Tag Archives: Central Asia

Kazakhstan elections “tarnished” by violations

“Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 9 June 2019 with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev voted into his first term as President. According to the preliminary findings of the internationally-recognised OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the election offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices. There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day” reads the text of the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson statement.

“Overall, the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission recognised that elections were administered efficiently by the Central Electoral Commission, but significant irregularities were observed across the country, including cases of ballot box stuffing, group voting and series of identical signatures on voter lists. The count was also negatively assessed in more than half of observations.

“In the light of the shortcomings reported by the OSCE/ODIHR Mission, we expect Kazakhstan to address these violations, as well as the controlled legal and political electoral framework, as they run counter to the country’s OSCE commitments and international obligations. In the framework of our Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, the European Union stands ready to further support reforms to strengthen the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, the respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.”

“We look forward to working with the new President in this regard, as well as to advance EU-Kazakhstan relations more broadly.”

EU delegation in Turkmenistan

Following a decision of Federica Mogherini, the head of the European External Action Service (EEAS) the EU will open a Delegation in Turkmenistan. This will take the number of EU Delegations around the world to 141 in total.

Fast changing regional dynamics and the growing importance of sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia bring Central Asia to the centre of our attention. Countries in the region, especially Turkmenistan, are increasingly looking to the EU as a reliable partner for reforms, modernisation and to face the global challenges of today”, Federica Mogherini said. ‘And the European Union is keen as well to strengthen its cooperation with the region. By opening a new Delegation, we are responding positively to this demands and sending a strong signal to the Turkmen and European citizens about our engagement.”

“The establishment of a new Delegation in Ashgabat will enable the European Union to step up political, economic and sectoral dialogue and cooperation with Turkmenistan. The decision reflects the EU’s wish to fully engage with Turkmenistan in areas of strategic interest such as security, human rights, energy, climate, and the rule of law” EEAS. 

“The decision by the High Representative/Vice-President follows the agreement of the Commission and the Council of the European Union and will be implemented in the course of 2019” EEAS.

Islamist threat to ex-Soviet Republics

The ex-Soviet Republics are threatened by militants from Central Asia and the Middle East as a springboard for expansion, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, according to RIA news agency.

The vision of the Central Asian countries may become the next goal of the Islamic State Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned, speaking at a “government hour” symposium at the Federation Council.

“As for Afghanistan….We are worried that the IS militants are building up their presence on the borders with our neighbors and allies: the Central Asian countries. First of all, in Afghanistan they are striving for the north,” the minister underlined.

“It gives the idea that the Central Asia is their next goal.”

“Within the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), involving not just foreign ministries, but law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and defense ministries as well, we are developing corresponding plans to fight against this terror threat,” Lavrov said.

 

 

New Eurasian security architecture

‘Olympic Circles’ of Eurasian Stability OPINION  Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann 

There are missing links in the security architecture of the European, Eurasian and Central Asian spaces that needs to be fixed in order to avoid a further fragmentation of the European continent between Euro-Atlantic and Euro-Asian alliances (See map Alliances and major zones of instability in a multicentric world). How this new geopolitical architecture could look like in the long term ?

Synergy is needed between the various actors to achieve geopolitical stability on the Eurasian continent. On a longer term basis, a new Eurasian geopolitical architecture based on a new doctrine of overlapping circles of international organizations would be a major factor for developing and improving Eurasian security (diagram: Overlapping Circles of World stability and Peace). The diagram illustrates the need for a new “European security treaty” with a Eurasian reach, and a new “Central Asian security treaty”.

Map 1 a

We also have to assume that an enlargement of Euro-Atlantic institutions (NATO-EU-OSCE) to the whole of the Eurasian continent is impossible. Firstly, the individual EU and NATO member states disagree on further enlargement. Secondly, it would be impossible for these Euro-Atlantic institutions to manage the geopolitical diversity of the Eurasian continent. This new security architecture is based on the “geographical tightening” principle. Geographical proximity would be a central criterion to build regional alliances in order to foster stability and prevent any further Eurasian fragmentation.

Maps 2 a

This architecture is aimed at promoting synergies between interleaved organisations like NATO, EU, OSCE, SCO, CIS, OTSC, EEU, OIC and stabilize the overlapping security spaces. The role of UN would be crucial as a forum to manage this diversity and identify convergence, divergence, competition and/or complementarity. It should lead to greater levels of stability. In-between spaces between these structures would be subject to common stabilization policies or “non-aggression agreements”.

Map 3 a

This netting of institutions resembles the “Olympic circles” (Olympic circles of Eurasian stability). The described configuration would be adapted to the emerging multi centric world to maintain a balance between the different states, alliances and political and security institutions.

Map 4