Military Review

Union Treaty of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The second step to the implementation of a large project

Union Treaty of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The second step to the implementation of a large project

Regional integration

In July, Military Review published material on the IV Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, which at first glance looked like an ordinary event in a series of international forums (“Central Asia and the contours of a new economic bloc"). Even then, many details of these negotiations showed that we are witnessing much more serious processes of regional integration than the regional summit. Namely: the formation of an economic bloc of Central Asian states with elements of military and political cooperation. This event was moderated by Kazakhstan, active participants were Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and careful observers were Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

On November 27, before the first foreign visit of the President of Kazakhstan, a draft document appeared for public discussion on the website of the Open Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan: “Agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Uzbekistan on allied relations” with the end date of the public discussion on December 12.

Observers mainly commented on the military-political part of this document, where the parties agree on mutual support for each other's integrity and sovereignty, but the author would suggest focusing on other aspects: economic and organizational, for example, Art. 9:

"The parties continue to cooperate in order to implement joint projects in the oil and gas industry, including through the construction of oil refining industries and pipeline infrastructure,"

as well as Art. 17:

"The parties consider the Consultative Meetings of the Heads of State of Central Asia to be a prerogative mechanism for a comprehensive discussion and constructive resolution of issues of a regional nature."

And also on the fact that all these points are, in fact, a kind of mirror of the “Treaty on Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation for the Development of Central Asia in the XNUMXst Century” signed just in July, to which Kyrgyzstan is also a party. And this agreement was signed at that same IV Consultative meeting.

Taking into account the traditionally "space" terms for the implementation of any investment, political and other projects in this region, as well as historical rivalry for leadership between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, a step in half a year from a pact of “good intentions” to an “agreement of alliance” can be called an outstanding result without exaggeration. But in these six months, the leadership of Kazakhstan laid down more political and administrative reforms, which should be finalized after the parliamentary and municipal elections.

Uzbekistan, in turn, is also in the process of constitutional reform. In Russia, it is known mainly from the events in Karakalpakstan (“Uzbekistan. New constitution and protests”), but this is just one episode that has entered the Russian media agenda. But there are others that are simply not so interesting (since there are no protests) to our mainstream, for example, the Agroexpress transnational project (fast rail delivery of fresh herbs and agricultural products) or large-scale Arab investments.

There is a strong opinion in Russia that without the participation of our country it is impossible to implement the political and economic unification of the Central Asian states - there will not be enough resources, there is high competition for leadership, many conflict zones and knots, conflicting interests. But, as it turns out, resources can be pooled, leadership can be negotiated, contradictions can be smoothed out, and conflicts can be moderated with little or no external influence. Moreover, for Kazakhstan this is not only a question of the economy, but also a kind of sacred project, an ideological concept.

In Russia, our influence is considered important, but Turkish influence is feared. Yes, Turkey is persistently penetrating the region, but who was not at that very summer Consultative Meeting? Turkey and Russia.

Symbols and assembly points

A well-known domestic sinologist, developing his conceptual view of the region, Andrey Devyatov, well noticed the moment that K.-J. Tokayev first of all after being re-elected president visited the mausoleum of Khan Jochi in the Karaganda region, which is considered a kind of sacred symbol, an “assembly point” for the lands and the Jochi ulus itself. But, I must say that Tokayev, unlike his predecessor, visits this iconic place very often and always for quite interesting reasons.

For example, just before flying off to SPIEF-2022, where he made a speech that "stunned" several Russian observers, Tokayev held a kurultai near this mausoleum, with a white tent and a felt felt of the great khan. That is, before the speech, which poured out on Russian observers with a tub of ice water, K.-Zh. Tokayev was naturally blessed with a big step. And A. Devyatov, for all the debatability of his concepts, is absolutely right that this kind of symbolism should not be overlooked when political decisions are considered.

