26.03.2019 12:10

Prepared by Yekaterina Seifulina (Kazakhstan), editor of the English channel of the “Central Eurasia” Expert Network .

We continue to publish excerpts from a large-scale expert survey of the Project “Central Eurasia”. The survey involves more than 100 representatives of the expert community in the region discussing current problems in relationships and development of Central Asian countries, as well as the ways to solve them. The discussion is posted (in Russian) entirely on the site http://www.ceasia.org, here we give only excerpts.


How the Central Asian states view their security, and how they plan to modernize, according to the interviewed experts to know what creates additional problems for regional cooperation.

Rustam Burnashev (Uzbekistan) finds difficult to identify all the complexities of the development of Central Asian countries. In his opinion, the main difficulties in the development of Central Asian countries in the field of security are related to their structural features: they can all be assessed as weak states, and to some extent even as demodernizing ones. Thus, a key feature of weak states is the lack of integrity of the power field, its fragmentation. The structure of power in weak states is not built according to the “center-periphery” scheme, but implies a plurality of competing centers. Each social group (ethnic, religious, influence group), acting as one of the many centers of power, seeks to increase their own security, which is perceived by other groups as a challenge or threat to their security and, accordingly, generates a response.

Pavel Dyatlenko (Kyrgyzstan) believes that main problems of Central Asian countries include the rapid rollback in the development of societies and economic and political systems to the historical era back in 1991, to the new Middle Ages. The depth of archaization and degradation in particular countries of the region, of course, varies. Nevertheless, the modern industrial and post-industrial societal patterns in all Central Asian countries exist only locally - in large cities, around them and large industrial facilities. It does not dominate in any of the Central Asian societies. It means the impossibility of self-modernization. In economic terms, peripheral capitalism was established in the region, which turned the republics into a transit raw material supplement to developed countries and the world economy.

Nadezhda Khan (Kyrgyzstan) stresses that each of the Central Asian states has its own internal problems that impede the development processes. Common problems for the entire region are weak economies.The reasons for weakness and lack of stable growth rest against the absence of full-fledged integration: Central Asian states, bearing in mind their past as part of the USSR, have become accustomed to being led and integrated by external initiatives without showing their own. Weak civil society and lack of initiatives are the result of a lack of trust of the people in the governments of the states and the highest level of corruption. Civil society with an adequate level of state support is ready for integration as a whole, but regional elites do not intend to integrate at all. Moreover, foreign policy has a number of disintegration directions.

Anna Gussarova (Kazakhstan) says that although the problems on the path of development of Central Asian countries are articulated to a lesser extent, they form the most serious challenges in the long run. So, among these problems, in her opinion, it is necessary to emphasize the following: problems of ecology and education, radicalization, extremism and terrorism, as well as problems of energy security.

First: problems affecting the environment. The deterioration of infrastructure, in general, and public transport infrastructure is a widespread problem in the region, in particular.

Second: problems in the education sector which is highly valued in every Central Asian society, but mainly because of the social status associated with it, and not at all because of the acquired skills and abilities. Further neglect of existing problems in the education sector in Central Asia will inevitably lead to political destabilization.

Third: radicalization, extremism and terrorism. These security challenges have moved away from the purely military, and today, to a greater degree, lie in the plane of social security.

Fourth: problems of energy security. Over the past decade, the leaders of the Central Asian countries have begun to give priority to the creation of independent energy sectors and access to external energy markets, thereby ignoring regional energy cooperation.

Shukhrat Yevkochev (Uzbekistan) in his opinion, there are several main problems on the path of regional development and relations between the Central Asian countries.

Firstly, this is the geopolitical confrontation of major powers. This confrontation, depending on the situation, geopolitical and strategic interests, often hinders the integration and cooperation of the Central Asian countries. There were similar processes in the 90s and 2000s, when the attempts of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to create intraregional unions and associations did not achieve their main goals.

Secondly, it is the growth of religious radicalism.

Thirdly, these are environmental problems, among which water shortages and the draining of fertile land come to the fore. These extremely serious threats to the entire region can set in motion uncontrollable forces and processes.

Maxim Kaznacheyev (Kazakhstan) singles out four problems correlated with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states.

