Latest Articles about Central Asia

Middle Corridor: Potential Alternative to Russian Railways?

The Russo-Ukrainian war has cast doubt on the sustainability of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) “Northern Corridor” because of mounting Western sanctions on this overland route’s key links—Russia and Belarus (see EDM, April 8, 18). The growing vulnerability of the Northern Corridor, which... MORE

Central Asia and Russia Sanctions: Threats and Opportunities

International sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of its massive re-invasion of Ukraine present both challenges and opportunities for Central Asian economies, which are spread asymmetrically across the region. Turkmenistan is, of course, an outlier case given its insularity and lack of truly verifiable... MORE

Moscow Using Central Asian Migrants to Fight in Ukraine

Moscow has opened a new front in its effort to find enough soldiers to fight in Ukraine (see EDM, March 16): it is ordering Central Asian immigrants in Russia who have taken Russian citizenship to appear for induction, and it is offering citizenship and high... MORE

Moscow Outraged That Kazakhstan Becoming ‘a Second Ukraine’

Moscow-based commentators who remain convinced that Russia saved the current government in Kazakhstan by intervening there in January (see EDM, January 19, 21) are outraged that the Central Asian country is not supporting Russia in the Ukrainian conflict but rather publicly taking positions that challenge... MORE

How Uzbekistan Views the Russian War Against Ukraine

Uzbekistan chose not to take sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine, as first announced by the Uzbekistan presidential administration when the war started and later demonstrated by Uzbekistan’s avoidance of voting on the United Nations’ resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine. A neutral posture was... MORE

China’s Debt-Trap Diplomacy and Central Asia

On January 25, China and Central Asia celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations. In his speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $500 million in grants for socially important projects in the region over the next three years (, January 26, 2022). The aid was announced... MORE


Tajikistan Maintains Cool Ties with the Taliban Jacob Zenn Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, several Central Asian states have accepted the reality on the ground and engaged the Taliban. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, for example, began initiating dialogue with the Taliban in... MORE

Can the Southern Gas Corridor Save Europe?

On February 22, a day after the Kremlin announced it was recognizing eastern Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” as “independent,” Berlin declared it would indefinitely halt the certification of the Russian Nord Stream Two natural gas pipeline (Kyiv Post, February 22). And though... MORE