Integration, migration, and illegal trafficking of drugs
The main part of the Russian president’s visit to Tajikistan begins today. In Dushanbe, Putin plans to discuss issues of cooperation in the political, military, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as prospects of cooperation in integration entities in the CIS space with his colleague Emomali Rakhmon.
Yuri Krupnov, the chairman of the International Social Movement of Development
We are in a situation when somebody bold (us, for example) states that it is time for reconstruction and building a big new country. The Eurasian Union is a minimal variant of this new Soviet country in post-Soviet space. However, even the most careful politicians consider the situation differently from their views of 2-3 years ago, not to mention decades ago. I think this concerns Tajikistan directly. We have an opportunity to promote Eurasian integration through cooperation with Tajikistan, an opportunity to “heal” our space, our people, of what Putin has called the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century – the dissolution of the USSR. Intensification of cooperation with Tajikistan doesn’t mean intensification of hostility to anybody or steps against anybody. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, where Vladimir Putin was two weeks ago, are our equal partners. There is no friendship against anybody, i.e. “local” geopolitics. Solving our Russian problems, we have to look at Central Asia, not from the point of view of help for anybody, but from the point of view of solving our internal problems. For 18 months we have been hearing statements ab out the so-called “new industrialization.” However, a bit was done in this direction. In this sense, looking at the Central Asian vector, we haven’t invested in Tajikistan’s economy yet, haven’t helped it in new industrialization, but we haven’t started industrialization at home either.
The Eurasian Union should be built through projects of mutual development. And the industrialization issue is very important for boosting our economies in the context of the global-financial crisis. Those who want to solve the problem of Russia’s geopolitical powerful have to count on forcing the advancement of development of Tajikistan and Russia. We have no other way. We suggest investment of $12 billion in development along with trade turnover and other economic indices. We have no choice.
Dmitry Alexandrov, head of the Central Asian section of the Center for the Study of Problems of post-Soviet Countries of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies
Only if in new jobs, new production lines appear Tajikistan, can the problem of migration flows from Tajikistan to Russia be solved.
There used to be a common view in Russia that post-Soviet space, including Central Asia and Tajikistan, will stay in Russia's orbit, and we will be allies forever. But time is changing, and now we are at a crossroads: whether integration projects with Russian participation will be launched (only Russia is able to provide impetus to the growth and development of Central Asian communities) or the region of Central Asia will be torn apart by other geopolitical players, for example, the US and China. We often forget about China, which played a more important role in the economic and political life of Tajikistan than the US, which we never forget. The American and Chinese projects are not directed at development of Central Asia in general or Tajikistan. Russian integration projects have no alternatives for Tajikistan in the sense of development. At the same time, if Russia doesn't seize the day and doesn’t develop these projects, it will lose a strategic region, which will influence the situation within Russia too.