Central Asia, News Watch, Side Feature

Blinken in Central Asia

On February 28, in the capital of Kazakhstan, within the framework of the C5+1 format there was held a regular meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian countries and the head of the US Department of State Anthony Blinken.

The official agenda of the meeting was to discuss the sanctions imposed by the “collective West” against Russia, their observance by the countries of the region and the elimination of the negative impact of these sanctions on the economies of the countries.

“We monitor the implementation of sanctions very closely and are constantly discussing with a number of countries, including our C5 partners … the economic consequences (of wars)”, – Blinken said at a press conference following a meeting with Central Asian officials.

“The United States will compensate Russia’s partner countries for losses due to sanctions. Since all countries in the region depend in one way or another on trade relations with Russia, the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation also hit their economies. The United States understands this and promises to compensate for the consequences”, – said in Astana the head of the US foreign policy department.

He also announced $25 million of new funding to support economic growth, including creating new trade routes and helping businesses find new export markets, in addition to the $25 million the US administration has already committed to the region.

Blinken then held a scheduled meeting with the government of Kazakhstan and president Tokayev. And the next day he paid an official visit to Tashkent. As a result of meetings with the heads of state of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, he expressed his support for the supposedly ongoing reforms in these countries and US satisfaction with the results of the reforms. He also promised the countries of the region assistance in reducing dependence on Russia. He said that the US is trying to create a strong region in Central Asia, where the countries will be more interconnected and will cooperate.

The Central Asian region in a broad sense (not just the 5 republics) has been an object of political confrontation between Russia and the West for more than two hundred years. Because of the venality of the rulers, entire nations have been and continue to be subjected to humiliation, suffering, poverty and even destruction. It is obvious that the United States, taking advantage of the current situation, is more persistently and diligently than before trying to fill the created vacuum, finally squeezing out Russian influence and establishing its own influence, while at the same time preventing the strengthening of China’s position in the region. The choice of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for this purpose is not accidental, because these two countries are both key in the region and less dependent on Russia than the rest.

It is very important for the Muslims of the region to stop tying their future with Russia or America, realizing that both of these states are colonial powers, using their colonies and turning them into ruins. Moreover, although Russia and America compete in Central Asia, they still agree that Islam should not be revived in the region. It is for this reason that both of these countries participated in the establishment and strengthening of tyrannical regimes in Central Asia in the 1990s as safeguards against a resurgence. Recall that in 2004, former British Ambassador in Uzbekistan Craig Murray published the facts of the involvement of the American and British intelligence services in torturing the SNB against members of Islamic movements.

Muhammad Mansour