The first problem: the authoritarian style of political decision-making and the elimination of the competitive political process dramatically reduce the number of possible alternative options for economic, social, and political development.

The second problem: the protracted transit of the supreme power and uncertainty with the successor of Nursultan Nazarbayev “introduces” the bureaucracy into a state of uncertainty - a state in which officials seek to avoid responsibility for independent actions.

The third problem: the lack of a systemic vision of the development prospects of the state. Existing development programs and strategies are largely declarative and do not rely on the necessary resource and organizational support.

The fourth problem: the gap between the declared goals / priorities of development and the current socio-economic situation makes Akorda move into the format of the fire brigade, respond to the ever-increasing amount of internal system failures, primarily economic (collapse of the banking system, etc.), social and domestic.

Kosimsho Iskandarov (Tajikistan) believes thereare a number of problems in the development of Central Asian countries and the relationship between them. These are internal political, socio-economic problems, security problems, as well as problems of a foreign policy nature. First of all, it should be noted that the region has not yet completed the process of asserting the ideas of national independence, national historical identity. In other words, each country seeks to seek its roots in the depths of the ages in order to ensure the sustainability of national statehood.


Central Asian politicians jealously protect their sovereignty and build national ideologies that are not yet conducive to developing a coherent vision of an integrated region.

Bakhtiyor Babajanov (Uzbekistan) believes that mentality of the majority of Central Asian politicians is tailored to the Soviet patterns of “republican competition,” an extremely limited understanding of “national interests,” etc., and therefore it is difficult to expect mutual compromises from them. Consequently, politicians are least prepared for such discussions and build their countries' strategies solely from primitively taken “national interests” in the spirit of the musty ideas of Winston Churchill. Of course, this does not mean that there should be no discussion of relations between the countries of the region, especially among experts. On the contrary, such discussions are relevant and should be available.

Aidar Amrebayev (Kazakhstan) highlights the problem of unfinished post-Soviet transit that to his opinon should be designated as a central and in many respects system-forming problem. In other words, the process of de-Sovietization and de facto independence have not been completed in almost any Central Asian state. In such circumstances, political, socio-economic and cultural-ideological systems are under the pressure of the former system of relations. For example, many elements of these systems are still post-Soviet: worldview, management style, institutions, political culture, the inherited system of economic division of labor, sociocultural community, mental attachments, living standards, information and language space.

Farrukh Salimov (Tajikistan) highlights the followingproblems that stand in the way of the development of Central Asian countries:


-insufficiently effective public administration;

-evasion of regional integration;

-low level of human capital;

-the lack of reforms;

-inefficiency of economic institutions.

Shokir Khakimov (Tajikistan) says that for a long time, the main problem was related to the ambitions of the leaders of some Central Asian countries in relations with each other. The subject of these ambitions was often which country plays a more important role in the region. To date, this problem is removed from the agenda. Now the main task for the Central Asian countries is that the external centers of power do not hinder the integration processes in the region, given the many conflicts of interest between them.

Farhad Tolipov (Uzbekistan) designates the first problem as the problem of "geopolitical burden" of the region. The second problem, in his opinion, is related to the elite nature of regional relations, especially those decisions that concern integration issues. Finally, he describes the third problem as a problem of institutional and ideological hunger. The first problem means the permanent presence of the geopolitical factor in the evolution of Central Asia. The second problem means the alienation of peoples, civil society from integration issues. The third problem means the absence or weakness of the respective institutions of region building, as well as the ideological superstructure.

Galym Ageleuov (Kazakhstan) believes that main problems are connected with the need to carry out systemic reforms on the transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic models of managing countries. And for this there must be the political will of the leaders of specific states to promote and respect democracy, civil rights and freedoms, to establish transparent vertical and horizontal ties between the government and the people.

In this regard, Uzbekistan can become an important example for the rest of Central Asia. If President Mirziyoyev shows this very political will, readiness for democratization and forms civil society, then the region may have hope for a better future. Nevertheless, “there is safety in numbers” and the president of Uzbekistan needs a team, the support of society and its readiness for positive changes.

