More Western Interference in Central Asia
Ferghana news reports that the Duma discussed preventing revolutions in Central Asia. In a closed session, members of the Russian parliament identified the possibility of popular uprisings or “North African syndrome” as a potential security threat to Russia.
According to the report, Nadezhda Gerasimova, deputy chairperson of the Duma, believes that the best way to keep peace in the Central Asian region is 1) the presence and consolidation of international organizations that Russia participates in, 2) more Russian investment, 3) the protection of Russian citizens above all, and 4) excluding third parties.
Alexei Ostrovskiy, chairperson of the Committee for CIS affairs, believes the situation is “extremely alarming” as the population of Central Asia is growing fast, tribal relations are strong, and many people live in poverty. Only the opportunity to send labor migrants to Russia has prevented a “social explosion”. Russia’s strategy should be to exploit the “part of the political elite in the region [which] is pro-Russian”.
Other members pointed to the need for cooperation with the US, the EU and other countries and organizations active in the region to prevent serious conflicts and raise the living standards of the population of Central Asia.