In this regard, it would not be superfluous to recall the visit of the head of the Vatican to Kazakhstan, and the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who held a separate meeting in Astana before the SCO summit in October. What is in the first, what in the second case, we clearly see, again, an analogue of the blessing for great deeds and support. Moreover, on the part of China, this was obviously not an on-duty conversation about development and cooperation:

“No matter how the international situation changes, we will continue to strongly support Kazakhstan in protecting its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, firmly support your ongoing reforms to ensure stability and development, and categorically oppose interference of any forces in the internal affairs of your country.”

But wishes, symbols and even agroexpress alone cannot build such projects in our time, something more is required - a resource base and / or technological, embedding them in large markets.

All technologies are still borrowed and purchased, but with raw materials there is, as they say, a nuance. And here we should dwell on the proposal made by K.-J. Tokayev, the President of Russia during a meeting on the way to the EU - to fill the union with Russian gas. It looked a little strange at first glance. It seems that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are concluding a union treaty, which seems more like a political declaration, but, apparently, the Russian leader had his own thoughts on this matter.

The fact is that earlier there was talk about the fact that gas from Central Asia supplemented (and it actually supplemented) Russian supplies, but now everything turns out the other way around? It turns out that it is.

Today, the basis for the supply of blue fuel to China is the Turkmen fields, the network runs through the territory of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and (the most significant section in length) Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan is increasing gas production in Karakalpakstan, Kazakhstan - in Mangistau. The plans include the reconstruction of the internal distribution network, including Kyrgyzstan. The capacity of this network for export already exceeds 60 billion cubic meters. m, underground resources, primarily in the countries of the region, and especially in Turkmenistan, are more than enough to increase exports. So the Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan Zh. Mirzamakhmudov, in response to the Russian idea of ​​a "gas union", has already stated that participation in any unions or alliances is not required for the import of energy carriers.

And what is missing for investment?

There is a lack of stability and minimization of risks, since it is on these routes that there are nodes of border conflicts that periodically escalate, as well as Russian potential in terms of raw materials and construction rates. And here an interesting conflict arises - the pace of commissioning of capacities on our part does not yet cause enthusiasm on the part of China, and in terms of minimizing regional conflicts, we see with our own eyes that our neighbors are making completely non-illusory efforts.

If you read the text of the union agreement between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, we will find many positions dedicated to facilitating logistics. But it is precisely the issues of border control that are a real sore point in the interaction between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. And this “narrow moment” of the parties is ready to substantively decide what is, if not a breakthrough, then certainly an important step for sure.

We see similar processes even on the part of very tough rivals in territories - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which today, independently without external assistance and moderation, after active fighting in early autumn, sat down to discuss the borders of the enclaves. At the same time, Uzbekistan secured financial support from the Arabian Peninsula, and Kazakhstan received both financial and political support from China. In Astana, these processes are considered as perhaps the most important issues after the political reform, since raw material exports are critically dependent on the work of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium.

How active is Russia's role here?

So far, it is, in fact, limited to general negotiation formats and proposals for the participation of Russian gas. So far, only work in the Iranian direction has brought practical results in the region. A wait-and-see attitude towards the CIS countries may in the future greatly complicate the implementation of integration, and simply large projects, since the processes of independent unification, which previously seemed to experts, let's say frankly, utopian, today have not only become a reality, but also proceed at an unprecedented speed. At the same time, in Kazakhstan this project, as we can see, is already considered as ideological and even existential.

This is actually an important issue for Russia, because the Ukrainian campaign and its ambiguous, to put it mildly, results clearly do not add points to our geopolitical influence treasury, and yet the task that was set on all international platforms, until recently, sounded no more and no less as a multipolar world.

But over time, does Russia become that very pole?

Unfortunately, it doesn't. Turkey, Russia, Iran and Central Asia, which is uniting into one cluster before our eyes, are gradually acting as several balanced, albeit interdependent players in front of India, China and the newly consolidated West. Yes, undoubtedly, settlements in national currencies will grow in this quadrangle, but the advantage of the ruble in the future is no longer obvious, and this, in fact, was one of the priorities for Russia in building the concept of a multipolar world.