If the bureaucratic apparatus "eats" all its attempts at liberalization, then there may not be a next chance for Uzbekistan and the whole of Central Asia. Moreover, if there will be liberalization only of economic relations and at the same time pursuing a repressive policy of restricting human rights, then nothing happens.


It is in people’s everyday practices, not from the elites that we are far more likely to find meaningful solutions to inequality and the seeds of a more human economy.

Dmitry Orlov (Kyrgyzstan) believes the main problem is that the countries of Central Asia are "stuck" in the 90s. Ordinary people are more susceptible to change. Nowadays, it is not enough to proclaim oneself the most “advanced” state in the region in terms of democracy, oil and gas, or the size of the national flag in the main square. This problem determines all the others. It is clear that in the conditions that exist now, the need to unite has become even more rigid than 20 years ago. But so far, no one in the region has been able to clearly articulate some kind of common idea for everyone to unite, which would lead to a positive result. Therefore, a completely natural question arises: on the basis of what to unite? Unfortunately, neither the commonness of language of one group (except Tajikistan), nor the religious component for all - Islam - became such unifying principles. If there is no unity of the peoples within the Central Asian states themselves, then the same happens with interstate cooperation. It has long been known: foreign policy is a mirror reflection of domestic policy.

Arslanbek Omurzakov (Kyrgyzstan) believes that the main problems of the Central Asian countries are a lack of mutual understanding, ambitions of leaders and elites, different approaches to solving problems (in water, energy, trade, borders). All these problems are accompanied by the constant intervention of the major powers in the affairs of the region with their principle of "divide and rule". This, in turn, only “warms up” the jealousy of the Central Asian states towards each other and their competition among themselves. For 27 years of independence, Central Asian countries are far away from each other and each country goes its own way. There was a time of close cooperation and ideas of integration emerged, but  he thinks that time has been lost... During this period, especially since the 2000s, only more factors appeared to separate us.

Komron Rakhimov (Tajikistan) among the main problems singles out the following ones: the clan struggle for power, corruption, the complexity of the socio-economic situation, growing poverty, lack of jobs, the injustice of the authorities. He adds to this list such problems as ignoring the opinions of representatives of civil society, lack of freedom of speech and freedom of the media. An important problem is that professional staff very often does not find the support of their states, and priority is given to those who have good connections. There are many other seemingly elementary problems.


Speaking of regional cooperation in general, we can not neglect the individual bilateral relations. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as the largest economies in the region, may be the engines of regional cooperation.

Bulat Sultanov (Kazakhstan) says that the main subjective problem is related to the distrust between the political elites and the leaders of the Central Asian states, as well as the theses being constantly raised from outside about who is the leader, and who is the slave.

In turn, the main objective problem lies in the fact that Central Asian countries are not economically interdependent, including foreign trade. Approximately 5% of all foreign trade accounts for intraregional trade. In addition, it is not possible to establish interdependence and close cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the key economies of the region.

Mukhit-Ardager Sydyknazarov (Kazakhstan) believes the emerging constructive dialogue in the Astana-Tashkent tandem is of fundamental importance and meets the national interests of all countries in the region: without exception and without exaggeration. Thus, in 2017 alone, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed 27 new bilateral documents at various levels, new agreements worth $ 1.2 billion. 400 companies gained access to mutual markets through active business forums. A “plank” was set to bring the Kazakh-Uzbek trade turnover to 5 billion US dollars by 2020, and by the results of 2018 it was planned to reach 2 billion dollars. 2018 was a “mirror” year for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: in Uzbekistan, 2018 was declared the year of Kazakhstan, respectively, in Kazakhstan, the year of Uzbekistan solemnly started on March 15, 2018.

Osman Dossov (Kazakhstan) stresses that the main problems firstly include the diversity of economies and the level of development of Central Asian countries. Secondly, another important issue is the continuing competition between the Central Asian states. Thirdly, the influence of external actors, which reach an agreement with each of the Central Asian countries individually, is much faster and easier for them than if there is a certain consolidated position of all the states of the region.

The main decisions are not in integration, but in cooperation of the Central Asian countries, at least at a high political level. Moreover, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan could take responsibility for this process, creating something like an axis of regional cooperation.


Even though the current rapprochement trend between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the problems of their relations need to be addressed more deeply.

