Friday, June 24, 2022

Border Conflicts in Central Asia will Continue because They Help Elites Enrich Themselves with the Drug Trade, Analysts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 6 – Moscow has offered to help Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to resolve their border clashes by introducing Russian peacekeepers there, but both Biskek and Dushanbe are resisting that primarily because unstable borders make it possible for the drug trade across these frontiers to continue and enrich the elites in both countries.

            That is the message analysts in Moscow and pro-Moscow analysts in the region are now delivering (, one that is intended to generate support for Russia’s position by others including in Europe and the West more generally but one that will certainly further alienate governments in the region.

            Such Russian arguments also highlight something else: Moscow is losing the other levers it had in the past and is, given the dominance of force structures in Kremlin decision-making, now thinking only about how it can use or offer to use force to solve problems, something more worrisome than even the charges it is levelling against Central Asian elites.

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