Prospects for US-Russian Cooperation in Central Asia

Conference Paper

Baev, Pavel K. 2008 Prospects for US-Russian Cooperation in Central Asia, presented at UA and Russia: Post-elections Security Challenges, , 6 March.

Russia has apparently developed a habit of presenting itself as a ‘security guarantor’ for Central Asia without investing any significant resources in building the necessary capabilities for this role.

The prospects for US-Russian interactions in Central Asia are in many ways dependent upon, if not determined by, the necessary revision of aims and priorities in the US policy towards Russia.

The most promising pattern appears to be ‘partnership-cooperation-competition-confrontation’, where ‘partnership’ is defined as ideal mode and cultivated where it is sustainable (for instance, in space exploration), while ‘cooperation’ is pursued where possible (prioritizing non-proliferation), ‘competition’ – where necessary, and ‘confrontation’ – where unavoidable. Nothing in this analysis suggests that Central Asia might fall in the latter category.