Kamoludin Abdullaev (Tajikistan) highlights thatCentral Asia inherited the borders established in 1924-1936. They are economically and ethnically unfounded, as well as culturally inadequate. This is especially true for Tajikistan which in addition to being cut off from its cultural centers inhabited by millions of Tajiks, is completely dependent on Uzbekistan in terms of transport communications. It does not have deposits of such important minerals as gas and oil.

Tajikistan was from the very beginning put in unequal "starting conditions". By the Soviets, it was planned as a mountainous, frontier (“gate to Hindustan” according to Stalin), non-Turkic, and economically unpromising “Aryan underbelly” of “Greater Central Asia”. Rather, there are economic prospects, but only in the long term. Moreover, their implementation requires financial, human and other resources, which Tajikistan alone does not possess. Even the power of the Soviet economy was not enough for the development of Southern and Central Tajikistan, not to mention the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, which during the USSR was a Russian border post rather than an economic unit.

Komroni Hidoytzoda (Tajikistan) thinks thatchange of government in Uzbekistan gives hope for the beginning of a new era in relations between the Central Asian states. However, the process of independent development of the region faces severe pressure from the outside. The leading world and regional powers implementing their projects and pursuing their military-political goals in Central Asia ambiguously perceive the attempts of the Central Asian countries to resolve intra-regional contradictions without external mediation.

The Central Asian states are experiencing the increasingly severe impact of a sharp deterioration in the international military-political climate. In this confrontation, the region has its own role. Due to its strategic position, the importance of Central Asia in the system of international relations is growing. In particular, the position of the region allows the US to control its geopolitical rivals, and for Russia and China to ensure the security of its borders and to implement major economic projects.


Experts offer more detailed recommendations on how to form a single market.

Gulnara Dadabayeva (Kazakhstan) singled out the main problem of defining a region as such. Is there a region like Central Asia today? Or does it exist only as a kind of virtual reality? How do such common factors as Islam, Turkic languages, history and etc. bring together the population? In her opinion, in the modern world, economic foundations for cooperation play a prevailing role. Therefore, she believes that the Central Asian countries lack strong motives to begin the process of real regional integration.

Zainab Muhammad-Dost (Uzbekistan) highlights the following problems in development of Central Asian states and relationships between them:

-the problem of economic and geographical isolation of the region, which has appeared since the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries;

-the problem of the commodity orientation of the economies of Central Asian countries (even if in some of them the economy is diversified better than in others, for example, in Uzbekistan);

-the problem of the growth of social inequality and stratification in the countries of the region as a result of deindustrialization, as well as the preferential orientation of national economic systems towards the development of the agrarian or oil and gas industries;

-the problem of obsession with questions of identity, its own particular way, language policy; all this is fraught with nationalism and discrimination of people on linguistic, religious and ethnic grounds.

Asset Ordabayev (Kazakhstan) in his opinion, the main following problems in development of Central Asian states can be formulated in the following way:

-the lack of a clear economic motivation among the Central Asian states for a cardinal intensification of interaction with each other (weak commodity turnover, as well as little mutual investments);

-weakness of the economic systems of the Central Asian countries (thinness of markets);

-the competition of the Central Asian states among themselves for the transit corridors;

-disinterest of state bureaucracies of Central Asian countries in interaction with each other and regional cooperation in general.


More and more experts are talking about the importance of cultural diplomacy and the strengthening of people-to-people contacts, pointing out that this rapprochement is already taking place through culture.

Saule Suleimenova (Kazakhstan) finds that main problem in the lack of connections between Central Asian states. Almaty artists, in particular, work closely with Bishkek ones. Tashkent is activated now too and starts to organize something. However, with Dushanbe and Ashgabat there are almost no contacts.

Khusniddin Ato (Uzbekistan) believes that Central Asian countries have huge tangible and intangible cultural heritage. They have just enormous potential to become one of the cultural centers of the world! The main condition for this is to work together, act together! However, unfortunately, so far there is no large-scale intergovernmental agreement or a major project that would “connect” all countries in this very important mission! If there are any agreements, they are either formal or do not work as they should.