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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 9 December 2022 06: 15
    But over time, does Russia become that very pole? Unfortunately, it does not.
    A holy place is never empty..
  2. Aleksandr21
    Aleksandr21 9 December 2022 08: 12
    the advantage of the ruble in the future is no longer obvious, and this, in fact, was one of the priorities for Russia in building the concept of a multipolar world.

    To be honest, I didn’t notice at all that this was a priority for Russia ... all these years, settlements with the EAEU countries were mostly in foreign currencies (dollar / euro / national currency), but it was the use of the ruble as the main currency for the region / or which the unification was not a priority.

    Even take the Union State (Russia-Belarus), what prevents you from having a single currency (Russian ruble)? After all, Lukashenka has so far refused this step, under various pretexts ... and the use of a single currency within the same EAEU is a step of a different complexity and there is no progress here.

    And for economic / infrastructure projects, the picture is also not happy, we are told from all angles how powerful China is and how the countries of the region want to be friends and cooperate with it .... but here the question is much more interesting, but what did our officials and the government do to do Russia one of the poles of the world?

    What major projects have we implemented to unite these countries under our banner? Why do large Russian companies and corporations not benefit from the unified legislation (EAEU)? Let's make a single market for Software (SW) using only national products (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, etc.), we can legally oblige to use only national products. processors in government structures (Elbrus / Baikal) and allocate huge investments for the construction of plants / factories for this business, and then move on to the consumer market of the Commonwealth countries ... you can make a major scientific / educational project that will bring together talented young people from all our countries (according to like Skolkovo, Sirius or something like that) - and as a result we will get young people with pro-Russian views, etc. (+ the status of the Russian language will increase significantly in the EAEU countries) ... a lot of things can be done, the only question is the desire and skills of those people. Who is responsible for all this...

