e s: Figures for 1997-2001—ADB refers to Turkmenistan’s national statistics structures; figures for 2002-2009—The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Turkmenistan’s national statistics structures.

Table 3 Commodity Pattern of Trade between China and Turkmenistan (2008)

Description of Goods

Supplies from China to Turkmenistan $m

Share, %

Supplies from Turkmenistan to China $m

Share, %

Textile raw materials





7

6.8

Energy fuel





80

84.5

524

92.2





Foodstuffs and consumer goods

28

5.0





Other

16

2.8

8

8.7

Total

568

100

95

100

Machinery and equipment

S o u r c e s: The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Turkmenistan’s national statistics structures (Turkmenistan: Country Report, The Economist Intelligence Unit, London, March 2010).

The total volume of Chinese financial resources in the Turkmenian economy is estimated at over $1.1 billion (42% in oil and gas), including about $700 million in loans and $450 million in invest27

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

ments.6 As a rule, the money thus extended and equipment supplied from China are used by Chinese companies involved in projects being implemented in Turkmenistan. The republic, in turn, responds by giving China fairly wide access to its oil and gas industry.

Uzbekistan Throughout the 1990s and early 21st century, China could not, for several reasons, consolidate its economic presence in Uzbekistan. Until the end of 2002, economic ties between the two countries were limited to trade; after 2003, China began augmenting its economic involvement in Uzbekistan. Between 1992 and 2002, China’s exports to Uzbekistan never exceeded the $114 million level every year, annual trade turnover being $136 million. In 2008, China exported $791 million-worth of goods to Uzbekistan, the annual trade turnover being $1,335 million. In 2009, trade turnover between the two countries increased by 43% against the previous year to reach $1,910 million. The volume of Chinese exports grew 1.83-fold and reached $1,453 million (see Fig. 5). Figure 5 Trade between China and Uzbekistan (1992-2009)

Trade turnover, $m

2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

1997

1996

1995

1994

1993

1992

0

S o u r c e s: Figures for the 1992-2001 period—ADB refers to Uzbekistan’s national statistics structures; figures for the 2002-2009 period—The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Uzbekistan’s national statistics structures.

On the whole, Uzbekistan exports a much lower volume of raw materials than its Central Asian neighbors; however the structure of its trade with China reveals a fairly big share (40%) of raw material exports. In 2008, Uzbekistan exported cotton (about 15%); non-ferrous metals (about 11%); raw chemical materials (about 10%); and machinery and equipment (about 9%) to China. China sold Uzbekistan machine-building products (about 59%); foodstuffs (about 8%); and chemical products (about 11%) (see Table 4). 6

Figures for the beginning of 2010.

28

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Table 4

Commodity Pattern of Trade between China and Uzbekistan (2008)

Description of Goods

Supplies from China to Uzbekistan $m

Share, %

Supplies from Uzbekistan to China $m

Share, %

Cotton





86

15.8

Chemical products

90

11.4

55

10.2

Non-ferrous metals





61

11.3

Ferrous metals

85

10.7







23

4.2

465

58.8

51

9.3

Foodstuffs and consumer goods

62

7.9





Other

89

11.2

268

49.2

Total

791

100

544

100

Energy fuels Machinery and equipment

S o u r c e s: The Economist Intelligence Unit refers to Uzbekistan’s national statistics structures (Uzbekistan: Country Report, The Economist Intelligence Unit, London, March 2010).

China relied on tied credits to be used to buy Chinese goods and services to consolidate its greater presence in Uzbekistan’s trade turnover. Chinese companies intensified their involvement in the republic’s project and investment sphere. They are interested in several economic sectors, particularly the fuel and energy sector and related industries (oil and gas, energy production, and the chemical industry). The total volume of Chinese financial resources in Uzbekistan is assessed at no less than $640 million (up to 85% of which is invested in the fuel and energy branches), including $167 million in loans and $473 million in investments.7

Conclusion China, which depends on energy resources for its sustainable economic development, is very concerned about its energy and economic security. Its energy strategy consists of three major vectors: — Attracting foreign investments and high technologies to modernize the national fuel and energy complex and related industrial branches (power engineering industry); the main hopes are placed on the West rather than on Russia or the Central Asian countries; 7

Figures for the beginning of 2010.

29

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

— Guaranteeing the uninterrupted supply of energy resources and electric power from abroad; Central Asia and Russia are seen as important, yet hardly priority, partners; — Expanding China’s internal energy base by increasing the production of energy resources on its own territory8 and energy generation. It seems that there are several reasons for China’s interest in Central Asian energy resources. n

First, the region is attractive both geographically and strategically: one of China’s closest neighbors, it is part of the Eurasian heartland, which means that China (with no strong navy to be used to defend its interests in the World Ocean) can rely on the energy routes from Central Asia as being fairly secure because of its common land borders and stable bilateral relations with the countries of this region. Beijing spares no efforts to maintain political and diplomatic relations at this level.

n

Second, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan boast fairly large deposits of oil and natural gas, the production of which can be increased; this means that these countries can be regarded as alternative and additional sources of hydrocarbons.

n

Third, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are rich in uranium (used for nuclear power production), which adds another dimension to China’s greater interest in the region: Beijing’s plans in this sphere are very ambitious indeed.

n

Fourth, Central Asia is very attractive as a possible transit area for Iranian and Mid-Eastern energy resources: the land routes, much shorter and much cheaper than the currently used U.S.-controlled marine routes, are potentially much more profitable and effective; the fact that the region has a ramified system of pipelines (some of them going toward Iran) adds to its attraction.

n

Fifth, theoretically, the hydropower potential of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is fairly tempting, however in the short-term perspective the large-scale development of these two countries’ hydro resources is unlikely to become an important factor for the simple reason that water and energy are the region’s sore spots. Uzbekistan and, to a lesser extent, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan (which heavily rely on the region’s water resources) are very concerned about the intention of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (which control over 90% of the region’s water resources) to build fairly large hydropower stations in their territories.

It does not seem likely that the water and energy problem will be resolved in this economically and politically fragmented region. China prefers to keep away from this very sensitive issue: hydropower projects are fairly expensive and slow on their returns. Beijing has opted for the wait-and-see policy because, irrespective of its involvement in the Central Asian hydropower projects, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China is the closest and commercially most attractive market. So far, the Central Asian countries and Russia as their partner are being left to sort out the region’s water and energy problems themselves.

8 There is information that recently China has been following in the U.S.’s footsteps to gradually limit domestic production of non-renewable energy sources and increase exports. It is still too early to describe this as a stable trend.

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC: ENERGY POLICY AND PROJECTS Valentina KASYMOVA D.Sc. (Econ.), professor, Boris Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) Batyrkul BAETOV Ph.D. (Tech.), deputy director, Kyrgyz Science and Technology Center Energia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

B y Wa y o f I n t r o d u c t i o n

K

plying monetary and exchange controls and other market instruments. From the perspective of economic development, the period under review is clearly divided into three stages. They can be briefly characterized as economic recession, recovery and expansion. At present, all CA states are feeling the impact of the world economic crisis, whose effects can be assessed based on the results of their social and economic development for 20082011.

yrgyzstan’s energy policy is largely determined by its geographical position, its primary energy resources and its interdependence with neighboring countries in developing the fuel and energy complex (FEC). According to a report by the CIS Economic Cooperation Department for 1991-2008, the countries of the Central Asian Region (CAR) have achieved certain successes in institutional and structural transformations: in privatizing state property, creating the basic institutions of a market economy, and ap-

Conditions and Prerequisites for Cooperation in FEC Development in Central Asia The economy of CA countries is very energy-intensive, as indicated by the energy intensity of their GDP (see Table 1). As the table shows, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan also have a high level of CO2 emissions both per unit of consumption of fuel and energy resources (FER) and per capita. During the crisis, FER production and FEC development remain priority development areas. Central Asia is endowed with huge water and energy resources, but they are distributed unevenly. For example, 77.4% of hydrocarbon fuel is found in Kazakhstan, 12.7% in Uzbekistan, and 6.7% in Turkmenistan; these countries have a surplus of energy. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, on the contrary, have energy shortages and are currently experiencing a deep energy crisis because their oil, coal and gas reserves are insufficient and are largely concentrated in hard-to-reach mountain areas with difficult climatic and mining conditions. 31

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 1

Area (thousand sq km)

Population (million)

Share of FEC in industry, %

Energy intensity of GDP (toe/$1,000)*

CO2 emissions to FER, tons/toe

CO2 emissions per capita (tons/person)

Selected Energy Indicators for Central Asian Countries

Kazakhstan

2,724.9

15.1

52.2

2.01

2.87

12.3

Kyrgyzstan

199.9

5.2

15.0

1.7

1.96

1.09

Tajikistan

143.1

7.0

11.5

2.24

1.77

1.02

Turkmenistan

491.2

6.3

46.0

2.95

2.55

9.13

Uzbekistan

447.4

25.1

27.0

2.62

2.33

4.22

4,006.5

58.7

Country

CAR, total

* For comparison: for the world as a whole, this indicator is 0.32, and for Asia, 0.65. S o u r c e s: Commonwealth of Independent States in 2008. Statistical Yearbook, Interstate Statistical Committee of the CIS, Moscow, 2009; World Energy Statistics, International Energy Agency, 2008.

Since Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are located in the upper drainage basins of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers, their water reserves amount, respectively, to 43.4% and 25.1% of the combined flow of the two rivers (116.4 cubic kilometers). In other words, from the perspective of water availability Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are in a more advantageous position; but, just as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, they experience an acute water shortage, especially in summer.1 The FEC share of industry is 52.2% in Kazakhstan, 46.0% in Turkmenistan, 27% in Uzbekistan, 15% in Kyrgyzstan, and 11.5% in Tajikistan. An analysis of the structure of FER production and consumption shows that while producing 92.7 million tons of coal the CAR countries consume 67.8 million tons, or 75% (see Fig. 1). Thus, 25% of the coal produced can be exported. Kazakhstan produces 88 million tons of coal (96% of total coal production in CAR countries), which makes it the main producer of this type of fuel. But most of the coal produced is consumed in Kazakhstan itself (about 95% of total coal consumption in CAR countries, or 74% of the coal produced in Kazakhstan), and only 26% is exported. In 1990-2008, coal production dropped from 142 million tons to 90 million tons (to 63.3% of the 1990 level); in Kyrgyzstan, it decreased 10-fold, in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan by 65.8%, and in Uzbekistan by 44%. 1 See: U.N. Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), ECE, ESCAP. Project Working Group on Energy and Water Resources, Strengthening Cooperation for Rational and Efficient Use of Water and Energy Resources in Central Asia, U.N., New York, 2004.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Figure 1

Exports Consumption

CAR

Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

Production

Kyrgyzstan

200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

Kazakhstan

million tons

Coal Production, Consumption and Exports in CAR Countries

The main reasons for the decline in coal production include the abolition of state subsidies to the coal industry, deterioration and obsolescence of mining and transportation equipment, high rates for coal delivery and transit by rail, closure of coal-mining enterprises, and insufficient numbers of new mines and pits. It should be noted that Uzbekistan fully meets its own coal requirements, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan only partially. Oil production for the region as a whole in 1990-2008 increased 1.84-fold to 65 million tons; Kazakhstan accounts for over 78%, Turkmenistan has 11%, and Uzbekistan 9%. Kazakhstan consumes only 11 million tons (17% of the oil it produces), and Turkmenistan 5.2 million tons (53%), which enables them to export oil to neighboring countries and regions (see Fig. 2). In 1990-2008, natural gas production fell from 136 billion cubic meters (bcm) to 112 bcm (78% of the 1990 level), with Uzbekistan producing 53% (1.4-fold increase), Turkmenistan 24% (the highest rates of growth in production in this country were recorded from 1999 to 2005), and Kazakhstan 22.5% (see Fig. 3). Natural gas accounts for more than half of the total consumption of fuel and energy resources in the CAR, and about three-quarters of the total is used in Uzbekistan. The largest producers are Turkmenistan (68 bcm) and Uzbekistan (62.7 bcm). Overall, the CAR countries consume only 46% of the gas produced, and 54% is exported. In 1991, upon the completion of a 500 kV energy circuit, the power systems of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were united into an integrated Central Asian Power System (CAPS). Since the generating facilities that are part of CAPS differ significantly in structure (see Fig. 4), they are balanced within the system; this determines its integrating role as the basis of regional energy security. 33

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Figure 2

Oil Production, Consumption and Exports in CAR Countries

160 140 million tons

120 Exports

100 80

Consumption

60

Production

40 20

CAR

Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

Kyrgyzstan

–20

Kazakhstan

0

Figure 3 Gas Production, Consumption and Exports in CAR Countries

300 250 Exports

200

Consumption

150

Production

100 50

34

CAR

Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

–50

Kyrgyzstan

0 Kazakhstan

billion cubic meters

350

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Figure 4

100.00 90.00 80.00 70.00 60.00 50.00 40.00 30.00 20.00 10.00 0

TPPs

CAR

Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

Kyrgyzstan

HPPs

Kazakhstan

%

Installed Capacity of Power Plants in CAPS

Thermal power plants (TPPs) in CAR countries generate almost three times more electricity than hydroelectric power plants (HPPs). In the common Central Asian power supply system, the largest share of TPPs is in Kazakhstan (87.5%), Uzbekistan (85.9%) and Turkmenistan (99.9%), while the largest share of HPPs is in Kyrgyzstan (83.5%) and Tajikistan (92.7%). The amount of electricity generated by HPPs throughout the region in 1995-2006 increased from 38 billion kWh to 44 billion kWh (by 16%); Kazakhstan contributed 17% of the regional total, Uzbekistan 13.6%, Tajikistan 38%, and Kyrgyzstan 31% (see Fig. 5). The decline in electricity production in 1990-2008 in almost all CA countries except Kyrgyzstan (1.4-fold for the region as a whole) is directly connected with the economic downturn in the transition period. In Kyrgyzstan, electricity consumption patterns have changed: the share of the public utilities sector and the population has increased while consumption in the real sector of the economy has decreased. Despite the decline in the production of the main types of fuel and energy resources, the general trend in their production and consumption by CA countries shows that these countries can fully provide themselves with energy resources and even export them. The energy independence policy pursued by power-surplus states prevents the development of an electricity market in CAPS. The “water-electricity-fuel” mechanism for electricity exports does not work because the parties are obliged to go over to cash payments for imported fuel. In particular, electricity exports from Kyrgyzstan fell from 4.0 billion kWh in 1990 to 2.5 billion kWh in 2007. In addition, due to the low water levels and severe winter of 2007-2008, by 1 April 2008 the water level in the Toktogul reservoir fell to a critical point (6.4 billion cubic meters with a design volume of 19 billion cubic meters), and neighboring countries received less than the required amount of water and electricity. 35

Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Figure 5

Electricity Production, Consumption and Exports in CAR Countries

350

billion kWh

300 250

Exports

200

Consumption

150

Production

100

CAR

Uzbekistan

Turkmenistan

Tajikistan

Kyrgyzstan

0

Kazakhstan

50

In 2008, the Kyrgyz government acknowledged the existence of an energy crisis. It resorted to rolling blackouts and imposed severe restrictions on electricity consumption; exports were reduced to 553 million kWh. How the situation will develop depends not only on the state of water resources, but also on the policies of neighboring countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, which are richly endowed with energy resources, are striving for energy independence. In Kazakhstan, for example, most power plants run on coal; Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan tap the hydropower potential of water resources; and Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan use natural gas and fuel oil. It should be noted that use of gas and fuel oil to meet peak and intermediate demand is very unprofitable, while HPPs are better able to vary their power output and, since there is no fuel component in their cost structure, are more economical. This is exactly why CAPS was created with special emphasis on optimizing the operating regimes of TPPs and HPPs in coordination with the operating regime of reservoir systems in the Naryn-Syr Darya basin so as to ensure irrigation releases from the Toktogul reservoir in the vegetation period with a simultaneous increase in electricity generation from HPPs, and in fall and winter to accumulate water in the reservoir with maximum electricity generation from TPPs. Today the work of this mechanism, regulated by intergovernmental agencies (Unified Dispatch Center Energia and Basin Water Association Syr Darya), is disrupted. Moreover, the heads of state of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan object to the construction of large HPPs in the basins of Syr Darya (Kambarata HPP-1) and Amu Darya (Rogun HPP) and demand an environmental impact assessment. But a similar assessment should be made, in the first place, with regard to energy facilities running on hydrocarbon fuel (Novo-Angren, Chimkent and Dzhambul GRES power plants) and located close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. Pollutant emissions exacerbate the environmental crisis in the Aral Sea basin and have a negative impact on climate change in the CA region and the Caucasus. 36

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For example, greenhouse gas emissions in CO2 equivalent both per unit of FER consumption and per capita are highest in Kazakhstan (2.87 tons/toe and 12.3 tons/person), Turkmenistan (2.55 tons/ toe and 9.13 tons/person) and Uzbekistan (2.33 tons/toe and 4.22 tons/person); these figures are on average much higher than global and Asian indicators. Meanwhile, some time ago these states acceded to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. In the Soviet period, power supply in the CAR was effected through the Integrated Power System of Central Asia and Southern Kazakhstan, which strictly ensured the optimal performance of TPPs and HPPs operating in parallel mode. Their generation schedule was connected with the operating regime of multi-year and seasonal regulation reservoirs, in which water was stored for irrigation purposes; water management problems in the region were addressed in a centralized way, and the integrated gas supply system ensured an uninterrupted supply of gas to all CA republics and the European part of the U.S.S.R. Today the integrated water, electricity and fuel supply system in the CA republics has been destroyed. Given the rising prices of natural gas, oil, oil products and coal, and also of their transportation and delivery, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are obliged to spend significant amounts of money on their imports. It is clear that with the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. and the emergence of new sovereign states the conditions of water, fuel and energy use changed radically. The CA states encountered unresolved problems in three main areas: supply of energy resources to the upper basins of rivers; supply of water to the lower basins of rivers; and ensuring environmental security. In order to strengthen economic ties and develop integration processes, the Central Asian Economic Community (CAEC) created an appropriate institutional framework. In 1998, the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan signed framework agreements On the Joint Use of Water and Energy Resources of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya Basins and On the Parallel Operation of the Energy Systems of CA States; they also explored the issues of creating an International Water and Energy Consortium (IWEC). But Uzbekistan’s withdrawal from CAEC and the subsequent dissolution of this important interstate economic community triggered disintegration processes in the area of ensuring rational use of energy and water. In subsequent years, the agreements and understandings between the CA heads of state in developing integration in the use of water and energy resources and mitigating the effects of the environmental crisis in the Aral Sea basin were not implemented properly. After the dissolution of CAEC, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan joined the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), later followed by Uzbekistan. A working group within the EurAsEC framework prepared updated drafts of a new accord and concept of cooperation in the efficient use of water and energy resources and of a Eurasian Water and Energy Consortium, but they were not signed by the heads of the states concerned. Later on, at the end of 2008, Uzbekistan withdrew from the EurAsEC, and numerous problems have remained unresolved; an additional threat to energy security is the republic’s intention to withdraw from the parallel operation regime of CAPS. In view of this, it is necessary to introduce a set of principles and economic mechanisms for reimbursing the expenses incurred by upstream countries in supplying water to downstream countries in the Naryn, Syr Darya and Amu Darya basin, as practiced in many river basins of the world (e.g., the Columbia River basin between the United States and Canada). Assuming that “water is the God-given common heritage of nations,” the CA heads of state tried to solve this problem. The operating regime of the Toktogul Reservoir was changed: in winter it operated in power generation mode to meet the growing needs of Kyrgyzstan, and in summer, in irrigation mode to meet the needs of neighboring states, so that water levels often dropped to a critical point. Thus, the solution of worsening energy supply problems and improvements in the environmental state of the region require joint efforts by the Central Asian states. It should be noted that since the attainment of independence the attempts of CA states to implement an independent energy and water policy have usually led to instability and sometimes even to critical situations. This was particularly 37

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

pronounced during the severe winter of 2007-2008, causing an escalation of the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The Energy Crisis in Kyrgyzstan: Factors and Forms The energy crisis is due to the fact that the Kyrgyz Republic is an energy-deficient country and meets only 52% of its energy needs with its own energy resources (mainly electricity generated by HPPs); the rest is imported from Uzbekistan (natural gas), Kazakhstan (coal), Russia and Kazakhstan (oil and oil products). The total generating capacity of the Kyrgyz power system is 3,680 thousand kW, and electricity generation totals 12-14 billion kWh. The republic’s power grid includes more than 70 thousand km of transmission lines ranging from 0.4 kV to 500 kV (546 km of 500 kV transmission lines, 1,714 km of 220 kV lines, and 4,380 km of 110 kV lines). The system also includes 490 35-500 kV transformer substations with a total capacity of more than 8,000 MVA, so that the population is fully supplied with electricity. Out of the republic’s 14 HPPs, the best known is the cascade (system) of five Toktogul HPPs in the lower reaches of the Naryn River, including the Toktogul HPP (with a capacity of 1,200 MW), Kurpsay HPP (800 MW), Tash-Kumyr HPP (450 MW), Shamaldy-Say HPP (240 MW) and UchKurgan HPP (180 MW). The list of irrigation facilities of particular importance to Central Asia also includes the Toktogul multi-year regulation reservoir with a design capacity of 19 billion cubic meters and a number of downstream seasonal and daily regulation reservoirs of the above-listed HPPs. In addition, there is the At-Bashy HPP with an installed capacity of 40 MW operating in the upper reaches of the Naryn River, and eight small HPPs with a total installed capacity of 29.78 MW. Kyrgyzstan’s power system began operating in parallel with the power systems of neighboring countries upon the establishment of the Integrated Power System of Central Asia and Southern Kazakhstan. The completion of the Toktogul HPP cascade (with a capacity of 2,870 MW) marked a new stage in the development of the country’s power system, in enhancing the reliability and stability of the integrated power system and improving the multiple use of CA water and energy resources. For more reliable electricity supply to consumers in the north of the republic and heat supply to the capital, a combined heat and power (CHP) plant with a capacity of up to 702 MW and an annual output of more than 4.1 billion kWh was built in the republic. In recent years, it has generated on average 850-946 million kWh a year, meeting about 13% of the needs of the northern part of the republic, although it could supply more than 62%. Additional difficulties are associated with seasonal consumption patterns (in winter, energy consumption is almost twice as high as in summer); load ratios vary widely, so that it is difficult to ensure economically efficient operation of the energy system. Kyrgyzstan faces the problem of reliable power supply to consumers in the north of the republic, where installed generating capacity is 718 MW, whereas in the south it is 2,920 MW. Now that the Toktogul HPP is operating at full capacity, the power shortage has been significantly reduced, and the completion of a 500 kV transmission line from the Toktogul HPP to the Frunzenskaya Substation has linked the power systems of the north and south of the republic, enhancing the stability and reliability of power supply. The question of multiple use of the Toktogul hydrosystem with due regard for the interests of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is of exceptional importance to the region. Under the project, 38

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the Toktogul hydrosystem was to have operated exclusively in irrigation mode, with the drawdown of up to 70% of the water in the vegetation period and only 25% in the non-vegetation period (so as to store water). Electricity generated in this process, along with the water, was supplied to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the amount of more than 4 billion kWh a year. At the same time, in order to generate CHP electricity in fall and winter, Kyrgyzstan received, by way of compensation, Uzbek gas (2 bcm) and Kazakh coal (more than 2 million tons) and fuel oil (up to 400 thousand tons). Since independence, CHP plants in Bishkek and Osh have had difficulties every year in obtaining fuel: in 1990-2008, fuel imports dropped by almost two-thirds. Overall, the share of imports in the energy balance decreased from 58.8% in 1990 to 31.6% in 2008 with an increase in the share of hydropower from 18.5% in 1990 to 52.5% in 2008, while the share of fuel produced fell, accordingly, from 16% to 3.7%. Consequently, power supply in Kyrgyzstan depends only on electricity generated by HPPs, and this, given low water conditions and instability, can hardly improve the country’s energy security. An analysis of the macroeconomic indicators of sustainable energy use for 1990-2008 shows that they have fallen as well: while GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) increased 2.26-fold and the population grew 1.21-fold, FER consumption decreased 1.38-fold (see Fig. 6); Figure 6 Dynamics of GDP, Population, FER Consumption and Electricity Consumption (1990 = 100) for 1990-2008 (excluding products of own processing) 300.00 250.00 200.00 %

n

150.00 100.00 50.00 0.00 1990

1995

2001

2005

2006

2007

2008

GDP (PPP) (US$ million)

100.00

105.75

162.59

244.40

203.94

242.31

266.29

Population (thousands)

100.00

103.84

112.62

117.93

119.10

119.89

121.08

FER consumption (thousand toe)

100.00

52.93

50.77

57.51

61.41

64.75

62.19

Electricity consumption (million kWh)

100.00

90.04

81.13

84.90

86.06

91.81

87.76

39

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

n

FER consumption per unit of GDP PPP (energy intensity of GDP) fell to 50% of the 1990 level in 1995 and 28% in 2008 (see Fig. 7);

n

electricity consumption per unit of GDP (electricity intensity of GDP) also tended to decrease (threefold): to 85% of the 1990 level in 1995 and 32% in 2008 (see Fig. 7);

n

FER consumption per capita tended to decrease (twofold): to 50.9% of the 1990 level in 1995 and 51.36% in 2008 (see Fig. 7);

n

electricity consumption per capita decreased 1.3-fold: to 86% of the 1990 level in 1995 and 72% in 2008 (see Fig. 7). Figure 7 Dynamics of Energy Intensity, Electricity Intensity, Energy Consumption per Capita and Electricity Consumption per Capita (1990 = 100) for 1990-2008 (excluding products of own processing) 120.0 100.0

%

80.0 60.0 40.0 20.0 0.0 1990

1995

2001

2005

2006

2007

2008

Energy intensity of GDP (toe/US$ thousand)

100.00

50.06

31.22

23.53

30.11

26.72

23.35

Electricity intensity of GDP (kWh/US$)

100.00

85.15

49.90

34.74

42.20

37.89

32.96

Energy consumption per capita (toe/person)

100.00

50.97

45.08

48.77

51.56

54.01

51.36

Electricity consumption per capita (kWh/person)

100.00

86.71

72.04

72.00

72.26

76.58

72.48

Data analysis confirms that economic and social development in Kyrgyzstan has been complicated by the need to acquire energy resources (coal, gas and oil products) at high prices, and also by the liberalization of prices for energy resources and deregulation of trade in these resources after 1992. 40

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The decline in energy consumption was connected not only with the switch of many consumers to the use of electric and thermal power (whose tariffs were regulated by the state), but also with the restrictions imposed during low-water periods and the reduction in electricity generation by the Toktogul HPP cascade. In addition, disruptions in fuel supplies from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and the rise in fuel prices to world levels led to a decline in power generation from the Bishkek CHP plant. With the end of low-water periods, the restrictions on electricity consumption were explained by the need to store sufficient amounts of water in the Toktogul reservoir for irrigation purposes in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In order to end the energy crisis, apart from rolling blackouts and restrictions on electricity consumption, measures should be taken to ensure the country’s energy security and, in the first place, to arrange interstate cooperation between CA countries and develop integration in energy and water use. Our analysis of the factors and forms of the energy crisis shows that in the Kyrgyz Republic, in contrast to other CIS countries, the energy crisis is also fueled by the political (disintegration) factor stemming from interstate relations in the use of water and energy resources in the Naryn-Syr Darya basin and parallel operation with the power systems of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as part of CAPS. The combination of existing factors and forms of the energy crisis, on the one hand, determines its depth and duration, and on the other, suggests possible ways to end this crisis. The endogenous factors of the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan include, among other things, natural climatic conditions. They influence the hydrological regime of rivers, with catastrophically high, mean high, mean, and mean low water levels. Annual water levels affect the operating regime of HPPs (see Fig. 8). Among the endogenous factors of the crisis one can also include badly worn-out fixed assets in energy production, an irrational energy balance and pollution of the natural environment. Figure 8

Flow, cu m/sec

Changes in Water Flow for Several Years

10

11

12

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

months Catastrophically high

Mean high

Mean low

Mean

41

10

11

12

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS

A study of exogenous factors shows the impact of losses and consumer defaults in payment for supplied energy resources, discrepancies between tariffs and energy company costs, structural changes in the economy and other circumstances. Energy crisis factors specific to Kyrgyzstan include the special impact of fixed capital depreciation, and also of consumer defaults in payment for energy supplies. This circumstance is responsible for the reproduction and financial forms of the crisis: it leads to an acute shortage of working capital in energy companies and causes problems with payments for fuel supplies, repair of power equipment and wage payments. Such forms of the crisis sharply reduce the attractiveness of the electric power sector to foreign investors, and this gives rise to the investment form of the crisis.2 The levels of the investment and financial crises in the national and regional power industry can be assessed in quantitative terms. The existence and depth of the investment crisis can be determined from the ratio between actually possible investments and those required to ensure simple and expanded reproduction of assets; the existence of the financial crisis is established from the shortage of working capital at the disposal of energy companies and the availability of funding sources. Thus, it becomes possible to determine not only the very fact of the crisis but also, to a first approximation, its level; this is necessary to determine the priorities, goals and means of anti-crisis policy. The greatest danger lies in the combined effect of all factors and the simultaneous emergence of all forms of the crisis corresponding to them; in this case, we can already speak of a total crisis in the power industry which can lead to disaster. The presence of only some of the above factors indicates either a pre-crisis situation or a partial crisis. A specific property of the power industry is its high economic inertia. This is manifested, for example, in a significant time lag between changes in external conditions and an adequate response to them in the form of actual changes in the fuel and energy complex. In this context, one can say that since 1991 crisis phenomena in Kyrgyzstan have gradually accumulated due to both endogenous and exogenous factors. Studies of the factors and forms of the energy crisis in Kyrgyzstan3 have shown the following: 1. Electricity losses contribute to the financial form of the energy crisis. In 1991-2008, total electricity losses in the Kyrgyz power system increased 4.6-fold, reaching 4,583 million kWh in 2007, or 31% of total electricity output. So-called commercial losses caused by theft of electricity have appeared as well (see Table 2). During 1990-2008, technical losses increased almost 2.3-fold, and in the past three years have firmly remained at 19-21.6% of total electricity generation, exceeding the established rate by 10%. The increase in technical losses results from the fact that most of the capital equipment has reached the end of its safe service life, while Kyrgyz energy companies lack the resources for reconstruction and modernization due to payment defaults and the financial crisis. In addition, breakdown and wear rates have increased for both capital and auxiliary equipment. 2. High physical depreciation of fixed assets in the electric power industry, which has exceeded 50% (up to 70% for grid equipment), is a factor in the reproduction form of the energy crisis. During 1990-2008, repair and operating schedules were broken for lack of funds, which has served to increase technical losses and reduce reliability. Today more than 2 See: L.D. Gitelman, B.E. Ratnikov, Effektivnaia energokompania: Ekonomika. Menedzhment. Reformirovanie, CJSC Olimp-Biznes, Moscow, 2002. 3 See: V.M. Kasymova, Osnovy antikrizisnogo upravlenia v energetike KR, Insanat, Bishkek, 2009.

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Table 2

Structure of Electricity Losses in the Kyrgyz Republic for 1990-2008 1990 Total losses, million kWh: Share of generation, %

1995

1997

1999

2001

2003

2005

2006

2007

2008

1,035 3,457 4,281 3,747 4,802 4,716 5,135 4,661 4,583 3,686 7.74

27.9

34.8

28.5

35.1

34

34.5

31.8

30.9

31.7

Of which: Technical losses, million kWh

1,035

Share of generation, % Commercial losses, million kWh Share of generation, %

n/a 2,183 2,115 2,605 2,709 2,850 2,818 2,917 2,448 17.3

0

16

19.1

18.3

19.1

19.4

19.6

21.1

n/a 2,195 1,632 2,197 2,187 2,285 1,843 1,736 1,238 17.4

12.5

16

15.7

15.2

12.4

11.7

10.6

S o u r c e s: Energy Balance of the Kyrgyz Republic for a number of years, National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic.

70% of grid equipment at HPPs and CHP plants has outlived its expected useful life, so that urgent measures are needed to renew and upgrade it, while energy companies lack the necessary funds because of high levels of accounts receivable from customers. 3. Customer defaults in payment for electricity and heat supplies rank among exogenous factors and are the main cause of the investment crisis. In 1997-2008, customer receivables for electricity and heat increased almost 7-fold, peaking in 2007 at 2,997 billion soms (KGS); this is one of the main causes of the financial and investment crises in the power industry (see Fig. 9). Accounts payable to the key suppliers (OJSC Electric Stations and OJSC NESK) have increased accordingly: to KGS 2,414 million in 2008. Due to the worsening financial position of enterprises in the power industry, raising investment for the industry is an extremely difficult task, which implies the attraction of private capital, grants and own funds of companies. 4. Inflation factors. Inflation is another contributor to the investment form of the crisis in the power industry, which is distinguished by significant capital intensity and long payback periods. For example, with regulated electricity tariffs the rising prices of fuel and of material and technical resources coupled with forced wage increases significantly reduce the energy companies’ own investment opportunities. In the event, their depreciation funds accumulated using the traditional 43

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Figure 9

Rate of Collection of Electricity Payments for 2003-2008

200% Industry 180% 160% Public sector consumers

140% 120%

Agricultural consumers

100% 80%

Households 60% 40% Other consumers 20% 0% 2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

method cannot cover the rising cost of investment resources; centralized investment is virtually ruled out; and private capital takes a very cautious approach to long-term investment in view of rising inflation. Attempts to solve the investment problem by raising tariffs with due regard for inflation expectations can produce an opposite result for the following reasons: n

first, this is yet another factor stoking inflation;

n

second, the rise in the prices of material and technical resources caused by tariff increases will deal a blow, with a lag, to the electric power industry itself by pushing up production costs still further; thus, the electric power industry will “contribute” to the inflation spiral and will itself suffer from it;

n

third, soaring energy costs will compel electricity-intensive enterprises, the demand for whose products is heavily dependent on prices, to cut back production.

To prevent this, tariff policy should be formulated based on a thorough analysis of the dependence of inflation rates, GDP and household income on world prices for gas, oil and oil products. On the other hand, in order to extricate the energy sector from its current financial and economic difficulties it is absolutely necessary to set economically justified tariffs for electricity and heat enabling energy companies to cover all their costs and use their profits to create a reserve for investment in renovation and new construction. Consequently, the determining factor in pricing should be the level of allowable costs together with an acceptable profit level. The methodology used to set electricity tariffs should also help to implement an active energy-saving policy.4 4 See: Srednesrochnaia tarifnaia politika na energonositeli na 2008-2011, State Department for Fuel and Energy Complex, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, 2008.

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Over the past ten years, tariff policy for electricity and heat was mostly based on political considerations, taking into account low per capita income levels. In 2006, the National Agency for Antimonopoly Policy and Promotion of Competition with the assistance of the World Bank (WB) developed and put before the Kyrgyz government a draft Medium-Term Tariff Policy for Electricity for 2007-2010, which proposed a gradual increase in electricity tariffs to cost recovery levels (CRT), but the draft was rejected. As a result of public administration reforms, the functions of regulating the development of the power industry passed to the newly formed State Department for Fuel and Energy Complex. A new Medium-Term Tariff Policy for 2008-2011 (MTTP) provided for a phased increase in tariffs enabling energy companies to recover costs incurred in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers.5 However, tariffs were raised only from 1 January, 2009, with targeted social assistance (subsidies) to low-income consumers through government social protection programs for underprivileged groups of the population and social security beneficiaries. Meanwhile, it is necessary to determine the cost recovery level to which tariffs should be raised: without an effort to reduce energy company costs, they will increase every year. Moreover, tariffs should be planned with due regard for inflation. Russia’s Federal Energy Commission, for example, set a lower and upper limit on electricity tariffs for each Federation entity for a term of three years (2004-2006); for the country as a whole, the average increase in tariffs should not exceed the expected inflation rate. Analysis shows that an increase in tariffs according to the aforesaid MTTP drafts in the Kyrgyz Republic could significantly affect the inflation rate in 2008-2011. A study of actual data on household income, inflation and electricity tariffs for 1998-2007, and also of forecasts made in the Country Development Strategy to 2010 (CDS) shows the risks of exceeding the inflation targets.6 With an inertial development trend, inflation is not expected to exceed 10%, driven mainly by food prices and service fees. In October 2007, the actual rate of increase in the consumer price index (CPI) was 20.4%; food prices rose by 35.3%, including 80.7% for bread and bakery products, 48.7% for meat and fats, and 25.6% for butterfat. Given such inflation rates and the decline in household income, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic took urgent measures to curb inflation and maintain relatively stable economic growth. According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade forecast, average annual inflation in 2007 was expected at 10%, while the growth rate of real household income fell to 9.5% compared to 15.7% in 2006; in 2008, the CPI was expected to increased by 7.5%, and nominal household income, by 9.9%.7 Consequently, according to the CDS, nominal income growth did not keep pace with inflation, so that real income declined. Our assessment of the impact of global trends on oil and gas prices and, consequently, on electricity and heat prices in Kyrgyzstan, and also on the country’s social and economic development confirms the strong correlation between these prices and macroeconomic indicators.8 Today the functions of a regulatory agency in the power industry have passed to the Kyrgyz Energy Ministry’s Department for FEC. The Department developed a Medium-Term Tariff Policy for Electricity for 2008-2011 and a document On the Medium-Term Tariff Policy for Thermal Power for 20082010, approved by the government of Kyrgyzstan in 2008. They provide for a phased increase in energy tariffs to levels covering the costs of energy companies.9 5

Ibidem. See: Strategia razvitia strany na 2009-2011 (SRS-2), Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Bishkek, 2009. 7 Ibidem. 8 See: V.M. Kasymova, op. cit. 9 See: Srednesrochnaia tarifnaia politika na energonositeli na 2008-2011. 6

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According to our analysis and to the MTTP for 2008-2011, an increase in tariffs can have a fairly strong impact on inflation. So as not to heighten social tensions, we proposed a gradual increase in electricity rates without a one-time hike: by 12.5% during the first year and 11.5% in subsequent years, broken down by quarter and half-year (see Fig. 10). In 2009 (a year late), together with the transition to targeted support of social security recipients and low-income categories, tariffs were raised by 25% at once: from 56 tyins to 70 tyins per kWh; according to the CDS of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, from 2009 to 2011 inflation was expected to rise faster than nominal household income (see Fig. 10). Thus, it is necessary to change the methodology for developing tariff policy and, instead of relying solely on current costs (which should be reduced), to monitor the trends affecting inflation and household income. The Department for FEC together with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank should adjust tariffs annually within the set limits before drafting the republic’s state budget for the next three years. Figure 10 Trends in Growth Rates of Tariffs, Inflation and Household Income in the Kyrgyz Republic 210 190 170 150 130 110 90 70

Household income

Inflation (CPI)

Electricity tariffs

Inflation (expected)

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

50

As for energy companies, in the next three years most of them will have to intensify their efforts to reduce costs along the following key lines: n

cutting expenditures on fuel supply to CHP plants;

n

reducing energy losses;

n

saving on repairs;

n

optimizing staff numbers and wages; 46

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

n

ensuring more efficient use of materials and inventories;

n

disposing of non-core businesses and unprofitable assets.

In November 2009, the State Department for FEC developed a new MTTP for 2010-2012,10 under which electricity and heating rates were doubled from 1 January, 2010, while hot water rates increased fourfold (see Fig. 11). Such a tariff hike caused public indignation (despite the allocation of funds for targeted assistance to low-income categories and social security recipients) and ultimately led to a social explosion in all regions of the republic and in Bishkek, with well-known consequences. Figure 11 Dynamics of Income and Energy Expenses for 2001-2010 160.00 in U.S. dollars

140.00 120.00 100.00 80.00 60.00 40.00 20.00 0.00 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Average wage

30.04

35.89

43.81 52.48 63.69

81.48 106.52 148.15 134.05 135.08

Average pension

11.52

12.93

15.14 16.73 18.89

22.58 30.05

39.21 49.39 56.29

1 Gcal of heat

8.05

8.31

8.92

9.14

9.51

9.72 10.46

13.66 11.65 23.64

150 kWh of electricity

0.74

1.37

1.47

1.51

1.57

2.32

2.54

2.87

2.45

5.07

The Kyrgyz government proved incapable of implementing a prudent energy policy, deviating from the course towards the financial and economic recovery of energy companies charted by the National Energy Program of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2008-2012. The main clause of a decree issued by the Interim Government of the Kyrgyz Republic provided for a return to the old tariffs, which will inevitably lead to a prolonged energy crisis in the country. Due to losses in tariffs (the difference between average billings and average collections), annual losses increased from KGS 174 million in 1997 to KGS 585 million in 2007 and KGS 688 million in 2008. In the event, damage was caused not only to energy companies, but also to the whole na10 See: Srednesrochnaia tarifnaia politika na energonositeli na 2010-2012, State Department for Fuel and Energy Complex, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, 2009.

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tional economy in the form of a quasi-fiscal deficit (QFD), which is defined, according to the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a shortage of funds resulting from a high level of technical and commercial losses, a low cash collection rate, and also from the fact that the tariff does not cover the average costs of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and sale. In 2007, the QFD was KGS 7,065.58 million or 5.1% of GDP, and in 2008, KGS 8,084 million or 4.4% of GDP.

Energy Policy, Top-Priority Projects to End the Energy Crisis and Problems in Their Implementation Energy policy in Kyrgyzstan is currently implemented in accordance with the Law on the Energy Sector through the development of an energy strategy and a National Energy Program. Since 1991, the Kyrgyz Republic has been developing an energy strategy and an action program designed to provide the country with energy and energy resources and to enhance its energy security. For example, in 1992 the government approved the Energy Program of Kyrgyzstan, drafted by a working group under the direction of the minister of economy and finance. It was based on the National Program for Energy Independence of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan put before the government by the Production Association Kyrgyzenergo in 1992. In 1994-1995, in accordance with Government Decree No. 536 of 25 July, 1994, the State Committee for Economy developed a Concept of Energy Policy for the Period to 2000, which was approved and published. But due to the lack of a proper legal and regulatory framework for the operation of the energy sector and the fuel industry coupled with financial difficulties, the measures projected in these two documents were not fully implemented. In 1998, a National Energy Program for the Period to 2005 was developed in the republic. It was approved by the government but was not considered by parliament, so that in accordance with the Law on the Energy Sector it did not go into effect. Based on government resolutions No. 71-r of 15 February, 2006 and No. 310-r of 10 June, 2006, a National Energy Program of the Kyrgyz Republic (NEP KR) for 2008-2010 and a strategy for the development of the fuel and energy complex for the period to 2025 were developed in the republic. The NEP KR was approved by the Kyrgyz government on 13 February 2008 and passed by Jogorku Kenesh (parliament) by its Resolution No. 346 of 24 April, 2008. These documents clearly defined the Program’s main goal, objectives and implementation priorities. The main goal of the strategy was to ensure the country’s energy security and energy efficiency of the economy for raising living standards and for the sustainable development of the state. In order to achieve this goal, the following priorities were set for 2008-2010: n

financial and economic recovery of energy companies;

n

reduction in commercial losses by developing and installing an automated system for commercial accounting of energy consumption;

n

improvements in tariff policy by minimizing overhead expenses, ensuring cost transparency and switching energy companies to self-financing prices;

n

replacement of depreciated capital;

n

improvements in FEC management and regulation and in energy company management; 48

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010

n

creation of favorable conditions for attracting foreign investment;

n

development and implementation of economic mechanisms for joint use of water and energy resources by CAR states;

n

implementation of low-cost measures to save energy in the real sector of the economy and in the household sector;

n

introduction of tax breaks for enterprises that enhance energy efficiency in production and increase services to the population;

n

development of alternative energy sources (small hydro plants, solar panels in health resort areas, biogas units in rural areas, etc.);

n

creation of a market infrastructure for developing the domestic electricity market and increasing exports to neighboring countries.

Long-term priorities (for 2010-2025) were outlined as well: n

capacity additions with due regard for capital intensity in the hydropower sector;

n

construction of new supergrids, 500-220 kV substations and low-voltage grids;

n

renovation, modernization and maintenance of the technical safety of hydro installations and energy facilities;

n

creation of a self-regulating energy-saving system, improvements in regulatory and institutional frameworks;

n

wide use of renewable energy sources, minimization of the FEC’s negative impact on the environment.

Considering Kyrgyzstan’s responsibility as a country that has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the NEP KR contains proposals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and outlines the following concrete measures: Ø Improvements in the energy efficiency of economic growth and more efficient use of all types of fuel and energy through the implementation of advanced energy-efficient technologies and measures to save fuel and energy resources and reduce their losses. Ø Wide use of non-conventional renewable energy sources (NRES) in Kyrgyz territory, primarily in health resort areas and nature reserves, and also in places where conventional energy construction leads to degradation of agricultural lands, pastures and forests. Ø Improvements in technological processes and equipment at operating energy facilities, and also at coal, oil and gas enterprises in order to reduce environmental pollution. The way to end the crisis in Kyrgyzstan’s power industry is to achieve the main goal of the NEP KR: ensure the country’s energy security and energy efficiency of the economy. A list of energy facilities to be built as a matter of priority (in accordance with the NEP KR)11 is given in Table 3. The top-priority projects requiring the largest amount of investment include the construction of Kambarata HPP-1 with an installed capacity of 1,900 MW and HPP-2 with an installed capacity of 360 MW. Their completion will make it possible to use the Toktogul hydrosystem in irrigation mode. 11 See: Natsional’naia energeticheskaia programma na 2008-2010 i strategia razvitia TEK na period do 2005 goda, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources of the Kyrgyz Republic, KSTC Energia, Insan, Bishkek, 2009.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 3

Electric power industry:

2021-2025

2016-2020

2011-2015

2008-2010

Estimated cost, US$ million

Construction period

Name

Installed capacity, MW

Investment Needed to Finance New Construction and Renovation Projects in the Power Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic for 2008-2025

New construction

Kambarata HPP-2

360

2007-2010

280

280

Kambarata HPP-1

1,900

2011-2020

1,900



Upper Naryn HPP-1, 2, 3

200

2010-2015

220

Ak-Bulun HPP

200

2010-2015

220

2008-2025

2,620

Total: 1st scenario Sary-Jaz HPP

1,200

2010-2025

1,200

Kara-Keche HPP

1,200

2010-2015

1,200

2008-2025

5,020

2008-2020

NRES Total

500

1,400

220 220 280

720

1,620 200

1,000

900

300

280

1,620

2,120

1,000

290

40

70

80

100

2008-2020

25

5

10

10

2008-2020

5,335

325

1,700

2,210

2007-2010

50

50

Uch-Kurgan HPP

2007-2010

15

15

At-Bashy HPP

2007-2010

10

10

Kemin Substation with 500 kV transmission lines

2007-2012

250

120

2007-2012

55

55

Total: 2nd scenario Small HPPs

176

Renovation Bishkek CHP-1

Datka Substation with 220 kV transmission lines

688

360 km

50

130

1,100

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Power supply to Batken Region

2007-2010

10

10

2021-2025

2016-2020

2011-2015

2008-2010

Estimated cost, US$ million

Construction period

Name

Installed capacity, MW

Table 3 (continued)

Upgrading High-voltage transmission lines

2007-2010

60

60

Electric distribution networks

2008-2015

250

80

80

80

90

Agreements with Russia on the possibility of a soft loan in the amount of $1.7 billion for the construction of Kambarata HPP-112 are a great success. In the event of attraction of private investment, it will be possible to build the Upper Naryn and Alabuga HPPs. It is also necessary to raise $50 million for the rehabilitation of the Bishkek CHP-1 plant, $15 million for the renovation of the Uch-Kurgan HPP, and $10 million for the At-Bashy HPP. The total amount of investment required to modernize and upgrade electric distribution networks is $310 million. These funds should be used, in the first place, to install electronic meters in order to reduce technical losses and losses from theft. In addition, it is vitally important for Kyrgyzstan’s power system to obtain $290 million for the construction of small hydro plants and about $25 million for the development of solar, biogas and wind power plants. The Kyrgyz Republic has opportunities to build 92 new small hydro plants with a total capacity of 178 MW and average annual output of up to 1.0 billion kWh of electricity; it is also possible to restore 39 previously existing small HPPs with a total capacity of 22 MW and average annual output of up to 100 kWh. In addition, there are proposals for the construction of seven HPPs on irrigation reservoirs with a total installed capacity of 75 MW and average annual output of about 220 million kWh. A strategically important problem is that of strengthening Kyrgyzstan’s position in the regional electricity and power market; in the forecast period (2010-2025), it is necessary to realize the export opportunities of the republic’s hydropower sector to the maximum extent and make a contribution to CAR energy security. For this purpose, the first thing to do is to restore the scheme for cooperation in exchanging energy resources between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan created within the CAEC framework back in 1998, when the heads of the four states signed intergovernmental agreements on the parallel operation of their power systems in CAPS and on the use of water resources from the Naryn-Syr Darya basin. 12 See: Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Construction of Kambarata HPP-1, signed in Moscow on 3 February 2009.

