[The highly inept Tajik government has maneuvered itself to the edge of a crevasse. The entire world anxiously watches to see whether it is pressure from Tashkent, Moscow, or Washington, which pushes the government of Emomalii Rahmon over the edge. Unlike many other facets of the East-West struggle, the fate of the world truly hangs in the balance over the contest between America and Russia for the soul of Tajikistan. If Russia loses Tajikistan to pressure from Obama and his Uzbek proxy, Islam Karimov, then Russia also loses its only military base in close proximity to Afghanistan. If Tajikistan falls, it will have a domino effect that will sweep Russian influence from the southern Stans, perhaps costing them access to all of the Stans. Putin would never passively accept such a total rout from so vital a region. Pushing for open conflict with the Uzbek antagonist is playing with fire--no matter who is behind the push.]
Temur WARC, Asia-Plus
Uzbekistan and Russia have different strategic objectives in Tajikistan, and the simultaneous action of a partial blockade of the transport and gas, as well as increasing taxes on gasoline – a coincidence which, however, are politically motivated.In both countries, dissatisfied with the leadership of Tajikistan. This is the opinion of Russian analysts. Criticism of Tajikistan’s foreign policy sounds, and within the country.Together with the feverish and incoherent foreign policy, there is a high risk for business and legal political activities, which generally denies Tajikistan external and internal stability in the face of the greatest challenges in almost all directions.
Tajikistan was again at a crossroads, in a tangle of contradictions and the geopolitical interests. Pressure, which both have the leadership, economics and politics of the country, all interested parties, can not but cause problems. First of all, the question “What should I do?” Because the question “Who is guilty?” For each side is obvious.Blame someone else but not you. The Tajik authorities are not enthusiastic about the Tashkent and Moscow. However, the situation in the trouble that the responses of Moscow and Tashkent are the same today: “In the crisis of relations with Uzbekistan, and Russia blame the Tajik authorities.” There is a growing dissatisfaction with foreign policy and in Tajikistan.
How to stay afloat?
way or another, but our boat, because if the external influence or control errors, was in a whirl. And the leaders of Tajikistan, and the rowers, and the people on board can not help but worry about the questions: how to stay afloat, do not flip the boat and get out of the maelstrom?
“Tajikistan was in a very unpleasant set of circumstances, when Moscow and Tashkent are trying to solve their geopolitical and economic issues separately from each other, but formed the impression that they act together. And develops a situation where both of these tasks are beaten in one and the same goal. This is the political leadership of the Republic of Tajikistan, to call a spade a spade “, – said Head of the Department of the Central Asia Institute of the CIS countries, Andrei Grozin.
“However, the simultaneous pressure from the Tashkent and Moscow to Dushanbe, in pursuing its ultimate goal different problems”, – says more expert.
According A.Grozina, “actions aimed at Tashkent to stop Talco, so that the power elite run out of money to regional elites no longer delegate their loyalty to the ruling clan to warm social discontent and, ultimately, to Dushanbe, refused to build Rogun or proposed to Tashkent joint participation in this project. ” “Although – as suggested by the expert – Tashkent, most likely, I would like to do the dam would not be built.”
In addition, Tashkent, according to Andrei Grozin, annoying presence in Tajikistan, the 201st Russian military base. However, the paradox is that this is a deterrent to Uzbekistan, he says:
“If in Tajikistan was a Russian military base in Tashkent would have been in his pressure on Dushanbe even more arrogant. No one knows how far away would come the current latent conflict. “
Exchange of statements between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, some experts in Moscow interpreted as a sign of danger the transition of the next crisis in relations between Tashkent and Dushanbe in the phase of a regional conflict.
“Some of our colleagues spoke, that this latent conflict from escalating into open would pose a threat to Russian interests in the region”, – said Andrei Grozin. But it adds: “Moscow is not ready to act the arbitrator in the dispute between Dushanbe and Tashkent, as it is fraught with the deterioration of relations with either one of its sides, or with both.”
Apparently not willing to make the arbitrators, and other major players such as the EU, U.S. and China. Uzbekistan – is too weighty and important partner for them, and to quarrel with him is hardly in their interest. U.S. interest in Uzbekistan as a major regional partner for the operation of the NDN in Afghanistan and at the point of support in their own geopolitical game. China is interested in maintaining strong business relations with Tashkent, intending to increase the supply of transit of Turkmen and Uzbek gas itself. Moscow does not want to further complicate relations with Tashkent, not to narrow the room for maneuver in dealing with them and at their own game in Central Asia.
Islam Karimov – the figure of an inconvenient
Uzbekistan itself is no less a headache in Moscow. Relations between Tashkent and Moscow is not cloudless. Islam Karimov – a very awkward figure for many people, including – for Moscow. His open opposition to the project of Eurasian Moscow, Vladimir Putin is known. However, according to Yuri Byalogo, vice-president of the “Experimental Creative Center” Moscow is very carefully and responsibly following the situation in Central Asia and Uzbekistan, in particular.
