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All Eyes on Central Asia

Russia is a crucial intermediary and bodyguard for Central Asian nations, which have historically had strong interests in the region. In Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have faced attacks by al-Qaeda-backed insurgents, and five Central Asian states are providing refuelling to U.S. troops. As the situation deteriorates in Central Asia, Russia will be the primary source of funding for Afghan and regional security forces.

The only legitimate Islamic party

The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan is the only legitimate Islamic party in post-Soviet space, and its leader was sentenced to jail in absentia for his role in supporting al-Qaeda. Dushanbe keeps a close eye on Tajiks studying abroad for religious training. Yet, despite the difficulties and threats, Central Asian leaders are happy to display their religious solidarity with the public, including by visiting mosques and meeting with muftis. They also send congratulatory messages on Muslim holidays.

The part is usually hostile to the communication trade

Russia is a key player in Afghanistan. It has expanded its role in the South Caucasus and provided decisive assistance to Azerbaijan in its recent war with Armenia, but has minimal security presence in Central Asia. The region is generally welcoming of Chinese trade, but is wary of Beijing’s long-term aspirations to dominate the region. In addition, the Taliban have expressed an interest in forming economic relations with China. And given the vast resources China has in the form of coal and oil, China could encircle the entire nation with its Belt and Road Initiative.

Large-scale instability at the border

The crisis in Afghanistan has created an opportunity for the international community to help the Central Asian region. In fact, the crisis in Afghanistan is a major destabilization on the borders of the region. Ariel Cohen, an expert on Central Asian countries, notes that the Islamist concept is challenging the statehood model. It does not consider ethnicity as an issue. Ariel Cohen argues that the conflict in Afghanistan is an opportunity for Russia to step in and provide assistance.

The country has different ideological values and different perspectives

In addition to the United States and the EU, Russia and China are also interested in maintaining Afghanistan’s political stability. The two countries have different ideological qualms and differing perspectives. Both countries have engaged with the Taliban before the U.S. withdrawal. Meanwhile, China has discussed resuming economic projects with the Taliban. Earlier, the Russians and Chinese both sent their congratulations on the Muslim holiday of Eid.

The Afghan issue has been on the world stage for more than two decades

The U.S. initially acted with an aggressive strategy, assuming that it could eliminate all Taliban fighters. However, in the long run, the crisis will not be resolved until other Afghan groups agree to political arrangements. The U.S. has no choice but to play a role in the region. While China’s involvement is welcome in trade, Central Asians remain wary of the country’s long-term ambitions to dominate the region.

Remarks

Both Beijing and Moscow have various interests in Afghanistan. Both want to protect the stability of the region and prevent the spillover of militant violence. Previously, Afghanistan was a safe haven for terrorist groups, and now it is a target of attacks and terrorism. Moreover, the two countries are facing sharp cutbacks in aid and investment to Central Asian republics. So, it is important to keep an eye on this region.

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