What Is at Stake for Russia in Central Asia?

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Safranchuk color head shot

CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S354

At least five times in the last 26 years, Russia has changed the rationalization behind its Central Asia policy. In the early 1990s, Russia viewed most of the former Soviet space as a burden, but assumed certain historic responsibilities to maintain close relations with these countries. At the turn of the last century, Russia saw the growing potential for destabilization and chaos in Central Asia, and prioritized its security interests. In the 2000s, Moscow became overwhelmingly concerned with Western penetration into this "soft underbelly" of Russia, leading to the reinterpretation of its security interests. The Russian government decided to emphasize regional economic integration; now, the dynamics of this great power competition is important for Russia’s foreign policy. What is really at stake for Russia in Central Asia?

Ivan Safranchuk holds several teaching and research positions with Russian and foreign universities and think-tanks: senior fellow at the Institute of International Relations (a research division of MGIMO University), non-resident fellow with CSIS (Washington, DC), Research Scholar and Lecturer at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University (fall 2019). Throughout the last eight years, Dr. Safranchuk has been involved in a number of projects on Central Asia and Afghanistan. In 2010 he managed a project sponsored by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to research regional perspectives on the Afghanistan. In 2011-2012, Dr. Safranchuk coordinated Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) project on urbanization in Uzbekistan. In 2011-2013, he coordinated a project entitled “Strengthening economic ties between Afghanistan and neighboring countries,” which was implemented by ESCAP. In 2014, Dr. Safranchuk was part of a UN advisory group that supervised the audit of the second round of the presidential elections in Afghanistan. He publishes on U.S.-Russian relations, Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Speaker(s)

Ivan Safranchuk, Senior Fellow, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

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