And the fluctuating ones that joined them | Latest news The Moscow Post
29 November 2023

And the fluctuating ones that joined them

Which of the countries in the post-Soviet space from the "friendly" can look "left"?

Russia in 2023 presides over the bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, Eurases). Moscow's policy is aimed at strengthening ties with neighboring countries in the political, economic, industrial, financial and technological spheres. This was recently mentioned by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during the first meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council this year, which was held on February 2-3 in Alma-Ata, a correspondent for The Moscow Post reports.

Recall that the integration of the economic systems of Russia and neighboring countries, multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Great Eurasian Partnership are put in the first place in the "National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation," approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation.

The newly created "mal da udal..."

What does Central Asia look like today against the background of other countries of the post-Soviet space? In which scientific teams is this region studied and how, not counting the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences or the Institute of Asian and African Countries of Lomonosov Moscow State University, or IMEMO RAS?

There are not as many such centers in Russia as it should have been. One of them was created recently. This is the National Research Institute for the Development of Communications (NIIRK), formed in 2021.

The Institute positions itself as a center for "developing a methodology for the study and forecasting of inter-country and intercultural communications," conducts scientific, information, publishing, project work on the development of friendly, good-neighborly relations.

And although NIIRK, he has been with connections for a few years. Last year, on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, he signed a cooperation agreement with the Presidential Library. The document provides for the organization and holding of joint scientific and scientific-practical conferences, seminars, competitions for scientific work, and other events. On the basis of NIIRK, they plan to open a center for remote access to the electronic fund of the Presidential Library.

… and "added value"

Very curious is the presentation "Results of monitoring country communication regimes" - a study that NIIRK conducted in 2022, developing a "Rating of the friendliness of communication regimes of neighboring countries." It was stated that "the methodology, technology and monitoring results are unparalleled."

NIIRK experts set themselves a difficult task to find out "For whom Russia and the Russians remain friends, and who turned his back? What neighbors do Russia need - and what Russia do neighbors need? What is our friendship based on? What technologies do anti-Russian and pro-Russian forces use? "

These issues were discussed with the participation of Svetlana Voronina, Deputy Head of the Department of the Office of the President of the Russian Federation for Interregional and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries; member of the Supervisory Board of NIIRK, Colonel-General Valentin Sobolev; Evgeny Minchenko, President of the Minchenko Consulting Communications Holding; Alexander Krylov, Chief Researcher of the Caucasus Sector, IMEMO RAS; Deputy Head of the Department for Relations with Compatriots of Rossotrudnichestvo Alexei Petrov.

Director Vladislav Gasumyanov, as well as Deputy Director for Scientific Work Valentina Komleva took part in the event from NIIRK. According to Komleva, among 14 neighboring countries, normal relations have developed today with only eight.

In 2022, the group of friendly communication regimes included 8 friendly countries, 2 countries were named relatively friendly, and 4 countries were called unfriendly. Communication modes are conditions and rules that are created in the country for internal and external communications. The degree of friendliness of communication regimes is the sum of opportunities and restrictions for inter-country civil and state communications. The assessment of friendliness was carried out on 10 communication groups and 68 indicators, Komleva said.

Georgia and Moldova are considered relatively friendly, in the list of "friendly" Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are classified as "fluctuating."

Komleva claims that in this group "The vector of changes will depend on the ability of Russia to choose the right communication strategies." Who will implement these strategies, who will oppose the "right strategies"? There are no answers to these questions. Komleva's report has not yet been published.

And nearby was Central Asia

Let's return to Central Asia and the EAEU. One way or another, the field of work for this center and other research organizations is expanding faster than even politicians and practical organizations can cope with. And most of the first-hand information about the degree of "friendliness" remains with them and the researchers are unavailable. Whether politicians think about "communication strategies" is also a question.

But the process of reconfiguring "inter-country communications" in the post-Soviet space is underway, the situation is changing. This calls into question some of the monitoring results. For example, the parliament of "relatively friendly" Moldova adopted a bill to combat separatism. The Transnistrian Moldavian Republic regarded this as an "act of aggression."