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When the Kambarata HPPs are eventually put into operation, it will be possible to fully ensure the dual-mode operation of the Lower Naryn cascade; the functioning of the Kambarata HPPs in winter is a big advantage, since the water released from the power plant will accumulate in the Toktogul Reservoir. Neighboring countries will gain additional benefits if they take part in the construction of Kambarata HPP-1 by establishing an International Water and Energy Consortium. Joint efforts are the only way for CA countries to prevent an eventual energy crisis in the region, as predicted by World Bank experts.13

In Lieu of a Conclusion Electricity and power exports from Kyrgyzstan through Tajikistan and Afghanistan to South Asian countries could eventually become part of interstate activity in the energy sector. This will be possible in the event of the creation of an integrated Trans-Asian Energy System (TAES) under the Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA). Today and in the long term, the most probable participants in integration processes in the hydropower sector and in developing electricity exports from Kyrgyzstan include, along with Russia, such countries as China and Kazakhstan, which have declared their intention to invest in the construction of HPPs in the upper and middle reaches of the Naryn River and on the Sary-Jaz River. 13 See: Tsentral’naia Azia na poroge energeticheskogo krizisa, available at [www.akipress.kg] (information from a World bank report entitled Lights Out? The Outlook for Energy in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union).

CONFLICT OF INTERESTS BETWEEN HYRDOPOWER ENGINEERING AND IRRIGATION IN CENTRAL ASIA: CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS Georgi PETROV Ph.D. (Technology), Head of the Hydropower Laboratory at the Institute for Water Problems, Tajikistan Academy of Sciences (Dushanbe, Tajikistan)

Introduction

A

ll the main rivers in Central Asia (CA) are transborder and are used by the region’s countries in several spheres of the econo-

my at the same time, mainly in irrigation and hydropower engineering. The first is traditional and has existed for several millennia, while the sec52

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ond is at the development stage; the first hydropower plants in CA were not built until the middle of last century. The structure of the water industry existing in CA (both in irrigation and in hydropower engineering) was created during the Soviet era, in conditions of an extensively developing economy. As we know, this economic development path led to serious environmental problems, the most devastating of which was the Aral Sea disaster. After five independent sovereign states formed in CA in 1991, the situation in the water industry became even more aggravated. The conflict of interests between irrigation, which was

well-developed mainly in the countries on the lower reaches of the rivers (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), and hydropower engineering, which primarily concerned the countries located at the heads of the rivers (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), acquired interstate significance. Both of these spheres require different water regulation regimes. Hydropower engineering is interested in accumulating water in the summer and using it in the winter (at the peak of the energy shortage), while irrigation, vice versa, requires water to be accumulated in the winter and used in the summer, during the vegetation period.

History of the Conflict Development The conflict of interests between hydropower engineering and irrigation developed gradually and was slow to appear against the background of the fundamental political reforms that were carried out in the region’s countries after 1991. Part of the problem was the slow flux of change in management of the hydropower industry. In addition, the CA Unified Energy System, managed from a single dispatch center, and the Interstate Coordinating Water Industry Commission with its Scientific Information Center, set up early in the 1990s, were still functioning under the conditions established in Soviet times. At the beginning of the 1990s, all the countries of the region signed the Alma-Ata Agreement and the Nukus Declaration, which enforced the existing situation. The Alma-Ata Agreement of 1992 declared equal rights of all the CA countries to the use of water resources: “Recognizing the communality and unity of the region’s water resources, the Parties shall have equal rights to their use and bear equal responsibility for ensuring their rational consumption and protection.”1 This provision was enforced more specifically in the Nukus Declaration of 1995: “We agree that the Central Asian countries shall recognize previously signed and current agreements, treaties, and other acts that regulate the relations among them regarding water resources in the Aral basin and unconditionally adhere to them.”2 But gradually, particularly as market relations developed among the region’s countries, the shortcomings of this approach became evident. It remained basically administrative, although it could be called relatively reformed. The countries on the upper reaches, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, in the territory of which all the region’s main water resources form, began claiming property rights to these 1 Agreement among the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan on Cooperation in Joint Management and Protection of Interstate Water Resources, AlmaAta, 18 February, 1992. 2 Nukus Declaration of the Central Asian States and International Organizations on Problems of the Sustainable Development of the Aral Sea Basin, Nukus, 20 September, 1995.

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resources at the regional level. This prompted Kyrgyzstan to adopt the Law on Interstate Use of Water Bodies, Water Resources, and Water Facilities of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2001, which set forth: “When implementing state policy on the use of water resources of the rivers originating in the Kyrgyz Republic and flowing beyond its borders, and participating in any interstate negotiations on water issues, the Kyrgyz Republic acts on the basis of the following principles and provisions: — recognition of the right of the state to ownership of the water bodies, water resources, and water facilities within its state borders; — recognition of water as a natural resource and economic commodity which has its own economic value in all competing forms of water use; — user pays principle in interstate water relations.” An active debate about making the countries located on the lower reaches pay for water use also began in Tajikistan. However, this did not resolve the problem, it only increased the tension. To some extent a compromise solution was found in 1998. The four countries located in the Syr Darya River Basin, where relations were most tense, signed an agreement3 which set forth the general principles of interrelations between hydropower engineering and irrigation based on compensation for drainage regulation services: “Electric energy additionally generated by the Naryn-Syr Darya chain of hydropower plants relating to water drainage in the irrigation regime and perennial drainage regulation in the Toktogul and Kairakkum reservoirs that is over and above the needs of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan shall be delivered in equal parts to the Republic of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. “It shall be compensated for by the delivery of the equivalent amount of energy resources (coal, gas, black oil, electric energy), as well as other products (work, services), to the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan, or in monetary form, as agreed upon, in order to create the necessary annual and perennial water supplies in the reservoirs for irrigation needs.” It can be noted that the principle set forth in the agreement with respect to the Syr Darya Basin is of a framework nature. It does not describe the economic mechanism of interrelations between hydropower engineering and irrigation and does not define such basic concepts as “the electric energy additionally generated over and above the needs of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan,” “equivalent amount of energy resources,” “necessary annual and perennial water supplies in the reservoirs for irrigation needs.” But this should have been clarified, particularly for calculating the amount of energy resources and the cost of compensation. Despite the fact that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan bear mutual responsibility, the agreement does not mention distribution of the functions of the reservoirs in terms of drainage regulation. As a result, from the very beginning, the provisions of the Agreement (on the Syr Darya River) were frequently violated and finally, in 2008-2009, due to lack of agreement regarding compensation, the Toktogul reservoir was almost completely drained, which immediately led to a serious water shortage in the region during the vegetation period. The consequences of this critical situation are still being felt today. Renewed construction of the Rogun hydropower plant in Tajikistan and the Kambarata chain of hydropower plants in Kyrgyzstan aggravated relations between the countries on the upper and lower reaches even more. The Rogun hydropower plant on the Vakhsh River with a capacity of 3,600 MW has a reservoir of 13.3 cu km in volume; in 2008, full-scale construction work began there financed from the repub3 See: Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Use of the Hydropower Resources of the Syr Darya River Basin, Bishkek, 17 March, 1998.

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lic’s budget. In 2009, approximately $80 million was allotted for this purpose, and in 2010 there are plans to spend another $150 million. In addition, in January 2010, shares of the Rogun hydropower plant began being sold to the country’s population, and during the first three months, $180 million was collected. The Kambarata chain of hydropower plants consists of two plants (1 and 2) with a capacity of 360 and 1,900 MW, respectively (the volume of the reservoir at hydropower plant-1 alone amounts to 5 cu km). Construction of all these hydropower plants began during Soviet times. At present, a dam has been built at Kambarata HPP-2, and a technical and economic feasibility report is being drawn up at Kambarata HPP-1 of a project in which French companies are participating. Uzbekistan is extremely worried about and has raised serious objections to such large hydropower plants being built in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It set forth its official position regarding the Rogun hydropower plant in a letter from Prime Minister Shavkat Mirzieyev in February 2010: “It is our deep conviction that the possible consequences of building such a grandiose facility as the Rogun hydropower plant should be given an objective and qualified evaluation, paying particular attention to: — the damage this project may inflict on the fragile environmental balance in the region due to the consequences of the Aral disaster; — the influence this project may have on the change in the amount of drainage and its regime with respect to the Amu Darya, since the survival of millions of people in this region with its severe continental desert climate depends directly on the availability of drinking and irrigation water, particularly at times of systematically repetitive low water; — the degree this project is protected from man-triggered threats, primarily the threat of major earthquakes, since the Rogun hydropower plant is to be built in a high seismic zone on a tectonic fault where earthquakes of up to 10 points on the Richter scale have repeatedly occurred. It is difficult to imagine the scale of the humanitarian disaster that would be induced, entailing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, if the dam broke. “But the government of the Republic of Tajikistan has totally ignored our repeated appeals regarding this issue and is continuing at an accelerated rate to carry out construction of this facility without taking account of the possible consequences and of the proper project and technical support.”4 As of today, all the countries of the Aral Sea Basin, Russia, the U.S., and many international organizations have become involved in the water conflict, which is shown by the events below: n

At a meeting with his Uzbek colleague in March 2010, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev supported Tashkent’s position, which objected to construction of the Rogun hydropower plant in Tajikistan and the Kambarata HPP-1 in Kyrgyzstan without first carrying out an international expert’s evaluation of these projects. According to him, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, countries on the lower reaches of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers, require security guarantees.

n

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov said in October 2009 during a meeting with journalists in Ashghabad that Tajikistan, in the territory of which the main sources of drinking water for the CA post-Soviet countries originate, is experiencing an acute short-

4 “Pemier-rech. Pravda Vostoka opublikovala otkrytoe obrashchenie Mirzieyeva k Akilovu,” 3 February, 2010, available at [http://www.avesta.tj/index.php?newsid=3749].

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age of electric energy and sees the solution of this problem in building new hydropower plants. This, in turn, could decrease the drainage volume and lead to an acute shortage of water in the countries located on the lower reaches of the transborder rivers. So Turkmenistan is calling on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to pay Tajikistan a joint monetary compensation for resolving energy problems in exchange for retaining the current volumes of water drainage of the transborder rivers. n

In February 2008, the Presidents of Russia and Uzbekistan signed a joint statement in which “the Parties agreed that there is a need to take into account the interests of all the states located on the transborder water courses of the Central Asian region when implementing construction projects at their hydropower structures.”

n

In January 2009, the new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, confirmed this position by saying that when building such hydropower plants as Rogun, it was necessary “to keep in mind the interests of all neighboring states,” and that without the consent of neighboring republics such power plants should not be built.

n

First Vice-Premier of the Russian Government Igor Shuvalov was even more specific in the statement he made after his meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon at the beginning of March 2010: “We understand that a difficult situation is developing in the region; there are different approaches to the development of hydro resources. We are willing to participate in developing the energy industry as a whole in CA and are proceeding from the fact that the interests of the various states that have existed for centuries in this region should be kept in balance. Russia should not do anything to upset the balance in these relations.”5

n

In February 2010, during his visit to Tajikistan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake stated the position of his country on construction of the Rogun hydropower plant: “We realize the importance of energy safety for Tajikistan and we support the efforts of the Tajik government to give their citizens, enterprises and organizations access to adequate and reliable energy sources. We urge Tajikistan to consider the opinions of its neighbors concerning the construction of hydroelectric projects such as Rogun.”6

In this difficult situation, keeping in mind the importance of the problem, the World Bank assumed the role of mediator in drawing up a technical and economic feasibility report of the Rogun hydropower plant project. In so doing, it is keeping in mind both Tajikistan’s interest and the concern of Uzbekistan and other neighboring countries. A letter from Philippe Le Houerou, Vice-President of World Bank for Europe and Central Asia, sent on 22 March, 2010 to the Uzbekistan government, noted: “We appreciate your acknowledgement of our efforts on developing transparent processes with participation of all interested sides, which will guarantee objectiveness and independence of the assessment of Rogun hydropower station project (HSP). “The feasibility report, as well as environmental and social examination, will be directed at carrying out careful assessment of technical conditions, as well as the environmental and social risks and advantages of the proposed project. The research will be carried out in line with all the special protection mechanisms and instructions of the World Bank. 5 “Pervy vitse-premier Rossii I. Shuvalov: ‘Rossia gotova uchastvovat v razvitii energeticheskogo kompleksa v Tsentral’noi Azii v tselom,’” Fergana.ru, 3 March, 2010, available at [http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=14139& mode=snews]. 6 [http://www.asiacentral.es/uploads/tajikistan_mar10.pdf].

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“Mutual understanding has been reached with the Tajik authorities, and they have pledged to ensure that any future construction work beyond the framework of rehabilitation work will be based on the results of above-mentioned assessment.”7 The question of carrying out a similar assessment is also examined with respect to the Kambarata HPP-1 in Kyrgyzstan. So the conflict between hydropower engineering and irrigation in CA is becoming increasingly intense and acquiring the traits of a crisis situation. It is being examined at the highest world level, but neither diplomats nor high-ranking international mediators have been able to resolve it. According to the estimates of World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia Moto Konishi, carrying out an expert’s examination of only one hydropower plant like Rogun will take a long time. It will take the bank three months to complete the corresponding procedures and preparations, after which it will take another 12-18 months to carry out the examination itself. Then consultations and talks will be required among the basin’s countries. It is worth noting that precisely this last stage will be of decisive importance, and so only the region’s countries themselves are capable of resolving this conflict. International mediators can only ask them to keep each other’s interests in mind and promote mutual understanding in every possible way, which is confirmed by the documents cited above. This was also mentioned in a statement by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Central Asia in April 2010, in which he said that Central Asia’s natural resources must be used “for common prosperity. Whether it is oil and natural gas or water, this method should be used fairly and harmoniously, it is in the interest of neighboring countries. This is a collective responsibility, both of the leaders of Central Asia and the international community.” “We need to sit down and resolve these issues in a harmonious way, to benefit all,” he went on to emphasize.8

The Essence and Nature of the Conflict So only the CA countries themselves can resolve the problem of common use of hydropower resources. This requires a specific analysis of the causes of the conflict and the possible solutions to it. First we need to keep in mind that hydropower engineering and irrigation are not mutually exclusive; both of these branches are vitally important for the CA countries. But in so doing it is important to note the significant differences that exist between these sectors of the economy. Irrigated farming, as mentioned above, is a traditional method of economic management in the CA countries, which are almost all located in an arid climatic zone. Irrigation has existed in the regions for several millennia, but it became particularly developed during the second half of the last century. The area of irrigated land in the region between 1960 and 2000 increased from 4,510 to 7,990 thousand hectares, while the use of water resources rose from 60.6 to 105-120,7 cu km (see Table 1). This figure is equal to the amount of available water resources in the region, the average perennial volume of which is equal to 116.5 cu km.9 7 “World Bank to Conduct Examination of Rogun Project,” 26 March, 2010, available at [http://www.uzdaily.com/ articles-id-9412.htm]. 8 “Ban Outlines UN Role in Resolving Central Asian Tensions over Water Resources,” 6 April, 2010, available at [http:// www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=34291&Cr=central+asia&Cr1=]. 9 See: Strengthening Cooperation for Rational and Efficient Use of Water and Energy Resources in Central Asia. Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia Project Working Group on Energy and Water Resources. ECE/ ESCAP, 2004.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 1 Dynamics of Water Resource Use in the Aral Sea Basin (cu km)

Irrigation

Total

1999 Irrigation

Total

1990 Irrigation

Total

1980 Irrigation

Total

1970 Irrigation

Country

Total

1960

Kazakhstan

9.75

9.50 12.85 12.28 14.20 12.83 11.32 10.14

8.24

7.96

Kyrgyzstan

2.21

2.12

3.29

3.10

Tajikistan

9.80

8.69 10.44 11.17 10.75 11.82

Turkmenistan

8.07

7.95 17.27 17.09 23.00 22.74 23.34 22.96 18.08 16.79

2.98

2.85

4.08

3.90

5.16

4.91

9.26 10.24 12.52 10.15

Uzbekistan

30.78 27.90 48.06 43.45 64.91 55.51 63.61 58.16 62.83 56.66

Total

60.61 56.15 94.56 86.84 120.69 106.79 116.27 106.40 104.96 94.66

So all the water resources needed today for further extensive development of irrigation in CA have been fully exhausted. This situation developed during formation of the water economy system at the end of the last century. At that time, a project was being developed for transferring drainage from Siberian rivers to the region, which was later recognized as environmentally detrimental. Nor can we place any hope on introducing new technology into irrigated farming; its beneficial effect in conditions of high harvest yield goes without saying, but it cannot solve the water shortage problem. There are essentially no internal water reserves for irrigation in the Aral Sea Basin today. It is often said that water for irrigation in CA is being used very inefficiently and a transfer to new state-of-the-art irrigation technology (for example, Israeli) could reduce the amount required several-fold. Such opinions are populist and based on superficial knowledge of the problem. The real situation in irrigated farming in CA and Israel is shown in Table 2.10 At first glance, the amount of water required for irrigation in CA indeed amounts to 12,877 cu m/ ha, whereas in Israel, it is 5,590 cu m/ha, that is 2.3-fold less. But taking account of natural precipitation (which is much higher in Israel), the picture significantly changes: in Israel, water use amounts to 10,390 cu m/ha, while in CA, it is 14,690 cu m/ha. The difference between them in the latter case is only 4,300 cu m, which amounts to 29.3% of water use in CA. The last estimate shows that water saving in CA, even compared with a world irrigation leader such as Israel, are relatively low and do not exceed 30%. In actual fact, they are even lower, since we should keep in mind that evapotranspiration in the vegetation period in Israel is less than in CA. As Table 3 on p. 60 shows, in Israel, evapotranspiration is equal on average to 1,029.9 mm or 10,299 cu m/ ha, while in CA, it is 11,453 cu m/ha, that is, 1,154 cu m/ha more. Keeping this in mind, the actual difference in water use between Israel and the CA countries amounts to 3,146 cu m/ha (4,300-1,154), which is only 21.4% of the actual water application rate for the region. 10 See: Osnovnye polozheniia vodnoi strategii basseina Aralskogo moria, Interstate Council on Problems of the Aral Sea, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Alma-Ata, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Ashghabad, Tashkent, 1996.

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Volume 11 Issue 3 2010 Table 2

Specific Water Use Indices of the CA Countries and Israel (cu m)

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan

Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

Specific amount of water per capita of the population per year in all branches of the economy

345

2,875

4,199

1,128

2,490

5,605

2,540

Specific amount of water per hectare of irrigated land per year

5,590

12,877

12,354

11,150

15,860

13,355

12,478

The same taking into account natural precipitation

10,390

14,690

14,130

17,680

18,055

15,028

14,900

Indices

Israel

On average throughout the Aral Basin

Including

But in actual fact even this figure is artificially high. n

First, because the main irrigated land in CA is located in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where evapotranspiration is a little higher than on average throughout the region.

n

Second, in CA, there is constant salinization of irrigated land11 and so additional water resources are needed for flushing it.

n

And, finally, third, the surplus water supplied to the fields is partially drained into rivers and canals, from where it is again taken for use.

Keeping in mind all these factors, it can be concluded that the water resources actually used for agricultural production in CA are greater than in Israel (by 10-15% at the most). But this is not the only thing. When identifying the physical and environmental causes of water loss in irrigated farming in CA, another important factor should be kept in mind. During energy resource use, mineral fuel, for example, the savings potential implies the ratio of the loss coefficient to the efficiency coefficient. For example, if the efficiency coefficient of heat generation is 60%, losses and, consequently, energy-saving resources will be equal to 40%. If irrigated farming is approached using the same standards, beneficial water use can only be considered that part which crops used to form their mass. Then, for example, if a certain crop has a harvest yield of 40 hwt/ha, even without taking into account hard mass, the maximum amount of water used for the crop will only be 4 cu m/ha. But in 11 See: Royal Haskoning, GEF Agency of the IFAS, Aral Sea Basin Program, Water and Environmental Management Project, Regional Report No. 2: “National and Regional Water and Salt Management Plans,” 2002.

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CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS Table 3

Afghanistan

Tajikistan Latitude: 37° 30' 00" Longitude: 68° 40' 00"

Latitude: 37° 11' 00" Longitude: 68° 54' 00"

Uzbekistan Latitude: 40° 30' 00" Longitude: 68° 45' 00"

Latitude: 39° 10' 00" Longitude: 63° 30' 00"

Latitude: 36° 30' 00" Longitude: 58° 30' 00"

Latitude: 32° 30' 00" Longitude: 35° 10' 00"

Latitude: 32° 30' 00" Longitude: 35° 00' 00"

Latitude: 32° 00' 00" Longitude: 35°10' 00"

Israel

Turkmenistan

Evapotranspiration in CA and Israel during Vegetation

April

4.44

4.36

4.36

3.60

4.78

4.09

3.69

3.54

May

5.74

5.47

5.47

5.20

7.03

5.86

5.41

5.3

June

6.64

6.33

6.33

7.09

8.89

7.81

7.33

7.69

July

6.65

6.46

6.46

7.73

9.12

8.05

7.67

8.09

August

5.99

5.94

5.94

6.78

7.90

6.94

6.81

7.12

September

4.96

4.88

4.88

5.08

5.48

5.01

5.09

5.36

Average

5.74

5.57

5.57

5.91

7.20

6.29

6.00

6.18

1,049.8

1,019.9

1,019.9

1,082.1

1,317.6

1,151.7

1,098.0

1,131.6

1,199.9

1,151.7

1,098.0

1,131.6

Ó for vegetation Average for the countries

1,029.9

Average for the region

1,029.9

1,145.3

S o u r c e s: Data from: IWMI Water& Climate Atlas, available at [www.iwmi.org].

both Israel and CA, the total use of water in the irrigated zone is more than 10,000 cu m/ha, that is, the efficiency coefficient of water use amounts to only 0.04%; the other 99.6% is losses or “water-saving resources.” And they are related primarily to evapotranspiration and filtration. This gives rise to an important question about the quality of these losses. Whereas in power engineering, these losses are irretrievably removed from circulation and, moreover, instead of being beneficial begin to inflict real damage on the environment by polluting the air, water, and soil, in irrigated farming, the unused water is simply incorporated into the hydrologic cycle, ensuring the sustainable existence of the environment. Evidently, if by some miracle, it would be possible to 60

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achieve an efficiency coefficient of water use of 100% throughout Central Asia’s vast irrigated zone, this would lead to a natural disaster of such proportions that death of the Aral Sea would seem a mere trifle. So we can state that the irrigation technology used en masse in CA today blends sufficiently well with nature and is in environmental harmony with it. Of course, we are talking about the optimal version of this technology. Within the framework of the development strategies in effect today in CA and keeping in mind the continuously burgeoning population, it is impossible to overcome irrigation problems by decreasing the area of irrigated land, while constant criticism of its recent past can also be regarded as populism. There is no other way to explain why, after declaring the main cause of the existing water crisis in the region to be the overextensification of irrigated farming during Soviet times, the CA countries are not even trying to resolve the problem today in the simplest way, by reducing the irrigated zone. On the contrary, as Table 4 shows, almost all the CA countries, particularly those situated on the lower reaches, are envisaging a further increase in irrigated land in their national development strategies.12 Table 4 Development Dynamics of Irrigation in the Aral Sea Basin (thou. ha) Year

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

1990

782

410

1995

786

2000

Tajikistan

Turkmenistan

Uzbekistan

Total

706

1,329

4,222

7,449

416

719

1,736

4,298

7,955

786

415

719

1,714

4,259

8,101

2010

806

434

1,064

2,240

4,355

8,899

2025

815

471

1,188

2,778

6,441

11,693

In contrast to irrigation, hydropower engineering, like power engineering as a whole, is a relatively new economic branch in the region. For example, in Tajikistan, these industries did not begin developing until the middle of last century (see Fig. 1). Power engineering has been developing in the same way in other countries of the region. Whereby, in contrast to irrigation, hydropower resources in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have essentially not been developed yet. In Tajikistan, which has a total hydro resource capacity of 527 billion kWh13 a year, only 15-17 billion kWh have been developed so far. In Kyrgyzstan, only 10-14 billion of the total 246 billion kWh14 are being used. It is worth noting in this context that hydropower engineering is much more profitable than irrigation. For example, the profit from one large hydropower plant, such as Nurek, alone, at the current electricity rates, is higher than the cost of the entire cotton harvest (the republic’s main agricultural crop). The cotton industry itself in Tajikistan, which is raw material-oriented, is not only inefficient 12

See: Osnovnye polozheniia vodnoi strategii basseina Aralskogo moria. See: Gidroenergeticheskie resursy Tadzhikskoi SSR, Nedra Publishers, Leningrad, 1965, p. 658. 14 See: D.M. Mamatkanov, L.V. Bazhanova, V.V. Romanovskiy, Vodnye resursy Kyrgyzstana na sovremennom etape, Ilim Publishers, Bishkek, 2006. 13

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Development of Power Engineering in Tajikistan 5 000

Installed capacity, MW

4 500 4 000 3 500 3 000 2 500 2 000 1 500 500

2010

2005

2000

1995

1990

1985

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1965

1960

1955

1950

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1940

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1930

0

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today, it is even unprofitable; its debts currently amount to more than $500 million (with an annual cotton production of 250,000 tons). So agriculture in the CA republics is, on the whole, only a way for the population to survive, while being a hindrance to the region’s development. Thus, the immanent crisis in irrigated farming and irrigation is the main cause of the problems currently existing in hydropower engineering in CA. And it will only continue to intensify in the future due to the sharp increase in the size of the region’s population. Therefore, further orientation toward the use of water resources primarily for irrigated farming is leading Central Asia into an impasse. The situation involving the development of hydropower engineering and irrigation can be described in the terms used to describe the stages of scientific-technical progress, technology levels. The cyclical nature of economic development was first researched by Kondratiev, who showed that from the end of the 18th century to the 1920s, three long full cycles occurred lasting an average of 55 years each. The baton was taken up by Austrian economist Shumpeter. Sergey Glaziev, in turn, who also developed this idea, said that economic cycles were caused by a change in technology level (the total amount of technology characteristic of a certain level of production development). A certain technology level is replaced by another after the first has fully exhausted its capability for development. At present in world technical and economic development, scientists single out five technology levels. Intensive development of irrigation and building canals and irrigation networks belong to the first technology level (1770-1830), the nucleus of which was the textile industry. Development of power engineering was the nucleus of the third technology level (1880-1930). At present, the fifth level is unfolding, the basis of which is the electronic industry, computer technology, software, information services, nano technology, and so on (from 1980-1990 to 2030-2040). 62

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It should be noted that the CA countries, although with some delay, belong to the third technology level. But irrigated farming and irrigation are still at the first level. So the conflict of interests between irrigation and power engineering is becoming a serious hindrance to the future economic development of the region’s farm-oriented countries.

Solutions to the Crisis The CA countries can only make up for lost time, move up to the fifth technology level, and so ensure their efficient economic development by further developing power engineering. In this context, hydropower engineering plays a very important role, whereby a decisive one for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Its development will make it possible not only to move to a higher technology level, but also significantly raise the financial efficiency of the national economies. The latter, in turn, can promote rational reduction of the irrigated zone of technical crops, cotton,15 for example, which will lead to improvement of the situation in the Aral Sea Basin. There may be objections that this approach will develop hydropower engineering mainly in the upstream countries, while reduction of irrigated areas in the downstream countries will only aggravate the conflict between them. This could indeed happen if the proposed strategy is carried out unilaterally. But in reality, the upstream countries (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) are not capable of building even one large hydropower plant today using their own resources, while more than 80 large hydropower plants could be built in Tajikistan alone.16 So foreign investments are needed to develop the hydropower industry, and, in the current geopolitical conditions, cooperation among the countries of the Central Asian region itself will be the most effective and expedient. Common use will promote regionalization of the region’s countries, while also solving national tasks. This will make it possible to establish close ties both among the economic entities and among the states. It should be noted that in the Soviet Union too (one of the most ideologized countries of the world), the main unifying element was common use, albeit to some extent virtual, and of a general nature. The separation of ownership was what led to the upheavals that are still being experienced by all the CIS countries. So in the future, orientation toward the joint development of power engineering, including hydropower engineering in the countries at the heads of the rivers, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, is the best development strategy for the CA countries. But this prospect is rather long-term and will take decades to implement, while the conflict between hydropower engineering and irrigation is becoming all the more aggravated. In order to resolve the problem of common use of hydropower resources right now, the strategy could be proposed for regulating relations among the countries of the transborder basins: the countries located in the drainage zone upstream (and the power plant owners) shall provide water regulation services for the countries downstream that use the water for irrigation. In this case, these services will entail a transfer from the national energy regime of reservoir operation in the upstream countries to an irrigation regime, whereby all the expenses and losses associated with this must be compensated for by the downstream countries. 15 The matter does concern only technical crops grown to obtain profit or for international exchange. It does not obviously entail reducing the production of farm produce, which ensures the countries’ food safety. 16 See: G. Petrov, «Tajikistan’s Energy Projects: Past, Present, and Future,» Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 5 (29), 2004.

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It is precisely this approach that is envisaged in the 1998 Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Use of the Hydropower Resources of the Syr Darya River Basin. The proposed strategy for regulating relations among the countries of the transborder basins can be regarded as a necessary supplement to this agreement in the form of a mechanism or technical and economic feasibility of the relations among the countries. Absence of such a mechanism is the main reason today for poor execution of this agreement and aggravation of the conflict between hydropower engineering and irrigation. For a basin that has several hydropower plants, the mechanism is implemented as follows. First, operating regimes that meet national interests are defined for all the existing hydropower plants. Calculations are carried out consistently, from the highest-lying to the lowest-lying hydropower plant in the chain. This is a well-known scheme in hydraulic engineering of independent drainage regulation by a chain of reservoirs. In so doing, the national regime for the highest-lying hydropower plant is calculated as though it were operating on its own, based only on the river’s natural inflow, that is, as though there were no other countries or water users below this hydropower plant. After that, the regimes of the lower-lying hydropower plants are calculated not according to the river’s natural inflow, but based on the releases from hydropower plants further up the river. This calculation for the lowest-lying hydropower plant determines the amount of water that can be used by the downstream countries during the vegetation period. As experience shows, these amounts and the water supply schedule during vegetation are calculated based only on the national interests of the countries located upstream and do not satisfy the countries on the lower reaches. In order to meet the needs of the latter, drainage must be redistributed and the operating regime of the hydropower plants changed. This redistribution of drainage should begin with the lowest-lying hydropower plant. If its regulating capabilities prove insufficient, the next hydropower plant is hooked up, and so on, right up to the highest-lying. This is also a well-known scheme of chain-compensated drainage regulation. It becomes clear from the above that using the proposed strategy, the countries on the upper reaches will have to change the operating regimes of their reservoirs to the detriment of their national interests. What losses will the upstream countries bear in this event and how should the downstream countries compensate them for this? As we know, the countries on the upper reaches (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) are interested in the energy operating regime for their hydropower plants. Their losses can only be related to losses in electric power due to transfer of the hydropower plant operating regimes from energy to irrigation. But electricity generation at hydropower plants depends primarily on the amount of water used, which is the same in any regime. The head of the hydropower plants can also be considered identical, both in the energy and the irrigation regimes, since the reservoirs are filled and drained in the same way, only at different times of the year. So the countries on the upper reaches do not seem to be losing anything by providing drainage regulation services. But in actual fact, this is not so, since the upstream countries are in reality interested not so much in the total amount of electric power, as in its maximum generation in the winter, which is colder and when the greatest shortages are experienced, while also coinciding with the lowwater season in the rivers. So when transferring from the energy regime to irrigation, the upstream countries in fact suffer losses, since they lose winter electricity, although they receive an equivalent surplus of it in the summer, during the vegetation period. So again, if these countries were able to engage in equivalent export-import of this electric power (exchange of surplus summer for deficit winter electric power), there would be no losses. The problem is that the upstream countries cannot carry out this equivalent exchange themselves today. 64

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There are several reasons for this: the shortage of winter electricity in the downstream countries themselves, electricity transit problems, difficulties with exporting electric power to countries of the Far Abroad, and so on. Thus, it becomes clear what the water-consuming countries should do for the drainage-regulating countries: they should provide the upstream countries with the amount of winter electricity they lose, receiving in exchange the same amount during the summer. Naturally, compensation could be made in other ways, not just return of the electricity itself; it could be made by delivering other energy resources—coal, gas, or petroleum products. Payment could also be made in monetary form. It is only important that the amounts of energy resources or funds make it possible for the country to generate the same amount of winter electricity it lost at its own power plants. Thus, if the proposed scheme of drainage regulation is used in the interests both of irrigation and hydropower engineering, none of the participants will suffer from any losses. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will receive irrigation water in the full amount and in the regime they need, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will receive the energy they require (under optimal conditions). But the thermal power plants of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will have to operate in slightly changed conditions. The difficulties in implementing the proposed scheme of compensational exchange are related to the technical possibilities of transferring electricity itself. Several recommendations can be offered regarding this. First, in the past, Uzbekistan always delivered electric power to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan at the end of the winter, the highest-deficit season. This is the time when a tense situation also develops in the power industry of the supplier countries. But the electricity does not necessarily have to be returned at the end of the winter. For example, Tajikistan could receive this electricity much earlier, immediately after water begins to be drained from the Nurek reservoir in September, whereby the overall period of its return could be increased. In this case, Tajikistan would simply be accumulating this electric power in its Nurek reservoir. Kyrgyzstan would not need to have any strict electricity return deadlines at all, since electric power can be conserved in the Toktogul reservoir at almost all times. Such possibilities will increase even more after the Rogun and Kambarata hydropower plants are built.

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REGIONAL POLITICS

PROJECTING “SOFT POWER:” AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY IN POST-SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA Alexey FOMINYKH Ph.D. (Political Science), Assistant Professor at the Chair of International Relations and PR, Mari State University (Yoshkar-Ola, Russia)

Introduction

T

and the Russian Federation (a global and regional power, respectively) showed their determination to remain key players in Central Asia. China, another important regional power with vast economic interests in the Central Asian Soviet successor-states, was very much concerned with the flare-up on its northwestern borders: in 2009, the region was shaken by riots among the local Uighurs. The European Union and the “mediumsized powers” (Iran and Turkey) likewise have certain interests in Central Asia.

he April 2010 coup in Kyrgyzstan and the ethnic clashes in the south in June attracted a lot of media and academic attention. Laymen and experts alike associated the events in Bishkek and Osh with the interests of external actors: extraterritorial criminal/terrorist structures, neighboring countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, and Afghanistan), and Russia and the United States in particular. The very fact that Washington and Moscow recognized the interim government of Roza Otunbaeva was interpreted as its legitimization; once more the U.S.

This publication was prepared within the ongoing ReSET project (Regional Seminars for Excellence in Teaching) “Rethinking the International Security Agenda” led by the Deutsch-Kasachische Universität, the Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, and the Central European University, Budapest, under the Higher Education Support Program by the Open Society Institute.

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This has created a “competitive regional milieu in which cooperation and mutual support are intermingled with rivalry, misunderstandings and apprehensions.”1 In the new conditions, the Great Game is being waged not merely for multimillion-dollar contracts, shares in fuel production, and military bases, but also for the “minds and hearts” of the local people, the target audience of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy relies on explaining the state’s foreign policy aims to the foreign public,

promoting values, national culture, and education through the media, and holding exhibitions and exchange programs to create a long-term favorable climate in its relations with other countries. Worldwide experience has demonstrated that it is much less expensive and much more effective to “softly” draw the youth, political, business, and cultural elites of foreign countries into the sphere of influence than to count on economic pressure or projecting “hard” military power.2

2 For the terminological problems created by using the term “soft” power” in discussions in Russian, see: I.A. Zevelev, M.A. Troitsky, Sila i vlianie v amerikano-rossiyskikh otnosheniakh: semiotichesky analiz. Ocherki tekushchey politiki, Issue 2, Nauchno-obrazovatelny forum po mezhdunarodnym otnosheniam, Moscow, 2006, 72 pp.

1 A.D. Bogaturov, A.S. Dundich, E.F. Troitsky, Tsentral’naia Azia: “otlozhenny neytralitet” i mezhdunarodnye otnoshenia v 2000-kh godakh. Ocherki tekushchey politiki, Issue 4, NOFMO, Moscow, 2010, p. 7.

The Stiff Rivalry of “Soft” Powers The highly competitive nature of the Central Asian international-political environment is amply confirmed by the public diplomacy the external actors are using in the region. The Russian political elite looks at Central Asia (Central Asia and Kazakhstan of Soviet times) as a traditional sphere of influence where America’s attempts to gain a toehold are inevitably interpreted as a threat to Russia’s interests. Maxim Starchak explains the problems of the Russian language in the Central Asian countries by the fact that “American information and propaganda undermine Russia’s interests in the region more than anything else.”3 Americans respond with accusations of imperialist ambitions; they never fail to say that Russian diplomats and political strategists in Central Asia are not alien to using “soft power” tools. In America, the active coverage of the Kyrgyz developments on the eve of the April coup in the Russian media and the inordinate interest displayed by the Russian expert community were interpreted as a “Russian trace” in what followed.4 The situation in the “soft power” sphere will not be defused any time soon: people and structures involved in public diplomacy normally exist in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust; this is true of Russian-American relations burdened with the spy-mania of the Cold War period. In the 2000s, American “soft power” became associated with the manipulative political techniques behind the Color Revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine. In 2006, the Russian Federation put 3 M.V. Starchak, “Rossiyskoe obrazovanie na russkom iazyke kak factor vliania Rossii v Tsentral’noy Azii: chto proiskhodit i chto delat,” available at [http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/ru/analytics/article/news0003.html], 29 July, 2010. 4 See: A.E. Kramer, “Before Kyrgyz Uprising, Dose of Russian Soft Power,” The New York Times, 18 April, 2010, available at [http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/19/world/asia/19kyrgyz.html], 29 July, 2010.

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Western NGOs in fairly pinching limits. The spy scandal, which set the ball rolling, was caused by a British Council official, but the American funds and programs which financed all sorts of social and research projects (their own or those implemented by Russian NGOs) drew the fire of the Russian defense and security structures. Russia’s information onslaught, which began in the 2000s, alerted the United States. Determined to improve its international image, Russia started the Russia Today TV information channel and hired the largest consulting and PR agencies. All sorts of lobbying was not forgotten either. The U.S. Department of Justice insists that the American PR companies and media cooperating with foreign governments and companies should publish their reports. The list of Russian partners looks impressive: the RF government, Gazprom, Gazpromeksport, Tekhnosnabeksport, Oleg Deripaska, and others.5 The competition between Russia and the United States in the public diplomacy sphere in Central Asia is stiff; the outcome is unclear, which makes the process all the more interesting. America has moved into the Central Asian information and cultural expanse to fill the void left by the Soviet Union and Russia’s shrinking presence in the region. In the early and mid-1990s, the information and cultural sphere became de-Russified, which echoed in re-orientation of a large part of the local elites, the academic community and the youth to the West. For nearly twenty years, the Americans poured a lot of money into their public diplomacy programs, while Russia consistently moved away from its southern neighbors in an effort to cope with its own problems caused, among other things, by the exodus of Russian speakers from Kazakhstan and Central Asia. The political effect of the American public diplomacy programs should not be overestimated. This has been confirmed by the 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan, which caught the Americans unawares. Part of the blame is laid on those who authored the Greater Central Asia doctrine in March 2005. It suggested that the region should be divided into 7 “stans:” Kazakhstan, four Central Asian republics, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in an attempt to draw the region’s post-Soviet states out of the Eurasian political expanse traditionally dominated by China and Russia. Contrary to expectations, the project fell through: Washington failed to convince the public and the regional elites that it had come to stay and that the countries could count on consistent, rather than sporadic, support. It turned out, however, that the Central Asian Soviet successor-states were needed as a convenient approach to Afghanistan and a fuel transit zone. Washington publicly dismissed the Central Asian political regimes as dictatorial, authoritarian, and failed, which did nothing to promote mutual understanding. The obvious crisis of the United State’s Afghan strategy and the 2010 events might force the United States to revise its Central Asian policy; it might also change the public diplomacy priorities in the region and emphasize its anti-Russian component. Despite the obvious blunders, the potential of America’s “soft” power in the region has not yet revealed itself; this is a long process which might take years or even decades of relative stability and consistent attention. This means that public diplomacy, no matter how “soft” and peaceful, is being pursued amid clashes of national interests. Everything the external actors do to fortify their information and cultural and, hence, economic and political influence is interpreted as a threat; this makes public diplomacy part of the security-related sphere. 5 See: R.W. Orttung, “Russia’s Use of PR as a Foreign Policy Tool,” Russian Analytical Digest. Russian Public Relations and Soft Power, No. 81, 16 June, 2010, p. 8, available at [http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Publications/ Detail/?ots591=0c54e3b3-1e9c-be1e-2c24-a6a8c7060233&lng=en&id=117631], 30 July, 2010.

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Public Diplomacy of Russia and America in Central Asia: Resources and Efficiency In practical terms, both countries are carrying out their “soft” power policy in the form of vast information efforts, including positive interpretation of their foreign policies and, quite recently, wide use of the Internet. All the U.S. embassies and resource centers in the Central Asian countries have their pages on Facebook; they widely rely on Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, etc. to put out their information. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, an ardent supporter of “e-diplomacy,” has earned the name of “the godmother of 21st century statecraft.”6 Many in the United States frown at the “digital diplomacy” rage of the American diplomatic team. E. Morozov of Georgetown University has written: “Diplomacy is, perhaps, one element of the U.S. government that should not be subject to the demands of ‘open government’; whenever it works, it is usually because it is done behind closed doors. But this may be increasingly hard to achieve in the age of Twittering bureaucrats.”7 Washington knows about the negative sides of the Internet from its own experience: “diplomacy of the 21st century” has caused numerous leaks of classified Pentagon materials which surfaced on the Wikileaks website. During the presidential campaign of June 2009, Iran relied on social networks to promote antiWestern ideas and track down the dissidents. In China, the government has blocked access to information on the “human rights,” “Tibet,” “Uighurs,” “Falungong” etc. inquiries; in July 2009, during the riots in Xinjiang, the region was deprived of access to the Internet. Internet technologies and social networking have obviously raised public diplomacy to a new level. Johannes Bohnen and Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen of Germany have written: “This is how targeted agenda-setting will work in the future, and savvy professional political campaigns will use extensive distribution lists to harness the power of this phenomenon. Through new technologies, these politicized networks now have powerful leverage to force the policy process to do things their own way.”8 So far, Russian diplomacy has not moved as far as that in the sphere of informatics and Web2.0, even though Rossotrudnichestvo and the Russkiy Mir Fund promptly opened their own fairly informative and well-organized websites with access to the social networks.9 Social networking creates an outreach which allows public diplomacy to address target audiences; along with the Internet and the media, this can be described as a public diplomacy vehicle. Contacts in the information networks of public diplomacy are realized through structures which I call here resource centers. They are expected to gather and disseminate information flows related to the ongoing programs. 6 J. Lichtenstein, “Digital Diplomacy,” The New York Times Magazine, 12 July, 2010, available at [http://www. nytimes.com/2010/07/18/magazine/18web2-0-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2], 29 July, 2010. 7 E. Morozov, “The Digital Dictatorship,” The Wall Street Journal, 20 February, 2010, available at [http://online. wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703983004575073911147404540.html], 29 July, 2010. 8 J. Bohnen, J.-F. Kallmorgen, “How Web 2.0 is Changing Politics,” Atlantische Initiative, available at [http://www. atlantic-community.org/app/webroot/files/articlepdf/Web_2.0_Change_Politics.PDF], 30 July, 2010. 9 The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation, available at [http:/rs.gov.ru]; Russkiy Mir Fund, available at [http://www.russkiymir.ru].

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Normally, this role belongs to the corresponding departments of embassies and consulates (Public Affairs Sections at the U.S. embassies and Rossotrudnichestvo centers at the Russian embassies). Educational exchange programs are financed by the national governments, as well as NGOs: educational and cultural centers, associations of graduates of (American) exchange programs, and cultural associations of Russian compatriots. They are found in different places; the majority of them operate at embassies (consulates), universities, libraries, etc. Networking is the best organizational principle; even the smallest of resource centers can be used to disseminate information and maintain feedback with remote regions, while high-tech communication means make information exchange stable and cheap. The table below demonstrates the quantitative correlation between the resource centers of the United States and the Russian Federation borrowed from open sources (websites of Russkiy Mir, Rossotrudnichestvo, and the U.S. and RF embassies in the Central Asian countries). The broadcasting media are not counted as resource centers, however their presence should be taken into account. Table States

Resource Centers of Public Diplomacy The U.S.

Russia

Kazakhstan

22 resource centers: embassy in Astana; 11 American Corners in the largest regional centers; 5 EducationUSA centers (Aktobe, Almaty, Astana, Karaganda, and Shymkent), IREX office in Almaty; ACCELS in Astana and Almaty; the American Peace Corps; Kazakh-American University in Almaty.

36 resource centers: embassy in Astana and general consulate in Almaty, consulate in Uralsk; the Russian Center of Science and Culture; Rossotrudnichestvo office; 3 offices of the Russkiy Mir Fund (Aktobe, Astana, and Ust-Kamenogorsk); 26 non-commercial associations of compatriots; 2 higher educational establishments associated with Russian partners; 7 TV and radio companies broadcasting in Russian.

