Russian Military Existence’s Effect in the Central Asia: Military Bases in Kazakhstan Introduction

Bayram ALİYEV
28 October 2016
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Russia’s foreign policy concept of the Central Asian countries is sophisticated; but nevertheless, is essentially predicated on two main approaches:

-   Russian policies aim both to reconstruct the relationship between the post-Soviet countries and to re-form a new union that gathers all of these countries under the leadership of Russia. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s “Near abroad doctrine” toward post-Soviet countries served as a basis for the Russian Federation’s Central Asian policy. Furthermore, the importance of Central Asian countries for Kremlin has been described in “Medvedev’s Doctrine” and “National Security Strategy” documents of Kremlin. Along with Moscow’s hegemony ambitions, Russia desires to fight against fundamental religious movements and radical nationalism in the region, which Russia considers as a threat against its national security.
-    Secondly, the geopolitical position of the Central Asia is of global importance in the energy arena. Recent demand growth for natural resources, for example, oil and natural gas, from the developed economies of industrialized countries, of which China is the most notable, has amplified this importance; this is not without its implications in Russian energy policy at all.

From the Russian Foreign Policy perspective, the most crucial country in the region is Kazakhstan. First, there are 4 million ethnically Russian people living in Kazakhstan. Second, Kazakhstan is the locomotive state of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. Especially, after Russia’s failed attempt to include Ukraine into the Eurasian Union, Kazakhstan’s position has strengthened in the union. Furthermore, Kazakhstan tries to act as a mediator between Russia and such states as Turkey and Ukraine, which are having political tensions with Russia.

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