THE REGIONAL CENTERS OF POWER: IS THERE A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS, IDEOLOGICAL COOPERATION, OR A CONFLICT OF STRATEGIES AMONG THEM IN CENTRAL ASIA?
Noor OMAROV, Esen USUBALIEV
Noor Omarov, D.Sc. (Hist.), professor at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
Esen Usubaliev, Ph.D. (Hist.), leading expert at the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Forecasting at the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
The geopolitical vacuum of the post-Soviet period in Central Asia soon developed into a security vacuum to be filled, in the latter half of the 1990s, with various regional and sub-regional units set up by countries located outside the region. Many of them claimed regional leadership and monopoly domination in the Eurasian security system.
In the wake of 1991, the regional countries, in turn, restored the wide contacts, within the geopolitical and geo-economic context, interrupted by their long isolation, and also revived the natural course of interaction with the adjacent regions. This made them more responsive, to a certain extent, to the influence of their neighbors, members of all sorts of security structures on the Eurasian continent. The region, a closely integrated unit of Soviet times, is now torn apart by centrifugal and centripetal forces, but there is an obvious and natural desire to restore the geopolitical unity of the past on a new basis. The newly independent Central Asian states remain dependent on the old centers of influence (Russia, China, and the Middle East), while moving at the same time toward new geopolitical partners represented by the United States and the European Union.
It should be borne in mind that this process was part of the global developments and, as such, spoke of the post-Soviet Central Asian states’ intention to integrate into the global expanse and……………