Kyrgyzstan

15 resource centers: embassy in Bishkek; 5 American Corners (Karakol, Kant, Talas, Jalal-Abad, and Batken); 4 EducationUSA centers (Bishkek, Karakol, Naryn, and Osh); offices of the American Council and IREX in Bishkek; the Peace Corps; American University of Central Asia (Bishkek) and International University of Central Asia (Tokmok).

7 resource centers: embassy in Bishkek; general consulate in Osh; office of Rossotrudnichestvo; 3 Russian Centers (Bishkek, Kant, and Osh), the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek.

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States

Resource Centers of Public Diplomacy The U.S.

Russia

Tajikistan

9 resource centers: embassy in Dushanbe; 5 American Corners (Dushanbe, Khujand, Horog, Kulob, and Kurgan-Tube); 2 EducationUSA centers (Dushanbe and Khujand), center of the American Councils and IREX in Dushanbe. Voice of America broadcasts in Farsi, a language easily understood by Tajiks.

7 resource centers: embassy in Dushanbe; general consulate in Khujand; office of Rossotrudnichestvo; 3 Russian Centers, Tajik-Russian Slavic University (all in Dushanbe).

Turkmenistan

5 resource centers: embassy and American Center in Ashghabad and 3 American Corners (Turkmenabad, Dashoguz, and Mary) which unite the resources of EducationUSA, IREX and American Councils.

3 resource centers: embassy in Ashghabad, office of Rossotrudnichestvo, a branch of the Gubkin Russia State Oil and Gas University.

Uzbekistan

1 resource center: EducationUSA center and information resource center at the U.S. embassy in Tashkent. Voice of America broadcasts in Uzbek.

2 resource centers: embassy and the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Tashkent.

The above information is far from complete; Russia’s information and cultural presence in Kazakhstan looks much more impressive than in the other republics, mainly because the Russkiy Mir Fund took the trouble to systematize information related to the associations of compatriots and the Russian cultural centers in Kazakhstan. There is no equally detailed information on the other countries, however a mere comparison of the number of resource centers provides an idea about America’s and Russia’s involvement in the region, their desire to fortify their position there, and the attitude of the local regimes to foreign public diplomacy programs. America has a fairly developed network of resource centers: the American Corners which first appeared in the 1990s in Russia as “information and educational centers;” the American Corner conception and brand appeared in 2000. In 2002, the U.S. Bureau of Public Affairs at the Department of State suggested that the American Corner network be spread to the post-Soviet republics, Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and the Near and Middle East with the prospect of spreading across the world (today 24 of over 400 American Corners10 function in Central Asia). 10 See: “American Corners in the World,” available at [http://www.americancorner.hu/htmls/american_corners_ in_the_world.html], 29 July, 2010. The list is far from complete: information related to the Central Asian countries can be found on the websites of the respective U.S. embassies.

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They were set up to promote knowledge about America’s foreign policy, lifestyle, work, and education, in short, about everything public diplomacy is concerned with. The fact that the American Corners operate under the U.S. embassies has earned them the tag “U.S. illegal consulates” from the critics of American policies; their employees are paid from the budget and are engaged in pro-American propaganda very much to the detriment of the interests of the country they are stationed in.11 This is not all: other networks of American resource centers—EducationUSA, IREX, American Councils for International Education, Fulbright Programs, etc.—have also come to the region with their programs of educational exchange grants funded by the U.S. Department of State. There are two higher educational establishments—the Kazakh-American University in Almaty and the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek—offering higher education American style. Despite the more or less equal number of resource centers, Russia’s public diplomacy potential, scope, and efficiency are far below America’s. The few employees of Rossotrudnichestvo and Russkiy Mir work mainly in the capitals, while the Americans moved from the very beginning to outlying regions and relied on the alumni of their exchange programs. Certain measures are taken to remedy the hardly acceptable situation; the Russkiy Mir Fund is registering NGOs fit to become resource centers of Russia’s public diplomacy. In February 2010, President Medvedev signed a decree On Setting up the A.M. Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Support Fund12 to finance the international activities of Russia’s NGOs. So far, however, there is no clarity about its structure and sphere of responsibility and no tangible results. The fact that interest in the Russian language and Russian education among young people in the Central Asian countries is steadily declining while English is gaining popularity can be described as highly alarming. This casts doubt on the future of Russian schools and higher educational establishments which use Russian educational curricular; this is particularly true of the Slavic universities in Bishkek and Dushanbe. In the first six months of 2010, Tajikistan passed several laws that removed the Russian language from the official sphere. In March 2010, for example, the amendments to the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on the Regulatory Legal Acts removed Russian from the document circulation sphere even though previously, in October 2009, during a personal meeting with President Medvedev, President of Tajikistan Rakhmon assured the Russian leader that the sphere in which the Russian language was used would never be contracted.13 Russian politicians should have probably paid more attention when, in 2007, the President of Tajikistan recommended getting rid of the Slavic endings of traditional Tajik (Persian) names.14 The correlation between the “soft” powers of Russia and the U.S. in the Central Asian region varies depending on the particular state they are dealing with and is determined by that state’s attitude toward them. Both Russia and the U.S. run up against similar problems, the main being the local regimes’ legitimate desire to protect their information expanse. The relative stability in Kazakhstan, its obvious orientation toward greater internationalization of its economy, and its claim to be a Eurasian bridge between the East and the West create a favorable climate for the public diplomacy networks of both countries. 11 See, for example: E. Golinger, “Conspiracy and Propaganda Centers: Illegal US Consulates in Venezuela,” YVKE Radio Mundial. Axis of Logic, Saturday, 28 March, 2009, available at [http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_ 29988.shtml], 29 July, 2010. 12 See: “Dmitry Medvedev podpisal rasporiazhenie ‘O sozdanii Fonda podderzhki publichnoy diplomatii imeni A.M. Gorchakova,” Prezident Rossii, 3 February, 2010, available at [http://www.kremlin.ru/acts/6780], 29 July, 2010. 13 See: “Emomali Rakhmon: russkiy yazyk v Tadzhikistane ne ushchemliaetsia,” Vesti.ru, 22 October, 2009, available at [http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=321960], 29 July, 2010. 14 See: M. Zygar, “Tadzhikistan reformiruiut do posledney bukvy,” Kommersant, No. 50 (3626), 28 March, 2007, available at [http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.aspx?fromsearch=73d0cd46-4a50-47e8-b734-07b4c06eb219&docsid=753739], 29 July, 2010.

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In 2006, the republic found itself in a slightly comical situation created by the American film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan; the nation was offended by the caricature of a Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiev and the country as a whole. In some countries, Russia being one of them, the film was banned or, at least, “not recommended.” President of Kazakhstan Nazarbaev meanwhile called on the film audiences to accept the film with a great deal of humor and to judge the country by its real achievements. He invited British comic Sasha Baron Cohen and others wishing to see the country with their own eyes to visit Kazakhstan. In short, the president managed to get out of this far from simple situation with flying colors. The “Come to Kazakhstan, It’s Nice!” campaign made the country highly popular in the West.15 Minister of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan E. Ertysbaev said in this connection that “the film had a positive effect on the republic’s international image even though its humor can be described as half-baked, vulgar, and even stupid;”16 in 2006-2007, foreign journalists flocked to the country to compare reality and the film. Foreign centers of public diplomacy are free to operate in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which need external assistance from any side, be it Russia or the West. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are relatively more closed than their neighbors. The former, which is gradually moving away from the most offensive manifestations of Saparmurad Niyazov’s personality cult, is slowly opening up to the world: the new leaders are resolved to improve the republic’s previously ludicrous image to attract foreign investors to its gas sector. In Uzbekistan, the American public diplomacy programs essentially stalled after the 2005 events in Andijan. There is no network of resource centers; everything done in this republic is limited to the U.S. embassy in Tashkent. Russia’s “soft” power in Uzbekistan is also limited: the Internet is practically fully controlled by the state; the republic’s defense and security structures censor the content and weed out undesirable information in English and Russian; users are deprived access to many of the news and analytical websites. The republic’s leaders are very concerned about their international image and reject criticism, however they limit their objections to information supplied by the Russian media. Criticism of a Russian newspaper or a TV program is presented as “polemics among equals, which stresses Uzbekistan’s independence, even if symbolic.”17 This is the echo of the last 20 years spent building a national political and ideological system pinned on the concept of independence; it rejected the past, when Uzbekistan was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, as colonial. E. Abdullaev has the following to say on this score: “This was typical of the political elites of the newly independent countries: in their discourse on nationbuilding they interpreted the past in the terms of suffering, trauma, and resistance.”18

“The Battle for Minds and Hearts:” Defying Challenges The academic community, very aware of the need to offer much stiffer rivalry to America’s “soft” power, is actively discussing adequate ways and means. So far, great hopes are being pinned on wider 15 See: “Nazarbaev zakhotel uvidet Borata i priglasil britantsev v Kazakhstan,” News.ru, 22 November, 2006, available at [http://www.newsru.org/world/22nov2006/borrat.html], 29 July, 2010. 16 “Minkult Kazakhstana: positivny “Borat” vyzval takuiu zhe reaktsiu, kak kogda-to ‘Revizor’ Gogolia,” News.ru, 21 November, 2006, available at [http://www.newsru.org/cinema/21nov2006/borat_and_kazaxi.html], 29 July, 2010. 17 E. Abdullaev, “‘Obraz Rossii’ v sovremennom Uzbekistane: pamiat, vytesnenie, transformatsia,” in: Rossia i ES v Tsentral’noy Azii. Doklady Instituta Evropy RAN, No. 222, ed. by M. Nosov, IE RAS, Moscow, 2008, pp. 66-90. 18 E. Abdullaev, op. cit.

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educational and humanitarian cooperation at the bilateral and regional levels (within EurAsEC and SCO), as well as on more active support of Russian-language courses at schools and universities. It is suggested that the Russian schools in the Central Asian countries should become part of the Russian educational system, while Russia and the local countries should be more actively involved in academic exchange; the number of funds and programs designed to promote Russia’s interests in the region should be increased.19 Russian analysts never tire of pointing out that Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russkiy Mir Fund, and the Russia Today TV Channel, as well as the Western PR companies working on Russian contract, address a fairly limited range of tasks, which explains the vague and far from structuralized forms of their activity. A. Dolinskiy of the Russkiy Mir Fund has pointed out: “Today, Russian public diplomacy is geared toward tactical tasks; at the present level of conceptualization of goals and institutional development, it is unable to deal with strategic aims. To succeed, this segment of state policy should be systematized and institutionalized.”20 Russia needs a single center of public diplomacy or a state agency similar to the American USIA liquidated in 1999 (which is still believed to be Bill Clinton’s mistake). “Conceptualization of goals” is another matter. The task is not an easy one, probably because in Russia there is no agreement about the “image of the country” to be projected abroad. “The country’s image” is a synthetic concept made up of intertwined associations tested inside and outside the country. The associations bear emotional and axiological meanings and are based on all sorts of past events, ethnic and cultural specifics, art, traditions, the economy, social and political reality, as well as geography, climate, landscapes, etc.21 In the post-Soviet expanse, Russia is consistently associated with a number of positive stereotypes: it is the world’s largest country with vast natural riches; it can affect what is going on in the world and stand opposed to the West; it is a natural integration center of the post-Soviet economies and an heir to high culture, science, and art. Much of this, with the exception of the natural and geographic factors, can be doubted or even disproved.22 Soviet public diplomacy (the term, however, was not used in Soviet times) worked toward the image of a great socialist power, a paragon of internationalism, and a successful opponent of the capitalist West. The Russian language, culture, and higher education were elements of this “set of attractions.” China picked up the fallen banner of the “Big Brother” of the developing countries abandoned after the Soviet Union’s disintegration and not needed by the new Russian elites. Communist China built its “soft power” on an incredible synthesis of leftist ideology, global economic expansion, and ancient culture. Russkiy Mir and Rossotrudnichestvo are creating a positive image of Russia on a cultural and linguistic foundation; they are following in the footsteps of the leaders of the Western world (France, the U.K., Germany, and Japan) who are concentrating their efforts on their languages and culture and know how to ignite interest abroad. In any rivalry with the United States (if Russia intends to compete with America), the Russian Federation should move toward categories of a higher order—universal ideas and values—and make them attractive to wide foreign audiences. 19

See: M.V. Starchak, op. cit. A.V. Dolinskiy, “Prakticheskie voprosy optimizatsii rossiiskoy publichnoy diplomatii,” Vserossiyskiy konkurs intellectualnykh proektov ‘Derzhava.’ Nominatsia ‘Russkiy mir’, available at [www.fondedin.ru/dok/dolinskiy.pdf], 29 July, 2010, p. 12. 21 See: E. Abdullaev, op. cit., p. 66. 22 S.V. Bespalov, A.V. Vlasov, P.V. Golubtsov, A.A. Kazantsev, A.V. Karavaev, V.N. Merkushev, “Pozitivnye stereotipy obraza Rossii v postsovetskoy Evrazii,” Informatzionno-analiticheskiy Tsentr izuchenia obshchestvenno-politicheskikh protsessov na postsovetskom prostranstve, 11 January, 2008, available at [http://www.ia-centr.ru/expert/206/], 29 July, 2010. 20

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So far, the axiological and ideological components of Russia’s public diplomacy are fairly vague. Dmitry Trenin minced no words when writing about the Kremlin’s foreign policy maxims: “The cause of Russia is Russia as it is (rather than an archaic empire or abstract general human interests); the cause of Russia is business (what is good for Gazprom is good for the country); Russia will never permit interference into its internal affairs (‘sovereign democracy’).”23 “Sovereign democracy” can be accepted or even developed by the Central Asian elites in their interests, but it will have to compete with the much better known ideas of liberal democracy, the core of the Western public diplomacy programs. The Eurasian theme, as one of the possible elements of Russia’s public diplomacy concepts, has been “usurped” by Kazakhstan.24 Russia’s positive image in Central Asia dates back to the Soviet period: “The idea of Russia (Moscow) as an efficient center of power and justice is reproduced in the mass consciousness and passed on through family and other social informal channels (family histories, photographs, etc.) from the older to the younger generations,” writes E. Abdullaev. Contemporary Russia is a symbolic substitute of the Soviet Union, a strong and rich power always ready to help.25 This was behind the relative success of the Russian information and political actions timed to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the Soviet Victory in the Great Patriotic War.26 Russian diplomacy in Central Asia can still rely on the so far fairly wide knowledge of Russian. This is, however, a trace of the “gradually waning glory:” today young people either do not know Russian at all or speak basic Russian. In Russia itself little is being done to educate specialists in the Central Asian countries and languages. The United States, very concerned about its worsening image and the rising anti-American sentiments across the world after 9/11, launched educational programs under President George W. Bush to train experts on “problem” regions funded from the state budget. Americans studying under the National Security Education Program (NSEP) are taught “critically important” languages (the list of over 70 languages includes the Central Asian languages and Russian); they are obliged to spend several years in the civil service. In 2010, 264 of the 1,006 NSEP graduates were employed by the U.S. Defense Department and 244 by the U.S. Department of State.27 The American public diplomacy programs can rely on their vast experience in Afghanistan (which shares many factors with Central Asia) to enrich U.S. public diplomacy in the Central Asian Soviet successor-states: the Americans can appeal to the authority of elders and religious leaders and invite linguists and experts on religion, psychology, and social anthropology to cooperate with career diplomats. The Pentagon has already tested this within the Human Terrain System and Minerva Initiative.28 Russian diplomacy in Central Asia has its own human reserve. A. Volos, a Russian writer born in Dushanbe, writes: “Russians who left Central Asia might have become Russia’s gold reserves. Anyone born in Central Asia differs from the average man born on the Russian plains by undetectable psychological traits created by education and growing up in the region, habits, and ways of 23 D. Trenin, “Vneshniaia politika Rossii: samoutverzhdenie ili mobilizatsionny resurs?” Polit.ru, 13 May, 2008, available at [http://www.polit.ru/institutes/2008/05/13/vneshpol.html], 29 July, 2010. 24 This is amply confirmed by the republic’s branding “Astana—the Hearth of Eurasia” at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai (see: “EXPO 2010 Shanghai China,” available at [http://en.expo2010.cn/c/en_gj_tpl_82.htm], 29 July, 2010). 25 See: E. Abdullaev, op. cit., p. 67. 26 President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov was absent from the Victory Parade in Moscow on 9 May, 2010; a very significant fact. 27 See: “National Security Education Program,” available at [http://www.nsep.gov]. 28 See: Shah Mahmud, “Potentsial ‘narodnoy diplomatii’ i znachenie ee primenenia v Afganistane,” Afghanistan.Ru, 3 May, 2009, available at [http://www.afghanistan.ru/doc/14632.html], 29 July, 2010.

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communication. Today, however, Russia has neither the strength nor inner urge to look after its gold reserves.”29 The writer is referring to ethnic Russians; there are also thousands of Tajik intellectuals who found refuge in Russia after the civil war; there are millions of labor migrants who taken together can be described as a vast potential resource of influence. So far, Russia has been neglecting them. In fact, the government and the media describe the huge numbers of seasonal workers from Central Asia as a threat to security; the population associates them with rising crime, drug trafficking, epidemics, etc. Xenophobia and the negative attitude toward people from Central Asian is a grave problem; racial and religious tolerance of Russians has become a myth. There is the widespread conviction that the Central Asian countries are doomed to political and economic dependence on Russia. Remittances from Russia constitute the bulk of the national incomes in Central Asia, which means that violence in the streets and racism will hardly scare the guest workers away. Russia is not very bothered about its image among them; Russian society hardly noticed the scandal caused by the comedy Nasha Russia: Yaytsa sudby with “Tajik” construction workers Rovshan and Jumshut as the main characters. The film was banned in Tajikistan: the country’s leaders thought it insulted Tajik labor migrants,30 while the Tajik Labor Migrants movement described it as “moral genocide of the Tajik nation.”31 The stir aroused by this “hack job” probably increased its ratings but did nothing for Russia’s relations with Tajikistan. Many diplomats of the old school are very aware that genuine rather than declared tolerance and openness of Russian society could become an enormous advantage of Russia’s public diplomacy. In one of his interviews, Evgeni Primakov pointed out: “We badly need internationalism as an idea. There was anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union at the everyday and, most important, state level, even though this was never openly recognized. At the same time, no one dared use the term ‘nigger’ or beat up people of different nationalities. This was impossible, and not only because people feared arrest. It was impossible at the mental level because society would have condemned this. This is what we lack today.”32 If Russian public diplomacy is determined to represent the interests of a great power in earnest, it should arm itself with the above.

Conclusion The United States and the Russian Federation have come to stay in the informational and cultural expanse of the Central Asian Soviet successor-states, however their “soft” impact varies from country to country. The political and legal milieu in which their resource centers are operating is highly unstable. In the wake of the 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan, America and Russia have to reassess their information priorities: the old assessments of their potential proved wrong, while much of what was done to reach the target audiences was ineffective. This means that information rivalry between the two states is one of the priorities. Carried away by the struggle over human resources (the youth and the elites) and mutual discrediting, America and Russia alike sometimes neglect the strategic soft power component, viz. the need to create their positive and attractive images. 29 A. Volos, “Dushanbintsy vsekh stran, ob’ediniaytes!,” available at [http://dushanbe1.narod.ru/_chronicle/ volos.html], 29 July, 2010. 30 See: V Tadzhikistane zapretili prodazhu filma Nasha Russia: Yaytsa sudby,” Ferghana.Ru, 6 April, 2010, available at [http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=14361&mode=snews], 29 July, 2010. 31 “Rossia: Dvizhenie ‘Tadzhikskie trudovye migranty’ potrebovalo zapretit film Yaytsa sudby i komediynoe show ‘Nasha Russia’,” Ferghana.Ru, 22 March, 2010, available at [http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=14275&mode=snews], 29 July, 2010. 32 “Prosveshchennaia elita: interview E.M. Primakova,” Rossiiskaia gazeta (Nedelia), No. 5129, 1 March, 2010, available at [http://www.rg.ru/2010/03/11/primakov.html], 29 July, 2010.

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Russia, the soft power of which survives on Soviet momentum which is slowly dying out, should work hard to create a positive image of its own. This aim will remain unattainable as long as the Russian political elites and the media describe Central Asia as a backyard of sorts and a source of threat and instability. The present conception of Russia’s public diplomacy rarely complements and often contradicts the Kremlin’s Realpolitik in the region. It seems that the current image of Russia should likewise be corrected: an open, multinational, and multi-confessional country stands a much better chance in its competition with the American “melting pot” and with united Europe, which has hoisted the “Unity in Diversity” banner. This calls for a U-turn: Russian society should become mature enough to abandon the vulgar pragmatism of “pipeline diplomacy” in favor of a more flexible and softer foreign policy. This, however, is related to Russia’s domestic policy, which is beyond the scope of the present article.

CENTRAL EURASIA THROUGH THE PRISM OF TURKEY’S SECURITY INTERESTS 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

A

fter the Cold War, with the Soviet Union out of the way, Turkey found itself in a new security context. The U.S.S.R. as the main source of threat to Turkey vanished. But political processes in the post-Soviet space—armed conflicts, attempts of the former metropolitan state to keep the region in its orbit, and of the other actors to fill the resultant vacuum of power— created a fairly unstable geopolitical situation around Turkey. Moreover, in the absence of the Soviet threat, the West became noticeably less concerned with Turkey’s security. In this situation, Ankara had to rethink the importance of the post-Soviet space for its national security.

This article is an attempt to clarify the nature of Turkey’s security interests and the way they are related to Central Eurasia,1 Turkey’s key security interests in the region, and the specifics of its security policy. 1 Here I refer to the conception of Central Eurasia and Central Europe suggested by Eldar Ismailov, who counted three post-Soviet regions as part of Central Eurasia: Central Europe—Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine; the Central Caucasus—Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia; Central Asia—Kazakhstan, 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).

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Geographical Links and Their Specifics Turkey’s immediate land contacts with Central Eurasia are limited to the Central Caucasus: it borders on the three Central Caucasian states. Its land border in the region is about 535 km long, 20 percent of the total length of its land borders. The Black Sea separates Turkey from Central Europe. The very different nature of Turkey’s borders with the Central Caucasus and Central Europe makes it hard to identify their comparative importance for Ankara’s security interests. Geography points to the former as a more important neighbor: first, land borders promote ethnic and confessional interaction between those living on both sides of the border and the adjacent areas, which makes security a common cause. Second, Turkey borders on the three Central Caucasian states, while its nearest Central European neighbor (Ukraine) is found across the sea. This means that the social components of the shared security interests play an important role in Turkey’s relations with the Central Caucasian states and are absent in its relations with Central Europe. On the other hand, in the Black Sea Turkey comes into a direct contact with Russia’s Navy (the main base of which is found in Ukrainian territory), a military mechanism powerful enough to threaten Turkey’s Black Sea coast.

The Black Sea Space The Black Sea can be described as the main space which not merely offers geographic contacts, but also connects Turkish and Central European security interests. The Turkish Black Sea coast (which goes along the northern part of the country and stretches about 1,600 km) is obviously longer than Turkey’s land border with the three Central Caucasian states, Iran, Greece, and Bulgaria. The sea’s relatively small area (about 580 km at the widest spot) makes the threat of aggression rather high. Therefore, Turkey has to keep considerable naval forces in the Black Sea. With the Soviet Union out of the game, Turkey found itself in a more favorable situation from the military point of view, yet it faces three new rivals—the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Georgia. This did nothing for its vulnerable northern part. In mid-1994, Head of the Turkish General Staff Doðan Güreº came forward with the following: “Russia, because of its policies in the Caucasus and Crimea, posed a greater threat to Turkey than at any time in the Cold War.”2 In the 2000s, Turkey’s economic cooperation with Russia, their more or less similar position on the Middle East, as well as shared criticism of Western policy in the region somewhat defused the tension created by their military-political rivanry in the Black Sea. The two countries’ domestic policy, however, can be described as conducive to much fiercer rivalry. Russia has already embarked on the road toward restoring its Great Power status; this is amply confirmed by its rigidly centralized power, anti-Western rhetoric, building up the army and demonstration of its potential (the 2008 August war with Georgia), and reliance on economic and energy instruments to promote its geopolitical goals. The nature of Russia’s advance along the chosen road will determine the nature of its relations wivh other powers, including Turkey (rivalry with which goes back into history).3 Turkey, on the other hand, is undecided about its future: it has to choose between 2 Quoted from: G. Winrow, Turkey and the Caucasus: Domestic Interests and Security Concerns, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 2000, p. 23. 3 Very much like the RF, Turkey has a rich Great Power past and traditions that still survive in particular from its domination in the Black Sea, which it strove to make an “inner sea.” The 500 year-long history of their relations is dotted with wars, many of them waged in the Black Sea. This has inevitably created fairly stable ideas about each other which can be described as hostile and competitive rather than friendly and cooperating.

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the Kemalist course (as part of the West) and its own past as an independent power with special interests in the Islamic and Turkic world. This means that the future of the currently warm relations between the two countries is fairly vague.

The Caucasus and the Caspian At all times, the Caucasus was and remains an important element of Turkey’s national security; the role of the Central Caucasian states in this respect is even greater than that of Central Europe for the following reasons: n

first, Armenia’s potential territorial claims4;

n

second, the Kurdish question and Kurdish separatism encouraged by third countries in Turkish territory; and

n

third, the social, axiological, and economic aspects of Turkey’s relations with the Turkic peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia: Ankara needs unhampered access to the Turkic world, which should be kept out of other powers’ control. Today, independent Azerbaijan, strengthened by its cooperation with Georgia, plays this role.5

Relations with Armenia Early in the 1990s, Turkey was one of the first to recognize Armenia’s independence; today, however, the two countries have no diplomatic relations, while their common border remains closed. Their old problems were revived when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalated and Armenia occupied part of the territory of Azerbaijan. Ankara insists that Armenia should meet certain conditions (drop its demand that Turkey should recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, back off from its territorial claims with respect to Turkey, and retreat from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan) before the two countries establish official relations. Admission of the Armenian genocide (on which the large Armenian diaspora has been insisting for a long time now) cannot directly affect Turkey’s central security interests; however the history of relations between the two countries confirms that the problem is connected with more important political, financial, and territorial issues. Ankara is very concerned about the possible territorial claims of so-called Western Armenia,6 which is situated in the eastern, Caucasian, part of present-day Turkey. Turkey’s apprehensions are fed by the Declaration of Independence of Armenia adopted by its Supreme Soviet on 23 August, 1990, Point 11 of which says: “The Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia.”7 Moreover, the Preamble to the 1995 Constitution of Armenia confirms that 4 See: S.E. Cornell, Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, Curzon Press, 2001, p. 392. 5 Ibidem. 6 The territory of the Ottoman Empire populated by Armenians covers the contemporary vilayets of Erzurum, Van, Aðri, Hakkâri, Mush, Bitlis, Siirt, Diyarbakir, Erzincan, Bingöl, Malatya, Sivas, Amasya, Tokat and partly Giresun (see: Istoria Osmanskogo gosudarstva, obshchestva i tsivilizatsii, Vol. 1, ed. by E. Ihsanoglu, Transl. from the Turkish, Vostochnaia literatura Publishers, Moscow, 2006, p. 87). 7 [http://www.armeniaforeignministry.com/htms/doi.html].

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the Constitution is based on “the fundamental principles of Armenian statehood and the national aspirations engraved in the Declaration of Independence of Armenia.”8 The territorial claims looked possible rather than probable because post-Soviet Armenia never stopped discussing them. “Back in the early 1990s, when global geopolitical changes were still barely visible, the Armenian public became concerned once more with the Moscow Treaty and demanded its revision… In 1953, Moscow prohibited Armenia, not for the first time, from making territorial claims (with respect to Turkey.—J.E.). As the ideological stereotypes of the Soviet period waned, the Armenian press started running more or less regular publications which described the 1921 Moscow Treaty as an act of Bolshevik perfidy which deprived Armenia of a large chunk of its territory.”9 The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh initiated by Erevan, which resorted to all possible means and methods (including a military-political alliance with the Russian Federation and tapping the potential of the Armenian diaspora in the West), was practical confirmation of the fact that the territorial issues remain as urgent as ever and that corresponding political moves cannot be excluded. The Russian-Georgian war of 2008 was responsible for certain positive shifts in the relations between Turkey and Armenia, but complete normalization has not yet been achieved. The process launched by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsian, who invited President of Turkey Abdullah Gül to attend a football match between the two countries’ national teams in September 2008, and the protocols which envisaged restoring diplomatic relations and opening the border signed in October 2009 in Zurich by the foreign ministers of both countries were nothing more than a geopolitical game Russia, Turkey, and the West were waging in Central Eurasia in the wake of the August 2008 war. This explains the stagnation (to put it mildly) in Armenian-Turkish relations which coincided with the end of the international storm raised by the Caucasian war and relative stabilization of the regional balance of power. The Zurich protocols remained on paper.

The Kurdish Question Kurdish separatists, who are fighting for an independent Kurdish state in the historical homeland of the Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, can be described as another threat to Turkey’s security. Most ethnic Kurds live in eastern Turkey, which borders on the Central Caucasus; this is the main territory of historical Kurdistan. From time to time, the Turkish authorities had to use military force to quench the Kurds’ terrorist ardor; late in the 1970s, the scattered separatist groups joined forces in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) responsible for over 30 thousand deaths.10 The Kurdish question is no less important for Turkey’s security than the Armenian: the related external and internal actors threaten Turkey’s continued existence. As far as the internal threat is concerned in the Kurdish case, the external influence is no less obvious here, and, moreover, the fairly rich history of conflict relations between the ethnic Kurds and the Turks11 and the external support of Kurdish separatists are also evident. The history of wars between the Russian and Ottoman empires abounds in cases where Russia exploited the separatist sentiments among the Kurds to undermine its opponent; the attempts were 8

[http://www.armeniaforeignministry.com/htms/conttitution.html]. Turtsia mezhdu Evropoi i Aziey. Itogi evropeizatsii na iskhode XX veka, ed. by N.G. Kireev, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS-Kraft+, Moscow, 2001, p. 365. 10 See: A. Cohen, C. Irwin, “U.S. Strategy in the Black Sea Region,” Heritage Foundation, Backgrounder, No. 1990, 13 December, 2006, p. 4, available at [http://www.heritage.org/research/russiaandeurasia/upload/bg_1990.pdf]. 11 The first attempts to set up a Kurdish independent state date back to the 19th century; it was in the Ottoman Empire that the armed clashes produced numerous casualties (the riots in 1842-1847; 1854-1855; 1880; 1909-1914; 1919, etc.). 9

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especially obvious in the 19th century when the Ottoman Empire weakened.12 The situation changed but little when the Republic of Turkey and the Soviet Union replaced the empires. Guided by the Cold War logic, the Kremlin relied on Kurdish separatism, among other things, to undermine the “southern flank” of NATO, of which Turkey was a member. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union began using the Kurdish card even more actively. The end of the Cold War did little to defuse external tension; the Kurdish factor was still as widely used as ever. The Russian Federation13 was not alone; Syria was not alien to exploiting it in its regional policy; and Iran used it in the context of geopolitical rivalry in the Caucasus.14 In 1999, when the Turkish special services had arrested and isolated PKK leader Öcalan, the wave of separatism subsided somewhat to rise again when the United States and its allies invaded Iraq. The Hussein regime, which kept the lid on Kurdish separatism in Iraq, was a de facto ally of Ankara.15 With Hussein out of the way, the Kurds spread their control across the country’s northern part to create an “Iraqi foothold” to threaten Turkey. “The establishment of a de facto Kurdish state in northern Iraq under Western protection gave new impetus to Kurdish nationalism and provided a logistical base for attacks on Turkish territory by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party…”16 There is another link between Turkey’s security and the Central Caucasus, viz. the “Kurdish factor” of Armenia. The far from simple relations between the two states suggest that Erevan could have pooled forces with Kurdish separatists and could have relied on the Kurdish issue to settle scores with Ankara. History and geography, however, do not permit this: throughout its post-Soviet history, Armenia has been demonstrating a lot of caution in dealing with the Kurdish question for geographical and historical reasons. n

First, the territory which Armenians call Western Armenia is claimed by the Kurdish separatists as Turkish Kurdistan, which means that both nations regard the same patch of the Turkish territory as their historical homeland. The Kurds, who comprise about 1.3 percent of Armenia’s population, are the republic’s second largest ethnic group.17 Almost the only difference between the Turkish and Armenian Kurds is in religion: the former are Muslim Sunnis, while the latter are Yezidi. In other words, the territory which ethnic Kurds claim as Kurdistan is not limited to the four Middle Eastern states mentioned above: it can be stretched to Armenia. This means that Erevan will hardly hail the idea of a single Kurdish state.

n

Second, the past was far from peaceful because both nations claimed the same part of Ottoman territory as their homeland. Pogroms and bloodshed were common enough, their frequency

12 This was done, in particular, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 (see: J.F. Baddeley, The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus, Longmans, Green and Co., 1908, pp. 200-201). 13 Post-Soviet Russia explained its support of Kurdish separatists by Turkey’s policy in the Northern Caucasus and, in particular, its support of the Chechen separatists (see N. Uslu, “The Russian, Caucasian and Central Asian Aspects of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Post Cold War Period,” Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 2, No. 3&4, Fall&Winter 2003, p. 166). 14 Ankara regarded unofficial Syrian and Iranian support of Kurdish separatism in Turkey as a threat to its security. Turkey’s response was harsh. In October 1998, Turkey threatened Syria with invasion if it refused to deport PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan (he and several thousand fighters of the Movement had found shelter in this country in 1979). In July 1999, Turkey did not hesitate to bomb the areas bordering on Iran and Iraq studded with PKK fighters’ camps (see, for example: R. Olson, “Turkey-Iran Relations, 1997 to 2000: The Kurdish and Islamist Questions,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 5, 2000, pp. 878-879; I.O. Lesser, “Turkey in a Changing Security Environment,” Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 54, No. 1, Fall 2000, p. 185; G. Winrow, op. cit., p. 23; L. Martin, “Turkey’s National Security in the Middle East,” Turkish Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2000, pp. 84-85). 15 See, for example: Î. Zhigalina, “The Kurds of Western Asia: Geopolitics Today,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 1 (19), 2003, p. 19. 16 S.F. Larrabee, “Turkey Rediscovers the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2007, available at [http:// www.foreignaffairs.org/20070701faessay86408-p10/f-stephen-larrabee/turkey-rediscovers-the-middle-east.html]. 17 See: CIA World Factbook 2010. Armenia, available at [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ geos/am.html].

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and ferocity reaching their peak when central power loosened its grip on both nations. This was especially obvious during the Russo-Turkish wars of the latter half of the 19th century18 and until 1915 when what Armenians prefer to describe as genocide took place. A Kurdish state will not merely deprive the Armenians of a chance to expand its territory at Turkey’s expense; it will probably claim part of Armenian territory, a hardly welcome prospect. This means that if aggravated, the Kurdish factor will become one of the few issues around which Ankara and Erevan can close ranks to protect their security.

Access to the Turkic World: Ideological and Energy Issues There is another aspect of the security concerns Turkey shares with the Central Caucasus: the social, axiological, and economic dimensions of stable relations with the post-Soviet Turkic states that should be kept out of third countries’ control. The idea of Turkish leadership in the Turkic world goes back into the past; the end of the Cold War revived it as an element of public sentiments19 and an important part of Turkey’s security, which depends, among other things, on its relations with the Central Caucasus and Central Asia. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw many changes in Turkey’s foreign policy context and the situation at home: the relations between the West and the Soviet Union were less strained than before. As soon as the U.S.S.R. exited the stage, the West lost much of its geopolitical interest in Turkey. With the NATO southern flank more or less secure, there was no need to incorporate Turkey into the political system of the European democracies: “Suddenly, the Soviet threat had receded, and the future of the NATO alliance and Turkey’s role within it became uncertain. This sense of insecurity (in Turkey.—J.E.) was compounded by the decision of the European Community to reject flatly Turkey’s application for membership in 1989.”20 Ankara had to adjust its strategy in all spheres (security being one of them) to the new reality—the process is still going on. The post-Cold War reality cast doubt, for the first time in the country’s modern history, on its Kemalist choice. Kemal Atatürk wanted to see Turkey a European country that embraced Western values and was part of the West, rather than the leader of the Turkic and Islamic world living on the Great Power ideas of the Ottoman Empire. The European community, which in 1989 rejected Turkey’s membership, delivered a painful blow to the Kemalist ideas and strengthened the position of those who favored the Great Power course and leadership in the Turkic and Islamic world. At that time, the Turkish political elite and President Özal seemed determined to revise the Kemalist approaches to the country’s Eurasian status. The new trends particularly affected Turkey’s relations with the newly independent Turkic states and the Russian Federation. Mustafa Kemal, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, wanted much more ramified and closer relations with the West and the republic’s political, economic, cultural, and axiological integration into Europe. He played down the country’s special role in the history of Eurasia, shunned the previously popular pan-Turkic designs in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and attached special importance to normal relations with the Soviet Union.21 President Turgut Özal never publicly doubted 18

See: Istoria Osmanskogo gosudarstva, obshchestva i tsivilizatsii, p. 88. See: R. Burnashev, “Regional Security in Central Asia: Military Aspects,” in: Central Asia. A Gathering Storm? Ed. by B. Rumer, M.E. Sharpe, New York, 2002, p. 132. 20 L. Ruseckas, “Turkey and Eurasia: Opportunities and Risks in the Caspian Pipeline Derby,” Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 54, No. 1, Fall 2000, p. 219. 21 See: Ibid., p. 220. 19

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Turkey’s European vector, but he obviously tried to revise the ideas about the post-Soviet space: “Following the Soviet Union’s collapse, the Caucasus and Central Asia became the focal point of Turkey’s diplomatic efforts, peaking in the early 1990s. Turkey tried to capitalize on the strong cultural and linguistic bonds with the new republics. The increasing interest of the Turkish state in the region was symbolized by the formation of the ‘Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency’ (TIKA) and the organization of annual summits involving the presidents of Turkey and the Turkic Republics, the very first of which was held in Ankara in October 1992.”22 The Turkish political elite even started talking about the Turkic Soviet successor-states as the Turkey’s Near Abroad.23 In the post-Özal period, Turkey somewhat reduced its activities in the south of the post-Soviet space; later the Turkish leaders made it a point to tread cautiously with an eye on Russia’s interests and traditional regional role. Geographical location and the economy can be described as two equally important factors: in the absence of a land border with Central Asia, Turkey could hardly effectively promote its influence in the region.24 Impressive under Özal, in the post-Özal period Turkey’s economic growth was dampened by a series of economic crises. Because of its security interests Turkey remains as interested as ever in the Central Caucasus, which gives Ankara access to Central Asia, another focal point of its interests. There is any number of reasons to believe that in the future Turkey’s security interests in Central Asia and the related need to maintain the Caucasian “geopolitical bridge” will become even more important. This all depends on Turkey’s EU membership, the prospect of which is barely looming on the horizon. The growing conviction that Turkey will be left out of the European Union will invigorate the Turkic-Islamic social and axiological ideas and the related Great Power traditions and geopolitical principles. Back in the 1990s, Zbigniew Brzezinski quite rightly wrote with a great deal of perspicacity: “If Turkey feels like a European outcast, it will become more Islamic and less likely to cooperate with the West in integrating Central Asia into the world community.”25 The political processes very much evident in Turkey since the mid-1990s make this prospect possible: witness the much greater role of Islam in the country’s politics. In 1996, the coalition government was headed by Nijmeddin Erbakan, leader of the pro-Islamic Turkish Prosperity Party, who had to leave the post under strong pressure from the military. In 2002-2003, Abdullah Gül of the proIslamic Justice and Development Party was elected prime minister. The 2007 parliamentary elections brought its leader Tayyip Rejep Erdoðan the post of prime minister, while later that year Abdullah Gül won the presidential election. In other words, today the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party, represented at the top by two of its members, rules the country. The drift toward Islam is confirmed by the changes in Turkey’s policy. Put in a nutshell, this can be described as leaving the geopolitical orbit of the West for the sake of an independent geopolitical strategy amply confirmed by Ankara’s active position during and after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008: it limited access of American warships to the Black Sea,26 formulated the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform,27 and raised the degree of its criticism of Israel’s policy in Palestine.28 22 Z. Onis, “Turkey and Post-Soviet States: Potential and Limits of Regional Power Influence,” Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 2001, p. 67. 23 See: L. Ruseckas, op. cit. 24 See: N. Uslu, op. cit., p. 182; R. Sokolsky, T. Charlick-Paley, NATO and Caspian Security. A Mission Too Far? Rand Corporation, Washington, 1999, p. 42. 25 Z. Brzezinski, “A Geostrategy for Eurasia,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 5, September/October 1997, p. 57. 26 Turkey relied on the Montreux Convention of 1936 to limit the access of U.S. warships, meant to put pressure on the Kremlin during the 2008 war, to the Black Sea. 27 The pivotal point is that the regional problems should be addressed by the region’s states—Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey. 28 The tension between Israel and Turkey increased in June 2010 when Israeli warships arrested six ships of the socalled Flotilla of Freedom determined to break the blockade of Gaza; there were Turkish citizens among the 20 casualties. Ankara accused Tel-Aviv of interfering with the Middle East settlement; it recalled its ambassador, initiated discussion in the U.N. SC, and called off joint military exercises.

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There is another, no less important, aspect of the security interests Turkey shares with the Central Caucasus and Central Asia: it depends on imported oil and gas for the simple reason that its own energy potential is too small to feed the rapidly growing economy. In search of energy security, Turkey is seeking more active involvement in these two former Soviet regions: late in 1990s and early 2000s, Turkey was involved in the oil- and gas pipeline projects which crossed Azerbaijan and Georgia to bring Caspian oil from Baku to Ceyhan via Tbilisi and Caspian gas from Baku to Erzurum also via the Georgian capital. Turkey’s interests in the post-Soviet Caucasus were not limited to access to Azerbaijan’s oil and gas. According to B. Aras, Ankara wants guaranteed access to vitally important energy resources, transit revenues, and new markets for Turkish goods, especially in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan.29 Stronger Great Power sentiments inside the country make a Caucasian-Caspian energy bridge outside the spheres of influence of all other Eurasian centers of power critically important. We all know that any power depends on long-term economic self-sufficiency (particularly in the energy sphere) for its geopolitical independence and ability to protect its interests beyond its borders: there is no other road to geopolitical autonomy. So far, Turkey cannot be described as self-sufficient in the energy sphere. What is more, Russia and Iran, its closest geopolitical rivals, have much larger amounts of energy resources30; this makes them economically more independent of other states/powers, their oil and gas serving as the basis of their economic growth and independent geopolitical activity. Turkey, on the other hand, cannot compete with them in this respect; its economy depends, to a certain extent, on their hydrocarbon reserves,31 which makes it relatively vulnerable and limits its geopolitical competitiveness. This means that Turkey should look for alternative (outside Russian and Iranian control) energy resources. The Caspian is one of the answers. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to a certain extent can remedy the situation with the help of the Georgia-Azerbaijan “trans-regional bridge.” This also means that Turkey’s interest presupposes if not a common then at least a closely interrelated understanding of the Central Caucasus and Central Asia: the transit advantages of the former are indispensable for Turkey, which needs the latter’s energy resources. With the still smoldering conflict in Armenia where the Kremlin’s influence is relatively strong, Turkey should rely on an alliance with Georgia and Azerbaijan to realize the idea of a Caucasian-Caspian bridge to Central Asia.

The Caucasian Diaspora Certain ethnic groups (the Circassian, Abkhazian, Chechen, Georgian, etc. diasporas in Turkey) may stimulate securitization of the Caucasian issues in Turkey. These nationalities have preserved contacts with their historical homelands and know why their ancestors, at one time, had to emigrate, which means that their activities and impact on Ankara should not be treated lightly. George Hewitt has written in this respect: “The presence, predominantly in Turkey of a huge N(W) Caucasian diaspora is an impor29 See: B. Aras, “Turkey’s Policy in the Former Soviet South: Assets and Options,” Turkish Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring 2000, p. 39. 30 Russia possesses 5.6% of the world’s oil reserves, while Iran has 10.3%; Russia has 23.7% of the world’s reserves of natural gas, while Iran has 15.8% (see: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2010, pp. 6, 22, 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]). 31 Turkey imports about 60% of the gas it needs from Russia (see: A. Murinson, “Russia’s Use of the Montreux Convention as a Factor in its New Policy toward Turkey,” Azerbaijan in the World, ADA Biweekly Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 18, 15 October, 2008, p. 8, available at [http://www.ada.edu.az/files/beweekly/26/ADA%20Biweekly_Vol.%201_No.%2018.pdf]).

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tant but largely neglected factor in the appreciation of regional affairs.”32 The 2008 August RussianGeorgian crisis, which changed the geopolitical context, and Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence, added weight to this factor of Turkey’s Caucasian policy. It was the Russian Empire’s Caucasian wars of the 19th century that caused the active outflow of the North Caucasian peoples accompanied by vigorous resettlement policy: Muslims were replaced by Christians (Armenians and Cossacks). The Soviet Union followed suit. The most glaring example of this is the deportation in 1943-1944 of the Chechens, Ingushes, Karachais, Balkars, and Meskhetian Turks to Kazakhstan and Siberia. “The official reason given for the deportation was ‘collaboration with the Nazis’.”33 In the post-Cold War period, the Turkish citizens of North Caucasian origin (there are about 7 million of them34 ) can see that violence in their historical land has not subsided. Armed conflicts in the post-Soviet Caucasus created new waves of migrants, some of them reaching Turkey. Here I have in mind the two Russian-Chechen wars which created the worst humanitarian catastrophe of the postSoviet period in the Northern Caucasus. This post-Soviet experience cannot but add elements of hostility to the historic memory of the Caucasian peoples residing in the Russian Federation and outside it (in Turkey and the Middle East).

Conclusion Turkey’s security interests are closely connected with Central Eurasia and functional in stimulating its corresponding policy. This interconnection rests on their geographical proximity, ethnoconfessional commonality, and Turkey’s rich history of relations with the regional peoples and neighboring powers (including its Great Power traditions based on history of its domination over the region). They can be described as the most important factors behind the functional interconnection. The Soviet threat, the key Cold War issue, has abated, but the post-bipolar world (and its post-Soviet segment) cannot be described as Turkey’s stable geopolitical milieu. On the whole, Turkey profited from the changed balance of power in the Black Sea brought about by the Soviet Union’s disintegration, yet its Black Sea coast remains as vulnerable as ever. Turkey’s security depends on the nature of its relations with Russia: if the current positive trends, mainly in the economy (trade, tourism, energy), survive, they will reduce, to a certain extent, the military-political rivalry between the two countries (in the Black Sea among other places), which will make Turkey more secure. If Russia persists in restoring its Great Power status, Turkey will become more vulnerable than ever. If the restored status proves stable enough, if it brings dividends, and if it develops into a consolidating idea in Russia, its rivalry with Turkey in the Black Sea and the Caucasian-Caspian area will become even more pronounced. This will affect two other security-related segments Turkey shares with Central Eurasia: relations with Armenia and the Kurdish question. The activity of the large Caucasian diaspora and Ankara’s ideological and energy interests related to establishing stable geopolitical contacts with the Turkic Central Asian states beyond the control of third countries can spur securitization of Caucasian issues in Turkey. The Central Asian vector will probably intensify as Turkey moves closer to the status of a Eurasian power in its own right.

