Strategic location makes it one of the main segments of Asian geopolitics
It is always interesting when news related to a Central Asian country appears. In 2020, protests, demonstrations and pogroms in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, focused political and media attention. The change of president and the settlement of relations between the northern and southern clans in Kyrgyzstan, restores stability in the country and returns the country to a comfortable unknown.
Something similar is happening in Kazakhstan. Of course, there are many differences. On March 20, 2019, the first President of the Republic Nursultan Nazarbayev voluntarily ceded the post of Kassam – Jomart Tokayev. Nazarbayev remains honorary president, chairman of the National Security Commission, chairman of the ruling party Nur Otan and a member of the Constitutional Court. These positions guarantee him sustainable control over the government. Over the next three years, President Tokayev opened the republic’s path to multipartyism and democracy through a series of speeches, recommendations and actions. However, this did not change Kazakhstan’s sustainable and predictable presence in key post-Soviet organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
In addition, it should not be forgotten that Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, with a multinational and multi-religious population. Its strategic location makes it one of the main segments of Asian geopolitics. It is no coincidence that in the 1990s, the first president turned Eurasianism into a successful foreign policy doctrine, legitimizing Kazakhstan as a successful initiator and driver of a number of processes in the post-Soviet space. An assessment of Astana’s position, despite criticism and dissatisfaction from NGOs, is Kazakhstan’s election as OSCE rotating chairman in 2010. The country continues to be a leading economic power in Central Asia and a guarantor of regional stability.
President Tokayev continues the balance achieved by his predecessor between the West and Russia through the presence of Western companies in the oil sector, as well as through sustainable and predictable participation in regional organizations led by the Russian Federation.
The dynamics of the processes predetermine the need for long-term choice. January 2022 is filled with key negotiations and meetings that will reformulate and outline new configurations in economic, financial and political terms. This predetermines the aggression and increased activity of an important factor in the past, but neglected in the present, such as Britain. Its plans, after Brexit, to regain regional and global positions in addressing the strategic issues of Europe and the world are constantly failing.
Another attempt to implement a scenario of the so-called “color” revolutions in Kazakhstan, once again shows that it has become a reality only in Ukraine, implemented by the United States in its radical version.
In Kazakhstan, protests against rising propane butane prices have provoked an expected government response. It resigned, and President Tokayev even promised lower fuel prices. This did not change the situation. Despite the government’s resignation, the situation in Kazakhstan is escalating. A number of sites of state institutions were attacked, as well as ambulances and fire trucks, the press service of the Ministry of Interior reported. The aggression manifested itself in throwing stones, fittings and flammable mixtures. According to the local portal Tengrinews.kz, which cites data from the country’s interior ministry, eight police officers and soldiers from the National Guard were killed in the clashes. Another 317 servicemen and law enforcement officials were injured.
President Tokayev declared a state of emergency from 5 to 19 January 2022. He also called on member states to help fight terrorism.
The reaction was not late. On January 6, on behalf of the rotating CSTO chairman, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the deployment of a collective peacekeeping force in Kazakhstan. This decision of President Tokayev and the CSTO predetermines the collapse of the coup attempt. In addition, these actions stabilize both the situation in Kazakhstan and guarantee the effectiveness of the CSTO. The election of Nur Sultan (the new name of the Kazakh capital) is to maintain its position in the Asian geopolitical vector.
In December 2021, a series of agreements between Russia and India, as well as Russia and China, deepened the multi-vector dimensions of economic and military cooperation. The establishment of these alliances is a kind of guarantee for the growing Asian geopolitical opportunities.
In this picture, Kazakhstan is a serious factor guaranteeing predictability in regional processes. Attempts at political and economic destabilization cannot leave the countries of the region neutral. It is no coincidence that Turkmenistan, which is not a member of the CSTO, expressed its support for assistance in overcoming the critical situation in Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan, power is a factor that is very carefully balanced between current President Tokayev and his predecessor Nazarbayev. Once again, the First President voluntarily resigned, in this case the Security Committee, in order to preserve the integrity of the state. This can be defined as a conscious responsibility to future generations and as an opportunity to prevent civil war. In addition, the guaranteed continuity of power makes it possible to maintain stability. It is hardly necessary to predict the fate of Kazakhstan and Eurasia in the absence of wisdom and determination on the part of Kazakh leaders. An important point in the value of Kazakhstan as a strategic factor is the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome located on its territory. In the escalating space race, the lack of stability in Kazakhstan would eliminate the possibility of using this base.
Once again, events in the post-Soviet space show sporadic attempts by the West to destabilize the region, which would weaken the influence of the former principal Russia. In the coming days, Kazakhstan’s restored stability would boost Moscow’s position in talks with Washington, NATO and the OSCE. This, in turn, would lead to pragmatism and the achievement of positive societal results in bilateral and multilateral negotiations.