    And if you just go with the flow, then the result will be appropriate.
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      9 December 2022 11: 47
      The currency area itself is not a guarantee or a panacea for ensuring polarity, and here it is not far to go for examples, you can look at China with its 1,5% of world settlements in yuan and 20% of world GDP. Another thing is that for Russia the ruble zone is a critically important element in the formation of our Russian pole. This point must be taken into account, and some economists (few, but they exist) talk about it. Those. in our reality, this is purely our Russian question. Without a strong common market in a number of "our" regions, we simply will not approach another stage from adequate positions - the creation of one or several alternative reserve multicurrencies in the world (possibly in the digital version) - we simply will not have anything to put on the scales in this new basket. And they do not raise this issue at the top because nothing significant is being achieved in this direction. Therefore, it is better not to speak, so that later there will be no need for answers.
  3. kor1vet1974
    kor1vet1974 9 December 2022 12: 16
    Union Treaty of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The second step to the implementation of a large project
    And then the third and fourth.
    1. nikolaevskiy78
      9 December 2022 12: 19
      Very much even, as the third will be and the fourth actually. Now new personalities have been transferred from Japan to this direction in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Maybe they will be more active.
  4. iouris
    iouris 9 December 2022 12: 45
    The "big project" is the USSR-2. Everything else has no prospects. It will be impossible to resolve the problems associated with the use of roads, land and water resources. But "British intelligence" there is such expanse!
  5. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 9 December 2022 13: 23
    The Uzbek Bai gave a loud slap in the face to the Kremlin Mustaches. Now the Uzbeks will not sell gas on our terms.
    Of course, they covered up this stab in the back of our Motherland with empty reservations about the lack of gas inside Uzbekistan.
    But everyone understands that the head of Uzbekistan has finally come out from under our influence and not only does not hide it, but loudly slams the door.
    What will Novak, the Foreign Ministry and Peskov say?
    Another sexual preoccupation will again sound from the ministerial mouth.
    Isn't it time to press the head of Uzbekistan to the nail? There are options!
    How many citizens of Uzbekistan hang around in Russia illegally? And don't count.
    However, you can leave a slap in the face unanswered. And to stop expressing sexual concern, buy more bromine for them.
  6. Raccoon Raccoon
    Raccoon Raccoon 9 December 2022 17: 12
    As I.V. Stalin: "What are we going to do? What are we going to do ... We will envy!" True, he said so on another occasion ... It seems that the development of the world is taking place without us and bypassing us.
  7. runway-1
    runway-1 9 December 2022 20: 55
    In fact, the situation with the integration processes in Central Asia is developing very ambiguously. Vectors that are too different in direction and strength add up ...
  8. Ivanushka Ivanov
    Ivanushka Ivanov 9 December 2022 22: 37
    It's not the time to go there too actively. Let them talk, do it - as long as the Russian-speaking population is not touched.
    IMHO, we need to actively establish contacts with the Pashtuns and Pakistan. They, at least for the Slavs, are direct relatives.
    The time is not far off when the Chinese of our "brothers" will eat alive. And here - what is hello, such is the answer. We will be away. America will not help them, it will not.
    The Central Asians have always been distinguished by their big heads and small minds. They have always been driven by primitive ideas, and you should not expect anything noble from them.
  9. nordscout
    nordscout 10 December 2022 14: 02
    With the current paradigm of the capitalist "nature" of Russia, with a low level of managerial professionalism, patriotism and devotion to the state and cause, the current "boyars", one cannot speak of any kind of international "Asian" authority ... Russia loses, in this matter, position - position after position ... For 30 years, Russia has been working, ideologically, with the former Soviet republics - "in a slipshod manner", "shrugging off" systemic work with them with financial "handouts" in the form of loans, not " educating" among the local elites the pro-Russian lobby .... The result of this so-called "work" was Ukraine .... And the processes in Asia will go on increasing, but, it seems to me, we (Russia) will remain, in them , the role of observers (the payment for laziness and a false sense of superiority in everything and everything ...) ..... And one should not rely on "Asian stupidity" ... The East is a delicate and very complex matter, in all respects it requires a systematic thoughtful work...
    1. Ivanushka Ivanov
      Ivanushka Ivanov 10 December 2022 22: 05
      "It's thin, it's thin." If nothing is done, then twice or two will become an unsolvable task.
      The whole difficulty of the Central Asian king lies in the fact that he himself does not know what he will throw out in a minute. His soul is changeable like the May wind...
      In general, there is a universal add-on / in this topic /, consisting of three things. If one of them is, then everything is useless ... It's not even worth trying ...
      1. money
      2. strength
      3. violence
      And it is necessary to buy kings.
      The Russians (unlike the Americans) tried to improve the life of the local population in principle: they taught, built, developed. As a result, hatred is just among the Asian mob. And all because the mob there has no right to think - it was, it is, it will always be so. For whatever the bai commands her, she does.
    2. Oleg Barchev
      Oleg Barchev 14 December 2022 18: 17
      Prior to the start of the NWO on February 24.02.2022, XNUMX, the Russian elites "entered the West" in orderly ranks, while feigning an interest in building relations with the republics of the former USSR. Now, in the confrontation between Russia and the West, relying on the loyalty of the "Central Asian Bays" is naive, they perfectly understand how it will end for them, the "White Man" will appoint a new Bay. We need significant military successes in Ukraine, recorded as a result of peace negotiations. And even in this case, neither Kazakhstan nor Uzbekistan will go against the opinion of the "collective West". And I consider Tokayev’s visit to Russia after his election as president as a farewell courtesy visit (the operation of the CSTO troops legitimized the transfer of power from Nazarbayev to Tokayev), now our roads diverge.
  10. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 15 December 2022 15: 39
    Quote: Oleg Barchev
    We need significant military successes in Ukraine,

    This will of course lead to the fact that the Bai will stretch their tails, but their snouts will still be turned to the West.

    Like savages, they only understand strength.

    The main mistake of our "helmsmen" is the lack of a clear Russian national policy.
    Not respecting their people, they show the "allies" the vector in which they should move.

    The foundations of this abomination were laid in the 90s of the last century, when the mass genocide of Russians in all the Central Asian republics was stubbornly ignored in the Kremlin.
    And now this topic is taboo, any mention is severely suppressed.

    And you need to do what Israel does with Germany - forcing several generations of Germans to repent.