Developing a new strategic approach to Central Asia is probably at the bottom of the Trump administration's foreign policy inbox. Not so in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Kabul, Tokyo, Ankara and Brussels. This region, made up of the five "stans," is rapidly becoming an area of economic cooperation and strategic competition among America's friends and foes alike in what some have called a modern version of the 19th Century Great Game. The region sits squarely in the middle of the Eurasia heartland. It is time for the United States to pay attention.
Despite many challenges, it seems some measure of progress is being made across Central Asia. In numerous international metrics systems, the states of Central Asia often trend together toward the lower rungs of the rankings. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, for instance, sees all five Central Asian states come in among the bottom third globally. Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, meanwhile, sees only Kyrgyzstan land within the top 100 nations, and only North Korea and Eritrea scoring worse than Turkmenistan.
Some 34 percent of Tajik, 31 percent of Kazakhstani and 30 percent of Kyrgyz citizens said they see The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a threat, according to the results of the last survey conducted by American research-based consulting company Gallup, Kyrgyz local press AkiPress.com reported recently.
Asian Development Bank's (ADB) assistance to Tajikistan this year is expected to be around $107 million, followed by projected investments of $108 million and $104 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively, Azerbaijani media azernews.az reported citing ADB's officials.
Tajikistan is studying all likely outcomes of their possible accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), first Deputy Head of Customs Service of Tajikistan Mr. Hurshed Karimzoda told reporters on 18 January.