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Central Asia

The Eurasian Economic Union: Power, Politics and Trade

Europe and Central Asia Report N°240, 20 July 2016

Kyrgyzstan's President Almazbek Atambayev (R), Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R), Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (C), Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko (2nd L) and Armenian's President Serzh Sargsyan (L) stand for a photograph before a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union in Astana May 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Since its creation in 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has kept only a few of its promises. Its limited economic success cannot mask the many tensions between Russia and its neighbours. Much of the EEU’s future success will depend on its members’ will to shift away from geopolitics a​nd focus on international cooperation, governance, social welfare and migration.

Recent Reports

The Eurasian Economic Union: Power, Politics and Trade, Europe and Central Asia Report N°240, 20 Jul 2016

Since its creation in 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has kept only a few of its promises. Its limited economic success cannot mask the many tensions between Russia and its neighbours. Much of the EEU’s future success will depend on its members’ will to shift away from geopolitics a​nd focus on international cooperation, governance, social welfare and migration.

Tajikistan Early Warning: Internal Pressures, External Threats, Europe and Central Asia Briefing N°78, 11 Jan 2016

Plagued by violence, corruption and economic hardship, and exposed to a long, insecure border with Afghanistan, Tajikistan is under dangerous stress. President Rahmon’s autocratic undermining of the 1997 peace agreement is fostering Islamic radicalisation. As Tajikistan’s growing fragility impacts a brittle region, the country must become a conflict-prevention priority.

Kyrgyzstan: An Uncertain Trajectory, Europe and Central Asia Briefing N°76, 30 Sep 2015

Kyrgyzstan’s relative stability belies the country’s brittle Central Asian neighbourhood, simmering ethnic tensions, religious extremism and political frustration. Russia, the West and China share interests here, creating a unique opportunity to work together for Kyrgyzstan’s democratic development during and after the upcoming 4 October parliamentary elections.

Stress Tests for Kazakhstan, Europe and Central Asia Briefing N°74, 13 May 2015

Kazakhstan’s wish for stability and continuity under long-serving President Nazarbayev trumps the will for political change, especially given turbulence elsewhere on Russia’s borders. But without economic reform, full ethnic equality and a political succession plan, the Central Asian country risks becoming another brittle post-Soviet state vulnerable to external destabilisation.

Syria Calling: Radicalisation in Central Asia, Europe and Central Asia Briefing N°72, 20 Jan 2015

The Islamic State (IS) is attracting Central Asians to Syria and fostering new links among radicals within the region. Unless the five Central Asian governments develop a credible, coordinated counter-action plan, including improved security measures but also social, political and economic reforms, growing radicalism will eventually pose a serious threat to their stability.

русский   中文

Water Pressures in Central Asia, Europe and Central Asia Report N°233, 11 Sep 2014

Growing tensions in the Ferghana Valley are exacerbated by disputes over shared water resources. To address this, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan urgently need to step back from using water or energy as a coercive tool and focus on reaching a series of modest, bilateral agreements, pending comprehensive resolution of this serious problem.

русский

Kazakhstan: Waiting for Change, Asia Report N°250, 30 Sep 2013

Resource-led economic growth cannot mask the need for reforms in Kazakhstan as labour unrest, social divisions and a growing Islamist movement threaten the country’s stability.

China’s Central Asia Problem, Asia Report N°244, 27 Feb 2013

China’s influence is growing rapidly in Central Asia at a time when the region is looking increasingly unstable.

Kyrgyzstan: Widening Ethnic Divisions in the South, Asia Report N°222, 29 Mar 2012

Kyrgyzstan’s disregard for its Uzbek community is pushing the ethnic minority to a breaking point.

Tajikistan: The Changing Insurgent Threats, Asia Report N°205, 24 May 2011

Tajikistan, Central Asia’s poorest state and a key logistical link for international forces in Afghanistan, faces a growing security threat from both local and external rebels.

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Podcast

 

False Calm after Elections in Kyrgyzstan

23 October 2010: Four months after violence against immigrants, Kyrgyzstan is forming a new government.  How will this contribute to stability? Crisis Group’s Central Asia Project Director, Paul Quinn-Judge, tells us what's happening, and why. Listen