RUSSIA AND THE CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES: BILATERAL SECURITY COOPERATION
Vladimir PARAMONOV, Oleg STOLPOVSKIY
Vladimir Paramonov, Ph.D. (Political Science), independent expert (Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan)
Oleg Stolpovskiy, Independent military analyst (Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan)
Retaining its key role in Central Asia (CA) and in the post-Soviet expanse as a whole is one of the main priorities of the Russian Federation’s current policy. Carrying out this strategic task was and still is directly related to the development of security cooperation, which, in addition to being of mutual benefit in the difficult regional and international circumstances, also has a significant political and propagandist effect.
Despite the many disintegrating factors that accompanied the sovereign emergence of each of the post-Soviet republics after the collapse of the Soviet Union, their common historical past, as well as economic, cultural, linguistic, and other traditional ties continue to prompt both the Russian Federation and Central Asia to seek cooperation in both collective and national security. Whereby preference goes to bilateral relations since it is this format that implies more specific and practical forms of military cooperation and is more confidential, making it possible to avoid any negative overtones associated with ambitions and mutual lack of understanding that are particularly vividly manifested in the multilateral format.
Russia and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is currently Russia’s key partner in the Central Asian region, with which Moscow is building alliance relations.
Military cooperation. Since the time Kazakhstan gained its independence, partnership relations characterized by regular working meetings at different levels and the drawing up of common approaches to several issues of mutual interest in security have been established between the security ministries of both states.
Carrying out joint exercises. In order to elaborate an algorithm of joint actions, exercises are held on a regular basis involving detachments and contingents of the Russian and Kazakh armies, both within the framework of the CSTO and SCO and in the bilateral format. An agreement has even been reached between the military departments of Russia and Kazakhstan on holding annual joint large-scale military maneuvers from 2009 to 2011 in each of the states in turn.
Since the beginning of 2008, two major joint undertakings have been held, in which contingents of the Russian and Kazakh military departments participated. For example, in the first ten days of July 2008 the Russian-Kazakh Vzaimodeistvie-2008 exercises were held at the training center of…………….