Bahrom Ismatov (Tajikistan) thinks that the biggest problem from the point of view of the development of culture and art in the Central Asian countries is the lack of close contacts, meetings, joint projects on exhibitions and other creative activities. To his mind it will be viable to create a permanent platform for discussing the development of culture and art in Central Asia. Meetings could take place alternately in the capitals of all countries in the region. All the accumulated questions on creative activity could be promptly discussed at this site. Perhaps a foundation could support this proposal thanks to the discussion you organized.

Ulan Dzhaparov (Kyrgyzstan) believes that problems between the Central Asian countries do not exist by themselves, they represent the joint place where the external forms of those interests and the ambiguous processes of the society formation occurring within specific states of the region meet. The process of shaping for each of the Central Asian countries is only at the beginning. It seems that all the attributes of statehood are here, but that voluntarism and “chaos” that can be shown in relation towards the citizens is unacceptable at the interstate level. Therefore, most authoritarian regimes are shut off from the worlds. There is also some hidden inferiority complex that hides behind the loud national ideas of its exclusivity or concern for safety. It’s like a "growing pain" that needs to be gone through. The process may take a little more or less time, depending on those politicians who are ready or not ready to perceive the real situation and respond adequately.

Janyl Jusupjan (Kyrgyzstan) after the trip around Uzbekistan opened her eyes on what her blooming Kyrgyzstan may be waiting for in the very near future. She says about climate change, which is progressing faster than one might expect. And this future is no longer on the threshold, but has already crossed the threshold and is marking time in the center of the apartment, she believes In August 2018, when she was in her native Naryn oblast in Kyrgyzstan, her cousin complained that the lake had dried out on the Ak-Sai high-mountain pasture. And Naryn itself, the mighty streams of which once reached the Aral Sea, seemed somehow stunted. Bishkek, where the mountains and the beauty of their glaciers, gleaming in the sun during the winter and summer, seemed like a given for centuries, now they were white with sparse stripes of the pitiful remnants of these once mighty glaciers.

Yerkebulan Bekturov (Kazakhstan) thinks that the main problems in the development of Kazakhstan are shaped by mentality stuff, which has been based on closely related ties for more than 500 years. He speaks about the phenomenon that is called cronyism. Although historically among the Kazakhs this concept had a different purpose: since olden times the richest and most influential representatives of a clan (locally zhuz) were responsible for their well-being. This was a natural defense in the difficult years of starvation and the subsequent "jute" (mass loss of livestock and famine: the Kazakhs were always nomads and thus were completely dependent on their livestock).

Even 70 years of Soviet power could not completely erase this phenomenon from the genetic and national memory. And now, if you look closely at the political and business beau-monde of the country, it is clearly seen that big business is somehow connected by kinship with the country's management elite.

During the years of independence, more than one generation of those who represent this elite has already grown. Practically from the school bench these “chosen” are “appointed” to any posts.


What specific steps and institutions are required to strengthen regional cooperation? Here, expert opinions often coincide: visa-free regime, free labor migration regime, development of tourism, business communications, formation of free trade and economic zones are needed.

Arsen Ussenov (Kyrgyzstan) states that development of Central Asian countries and the relationship between them are determined by a number of objective and subjective factors. Objective problems include the delimitation of borders and territorial disputes, in particular in the Fergana Triangle (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan). The processes of delimitation and demarcation of borders have been going on for nearly 20 years, but tangible changes have become noticeable only recently. At the same time, territorial disagreements between the Central Asian countries still represent obstacles for deepening cooperation in all other spheres. In addition, the agenda of relations between the Central Asian states covers the issue of the distribution of water resources. It is reflected in the construction projects of high-capacity hydropower plants in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The remaining problems are, first of all, security problems, as well as problems related to labor migration.

Danial Saari (Kazakhstan) proposes the idea of creating a fully functioning regional hub where it would be possible to accumulate the financial and economic resources of Central Asia in order to support each of the five Central Asian countries without attracting external players. He recommends not to “rush” to solve global problems and initiate multiple vanity projects such as Expo, Asiade, Universiade and numerous various summits that do not directly affect the development of Central Asia. The expert believes that ASEAN's model of cooperation can serve as a successful example of regional cooperation for Central Asia.

