If we talk about the true vital interests of the countries of the Central Asian “five”, then the C5+1 formula looks like one solid minus for them. And the “plus” sign inside it is no longer able to mislead anyone. The investment partnership with Washington, supported in January of this year by Nur-Sultan and Tashkent, will open a direct path to the complete disposal of the entire region.
The five Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan – have continuously been under the special attention of the United States since the collapse of the USSR, given their geopolitical location. But not in order to raise the standard of living of the population there, but in order to cut the Eurasian field of cooperation as quickly as possible, and also to try to destroy the continental space that naturally connects China and Russia.
The fact that these countries will not be allowed to live normally, was openly and often said by representatives of the White House. The same Hillary Clinton, who was once the US Secretary of State, said that she would not allow the “restoration of the USSR” here, that is, in other words, to calmly watch as the republics of the region recover their strength after the devastating events of 1991. To restore the USSR, at the same time, would be stupid for them, since history can not be turned back. And no one was going to do this, just the countries under the conditional sign C5 had to somehow live and develop through mutual integration, already on new economic principles and without any policies.
To achieve its own goals, Washington created a new C5+1 formula, which provided for the expansion of the Central Asian “five” by including Afghanistan in it. The events in Afghanistan, where there has been no stability for a long time, although the Americans have tried very hard to establish stability there, have long worried such border countries as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Therefore, the United States decided to connect Afghanistan directly with the “five”, so that the destabilization of the Afghan type would automatically cover the entire vast region.
The American C5+1 format is almost openly opposed to the C5 format, which, without Russia, naturally follows from the geography of Central Asia itself. The “five” countries are also ready to cooperate with Kabul, but only according to the plans that they develop themselves, without the “charitable” assistance of the United States. And only if there is at least some stability in Afghanistan. Otherwise, all mutual investments will be lost forever.
Washington is trying to impose its formula for the “success” of Central Asia through economic projects, so that everything looks like unconditional assistance to those in need. For this purpose, in particular, the platform “Agreement on Trade and Investment of the United States and Central Asia” (TIFA) was created in order to establish the political and economic dependence of the countries of the Central Asian region on the United States. The countries of the region certainly need loans and investments. But they are already afraid to put their hand in this dangerous, hot wallet, since the world is not 1991, but 2021, when it has long been clear to many that no one just gives money from across the Atlantic Ocean.
Taking into account a whole set of strategic factors, the American side still pays special attention to Uzbekistan. In particular, because this republic, the only one in the region, borders on all the others, including Afghanistan. This is a key site in Central Asia, not to mention a large population. At the same time, it is clear even to narrow specialists that Washington’s economic projects in Uzbekistan within the framework of the C5+1, including the initiatives of the US Department of Commerce in the energy sector of the countries of the region, are of a formal nature and do not bring any real benefits to Tashkent. According to the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan, the US investment participation in the main capital of the republic for 2019-2020 was less than 3% . This means that the formal American desire to improve the lives of Uzbek citizens actually means something else. But, however, they themselves can judge this, since the USSR does not exist today, and no one is going to interfere in the life of a sovereign state.
If we talk about the specific facts promoted by the Americans in the format C5+1, projects on the use of alternative energy sources directly contradict the policy of Uzbekistan on acquisition of independence and approved by the President of Uzbekistan, the concept of atomic energy development for the period 2019-2029.
But this is very serious. And it seems not just to interfere, but to deliberately close all strategic prospects for Uzbekistan, since the issue of energy for Central Asia is a key one. American well-wishers are well aware of this, so energy and environmental projects of the C5+1 format, including with the participation of the American organization “Power the Future”, go past the national interests of the Central Asian republics, in no way solving the problem of acute energy shortages in less affluent countries in this region.
Even this example alone suggests that the US initiative to include Afghanistan in the C5+1 is aimed at trying to overcome Washington’s political failures in this Islamic republic at the expense of other partners in the format, which contradicts the interests of the Central Asian countries for the stable development of the national economy.
If we talk about the true vital interests of the countries of the Central Asian “five”, then the C5+1 formula looks like one solid minus for them. And the “plus” sign inside it is no longer able to mislead anyone. The investment partnership with Washington, supported in January of this year by Nur-Sultan and Tashkent, will open a direct path to the complete disposal of the entire region. Then, when the cult of the forgotten basmachi revives in Central Asia on this wave, it will be too late to call for help from Russia or China, they will no longer be able to ride in on their horses.