New Russian policies towards Central Asia
Peker, M. Günden
Criss, Nur Bilge
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In this analysis, it has been attempted to reflect some light into the enigmatic future of the new Russian foreign policy towards Central Asia. To this end, elucidating and discussing the changes in the nature of Russian foreign policy reflected in two phases of time towards Central Asia in terms of economic, ethnic, political, strategic, ideological and military motives has become imperative. A review of groups in the foreign policy making processes are given, and the two dominant schools of foreign policy making: the Atlanticist and Eurasianist schools are examined. The implications of the presence of 1 O million ethnic Russians living in the Central Asian states, an interdependent economic system , the peacekeeping and defense agreements , and the role of Islam in the shaping of politics in Russia towards Central Asia are analyzed with two case analyses. In order to be able to have a full picture of the future balances in Central Asia, Turkish and Iranian roles are also heeded and placed into the Central Asian picture. The final analysis is devoted to clarification of the Russian position in Central Asia, with the aim of injecting some predictability to the unknown future of a recently growing region in world politics.