32 33 34

G. Hewitt, “Abkhazia, Georgia and the Circassians (NW Caucasus),” Central Asian Survey, Vol. 18, Issue 4, 1999, p. 466. A. Lieven, Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998, p. 316. See: G. Winrow, op. cit., p. 32.

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IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY IN THE CASPIAN SEA BASIN Oscillation between National Interests and Islamic Adventures Raheleh BEHZADI Ph.D. Scholar at the Department of Political Science, Punjab University (Chandigarh, India)

Introduction

T

50%, and the Soviet Union never allowed Iran to pass the hypothetical line. He added that Iran has never exploited more than 11.3% of the Caspian Sea. Although these explicit declarations angered the Iranian parliament and prompted an immediate response by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hosseini, who specified that Iran’s share of the Caspian Sea is no less than 20 percent, this incident showed that the Iranian government has accepted the division of the Caspian Sea based on the median line method contrary to national drives.2 The pertinent question is why the Iranian government accepted the division of the Caspian Sea based on the median line, while Presidents Rafsanjani and Khatami insisted on the condominium regime or equal division? What priority is Iranian foreign policy pursuing that has overshadowed the importance of the Caspian Sea legal regime?

he Caspian Sea Basin is considered one of the largest energy reserves in the world. The subsoil of this immense land-locked sea has become a serious bone of contention among the littoral states grappling with the Caspian Sea legal regime. Despite the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991, the new coastal states—Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan—rejected the 1921 and 1940 treaties between Iran and the Soviet Union and insisted on creating a new legal regime. At the third summit of the five Caspian Sea littoral states in Tehran on 16 October, 2007, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev stated that the 1921 and 1940 treaties between Iran and the Soviet Union on the Caspian Sea now belong to history.1 Moreover, in January 2008, Iranian Foreign Minister Manoochehr Mottaki said that Iran’s share of the Caspian Sea has never been

1

2 See: Interview of Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs, Ettelaat Newspaper, 1994.

See: Tehran Times Newspaper, 17 October, 2007.

The Caspian Sea: Common Border between Iran and the Soviet Union The Caspian Sea is one of the world’s largest inland seas with huge reserves of oil and natural gas. For Iran, the Khazar or Mazandaran Sea, as the Caspian is also known, has historical, political, 86

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and economic significance. Iranian tribes such as the Talysh have been living on its southern coast for 3,000 years.3 From the economic point of view, it has rich fish supplies, caviar, which is an important source of nutrition and trade for the people of Iran. The strategic importance of the Caspian Sea emerged for Iran when Russian Czar Peter the Great established the first naval base on the Caspian coast in the eighteenth century and showed his desire to expand the Russian borders to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. The first struggle between Russia and Iran over control of the Caucasus occurred in the early nineteenth century. Those battles led to the loss of parts of Iran’s territory in the Caucasus and Caspian Sea basin, and Russia extended its territorial base. According to the treaties of Gulistan in 1813 and Turkmanchay in 1828, Russia possessed Iran’s territories on the coast of the Black Sea and Southern Caucasus. Moreover, Iran lost full rights to navigate the Caspian Sea. After establishment of the Communist regime in Russia (1917) and the creation of the Soviet Union (1922), the Communist Russian government annulled all the previous agreements with Iran, and Iran and Soviet Russia and later Iran and the Soviet Union entered new agreements on the Caspian Sea. The Treaty of Friendship in 1921 and Treaty of Commerce and Navigation in 1940 provided a legal regime for the Caspian Sea which international law experts call “sui generis.” This means that it has been created by only two owner countries, Iran and the former Soviet Union, and is based on bilateral agreements. The internationcl Law of the Sea and the maritime boundaries of states do not apply to the Caspian Sea.4 Accordingly, in both treaties, neither party enjoys a preferential status visà-vis the other. So both countries have equal rights to the Caspian and it should be closed to all other nations apart from Iran and the Soviet Union.5 In fact, Iran’s navigation rights in the Caspian Sea denied by the Turkmanchay Treaty were restored by the Treaty of Friendship in 1921. Both countries emphasized freedom to navigate in the Caspian Sea in the Treaty of 1940. However, there was no specific mention of the navigation of warships in the Treaty of 1940, while the national security of both sides required that their warships have access to the Caspian Sea.6 This situation was reminiscent of the pre-demise era of the Soviet Union when the Caspian Sea was established as a common sea between Iran and the Soviet Union and the two bilateral treaties confirmed their rights in the Caspian Sea. Despite the fact that the Caspian Sea was shared by Iran and the U.S.S.R. and Iran had the same rights as the U.S.S.R. in the sea, the Iranian government, particularly during Pahlavi’s time, was not interested in activity in the Caspian Sea and did not have any active program for exploring or drilling oil and gas resources. Nor did it have a navy or warships in the sea. After the revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran was engaged in an 8-year war with Iraq and concentrated its military force in the west and south. Iran avoided confrontation with the U.S.S.R. Both countries had equal sovereignty throughout the Caspian Sea, apart from the 10-mile exclusive fishing zone, and they did not have any borders in the sea. However, as a superpower, the U.S.S.R. enjoyed exclusive control over it and limited any Iranian activity in the Caspian Sea. The disintegration of the U.S.S.R. created a new situation in the geopolitics of the Caspian Sea region, and the presence of the new republics in the basin of the Caspian Sea caused Iran to lose land borders with Russia and find new neighbors. On the other hand, the question for Iran was whether the new costal states would accept the old legal regime based on the 1921 and 1940 treaties, or whether the three new republics, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan, would be new claimants to the 3 See: Sh. Akiner, “Caspian Intersections: Contextual Introduction,” in: The Caspian: Politics, Energy and Security, ed. by Sh. Akiner, Routledge Curzon, New York, 2004, p. 3. 4 See: B. Aghai-Diba, The Law & Politics of the Caspian Sea in the Twenty-First Century, IBEX Publishers, Maryland, 2003, p. 19. 5 See: M.A. Movahed, “Iran’s View on the Legal Regime of the Caspian Sea,” in: The Caspian Region at a Crossroad: Challenges of a New Frontier of Energy, ed. by H. Amirahmadi, Martin’s Press, New York, 2000, p. 273. 6 See: W.E. Butler, The Soviet Union and the Law of the Sea, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1971, pp. 101-103.

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Caspian Sea and insist on the creation of a new legal regime regarding it. Iran soon realized that the new republics were opposed to the old regime and wanted to pursue new approaches to the legal regime of the Caspian based on their own interests. They had serious economic problems and the rich resources of the Caspian Sea, such as caviar, oil, and gas, would help them to resolve their problems. So establishment of a new legal regime involved Iran in a new situation which directly related to its national interests.

The Caspian Sea Legal Regime after the Demise of the Soviet Union The three newly independent states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan challenged the legal regime which was confirmed in the 1921 and 1940 treaties. Although the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991 obligated the new coastal states to observe all the agreements and treaties concluded by the Soviet Union, the national interests of the new republics ran counter to the old legal regime. The Caspian Sea has rich reserves of oil and gas and the global markets were faced with a rising demand for them. Competition among the five states increased to absorb the foreign investments provided for drawing up agreements with oil and gas companies on the exploration, drilling, and exploitation of oil and gas. This problem augmented the struggle among the five coastal states. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan saw the rich reserves of the Caspian Sea as a means for solving their economic problems, whereas Iran and Russia, which have other economic opportunities, protested against the presence of international companies in the Caspian region. The five littoral states met at the presidential and ministerial level on 25 occasions between 1994 and 2007,7 but they were unable to reach any unanimous opinion on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.

A New Dispute: Is the Caspian a Sea or a Lake? The problem of the Caspian’s legal status has arisen among the five littoral states in the Caspian Sea because they differ in their opinion of whether it is a sea or a lake. If the Caspian Sea as a lake, international law stipulates that the use of its resources can only be decided unanimously among the countries on its shores, whereas if it is a sea, each state bordering on it is allocated areas where it may freely extract resources as it sees fit. In addition, in the case of a lake, “offshore” resources are shared in equal parts, whereas in a sea the territorial waters do not go beyond 12 nautical miles.8 The Caspian thus constitutes a source of conflict among the five coastal countries of the Caspian Sea and they have differing opinions about the Caspian Sea legal regime. On the one hand, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan emphasize that the Caspian Sea is a sea and is governed by the international Law of the Sea. While on the other hand, Iran and Turkmenistan claim that the legal re7 See: D. Dabir, “Why has the Determining of the Caspian Legal Regime Taken 16 Years?” BBC, available at [http:// www.bbc.co.uk], 16 October, 2007. 8 See: F. Renaud, “Caspian Sea: The Headache of Sharing It Out,” European Strategic Intelligence & Security Center (ESISC), available at [http://www.esisc.org/documents/pdf/en/caspian-sea-the-headache-of-sharing-it-out-449.pdf,], 22 October, 2009.

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gime of a lake governs the Caspian Sea. Since 1992, the countries have proposed different legal regimes for the Caspian Sea. These proposals are divided into two main groups: the condominium regime and the division regime.

1. The Condominium Regime The present struggle over the legal status of the Caspian Sea began with reports that the Azerbaijan government had started negotiations with Western oil companies, British Petroleum (BP) in particular, regarding the drilling and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in Azerbaijan’s sector of the Caspian Sea in 1994.9 Russia and Iran protested and insisted that Azerbaijan be governed by the 1921 and 1940 Soviet-Iranian treaties. They emphasized that the Caspian Sea is a common sea, its legal regime is based on the condominium regime, and all the countries must enforce the agreements which are in accordance with international law. According to this approach, the Caspian Sea as a body of water does not have any natural link to the open seas or oceans and, according to the international Law of the Sea, some large bodies of water entirely surrounded by dry land are known as lakes, others as seas. So the Caspian Sea is a lake. Therefore, the norms of the international Law of the Sea pertaining to territorial seas, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelves are not applicable to it.10 As for the five coastal states of the Caspian Sea, they must abide by the 1921 and 1940 treaties, both treaties are binding on all the littoral states, and the sea should be governed by the condominium regime. This regime expounds that all the resources of the Caspian Sea are to be shared jointly by all five states. So all the decisions on development of the resources of the Caspian Sea have to be approved by all five littoral countries and no state should be granted an exclusive economic zone in the Caspian Sea basin.11 Moreover, navigation is free in the Caspian, except in the 10-mile coastal zone of each state. Iran suggested that the exclusive costal zone be increased to 20 miles and the rest be condominium for all the littoral states.12 Although Russia and Iran insisted on the condominium regime in accordance with the treaties of 1921 and 1940 and Iran pushed for establishing the condominium regime in the Caspian Sea between 1992 and 1997, there are some difficulties in both treaties. First, neither of the treaties specifically mentions the legal regime of the Caspian Sea, emphasizing only natural recourses, military and commercial navigation, and the freedom to fish.13 Second, they do not forbid any exploration or research in the Caspian Sea. So, before 1991, the Soviet Union began offshore drilling without consulting with or receiving confirmation from Iran.

2. The Division Regime It appears that the condominium regime based on the treaties of 1921 and 1940 was not complete and there were some difficulties with it. So three of the coastal states rejected it outright and Iran 9 See: J. Momtaz, “The Challenges and Perspectives of the Caspian Sea Legal Regime,” Political and Economy Ettelaat, No. 123-124, 1995, p. 61. 10 See: M. Ghafouri, “The Caspian Sea: Rivalry and Cooperation,” Middle East Policy, Vol. XV, No. 2, Summer 2008, p. 88, available at [http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+Caspian+Sea%3A+rivalry+and+cooperation.-a0180861482]. 11 See: M. Sheikhmohammday, D.M. Kilgoure, K.W. Hipel, “Negotiations Over the Caspian Sea: A Preliminary Graph Model Analysis,” in: Grope Decision and Negotiation (GDN)2006, ed. by St. Seifent, Ch. Weinhardt, University of Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, 2006, p. 101. 12 See: Interview of Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs, p. 1. 13 See: B. Janusz, “The Caspian Sea: Legal Status and Regime Problems,” Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House, London, August 2005, available at [http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/3273_bp0805caspian.pdf].

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and Russia decided to make some changes in it. For example, although Iran, like Russia, focused on the obligations of the treaties of 1921 and 1940, its approach initially differed from Russia’s. Iran believed that the Caspian Sea was a condominium between Iran and the Soviet Union and, now that the disintegrated Soviet Union had created new states, Iran should keep its original share of 50%, while the others should make their own decisions about the other half.14 Thus, new approaches emerged which supported division of the Caspian Sea.

2.1 Sectoral Division Azerbaijan was strongly against the condominium regime and believed that the treaties of 1921 and 1940 were inadequate for defining the Caspian Sea legal regime. So, Azerbaijan signed a $10 billion oil agreement with Western companies on exploiting oil resources in the Caspian Sea in 1997.15 The Azerbaijan government formally demonstrated that the historical treaties between Iran and the U.S.S.R. were valid, but they did not mention division of the seabed. Moreover, according to the principles “rebus sic stautibus” and “Clean Slate,” the new littoral states have the right to choose and the 1921 and 1940 treaties are not valid for the legal regime of the Caspian Sea. Thus, the Caspian seabed must be divided among the five costal states according to the international Law of the Sea. This approach stated that all the coastal countries consider the Caspian to be a sea and not a lake and apply the law of the sea to all of its issues.

2.2. Median Line Division In 1996, the Kazakhstan government offered a proposal which was supported by Russia and caused the latter to change its view about the legal regime of the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan suggested that the Caspian Sea be regarded as an enclosed sea. Thus, the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 governs the Caspian Sea legal regime. According to this viewpoint, Russia and Kazakhstan proposed dividing the Caspian into sectors using the median line method as it relates to the seabed. The median line method follows the principle that the more coastal area a country has, the more sea area it gets. According to this approach, each country has the following shares16: Azerbaijan

Iran

Kazakhstan

Russia

Turkmenistan

21%

13.6%

28.4%

19%

18%

Kazakhstan, Russia, and Azerbaijan agreed to this approach, whereas Iran and Turkmenistan were against it. Iran immediately realized that its national interests and security would be faced with serious challenges in the Caspian Sea basin. This was because Azerbaijan tended to engage the investments of Western oil companies, especially U.S. and Israeli companies, along with military cooperation with them, which would cause serious difficulties for Iran due to the U.S. and Israeli presence 14

See: B. Aghai-Diba, “The Legal Regime of the Caspian Sea,” Majaleh Hoghoghi, No. 18, 1995, p. 25. See: K.G. Singh, “Azerbaijan, Keystone in Energy Rich Caspian Basin”, South Asia Analysis Group, Noida, available at [http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers7/paper687.html], 16 May, 2003. 16 See: B. Aghai-Diba, “National Interests of Iran in the Caspian Sea,” Payvand Iran News,available at [http://www. payvand.com/news/09/sep/1102.html], 10 September, 2009. 15

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near its borders, whereas Azerbaijan would be guaranteed its security and economic growth, which had been curbed by Russia and Iran. Although Iran announced that it opposed the median line division and rejected any bilateral and trilateral agreements between the coastal states on the Caspian Sea, the first bilateral agreement was signed by Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in June 1997. The second agreement between the two countries was signed in January 2001 on adhering to the borders of their sectors along the median line until a broader multilateral convention was signed.17 In 1998, Kazakhstan and Russia divided the northern part of the Caspian Sea based on the median line between themselves and, in 2002, both countries signed an agreement on the joint development of three fields located on the median line, namely Kurmangazy, Khvalynskoe, and Tsentralnoe.18 In addition, in 2001, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan issued a joint communiqué that in principle divided their sectors of the sea along the median lines drawn during the Soviet era. Iran protested against those agreements and, contrary to the other littoral states, pointed out that the old treaties are still in force and that sovereign rights cannot be exercised unilaterally or through bilateral agreements until a new multilateral convention is concluded by all five Caspian states.19

2.3. Equal Division In 2000, Iran realized that it did not have the power to overcome the opposition of the other states. So it announced that it would agree to division of the Caspian Sea if the other states accepted equal division. This condition was stated by President Khatami in a speech he made in the summer of 2000. Iran’s proposal would immediately give it two advantages. First, its share of the Caspian Sea would be no less than 20%, and not 13.6%, which is the share it would receive if the sea were divided according to the median line method. Second, Iran’s proposal for dividing the sea, which suggests that division of the sea surface should correlate precisely with division of the seabed, would give it maximum guarantee of its national security interests and ensure its sovereignty over the water area contiguous to its coast, since the median line method applies only to division of the seabed and leaves the surface water area in common use. Consequently, Russian ships and, possibly in the future, NATO’s naval forces would be able to travel freely throughout the Caspian Sea. Although Russia and Turkmenistan outwardly accepted Iran’s proposal, none of the coastal states took it seriously and were not interested in it. This position of the littoral states showed that Iran is powerless in the Caspian Sea basin and negotiations about the legal regime of the Caspian Sea had failed. The first Summit of Caspian Sea Heads of State held in Ashghabad in 2002 failed to achieve any agreement on the demarcation and legal regime of the Caspian Sea and ended without a final declaration. Despite Iran’s opposition to division based on the median line, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan signed a tripartite agreement on the division of the northern 64% of the Caspian seabed based on the median line in 2003, which gave Azerbaijan an 18% share, Russia 19%, and Kazakhstan 27%.20 Iran was left on its own, and Russia, along with the U.S, supported Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. 17 See: “Putin, Aliyev Narrow Differences on Caspian Division,” Eurasianet Turkmenistan Daily Digest, available at [http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/turkmenistan/hypermail/news/0008.html], 10 January, 2001. 18 See: M. Haghighati, “The Coming of Conflict to the Caspian Sea,” Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 50, No. 3, May-June 2003, p. 36. 19 See: D. Dabir, “The Change of the Iran’s Policy on Dividing of Khazar’s Interests,” BBC, available at [http://www. BBC.Co.UK/Persian], 17 October, 2007. 20 See: S. Karbuz, “The Caspian’s Unsettled Legal Framework: Energy Security Implications,” Journal of Energy Security, available at [http://www.ensec.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=244:the-caspians-unsettledlegal-framework-energy-security implications&catid=106:energysecuritycontent0510&Itemid=361], 18 May, 2010.

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Iran’s Policy under Ahmadinejad The election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005 and his adventurism in Iran’s foreign policy, particularly the nuclear program, placed Iran in a weak position before Russia and the other littoral states of the Caspian Sea. A new aspect of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign policy initiated by the new president was the ideological approach. President Ahmadinejad showed that the main aim of Iran’s foreign policy was to create a global Islamic government through Jihad with Israel and the U.S. Support of the Islamic countries and groups such as Hezbolah Lebanon, the declarations of the Iranian government, and the launching of a nuclear program despite international sanctions show that the Iranian government has focused on creating an Islamic global government in the world. Therefore, Iran has an Islamic-cosmopolitanism approach in its foreign policy. According to this viewpoint, formation of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse “this community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me” [Sura 21, ayat 92]) is the most significant aim of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So Iran tried to integrate with other Muslim states to achieve this goal. This desire has affected Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East and the Caspian basin, where Iran has Muslim neighbors. So President Ahmadinejad follows three strategies in Iran’s foreign policy for establishing an Islamic global government: Exporting Islamic revolution ideologies, an antiIsraeli and anti-Western policy, and a Look East approach in Iran’s foreign policy. In the Caspian Sea basin, Iran strictly followed the second strategy, the anti-Israeli and anti-Western policy, and Russia is to play an important part in this strategy. Iran needs Russia to support it in its standoff against America and Israel, and Iran believes that Russia can stop the adoption and implementation of U.N. sanctions against Iran. So Russia’s support caused Iran to choose an indifferent policy in the Caspian Sea issue. The choice of an indifferent and mute policy has made it possible for Russia to pursue a dual approach to the Caspian Sea issues. While it supports equal rights of the littoral states to use of the surface waters, it is attempting to divide the seabed. In fact, common use of the surface water would make it possible for the Russian navy to be present everywhere in the Caspian Sea and prevent the expansion of U.S military influence in the region. It has also been participating actively in the oil and gas projects in the region and is in competition with Western oil companies. Therefore, it attempted to improve its economic and military relations with three of the littoral states and, with respect to the Caspian Sea, pursued a harmonious policy with them. So the harmonious relations among four of the coastal states caused them to ignore the 1921 and 1940 treaties and condominium regime. Although the Caspian Sea legal regime was not finalized during the third summit of sea’s littoral states in Tehran, the clear declarations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia at that meeting showed that they have agreed on division of the Caspian Sea along the median line and intend to adhere to it. As one of the coastal states, Iran did not protest to these declarations. Instead, it tried to enlist the littoral states’ support of its nuclear program and fend off any attack by the U.S on Iran via its northern neighbors and the Caspian Sea. Therefore, all the states confirmed that Iran, as a signatory to the NPT, has the right to generate and utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes within the framework of the NPT and the International Atomic Energy Agency Statute and, moreover, only the littoral states may deploy ships and military forces in the sea.21 A look at Iran’s subsequent view of the Caspian Sea legal regime confirms that it has accepted the median line and yielded to the other littoral states, particular21

See: S. Karbuz, op. cit.

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ly Russia, in return for protection of its security, which is threatened by the U.S and Israel. This also shows that Iran’s first priority is its nuclear program and that it is ready to accept division of the Caspian Sea based on the median line"for the sake of gaining the support of Russia and the other littoral states. Iran’s acceptance of the median line method means that it will lose economic benefits in this basin. First, Iran will be excluded from the economic opportunities in the Caspian Sea. Iran’s 13.6 percent share has the fewest oil and gas resources and the deepest water. Meanwhile, Iran always emphasizes that economic cooperation has a significant place in its foreign policy and encourages the Central Asian republics to choose Iran as an oil export route. However, the harmonious policy among Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and least of all Turkmenistan is rapidly curbing Iran’s ability to pursue its national interests in region. For example, in September 2009, the leaders of four littoral states— Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan—met in Kazakhstan’s Caspian port, Aktau, and discussed Caspian Sea cooperation, but Iran was not invited. Although Iran protested against this, the other states argued that the meeting was not about the Caspian Sea legal regime, they were discussing future economic cooperation.22 In this respect, the Iranian government faces a legality crisis; it wants to avoid any instability or clashes with the other littoral states, since any lack of circumspection, especially with respect to Azerbaijan, could threaten Iran.

Conclusion Despite the fact that Iran has been pursuing different strategies in its foreign policy to meet the Caspian Sea basin challenges, it has not been successful. The key problem for Iran is the U.S. presence in the region as a strong supporter particularly of Azerbaijan, which has limited Iran’s activity in the region. Moreover, Russia as the greatest power in the Caspian Sea region prohibits any activity by Iran that may oppose its interests and security in the region. In fact, Iran finds itself trapped between the U.S. and Russia. Both of them prohibit Iran’s military and political activities in the Caspian Sea region. While the U.S. has limited Iran’s presence in the region by instituting sanctions and building strong economic and military relations with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, Russia has taken most advantage of the hostility between Iran and the U.S. Russia will cooperate in Iran’s nuclear program and support it if Iran pursues a mute and indifferent policy in the Caspian Sea region. Iran has agreed to dividing the Caspian Sea on the basis of the median line for the sake of its nuclear program, since it will make Iran an Islamic superpower in the world and promote creation of a global Islamic government like Iran’s model government (Velayat-eFaghih) in the world. So Iran has conceded to Russia and the other Caspian Sea states in return for their support of Iran’s nuclear program. Security is also an important issue for Iran. At the third summit of the Caspian Sea’s littoral states in Tehran, the countries agreed that they will also avoid using military force in mutual relations. In fact, this was a great achievement for Iran because this agreement reduced the threat of a U.S attack from a littoral state on Iran and enabled Iran to continue its nuclear program.

22 See: S. Blagov, “Caspian Littoral States Struggle to Forge Settlement,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, Vol. 7, Issue 74, 16 April, 2010.

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THE TURKISH-ARMENIAN NORMALIZATION BID IN 2008-2010: AN ARMENIAN VIEW Haroutiun KHACHATRIAN Analyst and Editor of the Noyan Tapan Information Center (Erevan, Armenia)

Introduction

T

urkey and Armenia are neighbor countries, one having a territory of 783,000 square kilometers and a population of 72 million, and the other 29,000 square kilometers and 3.2 million, respectively. Moreover, the Turkish Republic is at least 87 years old, not to mention several centuries of the statehood as the Ottoman Empire, whereas Armenia has had no experience of independent statehood in the modern history except for two years in 1918-1920, and its history of independent statehood starts only in 1991. These two states, which are very different in every respect, have no normal relations. Turkey has closed its borders with Armenia (except for the air border, which has been open since 1994) and imposed a trade embargo on Armenia. As a result, Armenia cannot use the railroad and motorways connecting the two countries, moreover, its trade with Turkey is highly unbalanced, as the Armenian market remains fully open to Turkish goods whereas Turkey is virtually closed for Armenian imports. According to the data of the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in 2008 Turkish imports to Armenia were worth 268 million dollars whereas the Armenian exports to Turkey were 1.8 million; in 2009, when trade was diminished due to the global crisis, these figures were, respectively, 177.9 million and 1.2 million dollars. This situation is, of course, highly undesirable for Armenia and it has constantly made efforts to lift the blockade and eliminate the trade restrictions.

True, the early estimations about the catastrophic impact of this situation were shown to be overestimated, as the Armenian economy had accommodated to lower amount of cargo turnover and the export-import route rail-sea (ferry)-rail was relatively well working1. All three presidents of Armenia have said about their readiness to normalize the relations with Turkey without preconditions. Special emphasis is being made on the limitation caused by the fact that the land communications of Turkey are not accessible to Armenia. This is a potentially dangerous situation and this danger became reality during the August war of 2008, when the war fear endangered railroad traffic of Armenia through Georgia, the only rail access of Armenia to the outer world.2 For all these reasons, Armenia is greatly interested in opening the borders with Turkey and lifting its trade embargo. As for Turkey, its principal claims to Armenia in 1993-2008 was the demand that Armenia made concessions in favor of Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue before Turkey would open its border and normalize its relations with Armenia. 1 See: H. Khachatrian, “Is Armenia Blockaded?” War Reports (London), No. 50, 1997, pp. 33-34. 2 See: H. Khachatrian, “On Razor’s Edge: An Armenian Perspective on the Georgian-Russian War,” Caucasus Analytical Digest, No. 1: Perspectives on the Georgian-Russian War, available at [http://www.res.ethz.ch/analysis/cad/ details.cfm?lng=en&id=94387].

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A Short Chronology of Recent Events Concerning Relations of Turkey and Armenia —16 December, 1991

— Independent Armenia recognized by the Republic of Turkey,

—25 June, 1992

— Armenia participates in the founding of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation,

—November 1992

— Turkey allows Armenia to import grain and flour through its territory,

—April 1993

— Turkey closes its border with Armenia and imposes an embargo on imports from Armenia as an act of solidarity with Azerbaijan, after the Armenian forces occupy the Kelbajar region of Azerbaijan,

—2002

— Turkish-Armenian negotiations start with Swiss mediation,

—23 June, 2008

— President of Armenia Serzh Sargsian declares at a meeting with the Armenian community in Moscow his intention to invite his Turkish counterpart to Erevan,

—12 August, 2008

— Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoðan declares in Moscow the idea of creating a Peace and Stability Platform in the Caucasus,

—6 September, 2008

— President of Turkey Abdullah Gül arrives in Erevan for the nominal purpose to watch World Cup football qualifying game between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey. Serzh Sargsian pays the reciprocal visit to Turkey on 14 October, 2009, when the second football game between the national teams of the two countries took place in Bursa.

—February 2009

— Two Protocols, Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations between the two republics are initiated. This fact was kept secret until August 31.

—23 April, 2009

— The foreign departments of Turkey, Armenia and Switzerland (mediator) issue a statement about agreeing on some Roadmap on normalization between Armenia and Turkey.

—31 August, 2009

— The two Protocols are made public,

—10 October, 2009

— The two Protocols are signed in Zurich. The formal process of their ratification in the parliaments of both countries starts. Later in the same month the Protocols are sent to the Parliament of Turkey for ratification.

—12 January, 2010

— The Constitutional Court of Armenia makes a decision that the two Protocols do not contradict to the country’s Constitution. This formally clears the way for these documents to be ratified by the parliament.

—22 April, 2010

— President of Armenia Serzh Sargsian informs that Armenia stops the process of ratification of the protocols as Turkey was evidently protracting the process. At the same time, he confirms the commitment of Armenia to go ahead with the normalization process. 95

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Turkey Turns to Normalization with Armenia A principal change of the Turkey’s position around Armenia was caused by the August war of 2008 between Georgia and Russia. The shift in the geopolitical situation, which followed the war, stimulated Turkey to seek activation of its role in the Southern Caucasus. In particular, Turkey put forward its concept of a Peace and Stability Platform in the Caucasus, which would mean creating a structure, which would include all the countries of the region. This, in turn, led to the idea of establishing relations between Armenia and Turkey, as Armenia would not support any idea of Ankara unless it had normal relations with Turkey. The idea found an apparent support of Russia, no wonder that the Turkish Prime Minister Erdoðan declared his idea about the Platform during his visit to Moscow in August 2008. By the time of these events Turkey was in search of activation of its geopolitical role in the situation created after the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union.3 Ankara recognized that the previous policy had given no results during the 15 years and new approaches were needed. Evidently, Ankara would have more freedom in this respect, if it had normal relations with Armenia. This was in accord with the policy of Turkey known as: “zero problems with the neighbors” elaborated by Mr. Davutoglu, the main foreign policy ideologist of the ruling elite and the Foreign Minister since May 2009. The above-mentioned events had created a beneficial international atmosphere for the normalization process. Whereas, the United States and the European Union were for a long time trying to make Turkey open the border with Armenia (meanwhile Russia, a country of high importance for Armenia, was at best, indifferent to that), after the August war of 2008, Russia too, clearly opted in favor of normalization between Armenia and Turkey, which made the process more easy. No wonder that Serzh Sargsian made the statement about his intention to invite Abdullah Gül to Armenia in a speech held in Moscow. Hence, in fact, a unique situation was formed where all the “superpowers” (or “great powers,” or “centers of power”) shared the interest to support the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, despite their conflicts of interests, including in this region. During the signature ceremony in Zurich the world witnessed a unique picture, as the top diplomats of the U.S., Russia, France and the EU, namely, Hillary Clinton, Sergey Lavrov, Bernard Kouchner and Xavier Solana attended the ceremony to demonstrate solidarity on this issue.

Why is Ratification of the Protocols Needed? It was obvious from the very beginning of the process that the normalization efforts started by the “football diplomacy” would not proceed without difficulty. This was evident during the months following the first visit of President Abdullah Gül to Erevan in September 2008, as the officials of the two countries made conflicting statements. But the occurrence of problems became especially evident after publication of the Protocols on 31 August, 2009. At least disagreements were evident from the 3 See: A. Iskandaryan, S. Minasyan, “Pragmatic Policies vs. Historical Constraints: Analyzing Armenia-Turkey Relations,” Caucasus Institute Research Papers, No. 1, January 2010.

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fact that the Protocols initiated several months earlier, were not made public for so long time. Moreover, evidently the process of Protocols signature might be delayed even more, but Serzh Sargsian hinted in his statements in the late summer of 2009 that his reciprocal “soccer” visit to Turkey might be annulled if no progress was observed in the normalization process. These statements catalyzed the publication of the Protocols on 31 August and their signature on 10 October. However, the most obvious indication of the existence of problems was the surprising fact that these Protocols contain a provision that they would not be entered into force unless they are ratified by the parliaments of the two countries. As a rule, establishing normal diplomatic relations between countries is the prerogative of the governments: they sign the respective documents and open representations in the capitals of the partner counties as they find it appropriate. Meanwhile, as indicated, the Protocols between Turkey and Armenia require ratification by the parliaments for being enacted. Why? It is evident, that this precondition was set by Turkey, the stronger side. Indeed, Armenia would be happy to normalize its relations with its mighty neighbor and to get its border opened after 16 years of blockade (and also to lift the trade embargo) as soon as possible. Moreover, the Armenian government would have no serious problems at home as the governing coalition led by the party of Serzh Sargsian, the Republican Party of Armenia, had safe majority in the parliament and would overcome any possible resistance in the country. Indeed, strong resistance to the process could be expected from the nationalist party Dashnaktsutiun. This party, which was once the junior member of the ruling coalition, indeed left the coalition in April 2009 as the statement about “identifying a roadmap” for the Turkish-Armenian normalization was made (evidently, the Protocols were called “the roadmap”). However, the ruling coalition remained strong enough after Dashnaktsutiun left it. Moreover, it was evident that the radical opposition to Serzh Sargsian, the Armenian National Congress led by Sargsian’s strongest rival at the 2008 presidential race, the first President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosian, in fact supported Sargsian’s bid to normalize the relations with Turkey (this became evident in September 2008, when ANC canceled its rally in Erevan for not hindering Gül’s visit). All of these factors showed that Sargsian would have no difficulties in the process of enacting the Protocols. So, obviously, the precondition to ratify the protocols before enacting them was set by Turkey; apparently Ankara feared to encounter more serious resistance at home than the Armenian party did. And the Turkish side hoped to get some additional concessions from Erevan in exchange for normalizing the relations and opening the border.

What are the Additional Preconditions of Turkey? These preconditions are well known and were voiced repeatedly during this normalization effort (from 10 October, 2009 to now) as well. There are three major additional goals not included into the Protocols Turkey would like to reach: n

First, it is its hope to force Armenia to make concessions to"Azerbaijan around NagornoKarabakh. Starting 1993 Turkey had kept its land border with Armenia closed (and had banned imports from Armenia) seeking such concessions. As indicated above, this policy gave no results and Turkey initiated and later signed with Armenia the Protocols, in which there was no indication about Nagorno-Karabakh. Nevertheless, Ankara had hoped to get, after signing the Protocols, what it had failed to get during the previous 16 years of the blockade and embargo. At least, the public statements of Turkish leaders spoke about this. The great powers 97

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support the position of Armenia that the Karabakh settlement mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group is a separate process having no relation with the Turkish-Armenian normalization. During the visit of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan to Moscow on 13 January, 2010 his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin voiced this position publicly.4 n

Second, it is the hope of Turkey to stop the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. To recap, now more than 20 countries have officially recognized the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire as genocide and this process had started well before Armenia became an independent state due to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (for example, Uruguay recognized it in 1965, the European Parliament adopted a similar resolution in 1987, etc.). As for Armenia, recognition of the genocide is required by its Constitution (in a form of reference to the Declaration of Independence of August 1990). It is also part of its National Security Strategy adopted in 2007 when Serzh Sargsian was still the Defense Minister.5 Since the Turkish-Armenian normalization process started, the Armenian leaders have repeatedly said that normalization with Turkey would not result in stopping its efforts to reach worldwide recognition of the genocide. Concerns about this issue were (and still are) especially high in the Armenian Diaspora. As the Armenian leadership pays great importance to the opinion of the Diaspora. Shortly before the signing ceremony in Zurich, President Serzh Sargsian initiated an unprecedented move. He flew 40,000 kilometers during five days and had meetings with representatives of Armenian communities in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Beirut and Rostov-on-Don, to discuss the protocols and explain his positions to them, although they were all foreign citizens.

The protocols contain no notion about the genocide issue, but the sides will create, in the course of normalization, a joint “sub-commission on historical dimension.” What the job of that sub-commission will be had been extensively discussed in both countries and commented by the officials. In particular, the Turkish representatives claimed that this sub-commission would have the genocide issue as its primary subject of discussion. In contrast, the Armenian officials claimed that the issue of the genocide is not subject of discussing. They referred to the Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations stipulating that the task of all the sub-commissions of the future Intergovernmental Commission should be determined two months after the Protocols entered into force. “To prepare the working modalities of the Intergovernmental Commission and its sub-commissions a working group … shall be created two months after the day following the entry into force of this Protocol,” the text reads. On the basis of this provision, the Armenian party said that the job of the future sub-commission on the historical dimension has not been determined yet, and the Armenian party would not agree to make the sensitive issue of the genocide a subject of discussion. n

Finally, Turkey hopes that normalization will bring to an official recognition by Erevan of the existing Turkish-Armenian border, which is the former Turkish-Soviet border. According to the Zurich protocols, the sides confirm “the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law.” Meanwhile, the existing border was determined by the Treaty of Kars signed on 13 October, 1921 with Gen. Mustafa Kemal who was not an official representative of the Turkish government then. In addition, this Treaty was never ratified by the Armenian parliament either before 22 March, 1922 (formation of the Transcaucasus Federation, after which Armenia was no longer an entity of the international law) or after the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in December 1991. Moreover, there is a point of view that the only legitimate Turkish-Armenian border is the one deter-

4 See: “Putin: Uviazka karabakhskoi problemy i armiano-turetskikh otnoshenii—strategicheski neverna,” Regnum, 13 January, 2010, available at [www.regnum.ru/news/fd-abroad/armenia/1242195.html]. 5 See: The Strategy can be found at [www.mil.am/eng/?page=49].

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mined by the so-called Arbitral Award of the American President Woodrow Wilson in 1920, and this border lays west to the current one.6 In summary, on 10 October, 2009, a couple of hours before the signature ceremony started in Zurich, President Serzh Sargsian issued a special statement in which these three points are interpreted in a way that differs from that of Turkey.7

Controversy Hindering Normalization Hence, the above-mentioned three problems have remained serious obstacles to the normalization process in which both Armenia and Turkey are interested. The existence of these problems is recognized by both parties, and they differ in the point if these problems will be addressed now or after the establishment of normal relations between the two countries. This conflict became evident just on 10 October, during the signature ceremony in the Zurich University. Eduard Nalbandyan, the Armenian Foreign Minister, refused to put his signature on the protocols as he learned that his Turkish colleague, Ahmet Davutoglu, was going to interpret the protocols according to the above-mentioned expectations of Turkey in a speech following the signature. Due to the efforts of the high-ranking guests (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reportedly most active) the signature ceremony did take place, but it took place after a three-hour delay, as the sides agreed not to make any statements after it. During the following months, as the ratification procedure has started in both countries, leaders of both countries have made numerous statements aimed at interpreting the above-mentioned three points in favor of their side. In doing so, each side accuses the other in efforts of setting preconditions in ratifying the protocols, but also ends in stating that its country will go ahead with normalization process if the opposite side does the same. A new situation has formed since mid-January 2010. According to the Armenian legislation, each international document should be examined by the Constitutional Court (CC) before being sent to the National Assembly for ratification. On 12 January, the highest Court of Armenia made a ruling that the Zurich protocols do conform to the Constitution, thus clearing their way for ratification. In addition, the ruling contained a preamble in which the CC gave its comments about the abovementioned three disputed issues. It declared that normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations does not mean (a) concessions in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, (b) abandoning the genocide recognition efforts, (c) automatic recognition of the existing Turkish-Armenian border. Thus, the Constitutional Court simply reiterated what was repeatedly said earlier by Armenian leaders, including the President (in particular in his 10 October address, see above), the Prime Minster and Foreign Minister. However, six days later, on 18 January, Turkey decided to make a 6 A detailed survey of all these problems can be found at [www.WilsonForArmenia.org]. Of course, by visiting the tomb of Woodrow Wilson on 12 April, the same day when the Washington meeting took place, Serzh Sargsian gave additional food to such speculations. 7 See: Address of the President of Armenia to the People of the Republic of Armenia and to All Armenians, 10 October 2009, available at [http://www.president.am/events/statements/eng/?year=2009&id=51].

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special statement expressing concerns that the CC decision jeopardizes the normalization process and puts preconditions to protocol ratification. The following shows that it was just a pretext for protracting the ratification. On 20 January, Prime Minster Erdoðan made the following statement (quoted by Reuters): “We have never taken the protocol to our Constitutional Court. We took it directly to our parliament without making changes. …This is a proof of our sincerity. Armenia has tried to change the text.”

Armenia Suspends the Ratification Process On 22 April, 2010, Serzh Sargsian issued a televised address whereby Armenia announced its decision to suspend the procedure of ratifying the Protocols, because Turkey had failed to ratify them “as agreed, without preconditions and in a reasonable timeframe.” The Armenian leader expressed the commitment of his country to ratify the Protocols after Turkey does it. “We shall consider moving forward when we are convinced that there is a proper environment in Turkey and there is leadership in Ankara ready to reengage in the normalization process,” Sargsian said. The conclusion that the current Turkish leadership is not ready “to reengage in the normalization process” was made by Sargsian after the meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Erdoðan held ten days before, on 12 April in Washington DC. During the 40-minute meeting the two leaders failed to reach a consensus. “Maintaining regional peace is among the fundamental elements of Armenia and Turkey’s efforts for normalization of their relations, thus the resolution of a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan is naturally linked to this process, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan has asserted,” the media quoted the Turkish leader as saying.8 Thus, Erdoðan made clear he was continuing his policy of linking the process of normalization with Armenia to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. At the same time, Armenia believes the position of the Turkish leadership is not unanimous and there are people among them to occupy a more moderate position. The words of Serzh Sargsian saying in his 22 April message: “I express gratitude to President Abdullah Gül of Turkey for political correctness displayed throughout this period and the positive relationship that developed between us,” spoke about that.

Unclear Perspective after the Formal “Suspending” by the Armenian Side Turkey initiated the process of normalization with Armenia in an effort to enhance its role in the Southern Caucasus (the Georgian-Russian war being a big stimulus) and also to follow its declared policy of “zero problems with neighbors.” Hence, its government is interested in normalization with Armenia, and the external factors are favorable, as indicated above. However, the bid of the bilateral 8 “Erdoðan: Armenia Talks Linked to Karabakh Settlement,” Today’s Zaman, 15 April, 2010, available at [http:// www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-207464-erdogan-armenia-talks-linked-to-karabakh-settlement.html].

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normalization initiated in 2008-2009 failed. This was because of the hurdles put by the Turkish party, or as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her visit to Erevan on 4 July, 2010: “…we urge Turkey to take the steps that it promised to take, and that both sides continue to try to find the opportunity to open the door to reconciliation and normalization. Armenia’s decision last April was … very impressive. And now, as they say in sports, the ball is in the other court.”9 Currently experts estimate the probability of the protocol ratification by the Turkish parliament as very low. They indicate the following major reason: the Armenian issue is not among the priorities of the ruling elite of Turkey now. The main foreign policy priorities for Turkey are now activities in the Middle East, and the value of Armenia and the Southern Caucasus as a whole are now much lower. In addition, Turkey has a number of difficult home political problems, and general elections are likely to be held next summer. So, the ruling party is unlikely to undertake any steps of rapprochement with Armenia (such steps are not popular in Turkey) before these elections. The factor of Azerbaijan is seen in this case as an influential factor. Azerbaijan’s negative reaction to the Armenian-Turkish normalization was stronger than expected by the Turkish ruling elite. Baku not only raised the price for natural gas for Turkey from $120 to $260 per 1,000 cubic meters. Surprisingly, as it may seem, the 70-million Turkey cannot afford the luxury of having its own independent policy toward Armenia, unless it is allowed by the 8 million Azerbaijan. And Baku insists that Turkey continue its previous policy toward Armenia before progress is reached in Nagorno-Karabakh issue. This failure is in fact a lost chance of decreasing tension in the region. In August of 2010, Armenia and Azerbaijan took steps to enhance links with contradicting defense systems. Azerbaijan signed a Treaty on “strategic partnership and mutual cooperation” with Turkey. Armenia has extended the 25-year term of location of the Russian military base in its territory and also has got additional pledges of military supplies from Russia. At the same time, in both countries there is an understanding that the existing situation needs to be changed. According to President Gül, a “silent diplomacy” is continuing between the two countries. “I believe the status quo in the Caucasus is not in the interests of Turkey, Azerbaijan or Armenia. If we keep problems frozen, they may re-emerge at any time,”10 President Abdullah Gül was reported as saying in August 2010. On the other hand, President Serzh Sargsian said on 19 August: “One cannot find two neighbor countries which are free from historical controversy, conflicts and disagreements… But a civilized answer to challenges is the full-scale cooperation, mutually beneficial trade and the common search of ways for mutual understanding. This is the logics which led us when we initiated the process of normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations.” The words are noteworthy as they were said at a ceremony dedicated to the Armenian-Russian friendship in Gumri, at which the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attended. Thus, hopes are high that this “silent diplomacy” will bring some tangible results. However, the experts claim this will not happen before the summer of 2011.

9 Joint Press Availability with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan, News of the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, available at [http://armenia.usembassy.gov/news070410.html]. 10 “Gül Says ‘Silent’ but ‘Decisive’ Diplomacy under way in the Caucasus,” Today’s Zaman, 14 August, 2010, available at [http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-219005-102-gul-says-silent-but-decisive-diplomacy-under-way-incaucasus.html].

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THE GREATER CENTRAL ASIA CONCEPT IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN REGION Akhman SAIDMURADOV Post-Graduate Student at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry (Moscow, Russian Federation) Ekaterina PUSEVA Candidate for a Master’s Degree at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Ingolstadt, FRG)

Introduction

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he main global scientific centers and thinktanks engaged in drawing up paradigms have become extremely interested in the changes that have occurred on the political map of the world after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The collapse of the bipolar world has led to a transformation in how some of its former regions are perceived, which, in turn, has led to new spatial-political conceptions and theories called upon to facilitate in an integral systemic way the foreign political approaches of specific states to the changes going on.1 1 See: A. Ulunian, “Bolshaia Tsentral’naia Aziia,” Analytical article prepared for the information agency Ferghana.ru in the form of comments to an article by Frederick Starr called “A Partnership for Central Asia” in Rus-

The transformational changes on the political map also took place in the former Soviet Central Asian region, which, for natural economic and geostrategic reasons, has become one of the important sectors of international policy since the beginning of the 1990s. This article takes a look at the main geospatial conceptual models drawn up by the American expert community that apply to the countries of the Middle East, in particular to the Central Asian countries, and also evaluates their pertinence and degree of myth. The article’s authors focus particular attention on the Greater Central Asia (GCA) concept. sia in Global Affairs, No. 4, July-August 2005, available at [www.ferghana.ru].

