The School on Central Asia – 2018. Day 1. Prospects of Greater Eurasia

05 June 2018

On June 4, the School on Central Asia opened in Almaty. Director of Research Institute of International and Regional Cooperation at Kazakh-German University Dr. Bulat Sultanov addressed the participants and mentioned importance of the Central Asian region in local and global politics. He stressed a special geographic location of the countries of Central Asia as a whole and of Kazakhstan, in particular, between the two largest international players – Russia and China.

The attendees were also welcomed by Advisor to the Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Valery Kantorov. Having underlined the need and lack of alternatives for a dialogue, he urged to talk and discuss, hold an open and honest discussion and, thus, set a general high level of further discussions.

During the first day of the School the experts and the participants discussed topics related to leading trends of the region, prospects of economic and humanitarian cooperation of Greater Eurasia as well as activities and influence of out-of-the region players in the Central Asian space.

Experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia presented to the audience. Thus, Irina Chernykh dedicated her report to a detailed classification of trends dominating in the region by outlining long-term and mid-term regional trends and identifying new, emerging ones.

In contrast to the macro-level, Igor Savin focused his presentation on the trends on the level of ordinary people and analyzed the same trends on the micro-level.

Dina Malysheva emphasized key trends in the nearest future. According to her, in the near future the Central Asian countries will face changing speeds of urbanization. This being said, if in some countries it will develop in a positive direction (inflow of people into the cities), in others it will go in a negative direction (outflow of people into the villages).

Special attention was given to activating regional cooperation and integration processes, especially after the events in Uzbekistan. Chinara Adamkulova spoke about the conceptual format of Greater Eurasia and made a detailed conceptual analysis of international institutions active in the region, strategic partners and territorial coverage of Greater Eurasia

Yana Leksyutina spoke about problems of creating a new force pole in the form of the New Eurasian Space. It was stressed that the initiative did not present itself a new integration union, but a cooperative of already existing ones in Eurasia. Besides, the report mentioned that Russia and China were not competing in Central Asia on the background of an existing, more serious threat.

Read more in Russian here