Xenophon Paper No. 8

  • CategoryXenophon Paper
  • YearNovember 2009
  • AuthorFraser Cameron
  • CountryGreece
  • LanguageEnglish
They have all been severely affected by the global economic crisis. As the former colonial master, Russia is well positioned to develop its influence in the region. It has a better understanding of business practices than the EU and is also able to offer a range of inducements, from financial to security. The EU was late in coming to Central Asia and its motives were largely concerned with efforts to diversify its energy supplies. Unlike Russia, it seeks to promote democracy and human rights in the region. The main area for conflict between the EU and Russia is energy, with a struggle over new supplies and rival pipelines. The Central Asian states are seeking to play off one side against the other. Several other powers, notably China, Turkey, the US and Iran are also engaged in Central Asia seeking to expand their influence and interests. Rivalry between the EU and Russia in Central Asia will continue with Russia best placed to develop its influence in the short term. But many in the region are attracted to the EU, especially because it eschews great power politics and has developed a political, social and economic system much admired in Central Asia.

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