Aidar Amrebaev (Kazakhstan) considers regular meetings of the Council of Heads of State of Central Asia are necessary. Moreover, it is necessary to create similar coordination formats across the vertical and in various fields. For example, the following structures could be created: Expert and Analytical Forum of Central Asia, Forum of Central Asian Entrepreneurs, Central Youth Forum, Central Bank for Assistance and Development, Central Court of Arbitration, Central Asian Transport and Logistics Council, Central Asian Cultural Council, Association educational institutions of Central Asia, the Council of Ecology of Central Asia, the Forum of Border Cooperation of the Central Asian countries, etc. All of this can be initiated on bilateral or trilateral bases already.

Farrukh Salimov (Tajikistan) proposes the creation of a regional scientific and expert platform. On this platform, should be regularly hold various events of a scientific, analytical, research nature on the most topical issues of cooperation in Central Asia. It is important to involve public and political organizations, representatives of the creative community, culture and art in these events.

Mukhit-Ardager Sydyknazarov (Kazakhstan) believes that the expert-analytical community of Central Asia and the ministries of foreign affairs need to systematically study the experience of the Visegrad Group. At the same time, in his opinion, it is important to create an Institute for Central Asian Sudies — a common expert and research center for Central Asian countries.

Valentina Chupik (Uzbekistan) among the main problems he identifies corruption in the field of labor migration and the shortcuts of the migration policy of all states in the region.

First, the Central Asian states should use embassies much more actively in protecting the rights of their citizens.

Secondly, it is necessary to regularly monitor the problems of migrant workers and carry out sociological research - polls.

Thirdly, that the cod of “migration management” should be stopped - it is uncontrollable. Instead, it is necessary to focus on helping migrants in their real difficulties.

Fourthly, it is important to stop the attempts of the organizing set. This only leads to more corruption and human trafficking.

Fifth, regular meetings of high-ranking representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (those who make important decisions) of all Central Asian countries with representatives of the expert community on labor migration issues are mandatory.


Today integration refers to cooperation of countries both regionally and globally. The rise in the significance of global players is increasing when the countries of region dependent not on each other but predominately external actors.

Serdar Ibragimov (Turkmenistan) says that itis not a secret for anybody that the peoples of the countries of the region after the collapse of the USSR, due to various reasons, began to communicate less with each other, although free communication between them was of a traditional and centuries-old character. Centaral Asian states, despite the considerable efforts of their leaders, are still interacting extremely weakly. It is also important that there are not enough conditions for the free movement of capital, goods and people. The possibilities of modern communications and reserves of transport communications are also not fully exploited. All this contributes to the growth of disunity between the Central Asian states, although peoples are very close, kindred and could mutually enrich each other not only in matters of culture, art, science and education, but also in technology and other issues.

Saifiddin Zhuraev (Uzbekistan) in his opinion, a number of important problems in the development of the countries of Central Asia are associated with the complexity or even better say the painfulness of the processes of the formation of new relationship models. This applies both to the relationship between the five states of the region and their relationship with the outside world, primarily with the leading powers. It is clear that these problems are directly related to the global context: the rapidly changing system of international relations themselves.

Sherali Rizoyon (Tajikistan) believes that goodconditions are generally being formed today for the development of Central Asia as a region. First of all, this is connected with the new stage of relations between all five states. Nevertheless, this circumstance requires increasing attention to a professional, analytical approach in order to identify new opportunities for further strengthening cooperation. In this regard, he tries to identify the problems, the solution of which can promote closer cooperation of the countries of the region.

Firstly, today, the scientific approach to the design, development and promotion of regional interests, which do not contradict the national interests of the Central Asian countries, is extremely weak. The importance of this approach lies in the fact that a radical improvement in relations between the Central Asian states can contribute to the formation of a new center of global politics.

Secondly, there is the problem of myth-making in the historiography of the countries of the region. Reading materials from various sources, including print and electronic ones, it can be concluded that the peoples of Central Asia developed in isolation.

Thirdly, it is important to note the actual absence of regional studies, which are initiated precisely by the Central Asian countries themselves. Today, foreign researchers are showing more interest in the region, and there is practically no local research initiative. Even expert and analytical discussion platforms operating in Central Asia are largely initiated by external players.