A Search for New Approaches and the Need to Apply Geo-Concepts to the Post-Soviet Expanse At the beginning of the 1990s, geo-spatial concepts began to play an increasingly important role; they were regarded as a foreign policy tool of certain states regarding the geopolitical phenomena and 102

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processes occurring in post-Soviet reality. According to A. Ulunian, there were several factors that prompted geo-spatial theories to be pursued at the end of the 20th century, the main ones being: 1. The need for specific countries to define their foreign policy vector. 2. The subjective need for certain countries (or groups of countries) to position themselves spatially in the regional or global dimension. 3. The need to synchronize the changes in the global distribution of centers of power and the need to carry out foreign policy in the context of the available political, military-strategic, and economic capabilities of the corresponding states or their unions.2 There must be a logical consistency, depending on the changes occurring on the political map of the world at the end of the 20th century, when applying various geo-spatial concepts (or theories). As we know, the term “theory” implies a set of views and ideas that make it possible to draw certain (largely qualitative) conclusions about any phenomena. And correspondingly, “the international relations (IR) theory entails the development of conceptual frameworks to facilitate the understanding and explanation of events and phenomena in world politics.”3 According to Cynthia Weber, in international relations theory fulfills the function of a myth “that narrates complicated explanations of how the world is and how it ought to be;” IR myths help … make a particular view of the worlds appear to be true.”4 Thus, the transformations that occurred after the Soviet Union’s collapse and the emergence of geo-spatial theories among the academics can easily be explained on the basis of classical definitions. After the collapse of the bipolar system the U.S.’s informational-psychological activity led to the elaboration of a whole series of theories and conceptions regarding the geopolitical expanses that were “liberated” from external domination. The conclusions and inferences of American politicians became the main criterion for determining the U.S.’s foreign policy, and research institutions engaged in studying the processes going on in the former Soviet countries were opened. After the end of the Cold War, the U.S. gained immense opportunities for cooperating with the countries that had once belonged to the Soviet bloc, as well as with the new states that emerged in the post-Soviet expanse. There was talk about a new world order, the U.S.’s role and place in it, and how the country could carry out its foreign policy objectives without losing sight of its national interests. In turn, the Central Asian countries suffered all the hardships of the economic, social, and political crises that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the “democratic transit” process it entailed. New players with their own national interests appeared in the region: the European Union, the Russian Federation, the U.S., China, Iran, and Turkey. Nevertheless, it was the U.S. analytical community that began playing a dominating role in developing a systemic approach to the further development of the Central Asian region in the postSoviet period. The Greater Central Asia concept, the basic postulates of which were proposed by well-known American analyst Frederick Starr in 2005, particularly fits the bill in terms of providing a new vision of this region.5 This concept regards Central Asia as a relatively large zone (much larger that the five post-Soviet republics and Afghanistan) with rather undefined borders and Afghanistan as its nucleus. 2

Ibidem. “Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. Lexikon,” available at [http://www.bpb.de/popup/popup_lemmata.html? guid=GEIQ39] (see also: “What is IR theory?” available at [http://www.irtheory.com/]). 4 C. Weber, International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction, Routledge Chapman & Hall, 2005, p. 6. 5 See: S.F. Starr, “A ‘Greater Central Asia Partnership’ for Afghanistan and Its Neighbors,” Silk Road Paper, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program—A Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C., March 2005. 3

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However, we should keep in mind that it was not Washington, but Moscow and Beijing, its rivals, that first put this concept into practical use. In 1996, Russia and China orchestrated the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This organization included almost all of the countries the GCA concept envisaged developing. According to Gulshan Sachdeva, the ideas put forward by Washington have a lot in common with the goals pursued by the SCO forum.6 9/11 and the events in its wake augmented the role of the Central Asian countries during the antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, and the aggravated rivalry over access to the region’s energy resources had a serious impact on U.S. policy. One of the first signs of change in the current situation was publication in August 2002 of an extensive analytical article by Stephen Blank, an American specialist in Asian geopolitical studies, entitled “Reconstructing Inner Asia.”7 The author focused particular attention on long-range transport projects for developing the CA region and its contiguous territories, mentioning that such projects could help to overcome the region’s geographic isolation, which is one of the reasons for the socioeconomic backwardness and inefficiency of the current political regimes. Later, in February 2004, a report was published by Jacquelyn Davis and Michael Sweeney, employees of the American Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, entitled “Central Asia in U.S. Strategy and Operational Planning: Where Do We Go from Here?”8 The American analysts put forward a concept, the main idea of which boiled down to the U.S. upholding two strategic considerations when re-examining its approach toward CA. First, the U.S. should make a distinction between the geographic concepts “Central Asia” and “the Caucasus,” otherwise it would be impossible to gain a clear impression of how these two world regions are linked to their natural neighbors and, particularly, to the Middle East, as well as to South and East Asia. The Caucasus should be regarded as the “end” of Europe, including the Black Sea Region, and not be considered an appendage of Asia or a littoral part of the Caspian. Second, the U.S. should not regard the Caspian oil-producing region as the main strategic target. Despite the importance of the Caspian’s hydrocarbon resources, America will continue to be energydependent on the Persian Gulf (the main producer of oil and gas).9

The GCA Concept: Main Prescriptions for U.S. Regional Policy The events of 2005 dramatically changed the CA countries’ perception and implementation of Western concepts designed to gain an understanding of the region’s geopolitical role. The example of Kyrgyzstan, which lived through two waves of so-called Color Revolutions, caused other countries of the region to treat Washington’s foreign policy dogmas with a certain amount of apprehension. In turn, Moscow, in order to prevent Color Revolutions, tried as best it could to create a so-called Security Council within the CIS. But this idea was rejected by Ukraine, which, in turn, could not help but concern the leaders of the CA countries. 6 See: G. Sachdeva, “India’s Attitude towards China’s Growing Influence in Central Asia,” in: China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2006, p. 33. 7 See: S. Blank, Reconstructing Inner Asia, Conflict Studies Research Centre, London, August 2002. 8 See: J.K. Davis, M.J. Sweeney, Central Asia in U.S. Strategy and Operational Planning: Where Do We Go from Here? The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, February 2004. 9 Ibidem.

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So despite the cautious attitude toward the U.S.’s strategic steps, the CA countries began regarding the GCA geo-concept as a qualitatively new policy. The main idea of Frederick Starr’s concept is geopolitical penetration into CA by creating a new integration union with the participation of other South Asian countries, as well as Afghanistan. “The United States’ strategic objectives in greater Central Asia are several: It must advance the war on terrorism, building U.S.-linked security infrastructures. It must enable Afghanistan and its neighbors to protect themselves against radical Islamist groups and drug traffickers. It must work to strengthen the region’s economies and relevant government institutions to the point where the region can serve as an economic and political bridge between the Middle East and southern and eastern Asia. It must work to develop vigorous regional trade and adequate transport. It must foster participatory political systems that can serve as models for other countries with Muslim populations. All these ends are best advanced on a regional basis.”10 The concept was initially based on the idea of poor development of regional cooperation among the Central Asian states, however imposing the U.S.’s own national interests is making interaction among them even more difficult. Moreover, according to the experts, at the beginning of the new century, the U.S. state administration structure did not meet the demands of the times. Washington’s administrative bodies frequently encountered difficulties caused by the uneven distribution of powers in different institutions. Frederick Starr addresses the problem of re-institutionalization of the U.S. state departments in the context of the foreign policy tasks Washington is encountering in the CA region; distribution of the zones of geographic responsibility within some U.S. state institutions is preventing the emergence of a GCA zone with Afghanistan as its nucleus. For example, the U.S. Defense and State Departments see the five former Soviet CA republics and the Russian Federation as part of Eurasia, while, according to them, Afghanistan belongs to South Asia. This distribution makes it essentially impossible to take into account the states’ interests, nor does it make it possible to determine the most beneficial cooperation between the CA countries and their regional neighbors. Despite the achievements Afghanistan had made by 2005 (adoption of a constitution in 2004, election of a president, and establishment of a centralized government that became the first genuine representative legislative structure in three decades), little has changed in the country. Expert on Afghanistan and crisis situations L. Korolkov wrote the following on this account in 2005: “In the Tribal Areas, the situation is controlled not so much by the government as by the same Taliban who at one time, after the resounding success of the antiterrorist campaign in Afghanistan, arrived on the scene as “recovered” Pashtoon tribes; this is a quagmire in which any, even the most powerful, state could find itself bogged down.”11 He also noted that the antiterrorist Operation Enduring Freedom had not achieved its objective. This shows that the situation is only getting worse, and the new American leadership understands this. Another 30,000 servicemen have swelled the ranks of the country’s military contingent. So drawing up geo-spatial theories and their further implementation can be viewed as the U.S.’s impetuous penetration into strategically important regions such as Central and South Asia, as well as Afghanistan. 10 S.F. Starr, “A Partnership for Central Asia,” Foreign Affairs, July-August 2005, available at [http://www.cfr.org/ publication/8937/partnership_for_central_asia.html]. 11 V. Volkov, “Afganistan—igra v perevetryshi,” 2 November, 2005, available at [http://www.dw-world.de/dw/ article/0,,1763730,00.html].

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Russia’s and China’s Stance on the GCA Concept The cautious reaction of Russia and China to the new geopolitical concept proposed by Washington is very interesting. Moscow and Beijing are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and Central Asia, on the one hand, while they are skeptical about the U.S.’s long-term presence and “obligations” in the region, on the other.12 The Central Asian states are pursuing a multivectoral policy that entails balancing relations with the main global and regional players. This is being achieved by participating in integration unions (the SCO, EurAsEC, and the CTSO) and Western investment projects. However, Frederick Starr believes that Russia and China can become involved in the discussion of the GCA concept; “the Greater Central Asia Partnership for Cooperation and Development (GCAP) would pose no threat to Russia’s or China’s legitimate activities in the region.” He also claims that Washington is willing to listen to any constructive opinions and proposals these two countries may have. Thus, “Washington can help Russia and China appreciate the benefits that the GCAP would offer each of them. Development would alleviate the extreme poverty that feeds extremist movements, and it would stem the tide of illegal immigrants to Russia. Strengthened border regimes would help reduce separatist activity in Xinjiang. The improvement of transportation infrastructure would give western Siberia and the Urals new export routes to Asia, and China’s Xinjiang region would gain a window onto the south.”13 On the whole, Russia’s and China’s cautious attitude toward implementing the GCA project is at times expressed in its extremely critical assessments. According to expert A. Knyazev, the main gist of the American geostrategy for the Central Asian region was formulated by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who said that, “The priority must be to manage the rise of other regional powers in ways that do not threaten America’s global primacy.” Knyazev went on to assert that one of the ways to manage this situation was to create “manageable conflicts.” The GCA project should also be viewed from this perspective.14 According to Tajik expert G. Maitdinova, the U.S. needs the GCA geo-concept for managing all the economic and political processes going on in the region without having to worry about resistance from Russia and China. Today’s new geopolitical structure of CA might help to fortify the U.S.’s dominating role at the regional and global levels.15 It should be noted that the attitude of the academic communities inside CA to the GCA project is extremely ambivalent. On the one hand, the analysts are interested in the development of geo-economic processes, while on the other, they are calling on the heads of their governments to treat Washington’s geopolitical projects with caution. In particular, G. Maitdinova notes that “most of the CA analytical community regards the GCA geo-concept as America’s approach to realizing its own national interests without taking account of the objective fact that the region’s states are entities currently in need of serious modernization, and 12 See: N. Godehardt, M. Hanif, R. Sakaeda, “Sicherheitspolitische Herausforderungen der Regierung Obama in Asien,” GIGA (German Institute of Global and Area Studies), No. 1, 2004, S. 5. 13 S.F. Starr, “A Partnership for Central Asia.” 14 A. Knyazev, “‘Bolshaia Tsentral’naia Azia—eto vpolne ochevidnyy geopoliticheskiy marazm,’ D. Kislov interviews A. Knyazev,” 5 July, 2007, available at [www.ferghana.ru]. 15 See: G.M. Maitdinova, “Geopolitika Tsentral’noi Azii. Mezhdunarodnoe sotrudnichestvo v Tsentral’noi Evrazii po obespecheniiu regional’noi bezopasnosti: protivodeistvie novym ugrozam, mekhanizmy, vektory vzaimodeistviia,” The Information-Analytical Portal “Geopolitika—geopolitika posmoderna,” 10 March, 2010, available at [http://www. geopolitica.ru/Articles/911/].

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not geopolitical targets. The SCO Participating States and observers are already trying to solve the economic and political tasks set by Washington. The GCA project, which is dictated by the U.S.’s geopolitical interests, has still not found support among the CA states that are sufficiently effectively integrated into the SCO and EurAsEC.”16 Frederick Starr proposes making economic interaction with the CA countries a top priority. Despite the weak contacts that existed in this sphere at the end of the 1990s, Washington has understood that not one geopolitical concept can be successful without economic backup. According to the statement U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried made in 2005 at hearings before the House of Representatives on the economic situation in CA (within the framework of the GCA project), Washington would like to see the region’s countries as competitive participants in the energy dialog with the South Asian countries, which, in turn, is a necessary attribute of strategic proximity within the framework of the concept offered.17 The U.S. believes that export of Kyrgyz and Tajik electricity to neighboring countries, Afghanistan, and on to Pakistan could serve as an example of intensified economic partnership in the energy industry. The U.S. Agency for International Development has drawn up a plan for establishing (in the next five years) a unified electricity market for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. A project is also being prepared that aims to form a unified energy system in Central and Southern Asia (from Kazakhstan to India). And another project is being promoted, CASA 1000,18 which was instituted by the World Bank, but which Washington supports in every way. The concept envisages several essentially unattainable objectives, suggesting that democratic societies be built in the conditions of the existing authoritarian regimes, and that “Afghanistan and the entire region of which it is the heart [be transformed] into a zone of secure sovereignties sharing viable market economies, secular and relatively open systems of governance, respecting citizens’ rights, and maintaining positive relations with the U.S.”19 In actual fact, the main reason the U.S. is strengthening its position in the CA is due to the region’s resource potential20 (“black” and “blue” gold). By increasing its influence in the CA region, the U.S. is also trying to undermine the position of its main rivals, Russia and China. According to D. Meienreis, this striving is shown by the drawing up of new pipeline projects, for example, Iran-Pakistan-India and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India.21

Conclusion On the whole, the GCA concept implies transformation of the Eurasian continent, which envisages transforming Central and Southern Asia into a single resource and strategic whole and gradually extricating the region from the sphere of Russia’s and China’s influence. 16

Ibidem. See: “Bolshaia Tsentral’naia Azia i Kazakhstan,” Information-Analytical Center for the Study of Sociopolitical Processes in the Post-Soviet Expanse, available at [http://www.ia-centr.ru/]. 18 Building the CASA regional power transmission line with a capacity of 1,000 MW will be the first step in developing a Central Asian and South Asian electricity market, CASAREM. The length of the power transmission line from Tajikistan to Pakistan through Afghanistan alone will be more than 750 km. The approximate cost of the project is estimated at $770 million. The CASA-1000 project includes the current power transmission line from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan and a new high-voltage power transmission line to be built from Tajikistan to Pakistan which will later be hooked up to the South Asian vector and electric power substations in Kabul, Peshawar, and Sangtuda. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have stated their intentions to invest in the project. 19 S.F. Starr, “A ‘Greater Central Asia Partnership’ for Afghanistan and Its Neighbors,” p. 5. 20 See: J. Nichol, “Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests,” in: Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division, 12 November, 2004, pp. 1-3. 21 See: D. Meienreis, “Obama, Afghanistan und das neue ‘Große Spiel,’” 10 January, 2010, available at [http:// marx21.de/content/view/926/32/]. 17

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Implementation of this project is unlikely for several reasons. n

First, the situation in Afghanistan, which forms a link between Central and Southern Asia, is extremely unstable.

n

Second, the U.S. has been deprived of its military support base, Khanabad, in Uzbekistan (22 November, 2005) and, it seems, is beginning to lose the fight with Russia over military-political influence in Kyrgyzstan. We are referring here to the Manas base, which is currently a transit center for transporting cargo to the U.S. and NATO armed forces in Afghanistan.

n

Third, the differences in the objectives and interests of the Central Asian states themselves is hindering implementation of the GCA project. This is primarily associated with the geopolitical activity the main players (the U.S., Russia, and the PRC) are conducting. Their efforts to gain a stronger foothold in each of the CA countries is prompting the region’s countries, in turn, to draw up their own game rules. The CA countries are trying to preserve their fragile regimes while counting on support from the U.S., Russia, and the PRC and also competing among themselves. For example, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are waging a furtive war for leadership, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan cannot resolve the problem of supplying the region with water and energy. It stands to reason that the U.S. will try to play an increasingly active role in resolving and settling these processes, including within the framework of the GCA geo-concept.

On the whole, in the near future, the Central Asian region can expect serious structural changes caused by the new balance of powers in the region after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the emergence of new players who are actively promoting their strategic goals in the region, and the diverse foreign policy approaches and conceptions of the states that have their interests in the CA. Success by any of these political players will largely depend on the extent to which the concepts they put forward coincide with the present reality in CA and the current interests of the leaders of the region’s countries.

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REGIONAL STUDIES

CENTRAL ASIA AS VIEWED BY CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL ANALYSTS Murat LAUMULIN D.Sc. (Political Science), Chief Fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

In Lieu of an Introduction

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his is the second part of the historiography on literature about Central Asia which appeared earlier this year in Central Asia and the Caucasus.1 It is intended to fill the gap about 1

See: M. Laumulin, A. Malik, “Central Asia as

the books on Central Asia which have appeared in the last two years that were not covered in the previous article. Viewed by Contemporary Political Analysts,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010.

Europe and Central Asia: Identical Interests After a long interval, Romanic-speaking Southern Europe (Italy and Spain) revived its interest in Central Asia and Kazakhstan, while France, the U.K., and Germany never lost theirs. In 2008, the Cassa di Risparmio Fund of Bologna published a fundamental work2 which gathered between its two covers everything historians, ethnographers, and political scientists had to say about Kazakhstan. 2

See: F. Facchini (a cura di), Popoli della Yurta. Kazakhstan tra le origini e la modernita, Jaca Book, Milan, 2008,

320 pp.

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Five of the thirteen chapters were written by Kazakhstan historians, archeologists, ethnographers, and sociologists. Those who devised this definitive publication and identified its ideology intended to trace the cultural and civilizational developments in contemporary Kazakhstan based on rich archeological material and historical sources related to the country’s nomadic past. The problems of our day and modernization of Kazakh (Kazakhstan) society have been covered in just as much detail. It seems that Italian social anthropologists will find the book especially interesting and useful. The Spanish academic community devoted its works entirely to Kazakhstan’s current developments. Great Powers and Regional Integration in Central Asia: A Local Perspective was prepared with the active involvement of Kazakhstan experts and published in English by the Opex Fund operated by the Foreign Ministry of Spain.3 The joint effort was coordinated by M. Esteban and N. de Pedro, the two ideologists of this collective work. This relatively small book deals with geopolitics and the international status of Central Asia; each of its structural units looks at the regional policy of the key international actors who have their own interests in the region (Russia, China, the U.S., Turkey, Japan, and the European Union). As expected, the Spanish authors concentrated on the relations between the European Union and Central Asia, while their colleagues from Kazakhstan were given the opportunity to express their opinion about the policy of other powers. Mario Esteban is convinced that Russia, the influence of which is shrinking, is relying on regional cooperation exercised through the EurAsEC and CSTO as an instrument to reinforce its presence in the region. The Spanish expert believes that China is rapidly building up its regional influence and is the driving force in the SCO. The United States, writes Mario Esteban, is concentrating on the Greater Central Asia (GCA) project designed to “reintegrate” the region with South Asia (particularly with Afghanistan and Pakistan). The Turkish geopolitical project is based on the idea of Turkic unity. The Spanish author regards Japan as the largest donor, which is not entirely correct; he has rightly written, however, that in Central Asia Tokyo is mainly driven by its intention to form a counterbalance to China. The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership adopted in 2007, which serves as the basis of the EU’s geopolitical activities in the region, fails to fully take account of Central Asia’s geopolitical specifics. The Spanish analysts intend this publication to be a geopolitical appendix of sorts to the strategic document. Nicolás de Pedro proceeds from the assumption that Central Asia is becoming increasingly important to Europe for four reasons: (1) it is a source of threats which might affect Europe; (2) it is rich in energy resources; (3) it is a place where the interests of Russia, China, and America clash; (4) it borders on Afghanistan. The ruling regimes and the opposition are satisfied with the EU’s presence in the region, which cannot be said for other geopolitical actors. This is especially obvious in Kazakhstan, which tends to identify itself with Europe to a much greater extent than its regional neighbors and which is chairing the OSCE in 2010. The European Union does its best to avoid geopolitical intrigues—it concentrates on economic and education issues, which, the Spanish author hopes, will bear fruit sometime in the future when the present generation of regional leaders retires. The European Union supports regional integration in principle, which can be described as a weakness rather than a strong point of its Central Asian policy: the disagreements among the republics are too obvious to be ignored. On the whole, concludes the author, the European Union is pursu3 See: Great Powers and Regional Integration in Central Asia: A Local Perspective, ed. by M. Esteban, N.de Pedro, Exlibris Ediciones, Madrid, 2009, 140 pp.

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ing a simple, pragmatic, and absolutely clear policy: it is encouraging economic development and integration in the region, a lower level of political dependence on outside forces, and prevention of confrontation in the Cold War style. The Casa Asia of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, which has pooled the efforts of French, Central Asian and Spanish experts, published the work La situation de la gobernanza en Asia Central4 dealing with the nature of the region’s political regimes and socioeconomic relations in the context of its historical and structural specifics; economic and social evolution of postSoviet Kazakhstan; the problem of effective governance in Uzbekistan; and the economic and political relations between Spain and Central Asia. The book contains political and economic statistics for each of the region’s republics. Sebastien Peyrouse, likewise, has written a lot about the EU’s strategy and policy in the region.5 The report ordered by the Foreign Ministry of Finland and compiled by an expert group headed by Frederick Starr takes a look at the relations between Finland and the Central Asian and Caucasian countries6 and evaluates the level of cooperation, methods, and key trends of Helsinki’s policy in the regions. According to the authors, Finland’s policy is developing within the common European strategy (economic cooperation, fighting threats, etc.); however Helsinki has its own preferences: support of NGOs, promotion of gender equality, prevention of conflicts, migration, and the banking sector. The report, which offers clear recommendations to the Finnish government on its further regional policy, stands apart from other similar publications. It should be said that the presence of Prof. Frederick Starr, American political expert and author of the GCA doctrine, is very much felt in this publication.7

Japan, China, and Central Asia: From Eurasian to Pan-Asian Strategy Prof. Starr, who is frequently criticized from all sides (Central Asia, Russia, and the West) for his GCA concept,8 had to disavow the concept9 by saying that his ideas had been misinterpreted and misunderstood. The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), where Frederick Starr and his colleagues are based, has remained the pioneer of Central Asian studies. We have already written about some of them.10 4 See: La situation de la gobernanza en Asia Central, Coordinada pro G.M. Tabener, E. Soms Bach, Casa Asia, Madrid, 2009, 101 pp. 5 See: S. Peyrouse, “Facing the Challenges of Separatism: The EU, Central Asia and the Uyghur Issue,” EUCAM Policy Brief, No. 4, January 2009, EUCAM, Brussels, 2009, 16 pp.; idem, “Business and Trade Relationships between the EU and Central Asia,” EUCAM Working Paper, No. 1, June 2009, EUCAM, Brussels, 2009. 6 See: S.F. Starr, S. Cornell, S.M. Oksajärvi, Finland’s Development Cooperation in Central Asia and South Caucasus (Evaluation Report 2009:1), The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Helsinki, 2009, VI+70 pp. 7 The EU strategies in it relations with Kazakhstan can be found in “Le Kazakhstan: Partnaire Stratégique de l’Europe,” in: Diplomatie. Affaires Stratégiques et Relations Internationales, AREION, Paris, 2009, 16 pp. 8 See: G. Tulepbergenova, “The Greater Central Asia Project: Present State and Evolution,” Central Asia’s Affairs (KazISS, Almaty), No. 2, 2009, pp. 5-10. 9 See: S.F. Starr, “Rediscovering Central Asia,” The Wilson Quarterly (The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), Summer 2009; idem, In Defense of Greater Central Asia, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, A Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington, D.C., 2008, 18 pp. 10 See: A. Cohen, Kazakhstan: The Road to Independence. Energy Policy and the Birth of a Nation, Central AsiaCaucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Washington, D.C., 2008, 287 pp.; S. Horák, J. Šír, Dismantling Totalitarianism? Turkmenistan under Berdimuhamedow, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Washington, D.C., 2009, 97 pp.

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A collective monograph called Japan’s Silk Road Diplomacy11 deserves special mention. Edited by U. Tomohiko and H. Tetsuya in cooperation with C. Len, the book takes a look at what predated Tokyo’s current Central Asian policy and covers practically all aspects of Japan’s cooperation with the region. The authors believe that Japan should move away from its regional policy and its concentration on economic assistance. While acting formally with the West, it preferred to ignore the democracyrelated issues very much in the center of American and European attention. Tokyo should join the democratization process, write the authors. They also suggest that Tokyo should shift its attention from geopolitical to economic issues in its relations with the region. It should be said in all justice that at no time has Japan demonstrated a bias toward geopolitics. Experts admit that the Japanese leaders have never looked at Central Asia as a critically important aspect of their diplomatic and foreign economic strategy. It seems that this trend will continue, even if the authors would have preferred the opposite; they believe that Tokyo should abandon all forms of rivalry with Russia and China to be able to continue its policy in Central Asia. In fact, they say that Japan could have found a more constructive form of cooperation with these two countries. The authors stress that the mounting economic influence of China and South Korea in Central Asia can no longer be ignored. As a North Asian power, Japan could have invited its neighbors to pursue a common strategy and close ranks in a united front. The authors make no secret of the fact that energy resources are today and will remain in the future the main (or even the only) driving force behind Japan’s strategic activities. The monograph dwells on another important issue: Japan’s Central Asian policy in the context of its pan-Asian strategy and its strategic relations with the United States. The pan-Asian factor clearly underlies Tokyo’s new conception with respect to Central Asia. Built at first on the Central Asia plus Japan formula and then on the so-called Eurasian strategy, today it rests on the so-called Arc of Freedom and Prosperity, a concept currently being elaborated in the corridors of power. The very name speaks volumes: it brings to mind the geopolitical projects Japan applied to Asia in the first half of the 20th century. Tokyo has obviously remained loyal to its pan-Asian policy in Central Asia. The authors, however, agree that Japan should formulate its own geopolitical approach in the form of the Expanded East Asia (together with China and South Korea) or Eastern Eurasia (the same partners and Russia) projects. The Eurasian countries could have become, at least theoretically, a platform for Japan and Central Asia, as well as for all interested players. This means that in its Central Asian policy, Japan once more runs across the dilemma (which also exists in many other foreign policy trends) of whether it should follow its interests (which will make its policy purely Asian) or continue following American strategies (to remain a hostage of American geopolitics with ensuing consequences). A highly creative tandem formed by M. Laruelle and S. Peyrouse has authored a definitive work within the SAIS program called China as a Neighbor: Central Asian Perspectives and Strategies12 based on the thesis that since 2000 China has been playing an increasingly greater role in Central Asia. Today, it can threaten Russia’s traditional domination in the region. For a long time, China remained devoted to its traditional “wait-and-see” policy in Central Asia. Beijing looked at it as a buffer zone, however, its geographical proximity and the new economic reality are pushing China toward more active involvement. The local states have not missed the U-turn 11 See: Japan’s Silk Road Diplomacy. Paving the Road Ahead., ed. by C. Len, U. Tomohiko, H. Tetsuya, Central AsiaCaucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Washington, D.C., 2009, 206 pp. 12 See: M. Laruelle, S. Peyrouse, China as a Neighbor: Central Asian Perspectives and Strategies, Central AsiaCaucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Washington, D.C., 2009, 201 pp.

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either: Beijing has moved away from flexible diplomacy and “soft power” to demonstrate to some of them that they are not “equal partners,” Kazakhstan with its “strategic partner” status—a title Beijing is not lavish with—being the only exception. The authors have dwelt in detail on the so-called Chinese Question and its numerous dimensions, the main being international policy and geopolitics. The domestic dimensions of the Chinese Question vary from country to country and depend on their domestic contexts. The ideas about the Chinese Question are different in different republics, but none of the states (with the exception of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) treats it as an important and contradictory civilizational and geopolitical issue. It should be said, however, that Beijing unwittingly pushed academic Sinology into the practical sphere of politics and international relations. China’s strategy is aimed at filling the economic vacuum the Soviet Union left behind in the region, and elsewhere as a matter of fact. Its regional strategy is part and parcel of the Xinjiang factor, the Uighur problem, etc. Chinese investments should be treated as the means and methods used to hook the Central Asian republics; the authors, however, are very skeptical about the strategy’s longterm success. So far, China is pushing ahead in the financial and banking spheres from which Russia is absent; Moscow is trying for all it is worth to keep fuel exports, the nuclear industry, and energy production under its control. Moscow and Beijing share common approaches at the geopolitical level: they need stability and shrinking Western influence. Their economic interests, especially in subsurface resources, are developing into economic rivalry. A separate chapter deals with the way the Central Asian countries treat the Chinese factor from the political, political scientific, and social points of view; much space is given to the struggle between the anti-Chinese and pro-Chinese groups in Kazakhstan. Their disputes are discussed in detail in the academic, political, and economic contexts. It should be said that the book contains a profound and vast survey of history, as well as an assessment of the development and state of the political “think-tanks” in the local countries, their interpretation of Chinese policy, and the attitude toward China in each of them. The authors concluded that throughout the last decade China has developed into the main focus of attention of regional politicians, political scientists, the media, and society; the so-called Chinese Question has become a topic of intense political debates. Despite their continued prejudices against China, the regional elites and political communities refrain from open anti-Chinese statements. In the economy, where the interests of various groups directly depend on external investors and partners, the anti-Chinese and pro-Chinese confrontation is much more open, even though it is actively pushed into the shadows. The defense and security structures, as well as the secret services are still in two minds about China, which probably fits the mood at the top. M. Laruelle and S. Peyrouse have pointed out that the possibility of closer relations with China evokes different feelings in different countries. Anti-Chinese feelings predominate, on the whole, in Kazakhstan, while pro-Chinese sentiments are much more strongly felt in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (reference to the latter is open to doubt). The authors have paid particular attention to the efforts of Central Asian strategists and politicians to find a certain “third way:” either an alliance with the West or an independent and relatively strong regional alliance to dispel with the need to choose between Beijing and Moscow. The region, however, has not yet arrived at a united opinion about its relations with China. The French academics are convinced that the region—mainly Kazakhstan—criticizes Russia and does not like the West. China is hated: the authors are amazed at the regional level of Sinophobia which stems from widespread ignorance about this country. 113

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They have concluded that the further the Central Asian country from China, the higher the tolerance level. In countries where China is present at the everyday level (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), Sinophobia is much more pronounced. Chinese regional policy is shrewd, write the authors: satisfied with the fact that Moscow has shouldered the financial burden of the strategic balance in the region, Beijing has no intention of pushing the Russians out. Any attempt to move to the fore will arouse Moscow’s stiff opposition. To avoid any confrontation with a united front of Russia and the Central Asian states (China got a taste of this when dealing with the border rivers), it relies on bilateral relations within the region. An alliance between Russia and China will infringe on the interests of the United States and the EU (not of the Central Asian states) and deprive them of the chance to promote democracy and liberalize the local regimes. As part of the local economic landscape, China leaves Western businesses no chance (potential or real) of becoming entrenched in the region; Beijing demonstrates no mean skill in camouflaging its anti-Western policy to leave Moscow with the far from attractive role of an anti-Western force. The authors conclude that it is in the interests of the Central Asian countries to keep the Chinese-Russian alliance in check by counterbalancing it with a “third force.” There is any number of articles and other publications dealing with the Chinese presence in Central Asia, the SCO, and many other issues (mainly the special 2009 issue of The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly).13 Another issue of the same publication deals with the relations between India and Central Asia.14 Western authors devote much attention to the regional security issues (drug trafficking, the SCO, and other international structures),15 as well as the situation in Afghanistan.16 13 See: M. Clarke, “China’s Integration of Xinjiang with Central Asia: Securing a ‘Silk Road’ to Great Power Status,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly (ISDP, Stockholm), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 89-111; M. Laruelle, S. Peyrouse, “Editors’ Note: Central Asian Perceptions of China,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2009, pp. 1-8; idem, “Cross-border Minorities as Cultural and Economic Mediators between China and Central Asia,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2009, pp. 93-119; M. Oresman, “Reassessing the Fleeting Potential for U.S.China Cooperation in Central Asia,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 5-14; S. Peyrouse, “La présence chinoise en Asie centrale. Portée geopolitique, enjeux économiques et impact culturel,” Etudes de CERI, No. 148, 2008; idem, “Chinese Economic Presence in Kazakhstan. China’s Resolve and Central Asia’s Apprehension,” Chinese Perspectives, No. 3, 2008, pp. 34-49; idem, “Central Asia’s Growing Partnership with China,” EUCAM Working Paper, No. 4, October 2009, EUCAM, Brussels, 15 pp.; Y. Schicor, “China’s Central Asian Strategy and the Xinjiang Connection: Predicaments and Medicaments in a Contemporary Perspective,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 55-74; J. Šír, S. Horák, “China as an Emerging Superpower in Central Asia: The View from Ashkhabad,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 75-88; M.C. Spechler, “Why Does China Have No Business in Central Asia?” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2009, pp. 3-15; R. Sutter, “Durability in China’s Strategy toward Central Asia—Reasons for Optimism,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2008, pp. 3-10. 14 See: M. Balooch, “Iran and India’s Cooperation toward Central Asia,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, pp. 25-30; M.A. Kaw, “Restoring India’s Silk Route Links with South and Central Asia across Kashmir: Challenges and Opportunities,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2009, pp. 59-74; J.P. Panda, “India’s Approach to Central Asia: Strategic Intents and Geopolitical Calculus,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, pp. 103-114. 15 See: G. Germanovich, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: A Threat to American Interests in Central Asia?” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2008, pp. 19-38; S. Peyrouse, M. Laruelle, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Successes and Challenges,” The Journal of Central Asian Studies (Kashmir University), Vol. 28, No. 1, 2009, pp. 1-14; N. Swanström, “Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Aftermath of the Russian Invasion of Georgia,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2008, pp. 3-8; Yang Shu, “Reassessing the SCO’s Internal Difficulties: A Chinese Point of View,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, pp. 17-24; S. Hanova, “Perspectives on the SCO: Images and Discourses,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, pp. 63-82; S. Peyrouse, “Drug-trafficking in Central Asia,” Policy Brief. Institute for Security and Development Policy (Stockholm), No. 8, September 2009, pp. 1-4. 16 See: G. Gleason, R.R. Hanks, Y. Bosin, “Afghanistan Reconstruction in Regional Perspective,” Central Asian Survey (Oxford), Vol. 28, Issue 3, 2009, pp. 275-287; S.F. Starr, “A Regional Approach to Afghanistan and Its Neighbors,” in: Strategic Asia 2008-2009, National Bureau of Asian Affairs, Seattle, 2008, pp. 333-362; S. Chan, “Breaking the Impasse

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Regional Problems Erica Marat, a research fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, has already published two works, one of them dealing with the impact of the world crisis on labor migration in Central Asia,17 which says the following. Three of the Central Asian republics—Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan—can be described as donors which supply Russia and Kazakhstan with workforce. The author describes Putin’s Russia as a xenophobic expanse that is very hostile toward Central Asian labor migrants, while Kazakhstan is a “new home” for them. She has also pointed out that there is practically no interstate cooperation or coordination with respect to migration policy and draws attention to numerous social and economic problems, such as extremely low wages, appalling labor and living conditions, legalized slavery, lack of rights, illegal migration, etc. The guest workers market has remained almost intact: most guest workers have retained their pre-crisis jobs, however the inflow of new workers has noticeably dwindled. To decrease the region’s dependence on workforce export and to minimize its negative effects, Erica Marat suggests the following: developing local small and medium businesses; encouraging stronger interstate cooperation in the sphere of migration (especially between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan); rendering support of international (obviously Western) structures in the field of professional training; launching wider information campaigns against illegal workforce traffic; making investments in secondary specialized education; promoting education for women; fighting corruption, etc. Another, and bigger, work by the same author called The Military and the State in Central Asia18 and subtitled “From Red Army to Independence” shows the author’s desire to create a wide historical panorama. As far as we know, this subject has been avoided by Western political commentators, which makes her choice very interesting indeed. The author deals not so much with military history and the Soviet traditions still alive in Central Asian society. She looks into the army’s Bonapartist and political potential in the post-Soviet expanse as a whole and Central Asia in particular and concentrates on the Central Asian military’s situation in Soviet times; the contradictory assessments of the Afghan campaign (“we won the war”); military institutions as part of the post-Soviet development of the national states; rivalry among regional security structures; NATO’s and America’s presence in the region; and transformation of the “internationalist” armed forces into nationalist. The result is a mixture of historical, social, political, organizational, technical, and geopolitical problems. The author proceeds from the assumption that from the early 20th century to the present time, the military remains a political factor with the main role to play in politics, state development, foreign policy, and everyday life. The author’s obvious competence would hardly have made this thesis palatable for the Soviet leaders (starting with Trotsky and Stalin); the presidents of the newly independent states, likewise, will never accept it: the army should remain an instrument rather than an independent political force. Certain debatable issues nevertheless, the book’s highly specific subject makes it an important and interesting contribution to Central Asian studies. in Afghanistan: Problems with Neighbours, Brothers and Guests,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2008, pp. 103-128; S. Khan, “Stabilization of Afghanistan: U.S./NATO Regional Strategy and the Role of SCO,” The China and Eurasia Forum Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, pp. 11-16. 17 See: E. Marat, Labor Migration in Central Asia: Implications of the Global Economic Crisis, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington, D.C., 2009, 48 pp. 18 See: E. Marat, The Military and the State in Central Asia. From Red Army to Independence, Routledge, London, 2009, 176 pp.

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Another no less interesting book familiarizes the Western reading audience with the architect of the most successful Central Asian state. I have in mind the book by Jonathan Aitken Nazarbaev and the Making of Kazakhstan19 which summarized the long talks between the President of Kazakhstan and the author, with whom Nazarbaev shared his reminiscences and ideas. The work is full of information previously unknown to the wide public and specialists; it is highly unlikely that the President could have permitted such a confidential and open conversation with any other foreign journalist. The author not only described the path covered by the main character of his book, but also revealed what circumstances and personal qualities made him the “father of the nation” and the architect of modern Kazakhstan. Jonathan Aitken describes the Kazakh President as having the iron core of a steelmaker and the foresight of a reformer. He writes that Nazarbaev remains untainted by the scandals, even though they inevitably and indirectly affect his reputation. He points out: “On progress toward religious freedom, press freedom, human rights and fair elections Kazakhstan has done more than Russia, China and other states of the region put together” (p. 4). The author describes the gist of the policies of the republic’s leader as slow progress from autocracy to democracy. He readily agrees with President Nazarbaev’s slogan: “The economy first, political restructuring next” (p. 4). In the foreign policy sphere, the President is skillfully maintaining good relations with Moscow, Beijing, and Washington, a no mean achievement and guarantee of the republic’s stable position on the international arena; the middle class ensures domestic stability. The author explains his self-appointed task of telling the Western audience about Nazarbaev’s role in contemporary Kazakhstan without which establishment of the young state would have been impossible by the fact that the West rarely or never identifies the republic’s achievements with the name of its first president. The book is divided into 14 chapters: the first half deal with the Soviet period and the second with the post-Soviet period of his life. For obvious reasons, the story of the post-Soviet period is highly dramatic: it was at that time that Nazarbaev shouldered his historic mission of building a modern Kazakhstan. Chapter Eight, aptly called “The Birth Pains of Independence,” describes the problems the young state had to grapple with. The key chapter entitled “Entering the 21st Century,” a story about the current stage of the country’s development, is divided into two parts: “Part I—The Domestic President” and “Part II— The International President,” which are dealing with domestic and foreign policy issues, respectively. In an effort to explain to the Western reader why no Western-style democracy is possible within a relatively short time in a country with a decade or even centuries-long authoritarian tradition, the author asks himself, “Does this mean that Nazarbaev’s glass is half empty or half full?” He seems to understand and justify his protagonist. The book is not limited to the problem of democracy; the author touches upon the far from simple relations inside the president’s family and the not entirely legal activities of his former son-in-law Rakhat Aliev. Education is one of the central domestic issues because, the author argues, the President is shaping the elite, the leaders destined to continue his cause. The President is a past master of balancing all foreign policy issues and an ardent supporter of active involvement in every possible international organization. 19

See: J. Aitken, Nazarbaev and the Making of Kazakhstan, Continuum, London, New York, 2009, IX+256 pp.

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The author appreciates the President’s sense of humor, which helped him get out of a fairly sensitive situation created by the film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and its author Sasha Baron Cohen. As an international personality, says the author, Nazarbaev is neither an “ex-communist leader” nor a “Moscow-style autocrat,” tags popular late in the 20th century. He is a much more sophisticated international politician. Jonathan Aitken has written that the president’s complicated and contradictory foreign policy course, a so-called multivectoral policy, and its fairly hazardous balancing between Moscow and Washington in particularly, were justified by the republic’s OSCE chairmanship, a strategic goal realized despite the U.S. Department of State and the fairly cool relations with Dmitry Medvedev at the start of his presidency. The author ends the book with a chapter about Astana, the country’s new capital, which the President treats as his favorite child: it is much more than a capital, a successful project, or a symbol. It should be said that the decision to move away from Almaty, the republic’s capital, was not an easy one: the President appreciated its elegance, international culture, dynamic lifestyle and the picturesque mountains that surround the city. But it was these mountains that limited the further development of Almaty (in the past this happened to Manhattan and Hong Kong). The author refers to other reasons: ecological problems, potentially destructive earthquakes, dangerous proximity of the Chinese border, and the rarely mentioned excessively Soviet (or Russified) context. Nazarbaev, who followed in the footsteps of Peter the Great, George Washington, and Kemal Atatürk, was not guided by what Aitken described in French as “folie de grandeur” and not because he wanted to distance himself from the opposition based in the southern capital. It was a well-justified and strategically correct decision which confirmed the President’s foresightedness and wisdom, as well as his willpower and determination as a truly national leader. The “Epilogue” does not offer fundamental conclusions about Nazarbaev’s role in history; the author points to the emotional nature of the story based on 23 hours of personal interviews. The author, who writes that President Nazarbaev knows that his mission is far from complete, deems it necessary to ask: “What is his legacy to his people, his region and the international community?” (p. 245). “Kazakhstan’s glass deserves to be described as half full rather than half empty” (p. 246) which constitutes a positive (with reservations) assessment of what has been done. When writing about a certain ambiguity in the President’s personality, Jonathan Aitken quotes former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev: “Never forget that Nazarbaev is a man of two cultures. He is both Russian and Asian in his roots and outlook” (p. 247). The author adds: biculturalism explains Nursultan Nazarbaev’s political achievements and the historic scope of his personality. The book, which brims with hitherto unknown facts derived from confidential talks with the President and his personal archive, is of potentially great importance for Kazakhstan experts. A revised and extended edition of D. Schreiber’s book about Kazakhstan20 should be also mentioned. It is a classical travel guide for German speakers with a lot of useful information; none of the locally published guides can rival it. The Friedrich Ebert Fund published the book Zentralasien: der Blick nach Aussen (in Russian and German) dealing with the foreign policies of the region’s countries as assessed by corresponding expert communities. The book, the third one dealing with this subject, is intended for wide readership.21 20

See: D. Schreiber, Kasachstan. Nomadenwege zwischen Kaspischem Meer und Altaj, Trescher Verlag, Berlin, 2009,

430 S. 21 See: Zentralasien: der Blick nach Aussen. Internationale Politik aus zentralasiatischer Sicht, Fridrich Ebert Stiftung, Berlin, 2008, 615 S.

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The joint Indian-Kazakhstan publication Contemporary Kazakhstan: The Way Ahead deals with the republic’s foreign policy status.22 A group of French academics (P. Chuvin, R. Létolle, and S. Peyrouse) produced Histoire de l’Asie central contemporaine.23 René Létolle in his La mer d’Aral24 looked at the region’s ecological plight. A short essay by Sebastien Peyrouse deals with local agriculture and its problems.25

India and Central Asia: Geopolitical Reconnection The collective work Reconnecting India and Central Asia: Emerging Security and Economic Dimensions prepared under Prof. N. Joshi’s overall guidance and editorship has revived the rather neglected issue of Indian and Central Asian contacts. The very fact that the work appeared in the United States rather than in India or any of the Central Asian republics speaks volumes about India’s greatly increased geopolitical importance and, hence, its influence in Central Asia. The book, which was published within the SAIS program at the Johns Hopkins University headed for many years by Prof. Starr, testifies to American and Western attention to India and its role in Central Asia.26 Strictly speaking, the monograph deals with two key problems which found their way into the book’s title: security and economics. It raises another, no less consequential question: the status of each of the partners in the context of the new geopolitical developments. In general, the authors look at India and Central Asia as parts of GCA, which also includes South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. They have not limited themselves to geopolitics and security, but have moved on to discuss economic contacts, which supplies them with the clout and importance they have not yet acquired. The above fits into the notorious GCA concept Frederick Starr put into circulation; his foreword sets the tone, while his ideas dominate the book. What do the authors think about the community of Indian and Central Asian interests in the context of their identical interpretation of the threats and challenges? They proceed from the assumption that at all times India has been and is aware of Central Asia’s geopolitical importance as part of a vast and strategically pivotal area. There is a strong conviction in the Indian corridors of power that the changing geopolitical and strategic situation in Eurasia calls for India’s restored (allegedly) regional role. Today the country, along with the global players, is trying to join the geopolitical struggle for the region’s resources. Seen from New Delhi, the Big Game around the region looks like a cooperation/competition between two pairs of geopolitical actors: the U.S. and the EU, on the one side, and Russia and China, on the other. So far, carried by inertia, India is still cooperating with Russia, while China’s increasing presence is pushing it toward the United States. 22 See: Contemporary Kazakhstan: The Way Ahead, ed. by A. Mohanty, S. Swain, Axis Publications, New Delhi, 2009, XV+314 pp. 23 See: P. Chuvin, R. Létolle, S. Peyrouse, Histoire de l’Asie centrale contemporaine, Fazard, Paris, 2008, 375 pp. 24 See: R. Létolle, La mer d’Aral, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2009, 318 pp. (J. MacKay discusses similar problems in his “Running Dry: International Law and the Management of Aral Sea Depletion,” Central Asian Survey (Oxford), Vol. 28, Issue 1, 2009, pp. 17-27). 25 See: S. Peyrouse, “The Multiple Paradoxes of the Agriculture Issue in Central Asia,” EUCAM Working Paper, No. 6, 2009, 14 pp. 26 See: Reconnecting India and Central Asia: Emerging Security and Economic Dimensions, ed. by N. Joshi, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program- A Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington, D.C., 2010, IX+182 pp.

