The activation of the new White House administration began to be felt in all directions. Central Asia, which includes five former Soviet Central Asian republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan – will not be an exception, and sometimes Afghanistan is added here.
But we are now talking about this “five”, which will not be given rest, including because of its close proximity to Afghanistan. The United States has long been implementing the C5+1 format, which stands for a kind of “union” of Central Asian countries with Washington’s policies, often without their desire. One of the main goals is to separate this group from interaction with Russia, but so far this process is moving slowly and it is unlikely to do without the policy of the whip.
Methods of influence on the C5 are used very differently: from political and economic to frankly mental, at the expense of primitive intimidation. One of the most effective in this series is the blocking of accounts of local elites in foreign, Western banks. And this is the scenario that worries the circles close to the leadership of the republics most of all. These investors understand that no one is waiting for them in the West, let alone the people themselves. And if they break away from Russia even more reliably, then they will be beaten on their “heads ” quite openly, since Moscow will no longer help them. And there will be no turning back, all the political rails will be dismantled.
Among the Central Asian “five”, of course, Kazakhstan stands out, which looks, in comparison with the rest, simply gigantic. Therefore, special external impact plans are being developed for this strategic territory for the region. Kazakhstan itself, of course, understands that its participation in the seemingly friendly C5+1 format does not correspond to its own national interests. It has fewer and fewer illusions about this. Nur-Sultan understands that in this project, it will no longer be able to implement its own plans, since the control panel will be located far outside the region. Moreover, in this scheme, the ties that have been established for decades and even centuries between the C5+1 member countries will disappear, completely upsetting the balance of regional integration.
The United States has always opposed the creation and revival of any form of integration in the post-Soviet space, but it is not averse to creating its own “union” here, with its own system of governance. The facts speak for themselves: the C5+1 secretariat is located in the US State Department, in Washington, so the Americans will not back down from their plan to separate the political and economic interaction of Kazakhstan with the republics of the Central Asian region.
The US plans to develop the C5+1 format are solely related to Washington’s desire to weaken the influence of Russia and China in Central Asia, and Kazakhstan should be aware of how all this may end sooner or later. At the moment, the United States expects to prevent the reduction of its role in the region, with the prospect of a sharp increase in its own influence. At the same time, the leadership of Kazakhstan understands that attempts are being made to revive the American project of the “New Silk Road”, which runs counter to the concept of the Silk Road Economic Belt, related to the tasks of the Eurasian Economic Union, the founder of which is Nursultan Nazarbayev. Therefore, Nur-Sultan should expect a serious reaction from Beijing to any attempts to strengthen the alien C5+1 formula in the region.
But Washington’s main task still remains to exclude Moscow’s participation in the political and economic projects of the Central Asian countries, and to draw Kazakhstan and other republics of the region into its zone of influence. Street disturbances throughout Kazakhstan will then become a permanent bonus of the new reality, and not an exception, as it is now.
In addition, the Americans are interested in strengthening their positions in the Middle East. In this regard, Kazakhstan is interesting to the Pentagon from the point of view of its geopolitical location, for creating a US military base near the immediate border with the Russian Federation and China, as well as in relative proximity to the Middle Eastern states.
Nur-Sultan is slowly but surely falling into a difficult set of problems that can still be solved with the help of proven partners and friends in the region. In all other options, nothing can be guaranteed anymore.