Enebay Kakabayeva (Turkmenistan) considers that in the aspect of mutual relations of Turkmenistan with the Central Asian countries, as well as with all subjects of international relations, it initially adhered to a strictly pragmatic approach - the priority of bilateral relations. This approach at a certain stage was economically and politically rational, and was dictated by the requirements of the time.

As for now, there have been changes in foreign policy approaches, and Turkmenistan is ready for a multilateral partnership in such areas as economics, trade, logistics, transport and communications. The President of Turkmenistan notes that cooperation with the closest neighbors is one of the priority aspects of the country's foreign policy strategy, which is geared towards the broadest partnership with the countries of the region, helping in every way to promote an equal, trustful dialogue in all areas in both bilateral and multilateral formats.

Despite the fact that the main component of relations between states is economics and mutually beneficial ties in this area, in  his opinion, the problems of dialogue between countries should first of all be sought in their mutual trust and culture of dialogue.

Marat Rakhmatullayev (Uzbekistan) declares with all responsibility that the most significant problems of Central Asian countries are scientific, educational and informational links disruption. All political and other differences are only derived from Cental Asian states' growing disunity. Information isolation, lack of exchange between publishing houses, libraries, educational institutions and research centers, the presence of ambitions and distortions of historical facts in favor of their nations and peoples, educating the younger generation on the relevant slogans and educational materials - all these factors significantly reduce the role of creative factors. Information isolation is a favorable environment for slowing down the pace of cultural development and the penetration of radical ideologies. In his opinion, this is the source of the main problems in the development of the countries of Central Asia and the relationship between them.

Arsen Sarsekov (Kazakhstan) notes that a number of important factors lie at the heart of the key problems in the development of Central Asian countries:

-significant corruption in government structures;

-an overly rigid vertical of power and, most importantly, the complete absence of its flexibility in crisis situations;

-unique geographical position of the whole Central Asia, where, on the one hand, the interests of regional powers intersect, and on the other hand, superpowers;

-the presence of different cultural preferences and traditions among the Central Asian countries;

-heavy burden of Soviet heritage;

-distance from global financial and technological centers.

In turn, many problems in relations between the states of Central Asia, in his opinion, are primarily related to their high information isolation from each other.

Bahrom Rajabov (Uzbekistan) thinks that there is a whole set of probable problems since the collapse of the USSR. A number of them have not been solved unequivocally and irrevocably, which means they may cause conflicts in the future.

At the moment,  he sees the following main challenges to the development of Central Asian countries:

-no integration mechanisms, with the exception of the political will of the parties;

-outflow of professionals driving the development, as well as reforms.

Rafael Sattarov (Uzbekistan) highlights five main obstacles to self-integration and the growing quality of relations between the Central Asian countries.

First, it is the lack of pragmatism (pragmatic attitude) and the lack of willingness to solve the problems of the region on their own (without involving extra-regional forces).

Secondly, this is a different view of the historical past, in many respects with the mythologization of the historical heritage.

Thirdly, this is the linking of the implementation of many projects with other unresolved problems, that is, when in the end the unresolved nature of one problem influences the solution of another.

Fourthly, this is internal disintegration, when clans divide the Central Asian countries.

Fifth, it is an outflow of human capital. The intervention of the bureaucratic apparatus in the sphere of the same science pushes an active minority into the search for new places of activity, as a result of which the very best cadres are forced to leave their countries, thereby aggravating even more the problems of modernization of specific states.

Aigerim Turgunbaeva (Kyrgyzstan) supposes thatdifficult situation of the 1990s forced the Central Asian states to focus on their domestic problems and prefer national, often short-term, interests to regional and long-term ones. However, as a generally favorable factor in building longer-term relationships, it should be noted that over the period of independence, countries in the region have become members of many international organizations. However, within these organizations, the level of implementation of the adopted decisions remains low, and a number of agreements are only general, recommendatory.


Territorial disputes over lands in the region relate both past and in modern times.

Taalatbek Masadykov (Kyrgyzstan) believes that after tthe collapse of the Soviet Union and almost to the present, personal ambitions, mutual insults and lack of political will among the leaders of the Central Asian states made it difficult to find mutually acceptable ways to solve the accumulated problems. Among these problems are highlighted the problems associated with the delimitation and demarcation of borders, the general use of water resources, the development of transport links (rail, road and air links).