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Delhi is convinced that the Central Asian countries share its belief that no single power should dominate the region. At the same time, the Indian expert community believes that the Russian and Indian perceptions about China’s future role in Central Asia are likely to coincide and can be described as immediate concerns. Central Asia might become part of the strategically hazardous neighborhood dominated by expanded Af-Pak, which Delhi fears more than anything else. India and the Central Asian countries should pool forces to address the problem of Afghanistan. The authors even criticize the Obama Administration, which is prepared to flirt with the so-called Taliban moderates and is even encouraging the forces responsible for the 2008 heinous terrorist act in Mumbai. The authors are quite open about the fact that India is focusing on Central Asia’s energy resources, Kazakhstan being the attraction; the two countries are already tied by the Strategic Partnership Agreement; this and Afghanistan’s possible membership in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will allow India to knock together a regional bloc of sorts as part of the “Look West Policy” it has been working on since the early 1990s. If realized, Delhi would become the leader of the GCA project recognized by the West and other actors. Successfully completed, the project would allow India to establish the trade and transport contacts with Central Asia it badly needs. The authors supply relevant figures to clarify the geopolitical interests of some countries. By 2015, India’s trade with the EU, CIS, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan could reach $500-600 billion annually. Even if 20 percent of the trade were to pass by overland routes through Afghanistan and Central Asia, it would be worth $100-120 billion (in transit revenues? What about the cost of the goods themselves?). Some of the northern Indian states prefer the transit route across Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is geographically much more expedient. India still needs a pipeline to bring fuel from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan and Pakistan. The authors are fully aware of the GCA project’s mainly hypothetical nature: instability in Afghanistan and the acrimonious relations between India and Pakistan, etc. being too high political obstacles to be easily negotiated. In view of the above and bearing in mind that the country’s strategic establishment is prepared to study it, they put a new geopolitical agenda on the table. For strategic reasons and to gain access to the region’s energy resources through direct supply lines with Central Asia, India should work toward stabilization in Afghanistan and Pakistan. India can count on the United States as a partner in this geopolitical project (we have in mind unification of Central and South Asia); at the practical level, America can also help to stabilize Pakistan. The authors are convinced that the strategic partnership between New Delhi and Washington could be extended to Central Asia as well. This will create a geopolitical U.S.-India-Russia triangle. Tajikistan (which is very close to Afghanistan and Pakistan topographically, religiously, socially, and economically) can be described as one of the closest targets of cooperation. For the sake of the country’s future, experts suggest that India should pay more attention to the youth and the new elite that is gradually emerging in Central Asia and Afghanistan. On the whole, write the authors, India’s Central Asian policy should be correlated to a much greater extent with its Asian strategy. Some time later India will probably find it possible to invite some of the local countries (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) into the SAARC, of which it is the leader. Experts warn India against becoming dependent on integration or stabilization in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Iranian ports and railways offer an excellent alternative for its contacts with Central Asia. The authors describe India as a “latecomer to the region,” which accounts for their inflated attention to geopolitical issues. At the same time, they are obviously out to present India as a global player to account for its regional interests and to link it to certain strategic triangles (which involve 119

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America, Russia, or China). India’s real interests are much more modest—they are regional rather than global, on a par with Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. The book, which traces the progress of global thinking in India in search for a worthy place in the world, makes for interesting reading. It is even more interesting because it concentrates on Central Asia, a geopolitical target of long standing (prize No. 1 in the Great Game on the Eurasian chessboard). India does not want, and cannot afford, to be left in the cold.

Russia: More Than a Neighbor Russia’s never flagging interest in Central Asia is amply confirmed by a large number of publications, many of them worth closer attention. One is the collective effort Gody, kotorye izmenili Tsentral’nuiu Aziu (The Years which Changed Central Asia) published in 2009 under the joint leadership of V. Naumkin, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, and German expert P. Linke.27 Russian academics have identified five groups of key problems still present in the region. n

First, has transformation of Central Asia been completed? A positive answer suggests another question: What state models have been created? The authors concluded that the Central Asian political systems and models are moving toward consolidated national states.

n

The second problem deals with the ideology and research instruments individually or collectively employed in Central Asian studies. This chapter is openly critical of the West and its ideologists who, the authors insist, demonstrate abstract (at best) or even malicious approaches designed to tear the region away from Russia, which treats Central Asia not as a geopolitical abstraction but as a very real extension of its territory.

n

The third, longest, chapter deals with the states, their political evolution and socioeconomic transformation. The authors concluded that Kazakhstan has not yet achieved the main goal of transformation. The republic has failed to transform the relations of ownership to means of production to create a class of free personified owners as the main driving force behind economic development and the cornerstone of civil society. They describe the republic’s political reality as a symbiosis of power and property which serves as an impressive façade far removed from genuine democracy.

The situation in Kyrgyzstan is tagged as “retreat to authoritarianism”: in an effort to build up his own vertical of power, Bakiev curtailed many of the democratic achievements. The events of AprilJune 2010, however, indicate that the republic has been drawn into another period of turbulence. If they continue, these trends, the authors warn, might split the country and make it easy prey for its stronger neighbors. Today, it is moving in this direction. When writing about Tajikistan, the authors concentrate on the negative factors such as the clan nature of the republic’s politics and economy, the low economic development level, the widespread poverty, and strong outside influence. Turkmenistan stands apart from the other Soviet-successor states, however the progress of its transformation can easily be analyzed within the context common for all the Central Asian countries. 27

See: Gody, kotorye izmenili Tsentral’nuiu Aziu, TsSPI-IV RAN, Moscow, 2009, 331 pp.

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Its totalitarian political regime can be described as one of the dominant factors underpinned by the hydrocarbon factor greatly responsible for the country’s economic and foreign policies. The section dealing with Uzbekistan is of a descriptive rather than analytical nature: it is defined as the region’s pivotal state, which inevitably affects its development and international status. A thesis which is at least ten years old is still alive: the republic has not realized its vast socioeconomic, political and international potential. External actors and recommendations received a lot of attention. Uzbekistan, for example, is advised to address the following priorities: fighting poverty; supporting the Russian language; and carrying out an in-depth analysis of the local specifics and political culture. It should also drop the double standard practice. The republic’s leaders should pay particular attention to NGOs and all sorts of funds in order to prevent them from turning into the opposition’s purse. The powers that be should create a more competitive milieu for the local elites and pay less attention to the fairly formalized opinions of foreign expects who know next to nothing about the local reality. The authors have pointed out the obvious differentiation among the local states brought about by their transformation pace: Kazakhstan is moving toward a regional status, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan remain “poverty poles.” There is another, no less important, observation: despite their numerous failings and errors, none of the local countries has degenerated into a “failed state” (so far the events in Kyrgyzstan have not yet suggested this conclusion). As distinct from the post-Soviet Caucasian states, the Central Asian republics have proven stable enough even though they have their share of troubles: Will they remain secular or will they become Islamic states? The answer is not clear. The widespread poverty and pressure from the West are playing into the hands of the Islamists. There is another problem rooted in the region’s past: none of the states has been able to separate the government from the economy. The authors have admitted that the West has successfully destroyed all the elements of socialism—a dubious victory to say the least. The West, determined to prevent the revival of the Soviet system and socialism as well as what it calls the Soviet Empire in any form, played in the hands of large corporations and the local regimes. The results left the designers openmouthed. Several chapters deal with the close contacts between Europe and Central Asia; seen from both sides, they do not look like peripheries, and this not only because of the local states’ membership in the OSCE. Europe has much closer relations with Central Asia than any other Western country or region. Radical Islam and its role in the region are discussed in the fourth chapter. Political Islam sprang into life while Soviet power was dying. Today, there are three possible approaches to this phenomenon: total suppression (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan); neutralization of the radical groups and a cautious dialog with the moderates (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan); and cooperation up to and including involvement in the power structures (Tajikistan). Chapter Five looks at the external factors that have a role to play in the political transformations and regional security. Russia, China, the U.S., and the EU are described as the principal actors, while the others (Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan, and Japan) are left outside the scope of the analysis. The authors do not beat about the bush: Russia is the key regional actor, the relations of which with the Central Asian countries go far beyond interstate limits: the historical, cultural, socioeconomic, civilizational, and geographic ties between the former metropolitan state and the regional states are too strong to be ignored. The human (humanitarian) factor is also very important. Russia is mostly concerned with stability; it seeks to rely on the region’s geopolitical potential to upgrade its own status among the other key actors and to achieve international recognition of its regional role. Russia and the United States are locked in latent rivalry. Washington, which is firmly determined to squeeze the pragmatically minded RF out of the region (and the post-Soviet expanse, for that matter), is guided by ideological considerations (this was true, at least, of George W. Bush’s policy). 121

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As distinct from the United States and the European Union, Moscow does not indulge in moralizing, avoids double standards, and never flirts with antigovernment forces. Free from unpleasant surprises, its open and predictable political course does much to uphold its current advantageous position. Moscow rejects the Islamic alternative for Central Asia as incompatible with Russia’s strategies; this explains its strong opposition to the forces backed by certain circles in Pakistan and the Arab countries. China, which has armed itself with the American “soft power” doctrine, is demonstrating a lot of caution in the region. In its effort to slow down or even halt China’s discreet progress, Washington is fanning the “Chinese threat” theory welcomed by certain forces in Russia and the Central Asian states. In the event of dramatic negative developments in the region potentially detrimental to its interests, the authors write, Beijing will hardly remain neutral. This chapter offers even more scything criticism of America’s regional policy. In 2005, the Bush Administration armed itself with the GCA project now being used as a battering ram to achieve undivided political and economic domination and drive out potential rivals (Russia and China). The European Union stands a better chance of gaining more ground in Central Asia: there are no negative connotations; as distinct from the United States, which is exporting democracy far and wide, the EU looks at democracy as a cultural value to be grown at home. Its presence in the region will add to stability and give democracy a better chance. The EU Central Asian policy is best described as cautious; according to lavishly quoted European experts, more active involvement of the European Union would trim down the excessive vigor of America, Russia, and China to create a more balanced context. On the whole, the authors describe Western policy as “democratic messianism” geared at what the West and the loyal elite can use to their advantage and ignoring alternatives. Tested in Latin America, this model was found wanting: the resultant gap between the very poor majority and the filthy rich minority proved unacceptably wide. Put in a nutshell, the following sums up the above: n

First, economic liberalization should outstrip political, not vice versa;

n

Second, the Central Asian countries failed to transform the nature of ownership; the state acts instead of civil society, which is split along the “rights-privileges” line;

n

Third, the set of democratic institutions in all countries is mistakenly taken for democracy.

The main conclusion is that none of the political regimes of the new type which sprang into existence in post-Soviet Central Asian has anything in common with any of the known political scientific models of transit from authoritarianism to consolidated democracy of the liberal type. This means, write the authors, that each of the states will have to come up with its own transformation model. Prof. I. Zviagelskaia of the Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, has chosen a different approach in her recent book Stanovlenie gosudarstv Tsentral’noy Azii: politicheskie protsessy (Development of Central Asian States: Political Processes)28: it is neither a political scientific nor an analytical work. The first three chapters look at the history of the Russian Empire’s conquests, colonization of Turkestan, and the development of Central Asia and Kazakhstan as parts of the Soviet Union to reveal the paradigm of Central Asian’s historical movement toward Russia. 28 See: I. Zviagelskaia, Stanovlenie gosudarstv Tsentral’noy Azii: politicheskie protsessy, Aspekt Press, Moscow, 2009, 208 pp.

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When dealing with post-Soviet independent development, the author pays particular attention to nation-building, political culture, the Islamic factor, ethnic and labor migration, outside influences, and potential and real threats and conflicts. A member of the group involved in establishing a dialog between the sides in the Tajik civil war, which was very conducive in settling the conflict, Irina Zviagelskaia dwells on the civil war of the early 1990s in greater detail. The holidays and rites of the Central Asian peoples were not forgotten either. The 200-odd pages of her monograph come to the conclusion that the region’s future is still vague. It will obviously diversify its contacts for the simple reason that Russia neither has the desire nor the ability to monitor them. “The natural and mutually needed ties should not be broken when the Soviet generation leaves the stage. We cannot afford this.” Very true. China in Central Asia is a subject that cannot be ignored: its increasing relevance has become too obvious. A monograph coauthored by S. Zhukov and O. Reznikova of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS entitled Tsentral’naia Azia i Kitai: ekonomicheskoe vzaimodeystvie v usloviakh globalizatsii (Central Asia and China: Economic Cooperation in the Globalized World)29 says that globalization alone provides the relevant framework within which the content and direction of accelerating China-Central Asia cooperation can be adequately analyzed. This rising world power is involved to a much greater extent than the others in transforming the Central Asian economic expanse. To channel the Central Asian economic processes in the desired direction, China is relying on its market and non-market competitive advantages and skillfully using global and regional mechanisms of cooperation (the WTO and, to an ever increasing degree, the SCO). Neither the Central Asian nor the Eurasian countries can compete with China in the non-raw material branches; this means that the future and the structure of their economic growth is fairly limited. The authors have found enough arguments to describe the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) as a rapidly developing center and a leader of GCA economic activities. Today, the growing macroregion includes Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia’s neighboring regions and, to a certain extent, Tajikistan. Turkmenistan, and probably Uzbekistan will be drawn in later. The microregion is building economic structures designed to complement what Central Asia has at its disposal; it serves as a transit route leading to Greater China. The volume of industrial production and investments and the scope of construction of the transborder transport infrastructure testify to XUAR’s fast progress toward a leading economic role in GCA. Xinjiang owes its impressive achievements to its new role as a bridge between Central Asia and the developed central and southern Chinese provinces, write the authors, as well as to the fact that Beijing still redistributes considerable economic resources in favor of the XUAR. The Russian authors have pointed out that China regards its economic cooperation with Central Asia as a byproduct of the main task: accelerated development of the country’s western fringes. Beijing treats Kazakhstan as a strategically important partner because of its transit capacities, which are very much needed for obtaining energy resources from its Central Asian neighbors. Experts believe that Astana deliberately invited Beijing to discuss the regional gas projects in order to prompt Moscow to make concessions. After carefully analyzing the subject and summarizing the results, the authors arrived at the following conclusions. 29 See: S.V. Zhukov, O.B. Reznikova, Tsentral’naia Azia i Kitai: ekonomicheskoe vzaimodeystvie v usloviakh globalizatsii, IMEMO RAN, Moscow, 2009, 179 pp.

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n

First, in the coming decade economic cooperation between China and Central Asia will develop by leaps and bounds; this fits the global trends, while China is gradually becoming a powerful economic center.

n

Second, despite the growing flow of goods, services, investments, and technology between China and Central Asia, the importance of these contacts for the sides involved will remain lopsided because of their incommensurable economies.

n

Third, for objective reasons, China’s economic interests in the region are concentrated in Kazakhstan, the region’s economic leader.

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Fourth, very much like the other centers of global economic might, China needs the region’s natural resources, particularly Kazakh oil and Turkmenian natural gas.

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Fifth, China agreed to set up the SCO to promote its economic interests in Central Asia (there were other reasons as well); it relied on all forms of multisided diplomacy and rhetoric to win over Central Asia in a non-confrontational manner.

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Sixth, slowly but surely the Central Asian countries are developing into a raw-material appendage not only of the European, but also of the Chinese economy.

The main conclusion is that Central Asia is confronted with the need to adapt to China’s economic upsurge. The authors have not missed another aspect: Russia’s interests are affected by the mounting economic cooperation between China and Central Asia, and they suggest that the Kremlin should take into account Chinese experience when drafting Russia’s long-term national strategy. Dr. Chufrin’s recent monograph30 can be described as a continuation of the previous publication (in 2008 he headed the collective of authors of a monograph dealing with Russia’s regional policy).31 The monograph comprises three parts. n

The first part looks at regional security; it investigates the non-traditional security threats, what is being done to fight them, and the points on which the region’s states disagree or even conflict. One of the chapters deals with Washington’s regional policy, which the author puts in a nutshell as another frontier of its foreign policy or, to be more exact, military political strategy. The author investigates the regional role of the CSTO and Russian-American relations in the regional security sphere. The first part ends in a chapter dealing with the Afghan (or rather Af-Pak) impact on Central Asian security: it censures America’s Central Asian policy and what has come of it.

n

The second part looks at trade and economic cooperation, as well as other aspects of the relations between the Russian Federation and the Central Asian republics, the most important issues being migration, financial cooperation, transport and communication, and joint use of hydropower. A detailed analysis of the relations between Russia and Kazakhstan described as the linchpin of the integration processes conducive to closer economic ties in the eastern part of the CIS is offered in one of the chapters.

n

The third part looks into the past and present of the SCO, the evolution of its tasks, and the forms and methods employed to respond to the security threats, as well as economic cooperation within SCO and the prospects for its expansion. Its further expansion (in the form

30

See: G.I. Chufrin, Rossia v Tsentral’noy Azii, KISI, Almaty, 2010, 220 pp. See: Novye tendentsii vo vneshney politike Rossii v Tsentral’noy Azii i na Kavkaze., ed. by G.I. Chufrin, IMEMO, Moscow, 2008, 181 pp. 31

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of fully-fledged membership) is hardly expedient, yet partnership looks promising and potentially attractive: the United States and Japan might be tempted, to say nothing of Afghanistan. Dr. Chufrin points out the recent serious political and economic contradictions between Russia and Central Asia which should be carefully analyzed and smoothed out. He offers four reasons for what is going on: 1. The objective political and socioeconomic complications in the local countries. 2. The negative impact of regional and global developments. 3. The inconsistent and contradictory policy of the Central Asian leaders with respect to the scope and aims of cooperation with Russia. 4. The rapidly developing competitive potential of third countries: the local states are willing to cooperate with the West and the East. Russia should pursue a pragmatic policy in the political sphere, says the author, and rely on the CSTO and SCO to promote regional and its own security. In the economic sphere, Russia should work toward as favorable a cooperation climate as possible for the sake of its continued economic influence. Dr. Chufrin is convinced that Russia should and can present itself not only as an attractive economic partner, but also as an effective guarantor of the local states’ economic independence. The bold and far-sighted recommendations of the Russian academic refute the clichés, myths, and sentiments current in the West and among certain Central Asian elites about Russia’s determination to regain control in the colonial-imperial style. Dr. Chufrin has proved the opposite.

In Lieu of a Conclusion This far from complete survey of the literature on Central Asia shows that the academic and political scientific communities have not lost their interest in the region. The past few years have abounded in collective and personal monographs about Central Asia; Kazakhstan is treated as a topic in its own right. The authors are obviously interested in long-standing issues, such as geopolitics, international relations, domestic policy, and the economy, as well as in recent ones (the military as a regional factor). Political science and auxiliary disciplines are as interested in Central Asia as ever, their interest going beyond purely academic boundaries. Those who wonder whether foreign writings about the region are worth reading should understand that wittingly or unwittingly our foreign colleagues help us to understand ourselves better and take a detached view of our problems. The experience of foreign countries may be invaluable in helping us to correct our errors and improve our situation.

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THE MAIN DEVELOPMENT VECTORS OF GEORGIAN NATIONALISM IN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY Between the Traditions of the Political Nation and the Challenges of Radicalization Maxim KIRCHANOV Ph.D. (Hist.), Lecturer at the Chair of International Relations and Regional Studies, Department of International Relations, Voronezh State University (Voronezh, Russia)

The Georgian Nationalist Discourse: Political Ethnicity

G

eorgian nationalism is one of the main factors defining the formation of the political expanse in Georgia. Studies on national relations and the history of the autonomous formations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia have acquired particular relevance in the development of Georgian nationalism. Contemporary Georgian nationalists negatively assess the fact that Georgia was part of the Soviet Union: “Georgia was a country enslaved by Russia and Georgians lived in the Russian state, themselves becoming victims of the crimes of that state.”1 Contemporary nationalist-minded historians in Georgia believe that at the beginning of the 1920s, the country was forcibly annexed to the Soviet Union, and Moscow’s policy in Georgia did not meet the interests of the Georgian people. For example, Levon Toidze shows that “after the forced Sovietization of Georgia (February-March 1921), two equal (sic!) Soviet socialist republics of Georgia and Abkhazia were formed in its territory. This political and legal nonsense was the result of the negligent attitude toward Georgia’s national interests.”2 Levon Toidze bases his analysis of Soviet national policy in Georgia on the firm belief that the Soviet model of resolving and settling national problems dramatically differed from the strategy by which the leaders of the Georgian Democratic Republic (which was eliminated after annexation to the Soviet Union) were guided. So he emphasizes that “the idea of independence was supported and highly popular among the non-Russian nationalities, including the Caucasian. Georgia brought this idea to 1

“Abkhazskiy narod stoit pered vazhneishim vyborom: Rossia ili Zapad,” available at [http://lazare.ru/post/11697/]. L. Toidze, “K voprosu o politicheskom statuse Abkhazii (stranitsy istorii 1921-1931),” available at [http://www. georgianweb.com/history/rus/abkhazia.html]. 2

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fruition in May 1918 by restoring its independence. Restoration of national statehood and the formation of the Georgian Democratic Republic were extremely important and joyous events in the history of the nation. Prominent officials of Abkhazia also genuinely shared the joy of the Georgian people at that time. We know that the Act of Independence of 26 May, 1918 was also signed by upstanding Abkhazians Varlam Shervashidze and Arzakan Emukhvari.”3 Levon Toidze believes that whereas as part of Georgia the Abkhazians and Ossetians had the opportunity to develop and preserve their national cultures, languages, and traditions, Sovietization of these regions inevitably turned into Russification. In this respect, he stresses: “As for the question of Abkhazia joining the R.S.F.S.R., it can be evaluated as the logical result of the seditious policy conducted by certain political, clerical, and other forces, first of czarist and then of Soviet Russia, to alienate Abkhazia from Georgia, eliminate the Georgian language and Georgian culture from Abkhazia, and introduce the Russian language and Russian culture into the Abkhazian milieu (which was achieved).”4 This shows a certain politicization of historical knowledge in present-day Georgia. History is used as a tool not only for political mobilization, but also in disputes with neighboring states with which Georgia has territorial conflicts. It is also worth noting that the arguments of Georgian historians in this context are politicized. Georgian nationalist authors are guided by political values and the ideas of the greater Georgian political and civilian nation, and not by ethnic myths, which is largely characteristic of their ideological opponents, the nationalist historians of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Synthetic Versions of Identity National trends are largely manifested in attempts to write Georgia’s “great” and “synthetic” history, that is, in generalized studies of Georgian history called upon to stimulate the development of those trends in Georgian identity that perceive Georgia as one of the greatest nations in Europe and Georgian history as part of the European historical process. Such narratives were developed in Nodar Lomouri’s omnibus study called Istoria Gruzii (The History of Georgia), as well as in specialized educational literature designed to relay and reproduce the systematized discourse on identity formatted in keeping with political dynamics.5 According to Nodar Lomouri, the uniqueness of Georgian history can be explained to a certain extent by the fact that the region “is located at the intersection between two continents, Europe and Asia, and this has had an impact on the civilization created by the Georgian people, which has experienced the influence of both the Western and the Eastern cultures.”6 Georgian historians M. Vachnadze, V. Guruli, and M. Bakhtadze continue to develop ideas that are traditional for national historiography in their “great” synthetic version of Georgian history, putting, however, the accents in different places. Georgian researchers accept and cultivate the narrative that the Georgians are one of the oldest nations (“the Georgian people have 3

Ibidem. Ibidem (see also: A. Menteshashvili, “Istoricheskie predposylki sovremennogo separatisma v Gruzii,” available at [http://www.georgianweb.com/history/rus/avtandil/index.html]; idem, “Some National and Ethnic Problems in Georgia,” available at [http://www.georgianweb.com/history/avtandil/politics.html]). 5 For more on history textbooks in the context of the development of nationalism in Georgia, see: L. Gigineishvili, “Post-reform History Textbooks in Georgia: Changing Patterns and the Issue of Minorities in Georgian History,” in: History Teaching in Georgia: Representation of Minorities in Georgian History Textbooks, Geneva, 2007, pp. 7-22. 6 N. Lomouri, “Istoriia Gruzii,” available at [http://www.georgianweb.com/history/rus/history.html]. 4

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gone through a very long period of their development and are one of the oldest nations existing at the present time that has spread since antiquity over the expansive territory of the Caucasus”),7 while the territory on which the ancestors of the Georgians settled in the past covered almost the whole of Europe, believing that “5,000-6,000 years ago, most of West Asia, North Africa, and South Europe (the Pyrenean, Apennine, and Balkan peninsulas) were settled by related nations. Then Indo-Europeans arrived, who were subjected to the influence of these oldest nations: the Basques in the Pyrenees, the Etruscans in the Apennines, the Pelasgians in the Balkans, and the Hittites8 and Subari in West Asia. The Subari occupied the territory from Mesopotamia to Caucasioni. The Hittites and Subari were the ancestors of the Georgians.”9 On the whole, Nodar Lomouri develops the “great” European narrative, believing that the history of Georgia has more in common with the European, rather than the Eastern, historical processes. The European identity in Georgia is associated with Christian trends within the framework of the contemporary Georgian nationalist discourse. So Georgians in the political context of Georgian nationalism figure as a Christian nation: “The Georgian Apostolic Church has made an enormous contribution to the history of our people. So, over the centuries, Orthodoxy and Georgia have become identical concepts. Christianity has penetrated all the spheres of our life.”10 Particular attention is focused on the antiquity of the Georgian Church and the significant contribution the Georgians made to Christian theology: “…there is a country in the Caucasus between the Black and the Caspian seas that has an ancient history and culture—Georgia. At the same time, Georgia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world. The Georgian people became acquainted with the teachings of Christ in the first century when, by casting lots to show the apostles where they were to preach the Christian Gospel, Georgia fell to the Most Holy Mother of God. So Georgia is considered the chosen country of the Most Holy Theotokos, who is the country’s patroness.”11 Secular Europeanism is characteristic of most members of the Georgian intellectual community. Director of the South Caucasian Center of Middle Eastern Studies E. Kikvadze emphasizes that “several Armenian experts, for example, regard Armenia as part of the Middle Eastern culture and sphere of reference. In Azerbaijan and Georgia, this type of identification is practically non-existent.”12 In contrast to the Armenian intellectuals, Georgian authors are cultivating a narrative about the European identity of the Georgian nation. Nodar Lomouri states that “in the 330s, Christianity was registered as the state religion of Kartli and, at around the same time, of Western Georgia, that is, Egrisi. This fact was of immense cultural and ideological significance and ultimately predetermined Georgia’s place and role in the Middle Eastern region. The victory of Christianity meant that the rulers of Kartli were very definitely oriented toward the West, particularly toward a political alliance with Rome. This orientation was the determining one for Georgia throughout its history, but it could not become a reality at that time.”13 Nodar Lomouri believes that throughout history Georgia has never broken its contacts with the West. For example, in his opinion, in the 13th century, “Georgia enjoyed universal renown and authority in the West.”14 The main indication of Georgia’s Western, occidental, and European character, according to 7 M. Vachnadze, V. Guruli, M. Bakhtadze, “Istoria Gruzii s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei,” available at [http:// www.krotov.info/lib_sec/04_g/ruz/ia_kr2.htm]. 8 As of the present, it has been proven that the Hittites were Indo-Europeans, while the ethnic and linguistic affiliation of their predecessors, the Hattites, arouses dispute. 9 M. Vachnadze, V. Guruli, M. Bakhtadze, op. cit. 10 “Kratkaia istoriia gruzinskoi tserkvi,” available at [http://lazare.ru/post/6344/]. 11 “Kratkaia istoria Gruzinskoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi,” available at [http://lazare.ru/post/6261/]. 12 E. Kikvadze, “Iuzhnyy Kavkaz—subregion Bolshogo Blizhnego Vostoka,” in: Psevdokonflikty i kvazimirotvorchestvo na Kavkaze, ed. by A. Rusetsky, O. Dorokhina, Tbilisi, 2009, p. 75. 13 [http://www.georgianweb.com/history/rus/history.html]. 14 Ibidem.

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Mr. Lomouri, is Christianity, which also made it possible to preserve Georgia’s European identity during the coercive Orientalization practiced during the supremacy of the Muslims.

Georgians as a Political Nation: The State Dominant of Georgian Nationalism Within the framework of the “great” historical narrative in present-day Georgia, particular attention is focused on the state traditions of the Georgians and on continuity in the development of Georgian statehood. When commenting on the declaration of Georgian independence on 26 May, 1918, Nodar Lomouri emphasizes that “Georgia became a full-fledged independent democratic republic. Georgian statehood, lost 117 years ago, was restored.”15 Present-day Georgian intellectuals perceive the brief existence of the democratic republic as a National Resurrection: “Significant shifts are occurring in the country’s cultural life: the consequences of czarism’s Russification policy are being eradicated, and national elements and trends are being intensified in national education, science, literature, and art. Important measures are being carried out to expand, organizationally strengthen, and qualitatively restructure national education in the republic: by 1920 the number of schools and students had more than doubled, and new programs, textbooks, and teaching aids were written in Georgian.”16 Against this background, the actions of Soviet Russia, according to Georgian authors, should be evaluated as “occupation:” “as a result of Soviet Russia’s intervention in February-March 1921, the government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia was overthrown and a Russian occupation regime was established.”17 Nodar Lomouri emphasizes that “the government of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic unilaterally violated the agreement of 7 May, 1920 and carried out occupation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia. Georgia lost its national sovereignty and was conquered by Russia for the second time.”18 Emphasizing the negative impact that becoming part of the Soviet Union had on Georgia, Georgian authors believe that Moscow was intentionally conducting a policy aimed at aggravating relations among the different nationalities living in Georgian territory: “Soviet Russia was not satisfied with conquering Georgia and creating an occupation government under its control. Now Moscow was resorting to its perfidious plan to divide Georgia into autonomous units. The Abkhazian and Ossetian separatists were not long in taking advantage of Russia’s anti-Georgian policy.”19 The active use of Russian narratives by present-day Georgian historians is causing them to cast Georgia as a victim of the policy of Soviet communism aimed at suppressing national movements. The tendency of Caucasian (in the broad sense) intellectuals to victimize the image of their own country was pointed out by well-known political scientist Johan Galtung in 1997 during his visit to Tbilisi. According to Johan Galtung’s version, the Caucasus experienced “immense suffering, often even genocide, which many directly witnessed. Every group demands that its own traumas be given individual attention, and also asks what it should do about the evil-doer. But each group does not want the same attention to be shown to others. So any dialog quickly becomes a parallel monolog: no one listens, while each participant voices his insults. This bunker mentality, which can be explained psychologically, is a certain means for achieving a status quo. Any proposed idea will either be ignored or 15 16 17 18 19

Ibidem. Ibidem. [http://www.krotov.info/lib_sec/04_g/ruz/ia_kr2.htm]. [http://www.georgianweb.com/history/rus/history.html]. [http://www.krotov.info/lib_sec/04_g/ruz/ia_kr2.htm].

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discarded, and not necessarily because it is a bad idea, but simply because it does not place the opponents’ own interests in the center of attention. The combination of incompatible cognitive and emotional plans is important here.”20 On the other hand, during the more than ten years that have passed since Johan Galtung gave his lecture in Tbilisi, the strategies of Georgia’s positioning as a victim have undergone significant changes. They are associated with the territorial losses related to Russian interference, on the one hand, and the change in the way the information war is waged, on the other. Within the framework of this information war, the virtual expanse in which Georgian nationalist websites and information resources make active use of the set of victimized narratives has become an important sphere.

August 2008 and the Georgian Political Nation A new stage in the development of Georgian nationalism began in August 2008 related to Georgia’s defeat in the conflict with the South Ossetian separatists, in which Russia became involved. The defeat, which was perceived by Georgian society as a national tragedy, ignited Georgia’s nationalist imagination, making topics that likened Georgia to Europe and the Georgian nation to a Western nation that had become the victim of Russia’s imperial ambitions highly popular. The publications of Georgian intellectuals focused particular attention on the victimization of Georgia, creating the image of Georgia as a victim of Russian communism and Bolshevism. In this context, V. Guruli, N. Kipshidze, and L. Kereselidze focus particular attention on Georgia as a victim of the anti-Georgian policy of repression and persecution of the national intelligentsia and church.21 On the other hand, M. Barbakadze, K. Sarsevanidze, and O. Tushurashvili emphasize that the Georgians were not only victims of Russia, but also of its allies, for example, the Ossetians, who for centuries lived alongside the Georgians, but have almost always had a very negative attitude toward the Georgians, despite their progressive influence.22 So a myth is being cultivated within the framework of the Georgian intellectual discourse about the historical ingratitude of the Ossetians. The Georgian nationalist authors create a very unattractive image of Russia as a country that has been striving throughout its history for nothing but to seize territory,23 and the time Georgian territory was part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union is interpreted as “occupation.”24 The Georgian intellectuals focus particular attention on those topics it was impossible to study during the Soviet period due to the censorship and ideological barriers. These topics included the problems of cooperation between some Georgians and the Wehrmacht during World War II, the Georgian nationalist movement, and the history of Georgian emigration.25 20 J. Galtung, “Nekotorye nabliudeniia na Kavkaze,” KRI, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1997, available at [http://poli.vub.ac.be/publi/ crs/rus/R02-001.html]. 21 See: V. Guruli, “The Impingement of Church Property Rights (Inventory of Property of the Kashveti Church of St. George Conducted in 1923),” Archival Bulletin, No. 2, 2008, pp. 22-24; N. Kipshidze, “The Accusation Fabricated to Discredit General Giorgi Mazniashvili,” Archival Bulletin, No. 2, 2008, pp. 10-15; L. Kereselidze, “The Struggle against the Church,” Archival Bulletin, No. 2, 2008, pp. 16-21. 22 See: M. Barbakadze, “The History of the Settlement of Ossetians in Georgian Lands,” Archival Bulletin, No. 3, 2008, pp. 48-54; K. Sarsevanidze, “The Criminal Gangs of Dianoz Dzokgoev,” Archival Bulletin, No. 3, 2008, pp. 55-66; V. Guruli, O. Tushurashvili, “Debates About Statehood in a Troubling Time (The History of the Establishment of the South Ossetian Autonomous District),” Archival Bulletin, No. 3, 2008, pp. 107-112. 23 See: V. Guruli, “The Russian World. Past, Present and Future,” Archival Bulletin, No. 3, 2008, pp. 80-90. 24 See: V. Guruli, “The Russian Occupation,” Archival Bulletin, No. 3, 2008, pp. 91-100. 25 See: K. Sarsevanidze, “Homeland Betrayed for Love,” Archival Bulletin, No. 2, 2008, pp. 55-61; G. Mamulia, “Bitva za Kavkaz. Kavkazskoe soedinenie osobogo naznacheniia ‘Bergmann,’” Archival Bulletin, No. 2, 2008, pp. 62-65.

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Civil ideas and values clearly predominated on the wave of the post-revolutionary upswing in nationalist rhetoric, although there were still trends toward ethnicization of the nationalist discourse. Georgia’s new elite declared its willingness to engage more actively in nationalist modernization. The new president, Mikhail Saakashvili, and his main partners, Zurab Zhvania and parliament leader Nino Burdzhanadze, tried to implement this model of Georgia’s nationalist modernization. The first major political achievement of new Georgian nationalism was Tbilisi’s ability to take control over Ajaria. On the other hand, the political regime established after the Rose Revolution was transitional and unstable and consolidation of the elite proved insubstantial. This led to a rather rapid split in the post-revolutionary political camp26 and a collapse in the temporary coalition of democrats and members of those groups that had acquired their political experience in independent Georgia during the 1990s.

Nationalism and Contradictions of the Political Transformation At the end of the 2000s, negative trends were manifested in the political dynamics that were not associated with the authoritarian strivings27 of President Mikhail Saakashvili or with his anti-Russian nationalism. Transformation of the regime was not aimed at restoring authoritarianism: a local model of non-liberal democracy developed in Georgia. The reasons for this metamorphosis should be sought in the intellectual sphere. Western political science emphasizes that the emergence of non-liberal democracy is associated with the crisis or unsuccessful development of the civil model of nationalism28 and “ousting of official institutions of a constitutional-lawful state and their replacement with unofficial rules and institutions,”29 although nationalism (exploitation of national memory, nationalist reflection, and the forming of new political, cultural, and historical myths30) is probably a more effective factor of political transformation. This change in the functioning of the regime should probably be associated with the lack of European-style political experience. On the other hand, the nationalist discourse has been developing in the context of gradual ethnicization and radicalization. Such processes created fertile ground for the emergence of internal challenges aimed against democracy and related equally to the weakness of the Georgian political class and the significant strength of ethnic nationalism and radicalism. In this situation and in the context of Russia’s more active policy toward Georgia, which Tbilisi always saw 26 For more on these trends in the development of the political process in Georgia after the Rose Revolution, see: J. Devdariani, “Georgia’s Rose Revolution Grapples with Dilemma: Do Ends Justify Means?” Eurasia Insight, 26 October, 2004. 27 The authoritarian strivings of not only the Georgian president, but also of other European politicians came as an unpleasant surprise for political scientists who regarded the transit theory as universal, believing that sustainable democracies would take the place of leftist authoritarian regimes. The degree of sustainability was largely exaggerated, which is shown not only by Georgia’s experience, but also by that of its closest neighbors (for more on the authoritarian trends, see: D. Èorkalo, N. Stanakoviæ, “Autoritarnost i percepcija ostvarene demokracije u Hrvatskoj: analiza odnosa na uzorku studenata,” DI, Br. 9, No. 1, 2000, pp. 67-81). 28 For more detail on the development of civil nationalism and political identity in a transitional society, see: Å. Ìà÷êóâ, “Íàöûÿ i ãðàìàäçÿíñêàÿ ñóïîëüíàñüöü,” Ïàë³òû÷íàÿ ñôýðà, No. 4, 2005, pp. 88-99. 29 V. Merkel, A. Kruassan, “Formalnye i neformalnye instituty v defektnykh demokratiiakh,” in: Povoroty istorii. Postsotsialisticheskie transformatsii glazami nemetskikh issledovatelei, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Berlin, 2002, Vol. 1, Postsotsialisticheskie transformatsii: teoreticheskie podkhody, p. 246. 30 Theoretically on such processes in transitional societies, see: ¡. À¢ò¢ýéò, Ë. Ðýé, “Ìàäýðíàñöü, ïàìÿöü ³ ïîñòêàìóí³çì,” Ïàë³òû÷íàÿ ñôýðà, No. 6, 2006, pp. 27-43.

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as an attempt to interfere in the country’s internal affairs,31 the bloc of seemingly moderate Georgian nationalists and supporters of democratization dissatisfied with Eduard Shevardnadze’s regime proved incapable of either uniting the values of democracy and an open society or the slogans of Georgian nationalism. So the nationalist discourse became ethnicized: Russian, Ossetian, and Abkhazian narratives again became popular, which turned out to be sought after in the Georgian political discourse.

Integration Potential of Georgian Nationalism The integration of Ajaria into the Georgian political expanse demonstrated that the Georgian nationalist discourse possessed a fair amount of mobilization potential, while the ruling elites were able to establish order in the rebellious regions relatively quickly and using non-military methods. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ajarian A.S.S.R. was part of the Georgian S.S.R.: its status was higher than the status of the South Ossetian Autonomous District, being closer to the status of the Abkhazian A.S.S.R. In contrast to Abkhazia and Ossetia, ethnic Georgians live in Ajaria, some of whom confess Islam. During the 1990s-2000s, the Ajarian political elite headed by Aslan Abashidze did not pose itself the task of separating from Georgia and did not cultivate a local national project, being content with complete political and financial control over the region. In the spring of 2004, the relations between official Tbilisi and Ajaria became aggravated to the point that Aslan Abashidze ordered for the bridges that join Ajaria and Georgia to be blown up, hoping that Russia would support him in this, since there was a Russian military base in Ajarian territory. But the Ajarian leader miscalculated: the mass protest demonstrations and remonstrances of Russian diplomats forced him to transfer power to Tbilisi and to abandon Ajaria. After this, Tbilisi integrated Ajaria into the Georgian political system, while preserving its autonomous status: the republic’s powers were cut back, while the Constitution of Ajaria was brought into harmony with the Constitution of Georgia.32 Under Mikhail Saakashvili’s political regime, Georgian nationalism enjoyed greater attention from the government than during Eduard Shevardnadze’s rule. In the 2000s (despite the forecasts by several researchers about how democratization would put an end to the era of nationalism,33 replacing it with the universal values of rights and freedoms), nationalism not only did not yield to other ideologies on the European periphery, but successfully competed with them, taking advantage of the ideas of the nation, political and ethnic communality, and the glorious historical past. Nationalism, on the contrary, showed that it was very capable of adapting to the changing circumstances, combining the ideas of the nation as a political priority with the values of freedom as no less important for civil and political nationalism. Georgian nationalism of the end of the 2000s showed amazing adaptation capabilities when reacting to both external and internal challenges. Anthony Smith is most likely wrong in concluding that the main characteristic of the phenomenon of nationalism in the contemporary world is its 31 For more detail, see: “Georgia’s Interim Foreign Minister: Russian Security Depends on Georgian Stabilization,” Eurasianet, 6 January, 2004. 32 See: “Georgian Parliament Defines Autonomous Status of Ajara,” Prime News, 1 July, 2004. 33 For more on the discussions about the end of the nation and, consequently, era of the domination of nationalism, see: Z. Posavec, “Je li država prema svojem najvišem odreðenju — prošlost? ÐÌ, Vol. XXXVII, Âr. 4, 2000, pp. 3-11.

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temporarines. According to him, nationalism acquires primary significance for only a short length of time — “in crises of nation-building, external threat, conquest, disputed territory, or the internal perceived dominance of a hostile ethnic or cultural group…”34 Georgian experience, on the contrary, shows that nationalism has become thoroughly entrenched in the political map of the country, being deeply institutionalized in its political expanse. On 24 January, 2004, President Mikhail Saakashvili’s inauguration was held at the Gelati Cathedral in Kutaisi in Western Georgia.35 During the ceremony, Mikhail Saakashvili emphasized not only the Christian,36 but also the European foundations of the Georgian political identity, pointing out that the Georgians “are not simply old Europeans, they are ancient Europeans.”37 The choice of place for the inauguration was not accidental since the cathedral symbolizes not only Georgia’s centuries-long Christian choice, but also its significant political experience in the past. And Gelati is the burial site of David the Builder, who is one of the central figures in the Georgian national pantheon. So the president’s inauguration was a unique act of commemoration called upon to emphasize the continuity between medieval and contemporary Georgian statehood. Moreover, on Mikhail Saakashvili’s initiative, the Georgian state flag was changed: the banner adopted by the Georgian SocialDemocrats in 1918 was replaced by a new, nationally branded, flag with five red crosses38 that also underscored the religious39 component of the Georgian national identity. The symbolic aspect proved to be extremely important for the functioning of the Georgian nationalist discourse during President Mikhail Saakashvili’s rule. Georgian political nationalism began to make active use of the practice of historical commemoration as a means to reinforce identity. In particular, on 23 November, 2006, a monument to George the Victory Bearer was erected on Freedom Square in Tbilisi.40 This event was meant to confirm the nationalist or nationally oriented discourse in the perception of Georgia’s past. On the other hand, the ceremony also had quite a significant symbolic content: Georgia was positioned as a country that had not only preserved its freedom and identity, but was also ready to defend them. So steps were taken to create a historical and symbolic background for this political strategy, to which the Georgian ruling elite adhered. 34

A. Smith, Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2002, p. 24. For more on this, see: “Catholicos-Patriarch to Bless Saakashvili as President of Georgia,” InterPress, 24 January, 2004. For more on the political component of the civil rituals in the context of the development of nationalism, see: A. Krivolap, “Konstruiruia novoe prostranstvo. Belorusskiy opyt vizualizatsii Dnia Nezavisimosti,” Ïàë³òû÷íàÿ ñôýðà, No. 8, 2007, pp. 81-93. 36 It is probably not wise to exaggerate the role of religious trends in the functioning of the contemporary Georgian nationalist discourse. Nationalism is a rather anti-traditional ideology. The historical process of modernization of the peripheries was associated with their secularization. On the other hand, taking account of the slowed rates and lag in modernization in Central and Eastern Europe compared with the West, religious trends should be kept in mind. The problem of the correlation between religion and nationalism has been studied quite extensively (see: Ž. Boneta, “Politiæki identiteti periferija,” RzS, Vol. 34, No. 3-4, 2004, pp. 143-158; D. Marinoviæ Jerolimov, “Tradicionalna religioznost u Hrvatskoj 2004: izmeðu kolektivnog i individualno,” SSe, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2005, pp. 303-338; D. Marinoviæ Jerolimov, S. Zrinšèak, “Religion Within and Beyond Borders: The Case of Croatia,” SoC, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2006, pp. 279-290). 37 “Georgian President Optimistic about Future in Inauguration Speech,” BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union, 25 January, 2004. 38 For more on national symbols in the context of the development of nationalism, see: B. Æèêè, “Àìáëåìîò íà òðèòå ïðñòà: êàêî ñðáèòå ãî êîíñòðóèðàà âèçóåëíèîò èìèŸ íà íèâíèîò íàöèîíàëåí èäåíòèòåò âî äåâåäåñåòòèòå ãîäèíè îä äâàåñåòòèîò âåê,” ÅÀÇ, No. 4, 2004, pp. 10-25; I. Ëÿëüêî¢, “Ïûòàíüíå äçÿðæà¢íàé ñûìáîë³ê³ ¢ Áåëàðóñ³: ã³ñòîðûÿ ³ ñó÷àñíû ñòàí,” available at [http://arche.bymedia.net/2002-1/lalk102.html]. 39 For more on the religious factor in largely secularized European societies and nationalisms, see: D. Sekuliæ, Ž. Šporer, “Religioznost kao prediktor vrijednosnih orijentacija,” RzS, Vol. 37, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 1-19; Z. Šram, “Religioznost i društvena svijest: analiza odnosa na uzorku graðana Subotice,” CuS, Vol. 36, No. 4, 2001, pp. 389-419; idem, “Dimenzije etnocentrizma i nacionalna pripadnost,” DI, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2002, pp. 1-22. 40 For more on this event and its intellectual prerequisites, see: Z. Andronikashvili, “Slava bessiliia. Martirologicheskaia paradigma gruzinskoi politicheskoi teologii,” Ab Imperio, No. 4, 2007, pp. 87-120. 35

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Political (Civil) Leitmotif in the Development of Georgian Nationalism The anti-communist trends which developed along with the anti-Russian rhetoric were also part and parcel of Georgian nationalism in the 2000s. In this context, Russia’s image quite clearly correlated with the ideological challenges presented by authoritative ideologists who in turn cast aspersions on the right of nations to self-determination and free development of their identity. The Georgian nationalist discourse presents an extremely unattractive image of Soviet/Russian communism, which is associated with authoritarianism and the destruction of national cultures and identity of the non-Russian nations. Georgian nationalist politician Iulon Gagoshidze believes that during the 20th century the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was characteristic of Russian history and, as its consequence, the division of Poland between Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union, followed by suppression of the Warsaw Revolt and, of course, Katyn, where twelve thousand Polish officer prisoners were coldbloodedly shot in the back of the head.”41 The anti-communist trend is presented in particular in the work of a Georgian political scientist, Devi Khaindrava, entitled Ethiopia and Soviet Power. D. Khaindrava associates the increase in Soviet influence in Ethiopia with the Soviet Union’s imperial ambitions, “Soviet ideological imperialism,” and the striving of the Soviet elite toward military penetration into Africa.42 On the other hand, in the context of marginalization of the leftist idea in the 1990s-2000s, the anti-communist trends within the framework of Georgian nationalism, although they were elements of the nationalist discourse, nevertheless did not play the main role in the functioning of nationalism, which was inclined toward ethnic radicalism rather than political ideologization.