The conclusions of the authors of the study on the "fluctuating" Kazakhstan raise questions. Russia has important projects and big investments associated with this country. Director of the third department of the CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Sternik said recently that Russia, in particular, is ready for cooperation on the construction of nuclear power plants in Kazakhstan in any format comfortable for Astana.

Sternik also noted that Washington does not hide that it is not happy with the deep ties of Central Asia with Russia, their allied character. Can Russian "communication strategies" influence the United States or the European Union?

National Interests and Neighbours

What to start from in research work, or monitoring moods in countries neighboring Russia? Mikhail Mishustin, for example, highly appreciated the successes in the development of the EAEU countries, which were achieved despite external pressure. Western forecasts regarding the stability of the EAEU did not materialize. "The Eurasian Economic Commission (EAC) presented a report on the implementation of previously reached agreements, including strategic directions for the development of Eurasian economic integration until 2025," Mishustin said, adding that the EAEU could become one of the poles of the multipolar world.

According to the EAC, the total GDP of the Union countries by the end of 2022 will decrease by no more than 1.9%. there was an increase in 2022 in such areas of the economy as agriculture - about 5.1% and almost $155 billion in monetary terms. The volume of construction work increased by 5.5%, in monetary terms for 11 months the amount amounted to $178 billion. The growth of investment in fixed assets for nine months amounted to 5.3%, the output of industrial products for 11 months increased and reached one and a half trillion dollars. Mishustin called industrial cooperation one of the main priorities of the EAEU.

The heads of government of the EAEU countries supported the proposal for a joint integration project "Eurasian Agroexpress." We are talking about container transportation of agricultural products and food of member states along the North-South international transport corridor to Turkmenistan, Iran, the UAE and India.

In the summer of 2022, the Prime Ministers of the EAEU countries decided to establish a "Eurasian Reinsurance Company," which will support foreign trade, investment cooperation, provide export loans and interaction with credit agencies and insurers.

In June 2022, the Digital Initiatives Fund of the Eurasian Development Bank launched the Work in the EAEU mobile application, an online services platform to ensure freedom of movement of labor.

Vladimir Putin, holding a meeting of the supervisory board of the autonomous non-profit Agency for Strategic Initiatives on February 9, 2023, proposed "to work out the issue of creating international training programs for high-tech industries with the participation of our partners in Eurases and other interested states."

Steps to build alliances

Coordinated steps are needed to build alliance and strategic partnership, improve the stability of economies, "Vladimir Putin suggested, speaking during the first Russia-Central Asia Summit, held on October 14, 2022 in Astana.

Russia's interaction with the "five" countries of Central Asia is based on a doubling of trade turnover, which reached $37.1 billion. In the first half of 2022, mutual trade grew by 16%. Russia's direct investments in Central Asian countries reached $5 billion. The total investment of the Eurasian Development Bank for the next five years will amount to almost eleven billion dollars. There is a transition to the Russian system for transmitting financial messages, correspondent accounts are opened between credit institutions.

Cooperation in the field of energy security, in the creation of generating capacities, the construction of nuclear power plants, and the introduction of digital technologies is deepening. Russia can help the "five" states restore the combined energy system of Central Asia. Next in line are new oil transportation routes, projects for the development of energy resources of the Caspian Sea, the introduction of gas engine fuel in transport.

The reorientation of exports and imports of the Russian Federation stimulates the development of transport corridors in the space of Greater Eurasia. The general task is to equip new corridors: "East - West," "North - South," the route Europe - Western China, passing through the territories of the "five."

Vladimir Putin also suggested thinking about the possibility of creating a research laboratory for the CIS infrastructure, cooperation along the lines of "smart city" and "electronic government," digital education.

Coordination of further activities in the Russia-Central Asia format could be undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the head of the Russian state suggested. It remains to wait how these proposals will be formulated in the new concept of Russian foreign policy, as well as in the President's message to the Federal Assembly, scheduled for February 21.

You can't argue that "inter-country communications" are also in demand on the rise, they are distinguished by a new quality and mutual interests. The EAEU states, including Kazakhstan, claim a special role in the world and, quite definitely, on the Eurasian mega-continent. Or did we misunderstand something?

Photo: RIA Novosti

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