In the conditions of the modern world, it is very difficult to solve any problems, whether of an economic, political nature or problems relating to security, if the states of the same region as Central Asia have completely different approaches and positions in relation to certain issues. Of course, the desire of the major powers (Russia, China, USA/West) to keep under their control the countries of this region also influences the solution of the problems of the region.

Faridun Zamonov (Tajikistan) believes thatmain problem is the high politicization of all spheres of life of the Central Asian countries, issues of cooperation and interaction between them. The use of economic potential, attraction of investments, settlement of border problems and many other important issues - all this comes up against an underdeveloped political culture and the lack of regular turnover of power in most states of the region.

All officials should think not only about strengthening their own positions in power, but also about the development of society. Central Asian countries should learn strategies from world leading companies. Alone, no one can do anything: neither the individual nor the country. Only through interaction with other states, a synergy effect, a change in approach and a transition from dependence to independence, and then effective interdependence, these problems can be solved.

Rakhmatsho Makhmadshoev (Tajikistan) believes that anumber of well-known problems are traditionally important for Central Asia. These problems include primarily border-territorial. They were particularly acute or they remained in relations between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China, as well as between China and the Central Asian states bordering on it.

In addition, there is a block of water and energy problems that affect all countries in the region, without exception. Another problem of trade and economic nature is formed by the following negative factors: poor transport links between Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries, difficulties in selling finished agricultural, industrial and energy products.

Against this background, military-political problems related to regional conflicts, the activities of the Taliban Movement and a number of terrorist groups stand out.

Aita Sultanalieva (Kyrgyzstan) she especially emphasizes the complex of border and territorial problems and contradictions, the presence of customs barriers, primarily in relation to agricultural exports, the widening gap in research and development ties, the continuing decline in the intensity and quality of the exchange of scientific and educational information. She also marks the main environmental problem - the destruction of the natural park of flora and fauna.

In her opinion, regional information platforms and a common media field should be formed, where discussions would take place, problems and prospects for their solutions were considered. Moreover, it is necessary to hold meetings not only at the highest level - at the level of heads of state, but also to bring people closer together, first of all young people. For example, this can be done through the organization of regular and large-scale interstate events: festivals, forums, and rallies. Also, it is necessary to organize youth summer camps and schools more often: after all, it will be through contacts and acquaintance with peers that there will be a rapprochement, a search and understanding of common goals and objectives.


Environmental issues are harmful effects of human activity all across the world. People are facing a wealth of new and challenging environmental problems everyday.

Olga Kobzeva (Uzbekistan) highlights thefollowing problems are characteristic for Uzbekistan: low quality of education; complex environmental situation (Aral Sea); low level of development of medicine; corruption; lack of deep structural changes in the economy; poor development of road infrastructure; water problems; lack of personnel; weak social protection; weak performance of legal bodies.

Layla Akhmetova (Kazakhstan) considers thata lot of problems are connected with all key issues of the state and society: ecology, economy, water resources, approaches to history and foreign policy, many others.

Actually, any issue can be considered and there are certain unsolved problems everywhere. From time to time, some come to the fore, while the value of others decreases, and vice versa. A certain number of experts and journalists covering these problems have been formed. Naturally, the state bodies constantly keep abreast of events. When acute problems of a regional nature arise, they will sooner or later be put on the agenda of relations between the Central Asian states. Here, however, there are also additional difficulties regarding the effectiveness of the decisions made, the fulfillment by the parties of their obligations and responsibilities.

Nazokat Kassymova (Uzbekistan) believes that a modern course for the comprehensive cooperation of the Central Asian countries opens up broad opportunities for solving a complex of economic, social and environmental problems. In this regard, the factor of sustainable regional contacts becomes the key to successfully promoting the interests of national states at the global level. Therefore, the region is facing the need to determine the future direction of development, given the new conditions of geopolitical and economic order. Lack of coordination in legislative systems, different levels of stability of national currencies, restrictions in capital flow, different levels of transport infrastructure are the main barriers to cooperation in Central Asia.

Похожие материалы:





   Мы в Моем Мире