Nationalism as a Universal Language: Domestic Political and Foreign Political Prospects Most of Georgia’s political parties are characterized by the nationalist political language.43 The most influential party, which adheres to the values and principles of political nationalism, is the United National Movement (Ertiani natsionaluri modzraoba). In its platform (2003), the new conservative party also places particular emphasis on the national values and traditions of the Georgian nation. The new conservatives believe it necessary to build an “independent, free, and strong”44 state in Georgia. In its 2002 platform, it focused partic41 I. Gagoshidze, “Transformatsiia postsovetskogo prostranstva. Rol Rossii,” available at [http://lazare.ru/content/view/ 13207/45/]. 42 D. Khaindrava, Ethiopia and Soviet Power, Tbilisi, 2006, 85 pp. 43 For more on the development of the party system in Georgia in the 2000s, see: The Political Landscape of Georgia. Political Parties: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects, ed. by G. Nodia, A. Pinto Scholtbach, Eburon Publishers, Delft, 2006, pp. 43-60, 89-203. 44 Platform of the New Conservative Party of Georgia… Approved at the Party Congress on 27 June, 2003, Tbilisi, 2003, p. 3.

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ular attention on the fact that in the past the Georgian nation was forced to fight against “Soviet tyranny.”45 Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic orientation is perceived by the new conservatives as part of the strategy aimed at preserving and strengthening political independence.46 The leaders of the new conservatives are sure that “the only way to achieve full national security is to join NATO.”47 On the other hand, some Georgian political scientists believe that Georgia’s striving to join NATO is aggravating relations with Russia and causing an increase in anti-Georgian sentiments in Russia. In this respect, Ivlion Khaindrava emphasizes that Tbilisi’s policy aimed at integration into NATO is arousing the “greatest fury” in Moscow.48 Relations between Russia and Georgia worsened after President Mikhail Saakashvili came to power, which was expressed in periodical spy scandals and diplomatic demarches by both Russia and Georgia and a rise in nationalist ideas in Russia49 aimed, among other things, against the former Union republics. Georgian nationally oriented intellectuals have been trying to find an explanation for these dynamics in Georgian-Russian relations. “We have angered Russia by striving to be independent and to join NATO, and now it is punishing us by annexing our territory and closing the Russian market to Georgian products…”50 However, Georgian nationalist intellectuals are sure that if Georgia joins NATO, Russia will be forced to reconsider its position and step down from its aggressive political rhetoric about Georgian sovereignty, as happened when the Baltic states joined NATO.51 When commenting on the role of the Russian factor in Georgia’s latest political history, Iulon Gagoshidze draws an extremely negative picture of Russia as the main source of instability, conflicts, and separatism in the Southern Caucasus: “On 19 December, 1991, Georgia refused to join the CIS, and on 22 December, preplanned armed demonstrations of the ‘opposition’ supported by Russian troops began which ended in the military coup of 6 January, 1992. The legally elected Georgian government was exiled, and Georgia began to be ruled by a junta of protégés of the Russian special services. This was followed, in keeping with the plans hatched in the Kremlin, by revival of the South Ossetian conflict and an internecine war in Abkhazia, which ended in ethnic cleansing—expulsion of almost half a million Georgian citizens, most of whom were ethnic Georgians, from their homes and Russian military occupation of the conflict zones.”52 Georgian political scientist Kakha Katsitadze is inclined to explain this ambivalent Russian policy by the special features of the Russian consciousness, which, in his opinion, has been inherent in imperialism from the outset as the result of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and Germany’s attack in 1941.53 Georgian analyst Georgi Khelashvili emphasized that Russia’s entry into the conflict was not at all dictated by the desire to support the Russian citizens, but to symbolically declare its new imperial ambitions and strivings.54 45

Ibid., p. 30. Ibid., p. 31. 47 Ibid., p. 33. 48 See: I. Khaidrava, “Gruzia: mezhdu Iuzhnym Kavkazom i Chernym morem,” in: Kavkazskoe sosedstvo: Turstia i Yuzhniy Kavkaz, ed. by A. Iskandarian, Erevan, 2008, p. 61. 49 For more on the development trends in Russian nationalism which deserves separate scientific study, see: O. Kildiushov, “Russkiy natsionalizm kak problema rossiiskoi obshchestvennosti,” available at [http://magazines.russ.ru/logos/ 2006/2/ki12.html]; V. Kurennoi, “Zametiki o russkom natsionalizme,” available at [http://magazines.russ.ru/logos/2006/2/ ku14.html]. 50 K. Katsitadze, “Zamorozhennye konflikty: dozirovannaia eskalatsiia,” available at [http://www.pankisi.info/analitic/?page=ge&id=246]. 51 See: K. Gogaloshvili, “V zapadnom mire eti tsennosti progressivnye,” available at [http://www.pankisi.info/analitic/?page=ge&id=253]. 52 I. Gagoshidze, op. cit. 53 See: K. Katsitadze, op. cit. 54 See: G. Khelashvili, “Internatsionalizatsiia ne panatseia, a neobkhodimost, ne obeshchaiushchaia prostogo resheniia,” available at [http://www.pankisi.info/analitic/?page=ge&id=249]. 46

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Transformation of Russian Narratives On the other hand, Georgian analysts stress that Russia is conducting such a policy to the detriment of Russian citizens. Georgian analyst Tengiz Ablotia points out that Vladimir Putin’s policy led to institutionalization of a regime that is extremely ineffective and incapable of development, despite the “ten years of the most outstanding foreign economic dynamics in history.” In this respect, Tengiz Ablotia emphasizes that in Russia’s recent history, it is Vladimir Putin who “has not carried out one more or less radical reform, has raised corruption to the rank of the driving force behind the system, and has doubled the size of the bureaucracy.”55 According to T. Avaliani, the Russian political elite is guided by its narrowly corporate interests and is conducting a policy of economic imperialism aimed at complete subordination of Europe: “Europe is in for the unenviable fate of a territory that is covered in the malignant tumors of Russian pipelines.”56 When commenting on the most recent Russian-Georgian relations, Georgian analyst N. Gudushauri points out that “Russia’s victory over its small and incomparably weaker neighbor has in no way strengthened this country’s position or its influence in the world (instead we can say it has been weakened). Moreover, having recognized the separatist regimes, it has earned itself a headache for many years to come in its relations with the West and created additional threats to all those countries where separatists are eroding territorial integrity and the state organism from the inside.”57 G. Khelashvili states that instead of resolving the problems existing in the Northern Caucasus (“the Northern Caucasus will rest assured as long as money infusions into the economy of the North Caucasian republics is guaranteed and while contingents of Russian armed forces are deployed there. The Russian leadership has never intended to fundamentally resolve the Caucasian problems, which is fraught with complications as soon as the Russian economy begins to experience its first serious problems after the growth of the past few years”),58 the Russian political elite is inclined to demonstrate its foreign political ambitions without thinking about the possible consequences. Georgian analysts are also inclined to focus attention on the extremely low level of development of the political culture in the Russian Federation. Kakha Katsitadze emphasizes that “the Russian elite has no intention of recognizing Georgia as an independent state. The Russian elite regards us as a temporarily breakaway area that sooner or later will return to the mother empire’s fold. This applies not only to Georgia, but also to the whole of the CIS. Russia is holding onto the illusion that as the price of energy resources rises and it subjugates the European energy market, the West will sooner or later recognize Georgia and all the CIS as a zone of Russia’s influence.”59 On the other hand, the Georgian authors have not only been focusing their attention on the incomplete formation of the political elite in Russia, but also wondering what principles are used to recruit this elite. After Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgian authors began making more active use of Russian narratives designed to form a negative image of the Russian Federation. According to T. Mchedlishvili, the Russian media intentionally distort events, engaging in political disinformation: “…under this squall of disinformation that plays on the best human sentiments, the ordinary Russians genuinely believe in ‘Georgian fascism’ and the Kremlin’s peacekeeping mission.” When analyzing the strategy for positioning the image of Georgia and the Georgians in 55

T. Ablotia, “Glavniy pozer Rossii,” available at [http://www.apsny.ge/articles/1259628341.php]. See: T. Avaliani, “Mirovaia problema po imeni Putin,” available at [http://apsny.ge/analytics/1243015266.php]. 57 N. Gudushauri, “Chego khochet Rossia ot Gruzii?” available at [http://apsny.ge/analytics/1242406377.php]. 58 G. Khelashvili, op.cit. 59 K. Katsitadze, op.cit. 56

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Russia, Georgian authors believe that the Russian elite is intentionally engaged in “fomenting national discord.”60 In this respect, a narrative is being cultivated by Georgian nationalist authors, according to which “Georgians are being persecuted due to their ethnic affiliation.”61 In this situation, the blame is placed on Russia, which, as the Georgian nationalists believe, is not only responsible for starting the August 2008 war, but is also conducting a policy of ethnic cleansing aimed at expelling Georgians from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In Lieu of a Conclusion: The Prospects for Ethnicization of the Georgian Political Field The anti-Russian narrative that was encouraged and created not only by Georgian radicals, but also by Russian nationalists, as well as the not entirely correct attempts by the Russian leadership to place the blame for the conflict entirely on Georgia gained a firm foothold in the Georgian media and in political journalism between the end of 2008 and 2009. On the other hand, some Georgian researchers believe that President Mikhail Saakashvili’s policy regarding the separatist regions that are ethnically different from Georgia was very radical, on the one hand, and very untimely, on the other. According to Archil Gegeshidze, “after the end of the 1993 war, Georgian-Abkhazian relations were difficult, but this was mainly due to the fact that the so-called national projects of Georgian and Abkhazian society proved incompatible—Georgia was striving to restore its territorial integrity, while Abkhazia was trying to achieve independence. In addition, a direct reason for this was the sides’ mistrust in each other, as well as the ever strengthening enemy image, particularly in the perception of the Abkhazians.”62 Despite this, in 2008, the Georgian political elite attempted to radically resolve the territorial problem, which led to Russian intervention, Georgia’s actual defeat, and a breakdown in diplomatic relations, making the Russian narratives much more popular within the framework of the Georgian nationalist discourse. It is likely that a combination of the political and the ethnic, the significant experience of political participation, and the development of Georgian nationalism as a primarily political and civil movement are saving present-day Georgian nationalism from the extremes of radicalization and ethnicization which are characteristic of certain nationalist movements in the post-Soviet and post-socialist expanse of Eastern Europe. In this context, it is obvious that Georgian intellectuals are trying to write the history of Georgia of the 20th century as the history of intellectual oppositions where European-style political Georgian nationalism is clashing with Russian-Soviet communism. On the whole, political nationalism is largely characteristic of the historical system of contemporary nationally oriented Georgian historians and intellectuals, and although in its concept of Georgian history it is written from the ethnocentric standpoint, the powerful political trend associated with Georgian civil nationalism is nevertheless obvious.

60 T. Mchedlishvili, “Avgust 2008—psikhologiia rossiyskoy lzhi,” in: Gruzia: informatsionnye ugrozy i voprosy bezopasnosti, ed. by A. Rusetsky,O. Dorokhina, Tbilisi, 2008, pp. 91, 94. 61 “Rossiysko-osetinskiy gumanizm,” available at [http://www.kavkasia.ge/index.php?action=more&id=63&lang=rus]. 62 A. Gegeshidze, “Analiz novykh realiy v kontekste gruzino-abkhazskikh otnosheniy,” in: V. Kolbaia, I. Khaindrava, N. Sardzhveladze, E. Chomakhidze, A. Gegeshidze, Garantii po nevozobnovleniiu boevykh deystviy: opaseniia v kontekste gruzino-abkhazskikh vzaimootnosheniy, Tbilisi, 2009, p. 18.

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KURMANBEK BAKIEV AS ASKAR AKAEV’S POLITICAL SUCCESSOR: FAILURE TO CONSOLIDATE THE POLITICAL REGIME IN KYRGYZSTAN Nikolai BORISOV Ph.D. (Political Science), Senior Lecturer at the Chair of Theoretical and Applied Political Science, Department of History, Political Science, and Law, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow, Russian Federation)

Introduction

T

he consolidation of political regimes is a popular topic of discussion among experts in various theories of political transformation. Such debates focus on defining the point at which a particular transformation process has come to complete fruition or at least reached a temporary halt. The “minimalistic” definition of consolidation offered by J. Linz can be used to determine this transition point. Linz believes that democratic consolidation occurs when there are no significant actors to act as a veto group with respect to democratic institutions.1 If we disengage ourselves from the teleological understanding of transformation as a transition exclusively toward democracy, the concept of consolidation can be formulated as follows: a political regime 1

See: J. Linz, A. Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, Baltimore, London, 1996, p. 156.

can be considered consolidated (stable for a relatively long time) in which there are no significant actors capable of changing the regime as a whole without the consent of other significant actors.2 Note that since we are not talking about democratic consolidation here, but about the consolidation of a political regime, this definition is universal and applies equally to all cases of transition. In addition to “fighting by the rules” (consolidated democracy), other scenarios of consolidation can fall under such concepts as “a community of elites” and “the winner takes all.”3 The consolidation of political regimes in the post-Soviet expanse has been a little-studied topic so far. Several factors make it difficult to re2 See: V. Helman, “Transformatsii i rezhimy: neopredelennost i eyo posledstviia,” in: Rossiia regionov: transformatsiia politicheskikh rezhimov, ed. by V. Helman, S. Ryzhenkov, M. Bri, Moscow, 2000, p. 34. 3 Ibidem.

This article was prepared under a Russian Federation President Grant for rendering state support to young Russian scientists—Ph.D.s and their academic supervisors (Grant MK—1761.2008.6). The author would like to thank professors and instructors of Bishkek’s higher educational institutions, P. Dyatlenko, Zh. Zhorobaev, B. Zhumagulov, G. Isakova, and A. Murzakulova, for the valuable information they provided and the comments they made during work on this article.

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search this phenomenon. First, political transformation has not resulted in democratic consolidation in any of the CIS states. Second, the unresolved conflicts and absence of a common citizen identity in several of the states have also caused significant difficulties in authoritarian consolidation, which has led to the formation of hybrid regimes and, in some cases, to the collapse of nonconsolidated semi-authoritarian forms of rule, as the political processes of the 2000s in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova have shown. In these countries, a so-called transition within the transition has occurred, which also makes it difficult to study the results of the transformation. A closer analysis, however, shows a common logic in the transformation processes in each of the countries mentioned within the framework of the political tradition that exists in them. This article will take a look at the political process in Kyrgyzstan, after the forced change in the political elite in March 2005, from the viewpoint of the

ruling elite’s attempts to consolidate it. The analysis will focus on President Kurmanbek Bakiev’s strategies using official and unofficial institutions to consolidate the political regime. As Samuel Huntington noted, “men [in transition societies] may, of course, have order without liberty, but they cannot have liberty without order,”4 justifiably emphasizing the need for consolidation of the regime (not necessarily democratic) as the main factor and condition of democratization. This article was written before the news came from Bishkek that a new state coup had occurred. This gives rise to another question: why did the president’s measures aimed, as it seemed, toward consolidation of the regime end in another collapse of the political institutions? Let us take a look at the president’s actions in 2005-2009 through the prism of this problem. 4 S.P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies, Yale University Press, 1968, pp. 7-8.

Stages of Transformation of the Political Regime in 2005-2009 Throughout history, the Kyrgyz have never experienced a despotic state system. When the members of certain clans tried to establish such a system in the nomadic society, they inevitably came up against resistance, since the nomads regarded this as an unjustified attempt to usurp power. So, due to its nomadic roots, Kyrgyz society has always been a much more egalitarian society than, for instance, the non-nomadic Uzbek society. All of this, along with the incomplete nation-building process and socioeconomic delimitations, defined the course of post-Soviet transformation of the political regime in Kyrgyzstan, which significantly differs from the transition scenarios in other Central Asian republics.5 The political regime of Kyrgyzstan during Askar Akaev’s third presidential term can be described as fragmented (clannish) authoritarianism. Ethnopolitical splits and clan contradictions prevented consolidation of the authoritarian regime. Transformation of the political regime in 2005-2009 went through several stages. n

The first stage saw the collapse of the former political regime and the onset of a period of ambiguity (March-May 2005), during which the main presidential candidates were designat-

5 A detailed analysis of the transformation of the political regime in Kyrgyzstan from the end of the 1980s to2005 is not an objective of the present article (for more on that topic, see: N. Borisov, Mezhdu sovremennostiu i traditsiey: politicheskie alternativy postsovetskoi Tsentral’noi Azii, Moscow, 2010).

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ed—Kurmanbek Bakiev and Felix Kulov. But in May 2005, Felix Kulov decided not to run independently for president, opting to support Kurmanbek Bakiev’s candidacy instead. n

The second stage was marked by a pact within the ruling elite between Kurmanbek Bakiev and Felix Kulov (May 2005-December 2006). The Bakiev-Kulov alliance predetermined the outcome of the 2005 presidential election, which led to the formation of a government headed by Felix Kulov. So the period of ambiguity came to an end in keeping with the “community of elites” scenario, which was potentially promoted by the establishment of political polycentrism. At this stage, the ruling coalition, which was composed of the main actors in the March “revolution,” gradually disintegrated and the opposition became more active, organizing mass public rallies in the center of the capital demanding reform of the Constitution, followed by resignation of the president and prime minister. The conflict ended in the sides drawing up a coordinated draft of a new version of the Constitution. In December 2006, the president disbanded Kulov’s government, which made it possible to form a political regime with one dominating actor.

n

The third stage consisted of establishing and consolidating the political regime with one dominating actor (since January 2007). At this stage, President Kurmanbek Bakiev confidently and consistently built up his resources. In February 2007, Felix Kulov declared himself the main leader of the new opposition, and some of the heads of the former opposition movement For Reforms! announced the creation of a United Front, which began holding public rallies demanding the president’s resignation.6 In April 2007, the president formed a new government headed by Almaz Atambaev, one of the opposition leaders, and used force to stop the opposition’s demonstrations. Further events showed that the opposition did not have enough resources to mobilize citizens, which put the president back in the saddle. Kurmanbek Bakiev took three important successive steps to reinforce his power: he called for a referendum on the new Constitution and Election Code (October 2007), early elections to the parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) according to party lists (December 2007), and a presidential election (July 2009). Let us take a closer look at these steps.

Adoption of a New Version of the Constitution The need for amending the Constitution was voiced immediately after the change in power in March 2005. During the “revolution,” and immediately after it, the topic of constitutional reform in Kyrgyzstan was extremely urgent. The political elite that came to power on the wave of discontent with Askar Akaev announced that constitutional amendment was the main way to prevent the return of an authoritative regime and the personal rule when the president has too much power in his hands. But this reform never seemed to get underway, which stands to reason in light of Kurmanbek Bakiev’s return from oppositionist to acting president and, later, after his convincing victory at the election, to incumbent president. By the beginning of the fall 2005, the parliamentary factions, as well as the Constitution Assembly, in which representatives of the leading political and public organizations participated, had drawn up more than 15 drafts of the Fundamental Law. But it was not until June 6 See: F. Kulov, “Zaiavlenie Feliksa Kulova: ‘Ia ne budu prisluzhivat otdelnym litsam ili politicheskim gruppirovkam,’” 24kg Information Agency, 14 February, 2007, available at [http://www.24.kg/community/14410-2007/02/14/ 41581.html].

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2006 that it was announced that President Bakiev had been presented with three different versions of constitutional reform that set forth different combinations of powers of the executive and legislative branches.7 These versions essentially envisaged a transfer to a parliamentary, presidential, and semipresidential republic, respectively. In the fall of 2006, they were rejected by both the commission of experts and the president. “Bakiev’s entourage,” notes Felix Kulov, “suddenly began talking about how the best alternative was the American version of a presidential republic that has a president and vice president and no prime minister. The main argument was that exclusive concentration of power in the president’s hands was just what the present situation needed, then once the country was back on track and stability had been established, democratic leniencies could be introduced.”8 First, this statement showed a change in the president’s position regarding the direction of constitutional reform (intensifying presidential power instead of weakening it) and, second, it demonstrated that the ruling elite did not have any strategic plan of constitutional reform and all the proposals put forward were ad hoc. In November 2006, the For Reforms! movement held a public rally where it voiced its main criticism of the president—he was blamed for holding back the constitutional reform. The leading elite was faced with the serious threat of new mass demonstrations, particularly since Bakiev’s position in the context of his not entirely legitimate rise to power was extremely vulnerable. So, faced with either losing his power completely or having it reduced, the president chose the latter in exchange for a halt to the demonstrations. As early as 8 November, 2006, Kurmanbek Bakiev signed a new draft of the Constitution and submitted it to parliament for perusal. The very same day, the parliament adopted the Constitution with no further ado in the second reading, whereby the reading and voting took a total of about two or three minutes.9 This version of the Constitution envisaged that no less than half of the Jogorku Kenesh members would be elected by party lists, the prime minister would be appointed by the party that won the elections, and parliament would have the right to make a vote of no confidence not only with respect to the government as a whole, but also with respect to its individual members.10 This unofficial pact put a lid on the opposition’s passions. But there was a constitutional conflict: the sitting parliament at that time had been elected by single-mandate constituencies and did not have any party coalitions. Correspondingly, the president was unable to form a new government with that particular parliament. In order to overcome this conflict, an attempt was made to disband the parliament by “working” with the deputies loyal to the president. Unofficial bargaining began with the parliament once more over redistribution of the constitutional powers of the supreme power bodies. Faced with the threat of disbandment of the parliament, the deputies agreed to accept the new version of the Constitution presented by the president in December 2006. This version again augmented the president’s powers.11 So just two months later, the president again made use of unofficial bargaining to restore his lost powers. But Akaev’s parliament still presented a thorn in the president’s side, preventing him from completely removing the contradictions and further monopolizing his power. In order to disband this parliament, the president would have to change the Constitution again, this time with the help of the Constitutional Court. 7 See: V. Panfilova, “Vybirat pridetsia presidentu Bakievu: v Kirgizii razrabotany tri predvaritelykh proekta novoi Konstitutsii respubliki,” Nezavisimaia gazeta, 22 June, 2006. 8 F. Kulov, Na perevale, Moscow, 2008, p. 223. 9 See: Ibid., p. 225. 10 See: Zakon Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki “O novoi redaktsii Konstitutsii Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki” ot 9 noiabria 2006 goda No. 180 (Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the New Version of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic of 9 November, 2006, No. 180), available at [http://www.president.kg/docs/const_2006rv]. 11 See: Zakon Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki “O novoi redaktsii Konstitutsii Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki” ot 15 ianvaria 2007 goda No. 2 (Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the New Version of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic of 15 January, 2007, No. 2), available at [http://www.president.kg/docs/const_2006rv].

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On 14 September, 2007, after examining the statements by opposition deputies of the Jogorku Kenesh, K. Karabekov and M. Eshimkanov, on violation of the regulations for making amendments to the Constitution and on the Jogorku Kenesh exceeding its authorities (the amendments were adopted without a decision of the Constitutional Court), the Constitutional Court of Kyrgyzstan annulled both of the latest versions of the Constitution (November 2006 and January 2007). So, Akaev’s Constitution of 2003 came into force again. It is worth noting that the Constitutional Court justified the unconstitutional nature of the amendment-making procedure with references to the inoperative Constitution of 1993 in the 2003 version.12 What is more, although the initiative to recognize the amendments as unconstitutional came from the opposition leaders, their victory in the Constitutional Court also signified the president’s victory, since it presented the opportunity to hold a referendum on the new Constitution, the draft of which had evidently been drawn up long ago. The Constitutional Court issued its decision on 14 September, and the presidential decree on a referendum on the new Constitution was publicized on 19 September, whereby the referendum was scheduled for 21 October, 2007. So citizens only had a little over a month, between the decision of the Constitutional Court and voting at the referendum, to become acquainted with the drafts of the Constitution and the Election Code (and they were published in Kyrgyz, we will note). We will also note that the deputies who were so eager to cancel the amendments joined the president’s team a few days after the referendum. M. Eshimkanov was appointed acting general director of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Corporation of the Kyrgyz Republic and K. Karabekov joined the Ak zhol party, of which Kurmanbek Bakiev became the chairman.13 The results of the referendum showed that the president’s draft won hands down; 76% of the electorate voted for the new version of the Constitution.14 In accordance with the new version of the Constitution, the president restored his right to form the government as advised by the prime minister and his right to disband the parliament in response to a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the government. A second vote of no confidence requires mandatory adoption of a decision either on the government’s resignation, or on disbandment of the parliament.15 So, the new Constitution had a much stronger presidential component than the amendments of 2005-2007. In so doing, Kurmanbek Bakiev restored almost all the most essential presidential powers: the right to disband the parliament in response to a vote of no confidence in the government, the right not to agree to the parliament’s decision on a vote of no confidence, and the right to disband the government at his own discretion without participation of the parliament. In fact, there are only a few differences between the new version of the Constitution and Akaev’s Constitution of 2003 with respect to the relations among the president, parliament, and government: 1. The prime minister is not nominated by the president, but by deputies of the political party that receives more than 50% of the deputy mandates of the Jogorku Kenesh (Art 69); however the president makes the appointment. 2. The prime minister nominates candidates for members of government, while they are appointed by the president (Art 69). 12 See: Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Kyrgyz Republic of 14 September, 2007, Fergana.Ru Information Agency, available at [http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=7089]. 13 See: TsentrAziia.Ru Information Agency, available at [http://centrasia.ru]. 14 See: Information on the results of the referendum on adopting the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the New Version of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, Central Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic on Holding Elections and Referendums, available at [http://www.shailoo.gov.kg/referendum/itogi-referenduma]. 15 See: Konstitutsiia Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki: priniata referendumom Kyrgyzskoi Respbubliki 21 oktiabria 2007 goda (Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic: adopted by a referendum of the Kyrgyz Republic on 21 October, 2007), Bishkek, 2009.

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3. It is clear from Art 69 that the government lays down its powers before the newly elected parliament and not before the newly elected president. 4. The Jogorku Kenesh is elected according to party lists (Art 54). Art 71 notes that the government is responsible to the president and Jogorku Kenesh, but the government’s responsibility to the parliament is limited to the strict rules for proposing a vote of no confidence: it can only be proposed after the prime minister’s annual report has been reviewed and, as a counter move, may result in the disbandment of the parliament itself (Art 71). Guaranteed resignation of an individual member of government requires that the parliament bring a motion of no confidence against him twice within six months. If Akaev’s and the current Constitution are compared according to André Krouwel’s scale (with adjustments by Oleg Zaznaev), we get an index of the form of government that can be understood as the difference between the presidential and parliamentary indexes, +6 for the Constitution of 2003 and +4 for the current one. So there has been a certain redistribution of powers in favor of the parliament, although the form of government in Kyrgyzstan on the whole can still be described as a presidentialized semi-presidential system.16 It is obvious that there has been no significant redistribution of powers, while constitutional reform, which was declared as one of the main objectives of the counter elite when it came to power after Askar Akaev’s resignation, boiled down to making minor amendments to the Constitution. This is how Kurmanbek Bakiev restored his lost constitutional powers. The creation of an administrative party and simultaneous reform of the election code, primarily a change in the electoral formula first to mixed (according to the Constitution of 2006), and then to proportional (according to the new edition of 2007), was another step toward strengthening presidential power. The referendum on the new Election Code was held at the same time as the referendum on the Constitution, which also promoted its approval. The administrative party, which became the main one in parliament after the election, was created rapidly. Its main resource was the president’s support. As early as two days (!) after the president’s decision to call a referendum on the new edition of the Constitution, on 22 September, 2007, a meeting of an initiative group to create the For the Constitution, Reforms, and Development! Movement uniting more than 10 political parties was held with President Kurmanbek Bakiev in attendance. A declaration was adopted at the meeting announcing that the movement’s members had joined to “support the president in his intention to bring the constitutional reform in Kyrgyzstan to a dignified conclusion and hold a referendum at which a draft of the amendments to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic and new Election Code will be presented.”17 On 15 October, 2007, participants in the national forum of the For the Constitutions, Reforms, and Development! Movement came forward with an initiative to create a political party based on the movement. The founding congress was held the same day, which publicized its decision to create a political party called the Ak zhol People’s Party and adopted the party’s program and charter. Kurmanbek Bakiev was elected as the chairman of the party’s executive committee. On 10 November, 2007, the party congress decided that the party would take part in the early elections of deputies to the Jogorku Kenesh and approved the list of deputy candidates. Askar Akaev had also tried to create an administrative party, but was unsuccessful since he was unable to ensure its majority in parliament. Institutional factors contributed to the failure of 16 For more detail on the index of form of government and concepts of “presidentialized,” “parlimentarianized” and “absolutely balanced” semi-presidential republic, see: O. Zanaev, Poluprezidentskaia sistema: teoreticheskie i prikladnye aspekty, Kazan, 2006, pp. 171-202. 17 Otchet o rabote Narodnoi partii “Ak zhol” za period sozdaniia partii (Ak zhol People’s Party Work Report During Creation of the Party), available at [http://akjolnarod.kg/newcms/images/4syezd/otchet_rus.doc].

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this attempt. So reform of the election code initiated by President Kurmanbek Bakiev should be viewed in the context of creating an administrative party that was to have the absolute majority in parliament. The key change in the election code was the transition to forming the parliament exclusively according to party lists. This step solved several very important tasks straight away. n

First, the local administration heads were no longer in control of the election process, as they had been in the single-mandate system. It is much easier to control political parties as the only entities of the election process from a consolidated Center than the election of 90 single-mandate deputies from among more than 400 candidates. This also makes it easier to ensure the administrative party’s majority in parliament.

n

Second, the transition to proportionality helps to alleviate any clan-regional conflicts translated to the political field during elections according to single-mandate constituencies, something that proved to be a constant bane in the 1990s. For example, during the election campaign of 1995, the Saruu urussu Society was established in the Naryn Region, one of the main objectives of which was ensuring that the candidates from the saruu tribe won the election.18 On the whole, not one candidate for deputy in the Jogorku Kenesh from the north of the republic even attempted to be elected in the south and vice versa. Such conflicts also emerged during direct election of the heads of the ayyl akmotu (rural administrations), which was canceled by the new Election Code. Thus the amendments exhausted the grounds for such conflicts by prohibiting any associations between candidates and territory. The reform also aimed to reduce the importance of a candidate’s regional self-identification in favor of his political significance, which has never played a pertinent role in Kyrgyzstan throughout the years of its independence.

n

Third, the reform largely removes the possibility of using the financial and administrative resource in the regions, since the resource is distributed only from the Center. In the 1990s, sociologists revealed that only the candidates with an annual income of no less than $12,000 (the per capita annual income being $400-600) could acquire seats in parliament.19 Now access to parliament depends not so much on the candidates’ financial status as on their access to the administrative resource and the possibility of being included on the party list.

Another extremely important factor preventing the appearance of regional political forces is the regulation that a party should not only surmount the 5% barrier in order to participate in the distribution of deputy mandates, but also receive 0.5% or more of the votes of the electorate included on the voter lists20 for each region and for the cities of Bishkek and Osh (Art 77 of Election Code of the Kyrgyz Republic). In the 1990s, almost all the political forces in the republic were created from the clientele of the leading politicians, around whom active fellow countrymen and relatives rallied. The new regulation prevents parties from being formed on the regional or family-tribal principle from candidates who are fellow countrymen. Finally, a party’s electoral list had to have no more than 70% of representatives of one gender, no less than 15% of people under 35, and no less than 15% of citizens of different nationalities (Art 72 of the Code). 18 See: E. Mamytova, “The Problems of Forming a Political Opposition in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 4, 2000, p. 54. 19 See: Z. Sydykova, Za kulisami demokratii po-kyrgyzski, Bishkek, 1997, p. 3. 20 Note that, in this case, the percentage is calculated not on the basis of the number of voters participating in the voting, but of the total number of voters included on the lists.

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It should be noted that almost all the indicated innovations in the election code played successfully into the hands of the administrative party, Ak zhol, at the parliamentary elections of 2007. According to the election results, the Ak zhol party’s candidates received 47.9% of the votes and 71 seats out of the total of 90 in the parliament (almost 79% of the seats). The united opposition party, AtaMeken, which gathered 9.28% of the votes, was unable to surmount the regional barrier in Osh and the Osh Region. The opposition was represented only by the Social Democratic (11 seats) and Communist (8 seats) parties in parliament.21 So the new election code prevented the opposition party from getting into parliament, even although it received a large number of votes, while the president’s party was ensured the absolute majority. This is a clear violation of the principle of justice: the party that in fact represents the interests of the majority of voters did not receive one mandate in parliament. Moreover, regional parties and parties of fellow countrymen essentially ceased to exist. The deputies elected from Ak zhol included 48% of representatives from the southern regions, while the factions of the Social Democratic Party and Communist Party had 22% and 25% of southerners, respectively.22 This data does not allow us to describe the parties as regional-clannish. Introducing quotas on the representation of woman, young people, and non-titular nationalities yielded certain results, although their representation in parliament still does not reflect the real correlation in society.23 So reform of the election code has weakened the institution of regional governors and created conditions for ensuring the administrative party’s majority in parliament and removing other political forces from the political process.

The Presidential Election In compliance with the Constitutional Court’s decision, the presidential election was to be held no later than 25 October, 2009 instead of 2010. Parliament, where the Ak zhol party held the majority, scheduled it to be held on 23 July, 2009, which without a doubt strengthened the position of the incumbent president and weakened that of his rivals.24 As we know, the summer is traditionally a time of political inactivity when most people take their vacations. Moreover, the election was scheduled on a work day, which made it possible for all budget employees to vote early on absentee ballots, which was not monitored by observers.25 Moreover, the early election along with its reduced campaigning time gave the opposition very little opportunity to mobilize its supporters and promote itself. It was unable to put forward a single candidate. The presidential election ended in Kurmanbek Bakiev’s landslide victory: he received 76.43% of the votes, while his main rival, Almaz Atambaev (who previously occupied the post of prime minister), received 8.39% with a voter turnout of 79.13%.26 This high result for the incumbent presi21 “Sostav deputatov Jogorku Kenesha Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki chetvertogo sozyva,” Central Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for Elections and Referendums, available at [http://www.shailoo.gov.kg/vybory-deputatov-zhk-kr-2007po-partijnym-spiskam/162]. 22 See: Ibidem. 23 When forming party lists, a combination of quotas is often used, when the same candidates represent both women and people under 35, or young people and representatives of the non-titular nationalities. 24 See: “Kyrgyzstan: Komitet parlamenta khochet naznachit vybory prezidenta na 23 iiulia 2009 goda,” Fergana.Ru Information Agency, 19 March, 2009, available at [http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=11523]. 25 See: “Molodiozhnoe dvizhenie “Ia ne veriu” i posle vyborov prezidenta Kyrgyzstana prodolzhaet priderzhivatsia svoey pozitsii,” 24kg Information Agency, 24 July, 2009, available at [http://www.24.kg/election2009/53581-2009/07/24/ 116645.html]. 26 See: “Rezultaty vyborov Prezidenta Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki 23 iiulia 2009 goda,” Central Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic on Elections and Referendums, available at [http://www.shailoo.gov.kg/ru/news/2171/#more-2171].

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dent makes it impossible to call the election fair and at the same time indicates consolidation of the political regime. Kurmanbek Bakiev’s result also shows the absence of an electoral northsouth split, although the Central Election Commission never did publicize the election results for the country’s regions.

Reform of the Executive Power Bodies The radical reform of the central executive power bodies of the Kyrgyz Republic Kurmanbek Bakiev carried out in October-November 2009 was a direct result of his landslide victory of 75% of the votes. The president gave a brief description of the objectives and gist of the reform at the Republic Assembly held on 20 October, 2009. Reform of the administration system, noted Kurmanbek Bakiev, “should give us an efficient, mobile, and civil service designed on the basis of a systemic, and not an administrative-bureaucratic approach.”27 The reform applied to both the presidential administration structures and to the government bodies. In keeping with the president’s decision, the Presidential Administration was abolished and replaced with the institution of president consisting of the President’s Apparatus, President’s Secretariat, Central Agency for Development, Investments, and Innovations, State Advisor on Defense, Security, and Law and Order, and State Minister of Foreign Affairs.28 The President’s Apparatus was to be responsible for organizational and administrative support of the head of state, while the Secretariat was to provide the president with information-analytical and expert support. An important step was the establishment of the Central Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic for Development, Investments, and Innovations (CADII) in the structure of the institution of president. Its objectives included forming strategies for restructuring the economy, supporting business and entrepreneurship, and attracting investments. The Agency was also to carry out overall coordination and preparation of the development budget and draw up national economic programs, national infrastructural projects, investment programs, and proposals for improving the business environment.29 It becomes clear even from this brief list of the functions of the newly created agency that it has extensive powers in the financial and economic sphere. The CADII essentially became the main structure responsible for the country’s economic development. The Agency was headed by the president’s son, Maxim Bakiev. The new structure was fully independent both of the government and of the parliament, since it was controlled exclusively by the president.30 The institution of president also included State Advisor to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, who was responsible for ensuring coordination of the defense and security ministries and preparing recommendations on defense, security, and law and order issues, and the State Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was no longer part of the government. 27 Statement of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Kurmanbek Bakiev at the Republic Assembly on Reform of State Administration, available at [http://president.kg/ru/press/statements/4506]. 28 See: Decree of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic of 26 October, 2009, No. 425 On Measures to Implement the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on the Structure of the Kyrgyz Republic Government, available at [http://president.kg/ru/press/ ukaz/4653]. 29 See: Ibidem. 30 See: N. Rakymbai uulu, “Tsentralnoe agentstvo po razvitiiu, investitsiiam i innovatsiiam: fabrika natsproektov i/ ili protopravitelstvo?” PR.kg Information-Analytical Portal, available at [http://www.pr.kg/gazeta/number454/949].

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An analysis of this reform leads to the conclusion that a second government was essentially created under the president that could be compared to the Cabinet of Ministers in terms of powers and budget. This “government” had its own defense and security, foreign policy, and economic blocks. The reform also pulled the carpet from under the prime minister both in terms of political clout and resource potential since he was deprived of his control over the most important institutions, as well as his essential powers. Head of the Presidential Administration D. Usenov was appointed head of the new government, which only confirmed that the new Cabinet had no subjectness. The government also became more compact: it consisted of 14 ministries, 7 agencies, 6 services, and 2 funds. As for the other political actors, they were consistently removed from the political process. It is worth noting that many representatives of the former opposition were given posts in the government during these years or became parliamentary deputies of the Ak zhol presidential party. For instance, Felix Kulov headed the Board of Directors of the project for developing small and medium energy enterprises, Almaz Atambaev occupied the post of prime minister, and Zainidin Kurmanov joined the presidential party. So by skillfully combining coercive and compromise strategies and using both official and unofficial institutions, the president attempted to carry out authoritarian consolidation of the political regime similar to Askar Akaev’s previous attempt. Kurmanbek Bakiev can be considered Askar Akaev’s political successor, since the latter made repeated attempts to remove the opposition and create a majority party and obedient parliament, while his relatives influenced the political process. Kurmanbek Bakiev not only continued all of these initiatives, but also formalized the informal institutions that functioned under Askar Akaev. The parallel government that also existed de facto under Askar Akaev acquired the official status of institution of president with all the necessary powers. The parliament was under the control of the president, but this control was no longer based on bargaining with single-mandate deputies, but on a dominating political party. A vertical was also established in the relations between the center and the regions: the president acquired the right not only to appoint the regional heads, but also the deputy governors, while the governors could appoint deputy regional heads, which used to be one of the prime minister’s powers.31 In so doing, elections of rural administration heads were abolished. The president’s son and his brother were influencing politics not through informal ties, as under Askar Akaev, but occupied high state posts and controlled large state budget funds. In other words, the political process in Kyrgyzstan was developing within the framework of political tradition and complete continuity of the political institutions, so the events of March 2005 can in no way be called a revolution.

Conclusion The political regime in Kyrgyzstan in 2005-2009 evolved from the unstable clan authoritarianism with weak state institutions characteristic of Askar Akaev’s rule through its collapse and brief period of ambiguity to the mono-centric regime of Kurmanbek Bakiev’s personal power. But as Askar Akaev’s political successor, Kurmanbek Bakiev was not prepared for the monopolization of power leading to a new social explosion that ended in 2005 with the collapse of Akaev’s regime. 31 See: “Jogorku Kenesh prinial zakon, po kotoromu Prezident Kyrgyzskoi Respubliki budet naznachat zamestiteley gubernatorov,” 18 December, 2009, available at [http://akjolnarod.kg/newcms/index.php?option=com_content&task= view&id=558&Itemid=1].

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Instead of strengthening the political institutions and statehood as he promised, President Bakiev focused mainly on building up his personal power. As Samuel Huntington justifiably points out, “The official who attempts to maximize power or other values in the short run often weakens his institution in the long run.”32 In other words, there was no rationalization of political institutions, that is, their separation from the personality of the leader, which could become a factor of stability of a political regime. As a result of the institutional transformations of 2005-2009, the president gained personal control over all the main political institutions. The constitutional reform did not lead to a redistribution of power between the president and the parliament, the parliament itself was monopolized by the president’s administrative party, while the election system was formed in a way that ensured the absolute majority of this party. The creation of a parallel government headed by Maxim Bakiev, the holding of an uncompetitive presidential election, and the elimination of opposition actors from the political process completed the consolidation of Kurmanbek Bakiev’s personal power, which he apparently erroneously perceived as consolidation of the political regime and stabilization of the political situation in the republic. There can be no doubt that the transition to the proportional election system was to have been a significant step toward a contemporary political system that would remove Kyrgyzstan from clannishregional politics. But since this system was used to ensure the monopoly of one political party in parliament in the context of real political and ethnoregional pluralism, it only aggravated the latent political conflict, demonstrating its lack of justice. Another factor that helped to strengthen Bakiev’s personal power and simultaneously weaken his regime was the “successor” scenario (in which his son was to be the successor). As we know, failure of this scenario under Askar Akaev was one of the reasons for the coup of 2005. It is obvious that monopolization of power also means monopolization of responsibility. The structure built by Kurmanbek Bakiev proved to be extremely vulnerable precisely because all the political institutions (parties, parliament, government, elections, and governors) were totally deprived of their subjectness. As a result, when the program of economic modernization and rise in the standard of living promised by the president turned into a three-fold hike in utility fees, the population put the blame exclusively on the president, his son, and his closest entourage. Since all the legal institutions of unsanctioned political participation were blocked by the ruling elite, there was another unconstitutional seizure of power by means of a coup. The collapse of the institution of president in such a political regime automatically meant the collapse of the entire power system too. The coup of 2010 demonstrated once more that ignoring the insurmountable polycentrism of Kyrgyz society is having extremely serious consequences for the country, while strengthening of the personal power regime is preventing strengthening of the political institutions, which made them unable to satisfy the growing political activity of the citizens. Developing the idea of Kurmanbek Bakiev as Askar Akaev’s political successor, the conclusion can be drawn that Kurmanbek Bakiev went even further than his predecessor to reinforce his personal power, which led to more serious results for the country. So the second attempt at authoritarian consolidation of the political regime in Kyrgyzstan has ended in failure. The new political elite of Kyrgyzstan, which, incidentally, includes politicians who have already occupied high state posts, is left with the super task of supporting the institutionalization of political polycentrism, that is, creating political institutions that will legally enforce the existence of several centers of power and make it possible for citizens to legally participate in politics. It is obvious that such institutions should be based on a consensus of the 32

S.P. Huntington, op. cit., pp. 25-26.

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political elites and not on the domination of one political actor, which contradicts Kyrgyzstan’s political traditions and, as practice has shown, ends in a forced change of power fraught with serious consequences for the country.

CRISIS FACTORS IN KYRGYZSTAN: THE REGIONAL, CLAN, AND POLITICAL STRUGGLE Andrei GALLIEV Doctoral candidate from Turan University, Senior lecturer at Turan University, MTE (MA in Teaching English), and MBA (Master of Business Administration) (Almaty, Kazakhstan)

Introduction

K

yrgyzstan began building its statehood from the moment it became part of the Russian Federation as an autonomous re-

public. It is worth noting that some of the problems existing today date back to the so-called territorial-national separation of the nationalities of the former Turkestan Republic (1924-1925).1 The faulty national-demographic approach to legitimization of borders and their demarcation led to the formation of regions with mixed populations. In 1925, Kyrgyzstan acquired the status of an autonomous region within the R.S.F.S.R. and did not become a Union republic endowed with the attributes of a higher state rank until 1936.2 However, the borders were not defined and re1 See: Sovetskiy Soiuz: Kirgizia, Mysl Publishers, Moscow, 1970, p. 62. 2 See: Konstitutsiia i konstitutsionnye akty Soiuza SSR (1922-1936), Collection of Documents, Moscow, 1940, p. 64.

mained this way during the years of the state’s independent existence. The northern Kyrgyz lived in the Issyk Kul Basin and the nearby mountains of Kungai-Alatau and Terskei-Alatau, as well as in the Chu and Talas valleys, but a large part of the population was composed of Russian and Kazakh diasporas. Clans and tribes of southern Kyrgyz settled beyond the mountain passes of the Ferghana, as well as in the foothills of the Alai and Chatkal mountain ranges located around the Ferghana Valley. There were also large implantations of Uzbeks and Tajiks in Kyrgyzstan. Certain kishlaks (with their adjoining land) populated by Uzbeks and Tajiks are enclaves that are juridically under the control of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. This complicates ethnic relations even more. In this article, we will try to analyze the present-day political life of Kyrgyzstan from the regional perspective, as well as take a closer look at some aspects of the prehistory of the events that occurred.

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Sources of the Crisis When the Central Asian countries acquired their independence, the borders regarded as administrative boundaries and economic territories in Soviet times became state borders. As the national self-awareness of the local nationalities grew, this gave rise to conflicts. The mentality of the population should also be taken into account. The Kyrgyz have always traditionally been nomadic cattle breeders, while the Uzbeks and Tajiks are mostly farmers. So the jingoistic sentiments of the local political elites became imposed upon the local specifics of tribal and clan relations, the rivalry between “the south” and “the north,” and ethnic confrontation.3 From the very beginning, the foreign community, as well as specialized publications of international and local media have been keeping a close eye on the conflicts existing on the political stage of Kyrgyzstan and its nearby regions. Suffice it to say that in the past ten years, Central Asia and the Caucasus (Sweden) alone has published 15 articles on this topic, while Central Asian Review (Oxford), as well as various publications in Russia, China, and other countries have also made a fair contribution. The perpetual political crisis that has been going on in Kyrgyzstan for the past few years shifted to a new phase in April 2010: armed opposition began between the government and the population, as well as among various clan and regional groups of the Kyrgyz political elites, which subsequently led to ethnic clashes. It is popular belief that political opposition exists in Kyrgyzstan between the northern and southern clans (to be more precise, families). This widespread opinion, although not entirely correct, does indeed reflect the actual situation to some extent; Askar Akaev, the country’s first president, is considered a “northerner,” while Bakiev is regarded as a “southerner.” The concepts “northerner” and “southerner” apply exclusively to the indigenous Kyrgyz. Within society, kinship and tribal ties still hold strong; great significance is attached to the place a person is born and to which family he or she belongs. The latent conflict between the regional elites represented by Absamat Masaliev and Medetkan Sherimkulov (first and second secretaries of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kirgizia representing the South and North of the republic, respectively) in the fall of 1990 brought Askar Akaev, who seemed the most acceptable candidate at the time for the post of first president of the Kyrgyz Republic, to power. The regional factor became even more striking during the presidential election of 2009; Kurmanbek Bakiev gathered most of the votes in the south of the country. In the Jalal-Abad Region, where he is from, he received 78.2% of the votes, while in the Naryn Region in the north, he won only 29.3%.4 It was the regional (regional-clan) factor that played an enormous role in the events that occurred in April 2010 in Kyrgyzstan. They were mainly triggered by Kurmanbek Bakiev’s “incomplete legitimacy.” Several regional (mainly northern) clans were against his nomination as president in 20052006 and also expressed dissatisfaction with his economic policy. The lack of consensus among the main political forces of Kyrgyzstan led the republic into a perpetual political crisis that was accompanied and intensified by the socioeconomic degradation going on in the republic. 3

See: Istoriia i identichnost: Kyrgyzskaia Respublika, FFE, Bishkek, 2007, 273 pp. See: N. Omarov, D. Orlov, “The Main Results of Kyrgyzstan’s Domestic Political Development in 2009,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2010; E. Kabulov, “On the Results of the Presidential Election in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 4-5 (58-59), 2009. 4

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So the reasons leading to the downfall of Kurmanbek Bakiev’s regime are as follows: the acute socioeconomic crisis, the unsuccessful attempts to reinforce presidential power, corruption, nepotism, regionalism, clannishness, criminalization of political life, and the acute shortage of economic resources. Some foreign players also sharply criticized Kurmanbek Bakiev’s foreign policy.