“Russia is very important that Uzbekistan did not sverhvooruzhennoy regional power, the U.S. and the Union of Great Britain after the withdrawal of the arms of NATO out of Afghanistan. The fact that it was not interested in Moscow, Astana, and Dushanbe, “- said the expert.
In addition, he said, the big players are already trying to look at tomorrow: what and whose will, after Karimov of Uzbekistan. According to Yuri Byalogo, Moscow, in turn, will hamper attempts to shift power in Uzbekistan.
“Now there is a tendency of Western policy to rely on Uzbekistan, apparently, already postkarimovsky – he says. - They try to replace power at a more convenient, especially since he was old, and Uzbekistan to the west of the regional support of the coalition. Such attempts are taking place. As it will not interfere, of course, and China. But Russia is absolutely not necessary, so it will block it. How, in what ways? It is possible that, in order to prevent this, Moscow can sacrifice the interests of Tajikistan. “
At the same time, giving the initiative in Uzbekistan, Moscow may lose the opportunity to influence Tajikistan. Cut off from Russia and forced to make concessions to Tashkent, Dushanbe may be in the reverse rotation, rather than the northern part of the Eurasian reservoir. Prior to the full transport blockade of Tajikistan from Uzbekistan – just one step. While trying to Tashkent on the tooth, not only the strength of the economy of Tajikistan and the potential of its domestic stability, but also the possibility of Russia and other big players to influence the situation. When locked, Tajikistan will be blocked and the Russian military base, which is the raison d’être for the management of Tajikistan and Russia itself will approach zero. Option to fasten Tajikistan yuzhnoevraziyskim processes and the Middle East is not so unrealistic. Being in the transport blockade, Tajikistan will have to find a way out to the south and east and will be less susceptible to Russian influence. This foster an exodus of the population in Russia, which will meet with even greater flow of migrants and an even greater loss of the positions of Russia in Central Asia. In addition, the absence of any real steps towards and “surrender” by Moscow for Tajikistan Uzbekistan can cause frustration in a partner and patron. In expert circles in Tajikistan are already considering steps to introduce visa regime with Russia and the complete departure from the old strategic partnership.
What does Moscow from Dushanbe?
In Moscow, it is also can not understand. What, then, sought by Moscow, even if she is still able to achieve their goals in foreign policy? Judging by the sentiments that stand out in the estimates of Russian experts, the pressure on the Tajik authorities of Russia’s aims in Dushanbe show that its drift toward the West was delayed and goes too far. And, Tashkent and Moscow simultaneously enhance their own pressure, expecting Dushanbe breaks and sag in the right direction. Placing the statement of the Tajik side of the Uzbek pressure on the site of the Embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow – a kind of appeal to Russia’s call for an arbitrator to act. Ready or not Moscow today to speak in such a referee does not obvious. However, such a signal from Dushanbe may mean a call for Moscow to take a more proactive stance.Experts in Moscow did not exclude that the Dushanbe eventually make concessions on the issue of signing a contract extension for 49 years in Tajikistan, No. 201 RMB.
According to the expert Andrei Grozin, Moscow has also put an end to the matter of construction of Rogun. If Dushanbe ask protection from Tashkent, Moscow, Russia may demand a heavy fee for protection. This could include the transfer of controlling interest in Russia Rogun, corporatisation and control package Talco aluminum plant.In case, if Moscow fails passing the Tajik authorities, the situation escalating tensions, stopping an aluminum smelter, increasing prices and rising discontent within the ruling elite of Tajikistan may lead to instability and social upheaval. In this case, is difficult to say which of the regional and major players to win more. In Tajikistan itself at the different levels after the crisis with Russian pilots almost openly say that the foreign policy of Tajikistan failed on all fronts.
To whom can rely on the Tajik elite?
It seems that to achieve their goals as a strategically opposite Tashkent and Moscow for yourself and do not exclude the option of change of power in Tajikistan.However, the Tajik authorities themselves have painted themselves into a dead end, and narrowed the room for maneuver. No one knows how strong inoculation against social interventions, the hope, which lay, and the Tajik elite and society after the Civil War, 1992-97. On the one hand, it is true – the majority of the population in Tajikistan does not want to shock and did not support the calls for violent action.However, on the other hand, an unpleasant surprise for the authorities may be ready to accept a large part of the population bloodless change of power, which would be carried out by external forces.
Feasibility of consolidating the society in the face of external threat, of course, is also available. However, as far as they are sufficient and which force can rely on the elite, if economic and social situation because of external pressure will rapidly deteriorate, no one today is definitely not undertake to say. Failures in foreign policy, accompanied by a complication of man-made political situation in Tajikistan, where the prosecution is Turajonzoda family and the IRP, as if restored rift in society, similar to the situation before 1992, and crossed out the role of Emomali Rahmon in achieving peace in 1997. In addition, the growing domestic discontent with new raider capture the most delicious pieces of another, a successful and popular business that is carried out close to the power of people.
Together with the vague and seizure of foreign policy such steps within the country, the high risks to the business and legal political activity of Tajikistan deprived of external and internal stability in the face of the greatest challenges in almost all directions.