“The fact that Kyrgyzstan does not close the Manas airfield for Americans is said by many experts today. But how serious is the reason to assume?
- The leadership of Kyrgyzstan has already performed such a trick earlier. The former president of this country, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, swore to the Russians that the American military airbase was actually closed, but in reality it simply changed its name. I believe that Kyrgyzstan’s trickery continues: information leaked out to the media, according to which Kyrgyzstan will give Manas to Turkey, and then it will lease the object to the Americans.
“But the Kyrgyz parliament has already approved the closure of Manas for the Americans, and the president Atambayev signed the document.
- Well, so what? When he came to power, he flew to Moscow, spoke eloquently about the Kyrgyz-Russian friendship and in parallel asked for money for the development of Kyrgyzstan. The Russian authorities promptly instructed one of the business structures to negotiate with the Kyrgyz on a project to transform the Manas base into a civilian transport hub. But immediately after this, Atambayev went to Turkey and met with its leadership.
Kyrgyzstan, by the way, also receives financial assistance from Turkey and the United States, since both Ankara and Washington want to have their own foothold in Central Asia. It looks like this: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan ask Russia for money, sometimes get it, and then run to the Americans and the Turks for the next "tranche". As a result, the outcome of such issues as the closure of a foreign base, and even smaller ones, depends on who gives more money.
- In Kyrgyzstan, there is the Kant air base for the CSTO rapid reaction forces, there are also purely Russian military installations. If the base of a NATO member - whether Turkey or the United States - continues to function there, will this not lead in time to something like the Caribbean crisis?
- Not everything is so tough. Russia, of course, is against the American and in general any NATO base in Central Asia. But, in some way, both Kirghiz and Russians are accustomed to the parallel functioning of antagonistic military facilities. This, however, does not mean that Russia and the NATO countries will not continue their attempts to oust each other from Central Asia.
“But according to the Iranian edition of the IRAS, part of the new, so-called southern US anti-missile complex is being built on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. It includes 26 powerful radar that can record any objects at a great distance from Kyrgyzstan. The center of this complex will be an aeronautical station, which is being built by a Pentagon contractor, a certain Turkish company Cerka.
- I do not have such information. Although I would not be surprised at such a development of events if the US still receives Manas, even through Turkey. Here, much will depend on the lease term of Manas by the Americans.
But it is mainly about a more global problem - the integrated offensive of Turkey and the United States to the East. This problem is multi-layered and burdened by the policy of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, aimed at rebuilding the Ottoman Empire. Over the years of his reign, he took the necessary steps in this direction. They are not advertised, but everyone knows who Erdogan’s spiritual mentor is - billionaire Fetulla Gulen, who lives in America. In addition to his spiritual mentor, he served as the official adviser to Erdogan. Gülen has very serious plans to revive the Great Ottoman Empire - from the Balkans to the Caucasus and Central Asia with the seizure of the Crimea.
I will especially note that Gulen is a serious religious figure: he has his own religious teachings, madrasas, other religious organizations and wants the corresponding contingent to be present in the Turkish army, ministries and other state structures. He is there and enjoys serious influence. Strictly speaking, it was this circumstance, and not the everyday aspect of the problems around Gezi Park, that was the reason for the recent mass demonstrations in Istanbul. That is, in Turkey they understood that the country turned from Ataturk’s path and social life, and goes along the path of Islam. What caused serious resistance. This, of course, is not about fundamentalism. But during Erdogan’s reign, the religious background has greatly increased, and Turkey is clearly moving towards soft Islamic rule.
- Is it possible to say that Russia now has two bones in the throat in the post-Soviet space, - Central Asia and the Caucasus, - and both have become so by the hands of America and Turkey?
- There are more bones: here both Ukraine and Moldova. The only country that is still in Russia's orbit is Belarus, and that is thanks to Lukashenko. On all other fronts of Russia loses. In my opinion, she would, of course, have resorted to a tougher policy in relations with the post-Soviet states and in world politics in general. But Moscow fears a massive attack on Russia by the United States, NATO and Europe.
“But at the same time, Russia still needs cooperation with the United States and NATO.” Moreover, she clearly does not want the withdrawal of alliance forces from Afghanistan, and is cooperating with him in the Afghan sector.
- At this stage it is. But in 2014 or maximum in 2015, the Americans and the NATO nations will withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. There will be no more than 9 of thousands of Americans and, at the most, a six-thousand contingent from allied states. These people will only train the Afghan police and army. The withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan, where the total number of military contingents is now one hundred thousand, means the mandatory return to this country of the Taliban, who hate Russia and the Russians. Naturally, the Taliban will extend their influence to Central Asia, especially Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. They will get to the North Caucasus. Automatically significantly worsen the situation with drug trafficking. In a word, there is no need to expect political moderation and delicacy from the Taliban - they are belligerent and will be even more belligerent when they regain power.
In addition, by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the Americans create footholds for themselves in Central Asia. Uzbekistan, for example, has recently shied away from them, and now they, like, are friends again.
- Your forecast: will Central Asia completely fall under the Americans, or will it remain, to one degree or another, with Russia?
- Hard to say. After all, even such a strong and rich state like Kazakhstan, headed by a very experienced and far-sighted politician, is ready to provide the port of Aktau for the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan.
- But Russia itself helps NATO in the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan: it suffices to recall the transit center at the Ulyanovsk airport.
“Yes, but this does not mean at all that she likes the similar readiness of Kazakhstan, whose actions are constantly looked at by Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and even Uzbekistan.” Nazarbayev said that the connection of Aktau to the withdrawal of the NATO troops does not threaten anyone or anything. But one step entails others. Therefore, it is not surprising that Russia and Iran were not satisfied with Nazarbayev.
- What do you think, why was the Caspian port of Aktau chosen as the point for the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan? What makes such a whimsical and winding choice of routes?
- I think this is due to the importance of the Caspian Sea for Americans as a whole. Now and without the withdrawal of NATO troops through Central Asia, the situation in the Caspian basin is rather tense. Europeans and Americans have long pushed Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to build a pipeline across the Caspian, although it is still not divided, and territorial disputes are not over. This worries both Iran and Russia. Both countries are well aware that as soon as the pipeline for the export of hydrocarbons passes through the Caspian, NATO forces will appear in the region, including in Aktau. And their presence there is unlikely to be temporary.
The Americans and NATO are now forcing Russia to leave literally everywhere - from Central Asia and from the Caucasus. That is, the Brzezinski theory under the guise of various load-overloads there is in effect, regardless of whether the Kremlin resists or not.
- And what, no one will insure Russia? For example, China.
- China and Russia are strategic partners, but China has its own interests in Central Asia, and Russia has its own. The situation with Central Asia is similar to the situation in the Caucasus: everyone has their own interest. Do not forget that China is seriously claiming to be the eldest in Central Asia. In addition to him, on this “market” are India, Iran and, as I have already said, Turkey. This is not yet a theater of military operations, but there is a serious struggle for political and economic influence with its consistent expansion. At this stage, Russia is losing it.
Interviewed by Irina Jorbenadze