The Ethnic Factor The Kyrgyz, who account for a little more than 60% of the population of Kyrgyzstan, usually go collectively to the polls, particularly in the rural areas. Kinship and tribal relations are strong in the villages and everyone participates in such events together. There are political groups in present-day Kyrgyzstan which demand that the country’s state structure be formed in keeping with traditions, that is, bearing in mind the historical division of the Kyrgyz into the right and left wing. Others are oriented toward Islamic values, while still others are in favor of reinforcing the secular foundations of the state and modernizing society. For millennia, Kyrgyz political culture has been characterized by patriarchal traits oriented toward local values (the values of clan, tribe, family) and a strong charismatic leader; azho, kagany, bii, and manapy (heads of state or families) were chosen based on their ability to protect and feed their people in the severe conditions of nomadic life. All of these ethnic traditions taken together were called kyrgyzchylyk. A set of rules was also included in this concept based on the hypertrophied idealized national traditions and cultural features of the Kyrgyz people, including sanzhira (the genealogy of the origin of Kyrgyz families) and other genealogical traditions.5 As noted above, the traditional division of clans into northern and southern is relatively provisional. To a certain extent it reflects the influence of geographical location on the formation of personnel and administrative groups. During the formation of Askar Akaev’s personal power regime, it was customary for the so-called northern clans (of Naryn and Issyk Kul) to group around his family, while those with axes to grind rallied around the southerners. It was in the south that the largest opposition to Akaev’s regime formed. The change in state power in 2005 paved the way to redistribution of property, the formation of a new political elite (mainly from among the southerners), and a search for additional resources. Several experts believe that Kurmanbek Bakiev, protégé of the southern Kyrgyz clans, played the main role in the events during and after Askar Akaev’s overthrow. The main bone they had to pick with Askar Akaev’s regime was the fact that it was the northern clan that was in power, while the southern clan, which they represented, was left out of the picture. According to Western experts, Kyrgyzstan could serve as a very good example of how unacceptable it is (from the viewpoint of ideology and political practice) to implement democratic models without taking account of local specifics. “Indirect democratization,” which envisages forming civil rights standards parallel to Western society that countries with different forms of democratic rule might have in common, would possibly be more lucrative. The south and north of the country are essentially different sociopolitical communities. The former nomads are divided into two “wings” (ong and sol), while there are about another 40 tribes and clans 5 See: B. Bogatyrov, “Postreformatorskiy etap v Kyrgyzstane: peregruppirovka sil ili vozvrat na iskhodnye pozitsii?”, Kazakhstan v globalnykh protsessakh (IMEP, Almaty), No. 1, 2007, pp. 18-20.

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at the grassroots level. Whereby these ties are much stronger among the Kyrgyz than among the Kazakh, for example, a factor which also raises political instability. It is characteristic that the Islamist opposition is primarily concentrated in Southern Kyrgyzstan.

The Role of Islam The Islamic factor in Kyrgyzstan is not only of a domestic political, but also of an ethnic and foreign political nature, that is, most members of Hizb ut-Tahrir are ethnic Uzbeks. A large number of Uzbeks, who form a national minority in Kyrgyzstan, live in the south of the republic and are potential recruits into the ranks of the Islamists. In Kyrgyzstan, there is a big difference between the south of the republic, where religious pilgrimage sites are located, and the eastern areas of the north, where strict Islamic standards do not regulate life to any great extent. The south of the republic is the most Islamicized. It is not surprising that an increase in the activity of the Hibz ut-Tahrir party was noted during the events that occurred in the south and later in Bishkek. The head of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan was taken hostage. Popularization of Islamic fundamentalism is coming up against serious obstacles in the north of the country. The main factors hindering the participation of most local Kyrgyz in the fundamentalist movement are the existing influence of the Slavic and now also Western cultures, the development of the market economy, and the presence of ethnic minorities there. Some radical Islamist groups succeeded in becoming officially registered by the Ministry of Justice in the southern regions of the country and particularly in the cities of Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken. According to official data, there are more than 1,000 mosques functioning in Osh and its adjoining territory. The fundamentalist ideology espoused by the Uzbeks living there, as well as agitators coming in from Tajikistan, is keenly felt.6 According to some data, Kyrgyzstan occupies second place in CA (after Uzbekistan) in terms of the number of Hizb Ut-Tahrir members, most of whom are young people between the ages of 18 and 25. The party is actively preparing to fight for political power.7

Political Culture On the whole, the political culture of the Kyrgyz people is passive in nature with a predominance of traditional orientations and an indifferent attitude toward the country’s political system (activity of the political institutions and central government). Nevertheless, an interest is seen in political life at the local level, which greatly raises the importance of the regional factor. The political landscape of post-Akaev Kyrgyzstan is extremely fragmented. With a total population of 5.8 million people, 2.6 million of the country’s citizens have the right to vote. This small electorate has 58 registered political parties and just as many movements and unions to choose from. There are also at least 30 opposition parties in sharp confrontation with each other.8 6 See: A. Krylov, “Religion in the Social and Political Life of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 6 (42), 2006; E. Kurmanov, “Hizb Ut-Tahrir in Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 3 (15), 2002; I. Mirsaiitov, “K voprosu o protivodeistvii idei “Khizb ut-Takhrir” v Kyrgyzstane,” Kazakhstan-Spektr (Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies, Almaty), 2006, No. 2, pp. 34-38; No. 3, pp. 31-39. 7 See: D. Satpaev, “Goriuchaia smes,” Vremia, 17 June, 2010, p. 18. 8 See: M. Suiunbaev, Geopoliticheskie osnovy razvitiia i bezopasnosti Kyrgyzstana (globalny, regionalny i natsionalny aspekty), Institute of Integration of International Educational Programs, Kyrgyz National University, Bishkek, 2005,

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The uncontained political struggle in Kyrgyz society led to the firm conviction that impunity and permissiveness are indispensible attributes of democracy. This kind of legal nihilism coupled with the low political culture (both of the political environment and of society as a whole) is making society react very sensitively to any use of force by the state and, as a result, giving leash to all kinds of headstrong ideas and trends. A distinguishing feature of Kurmanbek Bakiev’s presidential term was the family-clan factor, which was extremely regional (southern) in nature. The opposition forces thought that Bakiev was essentially preparing to transfer power, as per custom in a dynasty, to his younger son. Experts pointed out that Bakiev’s secretariat came up with corresponding reforms and long consulted with the elites about how best to carry them out. Before the kurultai opened, the president travelled to the south of the republic, to Osh and Jalal-Abad, where he enjoyed greater support. At the meetings with the aksakals, he promised to open branches of the Central Agency for Development, Investments, and Innovations there and transfer the Ministry of Defense to Osh, which would automatically lead to redistribution of financial flows in favor of the south. Bakiev hoped that this would help him enlist the support of the local elites in nominating his son, who is regarded with suspicion in traditionalist circles (he is half-Russian and does not speak Kyrgyz).

Kyrgyzstan at the Crossroads In the small hours of 11 June, 2010, Kyrgyzstan, CA, and the whole world were shocked by the ethnic clashes that began: hundreds of people were killed, thousands wounded, tens of thousands became refugees, and the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad stood in flames. These horrific events were taking place while a summit of the states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was being held in Tashkent. The interim government of Kyrgyzstan asked the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to bring in peacekeeping forces. But the meeting of security council secretaries of these countries held in Moscow on 18 June, 2010 refused to render armed support to the existing regime, although they did provide humanitarian aid and help in evacuating the wounded and making arrangements for the refugees. Roza Otunbaeva, head of the interim government, called for reservists to be recruited into the army and civilians to be disarmed. In order to make her government legitimate, a national referendum was scheduled on 27 June, 2010 to adopt a new constitution, in accordance with which Kyrgyzstan was to become a parliamentary rather than presidential republic. And in order to draw the maximum number of voters, people were allowed to vote without identification documents. Certain sources indicate that this was when some Uzbek and Tajik refugees began returning to Kyrgyzstan. It is difficult to keep from thinking that the events in Kyrgyzstan were an immense political provocation aimed at undermining peace and stability in CA, which also means throughout the world. But there is no direct evidence of this hypothesis, and only time will provide an answer to all the questions. We are left to agree with those politicians who believe that only the Kyrgyz people themselves can resolve the ensuing problems. The referendum held in Kyrgyzstan defused the situation somewhat, but all the problems involving administration of the country have still not been resolved. According to the first official 122 pp; B. Torogeldieva, “The Formation and Nature of Political Culture in Present-Day Kyrgyzstan,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 1(55), 2009.

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decrees issued by the new leadership, at the end of 2010, parliamentary elections are to be held in Kyrgyzstan. The political parties that win will form the government, which will be subordinate to the parliament. As for the presidential election, it is to be held in September 2011, until which time Roza Otunbaeva will perform the functions of the head of state. In so doing, it is stipulated that she cannot run for president. However, keeping in mind the specifics of the local mentality, this in no way means that she will not try. The new Kyrgyz leadership has been doing some interesting things: it has abolished the anticorruption committee (evidently the main bribe-takers belonged to it), and it is looking, among other things, at the possibility of re-examining several decisions about water supply to some regions of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan and about the status and property rights of certain citizens and foreign states to resort buildings and land near Lake Issyk Kul. It is still not clear what other measures the new leadership will carry out, but one thing is evident: Roza Otunbaeva and her associates need the support and understanding of the republic’s population. One important detail is worth noting: the countries neighboring on Kyrgyzstan (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan), as well as Russia, the U.S., and international organizations (the SCO, CSTO, European Union, and OSCE) were keeping a low profile with respect to the events going on in the republic. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan opened their borders to refugees, and they did not stop people from returning to their destroyed homes after the tension in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions began to drop. Kazakhstan helped Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was still the legitimate president at the time, to leave the country. He was received by Belarus. In addition, as OSCE chairman, Kazakhstan did not allow foreign interference and rendered humanitarian aid to the inflicted areas of Kyrgyzstan. This was evidently the reason that Roza Otunbaeva made her first foreign visit to the capital of Kazakhstan, where Astana Day celebrations were being held on 5-6 July, 2010. These celebrations brought together not only the heads of the CIS states, but also of countries of the Far Abroad. This gave Roza Otunbaeva the opportunity to establish personal contacts with many leaders and explain her position with respect to pacifying the situation in the republic and building a democratic Kyrgyzstan. As for Russia and the U.S., which have their own strategic interests in Kyrgyzstan, they showed tact and understanding of the situation. Russia did not respond to the request to bring its peacekeeping forces into Kyrgyzstan; it merely sent a contingent of 150 special force officers to ensure that the civilians at its military base in Kant were able to go about their normal business. At the same time, it issued the republic the first installments of loans and rendered humanitarian aid and assistance in transporting the wounded out of the conflict zones.9 The open confrontation in Kyrgyzstan is gradually abating. The first steps taken by the new leadership of Kyrgyzstan have largely been welcomed by politicians and experts. The main problem being discussed is changing the presidential form of governance to the parliamentary. Some see this as a positive move, that is, progress along the path of democracy and rejection of authoritarianism, while others are worried that it may bring extremists or confessional fundamentalists to power. With 58 registered parties and movements (and just as many semi-legal and illegal formations), it is very difficult to obtain a majority in parliament or even form a functional coalition. In addition, a further increase in clannishness and political tribalism is possible. 9 In this respect, we can recall how in 2005 Russia gave President Askar Akaev asylum after he fled from Kyrgyzstan; he continues to live in Russia to this day and is working at one of Moscow’s universities.

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In Lieu of a Conclusion The political transformations that have occurred and are occurring in sovereign Kyrgyzstan show that the political culture of the Kyrgyz nation, which is undergoing modernization, is mixed, polarized, and segmented in nature. It is distinguished by different value orientations, contradictions between traditionalism and modernism and between secular and religious orientations, and the differences between the subcultures of the urban and rural population, the electorate of the capital and the provinces, and the Kyrgyz and the members of other nationalities. In our opinion, weakening of the state power structures, intensification of the socioeconomic crisis, and prolongation of the political instability will be a determining trend in the domestic political development of Kyrgyzstan in the short and mid-term. The historical past is making itself known, and traditionalism is very difficult to overcome. We may be the witnesses of many more transformations still to come in Kyrgyzstan.

KYRGYZSTAN: TODAY AND TOMORROW Zhyldyz URMANBETOVA D.Sc. (Philos.), Professor at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University and the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Introduction

A

n analysis of the sociopolitical situation in the Kyrgyz Republic speaks of a crisis of the democratic idea in Central Asia. The nearly twenty years of the republic’s sovereignty and democratic development have supplied us with an idea of democracy local style: two revolutions

of sorts in the last five years and a constitution subjected to frequent changes. Anyone wishing to summarize this experience inevitably arrives at the following legitimate questions: Should we continue along the same risky road, and will this not lead to complete loss of our statehood?

The Theory of Democracy and Kyrgyz Reality As befits neophytes, the newly independent states willingly embraced the theory of democracy as a remedy for totalitarianism and became resolved to build a law-governed state. This made the 1990s 155

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a symbol of another democratization wave which swept the world (according to Samuel Huntington’s conception).1 In Kyrgyzstan, the democratization process was theoretically divided into stages, each being a breakthrough expected to promote democracy and deepen the democratic changes. At the early stages of sovereignty, transitology was all the rage in the Central Asian states. The brainchild of Western political scientists and sociologists, it described the process of transition to a sustainable democratic state built with the instruments devised and used in the West. Zbigniew Brzezinski demonstrated how each of the Central Asian states (the democratic prospects of which were described as fifty-fifty) should move toward democratic standards and employ development mechanisms. As could be expected, however, Western academics (who relied on Western criteria) were baffled by reality in the regional context. For a long time, the Kyrgyz academic community remained riveted to the Western democratic criteria and measured the local processes with Western yardsticks. On the other hand, a careful analysis of the reforms underway in the republic convinced many of the Kyrgyz academics that the democratic standards should be adjusted to the local conditions lest society reject them as totally alien. This means that transitology is not universal and that its standards should, therefore, be made to fit the regional context and the states’ cultural and historical specifics. In the first years of its independence, Kyrgyzstan was the region’s pacesetter: it introduced national currency and was one of the first among the Soviet successor-states to join the WTO, a sure sign of its prompt response to the need to develop a market economy, the economic linchpin of a democratic society. Among the neighbors, which tended toward strong authoritarian power, Kyrgyzstan with its relatively independent opposition looked like a politically democratic society. It was its quasi-democratic nature, however, which caused two coups in Kyrgyzstan that drove the republic economically and socially back into past; the coups frightened off investors and lovers of Oriental exotics, while the shattered state essentially lost its statehood. Moreover, security, one of the main criteria of an effective state, was infringed upon, and national independence and sovereignty were placed under threat. What caused the rapid decline of the democratic-minded republic?

Specific Ideas about Democracy in Kyrgyzstan The slide toward the precipice of contradictions and conflicts started when the republic indiscriminately borrowed elements of Western democracy and planted them in soil that could hardly produce adequate fruit. The mentality, political ideas, and ideas about democracy in Kyrgyzstan were highly specific— they had nothing to do with the Western type of thinking, which perceives democratic values as one of the main conditions of human existence. For many centuries, the Central Asian nations (the Kyrgyz among them) regarded power and those who embodied it (the elders) as sacred; at the subconscious level, political ideas remained dominated by clan loyalty: tribalism and another twist in the “democratic sanctification of power” could only be expected. 1 See: S. Huntington, “After Twenty Years: The Future of the Third Wave,” Journal of Democracy, Vol. 8, No. 4, 1997, pp. 3-12; Z. Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership, Basic Books, New York, 2004, 256 pp.

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These traditions survived socialism when much was done to wipe them out to revive and strengthen an independent Kyrgyzstan, however not one of the new-fledged political elites became a national elite. The elites are responsible for the very much needed social changes of historic importance. In their widely read Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, American futurologists and sociologists, wrote that the burden of responsibility is the key to all interpretations of democracy and that the stability and integrity of any society should be treated as an absolute priority in the context of the new level of relations established by the elite.2 The people and the political establishment alike remained devoted to their own ideas of democracy far removed from the generally accepted interpretations. The former perceived democracy as permissiveness: at the everyday level it is seen as the power of the majority understood as the power of the crowd. This led to popular riots which, albeit poorly organized, proved to be unexpectedly vigorous and damaging. The political establishment created democratic governance Central Asian or even Kyrgyz style. The commonly accepted idea of the Kyrgyz as a freedom-loving and heroic people when pushed to the brink has been disproved by the barbarian riots and rulers who fled for their lives rather than standing their ground. Anyone wishing to sort out the objective factors behind the processes underway in Kyrgyzstan will inevitably arrive at an important philosophical conclusion: each of the historical periods in social life has laws of its own. Indeed, in the relative stability of the mid-20th century, it was believed that figures of historic importance come from among the people and that no one was irreplaceable; at the turn of the 21st century, philosophers who concluded that chance and coincidence ruled the world invested the idea of historic personality with new special meaning. It was by chance that Kyrgyzstan acquired its first president responsible for the continued historical traditions and the republic’s politics; he created the foundations of leadership in the republic. The second president did not owe his post to chance: the fates of both leaders proved similar in many respects, apart from the Tulip Revolution. Another so-called coincidence triggered another coup and the talk about the traditionally violent advent to power. Past experience and common sense say that traditions can and, in many cases, should be changed in order to avoid Hegel’s “bad infinity” (schlechte Unendlichkeit).

The Social and Political Situation: The Focus Points of Change Today, the republic has reached the threshold of its third “renovation,” which makes concerns about its future highly justified. The interim government resolved to change the course has shouldered an immense historic responsibility. Exhausted long ago, the people’s confidence has been replaced with justified doubts, suspicion, and even nihilism. Is there a charismatic leader able to inspire the people to take the leap into a better future? Will the conflict of interests (very much in evidence in the interim government) flare up once the parliamentary republic is established to plunge the people into an abyss of despair? 2 See: A. Toffler, H. Toffler, Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave, Turner Publishing, Atlanta, GA, 1995.

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We all know that another conflict of interests will push the country into a wilderness: two coups in five years are too much for any country. This is all the more true of a small republic entangled in numerous contradictions, permanent economic crises, and political conflicts. What should be done to preserve its statehood and ensure stability? First, we should pay more attention to the Constitution (amended five times in the twenty years of independence). The never-ending assaults at the Fundamental Law cast doubts on its function as a guarantor of security, national independence, and development; this means that the state refuses to follow its own laws and that it is always ready to pattern them on private interests. Today the Constitution is being amended for the sixth time. Will this radical amendment, which will make Kyrgyzstan a parliamentary republic, save it? The idea per se is not a bad one, yet it hardly suits a country inflicted by economic problems, political conflicts, social upheavals, and spiritual impoverishment. For its success parliamentarism largely depends on mature political parties with clear and detailed conceptions of what should be done and charismatic leaders. The country is entering an election race; new political parties are being hastily knocked together, which adds to the chaos on the domestic scene. The political parties that have been functioning for a fairly long time have failed to use it to resolve the crisis. Not infrequently, members of the interim government speak of certain similarities between Kyrgyzstan and the U.K., which is hardly correct. The past, to say nothing of the present, of both countries are worlds apart when it comes to the level of political awareness, social memory, and economic, social, and cultural (particularly political) development. This looks very much like Akaev’s utopia of turning Kyrgyzstan into a Central Asian Switzerland; every development strategy leads us to another pitfall. Deep in crisis, Kyrgyzstan, armed with the idea of a parliamentary republic, invited a fundamental change in its political system. What has already happened may give a new boost to development: tragedies are known to produce vast cultural and creative potential. There is another argument in favor of the parliamentary system: in the past the Kyrgyz have acted together more than once to decide their future. Whatever the case, when realized, the parliamentary system will reveal the true feelings of yet another elite and the extent to which it is determined to act in the interests of the country and its people. So far, Kyrgyzstan is balancing at a brink of a precipice: the parliamentary form of government will either push it down or stir up the nation’s good reason, willpower, and determination to preserve the republic’s statehood; its instinct of self-preservation should send people down the road of development. Theoretically speaking, the nomadic archetype of thinking typical of the Kyrgyz is genetically receptive to change: in other words, the Kyrgyz can adapt more or less easily to anything new. A sober and objective approach to the very possibility of building a democratic state is the second, and no less important, condition of the republic’s continued existence and development. We should establish beyond doubt whether the people treat this as an all-important idea. The West is very comfortable with liberalism and democracy and is willing to share its positive experience with the rest of the world. The question is: Should we copy its experience and will we succeed? There is not much sense in copying; the local historical and cultural traditions should be taken into account, otherwise the effort will fail. Constructionists and their ideas look much more adequate in our case; they assert that social reality is never immutable, neither is it rationally predetermined. Reality is axiologically and culturally diverse. The constructionists proceed from the following: “Each rationality has historically specific roots; it is created and recreated by the active involvement of politically important participants. Interests (and, hence, rationality) are socially, rather than intellectually, determined and, therefore, should be studied 158

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and comprehended as social phenomena. Interests, understood in historical and political contexts, are the key to this comprehension. Hence the following three basic principles of constructionism: cultural, historical, and political conditioning of social action.”3 When building a state or performing any other social action we should never try to make reality match immutable standards. We should take into account the cultural-historical factors: specific ideas of the world, value system, political awareness, and social memory. We should never forget that any development strategy should take national interests into account and treat them as a priority; no strategy should be thoughtlessly applied, but it is advisable to go for geopolitical compromises.

Ideology and Identity We should never forget that ideology is the cornerstone of a sovereign state; in the two decades of its independent existence, Kyrgyzstan has failed to create its own. Meanwhile, social contradictions cannot be resolved in the absence of clear ideas about the country’s future. In the first years of independence, ideology was generally considered to be useless, if not harmful; numerous conferences and seminars discussed the possibility of non-ideological awareness, while the idea of Western democracy itself is part of the cultural-ideological context.4 Later, there were several failed attempts to create a national ideology: the “Seven Covenants of Manas,” which adjusted the nation’s spiritual heritage to short-term political objectives; the slogan “Kyrgyzstan is Our Common Home,” which misinterpreted ethnic harmony; and “Kyrgyzstan is a Country of Human Rights,” a tag deprived of national specifics and easily attached to any democratic state. This means that today the country needs a truly national idea capable of consolidating the people and making civil identity a reality. All the CIS countries lived through an identity crisis at one time or another. In Kyrgyzstan, the crisis spread to all spheres: civil, national, and religious. The hierarchy of identity presented by the West is striking in its abundance of trifles, even if they are undetectable at first glance. Fairly recently, this theory (a reinterpreted conception of national awareness) and particularly its ideological aspect became the talk of the day. We can hardly hope to rally the people around an idea if the phenomenon of civil identity remains vague or even ignored. We should never forget the polyethnic and poly-cultural nature of Kyrgyzstan; there is the problem of preserving the ethnic diversity and sustainable development of all the nationalities as part of one civic whole. Identity is highly individualized, yet it comes from social interaction, that is, “it is not his biological or cultural-historical origins but his role in society that makes an individual a member of an ethnic group and a vehicle of ethnic identity. Identity is not a quality but an attitude, hence its openness and flexibility.”5 3 A. Tsygankov, P. Tsygankov, “Krizis idei ‘demokraticheskogo mira’,” Mezhdunarodnye protsessy, No. 1 (19), Vol. 7, 2009; P. Berger, T. Luckmann, Sotsialnoe konstruirovanie realnosti: Traktat po sotsiologii znania (The Social Construction of Reality. A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge), Transl. by E. Rutkevich, Mosck. Filos. Fond, AcademiaTsentr, Medium, Moscow, 1995, p. 323. 4 See: H.M. Drucker, The Political Uses of Ideology, Barnes & Noble, New York, 1974, 170 pp.; J. Larrain, Ideology and Cultural Identity, Polity Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994, 190 pp.; L.S. Feuer, Ideology and the Ideologists, Harper & Row, New York, 1975, 220 pp. 5 V. Malakhov, “Simvolicheskoe proizvodstvo etnichnosti i konflikt,” in: Identichnost: poisk, proizvodstvo i vosproizvodstvo, Bishkek, 2005, p. 12.

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There is not much sense in knocking together an artificial ideology that no one wants. Ideology should be identified as part of our ideas about the world with continuity recognized as the main element of civil identity. The educational system should be treated as the main instrument: it does not merely cultivate this idea, but also improves the mechanisms related to its comprehensive perception (similar to the Oktiabriata, Young Pioneer, and Komsomol organizations of Soviet times). The theory which says that identity should be perceived as a project is just as interesting: “In this sense, it is crucial to understand identity not just as a construction coming from the past, but also, as Habermas proposes, as a project;”6 in this way, a sociopolitical element is added to the cultural context. The “political acculturation” theory of Jürgen Habermas can be used to resolve the contradiction between citizenship and national identity, its realization largely depending on subjective and objective factors. Subjectively, the individual should be prepared and able to understand his situation and accept it, that is, integrate into his new state. Objectively, the state should feel responsible for setting up a new political system and following democratic values as the only acceptable approach, while treating the rights and interests of its citizens as a priority. In this context, democratic values should be understood in their Western interpretation, of which J. Hoagland has written that a process that does not rest on democratic values will be soon abandoned or degraded beyond recognition.7 The above means that what was going on in Kyrgyzstan had nothing to do with democratic values as understood in the West; this was what degraded our artificial democracy. A crisis of the state always echoes in a crisis of civil identity, which is obvious at the civil and cultural levels; it is caused by the fact that man and his self-identity in society and culture are no longer needed and are not treated as important. This socio-cultural reality should be tested by time; a new civil identity of the state, akin to social awareness, is the answer to the political and social challenges of our time: the higher the level of this identity, the more the state coincides with the globalized world. Pluralism and the dialog of cultures have added urgency to the problem of shaping a civil society within an independent nation-state: civil and cultural identity have become the main mechanisms of society’s self-identification and self-realization. Regional identity within Central Asia as a geopolitical region is equally important: today it is actualized and functionalized; it may considerably affect progress in each of the countries.8 We need a Central Asian identity for the simple reason that only the region as a whole can stand up to the globalization challenges: none of the regional states can do this on its own. Kyrgyzstan’s closest neighbors are worried, with good reason, about the developments in the republic: if the crisis deepens, the region might lose its integrity and become destabilized—an unwelcome situation from the viewpoint of geopolitical unity. Democratic changes in Kyrgyzstan are closely connected with modernization in all spheres of life (economic, political, social, spiritual, etc.); at the early stage of its independence, modernization was realized in the form of Westernization (unthinking borrowing of political institutions and axiological systems). The novelties were rejected by society, which demonstrated with unprecedented clarity the traditionalist and conservative features of the Kyrgyz national character. 6

J. Larrain, op. cit., p. 7. Quoted from: Demokratia 90-kh, Moscow, 1997, p. 11. 8 See: I. Abdurazakov, “Tsentral’naia Azia: vyzovy i alternativy,” Tsentral’naia Azia i kultura mira, No. 1-2 (12-13), 2002; M.S. Imanaliev, “Novye parametry miroustrystva: tsentralnoaziatskoe izmerenie,” Tsentral’naia Azia i kultura mira, No. 1-2 (17-18), 2005; B.B. Ochilov, “Perspektivy razvitia Tsentral’noy Azii v usloviiakh globalizatsii,” Tsentral’naia Azia i kultura mira, No. 1-2 (19-20), 2006. 7

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The framework of the generally accepted concept of democracy probably does not suit development Kyrgyz style; this means that its modernization should acquire its own strategy geared toward its economic nuances and the specifics of the people’s political culture, which is manifested in highly contradictory ways.

In Lieu of a Conclusion An analysis of the sociopolitical and sociocultural situation in Kyrgyzstan clarifies the present and offers a glimpse into the future. It is highly important, primarily, to realize at the state level that democratic standards should not be blindly copied and that the republic’s extremely specific cultural and historical context should be comprehended in its entirety. It is very important to grasp the specifics of the culture of thinking; certain features of the national mentality should be accented and cultivated to achieve sustainable and long-term results for the simple reason that an individual as the key subject of any state serves as the criterion of social development. This is intimately connected with patriotism, the tuning fork of national unity. In recent years, patriotism, generally dismissed as a vestige of Soviet times, has been highly unpopular; the recent events in the Kyrgyz Republic have demonstrated that the Kyrgyz are an extremely patriotic people and that patriotism is ingrained in the national character. Today the country should tap all of its resources to find a positive answer to the question To Be or Not to Be? in the form of a democratic society based on an individual cultural-historical context.

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RELIGION IN SOCIETY

TABLIGHI JAMAAT IN KYRGYZSTAN: ITS LOCAL SPECIFICS AND POSSIBLE IMPACT ON THE RELIGIOUS SITUATION Kanatbek MURZAKHALILOV Deputy Director, State Commission for Religious Affairs, Kyrgyz Republic (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) Mirajiddin ARYNOV Master of Political Science (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)

Introduction

E

arly in the 1990s, men who stood out in the crowd because of their beards and Pakistani clothing flocked to the newly independent country. They were members of Tablighi Jamaat, a religious movement which called on the faithful to pattern their lives on the rules and customs of the Prophet Muhammad. Its high level of activity soon turned it into the largest of the Islamic organizations and groups (both local and foreign) operating in Kyrgyzstan. At first, the newcomers concentrated their efforts

on the country’s north, which is much less religious than the south.1 But after a while, the movement spread to the south to cover the republic’s entire territory. The first missionaries (who did not know any of the local languages and spoke English and

1 See: I. Rotar, “Stranniki v nochi. Pakistanskiy islam v Tsentral’noy Azii: missionerstvo ili podryvnaia deiatel’nost?” NG-Religii, 20 February, 2008, available at [http://religion.ng.ru/problems/2008-02-20/6_stranniki.html].

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Arabic) came from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India2; they had to rely on local interpreters to explain the foundations of Islam to the people. The Pakistani missionaries believe the Kyrgyz Republic to be the most fertile soil for tilling by foreign preachers; it is expected to serve as a springboard from which Islam, and its extremist trends, can be launched further across the region.3 Over 50 citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic are now educated in the Islamic regional educational establishments of Pakistan,4 although this figure 2 See: Interview with R. Eratov, head of the Daavat Department, Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan, 15 June, 2009. 3 See: N. Samartseva, “Shirma dlia ekstremistov, ili Chto skryvaetsia za blagimi tseliami ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ po ozdorovleniiu musul’manskogo obshchestva,” ResPublika, 18 June, 2006. 4 See: O. Mamaiusupov, K. Murzakhalilov, K. Mamataliev, Kratkiy analiz religioznykh sistem v Kyrgyzstane, Bishkek, 2006, 172 pp.

is hardly correct. There is any number of those who travel on tourist visas and private invitations without informing the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan (SAMK) and state structures to receive religious education abroad. Tablighi Jamaat stepped up its involvement in the republic’s religious life with the help of those who returned to till the local soil after graduating from religious centers in Pakistan and India. Kyrgyz students prefer the Tablighi Jamaat madrasahs in Lahore and Rayvind where they study Muslim theology and, not infrequently, bring back many religious convictions and teachings which contradict not only the local mentality, but also the Hanafi madhhab the Kyrgyz inherited from their ancestors. In a very short time, the ranks of missionaries swelled with local people speaking Kyrgyz and Russian; some of them studied abroad, others had no formal education.

Members of Tablighi Jamaat in Kyrgyzstan Today, the membership of Tablighi Jamaat is fairly large and diverse; there are laborers, shop owners, students, lecturers at higher educational establishments, businessmen, prominent actors, and even civil servants among them. Some of them devote a lot of their leisure time to “daavat” in all corners of the republic. Most of the movement’s members are ethnic Kyrgyz; members of other nationalities are few and far between. It seems that abroad the Kyrgyz were singled out as the main target of missionary activities mainly because they were less religious than the republic’s other Muslims (Uzbeks, Dungans, Uighurs, Darghins, and Tatars). Followers and supporters of Tablighi Jamaat are found in practically every city, town, and even the smallest village, as well as in every age group from 16 to 70. The bulk of the movement in Kyrgyzstan belongs to the 19-45 age brackets. The total number of followers is hard to establish and is, therefore, unknown. According to K. Malikov,5 there are about 80 jamaats (groups of Muslims) in Kyrgyzstan engaged in missionary activities. S. Kalykov, the qadi of the Osh Region, estimated the number of Tablighi Jamaat followers at about 10 thousand and added that in principle they did no harm.6 5 See: K. Malikov, “Ne iskliuchaiu, chto vo vlastnykh strukturakh Kyrgyzstana est destruktivnye elementy, kotorym vygodno raskachivanie religioznoy lodki,” Bishkek—24.kg Information Agency, 14 March, 2009, available at [www.24.kg/ community/ 2009/03/14/109065.htm]. 6 See: I. Rotar, op. cit.

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Minister of education K. Osmonaliev, in turn, is of a different opinion about the movement’s numerical strength: “There can be no exact figure since the movement’s members are waging ‘guerilla warfare.’ Under cover of educational and missionary activities, Tablighi Jamaat is engaged in a very dangerous game.”7 Other experts believe that there are about 2,000 “daavat activists” in the republic and over 50 “kudama” (the most active missionaries), a title assigned to those engaged regularly in preaching and missionary activities from 40 days to 4 months. Our own studies8 revealed that today the republic’s Muslim community can provisionally be divided into six groups: (1) graduates of the Al-Azhar University (Egypt); (2) members of Tablighi Jamaat educated in Pakistan; (3) followers of imams or religious authorities outside any of the groups; (4) graduates from the Al-Bukhari Madrasah (Bukhara); (5) people with Soviet theological education who tend toward the so-called Saudi model of Muslim community; (6) graduates of the Theological Faculty, the republic’s only theological educational establishment sponsored by the Dayanet Vak Fund (Turkey) (the so-called Turkish model). According to the associates of the Institute for Strategic Analysis and Forecasting at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, the Tablighi Jamaat movement has a well-organized structure and program of action; it relies on the republican, regional, and district councils to discuss the most effective methods of agitation. The councils are staffed with members experienced in daavat (age, religious education, and social and economic status being unimportant). The republican council holds its monthly meetings in one of the mosques of Bishkek or KaraBalty; they bring together delegates from all the regions, whereby any Muslim, be he a member of the clergy or a common believer, can voice his opinion. Not infrequently, the councils invite members of local administrations or law-enforcers to their meetings.9

Key Trends Today, the movement is mainly engaged in daavat, intended to help people get rid of everything “bad” and move closer to everything “good.” “Bad” refers to actions which go beyond the limits outlined by the Prophet and Sunnah, while “good” fully corresponds to them. Daavat is commonly associated with the movement’s missionary activities which are, in fact, one of its many elements. Daavat is a gradual process: those wishing to be involved in it should start with 5 to 10 threeday-long daavats; later, the period is extended to 40 days and still later, to 4 months. The fatwa of the Council of the Ulema of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan dated 16 February, 2003 limited daavats to those with special permission from the SAMK and its structures. 7 S. Kim, “Lokomotivom dvizhenia ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ iavliaetsia molodezh Kyrgyzstana,” Bishkek—24.kg IA, 3 April, 2009, available at [http://www.24.kg/community/2009/04/03/110935.html]. 8 See: K. Murzakhalilov, “Islam v Kyrgyzstane: stanovlenie i perspektivy razvitia,” in Materaily kruglogo stola “Sekularizm i islam v sovremennom gosudarstve: chto ikh ob’ediniaet?” Almaty, 2008, pp. 179-199. 9 See: “Daavat—prisyv k islamu. Stanet li on protivodeystviem religiouznomu ekstremizmu?” Institut strategicheskogo analyza i prognoza KRSU, available at [http://www.easttime.ru/analitic/ 1/1/ 78. html].

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On 10 February, 2009, the SAMK responded to popular discontent caused by uncontrolled daavat with a Statute of the Department of Daavat which formulated the rules obligatory for people engaged in daavat. Under the new document, these people should seek written permission from the SAMK, while their preaching activities should be controlled by qadis and chief imam-hatybs of districts and cities. The document makes it incumbent upon the preachers to obtain official confirmation of their religious education from the chief imam-hatyb of the region (city) of their permanent residence, a corresponding document from the local department of internal affairs, and permission from their parents (or family members). Daavat activists are obliged to carry passports or other forms of identification; they should not wear foreign clothes and should, in general, look presentable. The Statute also sets forth the number of those intending to engage in daavat. The document relieved the SAMK from its responsibility for non-registered groups that ignored the official rules. The new Statute is not fully effective: there are instances of chaotic daavat activities by people with no official documents or identification papers. Recently, women set up their own groups (mastura jamaats) to engage in daavat that is very different from the missionary activities of the male Tablighi members. In Kyrgyzstan, the followers of Tablighi Jamaat consistently rely on personal contacts to involve people in daavat and draw them into the movement.

How Tablighi Jamaat Affects the Local Religious Situation Some of the Soviet successor-states have banned Tablighi Jamaat. The Supreme Court of Russia,10 for example, ruled that its activities threaten national and confessional stability in the Russian Federation and its territorial integrity. In Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, this organization is also persecuted as a potential national security threat.11 The Kyrgyz Republic tried to emulate its neighbors and ban the movement as a terrorist and extremist structure; on 3 February, 2009, the republic’s General Prosecutor’s Office lodged a corresponding claim in the Pervomaysky District Court of Bishkek.12 Some time later, however, it recalled the claim to study the movement and its activities in greater detail. None of the Western countries (the U.S. included) has banned Tablighi Jamaat; European and American justice found no traces of terrorism or extremism in the movement’s activities. This gives rise to the legitimate question of whether its activities threaten the Kyrgyz Republic’s national security? Is it engaged in spreading extremism and fanaticism? An affirmative answer to both invites another question: How is its negative impact on Kyrgyz society manifested? 10 On 7 May, 2009, the Supreme Court of Russia adjudicated Tablighi Jamaat as an extremist organization and banned it as threatening national and confessional stability of the Russian Federation and its territorial integrity. On 30 July, 2009, the cassation appeal of the Tablighi Jamaat regarding violation of its right to freedom of expression, conscience and association was denied and the court decision came into force. 11 See: “Verkhovny sud Rossii zapretil islamskoe dvizhenie ‘Tablighi Jamaat’,” NG-Religii, 20 May, 2009. 12 See: “Genprokuratura prosit priznat organizatsiu daavatistov ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ terroristicheskoy i ekstremistskoy,” Bishkek—AKIpress Information Agency, 3 February, 2009 [http:// www. svodka. akipress.org/news:4531/].

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Experts and theologians fail to agree: while the former believe that the threat is very real, the latter insist that there is no threat. Some authors13 write that so far daavat activists present no direct danger, however over time their propaganda might push poorly educated groups, women and young people in particular, toward religious fanaticism and even religious extremism. O. Mamaiusupov is of a similar opinion; he has described Tablighi Jamaat as a “factor which helps promote the ideas of religious extremism by bringing together destructive Islamic trends and daavat activities; in fact, it is not daavat itself which causes concern, but the forms and methods employed despite the SAMK Fatwa on daavat.”14 The youth is a target audience for Tablighi Jamaat; young people are taught to think that daavat is the prime duty of all Muslims; those unwilling to become involved are discredited in the eyes of others. This may add impetus to the extremist propaganda carried out by Hizb ut-Tahrir and promote dissemination of extremist literature, while daavat might serve as a smokescreen for Hizb ut-Tahrir’s recruitment campaigns.15 K. Malikov believes there are certain weak points in Tablighi Jamaat’s activity: its missionaries are not very presentable, more often than not their religious knowledge leaves much to be desired, while the daavat process remains chaotic.16 On 8 October, 2008, the parliamentary commission set up by the Zhorgoku Kenesh on 22 May, 2008 (Decision No. 409-4) made public its final document which said that the activists of Tablighi Jamaat were based in mosques which they had turned into propaganda outposts. They called on the people to obey the Shari‘a, perform namaz five times a day, and suggested that women should wear hijabs. The commission described this as the first step toward religious fanaticism; the daavat activists insist on hijabs in secondary schools and separate educational establishments for boys and girls. Over time, Tablighi Jamaat, with cells in every city and district, might develop into a serious rival of the SAMK; the parliamentary commission described daavat activities as “one of the most serious problems in the republic’s religious sphere.”17 What should be done to prevent the negative developments described above? Some believe that excessive harshness might radicalize Tablighi Jamaat and drive it underground. K. Malikov agrees with this; hundreds or probably thousands are already involved in daavat; a ban might radicalize the movement, while its supporters will either regard the state as an enemy or embrace more extremist ideas, like the members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and similar structures.18 A court decision will not liquidate the organization. Described as an extremist structure, it will go underground and break off its contacts with the SAMK and the State Agency for Religious Affairs. The state will lose control over its activities; this has already happened with Hizb ut-Tahrir.19 The April 2010 events in Kyrgyzstan affected Tablighi Jamaat and significantly reduced its activities. 13 See: K. Murzakhalilov, K. Mamataliev, “Kyrgyz Republic—Religion,” in: Central Eurasia 2005. Analytical Annual, CA&CC Press, Sweden, 2006. 14 O. Mamaiusupov, Voprosy (problemy) religii na perekhodnom etape, Bishkek, 2003, 353 pp. 15 See: K. Murzakhalilov, K. Mamataliev, O. Mamaiusupov, “Islam in the Democratic Context of Kyrgyzstan: Comparative Analysis,” Central Asia and the Caucasus, No. 3 (33), 2005. 16 See: A. Lymar, “Kyrgyzstan stal ploshchadkoy, na kotoroy stolknulis interesy raznykh stran, blokov i ideologiy,” Bishkek—24.kg IA, 30 September, 2009, available at [http://www.24.kg/community /62083-abdykadyr-orusbaev-pochemuby-v-kyrgyzstane.html]. 17 I. Gorbachev, “Bes fanatizma,” Bishkek—24.kg IA, 11 October, 2008, available at [http://www.24.kg /community/ 2008/ 10/11/ 95023.html]. 18 See: A. Lymar, op. cit. 19 See: Iu. Gruzdov, “Sovobodna li sovest, staviashchaia pod ugrozu natsbezopasnost?” Obshchestvenno-politicheskaia gazeta MSN, 13 March, 2009.

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According to O. Moldaliev, daavat activists, who until the April events were quite visible in the countryside, disappeared; their leaders went back to their native villages to prepare for the coming parliamentary elections.20 Today, the absolute majority demands outlawing Tablighi Jamaat: its members are poorly educated and hardly presentable (they wear Pakistani dress, beards, etc.). People also object to their habit of spending nights in the local mosques. The republic’s population does not like their aggressive missionary activities, which might negatively affect the situation in the Muslim ummah and confessional relations as a whole. Today, the Kyrgyz should work hard to preserve social stability and harmonious relations among confessions. As part of the republic’s traditional poly-confessional context, the SAMK should pool forces with other state structures to oppose ideologically alien concepts and convince the faithful that Islam should not be used for illegal (including political) aims.

Conclusion It is very hard to separate the moderate intentions of Tablighi Jamaat (teaching Islam to the masses) from the radicalization of its fairly fanatic followers. In the long term, Islamic propaganda might end in extremism. Today in Kyrgyzstan, Tablighi Jamaat has limited itself to daavat, but it is clearly an instrument of Islamization of the republic’s population. There is a fairly widely accepted opinion that daavat is not limited to propaganda—it is an instrument of religious enlightenment. Those involved in it are educating themselves; their propaganda tours upgrade their religious knowledge, spirituality, and dedication to the principles of Islam. On many occasions, people who have never prayed began praying five times a day after joining the daavat teaching. Daavat is popular among the republic’s Muslims as an instrument of religious enlightenment accessible to all ages, social and economic groups, and all levels of religious education. Life has shown that daavat is popular because it is mobile: anyone can join at any time, in any corner of the country, and under practically any circumstances. This explains why its ranks are swelling in geometric progression. The members of Tablighi Jamaat, very much like the members of other organizations for that matter, keep a low profile to avoid the attention of the public and the defense and security structures. Over time, the results of its activities in Kyrgyzstan might be manifested in the form of prerequisites of an “Islamic model of state governance,” its educational activities being the key instrument. The above suggests that, if left unattended, chaotic daavat might create seats of religious tension, threaten society and the state, and complicate the social and religious situation. To avoid this, the SAMK should formulate its own long-term conception of Islamic development in the republic that is conducive to its national security and in harmony with its secular nature. It should correspond to the Kyrgyz’ national mentality and traditions, as well as to the ideas of the Hanafi madhhab. Interaction among the various Islamic trends and their impact on the religious situation in the Central Asian countries should also be studied along with the mechanisms involved in the process. 20 See: B. Kolbaev, “V Kyrgyzstane dlia stabilizatsii obstanovki neobkhodimo privlekat religioznykh liderov,” Bishkek—24.kg IA, 20 April, 2010, available at [http://www.24.kg/community/51755-2009/06/11/114819].

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The Central Asian countries should launch in-depth religious studies; they should train theologians well-versed in the recent changes in the Islamic confessional infrastructure. This cannot be done without a profound systemic analysis and conceptual approach. The missionary activities of Tablighi Jamaat should be regulated; the SAMK should probably set up a training center for daavat activists. On the other hand, some experts and members of the clergy believe that the SAMK can carry out daavat on its own. Indeed, there are over 2,000 mosques in Kyrgyzstan, as well as 53 madrasahs, 8 Islamic institutes, and the Islamic University of Kyrgyzstan, which employ, on an official basis, about 10 thousand clerics (qadis, imam-hatybs, imams of mosques, mudarrises, etc.); students of the Islamic educational establishments can also lend a helping hand. All settlements, large and small, have mosques; in large villages every street has its own imam. The problems described above must be resolved in order to preserve religious stability in the republic.

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